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Fugitive DemocracyAnd Other Essays$
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Sheldon S. Wolin and Nicholas Xenos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691133645

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691133645.001.0001

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Democracy in the Discourse of Postmodernism

Democracy in the Discourse of Postmodernism

(p.300) Chapter 15 Democracy in the Discourse of Postmodernism
Fugitive Democracy

Sheldon S. Wolin

, Nicholas Xenos
Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the work of Richard Rorty, perhaps the leading philosopher, or lapsed philosopher, of postmodernism. His writings are one of the few, perhaps the only, major attempts to ally postmodernism with liberal democracy, rather than with Marxism or social democracy. He has supplied a focus to his writings that is as remarkable in its way, and as revealing, as the opening lines of the Communist Manifesto. The right questions, he writes in postmodernese, are “like” “What is it to inhabit a rich twentieth-century democratic society?” and “How can an inhabitant of such a society be more than the enactor of a role in a previously written script?” The first question would seem to be simply answered by saying, “Enjoy it.” But the second question carries a note of dissatisfaction; it is certainly not outrage or even sharply critical.

Keywords:   Richard Rorty, political theory, political philosophy, postmodernism, democracy

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