CRITICAL THEORY AND RADICAL POLITICS
WORKSHOP & PUBLIC LECTURE
Grand Parade University of Brighton
When Is Disagreement Meaningful?
30th May | Edward Street 103 | 2pm – 4.30pm
With the admission that informal logic cannot account for the resolution of non-normal disagreements, argumentation theorists must acknowledge that disagreement is a social and political issue, and not merely an epistemological issue or a question of pure rationality. Jacques Rancière offers an alternative in his conception of politics as a venue for contest and raising claims which is distinguished from the ‘policing’ of which claims and claimants are ‘legitimate’. I will argue that politics and policing cannot be strictly distinguished in the way Rancière proposes, because it is only when governed by a norm of rational resolution and the harmonisation of views and positions (which is what policing and philosophy represents for Rancière) that disagreement is possible. Nevertheless, the introduction of the political into the rational is necessary and irreversible—the norm of reason can always be disrupted and transformed by the real political context it claims to dominate.