New Republic Article dig at Butler

Lucky Pierre j-harsin at
Sun Feb 7 16:40:27 PST 1999

>Michael Pollak wrote:
>> > >Did anyone see the vicious attack on Judith Butler by Martha Nussbaum in
>> > >the current New Republic? Thoughts?
>> Judith Butler, whatever else she is, is an antiestablishmentarian when it
>> comes to what should be taught in philosophy clases. Matha Nussbaum is a
>> philosopher whose approach is old-fashioned even by establishment
>> standards. She writes books on Aristotle's view of emotions. It's natural
>> that they should hate each other like wet cats. It would be news if they
>> didn't.
>> Michael
>> __________________________________________________________________________
>> Michael Pollak................New York City..............mpollak at
>Martha Nussbaum's approach is not old-fashioned, she defends the view, contra
>most philosophers, that literature is a better guide to moral dilemmas than
>reasoning, see her books _Love's Knowledge and The Fragility of Goodness_ She
>is a fabulous philosopher and scholar. Her main squeeze is Amartya Sen and she
>is quite left-wing. Shame on her for writing in the New Republic!!
>Sam Pawlett

Sam: a search of her writing over the last few years brings up more than one NR article. I don't know her that well, but I have read her schtick on cosmopolitanism in For Love of Country. That seems like a very "liberal" well-meaning, ie. overly simple mainstream, watered-down version of the concept, un-interested in distinguishing itself from colonialist history and the "white man's burden" and uninterested thus in Butler's response in the same book that cautionsthat any idea of a 'universal' or the 'cosmopolitan' is itself socio-historically specific and should be read carefully as such (the idea of cosmpolitanism and moral universalism is not the same for a Marxist as it is for a Christian of the Middle Ages as it is for a capitalist). A much more compelling idea of the need for cosmpolitan politics and education, IMHO, issues from soneone like Doreen Massey in _Space, Place, and Gender_. Massey starts with globalization and the assumption that a non-cosmo education is violently ideological (in covering up the material inequalities of global capital). Or as Henri Lefebvre wrote: "space is conceals." But I digress... Jayson

-- jayson perry harsin Dept. of Communication Studies Northwestern University j-harsin at (773)508-4062 WNUR's Southbound Train 89.3 fm Sundays 9:00-11:00 p.m. (listen on the Net at Who are you indeed who would talk

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