These notes are for students in Dr. Scott Moore's PHI 1305.

Charles Taylor, The Ethics of Authenticity

Important Terms and Concepts--Chapter 10: Against Fragmentation



fragmentation -- the state of affairs within which citizens find themselves increasingly less capable of forming a common purpose and carrying it out. As Taylor notes, "A fragmented society is one whose members find it harder and harder to identify with their political society as a community." (117)

politics as judicial review -- the notion and the ever-expanding practice of allowing the Judiciary (typically the Supreme Court) to make the most important political decisions within the nation-state. At its best, politics as judicial review recognizes certain laws and practices as unconstitutional (i.e., Brown v. Board of Education); at its worst, politics as judicial review constitutes the judicial usurpation of politics itself (the courts foreclose on the process of legislature debate and decision). Sandford v. Scott (the Dred Scott decision) is a clear example of judicial usurpation; opponents of unrestricted abortion see Roe v. Wade as another example.

advocacy politics -- single-issue political campaigns. Abortion, gay rights, military defense spending, and environmentalism are popular examples of advocacy politics.


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