Proteron is used by Irigaray to counterbalance the concept of hysteron in the equation of the originality of thought. Irigaray writes that we are destined to look forward and try to see what is about to happen, but when we are looking forward we are actually seeing something that has a history and is therefore part of an eternal circle of influence. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines proteron- as a figure of speech consisting of the reversal of a natural or rational order (as in “then came the thunder and the lightning”). This can be related to Irigaray’s direct definition, “Proteron, defined as what is in front, is also earlier, the previous” (Irigaray 244). The irrational way of thinking highlighted by Irigaray is a good description of our inability to approach the process of influence as a cycle.
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