This website is meant to make public Clémence Ortega Douville’s work on the three paradoxes theory and its implications.

Clémence Ortega Douville is a French, White and transgender artist and thinker.

The synopsis of the book :

How could the structures of the human mind have been born ? One single question that implies so many others and numerous wonderings. But among the chaos of propositions after so much time, maybe we were just missing out one key element to resolve most of the theoretical and experiential problems.

The author takes up here the hypothesis of a critical starting point, a radical shift in our closest environment that is our own body : with the development of upright stance, our hands conquered a growing autonomy, notably in their relationship with our senses. Haven’t you ever had this experience of looking at your own hand fixedly and feeling very strange ? This is what we may call a first sensorimotor paradox : the hand that I see, is it the one that I use to grab objects, or has it become the object itself that I would like to grab – and then an alien part of myself inside the very fabric of the world surrounding me ?

This first of three paradoxes (the two others are the paradox of the word ‘me’ and the one of the mirror) has many implications. As psychoanalyst Darian Leader said : ‘Combining perspectives from philosophy, psychoanalysis, neuroscience and many other disciplines, Clemence Ortega Douville invites the reader to consider issues of subjectivity, reflexivity, ethics and our positioning in social space starting from a focus on the human hand and our strange relation to it. Both part of the body yet somehow also alien to it, exploring the place of our hands opens up a number of pathways that converge on many of the issues that have been central to philosophy and, indeed, to psychoanalysis.’

As the formation of the individuals in the course of one species’ multiple environments is fully interactive, to revisit this archaic time of our prehistory, even as a speculation, allows us to reconsider the organisation of our own social spaces and societies.

Still according to Darian Leader : ‘What I like about Douville’s work is the way that it encourages us to rethink concepts and theories that we might have taken for granted. Each chapter contains surprises, and no chapter follows any established dogma. Examples are taken from theoretical treatises as well as cinema, popular culture and everyday life, in a fascinating and often provocative blend, unique to the author. The breadth of Douville’s references is impressive, as is the lively, enquiring style, and the infectious curiosity that she shows and, perhaps, communicates to her readers.’

We hope that you will enjoy it fully and be left to think a great deal of what could be done and look ahead to mend the broken parts of our collective, individual and common good.

Contact :

Clémence Ortega Douville