The ethics of relationality: Judith Butler and social critique

Continental Philosophy Review 46 (3):449-463 (2013)
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This article takes up the work of Judith Butler in order to present a vision of ethics that avoids two common yet problematic positions: on the one hand, the skeptical position that ethical norms are so constitutive of who we are that they are ultimately impossible to assess and, on the other hand, the notion that we are justified in our commitment to any ethical norm that appears foundational to our identity. With particular attention to the trajectory of Butler’s project from The Psychic Life of Power to Giving an Account of Oneself, the article discusses the shortcomings of these two positions and the virtues of the alternative account that Butler develops during this period



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Carolyn Culbertson
Florida Gulf Coast University

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