Bite Size Theory: The Representative Claim

“Representation is about claim-making, and it is purposeful: makers of claims are trying to achieve acceptance and other effects through the conceptions of subject and object that they construct.”

Michael Saward, The Representative Claim, Oxford University Press, 2010.

Bite Size Theory: Public Goods, Private Goods

“The possibilities of real or hypothetical agreement or consensus in the world are extremely limited. This does not, of course, imply that it might not be an extremely good idea to conduct as extensive discussions as possible, develop discursive institutions, and so on. We might have all kinds of good reasons for this apart from the excessively cheerful idea that free discussion would give us automatic access to a common good.”

Raymond Geuss, 2001, Public Goods, Private Goods, Princeton University Press.

Bite Size Theory: The Politics of Small Things

“Factual truth is the bedrock of a free politics. Difference of interpretation and opinion is its process. That the factual sometimes fades into the interpretative does not mitigate against the requirement that an interpretative scheme or doctrine cannot substitute for politics. That the interpretative sometimes seems to the convinced to be the factual does not mitigate against the requirement that for people to meet and interact in a free public, they must share a sense of a factual world. That fact and interpretation get mixed up is very much a part of the messiness of politics, a messiness that is confronted in concrete interactive situations.”

Jeffrey Goldfarb, 2006. The Politics of Small Things: The Power of the Powerless in Dark Times, University of Chicago Press.

Bite Size Theory: Mikhail Bakhtin

“Democracy is no longer an unequivocal ideal, it is also a historical fact, not just the prize but the battleground on which social struggles take place […] Both Left and Right work the terrain of democracy, and though the ground ought to favour the former, it is from the latter that some of the most successful and inventive thrusts have come.”

Ken Hirschkop, 1999, Mikhail Bakhtin: An Aesthetic for Democracy, Oxford University Press.

Bite Size Theory: Democracy and the Foreigner

“Democratic cosmopolitanism is a name for forms of internationalism that seek not to govern, per se, but rather to widen the resources, energies, and accountability of an emerging international civil society that contests or supports state actions in matters of transnational and local interest such as environmental, economic, military, cultural and social policies.”

Bonnie Honig, 2001, Democracy and the Foreigner, Princeton University Press.

Bite Size Theory: The Way We Argue Now

“If anyone else had published the second and third volumes of the History of Sexuality, they would have had little to no impact on the theoretical domains of literary and cultural theory in the U.S. academy.”

Amanda Anderson, 2006, The Way We Argue Now: A Study in the Cultures of Theory. Princeton, Princeton University Press, p. 121.