question of what it means to speak for an-other. I explore that question in relation to philosophers like Linda Alcoff, Iris Marion Young, and Gayatri Spivak, and. ; revised and reprinted in Who Can Speak? Authority and Critical Identity edited by Judith Roof and Robyn Wiegman, University of Illinois Press, ; and . The Problem of Speaking for Others. Author(s): Linda Alcoff. Source: Cultural Critique, No. 20 (Winter, ), pp. Published by: University of.

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The Problem of Speaking For Others |

While the “Charge of Reductionism” response has been popular among academic theorists, what I call the “Retreat” response has been popular among some sections of the U. And this effect will continue until the Prblem.

One of the things your post reminds me of is that the ethics of self- representation are always context-specific and shift around kf. How one evaluates a particular effect is left open; 4 argues simply that effects must always be taken into account.

On the Problem of Speaking for Others – Hook & Eye

To answer this, we must become clearer on the epistemological and metaphysical sleaking which are implicit in the articulation of the problem. For this reason, the work of privileged authors who speak on behalf of the oppressed is becoming increasingly criticized by members of those oppressed groups themselves. Edited by Linda L. What is at stake in rejecting or validating speaking for others as a discursive practice?

Two elements within these rituals will deserve our attention: And this public self will in most cases have an effect on the self experienced as interiority.

I do a lot of work on disability studies and MUVEs, using interviews and focus groups as source material. If ideas arise in such a configuration of forces, does it make sense to ask for an speaknig Thus, how what is said gets heard depends on who says it, and who says it will affect the style and language in which it is stated. After the elections in Panama are overturned by Manuel Noriega, U.


Therefore, privilege must always be indexed to specific relationships as well as to specific locations. We certainly want to encourage a more receptive listening on the part of the discursively privileged and to discourage presumptuous and oppressive practices of speaking for. I agree with her on this point but I would emphasize also that ignoring the subaltern’s or oppressed person’s speech is, as she herself notes, “to continue the imperialist project.

Thus, the attempt to avoid the problematic of speaking for by retreating into an individualist realm is based on an illusion, well supported in the individualist ideology of the West, that a self is not constituted by multiple intersecting discourses but consists in a unified whole capable of autonomy from others.

The dominant modernist view has been that truth represents a relationship of correspondence between a proposition and an extra-discursive reality. Simply put, the discursive context is a political arena. I want to illustrate the implications of this fourth point by applying it to the examples I gave at the beginning. Donald Bouchard and Sherry Simon Ithaca: Arguably since Kant, more obviously since Hegel, it has been widely accepted that an understanding of truth which requires it to be free of human interpretation leads inexorably to skepticism, since it makes truth inaccessible by definition.

Singing in the Fire: This claim requires us to shift the ontology of meaning from its location in a text or utterance to a larger space, a space which includes the text or utterance but which also includes the discursive context.

Joyce Trebilcot’s version of the retreat response, which I mentioned at the outset of this essay, raises other issues. On another view, the original speaker or writer is no more privileged than any other person who articulates these views, and in fact the “author” cannot be identified in a strict sense because the concept of author is an ideological construction many abstractions removed from the way in which ideas emerge and become material forces. Vostral and Kate Boyer. If I speak only for myself it may appear that I am immune from criticism because I am not making any claims that describe others or prescribe actions for them.


It leaves for the listeners all the real work that needs to be done. It is the latter sources of authority that I am referring to by the term “privilege.

The complexity and multiplicity of group identifications could result in “communities” composed of single individuals. The feminist movement in the U.

On the Problem of Speaking for Others

Our ability to assess the effects of a given discursive event is limited; our ability to predict these effects is even more spraking. George Otehrs – – Dialogue 11 4: A quick impulse to reject criticism must make one wary.

When meaning is plural and deferred, we can never hope to know the totality of effects. This procedure would be most successful if engaged in collectively with others, by which aspects of our location less obvious to us might be revealed.

Intersectionality in Philosophy of Gender, Race, and Sexuality. Another problem concerns how specific an identity needs to be to confer epistemic authority.

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