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Ethics and Politics in Contemporary Theory Between Critical Theory and Post-Marxism

Book Description

In addressing the political and theoretical debates between critical and post-Marxist theorists, this book discusses the politics of communication and rationality, subjectivity, sovereignty, ethics and deliberative democracy, considering questions such as:

* Does the theory of communicative action justify deliberative democracy?
* Is a theory of hegemony compatible with an account which relies upon an ideal of communicative success?
* Is autonomy a good which should be fostered?
* Can the ideal of democracy extend beyond the nation state?
* Does post-Marxism have anything interesting to say about ethics?

Analysing the work of Ernesto Laclau and Jürgen Habermas - as representatives of different choices made in regard to theory, politics and morality - Ethics and Politics in Contemporary Theory develops a critical response to the contrasting conclusions of these approaches.

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
  2. Ethics and Politics in Contemporary Theory
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Preface
  7. Acknowledgements
  8. Introduction
  9. 1 The ends of Marx(ism)?
    1. Beyond Marxism?
    2. Critical theory and the shadows of enlightenment
    3. Conclusion
  10. 2 Language, communication, performativity
    1. Habermas’s critique of Adorno
    2. The universal pragmatics of communication
    3. Enlightenment, ideal speech and politics
    4. The uncertain limits of communication
  11. 3 Performativity and politics: from Habermas to Laclau
    1. Three versions of performativity
    2. Conclusion
  12. 4 Politics, idealisation and performativity
    1. Introduction
    2. Performativity and politics
    3. Performativity and idealisation in political theory
    4. Conclusion
  13. 5 Quasi-transcendentalism and critical theory
    1. Kant: the transcendental presuppositions of human knowledge
    2. Habermas: reconstructive science and the quasi-transcendental
    3. Discourse theory and quasi-transcendentalism
    4. Conclusion
  14. 6 The politics of subjectivity
    1. Introduction
    2. The subject of enlightenment
    3. Communicative competence and subjectivity
    4. The undecidable subject of politics
    5. Conclusion
  15. 7 Deliberative or radical democracy? the politics of performativity
    1. Introduction
    2. Democracy and performativity
    3. Deliberative democracy
    4. Post-Marxism and radical democracy
  16. 8 Post-structuralism and democratic theory
    1. Introduction
    2. Post-structuralism and politics
    3. Deliberative democracy reconsidered
    4. Post-structuralism, deliberation and democracy
  17. 9 Ethics and politics in discourse theory
    1. Post-Marxism and instrumental rationality
    2. Discourse theory, ethics and politics
    3. From the City of Man to the City of God: ethics and instrumental rationality
  18. Notes
  19. Bibliography
  20. Index