You cannot eat critique: on uncritical critical (legal) theory and the poverty of bullshit

Evans, Matthew (2021) You cannot eat critique: on uncritical critical (legal) theory and the poverty of bullshit. European Journal of Legal Studies, 13 (1). pp. 187-222. ISSN 1973-2937

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Abstract

This article reflects upon critical theory, focusing especially on critical legal theory, particularly in relation to human rights. Positing that much critical theory is in fact uncritical, the article argues that critical theory is frequently deployed in such a way as to contradict its supposed purposes of challenging the prevailing order, orthodoxy and injustice, and guiding radical change. It is argued that in deploying critical (legal) theory there is a danger of producing bullshit, which scholars should be mindful of and should seek to avoid. Finally, the article suggests moving towards postdisciplinarity and to greater integration of critique with theory and practice as possible resolutions to the dilemmas and contradictions exposed by drawing attention to bullshit and uncritical critical (legal) theory.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: critical theory, bullshit, human rights, critical legal theory, postdisciplinarity, Foucault, uncritical critics
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Centre for Human Rights Research
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SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2021 14:03
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2021 14:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/99731

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