Students Cohorts

Corrado Fumagalli

fumagalli

Topic of thesis:
“Perspectival Pluralism: Difference, Equality and Freedom beyond Liberalism”
In this project, I try to engage with the crucial literature on the issue of pluralism in order to construct an alternative to the two predominant paradigms, political liberalism and modus vivendi. Indeed, despite the burgeoning literature in this field, recent contributions look like either as a perpetual elaboration of the notion of political justification as defined by liberal thinking, or as a restoration of the long-established idea of modus vivendi. Pluralism, in this way, has been often subordinated to demands for political stability and to individual freedom. This approach has led to deadlock, both politically and theoretically. On the one hand, given that there is no institutional framework that can accommodate all forms of life, a basic question is left unanswered: which forms of life should we accommodate? On the other hand, alluding to the contradictory implementation of diversity-oriented policies in several European democracies, social scientists, politicians and philosophers have casted doubts on the positive relationship between pluralism and liberal societies. In order to answer this theoretical impasse and the growing skepticism towards the virtues of plural societies, I develop a theoretical counterfactual where the fact of diversity informs the elaboration of fundamental democratic principles. Two aspects of political cooperation look like very relevant in this respect: mechanisms that allow the imposition of mutual political constraints upon members; and a basis for agreement, which gradually leads citizens to identify with institutional settings. Specifically, by focusing on perspectival limitations as a common ground, we find a relevant shared condition, which is the starting point for political decisions. This feature emphasizes two key requirements of the democratic tradition in political philosophy: sovereignty of all the affected members and equality of representation. As I try to demonstrate in the absence of the first one, political decisions would likely be contested. Yet, in the absence of the second, the fact of pluralism would be irrelevant. Both, I claim, are essential conditions to surpass arguments for the containment of pluralism.
Research interests:  Theories of Pluralism and the Politics of Multiculturalism, Indian Politics after Gandhi, The normative value of common sense, The philosophy of Jan Patočka and Hannah Arendt, Comparative political thought
Graduated from: the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Milan
Degree: Msc Political Theory, MA Philosophy, BA Philosophy (Aesthetics)
Email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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