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Butler and Heidegger: On the Relation between Freedom and Marginalization

Though the names Judith Butler and Martin Heidegger rarely come together in Butler and Heidegger scholarship, the critical encounter between these philosophers might help us conceptualize the relationship between freedom and marginalization. In this paper, I will read Butler from the perspective of the Heidegger of Being and Time and claim that what Butler's philosophy suggests is the radical dependency of one's freedom on the cultural resuscitation of socially murdered racial, sexual, ethnic, religious, and sectarian/confessional minorities. More specifically, I will claim that the socially sanctioned subject's freedom is dependent on the marginalized Other's freedom, and, conversely, the marginalized Other's freedom is dependent on the socially sanctioned subject's freedom.