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Public ThingsDemocracy in Disrepair$
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Bonnie Honig

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823276400

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823276400.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Thinging Out Loud

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Public Things
Author(s):

Bonnie Honig

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823276400.003.0001

This book examines democratic theory in the context of object relations and asks whether democracy might be constitutively dependent on public things. Drawing on D. W. Winnicott's object-relations theory, in which objects have seemingly magic powers of integration and adhesion, and Hannah Arendt's account of the work of homo faber, the book thinks out loud about things (or “things out loud”) and their contributions to democratic politics. It considers Winnicott's “transitional objects,” “holding environments,” “object permanence,” and “good enough” (m)others as well as Arendt's ideas about the durability and permanence that “things” bring to the contingency and flux of the human world of action. The basic argument is that democracy is rooted in common love for, antipathy to, and contestation of public things.

Keywords:   democratic theory, object relations, democracy, public things, D. W. Winnicott, Hannah Arendt, homo faber, democratic politics, transitional objects, object permanence

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