The Spirit of Transformation Politics: Human Nature, Communication, and Community Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Domenico, Mary
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication
  • ABSTRACT Mary E. Domenico: The Spirit of Transformational Politics: Human Nature, Communication, and Community Under the Direction of Christian Lundberg This project in communication ethics explores the interrelations among rhetorics of human nature, theories of communicative action, and conceptualizations of the constitutive forces of community in Western thought. The central argument, that doctrines of human nature that include extra-material human capacities open avenues for rethinking contemporary political agency, is developed through a rhetorical genealogy of doctrines of human nature intended to display how ideas of the self are historically configured and influential in thinking about human capacities. I begin with ancient Greek theories of a robust human spirit as portrayed by Homer, Plato, and Aristotle. The second cluster of theorists depicts the degradation of human spirit in religious (Augustine), philosophical (Descartes), and modern scientific doctrines. The third cluster addresses the recuperation of human spirit in the theories of Spinoza, Bergson, and Nancy. These genealogical and rhetorical formations represent three distinct ways of viewing human nature and human capacities for political agency. I challenge theories that presume ideational rationality and discourse are constitutive of community and reformulate the foundation of ethical community based on human spiritual capacities for knowledge beyond the empirical, the imaginative creation of new ways of relating to one another, and materializing our ontological interconnectedness.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Watts, Eric
  • Grosz, Elizabeth
  • Styers, Randall
  • Lundberg, Christian
  • Balthrop, V. William
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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