The case for embodied democratic law-making

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Van der Walt’s monograph is firmly based on Lefort’s writings on democracy. It therefore purports to refute any specific figuration or incorporation of political power as universal power. Hence Van der Walt’s deconstruction of the history of nomos and its internal antithesis between kosmos and physis. Hence, also, the characterisation of democracy as a regime of ‘disembodied power’, bidding farewell to the classical idea of a ‘body politic’. Manent’s critique of ‘a polity without a body’ provides reasons to revisit the very concept of embodiment in Merleau-Ponty. This, in turn, allows us to see Schmitt’s paradigmatic analysis of nomos as ‘taking’ in the new key of ‘motor intentionality’. Taking as ‘jointly developing grip’, i.e., as the effort to interface between a plural self and its world, allows a better understanding of the tension between kosmos and physis. It neutralises its paralysing effects and prepares for the labour awaiting any liberal democracy worthy of the name
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-520
Number of pages12
JournalEtica & politica: rivista di filosofia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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