Birth, Death, and Femininity

Birth, Death, and Femininity

Philosophies of Embodiment
Edited by Robin May Schott
With contributions by Sara Heinämaa, Robin May Schott, Vigdis Songe-Møller, and Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir
Distribution: World
Publication date: 10/1/2010
ISBN: 978-0-253-00482-6
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Issues surrounding birth and death have been fundamental for Western philosophy as well as for individual existence. The contributors to this volume unravel the gendered aspects of the classical philosophical discourses on death, bringing in discussions about birth, creativity, and the entire chain of human activity. By linking their work to major thinkers such as Heidegger, Nietzsche, Beauvoir, and Arendt, and to major philosophical currents such as ancient philosophy, existentialism, phenomenology, and social and political philosophy, they challenge prevailing feminist articulations of birth and death. These philosophical reflections add an important sexual dimension to current thinking on identity, temporality, and community.

Author Bio

Robin May Schott is Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies (Holocaust and Genocide). She is editor of Feminist Philosophy and the Problem of Evil (IUP, 2007).


"For feminist scholars across the disciplines." —Debra Bergoffen, George Mason University

"I know of no other philosophical work that relates birth and death with sustained, in-depth treatment and connects them to the work of major philosophers." —Claudia Card, University of Wisconsin–Madison

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Birth, Death, and Femininity / Robin May Schott
Part 1. Politics of Community
2. Sexual Violence, Sacrifice, and Narratives of Political Origins / Robin May Schott
3. Natality and Destruction: Arendtian Reflections on War Rape / Robin May Schott
Part 2. Phenomenologies of Mortality and Generativity
4. The Sexed Self and the Mortal Body / Sara Heinämaa
5. Being toward Death / Sara Heinämaa
6. Future and Others / Sara Heinämaa
Part 3. Nietzsche's Philosophy of Life
7. Nietzsche's Philosophy of Birth / Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir
8. The Natal Self / Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir
Part 4. An Ancient Tragedy
9. Antigone and the Deadly Desire for Sameness: Reflections on Origins and Death / Vigdis Songe-Mller
Notes on Contributors