ONLINE FIRST ARTICLES
Articles forthcoming in in this journal are available Online First prior to publication. More details about Online First and how to use and cite these articles can be found HERE
August 7, 2021
Homologies in Freud and Derrida
Civilization and the Death Drive
first published on August 7, 2021
Freud’s late works established the schema of a more or less inexorable civilizational course built around one drive—the death drive—despite his emphatic insistence on a dual structure of two drives. This schema became influential for Critical Theory and in a more subterranean way, also for decolonial thought, and has been widely invoked during the pandemic. It indicates the extent to which drive, destruction, and mastery have consolidated into a , which not only fails to be dislodged by but even informs Derrida’s readings of Freud. Instead, we have to be attentive to the play of homology in Freud as of life, psyche, and civilization, as archaic inheritance. Freudian homology distinguishes itself from what Derrida called “genealogical drive.” The Freudian assumptions in this regard need to be addressed in a step beyond which works with a concept of origin—as its own interruption—that can neither comprehend nor deconstruct the concept of origin as a single and perpetually active homological power as is to be found in Freud.
April 7, 2021
David M. Rasmussen
Reflections on Citizen of the World
first published on April 7, 2021
In my reflections on Peter Kemp’s Citizen of the World I first consider the link between cosmopolitanism and globalization. Second, I examine the historical analysis of the phenomenon of cosmopolitanism following it from its origins in ancient Greece to its manifestation in our contemporary world. Third, I reflect on the way in which cosmopolitanism can become the hermeneutic basis for a philosophy of education, the principal claim of the book.
April 2, 2021
The World Citizen and Democracy
An Eco-ethical Perspective
first published on April 2, 2021
A number of devastating disasters have occurred in Japan since 2017, including heavy rains, wide ranging floods, a large typhoon, earthquakes, and landslides. Such disasters are beyond our imagination and our scientific assumptions. All of these come from global warming, which comes from human economic activities with CO2 emissions. There are interdependencies around the globe, between sea and land, ocean and air currents, and so on. In the twentieth century, we pushed technological innovation to conquer nature, but it only partly succeeded—and was actually almost in vain. We must recognize that human beings are a part of nature and must rethink our attitude towards nature. As citizens of the world, human beings must have a keen sensibility to find new virtue, “living together on the same globe.” It is the new ideal beyond boundaries and beyond differences between the rich and the poor, looking for the possibility of democracy.
March 31, 2021
Manuel B. Dy, Jr.
Confucius’s and Peter Kemp’s Philosophies of Education
first published on March 31, 2021
The intent of this article is not to compare the philosophies of education of Confucius and Peter Kemp but to draw out what is perennial in Confucius’s philosophy of education and bring it to the contemporary context in Peter Kemp’s philosophy of education. The first part deals with Confucius’s teachings on education. The second part highlights Peter Kemp’s philosophy of education, the context of which is globalization and its dangers. The synthesis of both philosophies would mean that education is a right that everyone is entitled to, that education is basically cultivation of character more than instruction, that the virtues of ren, righteousness, wisdom, and propriety can be adapted and applied to the demands of global citizenship. The method of teaching can be both dialogical (Confucius) and democratic (Kemp) when the teacher is passionate, engaged, knowledgeable of issues, caring for students, and an exemplar of what she teachers.
S’engager dans un monde complexe
Quels défis pour la philosophie morale?
first published on March 31, 2021
In this article, I propose to question under what conditions an act of engagement can take place for causes that escape our immediate perception (in a phenomenological way), even though our hypermodern lifestyles are ambivalent: they allow us to open up to the world through information technology, but they also close us to our own subjective spheres. In the digital age, access to information is indeed becoming more and more personalized and dependent on algorithmic recommendation logics. The more we create cognitive bubbles, the more we make it difficult to access a common world, as well as to get morally involved in distant causes.
March 24, 2021
Engaging Philosophically with Immaterial Poverties
first published on March 24, 2021
This article focuses on the extremely poor, on those who, if they are to live decent lives, are most in need of assistance. Like those suffering today from extremely severe famine in Yemen and elsewhere, very many of those suffering from extreme poverty will die not only prematurely; probably they will die before the end of the year. They will die if, among many others, thoughtful and resourceful persons including some philosophers continue to fail to engage themselves to assist them. My aim is to underline several of the philosophical elements in some recent discussions of both monetary and non-monetary extreme poverty. With these elements freshly in view, I would then like to examine critically yet constructively the most salient ones from the perspective of a certain understanding of the cardinal notion of ethical engagement. I will conclude with a summary of the main argument and a formulation of several key questions which still need further reflective discussion today.
Education et contre-éducation dans les démocraties constitutionnelles
first published on March 24, 2021
This contribution presents the idea that the functioning of modern democracy implies a reciprocal education of the governed and those who govern, of public opinion and the political class, within the framework of the rule of law. Such reciprocal interaction is a prerequisite for the development of a collective intelligence (phronesis) that make the achievement of sound political decisions possible. However, the democratic process develops in such a way that it also generates counter-educational effects. This is due to the fact that the same process includes a contest for power that arouses antisocial feelings and achieves a kind of counter-education. One of the reasons for this ambivalence lies in the way in which political parties operate: they are both laboratories for the development and implementation of collective projects and instruments for the conquest and exercise of power. A similar ambivalence characterizes the role of states at the level of international relations concerning the handling of global problems. What is at stake is the possibility of dealing in a sensible way with problems that, at both the national and international levels, can only be solved through concerted and cooperative action.
March 23, 2021
The Peculiarities of Nations
first published on March 23, 2021
In the evolving relationship between the European Union and its member states, the evolution of a democratic deficit at the European level has become increasingly manifest and problematic. EU remains a polity in which the nation-state remains the repository of democratic legitimacy, while EU-wide rule-making and decision-making are vested with institutions lacking democratic accountability. At the core of the problem are the persistent peculiarities of European nation-states, in this case, the reluctance of successful nation-states like Sweden and Denmark to concede democratic power and legitimacy to a common European polity. Remembering a conversation with Peter Kemp.
March 18, 2021
Speaking of Derrida in Turkey
Secularism and Anti-Secularism
first published on March 18, 2021
This article takes up Derrida’s discussion of secularism as a development in Western Christian tradition and history and in his deconstruction of the opposition between secular and religious in “Faith and Knowledge: Two Sources of “Religion”at the Limits of Reason Alone.” What are the implications of Derrida’s discussion of originary faith in Turkey that has a majority of Muslim population, and a history of modernization and secularization? Should Turkey renounce secularism in education because it is not “really” part of its own tradition? Is a secular school system an oppressive institution for people born in a Muslim family because it alienates children from their own cultural traditions? I refer to Derrida’s deconstruction of identity, his discussion of tele-technology, return of the religious, auto-immunity, and sovereignty to find answers to such questions. I think they give us valuable insights to construe a Derridean response to the present problems, even though I am also critical about Derrida’s failure to acknowledge the need for universal secular norms in school education.
March 17, 2021
Jacob Dahl Rendtorff
From Philosophy of Technology to Bioethics and Biolaw
Challenges to Peter Kemp’s Ethics of the Irreplaceable
first published on March 17, 2021
This article is based on an exchange between Peter Kemp and Jacob Dahl Rendtorff on the occasion of Peter Kemp’s seventieth birthday in 2007. It presents the development of Kemp’s ethical philosophy from his philosophy of technology and technology ethics to his philosophy of bioethics and biolaw. It also discusses Kemp’s relation to Existentialism, hermeneutics, phenomenology, and Marxism with the development of a critical hermeneutic philosophy of engagement. This is related to Kemp’s work on humanistic ethics of technology in his book on the ethics of the irreplaceable. The article presents Kemp’s long discussion with Paul Ricœur about the ethics of the good life and about narrative ethics. Finally, it elaborates on the bioethical turn towards an ethics for the living world and discusses the role of basic ethical principles of autonomy, dignity, integrity, and vulnerability in relation to cosmopolitan and global responsibility for sustainability and humanity.
March 12, 2021
Bengt Kristensson Uggla
Citizen of the World
Peter Kemp and the Hermeneutics of the Cosmopolitan Self
first published on March 12, 2021
This text is dedicated to the memory of Peter Kemp (1937–2018) and his later philosophical project cultivating citizens of the world as a response to globalization. Inspired by Grundtvig, he developed world-citizenship from a post-post-national perspective, combining the aim for the equality of the people with equality of all mankind. In this presentation, Kemp is recognized as a “struggling” philosopher according to Ricoeur’s critical hermeneutics. As a horizon of understanding, the author brings in a discussion on the anthropological deficit of the new competition state (Ove Kaj Pedersen), generated by the shift from a moral determination of the self to an opportunistic economic man wholly motivated by self-interest and utility maximization. Conclusively, it is being argued that Kemp’s way of introducing Ricoeur into the field of education, by transforming his hermeneutics of the self into a hermeneutics of the cosmopolitan self, has simultaneously revealed how much Ricoeur is a profound universalistic thinker.
March 11, 2021
Theology, Phenomenology, and the Retrieval of Experience
A Homage to Peter Kemp
first published on March 11, 2021
Inspired by the contemporary Danish philosopher Dorthe Jørgensen, this article engages in a re-reading of Peter Kemp’s 1973 dissertation Théorie de l’engagement with a view to exploring its persisting theological value. After briefly revisiting its main argument, I turn in the following section to a discussion of its way of relating phenomenology and theology in terms of shortcomings as well as possibilities. In the concluding section, I bring together Kemp and Jørgensen and offer a reflection on what theology could and should be and why I believe that it still has a significant role to play in academia as well as in the wider culture. In particular, I argue that phenomenological theology—with its long tradition of reflecting on mythopoetic language—is particularly well-suited to provide a cultural hermeneutics of relevance not only for practicing religious people but also for a broader audience in a culture that is still to a high degree immersed in biblical imagery.
June 3, 2020
Cosmopolitanism and Democracy
Eco-ethical Reflections on Human Acts
first published on June 3, 2020
According to Eco-ethica, our circumstances have a triple structure: 1)Nature, 2)Technological Conjuncture, and 3)Culture. In the twenty-first century we face the crisis of a global warming. It is because of human activities that create technological conjuncture: a diminishing time-process that aims at economic effects. Climate change is a cosmopolitan problem because it easily transcends boundaries. Practices must be subject to not only political regulation to promote public awareness, but also to individual consciousness-raising of personal responsibilities. Democracy must be rethought in order to promote joining the public and individuals to become World Citizens. In this information-society, Big Data must be available for everyone equally and freely. There is a social difference between rich and poor. Tocqueville suggested that rich citizens in a democracy are necessarily supported by the poor.
Critique, participation et démocratie
Et si on demandait l’avis des citoyens ?
first published on June 3, 2020
The problem of interdependence is crucial for understanding the climate, with its interactions between land, water, and atmosphere, as well as with human activities, past and future. The concept of interdependence expresses two types of relationship, that of causality and that of responsibility. For the problems of climate governance as understood as a statistical average in the Conferences of the parties (COP), causal dependence is impossible to reconstruct precisely, notably because of the complexity of these phenomena. However, dependence does not only concern the domain of being, falling within the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the human descriptive predictive. It also concerns the ought-to-be and therefore the normative sciences (ethics, political theory, law, and normative economy). Here interdependence is much more problematic since it is opposed to freedom. This article discusses the various interdependencies and political solutions that are offered to take care of this needs, architectures for discussing climate change politically: systems (N. Luhmann) and deliberation (J. Habermas). It then proposes another solution, that of moral and political consideration.
Truth in Education and Science
The Central Idea of the University
first published on June 3, 2020
The growing number of universities today makes it relevant to consider again the idea of the university. Consulting the classics of the discussion, I argue that we must retain the idealist notions of knowledge, science and truth professed by Newman in his argument for liberal education, although he neglects the possible corruption of the university faculty. The problem of corruption is recognized by Jaspers, criticizing all idealist notions and leaving science and scholarship to rely only on existential commitment. The problem for both classics, however, is that they conceive of academic freedom in an all-too individualist way. Instead, I argue that the idea of the academic republic should be taken seriously, i.e., that a contemporary idea of the university must include suggestions for university government comprising institutional checks and balances. Only such a constitutional notion of academic freedom may counter neo-liberal reification of higher education, science, and scholarship.
June 2, 2020
Jacob Dahl Rendtorff
Engagement for Freedom
Jean-Paul Sartre’s Concept of the Political Self
first published on June 2, 2020
This article presents Jean-Paul Sartre’s concept of the tension between existence and politics and the role of political commitment in existentialist philosophy. Based on Sartre’s concept of engagement, the article analyzes the transition from the personal to the political perceived as a movement from personal moral consciousness to the awareness of the importance of the individual as a social actor and citizen in society. Sartre’s concept of political engagement can be characterized as critical intellectual commitment and “Socratic Citizenship.” Accordingly, this article is also an acknowledgment of the two important philosophers of ecoethica, Tomonbu Imamichi and Peter Kemp, both committed public intellectuals who said that the role of the philosopher is to contribute to the public affair of cosmopolitan society. Thus, the article presents the political engagement in four major parts: (1) From the existential to political engagement, (2) Political commitment as a struggle for human freedom, (3) The Socratic Citizenship, and (4). Conditions of authentic political action. Political engagement represents an effort to realize the respect owed to each individual as a universal singular, as well as that owed to freedom and democracy in the Kingdom of Ends.
Refugees in an Age of Anger
Why the “Developed” World Should Help to Clean Up the Messes That Have Led the Refugees to Flee, and How to Welcome Refugees Without Provoking a Backlash
first published on June 2, 2020
In this paper, I will first argue that the refugee crises in Europe and along the southern border of the United States are the direct result of colonial and neo-colonial politics. The nations that have caused the problems, therefore, have a moral responsibility first to accept refugees and then to work to fix the problems they created. The nations that are responsible for the problems should work to fix them so that the refugees can return home. We will also see that at times, for example in the case of Central America, the problems first-world people are facing are directly tied to the problems that are making refugees flee. In the second part of the paper, I will argue that there are good reasons to think that Western nations can accept more refugees without creating a xenophobic backlash if they work to address the problems that their own citizens are facing.
Poor No More? Eco-Ethica and a Philosophy of Development
first published on June 2, 2020
This article’s aim is to promote further critical discussions on sustainable development and its philosophical presuppositions. The focus is on the first of the United Nations’ 2000 Millennium Development Goals and its 2015 Sustained Development Goals: the eradication of poverty. In this regard, one important question here is just what “a philosophy of development” should look cular, the article raises issues about the coherence of a global philosophy of development and the often exaggerated roles of the understandings of development in exclusively economic terms. Alternative proposals are then indicated. A final section examines the idea of a more narrow understanding of philosophies of development in terms of key elements in the eco-ethical proposal such as the stratified social subject. Imamichi’s eco-ethica provides indispensable descriptions of current global contexts in terms of now unprecedented globally interconnected informational and communications technologies (“the technological conjuncture”).
Publicness in the Confucian Sense and the Scholar-Gentry Spirit
first published on June 2, 2020
The purpose of the present study is twofold. The first is to reveal the unique significance on publicness in the Confucian 儒家 tradition. In order to achieve this, Confucian philosophical documents that explain the state 國 (guo) and the family 家 (jia), and loyalty 忠 (zhong) and filial piety 孝 (xiao) as continuous relationships will be analyzed. The second is to elucidate that the most important principle for maintaining the Confucian distinction between the public and the private, or publicness in the Confucian sense, is the scholar-gentry 士 (shi) spirit. In order to achieve this, the significance of uprightness 直 (zhi) and conducting oneself with reverence 居敬 (jujing), which are central to the scholar-gentry spirit, will be translated into contemporary terms and, furthermore, the possibility of Confucian existentialism will be explored. The final point of the present study is that the condition for the inheritance of the Confucian concept of publicness in modern culture must be found in the possibility of Confucian existentialism.
May 29, 2020
Manuel B. Dy, Jr.
Civil Society as Public Space and Democratic Participation
The Philippine Experience
first published on May 29, 2020
This paper attempts to show how civil society has served as public space and democratic participation in a society, in particular in Philippine society. It consists of three parts. The first part tries to delineate what constitutes civil society. The second part discusses the antinomies of elite democracy and participatory democracy, of rights-oriented liberalism and communitarianism, of welfare state and free market, and how civil society answers these antinomies. The third part surveys the role of civil society as public space and democratic participation in Philippine society. The paper concludes with the challenges in the context of the new dictatorial regime of President Rodrigo Duterte.
May 28, 2020
Bengt Kristensson Uggla
Philosophy and Commitment
Peter Kemp and the Public Space
first published on May 28, 2020
This article is dedicated to the memory of Peter Kemp (1937–2018), whose extraordinary influence since the 1960s as an academic scholar and public intellectual transformed the Scandinavian philosophical scene in the post-analytic period. His contributions are viewed in the light of a rich biographical context, from his 1973 doctoral defense and his unflagging commitment as a teacher and author to his continued critique of narrow philosophical perspectives. I emphasize the unparalleled success of Kemp in addressing and challenging both the broader society and its constituent elements of political leadership, public administration, and the business community. Finally, I show the impact of his personal life on his aim to link critical thinking and conviction in developing a philosophical commitment. In this way, as in general, Peter Kemp not only followed in the footsteps of, but also continued, Paul Ricoeur’s project.
La philosophie comme profession et la participation démocratique dans la pensée politique d’Eric Weil
first published on May 28, 2020
This article deals with the relationship between the practice of philosophy as a profession and democratic participation. It examines the way this relationship is treated in Eric Weil’s political thought as part of a reflection on the meaning of political action and philosophy’s educational function. The analysis places the philosophical education that teaches critical reflection and dialogue within the context of the conflicts specific to modern societies, while emphasizing that these conflicts generate feelings of injustice and nonsense. In this view, philosophical training must help develop these feelings into a coherent discourse. The ability to develop a coherent discourse on justice and meaning is necessary for members of constitutional democracies to move from mere revolt to political action properly speaking.
Confronting Domestic Violence in Turkey
Feminism and the Public Space
first published on May 28, 2020
In this paper, I discuss how Turkish feminists have approached the phenomenon of male violence in Turkey as a political problem by following the feminist precept that the private is public. In the last twenty years, feminist activists in media have made male violence increasingly visible, by criticizing the framing of femicides as fatalities of jealousy and love. I argue that Turkish feminists do not consider male violence as just a “situation” or a structure of “oppression.” They problematize it as systematic political violence, which calls for a critique of the anti-feminist state policies that restitute masculine supremacy by the promotion of patriarchal values. The political consolidation of masculinity by the rejection of gender equality is a key aspect of authoritarianism. Turkish government does not frame domestic violence as a women’s problem but as a family problem. In contrast, feminist arguments invite the government to confront domestic violence as male violence. I suggest that the male violence that women experience in Turkey can be seen as a manifestation of bio-power at the age of the crisis of neo-liberalism.
April 30, 2020
Christianity and Crisis
Uses and Abuses of Religion in Modern Europe
first published on April 30, 2020
This article examines how European narratives of crisis have been related to religion in different periods by different factions and with varying purposes. It first takes a look at some tendencies in the pre- and interwar era, during which religion was used both as part of a conservative, nationalistic narrative of crisis and as part of a progressive anti-nationalistic narrative of crisis. Secondly, it revisits some of the post-war debates, in which religion—or the biblical legacy—was commonly depicted as the root of the ideological perversions that had caused Europe’s recent crises. Yet at the same time, religion was also laid claim to as a constructive force in the building of post-war Europe, not least by the founding fathers of the European Union. Thirdly, the paper seeks to map the contemporary European landscape with regard to religion in various political and cultural discourses. Like in previous eras, religion is today laid claim to for various and often conflicting purposes. Against this backdrop, the paper ends by briefly pondering the critical role of theology in contemporary Europe.
March 27, 2020
Citizenship and the Right of Entry into the Public Sphere
first published on March 27, 2020
The emergence of citizenship out of subjecthood at the end of the eighteenth century presented a series of problems for which the United States, among other countries, seems to have been unprepared: it was unclear who qualified for citizenship, what privileges it afforded, and what duties it demanded. Nevertheless, this uncertainty could be manipulated pragmatically to take advantage of any given situation without regard for consistency or future implications. By examining the obstacles placed on the path to citizenship of Native Americans, African Americans, women, and Chinese Americans, this article shows how the (non-)category of the non-citizen was weaponized. Indeed the mistreatment of non-citizens becomes the best indication of the value of citizenship.
November 7, 2018
Der Mensch, die Anderen und das In-Bezug-sein
first published on November 7, 2018
Given an ethic of interdependence in the different dimensions between global and interpersonal/individual, the article focuses on the individual human being under the guiding principle of interdependencies. Apart from blocking interdependencies, primarily promoting interdependencies are exhibited. That means those that awake and promote the creative abilities, and enable individuals to introduce their original values and norms into existing moral contexts and also to change them. The thesis examines the effect of interdependencies in an inner-individual (and ultimately also in interpersonal) dimension. With respect to border cases a new and unusual value setting emerges which requires an approach that justifies a temporal dependency. Accordingly, referring to the individual, the question is: How can values and standards emerge in the moral context that differ from the established ones? How can new values be initiated in violation of prevailing values, which are regarded as first and mute values which rely on other actors and listeners who respond to and accept them?
October 25, 2018
Ethics, the Interdependence of Persons, and Relationality
first published on October 25, 2018
Fundamentally, ethics may be understood as having to do with what and who acting persons are. Persons, however, act variously. Some persons are basically individualists. They characteristically act as if they are as wholly independent as possible from other persons. Other persons are collectivists. They act as if they are as much a dependent part of some larger community of persons as possible. Accordingly, one cardinal issue for any philosophical ethics is whether almost all persons are, fundamentally, independent entities. That is, are almost all persons independent entities, or are almost all persons dependent ones? The idea I pursue here briefly is that, fundamentally, persons are neither independent nor dependent entities but interdependent ones. They are so in the senses of not being essentially prior to, or not being ontologically more basic than, or not having their ontological identity apart from other persons.
October 23, 2018
Manuel B. Dy, Jr.
An Ethics of Interdependence in the Doctrine of the Mean
first published on October 23, 2018
This paper attempts to derive an ethics of interdependence in the Chung Yung, the Doctrine of the Mean. The Doctrine of the Mean, one of the Four Books of Confucianism often paired with the Great Learning, Ta Hsueh, is considered a patchwork of at least two separate writings. While the title indicates the topic to be the Doctrine of the Mean, analogous to the Aristotelian Mean, the latter half of the treatise discusses another topic, Cheng, translated often as sincerity, truth, or reality. On closer reading, however, and emphasizing the second character Yung, meaning “practice” or “common,” one can discover the ethical implications of the treatise. The first part presents the main ideas of the treatise, and the second shows the logical movement of these ideas to come up with an ethics of interdependence: interdependence of self and others, of self and things, and of self and Heaven and Earth.
October 18, 2018
Interdependence in Confucian World View
From the Idea of Fengjing (Landscape)
first published on October 18, 2018
The Chinese counterpart of ‘landscape’ is fengjing 風景. This word is based on the three semantic elements: wind, light, and seeing. I will trace below the philosophical implications of the three key sememes of the word fengjing in the perspective of comparative philosophy. The purpose of such a task lies, on the one hand, in evoking the aesthetics of fengjing dormant in the East Asian tradition and, on the other hand, in presenting a new model of interdependence that can stimulate environment-friendly ethical imagination.
October 17, 2018
Jacob Dahl Rendtorff
Interdépendance éthique et pratiques politiques de résilience à l’âge de l’Anthropocène
first published on October 17, 2018
This article discusses the ethical interdependence and political practice in the age of the Anthropocene. The article presents the work on this topic by Bruno Latour in his discussions of social constructivism in relation to the political philosophy of the Anthropocene. With Latour we can perceive the emergence of a new form of geopolitics where the earth and its nature has become a field of politics. Politics has become climate change politics and the political hypermodernity is forced to integrate nature in the ethics and politics of our time. Therefore the age of the Anthropocene implies the emergence of a new form of international governance. Resilience politics in the age of the Anthropocene opens for a new responsibility for climate change that moves beyond the technological understandings of modernity because humanity is situated in the center of the earth in interdependence with nature and culture.
October 13, 2018
Reflections on the Nature of Populism and the Fragility of Democracy
Democracy in Crisis
first published on October 13, 2018
This paper takes its point of departure from a prior reflection on John Rawls’ argument for a two-stage model which shelters the political from immediate contestation. I turn to an examination of populism first from an historical and then from a normative perspective. Historically, populism can be traced to early Roman times, while from a normative point of view, as the literature shows, populism lacks a clear definition. In my view this is derived from its essentially parasitical function in relationship to democracy. In the end, populism, which claims to be grounded on the immediacy of conflict, is exposed as a remnant of a pre-democratic past which does not and cannot accommodate itself to the ‘fact of pluralism’ that characterizes our contemporary democratic situation.
October 10, 2018
Ein neuer Begriff von Individualität im Anschluss an Wilhelm von Humboldt als Grundlage für eine Ethik der Individualtät
first published on October 10, 2018
This paper takes Wilhelm von Humboldt seriously—as a philosopher. It does so by exploring Humboldt’s central notion of “Individuum/Individualität,” which does not coincide with the philosophical usage of “individual/individuality” in English. It is closer related to Leibniz’s notion of the “monad,” being characterized by infinity, totality and ineffability. Humboldt’s focus on the philosophical role of language does not primarily aim at an analysis of the system(s) of language(s), but rather at an hermeneutical investigation of actual thinking and speaking among thinking and speaking individuals, every one of them being characterized by infinity, totality and ineffability. This analysis eventually leads to a new approach to ethics. It circumscribes an ethics without universal truths, guided by the respect of the words of the others even if we cannot ever fully understand them. But it is necessarily their words which co-constitute our mentally framed perception of the world.
October 9, 2018
Social Bond and Solidarity
first published on October 9, 2018
The social and political problem of immigration forces us to reflect on ethical issues such as the relation of responding and bonding across sharp differences, the role that moral values play in relating to the other, and the possibility of solidarity as a way of being responsible for the others with whom we do not have any ready-made social bond. I take Levinas's notion of the ethical relation with the other as a primal society from which the third is not excluded, as a starting point for thinking of social bond as solidarity. I argue that it allows for ethical social bond making in situations determined by bio-power; even in situations in which people are depersonalized and deprived of their right to rights, and of their ethical agency. I propose that the bond of solidarity with the immigrant can be a model for the ethical social bond.
October 6, 2018
Architecture politique de l’interdépendance climatique
système, délibération, considération ou responsabilité?
first published on October 6, 2018
The problem of interdependence is crucial for understanding the climate, with its interactions between land, water and atmosphere, as well as with human activities, past and future. The concept of interdependence expresses two types of relationship, that of causality and that of responsibility. For the problems of climate governance as understood as a statistical average in the Conferences of the parties (COP), causal dependence is impossible to reconstruct precisely, notably because of the complexity of these phenomenons. However, dependence does not only concern the domain of being, falling within the natural sciences and social sciences and human descriptivo-predictive. It also concerns the ought-to-be and therefore the normative sciences (ethics, political thery, law and normative economy). Here interdependence is much more problematic since it is opposed to freedom. The article discusses the various interdependencies and political solutions that are offered to take care of this needs, architectures for discussing climate change politically: systems (N. Luhmann) and deliberation (J. Habermas). He proposes then another solution, that of the moral and political consediration.
October 5, 2018
Phänomenologische Interpretation der Phronesis bei Aristoteles
first published on October 5, 2018
It is the aim of this paper to develop the phenomenology of phronesis through a phenomenological interpretation of Aristotle’s theory of phronesis by employing different kinds of phenomenological reductions. In section 1, I will show that phenomenological reduction is identical with a change of attitude and that we have to employ different kinds of phenomenological reductions in order to interpret Aristotle’s theory of phronesis phenomenologically. In section 2, employing different kinds of phenomenological reductions, I will attempt to develop the phenomenological psychology of phronesis through a phenomenological interpretation of Aristotle’s theory of phronesis. In section 3, employing different kinds of intersubjective reductions, I will clarify intersubjective aspects of phronesis. In section 4, adopting these insights, I will try to resolve two of the many difficulties of Aristotle’s theory of phronesis. In section 5, I will conclude with two remarks concerning the future tasks of the phenomenology of phronesis.
August 8, 2018
Interdependence and the Biblical Legacy of Anthropocentrism
On Human Destructiveness and Human Responsibility
first published on August 8, 2018
This article engages with the biblical legacy of anthropomorphism from a contemporary perspective. First, it revisits the biblical creation myth and questions the deeply ingrained notion that what it offers is an account of ‘creation out of nothingness.’ Second, this rereading is followed by a closer look at how this particular theology was elaborated by Hans Jonas in his philosophy of life. In the final part of the paper, Jonas’s philosophy of responsibility is linked to a reflection on humanity’s unique capacity for destruction and self-destruction. Contrary to much of contemporary posthumanism, it is argued that a recognition of the interdependence between the human and the non-human worlds must never be a matter of erasing the distinction between them, since such a blurring of distinctions runs the risk of overshadowing the uniqueness of human destructiveness and thereby of undermining a serious discussion of human responsibility.