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Reading: Judith Butler’s Politics of Philosophy in Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly – A...

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Judith Butler’s Politics of Philosophy in Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly – Arendt, Cavarero, and Human “Appearing” and “Plurality”

Author:

Tuija Pulkkinen

University of Helsinki, FI
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Abstract

The article analyses Judith Butler’s Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly (2015), arguing that the volume can be read as presenting Butler’s politics of philosophy with respect to Hannah Arendt and Adriana Cavarero, and the existentialist philosophy of the human that they represent. The first part of the article introduces the approach of the “politics of philosophy,” and the rest of the article scrutinizes Butler’s use of two concepts, “appearing” and “plurality,” in the book, presenting how they shift into different meanings in Butler’s text in comparison to their charged philosophical meaning in Arendt and Cavarero. The article argues that Butler engages in “discharging” of these concepts of their existentialist philosophical charge, and that this gives evidence of her different philosophical choice. Instead of asking the existential philosophical question “what is a human being” in the omnitemporal philosophical tradition, Butler’s different philosophical starting point is in changing sociality, and she engages the tradition of philosophy in interventions in the here and now, asking “who counts as the human”.

How to Cite: Pulkkinen, Tuija. 2018. “Judith Butler’s Politics of Philosophy in notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly – Arendt, Cavarero, and Human “appearing” and “plurality””. Redescriptions: Political Thought, Conceptual History and Feminist Theory 21 (2): 128–47. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7227/R.21.2.3
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Published on 01 Sep 2018.
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