What World Is This?: A Pandemic Phenomenology (Paperback)

What World Is This?: A Pandemic Phenomenology By Judith Butler Cover Image
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The pandemic compels us to ask fundamental questions about our place in the world: the many ways humans rely on one another, how we vitally and sometimes fatally breathe the same air, share the surfaces of the earth, and exist in proximity to other porous creatures in order to live in a social world. What we require to live can also imperil our lives. How do we think from, and about, this common bind?

Judith Butler shows how COVID-19 and all its consequences--political, social, ecological, economic--have challenged us to reconsider the sense of the world that such disasters bring about. Drawing on the work of Max Scheler, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and critical feminist phenomenology, Butler illuminates the conditions in which we seek to make sense of our disorientation, precarity, and social bonds. What World Is This? offers a new account of interdependency in which touching and breathing, capacities that amid a viral outbreak can threaten life itself, challenge the boundaries of the body and selfhood. Criticizing notions of unlimited personal liberty and the killing forces of racism, sexism, and classism, this book suggests that the pandemic illuminates the potential of shared vulnerabilities as well as the injustice of pervasive inequalities.

Exposing and opposing forms of injustice that deny the essential interrelationship of living creatures, Butler argues for a radical social equality and advocates modes of resistance that seek to establish new conditions of livability and a new sense of a shared world.

About the Author

Judith Butler is Distinguished Professor in the Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley. They are the author of several books, most recently The Force of Nonviolence: An Ethico-Political Bind (2020). Butler's previous Columbia University Press books include Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism (2012), Antigone's Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death (2000), and Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France (1987).
Product Details
ISBN: 9780231208291
ISBN-10: 0231208294
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication Date: November 8th, 2022
Pages: 144
Language: English