Disclosing New Worlds: Entrepreneurship, Democratic Action, and the Cultivation of Solidarity

Disclosing New Worlds: Entrepreneurship, Democratic Action, and the Cultivation of Solidarity

Disclosing New Worlds: Entrepreneurship, Democratic Action, and the Cultivation of Solidarity

Disclosing New Worlds: Entrepreneurship, Democratic Action, and the Cultivation of Solidarity

Synopsis

Disclosing New Worlds calls for a recovery of a way of being that has always characterized human life at its best. The book argues that human beings are at their best not when they are engaged in abstract reflection, but when they are intensely involved in changing the taken-for-granted, everyday practices in some domain of their culture -- that is, when they are making history. History-making, in this account, refers not to wars and transfers of political power, but to changes in the way we understand and deal with ourselves. The authors identify entrepreneurship, democratic action, and the creation of solidarity as the three major arenas in which people make history, and they focus on three prime methods of history-making -- reconfiguration, cross-appropriation, and articulation.

Excerpt

Since most of our commonsensical ways of thinking depend on either Cartesian or flexible postmodern categories and distinctions, we are ill prepared to describe or even notice our own culture's history-making activities and skills, even when we find ourselves enacting them in the restricted domains of our life projects. For this reason, we devote this chapter to developing the distinctions and categories appropriate for noticing these activities and skills. Since we claim that our lives are at their best when we act in accord with these skills, these categories and distinctions should yield a sharper view of such important moments than that provided by either the Cartesian or postmodern categories and distinctions. Our task is thus twofold. We flesh out a large set of categories and distinctions, developed from the ontology of Martin Heidegger, and in doing this, we try to show how they clarify what is going on when we are living life at its best. For that reason, our examples draw on simple everyday-life situations that, we assume, are both easily recognizable and held in high regard. In a general sense, we try to counter the tendency to look at human experience from the point of view of individual agents who generate action and instead look at common human practices and skills into which we are socialized and that in turn produce people, selves, and worlds. The basic intuition, then, is that shared human practices tend to gather together into organizations that we recognize as worlds, people, and selves. Once those organizations gain consistency and effectiveness, we as people and selves bring them into sharper focus and organization, by means that we describe in detail.

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