International conference on argumentation (ISSA ) edition:8 location:Amsterdam, The Netherlands date:1-4 July 2014
Chantal Mouffe rejects the model of ‘deliberative democracy’ as it aims at a rational consensus in the public sphere. This consensus is impossible, because the idea is based on the negation of conflict as the essence of modern pluralism. The aim of democratic politics is to transform antagonism into agonism, which entails that the participating parties should be considered as adversaries and not as enemies.
How can the political ideas of Chantal Mouffe be aligned with contemporary rhetoric? Rhetorical practice often is conceived of as a battle between opponents, yet it is also described as argumentative interaction that aims at cooperation and consensus. The findings of this exploration I will take back to Mouffe’s ideas about agonism in an attempt to nuance the concept.