Volume 8 · Number 2 · Pages 183-189
Non-dualistic Sex. Josef Mitterer’s Non-dualistic Philosophy in the Light of Judith Butler’s (De)Constructivist Feminism

Martin G. Weiss

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Context: Josef Mitterer has become known for criticizing the main exponents of analytic and constructivist philosophy for their blind adoption of a dualistic epistemology based on an alleged ontological difference between world and words. Judith Butler, who has developed an influential model of (de)constructivist feminism and has been labeled a linguistic constructivist, has been criticized for sustaining exactly what, according to Mitterer, most modern philosophy fails to acknowledge: namely that there is no ontological difference between objective facts beyond language and the discourse about these facts. Problem: In the scholarly discussion on non-dualism, two main questions have been raised: Where does Mitterer’s basic consensus, i.e., the starting-point description, come from? and: What does it mean, to say that further descriptions change their object? Method: Comparative analysis of the core concepts of Mitterer’s and Butler’s work in the context of the history of ideas. Results: Butler’s conception of a performative production of objectivity through discursive and non-discursive iterated practices can be interpreted as an illustration of Mitterer’s claim that descriptions change their object. The problem of where Mitterer’s starting-point descriptions come from can be solved by adopting Butler’s concept of culturally inherited practices.

Key words: Non-dualism, constructivism, feminism, body, sex, gender, hermeneutics, performativity, Josef Mitterer, Judith Butler


Weiss M. G. (2013) Non-dualistic sex. Josef mitterer’s non-dualistic philosophy in the light of judith butler’s (de)constructivist feminism. Constructivist Foundations 8(2): 183-189. http://constructivist.info/8/2/183

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