Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A scary alternative

In other words, by taking certain capacities as conditions for entry, liberalism prevents us having to fall back upon irreducibly religious models of recognition. Yet if phenomenology reveals the capacities approach to justify inclusion only of the fully functional, phenomenology in effects collapses the buffer erected between political practices and religious convictions. Phenomenology signals in effect the failure of the liberal solution to recognition. Where then are we left? Essentially, facing a choice between an irreducibly religious model of recognition (ascribing rights to human beings regardless of the abilities they happen to exhibit at any given moment) and Nietzsche’s power-play according to which only those strong enough to claim rights are to be ascribed to them.—Ethics at the Beginning of Life, page 193

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