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A History of the Concepts Experience and Experiment in Russian Culture

Ekaterina Smirnova

Abstract

Why, for a long time, was there no linguistic means to distinguish between the concepts experience and experiment in many European languages, such as Italian, French, and Russian? Was the Russian case influenced by French culture? This article addresses these issues. The most important finding of the study is that no idea of personal experience existed in Russian literature before the second half of the eighteenth century, and the word opyt was later borrowed from the scientific lexicon for expressing the meaning of experience. This is the opposite of what happened in other European languages. This suggests that the concept of experiment is more basic in the Russian mentality. Experience grows from experiment but not vice versa. All these aspects of the semantic history of “experiment” and “experience” are illustrated with extensive textual citations found in the Russian National Corpus and in the electronic library of Institute of Russian Literature.

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La question identitaire dans l'itinéraire de Présence Africaine

Etienne Lock

Abstract

This article examines the issue of identity as expressed in the historical journey of the intellectual movement Présence Africaine. It highlights a fundamental dimension of the commitment of that movement not yet explored in academic research. The current study uncovers the challenges and the great events that shaped the reputation of Présence Africaine as an African intellectual movement with a journal and a publishing house. It also deals with the identity issue through philosophical and theological debates as well as in reference to the independence era in Africa. The relevance of such a study is due to the topicality of the identity issue for contemporary societies.

Résumé

Cet article est une réflexion sur la question identitaire telle que portée et exprimée dans l'itinéraire historique du mouvement Présence Africaine. Il met en exergue une dimension fondamentale, voire l'essence même de l'engagement de ce mouvement, jusqu'ici non explorée. Tout en faisant redécouvrir les défis et de grands événements qui ont fait la notoriété de Présence Africaine soutenue par une revue et une maison d'édition, cette réflexion s'articule aussi autour des débats philosophiques et théologiques au sein de ce mouvement, et se déploie par ailleurs en référence aux indépendances africaines. L'opportunité d'une telle réflexion s'explique par le fait que la question identitaire reste un enjeu important pour les sociétés contemporaines.

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The Leftist “Imagined Community”

The Transnational Imagination of Left-Wing Subversive Organizations in Western Europe

Mikuláš Pešta

Abstract

This article concerns radical leftist subversive organizations in Western Europe in the 1970s and 1980s and their transnational shared imagination. It shows that despite the scarcity of direct contacts, there existed a sense of belonging to the same transnational current, the “imagined community.” On selected criteria (Images – Semantics – Practice), the article provides analysis of the shared tropes in self-perception and in the communication. The patterns were shared among the Western European subversive organizations but also imported from the countries of the Global South. The article further presents the lack of effort of the subversive organizations to create their own mark and graphic identity, whether consciously or not, to become a part of the “global anti-imperialist front.” It puts into question the utility of the traditional categorization of subversive organizations and discusses the use of the term “terrorism” regarding its self-perception and global context.

Open access

A Radical Democratic Lens to Rejuvenating European Union Democracy Support

Thinking about the Political with a Capital P

Nathan Vandeputte

Abstract

This article intervenes in the debates on reforming EU democracy support by offering a “radical reformist” approach. It departs from the observation that literature lacks a sustained theorization of reform which more effectively considers contestation as the very condition of democracy. As such, in contrast to withdrawing democracy from its contested nature, this article presents a theoretical argument, as informed by Chantal Mouffe's take on radical democracy, through which the EU more democratically can engage with and support the plurality of different contestations of democracy. In particular, a closer engagement with the radical democratic embrace of the political will allow for better reflection on how EU democracy support already is or can become democratic, empowering and receptive to the way democracy is understood locally.

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Reviews

An Invitation for the Curious; Into Blumenberg's Lens Cabinet; The Historian and His Images

Luc Wodzicki, Marcos Guntin, and Kerstin Maria Pahl

Ernst Müller and Falko Schmieder, Begriffsgeschichte: Zur Einführung [Conceptual history: An introduction] (Hamburg: Junius Verlag, 2020), 200 pp.

Hans Blumenberg, History, Metaphors, Fables: A Hans Blumenberg Reader, edited, translated, and with an introduction by Hannes Bajohr, Florian Fuchs, and Joe Paul Kroll (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2020), 609 pp.

Bettina Brandt and Britta Hochkirchen, eds., Reinhart Koselleck und das Bild [Koselleck and the image] (Bielefeld: Bielefeld University Press, 2021), 248 pp.

Open access

The Rise of Despotic Majoritarianism

Benjamin Abrams

Abstract

Two maladies that have been incipient in Liberal Democracy since its birth have finally struck at once. The “tyranny of the majority” and “administrative despotism”—first identified by Alexis de Tocqueville almost two centuries ago—have combined in the form of a new, much more threatening democratic mutation. We are witnessing the rise of “despotic majoritarianism,” in which citizens are simultaneously given less and less say in the political process, just as more and more is being done in their name. This new strain of democratic disease threatens not just the United States but societies across Europe, Latin America, and South Asia. This article explores the nature of despotic majoritarianism, its manifestation today, and how we might combat it.

Open access

Televised Election Debates in a Deliberative System

The Role of Framing and Emotions

Emma Turkenburg

Abstract

Are televised election debates (TEDs) a blessing for democracy, educating citizens and informing them of their electoral options? Or should they be viewed as a curse, presenting superficial, manipulating rhetoric in one-way communication? In this article, I evaluate TEDs from a deliberative point of view, focusing on the potential positive and negative outcomes of framing by politicians, as well as on the pros and cons of displaying emotions in debates. I argue that the use of these two rhetorical devices in TEDs is potentially helpful in inspiring deliberation, perspective-taking and subsequent reflection in both politicians and voters. This leads me to conclude that televised election debates should be critically approached as communicative venues with potential deliberative qualities.

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Transformation of the Concept of Kyoyang (Self-Cultivation) in Korean Print Media, 1896–1936

Ah-reum Kim

Abstract

The Korean concept of kyoyang (self-cultivation) conceives different layers of meaning corresponding to the enlightenment and reform project in the early modern and colonial periods of Korean society. This article traces the historical trajectory of kyoyang published in Korean vernacular magazines and newspapers by Korean reformists, the main media intellectuals who appropriated Japanese and Western ideas of enlightenment, nationalism, and culturalism. It reveals the way the reformist media intellectuals employed kyoyang to define the nature of modern print media while simultaneously transforming the concept, providing resources for enlightening the populace. Accordingly, kyoyang, once assumed by a few literary men under the influence of Neo-Confucianism, was shifted to encompass the commoners, envisioning the enlightened national subjects who embody contradictory qualities.

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Une lutte à trois

les propriétaires fonciers anglais et la répartition du revenu national dans le Capital (1867)

Mathieu J. Lainé

Abstract

A close reading of chapters XXVI–XXXIII of Capital, vol. I (1865–1867) shows that Marx (mis)took the contingencies of English history for genuine historical necessities. But it also shows that landowners form an actual social class in Capital, one that plays an actual role in Marx's own theory of value. In fact, reading these chapters allows us to confidently answer that famous rhetorical question Marx first asked himself in chapter LII of Capital, vol. III (1864–1865): “Was macht Lohnarbeiter, Kapitalisten, Grundeigenthümer zu Bildnern der drei großen gesellschaftlichen Klassen?” (“Comment se fait-il que ce soient les ouvriers salariés, les capitalistes et les propriétaires fonciers qui constituent les trois grandes classes de la société?”). Unlike what we are sometimes led to believe, Marx actually answered that question.

Résumé

La lecture des chapitres XXVI-XXXIII du livre I du Capital (1865–1867) montre que Marx prenait les vicissitudes ou les contingences de l'histoire anglaise pour d'authentiques nécessités historiques. Mais elle montre aussi que les propriétaires fonciers forment une classe sociale sui generis, qui joue un rôle décisif dans la théorie de la valeur. De fait, la lecture de ces chapitres permet aujourd'hui de répondre avec certitude à la fameuse question oratoire que se posait Marx au chapitre LII du livre III du Capital (1864–1865): “Was macht Lohnarbeiter, Kapitalisten, Grundeigenthümer zu Bildnern der drei großen gesellschaftlichen Klassen?” (“Comment se fait-il que ce soient les ouvriers salariés, les capitalistes et les propriétaires fonciers qui constituent les trois grandes classes de la société?”) et à laquelle il n'aurait supposément jamais répondu.

Open access

What Can a Political Form of Reconciliation Look Like in Divided Societies?

The Deliberative “Right to Justification” and Agonistic Democracy

Burcu Özçelik

Abstract

Deliberative and agonistic democrats have conceived of political reconciliation and its pursuit in different forms. In this article, I explore how insight can be derived from key tenets of both strands of democratic theory in the struggle to achieve political reconciliation in war-torn or divided contexts. Rather than subsume disagreement or straitjacket it in processes of “rational” deliberation, I propose contingent, open-ended, but inclusive contestation to achieve political reconciliation. This article explores how the deliberative “right to justification,” set out by critical theorist Rainer Forst, can be put to work in an agonistic politics of reconciliation. I want to show that deliberation over the right to justification and the corollary duty to justify constitute conjoined means of consensus-seeking that can be contingent and fluid and can account for entrenched relations of power and inequality—two dynamics that deliberative theorists have been accused of deflecting or obscuring.