Publicity and Pain

in Courting the Abyss

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780226662749
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226662756 | DOI:
Publicity and Pain

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For several years, the liberal tradition has been attacked in fairly predictable patterns, almost all of them having to do with its conception of the self. The critiques are largely of three types. One of the most persistent is that liberalism is spiritually enervating. Another long-standing critique is that liberalism has an atomistic sense of social relations. The third chief historical attack on liberalism targets its social exclusion, its failure to adequately account for power. Recent multicultural critics have found liberalism to be racist and sexist. Self-abstraction, diverse thinkers argue, is not a universally available option, but is culturally coded to harmonize with the historic experience of white propertied males. All three of these critiques place the liberal vision of self-transcendence front and center.

Keywords: liberal tradition; liberalism; social relations; social exclusion; multicultural critics; self-abstraction; self-transcendence

Chapter.  19428 words. 

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