Critical Horizons 10 (2):257-271 (2009)

Fiona Jenkins
Australian National University
This discussion of Infinitely Demanding explores the terms of the paradox with which Critchley is centrally concerned: how an ethico-politics can at once begin in disappointment and yet allow for engagement, the infinite renewal of commitment and optimism. Placing this in critical relation to the paradox Rorty meets with his account of the "private ironist and public liberal" in Contingency, Irony, Solidarity, I argue that Critchley's ethico-politics invokes the possibility of a non-ironical categorical imperative, at the meeting point of finitude and the infinite and at the heart of what is also a political space of intersubjectivity. I examine the logic of humour and of commitment within the Kantian frame thus suggested, arguing for their relevance to certain aspects of anarcho-activism, but also for their limitations in desperate circumstances, posing the risk that Critchley's preferred politics falls back into liberal complacency.
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DOI 10.1558/crit.v10i2.257
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Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - The Personalist Forum 5 (2):149-152.
Giving an Account of Oneself.Judith Butler - 2005 - Fordham University Press.
Giving an Account of Oneself.Judith Butler - 2005 - Fordham University Press.

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