The concept of well-being has emerged as a key category of social and political thought, especially in the fields of moral and political philosophy, development studies, and economics. This book takes a critical look at the notion of well-being by examining what well-being means, or could mean, to people living in a number of different regions including Sudan, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, India, Sierra Leone, and the UK. The contributors take issue with some of the assumptions behind Western concepts of (...) well-being. They explore what characterizes a "good life" and how this idea has been affected by globalization and neoliberalism. The book makes a major contribution to social theory by presenting new analytical models that make sense of the changing shapes of people's life and ethical values. (shrink)
Hoe beoordelen we de door de mens veroorzaakte klimaatverandering? Wat verstaan we onder ‘duurzame ontwikkeling’? Deze twee met elkaar samenhangende vragen hebben grote politieke actualiteit en staan centraal in dit themanummer. In de maatschappij en politiek blijkt er verschil van inzicht te bestaan over allerlei aspecten van klimaat en duurzaamheid. Hoewel velen in onze maatschappij de algemene visie delen dat de huidige wijze waarop wij in het Westen onze ‘kwaliteit van leven’ realiseren niet ‘duurzaam’ is, is er veel (...) minder een gedeelde perceptie van wat nu precies het probleem is en hoe dat opgelost dient te worden. In dit artikel wil ik met name de vraag aan de orde stellen hoe zeker we zijn over klimaatverandering als probleem en duurzame ontwikkeling als oplossing. En wat de rol van wetenschappers kan zijn in het omgaan met onzekerheden. Tot besluit zal vanuit de thematiek van dit artikel kort vooruitgeblikt worden naar de andere artikelen in dit nummer. (shrink)
This article discusses the ethical dimension of Sloterdijk's spherology and its contribution to the current debate on globalization. It is shown that Sloterdijk already developed the core of his ethics in his earlier works. The central distinction here is the ontological difference between the intimate stay of the fetus in its mother's womb and the ominous outside of the world. From its birth onwards the infant has to develop new intimate spheres to make life bearable and to expand into the (...) world. This coming into the world depends on the quality of macrospheres that take over the immunological functions of the microspheres. Sloterdijk believes that the current debate on globalization is a late and superficial reflection of the crisis of the metaphysical globalization. This crisis means that Europeans have lost their all-embracing macrosphere of the idealized globe. As a consequence, modernity means that people and cultures have to become more self-reliant to protect themselves from a radical outside. The actual globalization of the earth can therefore be understood as an ongoing exteriorization of the animated space of the local spheres. At the same time people from different cultures and states are forced to work together on an unprecedented scale. This actual globalization does not mean however, that there is a universal moral law that obliges us to put our self-interest aside in favour of the interests of strangers. In this respect Sloterdijk stresses the importance of care for one's own spheres, be it an individual, a family or a company, as a condition of responsibility and solidarity. (shrink)
The debate following Berlin's famous lecture Two Concepts of Liberty circled around the opposition between negative and positive liberty. Berlin delivered his lecture during the period of the Cold War. Therefore it not only provoked a very technical debate within analytic philosophy on the concept of liberty but also contained an important butdebatable political message: those who endorse positive liberty should be conscious of the fact that the logic of positive liberty leads, if not necessarily at least easily to despotism, (...) paternalism and even totalitarianism. It is no unimportant question then to ask whether no conception of political society can be developed which, without denying pluralism and negative liberty, would show that virtue and law are part of freedom, that freedom entails the exercise of certain actions without this leading up to the imposition of one conception of the good. In this article there is shown in what sense the republican or neo-roman vision of civil liberty can fulfil this requirement. The analysis of the different components of the republican conception of freedom shows that republicanism distinguishes itself from liberalism not so much by the defence of different institutions but by a different legitimation of them which ultimately has its origin in taking serious the proper finality of political society, in taking serious, as the Ancients did, the political and not only social nature of man. (shrink)
This paper is an interpretation of the precise meaning of Spinoza's provocative theses that "right is might", and that the real basis of political and other authority is power. The possibility condition of these radically modern theses — that imply the end of traditional theologico-political thinking — is a peculiar naturalistic theology. At the same time, this paper provides a brief, but thorough introduction to Spinoza's political philosophy. Some aspects of it which are often neglected, such as the intricate relationship (...) beween the law and the mores of the people, are given their due weight. (shrink)
Aan de hand van voorbeelden uit de literatuurkritiek van de oudheid tot heden wordt een pleidooi geconstrueerd voor kritische openheid bij het ondergaan van kunstwerken met anti-democratische en racistische lading, zoals bijvoorbeeld de muziek van Wagner.
Little attention has been paid to the dimension of the political world in the phenomenological project of Husserl and Heidegger. However, this is not due to phenomenology as such, as has been proven by the discovery of the political occurring in the work of Hannah Arendt. The author therefore takes the phenomenological ideal of openness to the world in authentic existence as his starting point in an attempt to provide a systematic phenomenological determination of the political world. A preparatory first (...) part elucidates the phenomenological significance of the distinction between the inauthentic existence of everyday life and authentic existence. He argues that it is not a volitional intellectual act but a fundamental mood which makes possible the transition to authentic openness for the world. A second part develops this thesis by analysing the rise of divergence of opinion concerning possible action as a 'public matter', which can not be resolved by expertise. This divergence serves as a focus in which the life-world comes to the fore as the domain of possibility for action, which asks for the reflective power of judgment in the Kantian sense. The third part characterises the political world as in between ethos and kairos. The political is thus conditioned by the temporal finitude of human existence between past and future. Part four briefly sketches the totalitarian seduction as a revolt against this finitude. (shrink)