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Coming to LifePhilosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Mothering$
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Sarah LaChance Adams and Caroline R. Lundquist

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823244607

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823244607.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 28 March 2020

The Order of Life

The Order of Life

How Phenomenologies of Pregnancy Revise and Reject Theories of the Subject

Chapter:
(p.282) (p.283) 13 The Order of Life
Source:
Coming to Life
Author(s):

Talia Welsh

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823244607.003.0014

This chapter discusses how phenomenologies of pregnancy challenge traditional philosophical accounts of a subject that is seen as autonomous, rational, genderless, unified, and independent from other subjects. Pregnancy defies simple incorporation into such universal accounts since the pregnant woman and her unborn child are incapable of being subsumed into traditional theories of the subject. Phenomenological descriptions of the experience of pregnancy lead one to question if philosophy needs to reject the subject altogether as central, or rather to revise traditional descriptions of the subject. The chapter examines both options and argues for the later. The exploration of pregnancy in feminist theory upholds the value of working from the subject's lived experience, but indicates that it is possible without viewing the subject as a disembodied universal agent. Finally, it discusses how phenomenologies of pregnancy are attuned to discussing difference thereby aiding philosophies that take into account the political, historical, and cultural conditioning that shape experience and theory.

Keywords:   phenomenology, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, pregnancy, subject, feminist theory

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