Plato said that as long as wisdom and power, or philosophy and politics, are separated, “there can be no rest from troubles.”1 In The Republic, he sought to forge such a union. For over two millennia, from Plato through John Rawls, philosophers have put forward models for the just state.2 Despite these ongoing efforts, W. B. Gallie contends, “No political philosopher has ever dreamed of looking for the criteria of a good state viz-à-viz [sic] other states.”3 I will argue that (...) as long as wisdom and power are separated in international relations, we will continue to have problems. We need to forge a normative framework capable of addressing global issues. I further maintain that, in order to advance a global normative framework, achieving peace, or at least the “outlawry of war” championed by John Dewey, may well be the precondition for success in addressing the myriad global problems facing humanity.4 I agree with Ronald Glossop that among all the global issues we need to address, war is “humanity’s most pressing problem.”5 How can we adequately protect everyone’s human rights, secure economic well-being for all persons, preserve this planet’s rich biological diversity, and attend to other serious global concerns if we fail to end war? The structure of my argument is as follows: I will begin by reviewing the parochial and warist implications of the focus on national sovereignty within Enlightenment political philosophy from Thomas Hobbes through Immanuel Kant. Then, after indicating how Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Karl Marx point beyond the modern state in a way that would allow for the global application of normative principles, I will note that the Hegelian and Marxian traditions have not made this normative prospect focal. Finally, in order to develop a global normative framework, I will connect the efforts within twentieth-century philosophy to develop arenas of applied ethics to recent efforts in political science to develop a model of a humane world community.. (shrink)
Many individuals domestically and internationally who strive for peace and justice are concerned about the new National Security Strategy issued by the George W. Bush Administration in September 2002. 1 William Galston, for example, writes in a recent issue of Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly: A global strategy based on the new Bush doctrine of preemption means the end of the system of international institutions, laws and norms that we have worked to build for more than a half a (...) century. To his credit, Kissinger recognizes this; he labels Bush’s new approach “revolutionary” and declares, “Regime change as a goal for military intervention challenges the international system.” 2 Does the new Bush doctrine end the international legal system? Is the new Bush doctrine making policy declarations that are unprecedented in United States history? While I share many of the concerns critics are expressing about the new national security strategy, I contend that the more serious issue is not the ways in which this strategy represents a departure from those of prior United States presidential administrations but the actual practices of the Bush administration that appeal to this strategy. I will indicate how this new national security strategy does not represent much of a shift in policy, capability, or practice. Instead, this strategy Bush is using the strategy as an enabling device for a disturbing resurgence of United States global imperialism that serves interests that are actually opposed to the political rhetoric of the value of nations aiming for democracy and a market economy. I conclude by commenting on pursuing genuinely democratic values. I suggest that if the United States were truly committed to democratic values, then any military interventions would require the prior consent of the people. Otherwise what the United States refer to as “bringing democracy” to a people will be more like a militarily enforced authoritarianism that too closely resembles old-style exploitive imperialism.. (shrink)
“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” So begins Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. While he was writing about London and Paris during the turbulent times associated with the rise of the British Industrial Revolution and the French Political Revolution, these lines express the current sentiments of many Americans. Before 11 September 2001, many people thought we were living in the best of times. Baby boomers were relishing in the prospects that through inheritance (...) they would be the beneficiaries of the greatest transfer of wealth in United States history. After 11 September, even more citizens were psychologically shattered when they realized that the terrorist strikes showed that the United States, the most powerful nation on Earth, is still quite vulnerable. (shrink)
Throughout the Cold War, we heard public cries that nuclear war would destroy us. Many citizens rejected the governmentally crafted myth of protection. They did not believe in the 1960s that a fallout shelter boom or in the 1980s that a star wars boom would protect them from the big boom. Instead, they thought the Big Boom would bring on global doom. Currently, we are hearing our initial post-Cold War version of the myth of protection. This time the star wars (...) fallacy is being repackaged as a missile defense system. Then, following the events of 11 September 2001, a further shift occurred. Now, we hear that the Office of Homeland Security will protect us from terrorists and from weapons of mass destruction, whether nuclear, chemical, or biological. (shrink)
The Cold War has ended and the post-Cold War world is often presented as one in which democracy and market economies are victorious. Francis Fukuyama goes so far as to claim that democratic politics has triumphed on a global scale.[ii] At least from a statistical point of view, most nations now declare themselves to be democracies, and a majority of the global population lives in these countries.[iii] However, the claim that the West won the Cold War too easily occludes recognition (...) that the victory of democracy is restricted to the political sphere. While the dissolution of the Soviet Union has made the world “safe for democracy” in the political sphere, it has also made the world “safe for capitalism” in the economic sphere. In other words, the victory of democracy is partial since market economies remain largely undemocratic. (shrink)
The dissolution of the Soviet Union has initiated important questions concerning the nature and future of Marxism. This essay will examine the future of Marxism in relation to global values, specifically in relation to what is termed “Western” Marxism (non-Soviet or non-Orthodox Marxism).
In each decade of the nuclear age, philosophers have provided critical reflections on the nature, use, and consequences of nuclear weapons. Frequently, these reflections have addressed the morality of producing, testing, deploying, and using nuclear weapons. Already, these philosophical reflections have passed through four phases and are now entering a fifth phase. The first phase stretches from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima to the above ground nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll. From the initial use of atomic weapons in 1945 to (...) the testing of the hydrogen bomb in 1952, the United States held a virtual monopoly. (The Soviet Union tested its first atomic weapon in 1949, and the United States progressed not only to the development of the hydrogen bomb, but also to a miniaturization of nuclear weapons that spawned even more tactical nuclear weapons than the eventual strategic arsenals of the superpowers.) During the 1950s and 1960s, the second phase shifts to a focus on the above ground testing of the hydrogen bomb, as well as the post war tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. The third phase addresses increasing shifts during the 1970s and 1980s to counterforce weapons and nuclear war fighting strategies. The fourth phase responds to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and to the problems of nuclear proliferation and nuclear deterrence in the post Cold War world, culminating with a critique of the renewal of Star Wars in 2001 under the guise of ballistic missile defense. The first decade of the twenty first century ushers in not only the purported “war against terrorism” by the United States, but also a broader and deeper philosophical response to the interconnections among violence, terrorism, and war. (shrink)
linguistic alienation: the situation in which individuals cannot understand a discourse in their own language because of the use of highly technical vocabularies. linguistic violence: the situation in which individuals are hurt or harmed by words. negative peace: the temporary absence of active war or the lull between wars. positive peace: the negation of war and the presence of justice. warist discourse: language which takes for granted that wars are inevitable, justifiable, and winnable.
arguments concerning whether such changes are creative.  Less frequently addressed are questions about how to assess the perceptual implications of these linguistic innovations.  Using insights of Ricoeur and, to a lesser extent, M. Merleau Ponty and V. N. Volosinov, I will provide a model for evaluating a certain class of linguistic innovations, namely, new uses of language which rely upon distortion of typical perceptual associations. (Excluded from such new linguistic uses are, for example, analogical innovations, as presented by (...) Saussure.) As my title suggests, I will relate two superficially dissimilar products of language, i.e., metaphor and ideology. I will argue that metaphor and ideology need to be considered jointly (comparatively) to understand linguistic creativity, because -despite their differences -they mutually rely (at their inception) on atypical, even excessive, distortion of the way words shape perception of and reflection on ‘reality.’ My basic thesis is that, in language, the processes of creativity and distortion are interrelated. However, the conclusion I will reach is one which proposes a distinction between and criterion for ‘positive’ changes (which I term ‘creative distortions’) and ‘negative’ changes (which I term ‘distortive creations’). Nevertheless, I do not associate ‘creative distortions’ exclusively with metaphors and ‘distortive creations’ exclusively with ideologies. For metaphor and ideology, I relate ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ to how practical activity is facilitated, using a criterion of expansion or enrichment versus contraction or impoverishment of the semiotic perceptual field. Hence, throughout, even when I make distinctions, I will stress how metaphor and ideology are similar, not how they are different. Textually, the model I will present results from my effort to relate Ricoeur’s views on.. (shrink)
Does language do violence, and, if so, can linguistic violence be overcome? Language can do violence if violence does not require the exercise of physical force, and linguistic violence can be overcome if its use can be avoided. Some forms of violence do not use physical force, and various means are available for avoiding linguistic violence. Hence, although linguistic violence can and does occur, it also can be overcome. Much of my recent work has focused on how language, which does (...) not rely on physical force, nonetheless often does violence. Linguistic violence occurs when we are hurt psychologically by words and when we are harmed socially by words. While most people are conscious of the pain that words can cause, many social groups are often unconscious of injustices that language helps to create and sustain. Exposing both of these forms of linguistic violence is the first step. (shrink)
Hannah Arendt says that "violence is nothing more than the most flagrant manifestation of power." Given this definition, one might expect that violence takes many forms. Numerous writers have, in fact, applied violence to more than direct bodily harm. Within philosophy, Newton Garver, for example, has developed a typology of violence that includes overt and covert forms, as well as personal..
I stumbled into my interpretation of Wittgenstein as an advocate of what is now termed applied philosophy. In doing research for an essay on linguistic violence,  I decided to read more by and about Ferrucio Rossi Landi because I had already made use of his work on linguistic alienation.  One source, in particular, caught my attention because of its clever, though sexist, subtitle. In 1991, Ranjit Chatterjee published an essay titled "Rossi Landi's Wittgenstein: 'A philosopher's meaning is his (...) use in the.. (shrink)