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Title: The Pragmatics of Parenthood: Rorty and West on the Politics of the Family
Authors: Duff, Brian
Keywords: Rorty
democratic citizenship
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Citation: Brian Duff, "The Pragmatics of Parenthood: Rorty and West on the Politics of the Family", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XII (2010) 1, pp. 207−234.
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
XII (2010) 1
Abstract: In this article I argue that ideas about parenthood have become a point of connection where the neopragmatist theorists Richard Rorty and Cornel West have sought to intertwine two of the primary responsibilities of democratic citizenship. Both Rorty and West turn to parenthood as a reliable lodestar of virtue that allows citizens to navigate the challenging waters of contest. I argue that this strategy exacerbates rather than mitigates the problems that accompany the political uses of parenthood. When the experience of parenthood is used to circumscribe the realm of political contest, the substance of political debate can become shallow and contribute to political stagnation. When the virtuous citizenship that parenthood is meant to instill is subject to challenge, insecurities are exacerbated and the temptation to turn to undemocratic solutions intensifies.
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2010) XII/1

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