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Agonistic Equality in Rancière and Spinoza

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Dimitris Vardoulakis
Dimitris Vardoulakis


Jacques Rancière’s conception of equality as an axiomatic presupposition of the political is important, because it bypasses the tradition which defines equality in terms of Aristotle’s conception of geometric equality. In this paper, I show that Rancière’s theory both espouses a monism, according to which inequality implies equality, and relies on a concept of the free will, which is incompatible with monism. I highlight this tension by bringing Rancière’s theory into conversation with the great monist of the philosophical tradition, Baruch Spinoza.


Jacques Rancière; Spinoza; agonistic equality; ontology; democracy; monism; the political

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