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Intersubjectivity, Recognition and the Third

A Comment on Judith Butler
  • Jessica Benjamin

Abstract

In this paper I will assemble some comments I made in response to Butler's reception of my work, aiming to highlight some differences between her use of Freudian theory and my own perspective on psychoanalytic theory post-Freud. I will thus try to problematize the position she takes regarding the breakdown or difficulties inherent in recognition and trace some of them to her use of psychoanalytic theory. In focusing on this area I will be neglecting large and highly valuable chunks of Butler's work that have, in my view, used psychoanalysis to good effect – for instance the idea of melancholy gender and the repudiation of being that sex which one loves which constitutes it. Her contribution in this respect as well as others have illuminated the way assertion of a uniform identity devalues the life of the Other as well as prohibits mourning.

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Copyright information

© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica Benjamin

There are no affiliations available

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