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"In stunningly original interpretations of Adorno and Levinas, . . .Judith Butler compellingly demonstrates that questions of ethicscannot avoid addressing the moral self's complicity with violence.By laying out the premises of a creative rereading, this studyproves that the discussion of these two authors and their futurelegacy has, in a sense, barely begun. Butler writes in a trulySpinozistic spirit, mobilizing the greatest forces and joys ofphilosophical intelligence to counteract and redirect the cruelestand most destructive of human passions. Brilliantly argued andbeautifully written, Giving an Account of Oneself is destinedto become a classic, a must read for philosophers and students ofpresent-day culture and politics alike."--Hent de Vries, The Johns Hopkins University"A brave book by a courageous thinker."--Hayden White, University of California and Stanford University"In a time when moral certitude is used to justify the worst violence, Butler's nuanced reworking of what it means to be ethically responsible to ourselves and to others is welcome indeed."--Drucilla Cornell, Rutgers University"A powerful exploration of the intersection of identity and responsibility, Giving an Account of Oneself shows us Judith Butler at her best, in dialogue with some of the other foremost thinkers of our age: Adorno, Foucault, Levinas, and Laplanche. Confronting the problem of identities that emerge only in relation to social and moral norms they may seek to contest, she proposes a rethinking of responsibility in relation to the limits of self-understanding that make us human."--Jonathan Culler, Cornell University
Judith Butler (1956) is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.
Having received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Yale University, she went to Germany to study Hegel and hermeneutics, which resulted in Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France (1987). In this book she discusses the influence of Hegel and the effects of his work in French contemporary philosophy, concentrating on the theme of desire. The classic of queer theory which made her immediately famous, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990), questions the notion of identity and identity politics within feminist theory and criticizes the dominance of heterosexuality. Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of 'Sex' (1993) takes up questions concerning the body and further elaborates the notion of 'gender performativity', and Excitable Speech (1997) reflects on language, performativity and hate speech. She is also the co-author of Contingency, Hegemony, Universality. Contemporary Dialogues on the Left, in which Ernesto Laclau, Slavoj Zizek and Judith Butler engage in a dialogue on central questions of contemporary philosophy and politics.
Butler's Spinoza lectures follow up the themes of The Psychic Life of Power: Theories of Subjection (1997) and Antigone's Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death (2000), in which she further develops her Foucauldian inspired reformulation of psychoanalysis. Her recent project is a critique of ethical violence that works with modernist philosophical and literary texts.
An excellent bibliography of her work is available at the following address: http://sun3.lib.uci.edu/indiv/scctr/Wellek/butler/"
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.