In critical theory and deconstruction, phallogocentrism is a neologism
Jacques Derrida to refer to the privileging of the masculine
(phallus) in the construction of meaning. The word is a portmanteau of
the older terms phallocentrism (focusing on the masculine point of
view) and logocentrism (focusing on language in assigning meaning to
Derrida and others identified phonocentrism, or the prioritizing of
speech over writing, as an integral part of phallogocentrism. Derrida
explored this idea in his essay "Plato's Pharmacy".
2 See also
4 External links
In contemporary literary and philosophical works concerned with
gender, the term "phallogocentrism" is commonplace largely as a result
of the writings of Jacques Derrida, the founder of the philosophy of
deconstruction, which is considered by many academics to constitute an
essential part of the discourse of postmodernism.
Deconstruction is a
philosophy of "indeterminateness" and its opposing philosophy,
"determinateness". According to deconstruction, indeterminate
knowledge is "aporetic", i.e., based on contradictory facts or ideas
("aporias") that make it impossible to determine matters of truth with
any degree of certitude; determinate knowledge, on the other hand, is
"apodictic", i.e., based on facts or ideas that are considered to be
"true", from one perspective or another.
The phallogocentric argument is premised on the claim that modern
Western culture has been, and continues to be, both culturally and
intellectually subjugated by "logocentrism" and "phallocentrism".
Logocentrism is the term Derrida uses to refer to the philosophy of
determinateness, while phallocentrism is the term he uses to describe
the way logocentrism itself has been genderized by a "masculinist
(phallic)" and "patriarchal" agenda. Hence, Derrida intentionally
merges the two terms phallocentrism and logocentrism as
The French feminist thinkers of the school of écriture féminine also
share Derrida's phallogocentric reading of 'all of Western
metaphysics'. For example,
Catherine Clément and
Hélène Cixous in
"The Newly Born Woman" (1975) decry the "dual, hierarchical
oppositions" set up by the traditional phallogocentric philosophy of
determinateness, wherein "death is always at work" as "the premise of
woman's abasement", woman who has been "colonized" by phallogocentric
thinking. According to Cixous and Clément, the 'crumbling' of this
way of thinking will take place through a Derridean-inspired,
anti-phallo/logocentric philosophy of indeterminateness.
Hélène Cixous and Catherine Clément, "The Newly Born Woman",
trans. Betsy Wang. Theory and History of Literature, Volume 24
(Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986), p. 65.
Biases of the Ear and Eye - Logocentrism
Jacques Derrida : The Perchance of a Coming of the Otherwoman.
Phallogocentrism from Duel to Duo, Carole Dely
Revue Sens Public
Archetypal literary criticism
international relations theory