Cynical Suspicions and Platonist Pretentions: A Critique of Contemporary Political Theory

Cynical Suspicions and Platonist Pretentions: A Critique of Contemporary Political Theory

by John McGuire


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In Cynical Suspicions and Platonist Pretensions, John McGuire offers a critique of recent trends in contemporary political theory, specifically concerning the ‘dangers’ of cynicism and the contamination of public reason. In the view of many theorists and pundits, cynicism remains one of the gravest ills to befall any democratic society, injecting a virulent estrangement which leaves sufferers unable to trust elected representatives and unwilling to participate in collective action. Starting with a reconstruction of the performative and rhetorical tactics of the ‘first’ Cynic, Diogenes of Sinope (c. 323 BCE), John McGuire aims to demonstrate how cynicism’s non-defeatist, relentlessly sceptical ethos provides an important counterweight to the self-aggrandising designs of moralists and policymakers alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789004364912
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 04/19/2018
Series: Social and Critical Theory Series , #22
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

John McGuire (PhD 2013, University College Dublin) is a Marie Curie Global Research Fellow (2017-2020) currently based in the Department of Political Science at McMaster University, Ontario. Cynical Suspicions and Platonist Pretentions is his first book.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Causarum Cognitio

1 Naked in the Marketplace

2 The Courage and Scourge of Truth
 Excursus: Sloterdijk on a motorbike! (or, Zen and the Art of Neo-Kynicism)

3 The Resistible Rise of Rawlsian Reasonableness

4 Thomas Pogge: Ethics and the Ire of the Beholden

5 Nancy Fraser’s Subaltern Weltbürger Blues
 Excursus: The Poverty of Agonism

6 Jürgen Habermas’ Postmetaphysical Paralysis?

7 Defacing the Political Currency: Cynicism as a Normative Perspective for Critical Theory


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