Risto Niemi-Pynttäri

Agonism in the Public Sphere: Nietzsche, Arendt and Sloterdjik

Posted in poetiikka by RniemiP on lokakuu 23, 2012

The increasing plurality of public spheres has brought up the question of how people with diffwerent attitudes can act together. The democratic utopia of public interaction is based on the tidea of consensus that produces a gommon goal. But this consensus hides the possibilities of acknowledging the dimension of the antagonism which the pluralism of values entails. The proze of consensus is often the denial of differences and conflicts. The concept of agonism is under consideration in political theory because the new plurality in communication. In this paper I am looking for the rhetorical roots of agonism in writingts of Nietzsche, and his influence on Hannah Arendt´s and Peter Sloterdjik´s thinking.

When Nietzsche in Homer´s Contest speaks about ”the birth of talent in competition”, he refers to Greek agonistic heroism. In addition to agonism, he also refert to antagonism between enemies and these are central concepts concerning public conflicts as well. Is it possible that antagonism can transform into agonism: in Hannah Arendt´s The Human Condition (1958) this is partially the interpretation of vita activa, as idea public life. The greeks understood rage and conflict in totally different way in a totally differenty world – as Peter Sloterdjik writes.

in Jelenkor Kiadó (ed) Erzéki tapasztalat és kritikai gondolkodas, Nietzsche-Symposion, Pecs 2012

continues here

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