This book comprises a selection of William McBride's essays on theory and practice in the former Yugoslavia, 1989 - 1999. It continues the critical assessment of neoliberal globalization from the vantage point of its effects on East-Central and Southern Europe that McBride presented in Philosophical Reflections. Unlike the earlier book, it situates discussions of globalization and neonationalist wars against the backdrop of the history, development, and demise of Praxis Philosophy — the one-time bridge between the progressive forces of former Yugoslavia (...) and various East-West initiatives. (shrink)
Hegel introduced the Phenomenology of Mind as a work on the problem of knowledge. In the first chapter, entitled “Sense Certainty, or the This and Meaning,” he concluded that knowledge cannot consist of an immediate awareness of particulars ). The tradition discusses sense certainty in terms of this failure of immediate knowledge without, however, specifically addressing the problem of reference. Yet reference is distinct from knowledge in the sense that while there can be no knowledge of objects without reference, there (...) may be reference without knowledge. If that is the case, then the failure of immediate knowledge does not entitle us to conclude anything about the success or failure of reference. It is not surprising, then, that a few scholars have begun to examine sense certainty primarily as a thesis about reference. (shrink)
The article is a critical examination of the crisis in the rule of law in the context of contemporary politics in the USA. It sorts out some examples of American national and foreign policy regarding the so called ‘cult of democracy’. The article is divided in two parts. The first part consists of the report, which concerns, respectively, official US government relationships to international law; the power of the Presidency; and the role of the Supreme Court. The second part examines (...) some philosophical implications of American policy, concerning the questions of democracy and the rule of law. (shrink)
The Development and Meaning of Twentieth-Century Existentialism This volume recaptures, through the writings of figures already well-known in the mid-1940s, the coming-to-consciousness of the existentialist movement, along with early disagreements concerning its significance. The articles present various critics' shifting views of that significance and the movement's standing over subsequent decades. Despite the centrality of Sartre's thought to existentialism, these selections offer interestingly diverse perceptions of his place within the existentialist pantheon, along with varied interpretations of both the historical origins and (...) the future importance of existential philosophy. (shrink)
"The conception of 'lived experience' marks my change since L'Etre et le Néant ... L'Etre et le Néant is a monument of rationality. But in the end it becomes an irrationalism, because it cannot account rationally for those processes which are 'below' consciousness and which are also rational, but lived as irrational. Today, the notion of 'lived experience' represents an effort to preserve that presence to itself which seems to me indispensable for the existence of any psychic fact, while at (...) the same time this presence is so opaque and blind before itself that it is also an absence from itself."1. (shrink)
From the very beginning of his explicitly political thinking until the end of his life, Jean-Paul Sartre was always cognizant of the fact that the typical electoral system, whether dominated by two or by several "parties," that is to be found in Western countries and that is vaunted as the pinnacle of real democracy amounted to a profound mystification. That is why, at the time of the centenary of his birth, he is owed a renewed respect for his ideas in (...) this area. I do not intend to examine here the evolution of Sartre?s political thought, or even his views with respect to the Eastern European countries, the "socialism" of which, as he eventually discovered, was scarcely more real than their "democracy." Rather, I shall confine myself to recalling certain elements, especially certain iconoclastic elements, of that thought. I shall do so with a view to taking a clear-headed look at a possible future in which those icons will have disappeared. (shrink)
Noted scholar Joseph S. Catalano here brings together his new work on Sartre's ethics with five of his classic essays on Sartre's moral thought. In an extended opening essay, Catalano uses Sartre's notion of mediation as a means to integrate the entire range of the French philosopher's moral insights. In the second half of the book, Catalano attempts to delineate a viable notion of good faith, and to distinguish between good and bad faith on the one hand and authenticity and (...) inauthenticity on the other hand. (shrink)
The chapters in this volume deal with timely issues regarding democracy in theory and in practice in today's globalized world. Authored by leading political philosophers of our time, they appear here for the first time. The essays challenge and defend assumptions about the role of democracy as a viable political and legal institution in response to globalization, keeping in focus the role of rights at the normative foundations of democracy in a pluralistic world.
The issue that I wish to address is, why protest and criticize the increasing hegemony of what has been called the “culture of consumerism”? This “why not?” objection encompasses three distinct sets of questions. First, is not resistance to it akin to playing the role of King Canute by the sea? Second, is not acceptance of it dictated by the current liberal philosophical consensus that acknowledges and endorses an inevitable diversity in different individuals’ conceptions of what is good, and must (...) not this consensus itself be taken as a given by all who are opposed to political and religious totalitarianisms? Third, does not cosmopolitanism, regarded as a value-orientation favorable to the dissolution or at least minimization of national boundaries and the practices of exclusivity associated therewith, make common cause in the present historical conjuncture with this same trend? I will argue for a “No” answer to all of these questions. (shrink)
McBride offers a succinct summary of Gould’s book and ponders what the significance of theoretical discussions of the nature of human rights and degrees of democracy might be for our time when the U.S. government has descended into “barbarism” and made a sham out of anything resembling democracy. He concludes that Gould’s book is “first rate” as “a learned exercise in dreaming,” granting against his own deep pessimism that one can never know for sure that “dreams” may not turn out (...) to have some practical relevance. [Abstract prepared by the Editors.]. (shrink)
Theoretisch befanden sich die falschen Linien in der Theorie der liberalen Demokratie schon immer an mindestens zwei wichtigen Stellen: im Prozess oder Prozedere und im Resultat. Was das Erste betrifft, so bestand das Problem darin, dass versucht wurde sicherzustellen, dass der „Wille des Volkes“ – oder zumindest der der relevanten Menschen, der wählbaren Wähler – durch anschauliche, praktische Mechanismen zum Ausdruck kommt. Entsprechend dem Konsens der bedeutendsten Theoretiker der liberalen Demokratie in der neueren Vergangenheit gelten als solche Mechanismen die Wahlen (...) für Repräsentativorgane und die nachfolgenden Stimmen der Wahlsieger. Doch auf jedem Schritt stoßen wir auf Instanzen der gewählten Regierungen, die die Mehrheitsansichten desselben Personenkreises, von dem sie ursprünglich gewählt worden waren, preisgeben. Die Theorie der liberalen Demokratie besagt, dass solange angebrachte Verfahren zum Ausdruck des Willens der Mehrheit angewandt werden im Hinblick darauf, wer sie vertreten soll, die Vertreter berechtigt sind, gegen den manifesten Willen des Volkes zu stimmen. Doch dies ist natürlich ein offensichtlicher Widerspruch. Was die Frage der Resultate betrifft, so hat sich die neueste Theorie der liberalen Demokratie eine noch tiefere Grube gegraben, da sie sich vom Begriff des Allgemeinwohls abgewandt hat, zu dem zumindest einige frühere Theoretiker in dieser Tradition standen. Die Theorie der liberalen Demokratie hat sich letztlich selbst jegliche kritische Funktion in Bezug auf die Resultate abgesprochen. Statt dessen ist sie gezwungen, jedes Ergebnis zu ratifizieren, ohne Rücksicht darauf, wie offensichtlich es irreführend oder sogar tragisch sein mag, solange es das Erzeugnis einer akzeptierten autoritativen Bündels von Verfahren und Institutionen ist. Eine neue theoretische Richtung wird sicherlich gegen alle Elemente ankämpfen müssen, die größtenteils im Rawlsschen Ansatz und den Schriften der meisten seiner liberaldemokratischen Mitläufer fehlen: mit Macht, Gewalt, Domination, Ideologie, Entschlüssen, Deutungen, politischem Ausdruck, Revolution, Geschichte, Ökonomie, Biopolitik. Was wir dringend brauchen, sind neue Modelle sozialer und politischer Philosophie! (shrink)
Der Artikel hinterfragt kritisch die Krise in der Gesetzesherrschaft im Kontext der zeitgenössischen US-Politik. Es werden einige Beispiele der US-amerikanischen Innen- und Außenpolitik angeführt, die mit dem sog. ,Demokratiekult’ in Zusammenhang stehen. Der Text beschäftigt sich in seinem ersten Teil mit dem offiziellen Verhältnis der USA zur internationalen Gesetzgebung, des Weiteren mit der Institution des Präsidentenamtes und seiner Macht sowie mit der Rolle des Obersten Gerichtshofes der USA. Im zweiten Teil der Arbeit werden bestimmte philosophische Implikationen der amerikanischen Politik in (...) Bezug auf Fragen der Demokratie und der Gesetzesherrschaft hinterfragt. (shrink)
Existentialist Ethics Ethics was Sartre's principal concern, beginning with his famous and complex treatment of "bad faith" in Being and Nothingness, and continuing through his massive posthumously-published Notebooks for an Ethics of the late 1940's, and his mostly unpublished lecture notes that date back to 1964. This volume contains highly informed analyses of all of these materials and other Sartrean works on ethics, as well as interpretations emphasizing the confrontation of his ethical ideas with inauthenticity, sexism, and racism.
Existentialist Ontology and Human Consciousness The majority of the distinguished scholarly articles in this volume focus on Sartre's early philosophical work, which dealt first with imagination and the emotions, then with the critique of Husserl's notion of a transcendental ego, and finally with systematic ontology presented in his best-known book, Being and Nothingness. In addition, since his preoccupation with ontological questions and especially with the meanings of ego, self, and consciousness endured throughout his career, other essays discuss these themes in (...) light of later developments both in Sartre's own thought and in the phenomenological, hermeneutic, and analytic traditions. (shrink)