Polemicization : The Contingency of the Commonplace

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The distinctive feature of this book is its ingenious argumentative strategy: it takes on the political by developing a practice and a thought the authors call 'polemicization'. They draw from the recent work of the political philosopher Jacques Ranciere, for whom a polemic or disagreement does not refer to the case when one interlocutor says white and another black. Instead, it designates the conflict arising when, for example, both parties say white, yet each understands something different by whiteness. This situation forces the interlocutors to construe the scene of the validity of their claims, which is just another way of saying that the given or commonplace is never settled once and for all. The authors generalise the logic of this encounter and claim that disagreement is the very process through which objectivity is instituted. They develop the contours of polemicization and deepen its philosophical implications through a critical engagement with the work of leading contemporary theorists, such as Lefort, Schmitt, Laclau, Derrida.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 24mm | 343g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • 0748610642
  • 9780748610648

Table of contents

1 POLEMIC AND POLEMICIZATION; 1.1 Polemic and the Commonplace; 1.2 The Commonplace of political Modernity; 1.3 Polemicizing the Commonplace; 2 POLEMICIZATION AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY; 2.1 Polemicization and attitude; 2.2 Polemicization and the Political; 2.3 Polemicization and Critique; 2.4 Polemicization and Metaphysics; 2.5 Polemicization Pluraltiy; 3 POLEMICIZING SUBJECTIVITY; 3.1 The Modern Subject; 3.2 The Basic Antagonism; 3.3 Outing the Subject; 3.4 Who Wants to be Popular?; 4 POLEMICIZING UNIVERSALS; 4.1 The Persistence of Universals; 4.2 The Pragmatics of the Referent; 4.3 Deliberation and Confrontation; 4 Undecidability and the Impurity of Universals; 5 Commonality Through Polemics
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Review quote

Timely and well conceived... -- Ernesto Laclau This will make an excellent start-up volume ... it is entirely appropriate to the general task and could hardly be more relevant to current discussions. -- Professor Robert Bernasconi Timely and well conceived... This will make an excellent start-up volume ... it is entirely appropriate to the general task and could hardly be more relevant to current discussions.
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About Benjamin Arditi

Benjamin Arditi is a Professor of Political Theory at the National University of Mexico. He is the author of Polemicization (EUP, 1999) and editor of Fidelity to the Disagreement: Jacques Ranciere and Politics (2006). He is co-editor (with Jeremy Valentine) of Edinburgh University Press's 'Taking on the Political' series. Jeremy Valentine is Lecturer in Media Studies at Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh.
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