This article argues that John Rawls' liberal philosophising is an inadequate means of facing today's varied social and political challenges, both domestic and international, because it is incapable of grasping the antagonistic dimension which is constitutive of the political. Focusing first on Rawls' conception of politics in a well-ordered liberal society, and thereafter on his arguments pertaining to the field of international politics, it is shown how Rawls forecloses the recognition of the properly political moment by postulating that the discrimination between what is legitimate and what is not legitimate is dictated by morality and rationality. With exclusions presented as rationally justified and with the antagonistic dimension of politics whisked away, liberalism appears as the truly moral and rational solution to the problem of how to organise human coexistence, and its universalisation becomes the aim of all those who are moved by moral and rational considerations. Against this conception, it is suggested that a future, more peaceful world would be less a cosmopolitan and more a pluralist one.
Philosophical Approaches to the Concept
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.
TRANSLATED BY TATIANA ARGOUNOVA-LOW
German Rabbis Abroad as Cultural Agents?
Tobias Grill and Cornelia Wilhelm
During the second half of the eighteenth century, the Haskalah, the Jewish enlightenment movement, emerged in Germany to reconcile science and rationalism with Judaism. Such a programme was considered a prerequisite for a rapprochement between Jews and Gentiles. The Maskilim, the Jewish Enlighteners, regarded it as absolutely necessary to adapt Jewish life to modernity, in order to preserve Judaism. One of the main goals of the Haskalah programme, which portended a renunciation of the traditional dominance of religious education, was the acquisition and dissemination of secular knowledge. German Jews increasingly attended common schools or established their own modern educational institutions where secular knowledge was imparted, while the teaching of religious subjects had lost much of its earlier significance. Consequently, religion ceased to dominate all spheres of life and became merely a part of it.
A Black Tiger Rite of Commemoration
Since Weber's time, it has been believed that 'enchantment' progressively gave way to secular rationalism and its disenchanted ways. This essay breaks the twinning of enchantment with 'irrationality' in developing the argument that enchanted practices and pragmatic methods co-exist fruitfully in the activities of the LTTE. Circumstantial evidence, arising from pictures and descriptions of hero rituals sponsored by the LTTE, provides the foundation for this argument. It is suggested that the Saivite universe of being has nourished these symbolic compositions. A photograph of Black Tigers paying homage to their dead with guns in the left hand and flowers in the right provides a condensed demonstration as well as a point of departure for this suggestion. It is a moment of conjunctiveness that has the potential to fuse past, present, and future, thus achieving 'fusion force'.
Cosmopolitanism has become a rediscovered conceptual frontier within the social sciences. It has emerged in the space for relational thinking about contemporary movements of people and ideas beyond old societal boundaries, as an alternative to the homogenizing implications carried by globalization. It forefronts new cross-territorial contexts of encounter attending to samenesses and differences among people, places, and the nonhuman, presenting new kinds of translocal issues for anthropologists of the environment. While cosmopolitanism draws historically on aspects of Enlightenment universalist rationalism, current applications of the term forefront an empathy and respect for other people’s cultures and values. This is frequently drawn into a distinction between “normative” and “cultural” cosmopolitanisms. The first Kantian sense involves a context-transcendent level of ethical principles with general validity, while the second is about taking cognizance of difference and invokes some positive tolerance of multiplicity and appreciation of others. In both cases there is a sense of a projected “ethical horizon” (Werbner 2008).
Christopher R. Cook
This article contributes to the discussion of internationalisation in higher education in the context of the international relations (IR) subfield of political science. The field of IR might seem by definition to be ‘internationalised’, but the underlying theoretical assumptions of the field, its social science rationalism and privileging of the unitary nation-state exhibit an American or Eurocentric bias. This Western bias with its emphasis on security issues is then replicated in research agendas and reproduced in higher education classrooms across the United States and beyond. I argue that the way forward to promoting internationalisation partially lies with promoting plurality and diversity within research and in the classroom or what Lamy calls ‘challenging hegemonic paradigms’ (2007).
Une sociologie d’État
It is traditional to discuss the relation between Durkheim and Weber as ‘founders of sociology’. At first sight, it might seem odd to couple Durkheim and Hegel. But it can be instructive to compare their approach to issues involving modern individualism, society and the state. In general, they subscribe to a combination of rationalism and developmental ethics, in which the rational is immanent in the real, despite the possibility of ‘contingent’ or ‘pathological’ departures from ‘normality’. More specifically, in the case of the state, they see one of its main historical roles as the emancipation of the individual in a development of the individual personality. At the same time they picture the state as ‘the brain’ of society and insist on its relative autonomy and independence from individuals. Instead, in a critique of direct democracy, they look to a web of intermediate groups and corporations. A basic problematic in their work, and a continuing source of reflection, is how to achieve a balance between individual rights and a necessary authority and legitimacy of public power. In both cases this balance rests, as a matter of principle, on confidence in the skills and civic virtue of political leaders.
Urmila Nair, Naomi Haynes, Rebekka King, Joseph Webster, Amanda J. Lucia, Amit Desai, Jackie Feldman, Iza Kavedžija, Michael W. Scott, Jon Bialecki, Andreas Bandak, Nathaniel Roberts, Alan Barnard, Tom Boylston, Dimitri Tsintjilonis, Brian Baumann, Stuart McLean and Hayder Al-Mohammad
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MITTERMAIER, Amira, Dreams That Matter: Egyptian Landscapes of the Imagination, 308 pp., illustrations, notes, glossary, bibliography, index. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011. Paperback, $26.95, £18.95. ISBN 9780520258518.
QUACK, Johannes, Disenchanting India: Organized Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India, xvii + 362 pp., references, appendices, index. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN 9780199812608.
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