Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Details

Willis, I. (2010). Eros in the age of technical reproductibility: Socrates, Plato and the erotics of filiation. In M. Leonard (Eds.), Derrida and Antiquity (pp. 342-369). Oxford: Oxford University Press.


This chapter explores Derrida's queer deconstruction of the father/son ‘couple’ Socrates and plato in the ‘Envois’ section of The Post Card. It argues that ‘Envois’ shows how the relationship with antiquity is usually figured via the metaphor of filiation, as the disciplined transmission of legitimized knowledge across masculine generations. Placing Derrida's work in communication with that of Luce Irigaray on Eros in Plato's Symposium, Jacob Hale on leatherdyke daddy/boy practices, and Lee Edelman on ‘heteroreproductive futurity’, the chapter draws out the queer eroticism and anachronistic force of Socrates' and Plato's intergenerational coupling. Showing that Socrates and plato can be read as daddy/boy, rather than father/son, it argues for a relation to antiquity which takes pleasure in the anachronistic apparatus of mediation which, for Irigaray, is Eros itself.