How Do We Respond? Embodied Vulnerability and Forms of Responsiveness

  • Danielle Petherbridge
Part of the Breaking Feminist Waves book series (BFW)


The notion of vulnerability has become a central category through which feminist philosophers such as Judith Butler and Adriana Cavarero have sought to examine the complexity of embodied interdependence and corporeal openness to others. In this chapter, I engage with J.M. Coetzee’s texts The Lives of Animals and Waiting for the Barbarians to explore the intricacies of embodied vulnerability and bring these texts into dialogue with the philosophical approaches of Stanley Cavell, Cora Diamond and Bernard Waldenfels. The chapter examines the relation between embodied knowledge, vulnerability and responsiveness, and raises questions about the kinds of responses we are called to make in the face of the other’s vulnerability.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danielle Petherbridge
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PhilosophyUniversity College DublinDublinIreland

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