In this article I propose a comparative analysis of Judith Butler’s and Adriana Cavarero’s major theoretical works to show how both thinkers, albeit stemming from different traditions of thought, are presently engaged in a radical rethinking of the theme of subjectivity in order to deconstruct the modern notion of liberal individualism. By drawing extensively on Cavarero’s work on narrative ethics (Cavarero [1997] 2000) and on Butler’s latest book on the impossibility of a consequential narrative account of oneself (Butler 2005) this article discusses Butler’s and Cavarero’s reciprocal influences and aims at showing that the central issue on which the two thinkers diverge is the question of social transformation. Nevertheless, I claim that the task they have set for themselves – and successfully reached - through an ongoing dialogue, is that of contesting the hidden ethical and epistemological violence inherent in the tradition, in order to open up spaces of political and ethical agency that are essentially relational, based upon an undeniable exposure to otherness and vulnerability.

Thinkers that matter: on the thought of Judith Butler and Adriana Cavarero

GUARALDO, Olivia
2012

Abstract

In this article I propose a comparative analysis of Judith Butler’s and Adriana Cavarero’s major theoretical works to show how both thinkers, albeit stemming from different traditions of thought, are presently engaged in a radical rethinking of the theme of subjectivity in order to deconstruct the modern notion of liberal individualism. By drawing extensively on Cavarero’s work on narrative ethics (Cavarero [1997] 2000) and on Butler’s latest book on the impossibility of a consequential narrative account of oneself (Butler 2005) this article discusses Butler’s and Cavarero’s reciprocal influences and aims at showing that the central issue on which the two thinkers diverge is the question of social transformation. Nevertheless, I claim that the task they have set for themselves – and successfully reached - through an ongoing dialogue, is that of contesting the hidden ethical and epistemological violence inherent in the tradition, in order to open up spaces of political and ethical agency that are essentially relational, based upon an undeniable exposure to otherness and vulnerability.
feminist theory; sexual difference; narrative identity; relationality; vulnerability
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/454744
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