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The Changing Nature of the Public Sphere

Henry, Chris, MacKenzie, Iain (2023) The Changing Nature of the Public Sphere. Journal of Social and Political Philosophy, 2 (2). pp. 175-190. ISSN 2752-7514. E-ISSN 2752-7522. (doi:10.3366/jspp.2023.0056) (KAR id:101226)

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Can the public sphere be conceptualized in a manner that is non-reductive and inclusive? In this article, we survey the main literature on the public sphere and demonstrate that, despite apparent diversity, the dominant approaches to its conceptualization share the same 'matter and form' or hylomorphic assumptions. In challenging these assumptions, our aim is to demonstrate that it is the hylomorphic model of the public sphere that prevents non-reductive conceptualization of its essentially changing nature. Hylomorphic models of the public sphere, we argue, will never yield this result because they perpetuate established identities over emergent differences. We conclude that progress toward non-reductive and inclusive accounts of the public sphere would be best served by foregoing hylomorphic models in favour of ontogenetic ones, when thinking about the changing nature of the public sphere.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3366/jspp.2023.0056
Additional information: This is an Author's Manuscript version of an article that has been accepted for publication by Edinburgh University Press in the Journal of Social and Political Philosophy.
Uncontrolled keywords: Public sphere, counterpublics, Asen, Fraser, Warner, Simondon, poststructuralism
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Chris Henry
Date Deposited: 10 May 2023 15:59 UTC
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2023 09:47 UTC
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