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1. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Emiliano Acosta Multitude, Public Opinion and State: Spinoza’s Political Thought in the Context of Today’s Crisis of Democracy
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Despite the ideological differences among the most influential contemporary interpretations of Spinoza’s political philosophy (i.e. A. Negri, M. Hardt, E. Balibar and J. Israel), they all agree in considering Spinoza as a radical, subversive, revolutionary political thinker who defends the sacred inviolability of individual liberties (especially liberty of thought, expression and belief) and recognises the multitude as genuine subject of democracy. They relegate or simply ignore, however, polemic and yet central topics of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (TTP) such as Spinoza’s negative considerations on the multitude, his resolutely anti-revolutionary tone and his view of the State as an absolute power principally concerning the regulation of public opinion. These ideas contradict the radical (liberal) democratic Spinoza of contemporary interpretations, because of their apparently anti-democratic nature. In this paper I argue that these ideas, on the contrary, are consistent with Spinoza’s conception of democracy. Furthermore, I claim that they can help for re-thinking politics and the political in the context of today’s crisis of democracy and democratic State, since they make visible the conflict and struggle for power inherent to all democracy between political and apolitical (counter-political) actors. This paper firstly analyses 1) the distribution of power and the different social/political actors in Spinoza’s democratic state; 2) the administration/regulation of public opinion and Spinoza’s concern on rebellion and revolution; and 3) the current crisis of democracy in the light of Spinoza’s political thought.
2. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Oseni Taiwo Afisi Karl Popper’s Critique of Utopia: The Hope of a Liberal Reform Implementing Freedom
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To identify with confidence some ways in which the politics of Africa could be improved depends not at all upon a vision of a utopia. With Karl Popper, I agree that utopian thinking muddles meaningful political reform rather than assisting it. Liberalism opposes large scale planning, and quite without reference to any utopia supplies terms in which to be aptly critical of the corruption, by which in the present day, African states all are riddled. Liberal reforms in Africa would institute market accountability there. That there is in Africa at present no operative “institution of market accountability” (Shearmur 1996: 118) means among other things that information that is crucial for considering ways to improve conditions in Africa does not collect and so remains unavailable to citizens, planners, and political decision-makers. Lack of accountability because of economic corruption is tantamount to a failure of intellectual openness. Liberals typically defend intellectual openness by focusing on the protection of individuals. This aspect of liberalism is potentially harmful to Africa, where the ambient ethic to the extent that one functions is communitarian. I argue that the individualism aspect of liberalism is incidental not essential: I deny that liberalism is counter to a society’s upholding communitarian ideals. I argue that to fully institute market accountability in Africa would mitigate many of the chief harms to Africa and would produce many benefits. It would not require that Africans sacrifice their communitarian spirit.
3. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Jorge Aguirre Sala 2.0: a Link to Participative Democracy: [The Evolution of Citizenship in a Project Instrumentalized by New Media]
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The alleged legitimacy of democracy is founded on the legislative and executive representative power. But, the voters sometimes are ignored by their representatives. However, with the instrumental possibility of the new media, democracy can evolve into participative citizenship and can overcome the limitations of centralized democracy. While the traditional mass media were kept in the hands of interest groups and suppose that ordinary citizens possessed democracy and seek to find information, the new media (weblogs, email, twitter, facebook, wikis, etc.) grant information and seek democracy. With it, voters can to have an active role in legislation, execution, jurisdiction and audit regarding the acts performed by the government. The limitations (absence of constitutional recognition, inefficient mechanisms of citizenship consultation, criminalization of social protests) are solved by the new media. We proposed to create a mediated citizenship. It is here that the role of the new media takes a higher position in the increment of political communication reciprocity between representatives and their constituents. The importance of the new media, then, lies in the fact that they have the capacity to sustain the rights of the ignored majorities and the oppressed minorities.
4. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Andreas Aktoudianakis The First Realist in Western Political Thought: St Augustine Against the Socratics
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Although ancient philosophers used to attribute great significance to the heroic actions of statesmen, this element of “greatness of soul” was purged off, if not entirely, then at least to considerable degree with the coming of Christian philosophy. Augustine in particular, related the element of bravery to the original sin of pride, the fundamental of all sins. Aristotle mentions in the Nichomachean Ethics: “In the decisive sense, one is said to be andreios when he fearlessly faces a noble death and those things that lead to it –such things especially concern military affairs” (NE 1115a32–35). Plato also refers to that element of human psychology in The Republic, saying that the guardians will be andreios “if they choose death in battles over both defeat and slavery” (386b5–6). Another reference is made by Thucydides in Pericles’ Funeral Oration where Pericles congratulates the Athenian soldiers for exchanging their life on earth to honour their polis: “To me it seems that the consummation which has overtaken these men shows us the meaning of manliness in its first revelation and in its final proof.” Although the Socratics argued that politics aspire to perfection and praise heroic actions, Christian philosophers argued that the role politics is to contain the damage that human beings cause to each other due to their evil wills. This aspect of Christian thought finds its secular incarnation in the political thought of Hobbes, who teaches that violent human pride must be subdued by the State for the sake of political peace.
5. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Daniel Arruda Nascimento On Biopolitics and Human Rights: An Analysis Concerning Humanitarian Help
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With the intention of considering again the relation between Biopolitics and Human Rights, the following lines are devoted once more to the dialogue that Giorgio Agamben establishes with Hannah Arendt. The origins of totalitarianism, published in 1951, and Homo sacer: Il potere sovrano e la nuda vita and Mezzi senza fine: note sulla politica, published respectively in 1995 and 1996, shall be our more prominent references. The dialogue will be, however, oriented by the courtship of humanitarian help. We should take seriously the hypothesis of the Italian philosopher hereupon. For one side, the humanitarian sense emerges in our century purified of every political commitment, contributing to consolidate the comprehension of life as mere life, as biological life, as simple fact of being alive. For another side, holding paradoxically the vision of bare life as the one dismissed of rights, we could observe that the humanitarian aid replaces the recognition, the assignment and the guarantees of rights. The distribution of food and medicine delays always more the gesture of recognition of equality, the fair assignment of rights and the guarantees of opportunities in order to allow the exercise those rights. It takes us to the point where we cannot avoid anymore the suspicions that a secret solidarity, renewed between the international organizations of humanitarian aid and the forces that they must confront, nourishes the contemporary dreams.
6. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Andrei Vladimirovich Babaitsev The Mirror Effects of Political Symbols: Utility and Illusiveness
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Catoptric interpretation of political symbols makes it possible to investigate the “image effects” of political symbolism, which, in the context of catoptrics, can be considered as an identification of image effects. That identification has been made by raising associative structures in rationally ordered political space. Abstract symbols are often directed at the catoptric assimilation of politics, actualization of “inventing thought” to influence the political life and assessment of political events and facts. Structural properties of political symbols mean homology of political matters and vary due to the logic of specular return of reality, while maintaining a basic condition for the stability of the rational and irrational representations. A political symbol can appear as a “creator” of the worlds that are perceived as behind the looking-glass, actually manifesting meanings. The catoptric concept has the most appropriate explanatory and heuristic capabilities, and the consideration of the image effects of political symbol reveals limits of descriptivity and ambiguity.
7. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Pavo Barišić Democracy as a Way of Life – Philosophical Credo of John Dewey
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John Dewey considered democracy not only procedural and politically technical as a mere form of government under other institutional forms, but as a specific form and way of life of a political community. The substance of democracy as a way of life is firstly its ethical, cultural and spiritual ideal, and then its procedural state and proper technology of political power. The task of a democratic form of government is to make proper social arrangements that include all individuals and that eliminate external arrangements of status, birth, wealth, sex, etc., which restrict the opportunity of each individual for full self-development. Democratic order thus contributes to human happiness very significantly. Human beings aspire after happiness which grows in the processes of sharing experiences with others and their common contribution to the common good. Democracy always remains some kind of a moral ideal in the thoughts and deeds of citizens. In a political context, freedom without real opportunities for participation is empty and purely formal. Real and active participation of citizens in politics is, therefore, very important.
8. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Ünsal Doğan Başkir Between Liberal and Radical: An Arendtian Cosmopolitanism?
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Liberal cosmopolitanism, from Kant to Habermas, has been designed as an ethical/political project based on inalienable rights. Accordingly, liberal cosmopolitans offered institutions to protect these rights. While Kant conceptualized a three-layered juridical order to create a League of Nations, Benhabib pointed out the creation of cosmopolitan norms, and Habermas emphasized the need for a constitutionalization of international law within the UN system. This moral and juridical project of liberal cosmopolitanism eliminated the political significance of cosmopolitanism and pushed the democratic elements based on political struggle aside. Can cosmopolitanism be defined on the basis of political struggles for rights? As a response to liberal cosmopolitanism, Arendt’s political thought offers a new cosmopolitan vision with her aim to refound the concept of authority in a post-metaphysical world and redefine the concept of humanity in dark times, her conceptualization of political action with agonistic character, her replacement of dissent at the center of political life, and her concept of “a right to have rights” as a critique of international human rights. This preliminary study traces a new understanding of cosmopolitanism in political thought of Hannah Arendt. In this context, her thought, which is followed by liberal as well as radical thinkers, will be argued in a creative fashion. The central argument of this study is that an Arendtian cosmopolitanism cuts across the conceptualizations trying to order the world through moral norms or extra-legal and extra-political regulations. It enables us to create a principle to reconsider our understanding of cosmopolitanism in a political manner.
9. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Artur Reginald Boelderl The Christianity of Deconstruction: Jean-Luc Nancy on Secularization, Globalization, and “Worlding”
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First, I will briefly sketch the philosophical background of Nancy’s thought by highlighting an important feature of his fellow philosopher and friend Jacques Derrida’s understanding of religion; second, I will discuss Nancy’s own critique of the discourse about both the contemporary so-called ‘return of religion’ and about ‘secularization’ respectively; and third, I will show how in Nancy’s own thinking secularization and ‘mondialisation’, i.e. globalization interrelate within one and the same movement of ‘mondanisation’: mundanisation (the becoming-world of the world) whose immediate political importance becomes obvious within the scope of what he calls a deconstruction of Christianity.
10. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Héctor Bonilla Estévez A Contemporary Law of Peoples
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Kant’s idea of Perpetual Peace has set the world in a constant search for peace amongst nations and peoples through the construction of an international relations project whereby these relations are based on an international law that has actually moved towards this goal without obtaining the best results: we are still engaged in conflict. Constructing a contemporary law of peoples implies considerable transformations in international organizations, in the way ordinary citizens ought to be seen (as citizens of the world), in the establishment of a cosmopolitan law based on the positivization of Human Rights, and in the achievement of a cosmopolitan justice that allows for larger and better mechanisms for people’s inclusion and participation in the solution to global problems.
11. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Guangyun Cheng, Nianxi Xia On Behavioral Logic
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Political society is essentially a totality of behavior, so behavior is the basic unit of political society. Traditional behavioral theory studies behavior mainly from the perspective of psychology. Modern behavior theory should study behavior from the perspective of logic,and the logic research of behavior should take on the psychological implication of suspension behavior as the prerequisite. Behavioral logic is the first premise of political philosophy. Behaviors are divided into atomic behavior and molecular behavior. There are six models of atomic behavior. The causal relationship among behaviors forms behavior chain. The chain is constituted by objective behavior, pre-behavior and post behavior.
12. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Angulo Cecilia María Coronado On the Nexus Between Protestantism and Capitalism in the Work of Max Weber
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The Weberian theory of the rationalisation of the world, which has as its cornerstone the idea of “elective affinities” (Wahlverwandschaften) between Protestantism and capitalism, has generated considerable controversy. The aim of this paper is to offer an interpretation of that theory and to study three possible ways of understanding it: the first suggests that Protestantism gave rise to capitalism; the second that capitalism caused Protestantism; and the third asserts that no causal relationship exists between them and that the question must, rather, be explained as the historical convergence between the two phenomena. I shall argue that the theory should be read in this third way and I will try to briefly give the reasons why.
13. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Stéphane Courtois On What Grounds Should Religious Practices Be Accommodated?
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In this paper, I seek to challenge two prevailing views about religious accommodation. The first maintains that religious practices deserve accommodation only if they are regarded as something unchosen on a par with the involuntary circumstances of life people must face. The other view maintains that religious practices are nothing more than preferences but questions the necessity of their accommodation. Against these views, I argue that religious conducts, even on the assumption that they represent voluntary behaviours, deserve in certain circumstances certain kinds of accommodation. In the first part of the paper, I explain how religious conscience should be understood and show that they must be understood as one possible expression, along with nonreligious or secular beliefs, of a person’s convictions of conscience. In the second part, I demonstrate that the main ground for religious accommodation is the need to protect fairly, through such rights as religious freedom and freedom of conscience, the ethical commitments and conscientious beliefs of all citizens.
14. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Fábio Creder For a Feasible Justice: the Comparative Approach of Amartya Sen
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In this brief lecture I intend to consider some aspects of the theory of justice as proposed by Amartya Sen in his 2009 book, The idea of justice, where, besides summarizing his intellectual journey (dealing with some recurring subjects, such as the social choice theory and the capabilities approach), Sen broadens the scope of his critique of John Rawls. I would like to focus on this particular feature of Sen’s recent thinking, trying to situate it in its comparative approach of justice. As I show, Sen does not appear committed to propose a theory of justice that is exactly new, but to analyze which aspects of the existing theories, particularly the Rawlsian one, have prevented, or at least have not favored the effective attainment of justice that they themselves advocate.
15. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Nico De Federicis Kant and Political Philosophy
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This paper discusses Kant’s dealing with a fundamental of modern politics, that is, the concept of sovereignty, as well as its own capacity to reshape political order. Overcoming failures and fallacies that traditionally such a concept has maintained, Kant’s political philosophy focuses on the way to reach international peace institutionally. Starting from the discussion of contradiction in sovereignty, the paper briefly analyzes the analogy between individuals and states; finally, core elements of Kant’s cosmopolitan thought will be presented. Kant’s project basically seeks to rewrite the early modern relation between politics and philosophy promoting republicanism, which is, mainly, a theory that shares state’s powers and defends representation. Extending such a political way from domestic to a world domain, Kant’s final solution for a World Republic implies a change of paradigm (though not completely expounded), by which modern sovereignty gets reassessed into a blended institutionalized coercion that emphasizes vertical power-sharing, so it realizes a cosmopolitan model of world order.
16. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Gerardo de la Fuente Lora A Volatile Couple: Justice and Human Dignity
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In the current political discourse and in the day-by-day public debate, discussions about justice come frequently together with the word “dignity”. In some way, this second term constitutes the aim of the first one. Justice is a worthy public objective precisely because governmental actions seek for the realization of everybody´s dignity. Situations of exclusion are unacceptable because then somebody is treated as being an outsider of the human race. However, in the theoretical approaches to the issue, only a few times does justice run side by side with dignity, at least in explicit and clear terms. It’s true that words like respect or self-respect, appear frequently when the question is about the rules of fair distribution or the scope of human rights, but there is among the thinkers some kind of reluctance to use the notion of “dignity” as a central part of the foundations of social justice. John Rawls, for example, uses only three times the word in all of his classic A Theory of Justice. Probably philosophers think that the notion of human dignity introduces some essentialism in the rational argumentation, and inevitably some theological bias. At best, the introduction of the word does not improve the reasoning in any way. In this paper I affirm that there are good reasons to link philosophical foundations on justice with adequate notions of human dignity. Not for theological of metaphysical reasons, but for practical reasons. If we do not introduce the dignity dimension, our constructions about justice will remain speculative exercises. The public have good and rational arguments to bind justice with dignity.
17. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Cem Deveci, Mehmet Ruhi Demiray The Distinction Between Piety and Zealotry: Reflections on the Limits of the Acceptability of Religiosity within Democratic Political Spheres
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It is a mark of our age that the long-standing relations between politics and religion founded long ago along the axis of liberal-democratic principles have turned out to appear problematical. Recently raised religious demands and movements put on the agenda a common question: to what extent are such demands and movements compatible with the principle of the peaceful co-existence of diverse cultural forms, which is the essential reference point of any democratic imagination? It a cliché that fundamentalism understood as the opposite of temperateness in holding and practically following up religious convictions constitutes the limit for tolerating religious demands and movements within liberal-democratic regimes. Such a quantitative distinction between fundamentalism and “moderate” forms of religiosity paradoxically work out for the increase of tension between religiosity and democratic political life, because it implies that non-fundamentalist forms of religiosities are indeed “diluted” forms, while fundamentalist forms represent genuine and uncompromising loyalty to the religious creed. This paper investigates the possibility of making a qualitative distinction between fundamentalist and non-fundamentalist forms of religiosity by employing the categorical duality between zealotry and piety, which can then serve as the criterion for the acceptability of religious demands and movements within democratic political spheres.
18. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Oksana Alekseevna Dubrova Feminism: Frames of Political and Non-political
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The author considers the fact that feminism has two ways of development in the political sphere of the society: either formation of an independent political force or marginalization determined by inadequate view about the interpretation of the political realm gender dimension. According to the author, feminism is threatened by erosion and decay in case of its invading the non-political sphere and transference of opposing categorical divisions associated with the idea of “masculine” politics elimination. Since the non-political sphere becomes the field of generating sub-political civil initiatives, the positive prospect for political feminism is not to engender political issues, but to determine certain forms of civil participation and influence within society and social dialogue; as well as the frames of political representation, while maintaining the non-political sphere autonomy.
19. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Ovadia Ezra Global Warming Demands Global Justice
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In the paper I want to suggest an environmental argument in favor of global distributive justice. This argument aids in the understanding of the idea of a global share of burdens and benefits which comes from natural resources. A similar argument was raised in the past, together with the demand for the restraint of deforestation in Brazil, for example, even though the rain forests are natural resources located in its territory. The argument I suggest regards the atmosphere as well as greenhouse gas emissions as common, and hence, its distribution should be grounded on considerations of global justice. If rich countries think that they are sovereign to do whatever they like with natural resources which are within their territories, then poor countries should have the right to do the same with greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere above their territories, and consequently make an uninhibited and unrestrained use of these resources. Rich countries who reject this idea have to accept the idea that they should share part of their wealth with poor countries, from which they ask for restrained development.
20. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 69
Nikita Garadzha Political Philosophy as Knowledge and Political Action
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The paper examines the problem of object determination of political philosophy in the context of scientific knowledge of politics and political practice. Political philosophy has special status among the variety of the humanities and social sciences that consider politics as their subject. Political philosophy in its specific is in value-oriented attitude of the researcher to the object of his interest. A possible result is the recognized social practice of such political action that is an action of a political philosopher. Value-oriented position of the political philosopher differs in essence from manipulation practice which subject acts for the purpose of private or group interests’ realization misleading concern of their true intentions. The aim of the political philosopher is political enlightenment. He is a scientist and a researcher of politics, speaking for truth, and a political actor, influencing politics, at the same time.