Politics as the quest for unity: Perspectivism, incommensurable values and agonistic politics

Philosophy and Social Criticism 34 (8):905-924 (2008)
In this article I argue against the view, recently espoused by several authors, that the `incommensurability of values' and `political pespectivism' offer us decisive reasons as to why we should break the link between representation and (the quest for) unity. I hold that it is of paramount importance to retain this essential link. Since Sir Isaiah Berlin has played a major (and in my view unfortunate) role in linking `politics as the quest for unity and the common good' with the `totalitarian temptation', I proceed to show how it is possible to have an understanding of politics as precisely such a quest, but without succumbing to the temptation to totalitarianism that Berlin alerts us to. I then take issue with Chantal Mouffe's view that the tendency to antagonism, rather than the quest for unity and rational consensus, is `the essence of the political'
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0191453708094729
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,848
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Democratic Paradox.Chantal Mouffe - 2002 - Political Theory 30 (6):862-864.
The Return of the Political.Chantal Mouffe - 1996 - Science and Society 60 (1):116-119.
Truth and Method.Hans-Georg Gadamer, Garrett Barden & John Cumming - 1978 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 36 (4):487-490.
The Challenge of Carl Schmitt.Chantal Mouffe - 2003 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 65 (1):158-159.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Restoring Society to Post-Structuralist Politics.W. Leggett - 2013 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 39 (3):299-315.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
5 ( #650,938 of 2,210,416 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #387,753 of 2,210,416 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature