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Butler’s unduly worry about Foucault
Filosofiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet.
2008 (English)In: Sats: northern european journal of philosophy, ISSN 1600-1974, Vol. 9, no 2, 74-90 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Judith Butler finds Michel Foucault's ideas about the body incoherent: the body is both constituted and causally constructed by culture. The alleged incoherence stems from this double role that culture supposedly plays in relation to body. On the one hand, if we take constitution as the primary relation between culture and body, then they are inseparable; the body is so to speak made of culture. If, on the other hand, we take construction as primary, culture and body are separate entities - culture works on the body. In order to avoid this paradox, Butler introduces the concept materialization. This paper argues that for the notion of materialization to be comprehensible, it has to be interpreted as a dually constructive and constitutive notion. Nevertheless, the paradoxical nature of the body-culture relation is not reinstated. With a suitable understanding of the notion of constitution no paradox follows from the claims ascribed to Foucault. In addition, if we understand the concept of constitution as a quasi-transcendental condition, most of Butler's objectives are preserved, despite the rejection of materialization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 9, no 2, 74-90 p.
Keyword [en]
ontology, subjectivity, sex, gender, materialization, quasi-transcendental condition
National Category
Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-10327DOI: 10.1515/SATS.2008.74OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-10327DiVA: diva2:443322
Available from: 2011-09-23 Created: 2011-09-23 Last updated: 2011-10-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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