Articles #Political philosophy


Proletarian Nights With Rancière, Habermas, Merleau-Ponty, Honneth and Hegel

Proletarian Nights With Rancière, Habermas, Merleau-Ponty, Honneth and Hegel

Context is key in reading Rancière. His interventions are always that, interventions, logical revolts in specific contexts. He himself shows great versatility in using the same arguments and the same references differently in different contexts. His whole philosophical practice encourages us to use his ideas pragmatically depending on contexts and the aims we pursue. In France, the embrace of Anglo-American political philosophy in the 1980s corresponded with a concerted attempt to reign in left-wing forces associated more or less closely with Marxism. This was the time when the French Revolution was reinterpreted as a non-event or as a prologue to 20th century totalitarianisms, when people who were Maoists a decade earlier were burning the effigies of their youth. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Jean-Philippe Deranty

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Democracy Naturalised

Democracy Naturalised

The U.S. Constitution may have been a model for government systems a hundred years ago, but now it’s more like a funky Leibnizian calculating machine that nobody sensible has any interest in except as a historical oddity. I say that it’s too much because it has silly, imaginary “rights” bandied about in it as if they were real, but that it’s also too little because the things that do require absolute protection, like freedom of political speech and association, are guaranteed only against encroachments by the U.S. government. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Walter Horn

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Reasons For a Liberalism Without Perfection

Reasons For a Liberalism Without Perfection

Political liberalism offers a different, more inclusive, picture of liberal politics. On this view, liberal rights and institutions are not instruments to promote a particular way of life—they are rather meant to provide a fair framework within which each person can develop and pursue their own plan of life. You don’t need to hold a liberal view about how one ought to live to endorse this picture of politics—it’s meant to be a picture of our political life that can be freely endorsed by people with a wide variety of different doctrines.'On the more modest view that I prefer, pluralism is not an external constraint on liberalism, it’s rather a fact about liberal societies in particular. It’s a fact that in societies where basic rights and liberties are protected, there will always be the kind of reasonable disagreement that I described in one of my previous answers. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Jonathan Quong

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Political Canons, Collingwood, Idealism and Decolonialisation

Political Canons, Collingwood, Idealism and Decolonialisation

The post 1492 world of Empires that came to encompass almost all the world, with Great Britain incorporating almost twenty-five percent of it, transformed the globe. Most of the great liberation writers including Du Bois, Fanon, Memmi, Cabral, Nkrumah, Freire engaged with the western thinkers, exposing the hypocrisy of their espousal of universal high ideals, which were exclusive to those who had a attained a certain level of civilization, western white males. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews David Boucher

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Must Politics Be War?

Must Politics Be War?

The problem with conceptions of justice forming the basis for organizing social institutions resembles the problems Rawlsians envision for basing society on conceptions of the good. Reasonable people disagree about which conception of the good is correct, and so imposing it on those who disagree will be a source of instability, and, in my view, distrust between those in power and those out of power. But if reasonable people can disagree about justice as deeply as they disagree about the good, then the same problems applies conceptions of justice. Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Kevin Vallier.

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Decriminalising Hobbes

Decriminalising Hobbes

'What I “corrected” was just the impoverished conception of Hobbesian humans’ psychology, and the corresponding picture of Hobbes’s central analysis of social disorder, and Hobbes’s proposed remedy for it, which I argued demanded engagement with the content of people’s socially disruptive transcendent interests. In short, I pulled out the narrow egoism peg supporting the traditional structure of Hobbes interpretation and watched the whole thing collapse into dust.' Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Sharon Lloyd

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Innocent Descartes and Sober Hobbes

Innocent Descartes and Sober Hobbes

Innocent Cartesianism is an extract or residue from unreconstructed Cartesianism that is defensible in terms provided by analytic philosophy as we have it today. An important strand of it can be put by saying that while natural science is capable of objective truth in its domain, it’s not a theory of everything. There are more forms of systematic and correct understanding than are provided by natural science. Brain science doesn’t tell us everything about the mind; Darwinism doesn’t tell us everything about the place of human beings in nature or their motivation; there are further authoritative forms of understanding, including mathematics, philosophy, and ethics.Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Tom Sorell.

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