Talk:Influence of Judith Butler's concepts

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Is this article necessary?[edit]

Having a separate article called 'Critical response to Judith Butler' may be better than having this stuff in the article on Butler, but I'm not sure it's the best way to handle it. The criticisms of Butler by Nussbaum, as I've suggested, might be best placed in the article on Nussbaum; keep on shifting material in that way, and pretty soon this article wouldn't contain anything. Skoojal (talk) 21:26, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure if I got the title of this article wrong, or whether someone just re-titled it. Whether it is needed is still open to question. Skoojal (talk) 21:43, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

I retitled it. I don't understand why it wouldn't be needed regardless. Hyacinth (talk) 21:49, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

I ask because there are numerous thinkers who are more influential than Judith Butler who do not have articles about their influence. Eg, there is no 'Influence of Karl Marx' article, no 'Influence of Sigmund Freud' article, no 'Influence of G. W. F. Hegel' article. Skoojal (talk) 22:27, 15 June 2008 (UTC)


Marx's article, for example, has a section titled "Marx's influence" which further points to the article "Marxism". Below that is a section actually titled "Criticisms" which points to the article "Criticism of Marxism"! Regardless, just because the series of articles on those figures is incomplete would be no reason to have the series of articles on Judith Butler be made to be incomplete. Hyacinth (talk) 22:49, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

(edit conflict) Well this is the second time today I'm agreeing with Skoojal. This article is a POV fork - a good faith one, but still a fork. Skoojal made an excellent point on Talk:Judith Butler - the responses to Butler should be integrated where appropriate into that article and his point above about Nussbaum is a good one as well. Creating a separate article for either the criticism, acclaim, influence etc of Philosopher X is never necessary and runs contrary to WP:CRIT--Cailil talk 22:51, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

How is this a POV fork? Hyacinth (talk) 22:57, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

It's an article about criticism of Butler's work. As the lead says:

Negative critical response to Butler’s work has generally fallen into two categories: criticisms of her writing style, and criticisms of the ideas she puts forth.

If you have a look at WP:CRIT:

Creating separate articles with the sole purpose of grouping the criticisms or to elaborate individual points of criticism on a certain topic would usually be considered a POV fork

I'm not inferring anything about you Hyacinth - you're making an excellent effort to improve the articles by attempting summary style - but this is an article "grouping criticisms " of Judith Butler (whether of her concepts, her work or her style) thus it is a POV fork per WP:CRIT. Integrating these critical sources throughout Judith Butler would actually help it as regards NPOV by showing balance--Cailil talk 23:04, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Note the increased organization of the page which points out the positive paragraph on influences.
Putting all the criticism back into the Butler article would not add any balance. And, since on "Talk:Judith Bulter" you agreed that the information did not belong in that article, I remain confused. Hyacinth (talk) 23:13, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually Hyacinth, Skoojal said this: "I suggest that the section 'critical response' be removed. The parts of it that are relevant to Butler's biography should be integrated into the rest of the article" - to which I agree. I do note the improvements and I want to ask 2 questions:
a) Will you be able to make the criticism of ideas and style sections comply with NPOV?
b) Why would integration of the criticism into the main article not "add any balance"? If indeed the criticism is undue it should not be here either--Cailil talk 23:19, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
You disagree with these statements then? "The parts that are not relevant should be deleted. Martha Nussbaum's criticisms of Butler would perhaps be more appropriately placed in the article on Nussbaum."
a)Since you haven't said whats wrong with them aside from location I couldn't answer that question.
b)If the negative evaluations were placed in the Butler article but were not countered by any additional descriptions of influence or positive evaluations they would remain the same as before and in this article, if prettier.
Hyacinth (talk) 23:30, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry Hyacinth, I don't think you are getting where I'm coming from at all. Please have a look at WP:CRIT.
I don't have any feeling about the statements except that they should be integrated appropriately into the article. That is to say that due weight should be given to critical responses to the concept gender performativity in the section about perfromativity, similarly in the piece on Gender Trouble, and so forth. What we have here is a grouping of responses (whether positive or negative) into one article - that's a POV fork and site policy requires we work to address that.
I'm afraid you might be missing my questions' points above. By making a section (or article) dedicated to one POV (for instance criticism of style) unless you introduce other points of view in that section it is a pov section rather than an NPOV one.
As WP:CRIT says making an article about the reception history of a subject is very tricky you'll need to be aware of this if you want to make this a great article.
I have outlined my points, so has Skoojal. I don't think this article is necessary but I respect what you're trying to do. Having said that you need to be aware that this article falls within the remit of WP:BLP and needs to conform to that policy - please have a read of Wikipedia:BLP#Criticism_and_praise and WP:CRIT. If this is to become a great article it needs to follow these ideas and policies--Cailil talk 23:59, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Aaahh. The problem here may be the definition of the term criticism. WP:CRIT uses it to mean "negative evaluation". Since this article is not limited to that, it is not a POV fork. Correct? Hyacinth (talk) 00:08, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Well if you can expand the positive it may become a "reception history" article which is better but still a tricky article to write. Also each indiviual section will need to comply with NPOV as well - so its a structural matter. It might be better to group responses by Book, or by theme/subject rather than by their positivity or negativity towards Butler or her ideas.
BTW if this article had been solely about "Praise of Judith Butler" it would be a POV fork as well--Cailil talk 00:18, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I hope to prevent that from happening to the Judith Butler article, it becoming a POV fork. Hyacinth (talk) 04:00, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Merge by section[edit]

Since everyone else supports merge and reasons have been explained I'm okay with that. I propose that we merge this article by section, with discussion, and then redirect/delete. Hyacinth (talk) 00:32, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Never mind, I'll merge it all, we can discuss at Talk:Judith Butler. Hyacinth (talk) 02:20, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Style[edit]

If criticisms are to be integrated into sections on specific works or concepts, where would criticisms of Butler's overall writing style, such as Nussbaum, go? I have a feeling that if placed in the Nussbaum article we would hear the argument that a criticism of Butler's writing style doesn't belong in an article that isn't about Butler. Hyacinth (talk) 00:32, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

I think that this can be dealt with. Nussbaum's criticism of Butler is definitely relevant to Nussbaum's biography. Skoojal (talk) 03:13, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Very good use of WP:SUMMARY[edit]

I really like the work Hyacinth has done with this article. The suggestion that it's a POV fork seems off to me; in contrast, with the recent edits this one is very balanced and combines multiple perspectives in a useful way. It probably is true that other philosophers of greater importance lack analogous articles, but that seems like just WP:OTHERSTUFF, and doesn't really say anything about the merit of this.

The idea of creating various articles that are about general concepts, approaches, or schools of thought is very appealing to me, and is one of the areas where Wikipedia could use expansion of article space. This need not be exclusively "Influence of Foo" articles, but that seems like one useful type. If all of this material were placed in the Butler bio itself, it would raise WP:UNDUE issues (whether the commentary was positive or negative, it still wouldn't be quie biography directly). LotLE×talk 03:42, 16 June 2008 (UTC)


Well, for actual comparison: Do Articles on important philosophers have sections and/or articles on their influence and criticisms?

  • Marx - sections: "Marx's influence" --> article: "Marxism", "Criticisms" --> article: "Criticism of Marxism". 4/4.
  • Freud - sections: "Freud's legacy" --> article: "Psychotherapy", "Critical reactions". 3/4.
  • Hegel - sections: "Hegel's legacy (interpretation)", "Detractors" (containing 5 subsections). 2/4.

9 out of 12, so, mostly. Hyacinth (talk) 04:10, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Just looking now at some of those articles (I've read all of them in the past, but not recently): Marx really has quite a few child-articles, most of the dedicated infobox for the Marxism series are child articles, to varying degrees. The "Criticism" one obviously, but also the ones on individual books and concepts. Those in the series about other thinkers aren't really child articles, but even so it looks like something on the order of twenty child articles on Marx... most spinning off into conceptual areas of his thought rather than biography, which generally remains in the main article. It's almost certainly true that Marx is more than 20 times as influential than Butler (however that's measured), but it seems to lend precedence to the summary-style/child-article approach. LotLE×talk 04:18, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Lulu you're making some good points and I agreed that with Hyacinth's expansion the page it was no longer a POV fork. That comment (calling ita POV fork) made at 22:51, 15 June 2008 (UTC) reflected this version of the article.
Hyacinth's later work made this a "reception history article" - I still think that has difficulties especially in and around BLP if the sections didn't conform to NPOV. Marx, Hegel and Freud (who are all dead) don't have this situation. Notably there are also "schools" associated with Hegelian, Freudian and Marxist/Marxian thought - "Butlerian" thought isn't quite in that category, yet. We can talk about Robert Bales being a Freudian scholar, but how many people are called (in reliable sources) Butlerians. There is an article about Butlerian thought:'Becoming Butlerian: On the Discursive Limits (and Potentials) of Gender Trouble at Ten Years of Age' by Frederick Roden[1] that might e interesting.
A reception history article might be a good idea as long as it could be handled without creating separate "ghettos" for positive and negative views. As above if people want to go a head with this, I'd suggest grouping responses by subject (ie Gender Trouble) or concept (ie performativity). And I agree that we should handle Butler's work in summary style however I think the critical responses should be integrated into the sections on the aspect/subject/idea that they criticize--Cailil talk 12:32, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I think the re-merge was done overly hastily. Hyacinth did it right away, under the comment that "all the comments" said to... but that was in such a short time window that I hadn't had a chance to read the child (even being OCD and watchlisting the main Butler; I still have some other life :-)). I'm sure as well that the comments by you and Skoojal reflected drafts that still had problems, I don't think I need to see the forensics on exactly what comments match exactly which edits. Of course the version right before the merge wasn't final and perfect, but it felt to me like it showed how this really could be an excellent child article. I'd like to go back this way towards WP:SUMMARY... no rush, the merged material has improved in the cycle; but at some point, picking up on your concept/book structured organization, I think it would be good. LotLE×talk 16:55, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

This article should be retitled[edit]

If there is going to be a separate article about Butler's influence, it needs a different title. I'll put it bluntly: Judith Butler is a derivative thinker. See Nussbaum's article in The New Republic. Butler is making use of concepts created by others, so 'Influence of Judith Butler's concepts' is not a good title. 'Influence of Judith Butler' was better. Skoojal (talk) 05:34, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Well... everyone is a "derivative thinker." But as situated thinkers go, Butler has contributed some pretty novel ideas (certainly far more than Nussbaum, for example). That said, you're right about the title. Simply "Influence of Judith Butler" is much cleaner. I'm not sure if the issue is moot though, with the split/merge roundabout. LotLE×talk 07:20, 19 June 2008 (UTC)