Second Nature: Rethinking the Natural through Politics

By Crina Archer; Laura Ephraim et al. | Go to book overview

NOTES

INTRODUCTION: POLITICS ON THE TERRAIN OF SECOND NATURE
Crina Archer, Laura Ephraim, and Lida Maxwell

1. A few important examples are Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1998); Wendy Brown, States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1995); William Connolly, Identity/Difference: Democratic Negotiations of Political Paradox (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991), and The Terms of Political Discourse, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993); Bonnie Honig, Political Theory and the Displacement of Politics (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1993); Chantal Mouffe, The Democratic Paradox (New York: Verso, 2000); Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989); and Linda Zerilli, Signifying Woman: Culture and Chaos in Rousseau, Burke, and Mill (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1993).

2. The growing consensus on the value of denaturalizing political categories even exerted a pull upon the renowned liberal philosopher John Rawls, who in Political Liberalism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993) distanced himself from prior invocations of the autonomous self to invoke a conventional consensus instead as grounds for liberalism’s legitimacy. His earlier A Theory of Justice (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971) was critiqued from many quarters for preserving an indefensible essentialized view of the autonomous self: to name a few influential examples, Susan Okin argued that the Rawlsian self was implicitly masculinist in Justice, Gender, and the Family(New York: Basic Books, 1991); Michael Sandel critiqued Rawls’s ontological assumption of autonomy from a communitarian perspective in Liberalism and the Limits of Justice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998); and Bonnie Honig critiqued Rawls’s containment of the self ’s alterity (Displacement, esp. chap. 5, “Rawls and the Remainders of Politics,” 126–161). For an even more thoroughgoing endeavor to set liberal political thought on an antifoundationalist ground, see Richard Flathman, Willful Liberalism: Voluntarism and Individuality in Political Theory and Practice (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1992).

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