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61. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Wieńczysław J. Wagner A Bad Dream or Cruel Reality? Some Thoughts on the Origin, Developments and Aftermath of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944
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The traditional German policy was to “push to the East”. After signing a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union, Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, and the Red Army entered the Polish territory on September 17.The German occupation was marked by terror and executions. A resistance movement was developed, and along a secret government and underground army came into being. It was organized by officers who were not taken prisoners of war and by main political parties. The German retaliation—arrests, tortures, concentration camps—did not deter the Poles from joining the patriotic conspiracy.For about five years, the nation waited for a proper moment to fight the occupants. For the city of Warsaw, it seemed that the good time was the middle of the summer of 1944. The Germans were retreating on all fronts, and the Red Army was on the suburbs of Warsaw, on the right bank of the Vistula. It was expected that it would help the insurgents.The Uprising was intended to last a few days. It ended after more than two months, when the Home Army had no more bullets, and the population—no more food. An honorable surrender was signed with the Germans, by virtue of which the insurgents were treated as allied soldiers rather than bandits to be executed, as was the case at the beginning of the Uprising.
62. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Ignacy Matuszewski, Maciej Bańkowski Warsaw’s Final Days
63. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Jacek J. Jadacki, Aleksandra Rodzińska-Chojnowska Thinkers with Brave Hearts
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After recalling the fact that many Polish philosophers participated in national insurgences of the 18th and 19th centuries, the paper presents the philosophical standpoint held by representatives of the lost generation of Professor Władysław Tatarkiewicz’s pupils, killed during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. The main features of this standpoint were: optimism, realism, creativism, and, first of all, patriotism.
64. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Aleksander Gieysztor, Ewa Gieysztor Introduction to the Conference “The Meaning of Polish History”, Royal Castle, Warsaw, November 4, 1988
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The State and the nation belong to the ideas created by the common consciousness, and at the same time, as a true forma formans, have connotations to the world of predominance, influencing the reality. There exist such strong connections, that their understanding is an intellectual duty of those who research nowadays the social links and try to explain them to the contemporary audience.
65. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Michał Pohoski, Maciej Bańkowski Towards the Uprising
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An account of a mission to help the Warsaw insurgents by Home Army soldiers from Mińsk Mazowiecki, a small town near Warsaw, and from the county of Mińsk. The mission was called to a forced halt and disarmed by the Red Army, depriving the Warsaw insurgents of the help they needed so badly. Eventually, many of the participants of the mission were sent to the labor camps in the Soviet Union.
66. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 5/6
Jerzy Pelc Soldiers of the Uprising
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The author looks for ideological reasons for which the Poles joined the military organizations. On the basis of his own experience, he attempts to establish a relation between the political attitudes of the Poles and their decision to join respective (right wing or left wing) military units that fought during the war. He states that in many cases the main factor in the decision to defend the country was the heart and not the reason. Political preferences of the young and politically inexperienced soldiers were of little importance in the process of deciding under which banner to fight.
67. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
Art Stawinski Truth in Myth and Science
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We humans are a curious species. Of all the life forms that inhabit the earth, we alone strive to make sense of the world in which we find ourselves. For thousands of years we understood the world through stories. Our ancestors told stories of how the world began, how our people originated and came to be at this place, and how those people across the river or beyond the mountains came to be where they are. Some stories were of animals and plants in our neighborhood, and their powers to help us, feed us, or cure our ailments. But in the last few centuries, starting in Europe and spreading throughout the world, a new way of understanding began competing with storytelling as a means of comprehending our world. Science supplanted storytelling largely because it empowered us to transform the world in ways that were unimaginable to our ancestors. We understand the world scientifically by describing the world instead of by telling stories about it. The stories our ancestors told no longer explain the world, but are data within the world, part of the world that science (i.e. cultural anthropology) describes. Our stories have become myths, cultural artifacts that may be interesting and a subject of study, but cannot possibly be true. Yet even in societies that have thoroughly embraced science as a means of understanding the world, myths remain a powerful force. Myth and science exist side by side, often creating confusion and conflict.
68. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
Werner Krieglstein Compassion: The Focal Point of Any Future Philosophy
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Traditional analysis and reductionism put no value on direct experience. Negative Dialectic allows the human mind to return to an experience of mythical connectedness without falling into the trap of ideological isolation. The paper addresses the problem of truth claims of personal experiences by relating the truth of an experience to its context.The quintessential wholeness of the quantum world corresponds with the commonplace experience of the unity of our mind. Mind is an organic part of the growth process of ever-more complex processes and events that comprise the natural world. Today science provides some support for the idea that all individuals embody spontaneity and experience.
69. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
Nicholas Maxwell A Revolution for Science and the Humanities: From Knowledge to Wisdom
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At present the basic intellectual aim of academic inquiry is to improve knowledge. Much of the structure, the whole character, of academic inquiry, in universities all over the world, is shaped by the adoption of this as the basic intellectual aim. But, judged from the standpoint of making a contribution to human welfare, academic inquiry of this type is damagingly irrational. Three of four of the most elementary rules of rational problem-solving are violated. A revolution in the aims and methods of academic inquiry is needed so that the basic aim becomes to promote wisdom, conceived of as the capacity to realize what is of value, for oneself and others, thus including knowledge and technological know-how, but much else besides. This urgently needed revolution would affect every branch and aspect of the academic enterprise.
70. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
Graham Harman Some Preconditions of Universal Philosophical Dialogue
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Our own era is widely viewed as a golden age of intellectual tolerance when compared with the persecutions of yesteryear. But in fact, this tolerance serves to mask a fundamental indifference of one perspective to another. Each world view is seen as a personal opinion, walled off from others and immune to challenge or alteration by them. This article blames the current situation in part on the triumph of critical philosophy since Kant. In closing, several concrete and even whimsical proposals are made for remedying the situation and restoring a more wild and fruitful form of intellectual combat of a kind that no longer exists.
71. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
Charles S. Brown Overcoming Boundaries of Wisdom: From Eco-phenomenology to Eco-logos
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This paper explores the contribution that a Husserlian inspired phenomenology can make to environmental philosophy. In particular I argue that Husserl’s phenomenological critique of naturalism liberates thinking from its metaphysical naïveté thereby opening thought to a new conception of nature, while his theory of intentionality can be adapted to provide new directions for developing an account of axiological rationality which is open to claim that there is goodness and value within non-human nature. Such a form of rationality, based in the dialectic of empty and filled intentions, would begin to provide a discourse in which the goodness and value of non-human nature could be registered, expressed, and articulated in a rational manner. The result will be an experiential grounding for environmental ethics.
72. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
I. Bambang Sugiharto Logos without Substance: Wisdom as Seeing through the Absence
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The tradition of Western philosophy has been tracing out the significations of logos and centered around logos. This in fact has given birth to many significant results. Through its logical structuring of empirical reality it has made possible critical understanding transcending the past and progressive creation of the future. But this Logology or Logocentrism has eventually also led to its self-destruction and to the brink of absolute nihilism.Along the history, logos has been interpreted in various ways. The history implies that at least in the cosmic, theological and ideological frameworks logos used to be seen as extralinguistic substance; whereas starting from the scientific mode of thinking logos has been seen more as intralinguistic substance (at least up till Logical-Positivism). This ends up in the political perspective in which logos is without substance: mere effects of the play of texts and discourse.While the latter appears like a predicament, the fact is that it can also be taken as a moment of liberation, a liberation from the keen yet stifling Western (Aristotelian) paradigm of logos apophanticos which has animated all kinds of “positivistic” mode of thinking; a liberation from the so-called Metaphysics of Presence, hence an openness towards the Absence, the ambiguity, the indefinability or the elusiveness of reality (Being); an openness towards the richness and complexity of human experience; hence an openness for mutual interogative and transformative dialogues among different semiotic systems, traditions and language games, which would also empower and incorporate non-Western as well as non-scientific mode of thinking into global discourse.Perhaps wisdom lies in the courage to recognize the fact that ultimately reality or the so-called Being is not a substance, but rather, fleeting relations, ever-changing networks, or elusive flux. Wisdom ultimately might mean an ability to come to terms with insecurity, an ability to see through the “absence”.
73. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
J. Z. Hubert Replacing Mythos by Logos: An Analysis of Conditions and Possibilities in the Light of Information-Thermodynamic Principles of Social Synergetics and of Their Normative Implications
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Religions, ideologies try to give a complete vision of the world a vision containing both its origin, explanation and a “normative kit”: a collection of precepts and rules, which should regulate human activities and behavior. Their synergetic meaning is clear: if embraced by all they allow for development of strong synergetic effects on the social macro scales (i.e. beneficent to all members of society). These in turn may lead to creation of order and beauty, of intellectual, spiritual and moral development within men and in society. In this consist the elements of their natural—i.e. not explicitly reasoned out—wisdom. However, as they contain also some elements of harmful consequences—at least if they are literally accepted and in a fundamentalist manner practiced—they cannot be universally accepted. But—rejecting them we lose also the important sourcesof natural—or should we say instinctive—wisdom.Could the solution of this contradiction, of this one of the basic human sources of suffering be looked for in the modern science of complexity?Synergetics and the sciences of complex systems in general offer a solid scientific base for a meta-philosophical, universalist intellectual framework. Its offspring the social synergetics offers concrete propositions of optimized social structures. Optimized in the sense of espousing (and further developing) the main synergetic effects with being at the same time free of the negative “side effects” happening when religions or ideologies are the source of synergism.Finally a connection is discussed between the presented ideas and the concept of “love of wisdom”. The term “love of wisdom” may be understood as striving not only to possess a “sound and serene judgment regarding the conduct of life” but also a practical ability to act according to that judgment.This ability may be also expressed using the information-thermodynamic concepts of synergetics. Indeed without the ever continuing negentropy transformation neither survival of a complex system like man or society nor its continuing development—uncovering of all his “hidden potentials” is possible.To assure maximization of this transformation process creation of strong synergetic effects—of reinforcement, of positive feedback—between all human beings—i.e. not excluding any nations, any social groups, and any individuals—are necessary. Acting towards local and global realization of such a structure everywhere on our planet constitutes the essence of social wisdom.Removing all obstacles towards this goal—obstacles existing on the intellectual, emotional and spiritual level—should be one of the most important tasks of various institutions, of state structures, of purified from mythical elements ideologies, of man oriented sciences and above all of the modern universalism.Thus striving towards its realization is an expression of the love of wisdom. Of wisdom once based on the elements of mythos and now regained in the full light of Logos.
74. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
Editors Wisdom: Systemic Research and University Education
75. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
Edward Demenchonok Intercultural Discourse and African-Caribbean Philosophy
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The explosion of publications on race, gender, and minority cultures during recent decades was a natural reaction to the universalistic pretensions of Western philosophy, for which many of these issues were invisible. The theoretical articulation of these issues has substantially contributed to the transformation of philosophy. However, the side-effect of an overemphasis on difference is an underestimating of unity, which may lead to disintegration. The challenge to philosophical thought on race, gender, and culture is to reconcile the difference with commonality, and diversity with unity. This essay explores the issues of cultural identity and intercultural relations and their interpretation in African-Caribbean thought. The first part of the essay surveys the current debate over multiculturalism, which promotes diversity but overlooks the interrelations of cultures, and the alternative ideas of interculturality or the dialogue of cultures. Thedissatisfaction with multiculturalism and postmodern relativism stimulated alternative approaches, such as “transculture” and “intercultural philosophy”. Mikhail Epstein criticizes relativism from the perspective of “critical universalism” and develops the concept of “transculture”. Raúl Fornet-Betancourt’s project of the intercultural transformation of philosophy asserts the cultural embedding of philosophical thinking and draws attention to the indigenous and African thought. The second half of the essay focuses on the ideas of identity and interculturality as they are expressed in African-Caribbean philosophy. This philosophy is viewed as a part of Africana philosophy. Various theoretical approaches to the issues of race and culture are examined: Charles Mills’ concept of “racial contract”, Lewis Gordon’s “Africana philosophy of existence”, and Paget Henry’s project of Africana philosophy, which combines the existentialphenomenological approach with analysis of the discursive formations in search for the identity of this philosophy. The analysis shows that in the evolution of African-Caribbean philosophy, as in Latin American and other “Third World philosophies”, the initial focus on the search for identity is followed by more interest in dialogical relationships with other philosophies as a condition for its own development.
76. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
Ulrich Seeberg Philosophy—The Narrow Door to the Teaching of Wisdom: A Kantian Position
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The aim of this paper is to explain the Kantian concept of philosophy according to which philosophy can be understood as the narrow door to the teaching of wisdom. This discussion is guided by the question about the relation between logos and mythos. The thesis is that the awareness of the limits of logos, the scientific approach to the world, can be regarded as a presupposition for a proper understanding of mythos, the articulation of wisdom, which expresses the unity of contradictory elements of life. Philosophy has the function of mediating between reason and wisdom by making explicit the limits of scientific explanation. This opens a field of unrestricted and therefore not scientifically explicable thoughts: the sphere of ideas that are accessible in Ethics and Aesthetics.
77. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
Grant Havers Political Philosophy and the Love of Wisdom: Leo Strauss and the “New” Conservatism
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The “new” conservatism which dominates American politics is fundamentally different from both liberalism and traditional conservatism. For the neoconservatives, who are influenced by the political philosopher Leo Strauss, fault liberalism for undermining the authority of absolute morality and natural inequality in favor of relativism and openness. Yet they also repudiate the old European conservatism for failing to defy the currents of modernity with anything more than an appeal to tradition. In fine, neoconservatism rejects, despite its own modern origins, modernity itself.
78. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
Steven V. Hicks Mythos, Logos and the Love of Wisdom
79. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
Karin Melis Reading Medea and Hecuba: The Tragic in Unconditional Love
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If, as I propose, Hecuba represents fate and Medea contingency, taken together they constitute as well as reveal the tragic within the tension between the ontological and empirical status of man as it is embodied in the clash between necessity and freedom. Viewing this tension within the perspective of the unconditional status of the love of the mother, I will show how both narratives belong to the realm of possibilities and cause, what Ricoeur calls “suffering for the sake of understanding”. I will argue that the phenomenon of the unconditional love of the mother is in itself tragic and open to both the appearance of both Medea and Hecuba.
80. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1/2
Herman E. Stark Philosophy as Wonder
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I argue that the love of wisdom can be recovered by reawakening in humans the genuine sense of wonder, i.e., by recovering the transformed condition in which humans experience philosophical asking as a meaning-bestowing and existentially-transforming phenomenon. Wonder in this sense is primarily a metaphysical and not psychological state, and it is evoked by the transforming phenomenon of philosophical asking. Philosophical asking is not reducible to a something, e.g., a sentence in question-form, that provokes the setting up and critique of theories but rather is essentially a way of existing, a dwelling, that is marked by the astonishment of watching the world, and ourselves, open up and transfigure by our very asking, i.e., by our existing as askers.