Abstract. The strong similarity between the use of ostension and that of a simple demonstrative to predicate something of an object seems to conflict with equally strong intuitions according to which, while “this” does usually refer to an object, the gesture of holding an object in your hand and showing it to an audience does not refer to the demonstrated object. This paper argues that the problem is authentic and provides a solution to it. In doing so, a more general (...) thought is given support by the approach used. Namely, the thought that our abilities to directly refer to things require some basic referential abilities exhibited in ostension and the use of demonstratives which, in their turn, rest upon our abilities to cooperate in performing non-communicative actions on our environment. Several concepts introduced in order to solve the initial problem can be used to articulate this thought in more detail. (shrink)
The paper contains a conceptual proposal, its key idea being that the successful functioning of a rule embedding artifact designed to regulate a practice (not pertaining to its use) produces the same result as the successful performance of the rule-invoking non-communicative actions belonging to the practice in case.
My aims here are, firstly, to suggest a minor amendment to R. I. G. Hughes’ DDI account of modeling, so that it could be viewed as a plausible epistemological “model” of how scientific models represent and secondly, to distinguish between two epistemological kinds of models that I call “descriptive” and “constitutive”. This aim is achieved by criticizing Michael Weisberg’s distinction between models and abstract direct representations and by following, at the same time, his own methodological approach for such a distinction.
How can we ever judge about the truth of a scientiﬁc theory? Ostensibly it seems to be no problems concerning such a judgement. Each scientiﬁc theory is expressed by a set of statements, formulated in a deﬁnite language; and we know, in principle, to ascertain whether a sentence is true or false, If we take any formula, say in the ﬁrst order predicate calculus, no matter how complex, and if we know its interpretation, i.e. the appropriate ﬁnite domain of individuals, (...) functions, and truth values of the atoms entering the formula, then we immediately come to know whether our formula is true or false. It is admitted by analogy, that if we come to know the truth values of the basic theory statements, then we can judge if a given theory is true or false. It can be shown, however, that there exists no similar reliable prescription . Let me comment on this in some more detail. (shrink)
Time travel is a theme that provokes scientific curiosity, as well as philosophical speculation. The problems it raises, however, are being tackled by science fiction only, and are still not resolved by science either theoretically, or practically. My aim here is, firstly, to present some curious facts about time travel and to have a look at the nature of different ontological constraints confronting time travel; secondly, to outline three cases for which time travel might be meaningfully contended; and thirdly, to (...) defend the “unexpected” claim that human conscious presence in the world is the genuine-and-natural time travel. (shrink)
As an instrument of preserving the cultural memory of a community, the literary canon is usually a highly stable structure in its core elements. However, with the advent of the Communist regime after the Second World War, the Romanian literary canon underwent a drastic process of reconstruction. As early as the 1940s, what was euphemistically dubbed “revisiting our cultural heritage” actually equated to a radical revision—a purge of the literary canon through the fi lter of Marxism-Leninism. Not only writers of (...) literature, but literary critics themselves were subjected to this process. In this paper, I aim to discuss the role played by literary critics active during Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej’s regime in rehabilitating their predecessors. My focus will be on the press debate surrounding Titu Maiorescu’s rehabilitation in 1963. (shrink)
Gheorghe Sferlea | : Cet article examine les premières tentatives d’interprétation théologique du titre marial Theotokos au IVe siècle. Au coeur de cette histoire on retrouve Apollinaire, évêque de Laodicée et figure importante du camp pro-nicéen, qui a élaboré une théorie controversée sur l’unité du Christ, notamment en excluant l’intellect humain de la constitution du Sauveur. C’est dans le cadre de cette préoccupation plus large qu’il vit l’opportunité de tenter une appropriation théologique du titre Theotokos et qu’il en fit (...) un outil polémique dans la stratégie d’ériger sa propre position en orthodoxie christologique. L’idée que je défends ici est que Diodore de Tarse, Grégoire de Nazianze, Grégoire de Nysse et Théodore de Mopsueste se sont tous confrontés à l’interprétation proposée par Apollinaire et ont cherché les meilleurs moyens d’y réagir. | : This article examines the first attempts of theological interpretation of Marian title Theotokos in the fourth Century. At the centre of this history stands Apollinarius, bishop of Laodiceea and a significant character of the pro-Nicene movement, who elaborated a controversial account on the unity of Christ that excluded human intellect from Saviour’s constitution. It was within this broader concern that he saw the opportunity of attempting a theological appropriation of title Theotokos and made it a polemical tool in the strategy of establishing his own Christological stance as authoritative. My contention is that Diodore of Tarsus, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa and Theodore of Mopsuestia all found themselves confronted with Apollinarius’ interpretation and searched ways of reacting to it. (shrink)
By exercising their (imperfect) capacity to discriminate, people try to recognize and to understand some important differences between things that make them prefer some things to other. In this article I will use my ability to discriminate between people and societies according to a principle which plays the role of attractor, both at individual and societal levels, namely the principle of peaceable conduct. This principle allows us to discriminate at the civic level between the people who have a civilized conduct (...) and those who manifest an aggressive conduct. The category of civilized people includes individuals who (a) respect the life and bodily integrity of their fellows, (b) practice self-control, not control over others and (c) do not claim, through coercive means, the goods that their fellows have obtained by making free and peaceful use of their own faculties and capabilities. The category of aggressive people reunites (a) murderers (those who endanger the lives of their fellow), (b) tyrants (those who beslave their fellows by taking control of some of their faculties) and (c) thieves (those who claim the goods of their fellows without their consent). The civilized conduct requires high standards of action of the people who embrace it and, implicitly, considerable physical and psychical costs. The primary impulses originating in our lower Self blatantly contradict the respect for life, liberty and property of our fellows, so that it seems impossible for them to be controlled only by personal effort. Therefore, it is vital that the energy allotted to peaceable conduct by our higher Self be superior to the energy which it spontaneously mobilizes in support of the primary impulses of our lower Self. This can be achieved by feeding the people with the social energy of certain social emotions in the process of internalizing the norms of peaceable conduct. Among these emotions, contempt and shame, respectively anger and guilt stand out through the predominance of the moral dimension and force of shaping human conduct. They underlie two different moral systems – “shame morality”, and “guilt morality” respectively – that support our peaceable conduct and, ipso facto, our civilized life. (shrink)
In this paper I try to clarify and systematize some contributions with regard to (a) the main aspects of crisis situations that impose the management of emotions, (b) the correlation of certain social emotions with the factors that trigger them and their related tendencies to act, (c) the essential elements of emotional experience, (d) the differentiation of appropriate emotional reactions to a crisis situation from the inappropriate ones; (e) the in-stances in which emotions can be managed, and (f) the balance (...) between rationality and affectivity in the organization’s response to the risks or crises which it faces. By means of logical correlations I arrived at the following conclusions. Regardless of the social sphere in which the crisis makes itself felt, regardless of its type, phase or damage control strategies, the rational control of emotions contributes significantly to overcoming the crisis situation. Beyond the specificities, crises involve digressions form the norms of rightful conduct, breaches of the social norms that support institutions (as spontaneous order structures) and maladaptive reactions to reality. They can be corrected through a good management of emotions, with the caveat that we are not dealing with a problem of knowledge, but rather with one of will and character. All people can identify the adaptive emotional responses to a crisis situation, but only a few prefer them and train assiduously to use them. (shrink)
The central thesis of my article is that people live a life worthy of a human being only as self-ruling members of some autarchic (or self-governing) communities. On the one hand, nobody is born as a self-ruling individual, and on the other hand, everybody can become such a person by observing progressively the non-aggression principle and, ipso facto, by behaving as a moral being. A self-ruling person has no interest in controlling her neighbors, but in mastering his own impulses, needs, (...) wishes, desires, behaviors, etc. Inasmuch as he is an imperfect being who lives in an imperfect world, he needs to share certain interests, beliefs, values, customs and other characteristics with other people, i.e. to be involved in some communities. Depending on the following four criteria – the regulatory principle, the essential resources, the specific feedback and the fundamental values –, the countless and manifold human communities can be grouped in three categories: (1) affinity communities, (2) economic communities, and (3) civic communities. In other words, every community or human behavior has an affinity, an economic, and a civic dimension. If a civic community is merely a state shaped society, it can be called a political community. All communities are intrinsically variable. Throughout time, they ceaselessly change their composition, values, interpersonal processes and relations, territory, etc. Interestingly enough, the variability is unanimously recognized and accepted in affinity and communities economic, but is denied or abusively interpreted in the case of state shaped societies. If we confuse two types of order − cosmos and taxis – and two types of rule – nomos and thesis –, as well as we exaggerate the importance of certain type of community we bring some social maladies, namely the traditionalism, the commercialism and the civism, (with the worst form of it – the politicality). Whatever the communities they are involved in, all persons relate (implicitly or explicitly) to the libertarian non-aggression principle, living their life in strict accordance with the logical implications of the position they adopt. People who respect the non-aggression axiom necessarily manifest self-control, consideration for the life and property of the others, commitment to offer value for value, love of freedom and a high level of individual responsibility. By contrast, people who violate this axiom – the villains and the statists – invariably strive to control their neighbors, behave as parasites or predators, prefer forced exchanges, reject the personal responsibility (at most accepting the idea of social responsibility), and apply double moral standards. The first category of people generates a libertarian civic discourse as a spontaneous order, and the second creates a political/ statist civic discourse as a result of the human design and will to power. As a spontaneous order, the libertarian civic discourse implies free involvement, peaceful coordination, free expression, free reproduction of ideas and the power of one. Every communication performance in the frame of the libertarian civic discourse is important and has relevant results. All participants to the libertarian civic discourse are automatically members of some self-governing communities (at least members of the general libertarian community). The most important thing for these communities is to be connected to a communicational infrastructure which would make possible free involvement, free expression and the free reproduction of ideas. Inasmuch as today democracy means the tyranny of majority and participatory democracy the tyranny of majority plus the power of vested (and illegitimate) interests, only the emergence of self-governing communities by libertarian discourse offers us a little hope. It’s high time to fall in love (again) with liberty and to embrace the non-aggression principle. We don’t have to create a perfect world, but we can strive to develop our human nature. (shrink)
The central thesis of this article is that populism is a side effect of liberal democracy and a reliable indicator of the relationship between liberal democracy and its polar opposite ‒ illiberal majoritarianism. As long as liberal democracy prevails over illiberal majoritarianism, populism remains dormant. Populism rises and becomes conspicuous only if certain manifestations of illiberal majoritarianism or illiberal elitism reach a critical point in terms of number and impact. More exactly, populism becomes active when there are too few reasonable (...) and effective responses to the growth of illiberal majoritarianism. Illustrating the defense mechanism of compensation, the rise of populism correlates with a cluster of exaggerated or overdone reactions to actions inspired by illiberal majoritarianism. These reactions vary sharply from one society to another according to (a) the specific challenges of illiberal majoritarianism, (b) the reactivity of people who bear the liberal democratic values, and (c) the credibility enjoyed by the mainstream liberal democratic forces in that society. In brief, although illiberal majoritarianism sets off a cluster of populist reactions in any society, the rise of populism always takes distinct forms. Thus, it is confirmed the status of populism as a chameleonistic phenomenon. The argumentative thread has four main parts. Firstly, it is developed a constitutive model of liberal democracy as an ideal political system that is underpinned by the following organizing principles or attractors: inclusiveness, political equality, political participation, predominance of concurrent majority, the containment and predictability of the government power, and the enforcement of the non-aggression principle. Secondly, the attractors of liberal democracy are contrasted against the recent state of affairs in the Euro-Atlantic space to illustrate the assertion presented here that today illiberal majoritarianism tends to prevail over liberal democracy. In the third step, it is argued that the countless definitions of populism only emphasize different symptoms of the rise of populism, depending on the particular circumstances in which society evolves. Finally, it is substantiated the claim that populism and populists can and should be integrated into the democratic political system, in particular into the democratic public sphere. (shrink)
La communication politique peut être entendue comme action sémiologique collective qui se réalise dans le contexte de l’acte de gouverner une société et aussi bien comme acte d’exercice du pouvoir politique en ne faisant recours qu’aux signes. Actuellement la communication politique apparaît surtout sous la forme spécialisée du marketing politique et elle est centrée sur le but de gagner les élections. La “nouvelle” communication politique soulève quelques questions épineuses: (a) la carrière de l’homme politique dépend dans une trop grande mesure (...) de son équipe de consultants; (b) les médias exercent une influence déterminante sur la vie politique; (c) l’activité politique este devenue extrêmement coûteuse; (d) l’image politique est plus importante que l’homme politique réel; (e) les électeurs sont devenus versatiles et sujets à des goûts changeants; (f) presque tous les hommes politiques pratiquent la démagogie. Quelle que soit l’idéologie professé, les politiciens composent et transmettent des messages qui laissent voir une pensée partisane, collective, dissimulée, rationnelle et mise en service du pouvoir. Ces cinq traits dominants peuvent être reconnus aussi dans le cas des messages d’auto-présentation (nom, logo, statut et programme politique), que dans le cas des messages persuasifs (audience accordée à la population, discours prononcé aux réunions du parti, discours électoral, slogan, affiche politique, réclame politique, communiqué politique, interview, conférence de presse et débat télévisé). En faisant usage des messages politiques en tant qu’instruments pour gagner et gérer le pouvoir, les participants à la communication politique accomplissent, dans une mesure plus ou moins large, les actions suivantes: (a) la connaissance du contexte politique (qui contient les règles du jeu politique, les adversaires et les alliés actuels et potentiels, l’état de l’électorat ‒ surtout l’électorat-cible ‒ et les canaux de transmission virtuelle des propres messages politiques), (b) l’octroi d’une image politique convenable (qui réunisse au moins trois qualités majeures: la crédibilité, l’attractivité et la puissance), (c) la sélection des thèmes et des catégories de messages capables de les incarner), (d) la “modalisation” de la campagne de communication (“de notoriété” versus “persuasive”), (e) la transmission des messages politiques (visant le niveau le plus haut des standards d’adéquation et d’efficience) et (f) le monitorage des résultats de la communication politique. Dans la mesure où toutes ces actions sémiologiques sont accomplies à un niveau satisfaisant, la communication politique (qui les englobe) mène à une compétition au pouvoir bienfaisante pour la société toute entière. Une telle compétition ne divise pas la classe politique en vainqueurs et vaincus, mais en rivaux, chacun apportant sa pierre à la construction et la sauvegarde du bien commun. (shrink)
The very existence of society depends on the ability of its members to influence formatively the beliefs, desires, and actions of their fellows. In every sphere of social life, powerful human agents (whether individuals or institutions) tend to use coercion as a favorite shortcut to achieving their aims without taking into consideration the non-violent alternatives or the negative (unintended) consequences of their actions. This propensity for coercion is manifested in the doxastic sphere by attempts to shape people’s beliefs (and doubts) (...) while ignoring the essential characteristics of these doxastic states. I argue that evidential persuasion is a better route to influence people’s beliefs than doxastic coercion. Doxastic coercion perverts the belief-forming mechanism and undermines the epistemic and moral faculties both of coercers and coercees. It succeeds sporadically and on short-term. Moreover, its pseudo doxastic effects tend to disappear once the use of force ceases. In contrast to doxastic coercion, evidential persuasion produces lasting correct beliefs in accordance with proper standards of evidence. It helps people to reach the highest possible standards of rationality and morality. Evidential persuasion is based on the principles of symmetry and reciprocity in that it asks all persuaders to use for changing the beliefs of others only those means they used in forming their own beliefs respecting the freedom of will and assuming the standard of rationality. The arguments in favor of evidential persuasion have a firm theoretical basis that includes a conceptual clarification of the essential traits of beliefs. Belief is treated as a hypercomplex system governed by Leibniz’s law of continuity and the principle of self-organization. It appears to be a mixture consisting of a personal propositional attitude and physical objects and processes. The conceptual framework also includes a typology of believers according to the standards of evidence they assume. In this context, I present a weak version of Clifford’ ethical imperative. In the section dedicated to the prerequisites for changing beliefs, I show how doxastic agents can infuse premeditated or planned changes in the flow of endogenous changes in order to shape certain beliefs in certain desired forms. The possibility of changing some beliefs in a planned manner is correlated with a feedback doxastic (macro-mechanism) that produces a reaction when it is triggered by a stimulus. In relation with the two routes to influence beliefs, a response mechanism is worth taking into consideration – a mechanism governed to a significant extent by human conscience and human will, that appears to be complex, acquired, relatively detached from visceral or autonomic information processing, and highly variable in reactions. Knowing increasingly better this doxastic mechanism, we increase our chances to use evidential persuasion as an effective (although not time-efficient) method to mold people’s beliefs. (shrink)
Discursive liberal democracy might not be the best of all possible forms of government, yet in Europe it is largely accepted as such. The attractors of liberal democracy (majority rule, political equality, reasonable self-determination and an ideological framework built in a tentative manner) as well as an adequate dose of secularization (according to the doctrine of religious restraint) provide both secularist and educated religious people with the most convenient ideological framework. Unfortunately, many promoters of ideological secularization take too strong a (...) stance against the manifestation of religiosity in the public sphere. They claim that people may discuss, debate or adopt (coercive) laws and regularities only by means of secular public reasons and secular motivation. We argue that these secular restraints on the ideological framework are unfairly biased against religion, counterproductive and unreasonable. The exaggerated secular restrictions create a strict secular public sphere that appears to be a Pickwickian world suitable just for inoffensive, dull and lethargic people. Deliberately separated from the idea of truth, secular public reasons cannot sustain a complex adaptive system like discursive liberal democracy. Liberal democracy needs citizens with a strong sense of truth and with a sufficient will-power to follow both a personal ideal and a collective ideal. Religious beliefs provide people with just such a sense of truth and with the desire to have a certain kind of character. In the secularized public sphere of liberal democracy, people can manifest just educated religious beliefs that correspond to the real world and respect the principle of peaceable conduct. In the final part of the article we support the assertion that believers could and should educate their religious belief before expressing them in the public sphere. Educated religious beliefs have a wide enough propositional content, obey the moral imperative of William Clifford, are purged from all propositional components against which there is strong evidence and are consciously cultivated by the mechanism of suggestion. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to depict as accurately as possible the ideological conflict between liberal democracy and an insidious present-day version of communism, namely cultural socialism. Obviously, it is not easy to describe the essential relationships between two complex phenomena that evolve nonlinearly within a hypercomplex environment. The ideological systems of liberal democracy and cultural socialism involve both objective and subjective facts, material and immaterial components, neutral and emotion-laden aspects, deliberate and unintentional behaviors, linear and nonlinear effects, and (...) planner-dependent and observer-dependent events. They affect each other and also fall under the influence of different non-political factors that characterize the Euro-Atlantic societies. In order to cope with the complexity of this research object we adopt the methodological dualism and a praxeological approach. The system of discursive liberal democracy can be seen – from a praxeological perspective – as a spontaneous order generated and maintained by three classes of attractors: the attractors of democracy (inclusion, political equality, high level of political participation, and majority rule), the attractors of liberalism (rule-governed political agency and the right to reasonable self-determination), and the attractors of public rationality (publicness, objectivity, verifiability, and revisability). Liberal democracy subsists in any society only if a sufficient number of its members reproduce the corresponding attractors in their political (and non-political) conduct. It is important to note that it is much easier to reproduce the attractors of democracy than the attractors of liberalism and rationality. Maybe because of that the socialists strive to undermine the system of liberal democracy by perverting – in the first instance – the standards of (public) rationality. One of the most important ingredient of cultural socialism is so-called "political correctness", by means of which people are prevented from expressing genuinely and politely certain beliefs or doubts in the public sphere even if they profess the standards of objectivity, verifiability, and revisability. Under the pressure of political correctness the attractors of public rationality tend to wither, the liberal dimension of the political system disappears too, and democracy becomes a sheer tyranny. Choosing a form of political organization is not a scientific, but a socio-political matter. It is not the job of social scientists to recommend or impose political goals in general and a specific political system in particular. However, inasmuch as some goals are set, social scientists can indicate the most appropriate means of meeting them. If the Euro-Atlantic societies still value liberal democracy and want to preserve it, it is important to teach them how to reproduce its attractors and to counteract the pernicious effects of cultural socialism. (shrink)
In this paper we propose to present from a new perspective some loci comunes of traditional logic. More exactly, we intend to show that some hypothetico-disjunctive inferences (i.e. the complex constructive dilemma, the complex destructive dilemma, the simple constructive dilemma, the simple destructive dilemma) and two hypothetico-categorical inferences (namely modus ponendo-ponens and modus tollendo-tollens) particularize two more abstract inferential structures: the constructive n-lemma and the destructive nlemma.
The main purpose of this article is to tackle the problem of living together – as dignified human beings – in a certain territory in the field of social philosophy, on the theoretical grounding ensured by some remarkable exponents of the Austrian School − and by means of the praxeologic method. Because political tools diminish the human nature not only of those who use them, but also of those who undergo their effects, people can live a life worthy of a (...) human being only as members of some autarchic or self-governing communities. As a spontaneous order, every autarchic community is inherently democratic, inasmuch as it makes possible free involvement, peaceful coordination, free expression and the free reproduction of ideas. The members of autarchic communities are moral individuals who avoid aggression, practice self-control, seek a dynamical efficiency and establish a democratic public discourse. (shrink)
La signification est un phénomène social qui ne peut être compris de manière satisfaisante que par rapport à deux entités duales : une communauté et un langage. Elle se manifeste dans la sphère publique en tant que réponse discriminative à un stimulus sémiotique, c'est-à-dire en tant que réaction typique à un stimulus vicariant (qui rend possibles les expériences indirectes). Les modèles ou les schémas d’action sémiotique émergent de la conformité générale des membres d’une communauté à certaines conventions de langage. Si (...) les réactions à un stimulus semblent contingentes ou complètement imprédictibles, on peut en déduire qu’aucune signification n’a été (re)produite. Les significations ne sont pas de propriétés des signes et ne sont pas déterminées causalement par ceux-ci. Par conséquent, elles ne peuvent pas être transférées d’une personne à l’autre en même temps que la transmission des stimuli sémiotiques. Lorsque les membres d’une communauté font l’effort de se conformer – en tant qu’agents rationnels normaux – aux conventions linguistiques en vigueur, ils (re)créent le significations à un niveau syntactique, sémantique et pragmatique, aussi bien au niveau du langage qu’au niveau du métalangage. De plus, ayant en vue les circonstances de la communication, ils préfèrent un certain degré de socialisation des significations véhiculées ; ce degré est situé entre le niveau strictement personnel des idiosyncrasies et le niveau conformiste des significations standardisées. Les communicateurs performants essaient d’éviter les deux extrêmes à la fois, étant suffisamment coopérants pour renforcer les conventions de langage existantes, qui rendent possibles les conventions de langage existantes, tout en rendant possible la compréhension ; en même temps, ils sont suffisamment hétérodoxes pour se rapporter à des significations qui stimulent leur ouverture, leur curiosité et leur flexibilité. (shrink)
The problem of self-governing of a community (more precisely, the involvement of its members in collective actions directed towards achieving a common goal) is extremely important. In our opinion, it is necessary to give honest answers to the following questions: (a) What are the constituents of collective actions meant to help obtaining public goods and how should they be determined? (b) How useful, rational and legitimate are civic actions (in general) and the measures of self-government of a community (in particular)? (...) (c) What are the resources, rights and duties in a self-governing community? (d) What parts can professional communicators play, in order to stimulate their fellow citizens’ participation in the art of self-governing? Civic participation in realizing the common good has several aspects, starting with voting participation and ending with the community’s self-mobilization. Professional communicators (in this case, public relations specialists) may contribute to building a self-governing society by playing six parts: the town crier, the steward, the traffic manager, the conductor, the creator and the facilitator. (shrink)
We briefly present two areas of natural computing, vividly investigated in the recent years: DNA computing and membrane computing. Both of them have the roots in cellular biology and are rather developedat the theoretical level (new concepts, models, paradigms of computer science, with mathematical and epistemological significance have been considered in this framework), but both areas are still looking for implementations of a practical interest.
The main thesis of my article is that the viability of the European Union does not depend so much on its political structure as on its being anchored in a culture-based public sphere and on the establishment of a cultural European citizenship. The public sphere could be defined as an unique world, characterized by consensus and cooperation, in which only public goods can be sought and acquired, or as an unique world, characterized by rivalry and competition, in which everyone could (...) pursue their private interests, but only if there is a consensus regarding an objective and fair procedure. In any way, we cannot speak of a pluralism of public spheres - like the black public sphere, the LGBT public sphere, etc. - but (at the most) a plurality of interests represented in the public sphere, under the reserve of respecting a fair procedure, which allows the expression of axiological judgments. The EU needs a progressive citizenship, from civil citizenship to cultural citizenship, depending on the acquired skills, behavior and virtues. One deserves cultural citizenship and have the right (or, perhaps the privilege) to manifest - in the public sphere - a way of life and a cultural identity only if promote authentic values: virtues, rationality, free will etc. The problematic aspects of the European media sphere are obstacles on the way to establishing an authentic European cultural citizenship. They can be kept under control by assuming a healthy reactionary attitude and associating every element of change and contingent progress (speed, reductive simplicity, user's solitude, pictoriality, lateralness, data overload, immediacy, segmentation, social amnesia, etc.) with an element of moderation and equilibrium. Only thus can the media contribute in the making of a viable union of the European peoples, grounded on a well articulated European cultural citizenship. (shrink)
During the late 60s and the beginning of the 1970s, the changes within the Communist Party which followed the death of Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, the former Secretary General, led to a certain openness for culture and arts, from an ideological point of view. The so-called ideological “thaw” would not last more than 6 years, but it was needed all along in order for the new nomenklatura system of Ceauşescu’s generation to take over the rule of the state and of the (...) party. This is the broader context in which the relationship between the theatre repertories, the audience and the politics would develop further in a very insidious way. Facing a massive “peasantization of the working class” due to the regime’s investments in the industrial sector, the configuration of the urban population in Romanian cities had changed significantly. The inflow of poorly educated persons had a strong negative impact on the efforts to educate the urban population in the working-class socialist ethics. In this study we are profiling the beneficiaries of the cultural policies of the regime: What were their cultural background and their expectations regarding theatre and why did the authorities intervene in regulating the theatre market? (shrink)
The paper offers a survey of the debate on the introduction, in the Preamble of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, of references to God and Europe’s Christian tradition. It examines the question of European identity and values which motivates these proposals in relation to (1) the nature of the EU as an essentially political construction; (2) the issue of human rights in the EU; (3) the protection of cultural and religious diversity within the EU. The study shows that (...) the confessionalization of Europe promoted by strong churches on the Continent, which are legitimate actors of civil society, betray a failure to understand the logic of the European construction. To the extent to which they represent an attempt to secure a privileged position with respect to other religious or non-religious actors, they run against the functional principles and values of the Union. (shrink)