This article begins as a response to a review recently published in Utopian Studies. It argues that the prescriptive forms of ethical criticism practiced in this review are symptomatic of more general trends in our scholarly communities. The article is modeled on Jacques Derrida's "Limited Inc a b c. . . ." In his essay, Derrida illustrates the ways that genres such as the review, reply, and response open up the temptation to not read and to slip into moralizing modes of ethical judgment. Following Derrida's lead, the response unfolds at once in terms of what J. L. Austin identifies as a constative and a performative utterance: In its contents, it addresses misrepresentations and unspoken "absolute presuppositions"; and in its form, it enacts some of the practices that would be necessary for a more productive, responsible, and generous—that is, utopian—way of performing our intellectual labors.


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pp. 300-344
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