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Long Hair, Short Ideas, and the Contemporary Status of the Architectural Imaginary
RMIT University, Melbourne Australia.
2010 (English)In: SAHANZ (Society of Architectural Historians Australia, New Zealand): Imagining... / [ed] Michael Chapan, Michael Ostwald, Newcastle, NSW, Australia: University of Newcastle , 2010Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In her book, The Philosophical Imaginary, Michèle Le Doeuff troubles the discipline of philosophy by arguing that although it aspires to clear and distinct thought its texts are illustrated with “statues that breathe the scent of roses, comedies, tragedies, architects, foundations, dwellings, doors and windows” and so on.  Le Doeuff argues that these images are more than mere illustrations that assist in the understanding of abstract and complex arguments and ideas. They are more than sensitive even contradictory points in the tissue of a philosophical text, they also fundamentally structure the conditions of possibility of philosophical discourse as well as help to found claims for the legitimacy of the discipline in response to the rise of the sciences. In addition, the philosophical imaginary owns an affective dimension in that images function to describe ratios of pleasure and pain associated with the labour of thought, determining where thought should venture, and where it should not. Notable with respect to the discipline of architecture is how architectural motifs and images contribute regularly to this philosophical imaginary. Compelling as they are I do not plan to map the evocative network of architectural motifs that contribute to what Le Doeuff has called the philosophical imaginary. Instead I will turn to the ways in which the discipline of architecture, on the other hand, makes use of philosophy to conceptually authorise its symbolic regime. I will argue that by investing, for instance, in poststructural philosophy throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s architecture not only appropriates elements of an epistemological framework, but necessarily, at the same time it must accept into its own realm stowaway images of the philosophical imaginary.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Newcastle, NSW, Australia: University of Newcastle , 2010.
Keyword [en]
Michèle Le Doeuff, feminism, imaginary
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion Architecture
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-74816OAI: diva2:490049
SAHANZ 2010, Imagining. University of Newcastle. 30 June – 2 July, 2010
QC 20120423Available from: 2012-02-03 Created: 2012-02-03 Last updated: 2012-04-23Bibliographically approved

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