ABSTRACT

Adriana Cavarero locates uniqueness in the sonorous materiality of our voices. She recognizes three aspects of voice: as unique vocality, as relationality, and as politics. She argues that recognition of the uniqueness of voices can helps us resist the logocentrism of the semantic dimension of voice and the patriarchalism that accompanies it. While sympathetic to this politics, I claim that equivocations in her argument suggest that the “signifying voices” Cavarero opposes have primacy over her division of speech into the two realms of the “vocalic” and the “semantic.” This suggestion also implies changes in her related notions of relationality and politics. The alternative I provide makes use of the ancient Greek notion of parrhesia, that is, courageous speech and hearing.

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