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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 15, Issue 7/8, 2005
Fourth European Congress of Dialogue and Universalism Warsaw University, July 23–30, 2005

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Displaying: 1-10 of 14 documents


1. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
Leszek Kołakowski, Aleksandra Rodzińska-Chojnowska Sounds of Many Waters
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This paper discusses the meaning of the Last Judgment as an act of fulfillment of justice, an inevitable “universal transformation” of mankind. The author points out the distinctive role of the Last Judgment in Western tradition, examines the consistency of the Western idea of God, and then suggests that our conceptualizations of the Last Judgment are distorted by discounting the question of how humankind might be embraced by “divine mercy”. The paper extensively refers to History as Apocalypse (1985) by Thomas Altizer, and The Drama of the Hope for Salvation (in Polish, 1996) by Wacław Hryniewicz.
paradigm of surviving: synergy of dialogue and universalism
2. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
George F. McLean Poland’s Contribution to Contemporary European Civilization Both Wise and Good: From Abstract Universals to Global Cultural Dialogue
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This article sees the potential for Poland’s contribution to Contemporary European Civilization in its not having been submerged by the Enlightenment with its materialism and scientism. As a result Poland has resources of culture and spirit now recognized as important for these post modern and global times. For this the article points to the Czech philosopher Patočka’s sense of solidarity of the ébranlé; Adam Mickiewicz’s sense of Polish Messianism, and John Paul II’s sense of the place of religion in Polish history.
3. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
Leszek Kuźnicki The Human in the Light of Contemporary Biology as a Subject of Universal Civilization
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Homo sapiens is a mammal of the order Primates. What most distinguishes primates from other mammals is their ability to cerebrate. Cerebration developed fastest among the Anthropoidea primates (monkeys, apes), and subsequently the hominids (Hominidae). The increase in brain mass only by Homo sapiens—and only over the past 10,000 years—possess superior Darwinian fitness: for the preceding 30 million years primates had played a rather marginal role in the world’s biological system.Homo sapiens’ success as the creator of developed civilization was possible only thanks to his special adaptation capabilities, shaped by natural selection at the dawn of his existence.Primates first appeared in the Oligocene about 30 million years ago, and the first two-legged anthropoid, Australopithecus, about 6.5–5.7 million years ago. The transition from Australopithecus to the species we call Homo was in many ways an evolutionary milestone. Australopithecus was exclusively herbivorous and formed neither organized communities nor settlements. His successor, Homo erectus, on the other hand, possessed heretofore unknown skills like hunting and gathering, which considerably influenced both his lifestyle and his diet—he increasingly ate meat from cadavers or animals he had killed himself. Fossil remains of Homo erectus dating back two million years have been unearthed throughout Africa, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Middle East, and Europe.Homo sapiens derives from the rather small Homo erectus population in East Africa and has been the earth’s only hominid for a relatively short time about 10,000 years ago before he still shared his world with Neanderthal man (Homo neanderthalensis) and the diminutive Homo floresiensis.Despite racial differences there is surprisingly little variation in the human genome. We are all 99 percent genetically alike, moreover genome variations do not correlate to skin color.Homo sapiens’ hunter-gatherer lifestyle led him to seek solutions which today find application only in human communities. In time his biological capabilities were enriched by the skill of speech, this in turn helping to develop creativity, self-awareness, a sense of dignity, and group, ethnic and national loyalty, eventually leading to the emergence of religion as a path to life’s fundamental truths and an antidote to the everpresent fear of death.The Neolithic Revolution began about 10,000 years ago. Several thousand years later the evolution of farming and breeding led to the emergence of the first civilizations. The transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture changed radically not only economic and social structures but, as speech developed, helped form civilizations and cultures.Over the past 2000 years humanity has changed the global environment but has itself remained unchanged in heritability. The awareness that despite all racial, ethnic, cultural, or linguistic differences we belong to an exceptionally homogeneous species, can be an inspiration for humanity to strive towards a universal civilization in which all these differences could be contained.
4. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
Charles S. Brown Ecofascism and the Animal Heritage of Moral Experience
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Part One of this paper defends biocentricism, the view that all life has intrinsic value, against the charge of ecofascism. I argue that theocentric and anthropocentric worldviews are structured by a logic of domination that the radical egalitarianism of the biocentric world does not generate. In Part Two I sketch the foundations of a philosophical anthropology that unites a phenomenological understanding of human existence with a Darwinian view of human nature. The understanding of moral experience generated by this philosophical anthropology moves away from a metaphysical interpretation of intrinsic value toward an experiential account of moral phenomena.
5. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
Werner Krieglstein Toward a Universal Ethics Based on a Naturalistic Foundation of Community
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This article explores a new scientific understanding of cooperative processes within the natural world, and demonstrates how this understanding could reshape our need for community. From this a new approach to a global ethics can be extrapolated. Instead of looking back in an attempt to rescue ancient values the author offers hope in looking forward. The author proposes to use a synchronizing process he calls Collective Orchestration to describe a dialectical transition from individuals to wholes. He employs concepts gained from system theory, cybernetics, and chaos theory to make his point. Collective Orchestration offers a novel solution to the problem of Macro evolution, the evolutionary developing of brand new species. From this naturalistic foundation the author derives a new global ethics, based on the principles of self-organization, cooperation, and connectedness.
6. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
Amani Fairak, X. Dai Rao Universal Practices across Religions: Ecological Perspectives of Islam
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This paper discusses diverse practices across religions from a universalistic view. Various religions define their beliefs and rituals within an ecological context. Whether it is an Abrahamic, African or humanistic religion, they all have one ritual ground to facilitate their beliefs on. This ground takes the form of environmental or earth-based practices. Religious initiations and the history of spiritual leaders have illustrated that human spirituality is connected to nature and Mother Earth. In addition, Islam views contemplation about natural wonders as an essential pathway to approach God. Despite the variety of religious traditions held, ecology is what universalizes all religions.
7. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
Andrew Targowski Universal-Complementary Civilization as a Solution to Present-Day Catastrophic International Conflicts
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The purpose of this study is to define the sources of crisis affecting civilization, and to define a solution by the development of a Universal-Complementary Civilization. The study’s conclusion is that neither Western nor Global Civilization can improve the order of civilization. Even worse, these civilizations threaten sustainability by depleting strategic resources at a fast pace, driven by the market forces only. World Civilization at this time is driven by two conflicting civilizations, Christianity and Islam, and is hurdling towards a huge disaster. Neither Christianity nor Islam has the right to impose its own values upon the other. To avoid wars and conflicts among civilizations one must break the human history of permanent negations and integrate eight autonomous civilizations and a global one by a set of Common-Complementary Universal Values, selected by each autonomous civilization and accepted by all the others as common values. Theimplementation strategy of this new civilization may take several centuries, but to start this civilization one must create a group of pioneers and “show cases” as soon as possible.
8. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
Hans-Herbert Kögler Beyond Dogma and Doxa: Truth and Dialogue in Rorty, Apel, and Ratzinger
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The title of the paper productively suggests a double-meaning of truth vis-à-vis dialogue. The claim is both that the concept of truth is essential for a comprehensive conception of dialogue, and that dialogue points toward a concept of truth beyond dogmatic infallibity or doxastic relativism. At stake is to show how truth entails an essentially dialogical moment, and dialogue, if conceived philosophically, must entail the concept of truth.In theological as well as philosophical dogmatism, a final (a priori or revealed) truth is assumed. Interesting are positions such as Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI’s or Karl-Otto Apel’s “transcendental pragmatics” since they attempt to engage in dialogue yet assume an “infallible” or “ultimately grounded” foundation for their own assumptions. Radically opposed to this infallibilism is the postmodern relativistic view according to which the “groundless grounds” of human understanding make all claims to truth meaningless. Since understanding and dialogue are situated in contingent cultural contexts, as Richard Rorty argues, no ascent to truth is ever possible. The result of our analysis suggests that both positions lead to an insulation of experience from true dialogicalchallenge. Dogmatic positions miss the dialogical core of truth, as they believe that insulated truth-content remains “true” regardless of engaged and challenged reassertions. Doxastic conceptions miss the truth-relation of dialogue, as they fail to capture the seriousness and intentionality of intersubjective and intercultural dialogue.From these critical points emerges a productive concept of dialogue that entails truth as an open-ended and dynamic, and thereby indispensable, concept. Moreover, our analysis lays out that the basic dialogical notions involve truth, openness, and reciprocity in an interconnected way. Dialogue is unavoidable for truth, as much as truth is intrinsic to dialogue. But the new synthesis of truth and dialogue allows for a pluralistic understanding of truth that still, we hope, remains truthful to its content. As such, it alone can ground a non-relativistic notion of multiculturalism.
9. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
Steven V. Hicks, Alan Rosenberg Nietzsche, Safranski, and the Art of Self-Configuration: A Critical Review
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In this critical review essay, we examine Rüdiger Safranski’s “philosophical biography” approach to interpreting Nietzsche. We analyze Safranski’s various attempts tobring the biographical facts of Nietzsche’s life to bear on the philosophical narration in order to shed light on the development of Nietzsche’s philosophical thinking. We argue that there are a number of limitations to Safranski’s “philosophical biography” approach to reading Nietzsche, such as Safranski’s tendency to focus almost exclusively on the earlier stages in the development of Nietzsche’s philosophical thinking. However, we also try to show that the one redeeming virtue of Safranski’s book is that it focuses on the intriguing, but often overlooked, concept of “self-configuration” or “selffashioning” (Selbstgestaltung), and it treats this concept as a unifying thread that runs throughout the maze of Nietzsche’s various multifarious writings. We argue, in conclusion, that Safranski successfully connects Nietzsche’s “highly personal philosophy” to the multifaceted “maneuvers of self-configuration” and to the overall Nietzschean project of “fashioning one’s own identity” in an otherwise meaningless world.
documentation of the iv european congress of dialogue and universalism
10. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 15 > Issue: 7/8
Programme Committee of the IV European Congress of Dialogue and Universalism
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