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Title: The ground of 'speculative politics' and the critique of the moral standpoint
Author: Mahoney, Robert
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1995
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Speculative politics is a method of interaction based on Hegel's concept of Science (Wissenschaft), as explained primarily in the Phenomenology of Spirit and the Science of Logic. It is a method based on the unity of opposites, or the category of becoming, and is the only alternative to either modernism's 'politics of identity', or postmodernism's 'politics of difference'. Both of these latter forms of politics are in fact manifestations of 'abstract power', or its modern version, 'the moral standpoint'. The moral standpoint is basically the result of the application of Aristotle's fundamental laws of thought and Cartesian dualism to our social, political and economic life, with the ultimate consequence being an ever expanding cycle of denial and annihilation in both theory and practice. Speculative politics, on the other hand, by grounding itself on the principle of becoming, and recognizing the essentiality of logic, especially in and to politics, offers the real possibility of overcoming the abstract power of the moral standpoint, without simply denying, or annihilating the concept of power in itself. This is because the method of transcendence put forth by Hegel is actually one of overcoming through yielding, which, unlike the Aristotelian based moral standpoint, allows for the possibility of a middle ground. Aside from the philosophies of Descartes and Hegel then, the thesis also analyses the philosophy of Fichte, since he occupies the dubious position of being both the formal originator of German Idealism's concept of Science, from which this method emerges, and the highest theoretical development of the moral standpoint. In short, he represents the transition between the moral standpoint and speculative politics.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available