David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Metaphilosophy 42 (3):261-281 (2011)
Abstract: Many of the things we do in social and political philosophy, whether normative or critical, presuppose some understanding and evaluation of agency. To have a clear idea of our normative or critical enterprise, the underlying account of agency needs spelling out. This article begins with a descriptive account: human agency consists in power (or causal efficacy) organized as subjectivity (or selfhood), and such organization takes place through attributions of power informed by values. Some such descriptive account is useful for understanding and comparing forms of agency. But as we move beyond it to construct an evaluative account of agency, we face problems that are symptomatic of our social and political condition. While quantitative assessment of agency does not work, qualitative assessment seems out of place in our modern world of pluralism and yet is unavoidable for those who, like Habermas, take issue with such phenomena as colonization of the lifeworld
|Keywords||equality populism Habermas subjectivity power agency ideology colonization of the lifeworld freedom Nietzsche autonomy|
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References found in this work BETA
Louis Althusser (1971/2001). Lenin and Philosophy, and Other Essays. Monthly Review Press.
Raymond Geuss (1981). The Idea of a Critical Theory. Cambridge University Press.
Axel Honneth (1996). The Struggle for Recognition: The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts. The Mit Press.
Thomas Hurka (1987). Why Value Autonomy? Social Theory and Practice 13 (3):361-382.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1968/2006). The Will to Power. London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
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