Ranciere Disagreement

Honneth refers to another distinction between himself and Ranciére, which is relevant: between an “inner” struggle and an “external struggle for recognition” (p. 105-106). While Honneth Ranciére attributes a theoretical interest to “the interruption of the whole normative order”, he himself is interested in the internal struggle for recognition, which “does not call into question the existing principles of recognition… But challenges existing interpretations” (p. 105). Although I agree with Honneth, I believe that this is precisely where the decisive paradox of Ranciére`s policy lies: if one thinks of acts of interruption by groups that question the normative order, Ranciére nevertheless refuses to claim the institutionalization of the “revolutionary” policy of disagreement or the creation of a new or other order. In doing so, he even seems to be engaged in the internal struggle for recognition: “This means that political action is not just the negative interruption of the police regime… It inserts the impact of equality into our laws and practices. And these inscriptions, in turn, allow for new conflicts and political actions” (p. 125).

Rancier`s political philosophy is characterized by a series of key concepts: politics, disagreements, police, equality, post-democracy. Before I come to the common characteristics of the theoretical constructions of Honneth and Ranciére, I would like to briefly address the conditions of their disagreement. While Honneth, the heir to hermeneutics and partly Habermas`s social philosophy, uses a sociological view of political and societal phenomena, Ranciére`s intellectual ambition refutes any form of “sociology” (or even more “social philosophy” or “politics”). Instead of theoretically explaining or supporting existing (or possible) political structures, regimes and institutions, he is interested in the multiple possibilities of changing these structures, standards and what he calls the “distribution of reasonableness” (p. 136). One can even refine this opposition and assert that, while Honneth is interested in archaic politics as a policy of planning, constitution and maintenance of social structures (and for his subsequent work, it is even more so), rancier is interested in archic (non-anarchist) challenges for these structures that reveal social injustices and political lies. Therefore, because of their attachment to decidedly different theoretical slides, the theoretical terms and “slogans” used by Honneth and Ranciére have a versatility that compels the reader to examine with consideration the meanings that taint these respective terms and words. These terms can be listed in pairs, such as recognition against disagreement, freedom against equality, the recognitive order against the police order, ethical (moral) life towards democracy and identification with subjectivation. It is not surprising that the volume begins with the following remarks: Axel Honneth is presented as “the famous German recognition theorist who took over the legacy of the Frankfurt school and in particular of Jurgen Habermas” and Jacques Ranciére as “the important French thinker of disagreement (disagreement) who broke with the Althusian tradition” (p.