Of Language and Thought: American Political Discourse, Normative Reason, and Essentially Contested Concepts
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This dissertation analyzes progressive liberalism and neoliberalism as forms of normative reason that redefine specific political concepts, which are central to American liberalism – equality, liberty, the role of the State, and the pursuit of happiness. I contend that language is an important expression of normative reason. Language is how political reason and the norms accompanying it are expressed. I move through Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Barack Obama, exploring shifts in language and interpretations of political concepts through progressive liberal and neoliberal forms of normative reason. I argue that a tension emerges between progressive liberalism and neoliberalism, and a heterodoxy emerges. By understanding the language of progressive liberalism and neoliberalism, I argue that we can better understand the implications of this heterodox.
Valentine, Riley Clare, "Of Language and Thought: American Political Discourse, Normative Reason, and Essentially Contested Concepts" (2022). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 5966.
Available for download on Thursday, October 19, 2023