Queer Phenomenology

CHAPTER 1 Orientations Toward Objects


If phenomenologists were simply to ‘‘look at’’ the object that they face, then they would be erasing the ‘‘signs’’ of history

:もし、現象学者が直面する対象を単に「見る」だけなら、それは 歴史の''しるし''を消してしまうことになるのです。


History cannot simply be perceived on the surface of the object, even if how objects surface or take shape is an effect of such histories. In other words, history cannot simply be turned into something that is given in its sensuous certainty, as if it could be a property of an object.



fetishism: フランス語の「フェティッシュ(物神、呪物) 」から生じた言葉であり、ある対象、あるいはその断片を偏愛する態度のこと。


‘‘commodity fetishism.’’ 



The orientation of this table, how it appears as a table for work, depends on these multiple histories of labor, redefined as matter taking form. 






デリダ: ポスト構造主義を代表する現代フランスの哲学者。脱構築」の手法によって、西洋哲学の真理や普遍性を批判し、ポストモダン思想の代表として注目を集めました。


For Derrida, the table is not simply something we use: ‘‘The table has been worn down, exploited, overexploited, or else set aside and beside itself, no longer in use, in antique shops or auction rooms’’ (149)



He thus suggests that ‘‘the table in use’’ is as metaphysical as ‘‘table as commodity’’: use value as well as exchange value involves fetishism 



I buy the table (for this or that amount of money) as a table ‘‘for’’ writing. I have to bring it to the space where it will reside (the study, or the space marked out in a corner of another room). Others bring it for me: they transport the table. They bring it up the stairs. I wince as the edge of the table hits the wall, leaving a mark on both the wall and the table— which shows, too, what the table came into contact with during the time of its arrival. The table, having arrived, is nestled in the corner of the room. I use it as a writing desk. Having arrived, I turn to the table and sit on the chair which is placed alongside it. The chair allows me to reach the table, to cover it with my arms, and to write upon it. And yet, I am not sure what will happen to the table in the future. I could put the table to a different use (I could use it as a dining table if it is big enough ‘‘to support’’ this kind of action), or I could even forget about the table if I ceased to write, whereupon it might be ‘‘put aside’’ out of reach. The object is not reducible to the commodity, even when it is bought and sold

:私は書くためのテーブルとして(これか らこれまでの金額で)テーブルを購入する。それを置く場所(書斎、あるいは別の部屋の片隅に示されたスペース)に持っていかなければならない。他の人が運んできてくれる。階段で運んでくれる。テーブルの縁が壁にぶつかり、壁とテーブルの両方に跡がつき、その跡はテーブルが到着するまでに接触したものをも示している。届いたテーブルは、部屋の隅に置かれている。私はそれをライティングデスクとして使っている。到着した私は、テーブルの方を向いて、テーブルと一緒に置かれた椅子に座る。その椅子のおかげで、私はテーブルに手が届き、腕をかけ、その上で書くことができる。しかし、この先、テーブルがどうなるかはわからない。テーブルを別の用途に使うかもしれないし(この種の行為を支えるに十分な大きさがあれば、食卓として使うかもしれない)、書くことをやめればテーブルのことを忘れてしまい、手の届かないところに「置いて」しまうかもしれないのだ。


ndeed, the object is not reducible to itself, which means it does not ‘‘have’’ an ‘‘itself ’’ that is apart from its contact with others. The actions performed on the object (as well as with the object) shape the object. The object in turn affects what we do, as I will discuss in the section following.




 want to suggest that objects not only are shaped by work, but that they also take the shape of the work they do. 



The word ‘‘occupy’’ allows us to link the question of inhabiting or residing within space; to work, or even to having an identity through work (an occupation); to time (to be occupied with); to holding something; and to taking possession of something as a thing.

:occupy "という単語は、空間に居住する、あるいは居住すること、仕事、あるいは仕事を通じてのアイデンティティ(職業)、時間(で占められること)、何かを持つこと、そして何かをモノとして所有することの問題を結びつけることができる。


How are we occupied with objects?

How does an occupation orientate us toward some objects and, in that towardness, to some ways of living over others?

How does this orientation take up time as well as space?






 The ‘‘in order to’’ structure of the table, in other words, means that the people who are ‘‘at’’ the table are also part of what makes the table itself. Doing things ‘‘at’’ the table is what makes the table what it is and not some other thing.

:つまり、食卓の''in order to''構造は、食卓にいる人々もまた、食卓そのものを構成する一部であることを意味しているのである。テーブルで何かをすることが、テーブルをテーブルたらしめているのであって、何か他のものではないのです。



In Being and Time Heidegger offers us a powerful reading of tools as he does in his later work on technology.



In the former, Heidegger considers the ‘‘pragmatic’’ character of things, which is obscured by the presentation of things as ‘‘mere things,’’ and he considers such things as forms of equipment. As he suggests, ‘‘In our dealings, we come across equipment for writing, sewing, working, transportation’’ (1973: 97). 

:前者においてハイデガーは、物事を「単なる物」として提示することによって曖昧にされる物事の「実用的」な性格を考察し、そうした物事を道具の形態として捉えている。彼が示唆するように、「私たちは取引において、書く、縫う、働く、運ぶための道具に出会う」(1973: 97)。


what makes the object ‘‘itself ’’ is what it allows us to do, and that ‘‘doing’’ takes the object out of itself and makes it ‘‘point’’ toward something, whether that something is an action or other objects. 



the writing table is Husserl’s equipment: it ‘‘points toward’’ writing as well as to other objects, which gather around writing as tools that allow this kind of work: the inkwell, pencils, and so on. The writing table might also point toward the writing body, as that which becomes ‘‘itself ’’ once it ‘‘takes up’’ the equipment and ‘‘takes up’’ time and space, in doing the work that the equipment allows the body to do.



What objects do is what brings them forth in the shape they have.



It is not just that the object tends toward something, where the tendency supports an action, but that the shape of the object is itself shaped by the work for which it is intended.



Technology (or techne ) becomes instead the process of ‘‘bringing forth’’ or, as Heidegger states,‘‘to make something appear, within what is present, as this or as that, in this way or that way’’ (159).




Form takes shape through the ‘‘direction’’ of matter toward an action.



And yet, objects do not only do what we intend them to do. Heidegger differentiates between using something and perceiving something, which he describes in terms of grasping that something thematically 



The nearness of the hammer, the fact that it is available to me, is linked to its usefulness; it is near as it enables me to perform a specific kind of work. 






‘When equipment cannot be used, this implies the constitutive assignment of the ‘in-order-to’ to a ‘toward-this’ has been disturbed . . . But when an assignment has been disturbed— when something is unusable for some purpose— then the assignment becomes explicit’’ (105). 

:装置が使えないとき、これは「向かうもの」に対する「向かうもの」の構成的割り当てが乱されたことを意味する .................................................................................... しかし、割り当てが乱されたとき-何かが何らかの目的のために使えなくなったとき-、その割り当てが明示的になる」



So what does it mean to say that an object fails to do the work for which it was intended? This failure might not simply be a question of the object itself ailing.



Failure, which is about the loss of the capacity to perform an action for which the object was intended is not a property of an object (though it tends to be attributed in this way and there is no doubt that things can go wrong ),




The matter and the form of the table are dependent on histories of labor, which are congealed in and as the very ‘‘thing’’ of the table. The table is an effect of work, and it also points to work in the very form that it takes. 




whether the table ‘‘works’’ depends upon whether we can do, when we make use of the table, the work we intend to do.



The failure of objects to work could be described as a question of fit: it would be the failure of subjects and objects to work together.




To orientate oneself can mean to adjust one’s position, or another’s position, such that we are ‘‘facing’’ the right direction: we know where we are through how we position ourselves in relation to others.



 The failure of work is not, then, ‘‘in’’ the thing or ‘‘in’’ the person but rather is about whether the person and the thing face each other in the right way .



When things are orientated they are facing the right way: in other words, the objects around the body allow the body itself to be extended. 



a tool is used by a body for which it was not intended, or a body uses a tool that does not extend its capacity for action.




I have suggested that the orientation of objects is shaped by what objects allow me to do. 

:私は、対象物の方向性は、対象物が私に何を可能にするかによって形作られる と考えています


I want to consider how actions take place in space.




Activity in space is restricted by that space; space ‘decides’ what actually may occur, but even this ‘decision’ has limits placed upon it’’ (1991: 143)

:空間における活動はその空間によって制限される。空間は実際に起こりうることを『決定』するが、この『決定』にも限界がある」(1991: 143)のである。


 The question of action is a question then of how we inhabit space.



MerleauPonty suggests that the body is not itself an instrument but a form of expression, a making visible of our intentions (1964: 5). 

:メルロ=ポンティは別のところで、身体はそれ自体が道具ではなく、表現の形態であり、私たちの意図を可視化するものだと指摘している(1964: 5)。



In other words, we perceive the object as an object, as something that ‘‘has’’ integrity, and is ‘‘in’’ space, only by haunting that very space; that is, by co-inhabiting space such that the boundary between the co-inhabitants of space does not hold. 



Bodies are hence shaped by contact with objects and with others, with ‘‘what’’ is near enough to be reached. 




The bodily horizon shows what bodies can reach toward by establishing a line beyond which they cannot reach; the horizon marks the edge of what can be reached by the body. The body becomes present as a body, with surfaces and boundaries, in showing the ‘‘limits’’ of what it can do.



What is reachable is determined precisely by orientations that we have already taken.