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A Political Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois$
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Nick Bromell

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813174907

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813174907.001.0001

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“Honest and Earnest Criticism” as the “Soul of Democracy”

“Honest and Earnest Criticism” as the “Soul of Democracy”

Du Bois’s Style of Democratic Reasoning

Chapter:
(p.159) 6 “Honest and Earnest Criticism” as the “Soul of Democracy”
Source:
A Political Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois
Author(s):

Nick Bromell

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813174907.003.0007

Nick Bromell’s essay describes Du Bois’s rhetorical structure, which embodies the core principles of his theory of democracy and illuminates its implications for political theory. Du Bois argues against claims he disagrees with by acknowledging some validity in the position he is contesting, exposing that position’s incompleteness, and folding both his view and the opposite one into a more expansive whole. Du Bois presents such arguments as a model of democratic reasoning, which is situated and embodied, and is the soul of democracy. Du Bois also thinks of democratic reasoning as being situated and embodied, privileging the knowledge held by those who are least empowered, and suggesting that individual democratic reasoning must be aware of its limitations and its need to combine with the democratic reasoning of others.

Keywords:   W. E. B.Du Bois, democracy, racism, disenfranchisement, empowerment, political theory

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