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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 23, Issue 3, 2013
Universal Dialogue

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Displaying: 1-11 of 11 documents

1. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Charles S. Brown, Małgorzata Czarnocka Universal Dialogue
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ontic roots of dialogue
2. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
John Rensenbrink Dialogue and Being—an Ontological Investigation
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This essay affirms the proposition that dialogue emerges from being itself. There are five parts: being and nature; how it follows that dialogue emerges from being itself; full dialogue; why it is that dialogue has faltered; and ground for optimism, given the noticeable turn in recent decades to an ontology of relationship. We, the human species, are part of nature. We are part of an evolutionary development. The full comprehension of this reality leads to critique of the separation between nature and supra-nature in the ontology of ancient Green philosophers and of Christian, Judaic, and Muslim religions—a separation that posits the hierarchic superiority and dominance of the Idea as in Plato and of God in the religions, replacing the unity of spirit and nature in the earlier animistic religions. Nor has the ascendance of mechanistic modernity in the work of Bacon, Descartes, Newton and their heirs to this day changed the separation. The Cartesianformulation of “I think therefore I am” backed up by the notion of a deistic first mover, scraped nature clean of spiritual and moral qualities and made it open to industrial exploitation, resource extraction, and degradation. Einstein and the quantum theorists who developed his breakthroughs led science to a new view of nature as a world of internal relations. This provides scope and substance for re-thinking nature as revealing multiple sets of interactive relationships. Interactive relationships are the ground for the gradual development of dialogue. The older ontologies of separation had little scope or support for dialogue since the dominating style and substance of relationship was consumed in patterns and styles of command and obedience. The new ontology of relationship reveals and fosters the reality of interactive communication and dialogue. Full dialogue is a mutual awareness and authentication of each other’s lived being leading todeeper and deeper levels of successful understanding and action together. Yet dialogue has had to take a back seat for much of human history since the emergence of stratified and hierarchical agrarian societies capped in recent centuries by industrial command structures and technologically advanced warfare. But the new understanding of nature and of its multiple interactive relationships is making significant headway and there is ground for optimism that dialogue will at some point come fully into its own.
3. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Marian Hillar What Does Modern Science Say about the Origin of Cooperation? Science Confirms Philosophy
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During the last decades evolutionary science has made significance progress in the elucidation of the process of human evolution and especially of human behavioral characteristics. These themes were traditionally subjects of inquiry in philosophy and theology. Already Darwin suggested an evolutionary and biological basis for moral sense or conscience, and answered Kant’s question about the origin of the moral rules postulated by philosophers. This article reviews the current status of such investigations by natural scientists, biologists and psychologists, and compares their models for explanation of human moral behavior with those postulated by philosophers. Today natural scientists postulate cooperation as the third element of evolutionary process after mutations and natural selection. They seem to fully confirm the intuition of philosophers. The thesis on the fundamental status of cooperation in the entire animal world leads to a belief concerning dialogue: dialogue, rooted in a sense in cooperation, is a primary men’s capability, being emerged from the biological essence of humans. Thus the examination of cooperation reveals inter alia biological foundations of dialogue.
dialogue and universality
4. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Kevin M. Brien A Meditation on Universal Dialogue
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This meditation is a series of reflections about some milestones along my philosophical journey that concern universals, universal definitions, claims to universal moral principles, and universal dialogue. It begins with a focus on the Socratic search for universal definitions of general terms; and it continues with a look at the way my discovery of non-Euclidean geometries began to challenge my attitude toward the possibility of universal definitions of all general terms. Along the way I bring out how Wittgenstein’s notion of “family resemblances” added to this challenge. The meditation continues with reflections on Kant’s attempts to make a case for a universal and unconditional moral imperative. Following this I sketch a counter-case that the concrete human being gets lost in a haze of Kantian abstraction. These reflections bring out the clear conceptual linkage between the “abstract universal” and the “external relation” as canons ofinterpretation.The meditation then makes a shift to some later milestones on my journey, beginning with reflection on the “concrete universal” and the “internal relation” as alternative canons of interpretation. I try to illustrate how Marx critically appropriated Hegel’s view of these canons via discussion of Marx’s notion of “praxis;” and then go on to adopt these canons of interpretation throughout the rest of the meditation. Employing these canons of interpretation, and with Aristotle’s very broad understanding of the term “politics” in mind, I construe universal dialogue to be a mode of discourse oriented toward the development of a new “politics of the global village” that could cultivate the practice of concretely relating to the other person as a person. Inasmuch as Aristotle construed “politics” as involving a developed ethics as well as a “science of society” (in addition to what westerners currently mean by the term), the meditation proceeds with a preliminary sketch of these two dimensions of a new “politics of the global village.”My meditation goes on to suggest a fundamental ethical principle (contrasting it with Kant’s moral imperative) that could be concretely and universally adopted by all people, and that could guide universal dialogue. The meditation continues with a sketch of a philosophical reconstruction of a humanistic Marxist “science of society,” and integrates the fundamental ethical principle with it. This sketch is basically a philosophical clarification of Marx’s theory of cultural evolution that brings into play the key role of the concrete universal and the internal relation as fundamental canons of interpretation. The meditation concludes with an argument that universal dialogue on the part of a very wide spectrum of ordinary people, as well as specialists, is the sine qua non for any hope of transforming the secular basis of human societies in the direction of social justice, as all of humanity faces the daunting crises that loom throughout planet Earth.
dialogue and the problem of man
5. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Janusz Kuczyński Dialogue and the Human Being as Homo Creator
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This essay outlines my view on the anthropic conditions of authentic dialogue. In my opinion dialogue as such can be pursued only by people endowed with specific qualities and enjoying maximal fulfilment as human beings: people who are creative, who have an active attitude towards themselves and the world, who do not feel estranged from it but are united with it, and for whom the world is neither alien nor hostile, people who are free and responsible. These anthropic conditions of dialogue are connected with the herein-postulated image of human nature, whereby human nature is not only bound to the world by social relations but is co-created by the world, simultaneously retaining its subjective, individual dimension. In this context I will outline my concept of homo creator as a vision of modern humanism. In my belief this anthropological concept is one of the fundaments of philosophy of dialogue.
6. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Charles S. Brown Identity and Difference: Overcoming the Master Self through the Cultivation of a Dialogical Self-Identity
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This paper argues that the pluralist ethos of today’s world requires dialogue, i.e., the construction of shared meaning through a plurality of perspectives. This, in turn, requires that partners in dialogue overcome the perspective of the “master self” who claims universal legislative authority in its quest for epistemic closure. Dialogue requires the cultivation and development of a dialogical self-identity that reflects the ability to co-construct shared meaning without the erasure or suppression of differences.
7. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Regina Fazleeva Dialogue as Asymmetrical Intersubjectivity
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Basing on ideas proposed by Jean Baudrillard, Slavoj Žižek, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jürgen Habermas, this paper suggests combining the concept of horizontal (intersubjective) relationships between people with the idea of the vertical dialogue with the transcendental, the spirit. The logic of ultimate mutuality brings us closer to the idea of dialogue with the transcendental; the Other as the spirit appears as a third party in the intersubjective space of dialogue. Thus intersubjectivity may become a condition of implementing human spirituality.
dialogue and the sociocultural world
8. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Andrew Fiala The Fragility of Civility: Virtue, Civil Society, and Tragic Breakdowns of Civility
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This paper explores civility as a virtue for individuals within the sphere of civil society. Civil society is conceived as consisting of voluntary associations regulated by persuasion, praise, and shame. The virtue of civility is a key value for members of the associations of civil society. The paper considers circumstances in which institutions of civil society breakdown and in which unscrupulous and un-civil operators take advantage of more civil members. While admitting that civility is a fragile virtue, the paper concludes that best solution to threats to civility is to avoid cynicism and to cultivate common-sense moral behavior that models civility.
9. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Martha C. Beck Systems Thinking and Universal Dialogue: The Creation of a Noosphere in Today’s Era of Globalization
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This paper summarizes Ervin Laszlo’s worldview in The Systems View of the World: A Holistic Vision for Our Time.1 Laszlo claims that current discoveries in the sciences have led to a different model of the physical world, human nature, and human culture. Instead of the models formulated during the Enlightenment, according Systems thinkers “systems interact with systems and collaboratively form suprasystems” (Laszlo E. 1996, 60). This view has led to a reexamination of: 1) each academic discipline; 2) the relationship between disciplines; 3) the nature of theory and its relation to practice; 4) the relationship between religion and the sciences; 5) of the nature of the social sciences and our ability to develop a universal, normative ethic; 6) the relation between reasoning, emotion and imagination. The evolution of the reflective self-consciousness unique to homo sapiens has led to the formation of cultures. Cultures must be understood assuprasystems that emerged from natural systems and are dependent upon them. Given this universal natural foundation, systems thinkers are recognizing the common patterns between nature and culture and between different cultures. The examination of systems has also shown us that the suprasystems of culture create a level of complexity and reality over and above the natural world and can even destroy themselves and their own natural foundationFrom the perspective of the ISUD, this view means it is possible, natural, and necessary for academics to engage in meaningful dialogue with each other, showing how the ways they have been trained to examine “reality,” or “truth,” can be integrated. Further, professional academics should be able to talk to non-academics, to people in leadership roles, and to all human actors. Since it is a fact that individuals are parts of many larger wholes, the ISUD can nurture the process of the development of reflective self-consciousness in the formation of an international culture, an emerging suprasystem.Laszlo calls this sphere of spiritual interaction, with its physical foundation, a noosphere, his word for a “meeting of the minds.” Given our collective destruction of natural systems, it is imperative that human beings develop some version of a Systems view of reality. ISUD should work to foster this development, even though the professional training of individuals will call the process by other names, based on the labels of the past.
10. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Emiliya A. Taysina Semiotics of Globalization as a Subject of Philosophical Reflection
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Examining dialogue, one may underline its being amicable or not, intellectual (Socratic) or not, useful or useless, plainly transferring message or hinting metamessage, serving social or private goals etc. However, speaking about dialogue in general we speak in terms of semiotics.Considering globalization in general one should adopt the semiotic framework within which globalization is not just a collection of cases, and globalistics (a field of academic research) is not only a catalogue registering it. It will turn globalization into the subject of philosophical interest. The paper presents a specific basis for semiotic investigations. This basis postulates inter alia the fourth part (besides the three standard ones, i.e. syntactics, semantics, and pragmatics), not widely known, called sigmatics, dealing with the construction of adequate ontologies. It can help to explain in a complete way what we observe in the present and to foresee the prospects of the future, including the integrated problems of dialogue, globalization and tolerance which are the main concern of the presented considerations. Some special characteristics of the semiotic research and of globalistics in Russia are displayed in two Appendixes.
11. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 23 > Issue: 3
Marta Sghirinzetti Does Intercultural Dialogue Need Relativism? Moral Rationality and Cultural Difference
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Is a rational approach always able to resolve intercultural conflicts about values and morals? The leading questions of this paper deal with the relationship between cultural difference and moral reasoning, the possibility to argue about cultural differences and the possibility of rational grounds for intercultural dialogue. The underlying idea is that a true intercultural attitude needs a serious theoretical and methodological reflection in order to be aware of the limits of understanding and the pitfalls of universalism. In the first part of the paper I will give a general account of cultural difference and why does it matter from a moral point of view. In the second part I will deal with the issue of rationality, arguing for a pluralistic account of reason. Then I will focus on its relation with cultural differences, outlining some features of moral reasoning as intercultural dialogue.