I have just finished the last major re-write of my PhD thesis. Entitled "The Emancipation Paradox: A Critical Study of the Kantian Tradition in Political Philosophy" it examines the dilemma of egalitarian political philosophers in presenting a universal theory of equality (i.e. That everyone is equal, regardless of arbitrary distinctions) but reneging, of sorts, on this theory of equality in implementing practical procedural conceptions of justice. (The Abstract of the thesis is at the end of this rant!)
This is been a long journey, 3 years this week (31st March is my submission deadline). The piece of work is 198 pages long (Not including title page, contents page or bibliography) and is over 80,000 words in length. There is of course a little more to do, formatting, checking spelling/grammar and a like, and finish checking the bibliography, but the major aspect, the exposition, the argument, etc are all completed.
Strangely, the finality of this project has yet to hit me, maybe it will after I've submitted, or maybe after I've received the examiners report, or maybe in ten years time when I'm sitting in a chair wondering what the hell possessed me to do a PhD, or maybe it will never hit me.
I've had a ton of awesome experiences while being a PhD student. From attending conferences, to presenting my work, to visiting places like Hong Kong and New York as part of my education. And despite Family (all of whom live in Another city), and a couple of friends, this Starcraft community has been my constant. A band of people, some of who I have met, others whose faces remain mysterious, who have gathered together for the love of a game which is exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. A game which punches you in the gut when you win, and kicks you in the head when you lose. The members of this community have made me laugh, and have entertained me all through my struggles of writing this god-forsaken piece of archaic literature.
So thanks guys, some of you supported me explicitly, some of you guys knew I was doing a PhD, others simply may have seen me as an arrogant son-of-a-bitch. But you all deserve thanks for helping me through this project.
I know I've been a bit quiet the last few months, but I hope to energize myself and step back into the community.
I'll post a thread, when I know my results. Cheers!
This thesis argues that within post-Kantian political philosophy, specifically in the work of Immanuel Kant, John Rawls, Jürgen Habermas and Rainer Forst, there is a problematic that I designate as the emancipation paradox. The Emancipation Paradox is understood as the failed attempts in the work of these philosophers to bridge the gap between universal moral claims about the equality of persons and the practical inequality of the political institutions that they develop.
I begin by examining the work of Jacques Rancière who I argue has best explicated the issues of the emancipation paradox. Throughout Rancière’s published work there is a continuing theme of locating with ancient and contemporary philosophy a problematic that arises over the equivocation between universal claims of the Human Being and particularistic practical conclusions.
The main body of this thesis is the critical analysis of the work of Immanuel Kant, John Rawls, Jürgen Habermas and Rainer Forst. The critical analysis locates within each philosopher a focal point from which the paradox arises. In Kant it is the concept of ‘Humanity’, in Rawls it is the concept of the ‘basic structure of society’, in Habermas it is the method of ‘Communicative Action’ and in Forst it is the idea of ‘Justification’. Each of these focal points is examined by seeing what “work” they do in the theory presented, and the assumptions that are made by its usage.
I conclude the thesis by suggesting that our methods of inquiry need to pay more attention to the possible implicit conclusions that may appear in political philosophy’s use of universalistic language.
Every zerg who goes SH must die ~ Nemesis
I can't say from experience (I'm no PHD-er) but I imagine part of it will hit when you're *not* working on your PHD and feel that deep guilt that you should be... Or maybe it will be the first time someone calls you or gives you the salutation of 'Dr' ...?
Take a small break (a few days) and then beginning the next stage. Turning thesis chapters into publishable journal articles, sending in book proposals to University publishers and attempting to find an academic job somewhere.
Every zerg who goes SH must die ~ Nemesis
Even the smallest donations help keep sc2sea running! All donations go towards helping our site run including our monthly server hosting fees and sc2sea sponsored community tournaments we host. Find out more here.