Journal of World Philosophies 6 (1):99-138 (2021)

Kok-Chor Tan
University of Pennsylvania
Steve Coutinho
Muhlenberg College
Kok-Chor Tan argues that cosmopolitan liberalism can serve as a means to implement the ideal of moral universalism, if one sufficiently distinguishes non-toleration from intervention and moral universalism from dogmatism. In a further move, Tan claims that such an understanding of cosmopolitan liberalism can work to mutually regulate the behavior of states in the global arena. Tan’s co-panelists engage different aspects of his vision. Steve Coutinho underscores that changes within cultures do not typically result from a dialogue across cultures but from within individual cultures. Instead of propping up universal morality on the ideal of cosmopolitan liberalism, we should, Coutinho proposes, work toward finding values that have been implemented to create practical circumstances that resemble those found in liberal cultures. Putting the spotlight on the historical context of liberal cosmopolitanism, Zachary Penman argues that to engage in a global dialogue, the onus is on cosmopolitan liberals to shift the geography of reasoning from imperiality to decoloniality. Equally, their decolonial partners in this dialogue should throw into light the normative content of their decolonial practical reason to facilitate the shift. Saranindranath Tagore encourages Tan to think about a more expanded account of autonomy that is set on a more explicit cosmopolitan register. To this end, he suggests that a cosmopolitan sensibility be fostered through education. Sympathetic to Tan’s larger project of a liberal cosmopolitanism that subscribes to epistemic modesty, Inés Valdez brings into focus structures of epistemic dogmatism that currently allow for political and economic control and exploitation of other peoples and their resources. Tan’s response considers how his own defense of liberal cosmopolitanism as well as his interlocutors’ responses relate to the broader project of decolonizing philosophy.
Keywords                    Zhuangzi  cosmopolitan liberalism  decoloniality  decolonizing philosophy  epistemology of ignorance  geography of reason  global justice  interventionalist projects  liberal culture  moral imperialism  philosophy of education  unity of the human
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