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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When words injure, what do we do?
An insightful and thoroughly researched study of the social, political, and legal ramification of not only hate speech but discourse concerning the lingusitics of hate. Butler questions the contemporary practices of the adjudication of speech which seeks to define what is correct speech and what is proscribable under law. If words are legally indistinguishable from...
Published on 12 July 1997

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5 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dilettantism at its worst
The results of Butler's attempt to tackle the very serious issue of speech rights are disappointing in the extreme. With no legal background whatsoever and a myopic philosophical vision which seems ingorant of the liberal tradition upon which the right of free speech is grounded, Butler provides an obfuscted discussion (and that's all it is, a discussion) of the...
Published on 26 July 1999


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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When words injure, what do we do?, 12 July 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative (Paperback)
An insightful and thoroughly researched study of the social, political, and legal ramification of not only hate speech but discourse concerning the lingusitics of hate. Butler questions the contemporary practices of the adjudication of speech which seeks to define what is correct speech and what is proscribable under law. If words are legally indistinguishable from conduct, then, Butler asks, is law not complicit in the wounds that words cause? Challenging reading.
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5 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dilettantism at its worst, 26 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative (Paperback)
The results of Butler's attempt to tackle the very serious issue of speech rights are disappointing in the extreme. With no legal background whatsoever and a myopic philosophical vision which seems ingorant of the liberal tradition upon which the right of free speech is grounded, Butler provides an obfuscted discussion (and that's all it is, a discussion) of the issue that is at the best of times, irrelevant, and at the worst of times, offensively misleading. The book is worthwhile only as an example of what happens when a postmodern thinker in the French tradition tries to tackle a subject outside the race/power/gender/subjectivity canon outlined by the philosophers of the 1960s. If you have an appetite for reading philosophical trainwrecks, then by all means read it. If you want something serious on the issue of free speech, look elsewhere.
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Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative
Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative by Judith Butler (Paperback - 3 April 1997)
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