Disagreement in the Political Philosophy of Spinoza and Ranciere

Beth Lord*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

In this paper I examine the concept of disagreement in the political philosophies of Baruch Spinoza and contemporary French philosopher Jacques Rancière. Rancière understands disagreement to be an emancipating form of dissent and assertion of equality by an excluded part of society. Spinoza, by contrast, understands disagreement to be a divergence from rational agreement that arises from differences of experience and feeling: in particular, our differing feelings of inequality. I consider disagreement in the context of the UK referendum on membership of the EU, and the election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency (both 2016). I suggest that the bad social feeling that followed these events reveals disagreement in Spinoza’s sense rather than Rancière’s: we should interpret them not as potentially progressive revolts of the excluded, but as the effects of divergent experience and feeling that are likely to divide us still further.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-80
Number of pages20
JournalProceedings of the Aristotelian Society
Volume117
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2017
EventMeeting of the Aristotelian Society: 2016 - Senate House, University of London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 14 Oct 201614 Nov 2016

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