Critical Analysis Of Chantal Mouffe's 'Wittgenstein'

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By developing his rather ambiguous critique of Wittgenstein into the theory of communicative action Habermas laid foundation for further political conceptualization of his account. As it was asserted in the end of the second part, this theory forms a core of the deliberative model of democracy. However, there is a room to criticize these Habermas's elaborations through Wittgenstein himself. Such a critical analysis was carried out by Chantal Mouffe.
Mouffe uses Wittgenstein to pinpoint the drawbacks of Habermasian investigations and to work out her own concept of democratic society that incorporates some Wittgenstein's insights that were described in the first chapter. For Mouffe, Habermasian account lacks a focus on the political realm as
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The dual vision of language that Habermas employs allows a distinction between 'procedural' and 'substantial' to emerge. We have a scheme of an ideal speech situation on the one hand, and manifold practices on the other. According to Mouffe, this distinction 'cannot be maintained and one must acknowledge that procedures always involve substantial ethical commitments.' (Mouffe 1999, 749) When Tully stresses this issue of Habermasian dualism he argues that our judgments are not entirely distinct from our everyday communicative practices. 'One reason for his misunderstanding is the overly sharp distinction he draws between the reflective grounding of speech acts in justifications and the mere de facto acceptance of habitual practices.' (Tully 1989,…show more content…
Mouffe envisage the model of 'agonistic' democracy that, far from imposing a general rational order, maintains both democratic pluralism and a realm of political conflicts and frictions. According to this view, 'the "other" is no longer seen as an enemy to be destroyed, but as an "adversary," i.e., somebody with whose ideas we are going to struggle but whose right to defend those ideas we will not put into question.' (Mouffe 1999, 755) In this respect, Habermasian theory that finds its justification in universalizing the procedures of justifications themselves 'is a conceptual impossibility.' (Laclau and Mouffe 2001,

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