Universalism in Greek and Roman antiquity and Christian political philosophy -- Universalistic thinking from early modern times to Enlightenment -- The emergence of particularism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries -- The triumph of particularism in twentieth-century international relations theory -- Instead of a conclusion : towards renewed ontology(ies).
The relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth is defined by most New Testament scholars and historians of Christianity in terms such as “contrast”, “radical difference” or “parting of the ways”. This article aims at reviewing in a detailed way the many phenomenological parallels that the sources permit to establish between these Palestinian preachers of the first half of the 1st century c.e. (a task which has virtually not been made before). i will also reconsider some supposed differences (...) which, according to most scholars, imply the existence of a contrast between them, and i will argue that these differences do not exist or are not important enough to build a contrastive image. in this way, i aim at showing that the idea of a sharp opposition between John and Jesus is an untenable view and the result of a distortion of the available data due to ideological (more specifically, theological) prejudices. (shrink)
Am 14. Juli 1995 berichteten die angesehene Wissenschaftszeitschrift Science sowie die berühmte amerikanische Tageszeitung New York Times – auf dem Titelblatt – gleichzeitig über die erstmalige experimentelle Erzeugung eines Bose-Einstein-Kondensates aus einem Gas schwach wechselwirkender Alkaliatome am Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophy- sics (JILA) in Boulder/Colorado (USA). Was war an dieser Leistung so bedeutsam, dass man sich entschloss, sie auf jene Weise bekannt zu geben?
HR/AL: Professor Taylor, what are you working on these days? CT: Well, several things. One of the things I am working on is something I was lecturing this fall at the New School University, and that I have called ‘modern social imaginaries’. It is an attempt to understand western modernity in terms of the different ways in which people imagine their social existence. These imaginaries are a condition for new kinds of practices that are characteristic of modernity. This research is (...) an internal part of a larger project to understand modern secular civilization, the modern west as a secular civilization. What does that notion exactly mean? What does it amount to? How did it happen? (shrink)
It is still a popular philosophical position to call for a strict “separationism” concerning the private and the public sphere when it comes to religious convictions. Richard Rorty is one prominent supporter of this claim. The traditional critique against this division is mostly built on a particular characterization of religion that is at odds with Rortian assumptions. In this article, however, Rorty is criticized on his own terms turning pragmatically the objection to a fully internal one. What Rorty values most, (...) namely a tolerant and ironic liberalism as the capacity to describe oneself in new and interesting ways is precisely the role, I argue, that religious faith could play under “neo-liberal” conditions. (shrink)
Although Weber's path-breaking work on the Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism has received much attention ever since it first appeared in 1904-5, recent research has uncovered important new aspects. This volume, the result of an international, interdisciplinary effort, throws new light on the intellectual and cultural background of Weber's work, debates recent criticism of Weber's thesis, and confronts new historical insight on the seventeenth century with Weber's interpretation. Revisiting Weber's thesis serves to deepen our understanding of Weber as (...) much as it will stimulate further research. (shrink)
In this paper one aspect of Leibniz' optical ideas, the law of refraction, is the main topic. This law had been formulated before him by Snellius, Descartes and Fermat. Their mathematical equations are analogous in the relations between the geometrical parameters and the optical resistances, but they differ concerning the velocities of light. From the Leibnitian point of view this situation has its reasons in uncompletely developed principles. Leibniz had shown that the solution of this problem requires a new metaphysics (...) as well as other mathematical, namely infinitesimal methods, which are connected in Leibniz by his dynamics. As one of the influences of his dynamical statement, the beginning of a new type of physical explanation will be demonstrated, which replaced the construction of mechanical models in the 18th century. (shrink)
Chomsky's conservatism, with its explicit distrust of politicians and corporate managers, may explain why his most strident critics are to be found among liberals. Two of Britain's liberal newspapers, The Guardian and The Observer, attack him more regularly than the right-wing press does. Chomsky may have earned their ire by pointing out from time to time mistakes made in their news pages, particularly in war zones. Observer reviewer Rafael Behr summarized Hopes and Prospects and concluded that Chomsky should recognize (...) "the irony that he owes his considerable success to the system he despises." Let us suppose for a moment that Behr is right, that Chomsky's considerable success is an achievement of the system rather than of Chomsky's genius and insights into the nature of language that have transformed modern philosophy and psychology as much as they have linguistic studies. Would he have said that Andrei Sakharov "owes his considerable success to the system he despises"? Sakharov became a victim of the Soviet system after his discoveries in physics, but the importance of Sakharov as political critic (rather than as physicist) was that he criticized a system that he believed was harmful to world peace, human dignity and the society of which he was a beneficiary. The same can, and should, be said of Chomsky. (shrink)