Judith Butler The Values Of Efficiency Summary

Decent Essays

In Judith Butler’s article “The Values of Difficulty”, in which she wrote in response to Denis Dutton’s article “Language Crimes: A Lesson in How Not to Write, Courtesy of the Professoriate”, she argues that complex ideas require complex language to develop societal change and challenge common sense. Butler shows how difficult language us useful, but I disagree with her overall claim. I do not think that intricate wording is needed for a logical point to be made. Judith Butler wrote this article to argue against the belief that scholarly writing is overcomplicated just to boast intelligence. Butler begins by explaining how scholars, whose work topics focus on he humanities, are accused of bad writing by the journal Philosophy and Literature. She believes that intellectuals in such fields should explain how their work interplays in everyday life, but that these intellectuals should also create new ways of looking at the world. A more socially just world would be possible if common sense were to be challenged. Butler’s definition of common sense is different than traditionally thought of. While common sense may be defined as having good judgment in practical matters to most, she seems to define it as an old way of thinking, stating that, “Many quite nefarious ideologies pass for common sense. For decades of American history, it was ‘common sense’ in some quarters for white people to own slaves and for women not to vote.” (p.147) She thinks that for society to improve,

Get Access