Epistemology of the Closet  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
epistemology , closet

Epistemology of the Closet is a literary study of American and Eurpean texts (Melville, Wilde, Nietzsche, James and Proust) similar to John Boswell The Kindness of Strangers and Luce Irigaray This Sex Which Is Not One.

In Epistemology of the Closet, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick argues that "virtually any aspect of modern Western culture, must be, not merely incomplete, but damaged in its central substance to the degree that it does not incorporate a critical analysis of modern homo/heterosexual definition." According to Sedgwick, homo/heterosexual definition has become so tediously argued over because of a lasting incoherence "between seeing homo/heterosexual definition on the one hand as an issue of active importance primarily for a small, distinct, relatively fixed homosexual minority ... [and] seeing it on the other hand as an issue of continuing, determinative importance in the lives of people across the spectrum of sexualities." This contradiction between what Sedgwick refers to as a "minoritizing versus a universalizing" view of sexual definition is made even more angrily argued over by yet another set of incoherent definitional terms: that "between seeing same-sex object choice on the one hand as a matter of liminality or transitivity between genders, and seeing it on the other hand as reflecting an impulse of separatism — though by no means necessarily political separatism — within each gender".

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