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

Philosophy and Social Criticism 34 (8):905-924 (2008)
Abstract
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'
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DOI 10.1177/0191453708094729
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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.

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

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