"In stunningly original interpretations of Adorno and Levinas, . . .Judith Butler compellingly demonstrates that questions of ethicscannot avoid addressing the moral self's complicity with violence.By laying out the premises of a creative rereading, this studyproves that the discussion of these two authors and their futurelegacy has, in a sense, barely begun. Butler writes in a trulySpinozistic spirit, mobilizing the greatest forces and joys ofphilosophical intelligence to counteract and redirect the cruelestand most destructive of human passions. Brilliantly argued andbeautifully written, Giving an Account of Oneself is destinedto become a classic, a must read for philosophers and students ofpresent-day culture and politics alike."--Hent de Vries,The Johns Hopkins University
"A brave book by a courageous thinker."--Hayden White, University of California and Stanford University
"In a time when moral certitude is used to justify the worst violence, Butler's nuanced reworking of what it means to be ethically responsible to ourselves and to others is welcome indeed."--Drucilla Cornell, Rutgers University
"A powerful exploration of the intersection of identity and responsibility, Giving an Account of Oneself shows us Judith Butler at her best, in dialogue with some of the other foremost thinkers of our age: Adorno, Foucault, Levinas, and Laplanche. Confronting the problem of identities that emerge only in relation to social and moral norms they may seek to contest, she proposes a rethinking of responsibility in relation to the limits of self-understanding that make us human."--Jonathan Culler, Cornell University
About the Author
is Maxine Elliot Professor of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. The most recent of her books are Precarious Life: The Power of Mourning and Violence (Verso, 2004) and Undoing Gender (Routledge, 2004).