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Arctic Circumpolar Civilization

Philosophical Approaches to the Concept

Sviatoslav Shachin

This article analyzes the concept of an Arctic circumpolar civilization and focuses on contradictions inherent within the concept. Some of these antinomies are the nomadic character of the traditional Arctic civilization and the traditional academic approach that takes a sedentarist perspective; the rich worldview of the Arctic residents and its inadequate reflection in the rational paradigm of cognition; and issues surrounding sustainable development and the global crisis of humanity, which leads to instability worldwide, including in the Arctic. The article proposes method of dialectical synthesis for resolving such antinomies.


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David Graeber

Terms such as 'fate' and 'luck' are ways of talking about the ambiguities and antinomies of temporal existence that all humans, even social theorists, have to confront in one form or another. Concepts that include mana, śakti, baraka, and orenda might best be considered as grappling with the exact same paradoxes. Nor should we assume that social scientific approaches are necessarily more sophisticated. Current discourse on 'performativity', for instance, seems in certain ways rather crude when compared to the Malagasy concept of hasina (usually translated as 'sacred power'), which takes on the same dilemma—what I call the 'paradox of performativity'—in a far more nuanced way.

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Figurations of the Future

On the Form and Temporality of Protests among Left Radical Activists in Europe

Stine Krøijer

During the past 10 years, protests timed to coincide with international summits have become a recurrent phenomenon in Europe. The present article describes the protests of left radical activists during NATO's sixtieth anniversary summit in Strasbourg in 2009, paying attention to the particular relationship between form, body, and time. The article establishes a dialogue between the performative theory of Victor Turner, Viveiros de Castro's theorization of Amerindian perspectivism, and newer theories of time and the body. It is argued that during confrontations between activists and the police, a moment of bodily synchronicity emerges among activists. A skillful performance makes a temporal bodily perspective appear that overcomes the antinomies between immanence and transcendence, between the present and the future, that characterize much thought on social change.

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Moral Conflict

The Private, the Public and the Political

Marios Filis

This article investigates the connection between the phenomenon of moral conflict and the concepts of the private, the public and the political. In the first part of the article, as a way of locating my pluralistic position within the tradition of authors such as Isaiah Berlin and Steven Lukes, I develop a brief overview of modern meta-ethics and argue that monistic and relativistic explanations of morality are the cause of many of the antinomies that trouble human conduct. In the second part of the article, I make the central contention that moral pluralism is particularly useful in clarifying the concepts of the private, the public and the political as distinct domains of activity. I argue that we should treat moral conflict differently in each of these three domains and conclude that the moral significance and peculiarity of politics has been undeservedly underestimated in contemporary times.

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Jean-Christophe Marcel

The reception of American sociology in post-war France is often associated with an abandonment of the philosophically rooted, grand theoretical interests of Durkheimian social science, in favour of much more empirical concerns, whether with the quantitative surveys championed by Jean Stoetzel or the more qualitative fieldwork studies advocated by Georges Friedmann. At the same time, however, there was not just a continuation but a revival of an older, philosophically inspired sociological tradition, amounting to a new, ‘third age’ of Durkheimianism. This movement was especially led, in their own particular yet interrelated ways, by Georges Davy and Georges Gurvitch, but also involved the key figure of Mikel Dufrenne, who collaborated with both of them. A fundamental aim was to develop a new discourse of the social that ‘psychologized’ the Durkheimian legacy, and an essential strategy in doing so was to draw on Americans such as Abram Kardiner, whose idea of a ‘basic personality’ was taken up in Dufrenne’s book La Personnalité de base (1953). The project of a rapprochement between sociology and psychology can be traced back to the efforts of Mauss and others in the inter-war years, but also has origins in concern, in Durkheim’s own intellectual milieu, with an antinomy between the phenomenal world’s explanation and internal experience. Even so, a whole set of new challenges to the Durkheimian tradition had developed by the 1950s. These included Hegelianized forms of Marxism, the spread of interest in Weber and, again via Germany, the rise of phenomenology not only as post-war France’s hegemonic philosophy but also, especially in the work of Sartre, as radically anti-sociological. The Americans were a vital resource in helping to fight off this challenge.

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Kosher Biotech

Between Religion, Regulation, and Globalization

Johan Fischer

Diversity and Pluralism: Empirical Data and Theoretical Reflections from the Danish Pluralism Project .” Journal of Contemporary Religion 27 ( 3 ): 403 – 418 . Bear , Laura . 2013 . “ The Antinomies of Audit: Opacity, Instability and Charisma in the