Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Butler and Ethics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Moya Lloyd

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748678846

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678846.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Undoing Ethics

Undoing Ethics

Butler on Precarity, Opacity and Responsibility

(p.41) 2 Undoing Ethics
Butler and Ethics

Catherine Mills

Edinburgh University Press

The concept of vulnerability has been an important point of reference for recent feminist interventions in ethics and political philosophy. Judith Butler presents a case for the ethical and political importance of recognizing the vulnerability that necessarily attends subjectivity insofar as the subject is given over to others from the start. This chapter traces the development of Butler’s approach to ethics, arguing throughout that it cannot strictly be understood as an ethics of relationality, since responsibility is for her primarily responsibility for oneself. This opens a problem in terms of the normative status of the other, or in other words, of the ‘ought’ of ethics. This problem is resolved in a turn to the thematic of substitutability. But this ultimately ties her efforts more strongly to traditional ethical thinking than she may really wish. While challenging ‘sovereign’ conceptions of subjectivity, her ethics nevertheless founders on the twin of this view – community conceived as commonality.

Keywords:   Judith Butler, Vulnerability, Responsibility, Precariousness, Ethics, Subjectivity

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.