In Search of a Feminist Theory of Expression
Keywords:Expression, Feminism, Wittgenstein, Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology, Language
In the Tractactus Logico Philosophicus, Wittgenstein concludes that what cannot be spoken about is better left unsaid, which would correspond to everything that is not scientific language susceptible of being formalized in the propositional framework. It is not until Philosophical Investigations that he will find the formula of the “expression” taken in an encompassing sense with its notion of “seeing aspects”. For his part, in his course “Le problème de la parole”, Merleau-Ponty, elaborates a reflection on language that begins with the consideration of the scientific and logical naivety of language, in relation to Saussure's linguistics, and ends with the comparison between Proust and Stendhal. In this last part, he proposes that literature, as a creative language and an expressive operation, is both true life, connected with the ontological foundation of what exists, and phenomenology that shows the institution of that life. In both authors, the logical consideration is overwhelmed by the expressive power of language. Our contribution will make a comparison between Wittgenstein's and Merleau-Ponty's reflections on language and expressiveness. With this, we will seek to propose the bases of a feminist theory of expression, that is, a theory that seeks to show the particularity of female expressiveness.
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