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Title: From moral to metical : democratic theory and the concept of 'ethos'
Author: Chatzisavvidou, Sofia
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2012
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The thesis is located within the context of the democratic tradition of political theory, exploring its various articulations of 'ethos' since antiquity. The argument is that a conception of ethos sustains and infuses visions of democracy and mobilises individuals politically; it is omnipresent within democratic thinking and experience and therefore it requires the attention of political theorists. However, there is a failure, the thesis argues, to grasp ethos in the fluid and open way that best corresponds to the multifarious nature of democracy. The purpose of the thesis, then, is to fill in this gap in democratic theory. In so doing, the thesis explores the persistent connection between ethos and morality in contemporary democratic thought and argues that this connection poses limitations on our understanding of democracy and our ability to act democratically. To sustain the argument pursued here, the thesis attends to democracy as a multiplicity with different variegations and discernible intensities and therefore as an ongoing process of creating, grasping and capitalising on possibilities for action in conditions of fluidity, plurality and ambiguity. Democracy entails a constant call for awareness of the specificity of the circumstances and for receptivity to the possibilities for interference they carry. An ethos suitable to such a democratic vision is one that responds to the peculiarities of the occasion. The thesis envisions a democratic ethos that is not merely conceived in terms of a repertoire of dispositions but rather is infused by the mental virtue of metis. It is this latter that enables us to respond to democracy's call for action and to affirm democratic ethos as a combination of sensibilities and the competency to seize the moment and exploit it in our favour on the terrain of the democratic agon. A democratic ethos is our dwelling in the moment of democratic action and therefore a dwelling temporally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available