Politics of Culture and the Spirit of Critique

Dialogues

Edited by Gabriel Rockhill and Alfredo Gomez-Muller

Columbia University Press

Politics of Culture and the Spirit of Critique

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Pub Date: March 2011

ISBN: 9780231151870

288 Pages

Format: Paperback

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Pub Date: March 2011

ISBN: 9780231151863

288 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $90.00

Pub Date: March 2011

ISBN: 9780231526364

288 Pages

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Politics of Culture and the Spirit of Critique

Dialogues

Edited by Gabriel Rockhill and Alfredo Gomez-Muller

Columbia University Press

This book of tightly woven dialogues engages prominent thinkers in a discussion about the role of culture-broadly construed-in contemporary society and politics. Faced with the conceptual inflation of the notion of 'culture,' which now imposes itself as an indispensable issue in contemporary moral and political debates, these dynamic exchanges seek to rethink culture and critique beyond the schematic models that have often predominated, such as the opposition between "mainstream multiculturalism" and the "clash of civilizations."

Prefaced by an introduction relating current cultural debates to the critical theory tradition, this book examines the politics of culture and the spirit of critique from three different vantage points. To begin, Gabriel Rockhill and Alfredo Gomez-Muller provide a stage-setting dialogue, followed by discussions with two major representatives of contemporary critical theory: Seyla Benhabib and Nancy Fraser. Working at the horizons of this tradition, Judith Butler, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Cornel West then provide important critical perspectives on cultural politics. The book's concluding section engages with Michael Sandel and Will Kymlicka, who work out of the Rawlsian tradition yet are uniquely concerned with the issue of culture, broadly understood. The epilogue, an interview with Axel Honneth, returns to the core issue of critical theory in cultural politics. Ranging from recent developments and progressive interventions in critical theory to dialogues that incorporate its insights into larger discussions of social and political philosophy, this book sharpens old critical tools while developing new strategies for rethinking the role of 'culture' in contemporary society.
The scope, precision, and flow of these interviews, as well as the significance and range of the thinkers, make this volume a valuable contribution to critical theory and the philosophy of culture. Alia Al-Saji, McGill University
A book full of insights. Ten of the world's most important critical theorists reflect on the intersections of biography, history, and theory and the interviews shed new light both on their thought and on the process of thinking. Craig Calhoun, University Professor of the Social Sciences, Director, Institute for Public Knowledge, New York University
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Politics of Culture and the Spirit of Critique
Gabriel Rockhill and Alfredo Gomez-Muller
Critical Theory and the Question of Culture
1. Critical Theory Today: Politics, Ethics, Culture
Opening Dialogue
Alfredo Gomez-Muller and Gabriel Rockhill
2. Concrete Universality and Critical Social Theory
Dialogue with Alfredo Gomez-Muller and Gabriel Rockhill
Seyla Benhabib
3. Global Justice and the Renewal of the Critical Theory Tradition
Dialogue with Alfredo Gomez-Muller and Gabriel Rockhill
Nancy Fraser
Critical Perspectives on Cultural Politics
4. Accounting for a Philosophic Itinerary: Genealogies of Power and Ethics of Nonviolence
Dialogue with Alfredo Gomez-Muller and Gabriel Rockhill
Judith Butler
5. The Present in the Light of the Longue Durée
Dialogue with Alfredo Gomez-Muller and Gabriel Rockhill
Immanuel Wallerstein
6. A Prisoner of Hope in the Night of the American Empire
Dialogue with Gabriel Rockhill
Cornel West
Culture as Critique: The Limits of Liberalism?
7. Liberalism: Politics, Ethics, and Markets
Dialogue with Alfredo Gomez-Muller and Ronan Sharkey
Michael Sandel
8. Cultural Rights and Social-Democratic Principles
Dialogue with Alfredo Gomez-Muller and Gabriel Rockhill
Will Kymlicka
Epilogue: Critical Theory and Recognition
9. The Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School and the Theory of Recognition
Dialogue with Olivier Voirol
Axel Honneth
Contributors

About the Author

Gabriel Rockhill is assistant professor of philosophy at Villanova University, program director at the Collège International de Philosophie, and the author, most notably, of Logique de l'histoire: Pour une analytique des pratiques philosophiques.Alfredo Gomez-Muller is professor of Latin American studies at the Francois-Rabelais University in Tours and the author of numerous books, including Sartre: De la nausée à l'engagement and Ethique, coexistence et sens.