A Negative Theory of Justice

Towards a Critical Theory of Power Relations

in Theoria
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  • 1 University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy leonard.mazzone@unimib.it
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Abstract

This article outlines the chief challenges concerning the philosophical theories of emancipation and clarifies the solutions provided by a so-called negative theory of justice. Besides highlighting the classic questions that every philosophical theory of emancipation is expected to answer, the article aims to highlight the link between this theoretical framework and an immanent critique of conditions of domination. Moreover, it sheds light on the main differences between this theoretical perspective and Honneth's theory of recognition, Fraser's three-dimensional conception of justice, and the critique of power relations recently advanced by Rainer Forst. The comparative analysis of these theoretical approaches will make it possible to highlight and appreciate the main merits of a so-called negative theory of justice that combines a multidimensional diagnosis of existing asymmetries of power with an immanent critique of their justifications.

Contributor Notes

Leonard Mazzone is Post-Doctorate Research Fellow in Social and Political Philosophy at the Department of Sociology and Social Research of the University of Milano-Bicocca. His current research project concerns the ‘politics of fear’ and the socio-cultural and juridical processes underlying the devices of urban security. In the last few years his research interests have been focused on a genealogy of the concept of hypocrisis and on the political uses of the notion of ‘Democratic Hypocrisis’. This research project represents a further development of his doctoral thesis on the works and the life of Elias Canetti. His research interests also concern the history and the most recent developments of the critical theory of society and the socio-political implications of a ‘negative theory of justice’. E-mail: leonard.mazzone@unimib.it

Theoria

A Journal of Social and Political Theory

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