Sentimental Democracy Philosophy Seminar Sentimental Democracy

Sentimental Democracy

  1. The event took place on
Manuel Arias Maldonado

Multimedia

  1. Manuel Arias MaldonadoManuel Arias Maldonado

    Profesor titular de Ciencia Política en la Universidad de Málaga, donde se licenció en Derecho y defendió una tesis en Ciencia Política galardonada con el Premio extraordinario de doctorado. Ha sido becario Fulbright en la Universidad de Berkeley (2004-2005), Salvador de Madariaga en el Rachel Carson Center de la Universidad de Munich (2011) e investigador visitante en las de Munich, Keele, Oxford y Siena. Su investigación académica ha girado, principalmente, en torno a la dimensión política y filosófica del medio ambiente, la teoría de la democracia, el liberalismo político, los movimientos sociales globales y la teoría política en sentido amplio.

    Es autor de las monografías Sueño y mentira del ecologismo. Naturaleza, sociedad, democracia (2008), Real Green. Sustainability after the End of Nature (2012; Premio al mejor libro del año 2012 por la Asociación Española de Ciencia Política) y Environment & Society. Socionatural Relations in the Anthropocene (2015) y de la entrada "Nature" en la Encyclopedia of Political Thought. Ha publicado artículos en numerosas revistas académicas nacionales e internacionales. Finalmente, su atención a la teoría política es compatible con la crítica cultural y el ensayismo. Es colaborador habitual de Revista de Libros (donde conduce además el blog Torre de marfil), Letras Libres (a cuyo consejo editorial pertenece), Revista de Occidente y Lettre International Deutschland, entre otras. También es columnista del diario El Mundo en su edición andaluza, y dirige el Aula de Pensamiento Político del centro cultural La Térmica, en Málaga.

We will look into the populist infection that liberal representative democracies are suffering, locating this tendency towards irrational sentimentalization of the citizens' demands in the widest context that is provided by the current questioning that psychology and close disciplines make of the enlightened assumption that individuals act as the rational maximum of their own preferences. It is a hypothesis that also affects other disciplines like economy and ethics, obliging them to review their initial assumptions confronted with the increasingly powerful evidence of individual rationality being measured by the emotions and different biases or gaps in the rational decision. This sentimentalization of democracy can be presented in regards to the new tools of political communication, which have proved to be used more often as vehicles for expression than as a tool for persuasion.

However it may be, it would be inexact to assert that the enlightened political theory has historically ignored this problem. Which is, after all, the same problem of domesticating the human beings that Sloterdijk highlighted in his confrontation with Heidegger and Habermas more than a decade ago. Authors like David Hume already pointe out with clarity that the human reason can be very well seen as an instrument at the service of the passions. From here we have the fact that the enlightened concept of subjectivity should be claimed -confronted, by the way, with the communal tradition- as a prescription instead of as a simple description. Consequently, the autonomy of the individual should be defended as an indispensable regulative idea, for whose promotion we need to find new instruments.