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181. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Przemyslaw Krzywoszynski

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The paper presents a discussion of the theory and practice of direct democracy and its relation to a stable legal system and legalism. In contemporary theories of democracy, the most important factor in determining the proper functioning of this system is elections. The referendum is regarded as most popular institution of direct democracy. According many constitutionalists and theorists of democracy, the referendum is not an improvement to democratic rule because it is inherently simplistic and rejects compromise. It represents a danger to the state of law because it weakens constitutional controls, which can be shocking and frustrating to the people. In many cases, it can be used as a populist instrument to impose limitations on freedom. Also, groundbreaking applications of the referendum in the early 21st century pose serious problems for political and social life, so the political elites seek to avoid this procedure. Generally, they use arguments about the specialization of law, and arbitrarily decide about the use of the referendum. The main role of the referendum in contemporary democratic countries is no longer to allow for the expression of a dialogue between rulers and the governed in the law-making process. The contemporary situation can be described as a crisis of democracy, but we can also find symptoms of a new post-democratic era.
182. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Reima Launonen

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My paper will be an inquiry on the meaning and the role of political philosophy. Political philosophy has a different ambition than other fields of academic philosophical doctrines: it should create ideas and theories that go twofold ways; they have to be consistent enough to be considered as a sufficient moral theory of good society, but they also had to be in some ways politically relevant for actual societies. In my paper I claim that if one of these aspects is overemphasized then political philosophy will lose it credibility, either on political feasibility or as a philosophical academic doctrine. Therefore it seems that political philosophy is in the middle of Rawlsian conceptions of ideal and non-ideal theory. I claim that political philosophy should consist on at least these three elements; regulativity, reforming and reflectivity. These elements give political philosophy it contents as a eutopia model, in other words, model for a realistic good society.
183. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Luiz Bernardo Leite Araujo

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The article deals with the politics of secularism as an essential component of modern democracy, confronting the contributions of three major contemporary political philosophers about religion and public life. I present, first, Charles Taylor’s characterization of secularist regimes as attempts to secure the basic principles of the modern moral order. Next, I argue that John Rawls’s growing interest in the relation between religion and democracy led him to an even more inclusive view of public reason. Thirdly, I show that Jürgen Habermas preserves a distinction between faith and knowledge that proves essential to grasping the debate over the place of religion in the public sphere. All three thinkers are concerned with the appropriate forum for the basic political language of the secular state. In a nutshell, my interpretation highlights a much greater proximity between Habermas and Rawls regarding political justification, on the one hand, and between the former and Taylor concerning the normative basis for the secular state, on the other hand, than their various interventions seem to indicate.
184. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Joonas Leppänen

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The concept of radical democracy is a concept that is often used in an ambiguous way. There are a lot of theorists that are theorizing radical democracy, either outspokenly or labeled radical democrats by their peers. Regardless, there doesn’t seem to any consensus on what the concept of radical democracy entails and how it differs from any other conception of democracy. This lack of conceptional clarity leads to a situation where the radical in democracy is used only to add rhetorical strength to the concept as a whole. In this paper I will first present a couple of already existing different conceptions of radical democracy, they are not seen as definitions but are descriptive of similarities in the usage of the concept within different contextual frameworks. After this I will present what I find the most plausible usage of the concept which is radical democracy as difference. In this view radical democracy is viewed as a concept where difference is seen as the main constitutive feature of democracy, a view that ties this question to the agonism/deliberative democracy debate.
185. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Shaomeng Li

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Rawlsian framework is based on a cooperation model, which takes a democratic society as a cooperation system. Such a conception of democracy not only obscures the distinction between democracy and despotism; it also makes it hard to argue for the superiority of democracy over despotism. This article develops a different model, the competition model, to explain the historical development towards democracy and to justify democracy as a social order superior to despotism. I argue that once we adopt the competition model to understand democracy, its distinctive characters as well as its merits will fully bear out.
186. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Jan Mahoney

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A central concern for non-ideal theory is how to reconcile what political morality demands with what political reality permits. My view is that a liberal conception of religious freedom should be guided by this concern. In this paper I offer a brief defense of an egalitarian conception of religious freedom that takes non-ideal theory seriously. Many liberal accounts of religious freedom are framed in terms of American or European legal and political traditions and in this way are liable to suffer from a kind of parochialism. A non-ideal theory of religious freedom should have something useful to offer to transitional societies, including emerging democracies with Muslim majority populations and I try to show that an egalitarian conception of religious freedom is promising in this way.
187. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Plamen Makariev

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A framework derived from Jürgen Habermas’ Between Facts and Norms is utilized to address the question of how claims for minority rights, that emerge from ethical-political discourses, may receive public recognition. The major difficulty in this regard turns upon discrepancies between the interpretations of minority cultural needs by the members of a given community and interpretations of the same needs on the part of those outside of the community in question. I argue that the best way to assess across cultural “barriers” the credibility of the outcomes of substantive discourses does not involve minimizing requirements for their deliberativeness, as some recent publications claim, but rather strictly differentiating between the procedure and substance of the deliberation.
188. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Spiros Makris

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This paper attemps to point out the importance of the approach of Leo Strauss in the 21st century. The Straussian approach to the history of political thought requires the recovery of ancient knowledge of political things. And this is in turn requires the revival of classical political philosophy. Leo Strauss puts Ancient as Modern, approaching Modern as the philosophical foundation of Western decadence. For Leo Strauss, positivism and historicism led western civilization to relativism. The classical political philosophy discredited as anti-democratic and incompatible with modern natural science. Moral values were undermined by historical facts. Good and evil ceased to employ modern political philosophers and received by the discredited metaphysical field. Modern man surrendered to individualism, conformism and nihilism.
189. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Vicente Medina

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In this paper, it is argued that terrorism undermines the justification of perspective relativism. The cliché, “one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter,” is offered as an example of perspective relativism. Perspective relativists argue that moral principles and judgments have no universal moral import. Those who defend the cliché expression presuppose that the evaluation of terrorism is necessarily perspectival. For them, there are no morally objective differences, e.g., between deliberately killing combatants and deliberately killing innocent noncombatants. Yet there are morally objective differences between these two acts. While the first act might be justified, the second act is considered murder. Hence, the evaluation of terrorism is not necessarily perspectival. Therefore, in the face of the evil that terrorists bring about, it is argued that perspective relativists have a substantive burden of proof to show that there are no transcultural moral values.
190. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Naira Mkrtchyan

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The issue on the role of moral values in politics is among those ones which cause hot debates both in academic area and in everyday life. Some contemporary philosophical approaches on it not only enable or deprive politics with moral characteristics, but everyone in its own way carries out ‘the politics of morality’, which provide them with a necessary horizon to initiate the successful ‘import’ or ‘export’ of moral values at the different stages and the levels of politics. Morality and moral values paradoxically function in the relation to politics. They a) enable to keep political processes alive (for instance, the competition between different views in political processes), b) serve as an integrators of social life via political actions (for instance, the idea of social justice). But at the same time they can forbid the construction and constitution of social ‘body’ in political actions. In other words they prevent the main actors of political life from the coming to the agreement (relative unanimity) on the core values and always endanger the process of ordering of social coexistence.
191. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Jorge Moraes

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The purpose of the present work is to rethink the dichotomy between recognition and redistribution taking the current scenario of the European crisis as a critical resource. Initially, we will address the theme based on Nancy Fraser’s article titled “Social justice in the knowledge society.” Then we will try to demonstrate how the crisis’ vocabulary leads us to a moral background that breaks the dichotomy between the concepts of recognition and redistribution present in Fraser’s article. After that we will apply Lazzarato’s interpretation of Foucaldian category of power in order to understand the European crisis in terms of a structured exercise of power established by the creditor-debtor relationship. From this relationship placed in relief, one can resume Fraser’s concept of struggle for recognition in other perspective, now consonant with a transnational policy, in which the cultural background that accompanies the crisis arises as a result of a political strategy. In this sense, both struggles (for recognition and for redistribution) will be subordinated to the same political game.
192. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
María Inés Mudrovcic

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This paper attempts to show that in western late modern societies, in the absence of absolute foundations and the lack of a frame of meaning that opens new horizons of expectations, a political self-understanding of the present in terms of past, begins to emerge. This is possible because the major “catastrophes” of the twentieth century (the Holocaust, the Latin-American state terrorism, the GULAG, et cetera) have not established a rupture between past and present on the political plane. What I am trying to show here is that the kind of break between past and present made possible by events such as the French Revolution and the fall of the Soviet Union, took place because these events provoked political ruptures. Because the catastrophes of the 20th century did not break the political order which gave them birth (the modern secular state), they have created an order of time which, without leaving the future aside, feeds itself from the past which is read in the register of a memory code.
193. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Sergey A. Nizhnikov

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In this research, possible variants of the correlation between violence and non-violence in politics are revealed through the prism of N. Machiavelli’s works, especially Machiavelli’s idea (only the good political end justiies any means), Machiavellianism (the end justiies any means), humanistic (the good end can be achieved only by good methods), and pacifist (non-resistance to evil by force – L. Tolstoy) concepts. The basic difference between the specified variants of understanding the correlation between morality and politics is established. It is stressed that Machiavellianism cannot be named a policy at all, for such an activity is an extremely criminal offence. Machiavelli’s limited humanism can be relatively justified only at the stage of formation of the national states, but it is inadmissible in the globalizing world. The pacifist non-resistant variant is considered to be immoral. It is asserted that modern global problems, both international and domestic ones, can be solved only on the humanistic non-violence policy basis (non-resistance to evil by violence, which does not exclude resistance to evil by force and sometimes even requires it), whose principles are revealed in the “axial time” suggested by the world religions and philosophy as developed by I. Kant, F. Dostoevsky, M. Gandhi, M. L. King, etc.
194. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Alejandra Ríos Ramírez

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From the reconstruction of the approaches of Rodrigo Uprimny and Rajeev Bhargava on transitional justice models, it will be posed that the minimally decent society concept, coined by the second author, sheds new light on the discussions about better models to be implemented in societies with humanitarian crises. Intertwining the arguments of these authors could allow us to extend the scope of application of transitional justice to diverse contexts, say from dictatorship to democracy, from war to peace, or from a barbaric society to a minimally decent one.
195. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Bassam Romaya

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Throughout the past decade, philosophers (and others) have grappled with the idea that armed conflict in contemporary times has ushered in a new, transformative era of warfare, maintaining that the new phase introduces crucial differences that undermine existing frameworks for the ethical analysis of war. I argue that such differences are strikingly different from one in which older wars of the modern period took place (this includes wars up to the late 20th century). In this paper, I maintain that emergent properties of new wars frequently include the rise of intrastate identity-based conflicts, asymmetric warfare involving states and nonstate actors, high civilian to combatant death ratios, growing disregard for the laws of armed conflict, and increased use of irregular (or prohibited) war strategies and tactics, which may or may not include the use of new technologies. In my defense of the new war hypothesis, I discuss two additional (ontological) features. First, the blurring of distinctions across multiple categories (e.g., combatant vs. noncombatant, state vs. non-state actors, real-time vs. imagistic/theatrical war, state borders vs. unmarked/undeclared global war zones) that formerly characterized old wars, and second, the perpetual/ongoing nature of new wars.
196. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Debika Saha

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The idea of deliberative democracy is as old as democracy itself. Like democracy, it has its origin in Greece, in the fifth century B.C. To think democracy in terms of the deliberative ideal brings certain internal tensions in the ideal: tensions between procedural justification and the need for independent standards of judgment and reason; tensions between freedom and equality; and the tensions between its ideal and the actual conditions of pluralism and complexity in contemporary globalized societies. Resolving such tensions is a demanding issue for the present pluralistic democracy. Following Habermas and Rawls, the present paper will try to find out whether its proposed reforms can enrich and improve democratic practice and provide justice in contemporary social life.
197. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Jitendra Nath Sarker

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The aim of this paper is to justify the view that the intrusion of capitalism in democracy is not only undesirable; it is repugnant to the idea of self-government as well. I shall also bring to light in this context the historical background that has made the intrusion possible. Democracy as a social ideal based on moral values and its aim is to ensure the right to equality of all men. Capitalism on the other hand, is an economic view that denies financial equality of humans and as such it is a barrier on the way to install spiritual equality and dignity of them all. In spite of the fact the people of capitalist countries believe that to be liberal a democracy must have a capitalist market society. According to them, “liberal democracy and capitalism go together.”1 And it would be surprising to them if this close relation between the two were merely co-incidental. I would like to differ from the view and put forth historical evidence to prove that the combination of capitalism with democracy is a curse in the history of civilization.
198. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Paul Schollmeier

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Sophistry is alive and thrives. I argue that this less than venerable tradition modern and contemporary political philosophers continue to this day. I take Protagoras as the archetype sophist, and I show that John Stuart Mill, as does Protagoras, advocates happiness not in an ancient, rational, sense but in a sophistical, passional, sense. Despite their protestations, John Rawls and Robert Nozick continue to advocate a utilitarian happiness of a similar passional sort. The upshot of their sophistry is all too obvious in our present financial crises.
199. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Silvio Gabriel Serrano Nunes

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This paper aims to analyse the political thought of Theodore Beza (Latin ‘Theodorus Beza’, French ‘Théodore de Bèze’ or ‘de Besze’), focusing on his construction of a right of resistance to be exercised by the Huguenot party, that had him as one of the most prominent leaders of its cause. This right of resistance was based on an empowerment of the “lesser magistrates” and the “Estates-General” of France (and even in others political communities) to offer resistance against a tyrannical government. In his most important political written published in 1574 (the French version) “On the Right of Magistrates over their Subjects” (French “Du Droit des Magistrats sur leurs Sujets”), it is noticed an important fact to the history of the political thought that is the creation of the expression “fundamental laws” (French ‘lois fondamentales’), that in our current days in many countries is used as synonym of “Constitution”. Although the resemblances of the use of the expression, in Beza’s times it had a loose sense when compared with nowadays usage.
200. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Devrim Sezer

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This paper explores the moral and political implications of Euripides’s Medea. Drawing critically on Aristotle’s and Nietzsche’s readings of Euripidean tragedy, I will show that in his Medea, Euripides brings to the attention of his Athenian audience that the Greek democratic ideal of persuasion can also be used by a foreigner/woman in her demand for justice. In doing so, Euripides at once advocates the civilizing power of Athenian political life and its civic ideals, and demonstrates its limitations and injustices, in particular with regard to women and “barbarian” foreigners. But at the same time, Euripides also emphasises that the politics of revenge (and violence) initiated by Medea herself, in response to her failure to persuade her opponents through speech, demonstrates not only the error in her judgement (i.e., Aristotle’s concept of hamartia) but also the deeply wounded moral psychology of the oppressed and marginalised people. The paper finally examines the principal contributions of Euripides’s tragic storytelling to political theory with particular reference to the concepts of cruelty, compassion and “enlarged mentality.”