In a prescient and extraordinarily lucid essay, published in ‘Transit’ almost 25 years ago and only now published in English in the Slovak journal ‘Kritika & Kontext’, political philosopher Charles Taylor develops a normative definition of democracy that avoids the pitfalls both of liberal individualism and authoritarian collectivism.
Kritika & Kontext
We express our understanding in concepts, but each of our concepts is an extreme simplification consisting of unrelated entities. The fact that we include them in one concept does not clarify our view of the world, but rather obscures it. This also applies to the concept of “art”.
Kundera in Slovak, almost
Samuel Abrahám, editor-in-chief of Eurozine partner journal Kritika & Kontext, relates his attempts to translate a text by Czech author Milan Kundera into Slovak, and ponders Kundera’s prophetic words on the value of privacy.
Rorty and the democratic power of the novel
Moral progress depends upon hearing voices that say things never heard before, including claims about injustices that may not be perceived as such. On Richard Rorty’s definition of the novel as “characteristic genre of democracy”.