Civic Care: The Value of Disagreement as Care in Plato's Gorgias Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
Creator
  • Miller, Joshua
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
Abstract
  • Democratic theorists like Rawls and Habermas identify pervasive disagreements as "facts" of pluralistic political life. Along with other social contract theorists, they propose strategies for mitigating or altogether avoiding especially recalcitrant disagreements. In contrast, critical and agonistic theorists like Chantal Mouffe, Iris Marion Young, and Amy Gutmann suggest that disagreements are not only pervasive but desirable for democratic politics. These criticisms suffer from their own shortcomings, some of which are addressed in this paper. Specifically, the paper explicates the value of disagreement within a democratic context, proposing that a disagreement's worth should be measured by its reasonableness rather than its termination in agreement between adversarial interlocutors. Plato's Gorgias illustrates such worthwhile disagreement. The dialogue suggests ways for interlocutors to approach and sustain disagreement while articulating Socrates' conception of disagreement as a form of civic care. By sustaining reasoned disagreements, citizens thus care for and about democracy and each other
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Spinner-Halev, Jeff
  • Bickford, Susan
  • Lienesch, Michael
Degree
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2010
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