McGowan on Nussbaum-Butler

by Henry on August 24, 2005

A recommendation: John McGowan’s second “post”: at on the Martha Nussbaum-Judith Butler controversy is really worth reading – an example of what academic blogging should be like (the “first”: is pretty good too). Lucid, measured and thought-provoking – highly recommended.



Russkie 08.25.05 at 7:13 am

>an example of what academic blogging should be like

For me it’s a reminder of why I left academic philosophy and became an engineer.

> Lucid, measured and thought-provoking

Or else ephemeral (ie, of no interest to anyone 10 years from now)

Also self-referential (cf. “We should fully expect that intellectual work will engage these two realms with different intensity — just as such work will offer different understandings of how they are related to one another.”)


vivian 08.26.05 at 7:35 pm

Thanks for the link – though I think his defense of Butler is not quite persuasive enough. Her self-conscious, self-deconstructing style gets tiresome after a few pages, let alone a few books. Although Butler’s content is usually interesting. And frankly, questions of identity don’t require the rarefied language of psychoanalysis, for most of the world identity is bound up with material issues and issues of personal safety. I’m a big tent academic type, plenty of room for engineers and pomo theorists to do what they love. But the older I get, the more I agree with Nussbaum about what my priorities should be, even if there is no chance I will go out into the poor communities and make any difference in actual lives.

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