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Dannica Fleuß and Gary S. Schaal

The article analyzes the (often implicit) understanding of democratic theory that is presupposed by scholars who engage in this practice and provides an answer to the question: “What are we doing when we are doing democratic theory?” We flesh out the core features of this scholarly activity by relating it to and differentiating it from assessments made from the perspective of political philosophy and political science. We argue that democratic theory aims at proposing institutional devices that are (a) problem-solving approaches and (b) embodiments of normative principles. This two-faced structure requires democratic theorists to engage in feedback loops with political philosophy on the one hand and empirical political science on the other. This implies that democratic theorists must adopt a dynamic approach: democratic theories must “fit” societal circumstances. In consequence, they must be adapted in case of fundamental societal transformations. We exemplify this dynamic character by referring to digitalization-induced changes in democratic societies and their implications for democratic theorists’ practice.

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Peter O'Brien

This article analyzes the most influential weltanschauungen at play in the politics of immigration in Europe. I categorize relevant value judgments into what I, following Theodore Lowi, call "public philosophies." I highlight three competing public philosophies in the politics of immigration in Europe: 1) liberalism; 2) nationalism; and 3) postmodernism. Liberalism prescribes universal rights protecting the autonomy of the individual, as well as rational and democratic procedures (rules of the game) to govern the pluralism that inevitably results in free societies. Against liberalism, nationalism stresses community and cultural homogeneity in addition to a political structure designed to protect both. Rejecting both liberalism and nationalism, postmodernism posits insurmountable relativism and irreducible cultural heterogeneity accompanied by ultimately irrepressible political antagonism. I examine the three outlooks through a case study of the headscarf debate. The article concludes with consideration of how normative ideas combine with other factors to influence policymaking.

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Death Camps and Designer Dresses

The Liberal Agenda and the Appeal to 'Real Existing Socialism'

Lorna Finlayson

Political philosophers tend to notice their differences more than their similarities. I suggest that contemporary analytic political philosophy in fact exhibits a 'dominant paradigm', the main features of which are a commitment to liberal capitalism and a preference for the designing of 'just institutions.' To subscribe to this paradigm involves making a decision about how to manage the philosophical 'agenda.' In order to focus on certain issues within this paradigm, alternatives, most notably socialism, have to be excluded from prolonged consideration. A popular way of supporting this policy is by reference to the perceived failure of 'real existing socialism.' Taking the late political philosopher Brian Barry, among others, as an example, I argue that this argumentative strategy is unconvincing, and furthermore that its deployment tells a worrying story about the practice of political philosophy.

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The Return of the Animal

Posthumanism, Indigeneity, and Anthropology

Danielle DiNovelli-Lang

The vectors by which the question of the animal has confronted the discipline of anthropology are both diverse—from paleoarchaeological fascination with the transition from ape to man to sociocultural accounts of human-animal conflict—and fraught insofar as they tend to loop back into one another. For instance, while posthumanism is intellectually novel, to take its line of critique seriously is to recognize that the science of man has depended on the philosophical animal from the start. A still tighter loop could be drawn around Lévi-Strauss's foundational interest in animal symbolism and the Amazonian ontologies undergirding Latour's amodern philosophy. Three related interdependencies pull hard on these loops: 1) philosophy and anthropology; 2) the human and the animal; 3) modernity and indigeneity. This last interdependency is notably undertheorized in the present efflorescence of human-animal scholarship. This article attends to some of the consequences of modernity/indigeneity's clandestine operations in the literature.

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Ruth Kitchen

For Sartre, shame is not an ethical but an ontological experience. With this in mind, the article examines the philosophical connection between shame and ambiguity through analysis of the experiences of abortion and the Nazi Occupation. The article demonstrates how Beauvoir develops Sartre's ontological notion of shame into an ethical philosophy of ambiguity as a result of wartime experiences. It demonstrates how encounters with shame, abortion, ambiguity and Occupation life in Beauvoir's 1945 novel Le sang des autres elucidate and are developed by Sartre and Beauvoir's philosophies of shame and ambiguity. The paper proposes that Sartre's and Beauvoir's thought was shaped by living through the Nazi Occupation and reveals how the memory of wartime shame is activated in contemporary ethical dilemmas in later literary works of both writers.

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Jason M. Costanzo, Caroline Walsh, Fazel Khan, Douglas Farland, and Roger Deacon

Introduction to German Philosophy: From Kant to Habermas, by Andrew Bowie

Global Justice and Transnational Politics: Essays on the Moral and Political Challenges of Globalization edited by Pablo de Greiff and Ciaran Cronin Caroline Walsh

Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War and the Roots of Terror by Mahmood Mamdani Clash of Fundamentalisms by Tariq Ali Fazel Khan

An Introduction to Contemporary Meta-Ethics by Alexander Miller Douglas Farland

The New Wars by Herfried Münkler Roger Deacon

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Flowers from Palestine

A Chapter from Selma Lagerlöf's Novel Jerusalem and a Book from the Library of the Hochschule Für Jüdische Studien Heidelberg

Margaretha Boockmann

With the founding of the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien (HfJS) in 1979 the library of the institution, which currently contains some 50,000 volumes, was also established. Corresponding to the subjects taught at the HfJS, the library contains books on the Bible and Biblical exegesis, Talmud and rabbinic literature, Jewish history, philosophy, literature and art, as well as the several languages that are taught in relationship to these subjects.

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Society of Centaurs

Philosophical Remarks on Automobility

Peter Sloterdijk

It is characteristic for philosophical speech to keep its distance from problem-solving thinking. It seems to be important, in the modern day climate of worry that surrounds discussions about transport and society, to keep this in mind—the possibility of an unrestrained and indeed celebratory mode of thought, one that today goes under the name “philosophy.” Thought can only be unrestrained if it can shake off the agitation caused by current concerns, becoming then, in a literal sense, luxurious.

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Jeffrey Wilson

Since Kant, modern philosophy has reacted critically and most often dismissively to any theories or inquiries deemed “metaphysical.” The Critique of Pure Reason shows that although human beings naturally seek knowledge of things that are beyond the limits of all possible experience (i.e., metaphysical knowledge), the categories by means of which we are capable of knowledge are all restricted in their legitimate application to objects of possible experience.

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Adrian van den Hoven

This collection of twenty-one articles by thirteen American, six British, and two Canadian scholars is divided into four sections: Sartre and Philosophy; Sartre and Psychology; Sartre: (Auto)biography, Theater, and Cinema; and, finally, Sartre and Politics. The great diversity of approaches and commentaries is a tribute to the stature of Sartre, whose writings continue to have an impact on the English-speaking world and farther afield.