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Gender in Hegel’s Phänomenologie des Geistes, Franz Rosenzweig’s Stern der Erlösung and in Jacques Derrida’s thought

project leader: Brigitta Keintzel (Mag.a Dr.in phil)
project duration: 2014-2019
project funding: Austrian Science Fund (FWF) - Elise Richter Programme (V-345)

This project's theme is the exploration of the philosophical gender theories of Rosenzweig and Derrida, examined anew in the context of Hegel's Phenomonenology of the Spirit. This perspective allows me to compare the authors with each other, bringing them into a virtual dialogue. The philosophical transformation from Hegel to Rosenzweig and Derrida as related to gender themes represents a field of research, unjustly neglected in both present and historical debates, and could enable a new perspective on 20th-century philosophy.

Hegel, Rosenzweig and Derrida are thinkers who developed complex approaches to a philosophy of gender relations, each offering a new perspective for their time. My research project will explore the rela­tionship between these philosophers concerning issues of gender – an aspect that has not been adequately studied until now. Taking into account this desideratum, I will initiate a virtual dialogue between these fascinating philosophers. It is surprising that this extensive knowledge has yet to be really reflected on used in contemporary research.

In developing his philosophical system in Star of Redemption Rosenzweig developed a radical critique of Hegel, which however, was never explicitly elaborated. Therefore, it is my goal in this study to analyse the differences between two thinkers who contributed significantly to the philosophy of gender relations. In order to deepen this dialogue and reach new insights, I will also take Jacques Derrida’s reflections on this subject into account. Revealing how the thought of these three philosophers relate should not just allow a deeper understanding of these philosophers but also provide new im­pulses and insights regarding their specific approach to gender.

Franz Rosenzweig and Jacques Derrida are proponents of a 20th-century philosophy who have generally been read and reflected on in isolation from one another. In this project, Rosenzweig's and Derrida's philosophical theories of gender will be reinterpreted in the context of a discussion of Hegel's PG; I believe that this relationship has been unjustly neglected in previous research, but also that Hegel's influence on those philosophers in the existing research literature has often been oversimplified—sometimes almost to the point of caricature—and described in a self-serving, misleading fashion.

My project suggests another view: By initiating a dialogue between these different approaches, I will highlight the challenges these three thinkers pose for a new understanding of European philosophy, Jewish thought and Gender Studies.

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University of Vienna

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