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Essays in Philosophy

Volume 16, Issue 1, January 2015
Philosophy of Democracy

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Displaying: 1-12 of 12 documents


editor’s introduction
1. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Peter H. Denton Philosophy of Democracy: Introduction
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essays
2. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Michael S. Perry Four Dimensions of Democracy
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Democracy is rule of the people, but this tells us little, and lack of conceptual clarity creates confusion and undermines productive discussion. This paper explores four dimensions of democracy, articulating ways we can think about and apply the concept. The first concerns who we mean by the people, and here a state is more democratic when its body-politic is more inclusive. The other three concern what it means for the people to rule, and pertain to the theoretical principle of democracy, sovereign structures that are democratic, and actual democratic practice within a state. Distinguishing the dimensions is important because states can be more or less democratic along different dimensions. Thinking in terms of the dimensions of democracy enables more precise and productive debate on democratic government. Moreover, it reveals ways that democracy may change and evolve in the 21st century.
3. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Fuat Gursozlu Democracy and the Square: Recognizing the Democratic Value of the Recent Public Sphere Movements
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The paper considers the democratic value of the recent public sphere movements—from Occupy Wall Street to Taksim Gezi Park, from Tahrir Square to Sofia. It argues that the mainstream models of democracy fail to grasp the significance of these movements and the emergent political forms within these movements due to their narrow account of politics and democracy. To fully grasp the democratic value of recent public sphere movements, we should approach them from an agonistic perspective. Once democratic politics is viewed from an agonistic perspective, it becomes possible to recognize that while expressing their critique of existing liberal democratic institutions, the recent public sphere movements contested the dominant understanding of democracy and staged an alternative vision of democracy, democratic culture, and new forms of citizenship.
4. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
HollyGale Millette Porous Protest and Rhetorical Performance: Democratic Transformation at Occupy
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What follows considers whether harnessing word (argument) and action (occupation) constitutes a transformative democratic performance. In this, I am not seeking to replace the Aristotelian concept of performance, nor its transformative aspect, but I do ask how appropriate it is to confine mimetic acts of protest to an Aristotelian dialectic. The “efficacy debate” is a central issue for practitioners and scholars of political performance and I shall not question the truth of such claims that to be a performance the event must transform its audience in some way. Rather, I question, as others haveii, the ability for the performance of protest to effect any kind of political change. My argument is that Occupy’s politics emerge out of its performance of rhetorical devices and strategies that put democracy on display.
5. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Cyril-Mary Pius Olatunji Beneath the Rots in Post-Colonial Africa: A Reply to Henry Kam Kah and Okori Uneke
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This paper attempts a response to two suggestions regarding the roots of and solutions to Africa’s social, economic and political concerns. Rather than trying to provide answers to the question “who should be blamed for the quagmires of Africa?”, the paper tries to provide further explanations of the problems using a specific case study of two pan-African scholars, Henry Kam Kah and Okori Uneke. Although their suggestions about the situation of Africa have received popular acceptance among scholars, this paper disputes the viability of their assumptions and conclusions. Even if it is true (as the scholars have argued) that Africa is an innocent victim of colonial or post-colonial causes, their arguments fall short of providing a foundation for future, positive development. Instead, this paper attempts to go beneath superficial first layer investigations to identify a more meaning way forward for the people of post-colonial Africa.
6. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Peter H. Denton The End of Democracy
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Democracy in the 21st century is exhibiting some radical discontinuities in terms of its forms and institutions and needs to be rethought, if we wish to have a sustainable future. Democracy increasingly will be shaped by three realities: the demise of the nation state; the failure of representational liberal democracy; and the radical impacts of resource insufficiency and climate change. Yet if no government, however tyrannical, survives for long except by consent of the people, then that consent can serve as the starting point for rethinking what is meant by “democracy.” Three terms are offered as functional categories that allow for an assessment of democratic forms and institutions: subsistence, operational and systemic. Each describes how and why the population acquiesces to governance and under what conditions.
book reviews
7. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Peter H. Denton Review of Partiality, by Simon Keller
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8. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Maximiliano E. Korstanje Review of Cuando Los Mundos Convergen, terrorismo, narcotráfico y migración post 9/11 [When the Worlds Converge: Terrorism, Narco-traffic and Migration post 9/11], by Nashira Chávez
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9. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Maximiliano E. Korstanje Review of The 9/11 Commission Report: Final report of the national commission on terrorist attacks upon the United States. Authorized Edition
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10. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Gordy Mower Review of Locke’s Moral Man, by Antonia LoLordo
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11. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Jean-Marie Makang Review of The Morality of War (2nd ed.), by Brian Orend
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12. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Steven Ross Review of Impassioned Belief, by Michael Ridge
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