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Butler and Ethics$
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Moya Lloyd

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748678846

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678846.001.0001

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Signifying Otherwise

Signifying Otherwise

Liveability and Language

(p.15) 1 Signifying Otherwise
Butler and Ethics

Nathan Gies

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter reads Judith Butler’s engagements with Emmanuel Levinas, showing how those encounters extend and radicalize (rather than, as many critics have assumed, retreat from) the political charge of Butler’s earlier writing in gender theory. In particular, thinking with and against Levinas, Butler develops her previous work on the notions of viability and survival, ontology and agency, the political and the ethical. The chapter concludes by focusing on minor themes in Levinas’s work on communication, so far unexplored by Butler, to draw out and further develop her theorizations of the politics of coalition.

Keywords:   Judith Butler, Emmanuel Levinas, Communication, Coalition politics, Feminist theory

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