Chapter

The ends of democracy: who, we?

Catherine Kellogg

in Democracy in Crisis

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780719079238
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702123 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719079238.003.0008
The ends of democracy: who, we?

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This chapter analyses democracy in relation to Jacques Derrida's 1982 essay The ends of man. It argues that Derrida's contribution to thinking about democracy is his belief that democracy is an impossible possibility, insofar as it is both enabled and ultimately threatened by what can never be brought under the sign of ‘we’. This chapter also contends that Derrida's various attempts to define democracy within the history of Western political thought allowed him to trace its fundamental aporias, particularly the contradiction between freedom and equality.

Keywords: democracy; Jacques Derrida; The ends of man; impossible possibility; political thought; aporias; freedom; equality

Chapter.  7615 words. 

Subjects: Politics

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