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Deliberative Democracy

Taking Stock and Looking Ahead - Selen A. Ercan with André Bächtiger

Selen A. Ercan and André Bächtiger

intersubjectively shared argumentative process, where participants develop consensual and binding norms together. Another “disagreement” concerned the epistemic dimensions of deliberative action. In a fascinating exchange between Jürgen Habermas and Hélène Landemore

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Realizing Interspecies Democracy

The Preconditions for an Egalitarian, Multispecies, World

Sue Donaldson, Janneke Vink, and Jean-Paul Gagnon

intersubjective—pertaining to relations of egalitarian respect between embodied subjects. Ideas of respect and ethical obligation are also central to how we engage nonsentient life, rivers, mountains, ecologies, works of art, and inanimate entities, but I think

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Interpretation and Rationality

Developing Donald Davidson’s Ideas in International Political Theory

Nikolay Gudalov

Although influential in philosophy and relevant to international political theory’s (IPT) key concerns, Donald Davidson has not received commensurate attention in IPT. I aim here to commence filling this gap. I explore Davidson’s insights which fruitfully challenge established disciplinary views. The notions of rationality, objectivity and truth, and, on the other hand, those of intersubjectivity, language and interpretation are often needlessly separated and constricted by seemingly alternative approaches. Davidson firmly reconnects these notions. He helps rethink the realist, strong post-positivist, but also liberal, ‘thin’ constructivist and critical (not thoroughly contextualist) approaches. He bridges the normative cosmopolitan–communitarian distinction. Eventually, Davidson laid foundations for a perspective foregrounding possibilities for rational communication and agreement between very different contexts and also for the non-dogmatic, pluralist and dynamic nature of communication itself.

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Blackout

Freedom, without Power

Christopher Allsobrook

This article attributes the conception of 'freedom-without-power' which dominates contemporary Western political philosophy to a reification of social agency that mystifies contexts of human capacities and achievements. It suggests that Plato's analogy between the structure of the soul and the polis shows how freedom is a consequence, rather than a condition, of political relations, mediated by inter-subjective contestation. From this basis, the article draws on the work of Raymond Geuss to argue against pre-political ethical frameworks in political philosophy, in favour of a more contextually sensitive, self-critical approach to ethics. Such reciprocal ethical-political integration addresses problems of ideological complicity that may arise if freedom is discretely abstracted from history and power in political philosophy. Finally, the article roughly reconstructs a critical account of African identity from writings of Steven Biko to illuminate symptoms of 'meritocratic apartheid' in South Africa today which Thad Metz's influential pre-political conception of ubuntu obscures, by abstracting the figure of African personhood from politically significant historical conditions.

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Bettina Bergo

In 1968, at the height of political unrest in Europe and North America, in the heyday of French existentialism, Marxism, and psychoanalysis, Emmanuel Levinas published an essay curiously opposed to the emerging “canon” of the time, in defence of humanism. Both with and against psychoanalysis’ and structuralism’s decentring of the subject and the Marxist critiques of bourgeois humanism, Levinas called for a different conception of humanism. He suggested that humanism had never been truly humanist because metaphysics (and ethics) had given priority to a conception of subjectivity characterized exclusively by activity and rationality. But Levinas did not toll the death knell of reason; rather he suggested that the rationalist subjectivity of humanism and idealism covered over depths of our intersubjective life. Against these, he proposed a humanism whose beginning would not be the self-positing of the ego, but rather would lie in the peculiar character of our sensuous vulnerability to other human beings. This vulnerability – whose ethical implications can be elucidated by an inquiry into the possibility of the sentiments of responsibility and obligation – belongs to a philosophical anthropology characterized by a certain optimism. Such an optimism is envisionable for Levinas even in the wake of skepticism over the meaning and coherence of ethical judgement. Thus, in the following passage Levinas summarizes his conception of the subject and the starting point of his humanism, using the Fichtean ego (inter alia) as its foil.

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Christopher J. Allsobrook

identify sites of domination and resistance, it is best, he argues, to combine these insights with his own ‘genealogical, inter-subjective and contextualist account of the determination and satisfaction of human needs’ (2014: 11). Hamilton is adamant that

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Fadi Amer

takes our doubt a step further, suggesting that it does not make any sense to discuss freedom as such, as one of the abstract moments hitherto mentioned, for freedom can only ever refer to a fundamentally intersubjective relation: ‘being free to do

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Marta Nunes da Costa

dimension of struggle between classes as a horizon for freedom’s definition and actualisation. In chapter III Hamilton makes the distinction between power and domination, combining a genealogical, intersubjective and contextualist account of the

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Moral Conflict

The Private, the Public and the Political

Marios Filis

categorisation and therefore offering a stronger pluralistic theory. Regarding the first point, the conditions of moral plurality can be generally classified in this manner: they derive firstly from our interaction with other people (where intersubjectivity

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Communication, Context, and Narrative

Habermas and Contemporary Realist Thought

Navid Hassanzadeh

practice ’ is moreover embedded in ‘an intersubjectively shared lifeworld ’ (13), or a domain of shared assumptions, beliefs, and cultural bonds that speaking and acting subjects inhabit, and draw upon in order to pursue such understanding. The lifeworld