Judith Butler Was Body Slammed In Wall Street Journal
I just found this 1999 article and feel the need to share it with you. Near the end of the short article, Judith Butler, a brilliant theorist, gets body slammed by a Kantian philosopher, Dennis Dutton, who, like so many of his American colleagues, is of the numb opinion that critical theory is all show and no substance. To begin with, what is wrong with showing off; two, anyone who has taken the time to learn Butler’s language knows that it’s packed with substance. The example the her critic uses is not even that hard to understand:
“The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.”
Not only is the writing relatively clear, it’s beautiful.