For More Than One Voice: Towards a Philosophy of Vocal Expression

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Overview


The human voice does not deceive. The one who is speaking is inevitably revealed by the singular sound of her voice, no matter “what” she says. We take this fact for granted—for example, every time someone asks, over the telephone, “Who is speaking?” and receives as a reply the familiar utterance, “It’s me.” Starting from the given uniqueness of every voice, Cavarero rereads the history of philosophy through its peculiar evasion of this embodied uniqueness. She shows how this history—along with the fields it comprehends, such as linguistics, musicology, political theory, and studies in orality—might be grasped as the “devocalization of Logos,” as the invariable privileging of semantike over phone, mind over body. Female figures—from the Sirens to the Muses, from Echo to opera singers—provide a crucial counterhistory, one in which the embodied voice triumphs over the immaterial semantic. Reconstructing this counterhistory, Cavarero proposes a “politics of the voice” wherein the ancient bond between Logos and politics is reconfigured, and wherein what matters is not the communicative content of a given discourse, but rather who is speaking.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Cavarero is lyrical, commanding, sweeping."—Theory & Event

"The material gathered here is striking for both its breadth and the richness of treatment." —Philosophy in Review/Comptes Rendus philosophiques

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804749558
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/27/2004
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Adriana Cavarero is Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Verona, Italy, and Visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and New York University. Italy's most renowned feminist philosopher, she is the author of numerous essays and books, including (in English) In Spite of Plato (1995), Relating Narratives: Storytelling and Selfhood (2000), and Stately Bodies (2002).
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Table of Contents

The voice of Jacob 19
"Saying," instead of the "said" 26
The devocalization of logos 33
The voice of the soul 42
The strange case of the antimetaphysician Ireneo Funes 47
The voice of language 53
When thinking was done with the lungs ... 62
Some irresistible (and somewhat dangerous) flute playing 68
The rhapsodic voice; or, Ion's specialty 79
"Sing to me, o muse" 95
The fate of the Sirens 103
Melodramatic voices 117
The maternal Chora; or, the voice of the poetic text 131
Truth sings in key 139
The hurricane does not roar in pentameter 146
The harmony of the spheres; or, the political control of Mousike 152
Echo; or, on resonance 165
A vocal ontology of uniqueness 173
Logos and politics 183
The reciprocal communication of voices 197
App Dedicated to Derrida 213
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Recipe

The human voice does not deceive. The one who is speaking is inevitably revealed by the singular sound of her voice, no matter “what” she says. We take this fact for granted—for example, every time someone asks, over the telephone, “Who is speaking?” and receives as a reply the familiar utterance, “It’s me.” Starting from the given uniqueness of every voice, Cavarero rereads the history of philosophy through its peculiar evasion of this embodied uniqueness. She shows how this history—along with the fields it comprehends, such as linguistics, musicology, political theory, and studies in orality—might be grasped as the “devocalization of Logos,” as the invariable privileging of semantike over phone, mind over body. Female figures—from the Sirens to the Muses, from Echo to opera singers—provide a crucial counterhistory, one in which the embodied voice triumphs over the immaterial semantic. Reconstructing this counterhistory, Cavarero proposes a “politics of the voice” wherein the ancient bond between Logos and politics is reconfigured, and wherein what matters is not the communicative content of a given discourse, but rather who is speaking.

Read More Show Less

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