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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 21
Studies of Civilizations

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Displaying: 21-40 of 40 documents


21. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Editorial: This volume follows up on the universalistic ideas in philosophy and civilization science, and is augmented by some universalistic applications of natural and information sciences
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22. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Katarzyna Chałasińska-Macukow, Lesław Kawalec Inaugural Address by Her Magnificence Rector of the University of Warsaw
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i. nascent polish pantheon of explorers and inventors
23. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Marek Krawczyk Maria Skłodowska-Curie and the Importance of Her Discoveries for Medicine
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24. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Andrew Targowski Paul (Paweł) Baran (1926–2011). Inventor of the Internet, Who Has Made Humanity Communicate
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ii. leszek kołakowski—universalistic thinker?
25. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Józef L. Krakowiak, Lesław Kawalec Leszek Kołakowski between Activist Universalism and Contemplative Mysticism
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The text below should not be treated as a direct source of knowledge on the dynamic of philosophical ideas and attitudes of Leszek Kołakowski, but as an attempt at placing his thinking on the map of the 20th century universalistic thought, i.e. that which is the closest to the editors of Dialogue and Universalism. The starting point of the picture is the category of inorganic body from Marx’s Manuscripts and Two Sources... by Bergson, which enables a non-naturalistic description of the metaphysical perspective of both these activistic anthropologies, speaking of the evolution of mankind in the vein of Hegelian Spirit causality.Another system of reference is A. Badiou’s universalistic but irreligious interpretation of St. Paul’s ideas. Both of these set out an activistic perspective which is confronted with a solely contemplative vision of mysticism, as expressed by Leszek Kołakowski, and a modern concept of belief in what surpasses but does not enslave, which Kołakowski shared with Jaspers and Paul Ricoeur.Against such a notional grid the author seeks to render the peculiar quality of Kołakowski’s pulsating and greatly dialectical metaphysical position, associated with a skeptical attitude of a rationalist in the face of the phenomenon of the world’s indifference that he experiences and within the framework of the continued existential note of the non-atheistic existentialism of Kierkegaard, Jaspers and Pascal in its combination with St. Augustine’s concept of evil, read in the context of Auschwitz and Kolyma. Taken together these ideas sort of form an instrument to express mythical questions about the sense of life and history.
26. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Wojciech Jerzy Bober Leszek Kołakowski as Moralist and Moral Philosopher
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Moral thinking plays an important role in philosophy of Leszek Kołakowski. The paper examines his ethical position as it was presented in Kołakowski’s writings dealing directly with this subject, against the background of those stances that he opposed. In the scope of the author’s interest is the problem of the persistence of some elements and the development of the position in question. Both Kołakowski’s ethical and metaethical reflection is taken into account. In conclusion, Kołakowski’s position is ascribed to the anti-theoretic current in ethics.
iii. studies of civilizations
27. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Eugeniusz Górski, Maciej Bańkowski Democratic Spain and the Ibero-American Community of Nations
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The essay attempts to outline the historical ideological ties between Spain and its former Latin American colonies, with the main accent on the period following Spain’s and most of Latin America’s conversion to democracy in the wake of the fall of the Franco regime and other Latin-American military dictatorships. The author offers a detailed analysis, focusing especially on the democratic, decidedly pro-European and left-liberal government in Spain and its impact on Latin America, most of which today shows clear leftist tendencies. Also discussed are Latin-American reflections on universalism.
28. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Krzysztof Gawlikowski A New Period of the Mutual Rapprochement of the Western and Chinese Civilizations: Towards a Common Appreciation of Harmony and Co-operation
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Since the 1990’s the rise of China provokes heated debates in the West. Numerous politicians and scholars, who study contemporary political affairs, pose the question, which will be the new role of China in international affairs? Many Western observers presume that China will act as the Western powers did in the past, promoting policy of domination, enslavement and gaining profits at all costs. The Chinese declarations on peace, co-operation, mutual interests, and harmony are often considered empty words, a certain decorum of “real politics”, as it had been often practised in the West. An inquiry into the Chinese political and intellectual traditions, almost unknown in the West, challenges such widespread opinions and fears. Of course, it is an open question to which degree the traditional Chinese concepts will determine contemporary policy, since China had been westernised in enormous degree.Nevertheless, attitude to war, struggle, and competition constitutes one of the principal characteristics of each culture and appears closely related to its structure of values. Such attitudes determine political concepts and systems, foreign relations, norms of social life, etc. The analysis of Western and Chinese civilisations demonstrates that in this respect they represented divergent orientations. In Erich Fromm’s typology of societies, the Chinese culture could be considered non-destructive but aggressive, whereas Western civilisation could be called aggressive and destructiveOf course, there were great differences both within Chinese and within Western civilisations. Local/regional cultures belonging to each of them had their own characteristics in respect to struggle, and one could also notice great changes in the course of their histories. In general, at the dawn of these two civilisations, both of them were more or less bellicose, although in the cultures of the Chinese Central Plain “avoiding struggle” traits could be detected quite early. Appreciation of peace and harmony eventually prevailed with the predomination of the Confucian ideology, although Taoism and other schools of thought also condemned struggle and war. On the other hand, in the Mediterranean the bellicose cultures and war-mongering states prevailed. The beginning of this “great divergence” could approximately be dated for the middle of the 1st millennium BC, and the civilisations of East Asia and Europe took the opposite courses in theirsocial and political development. Struggle constituted a fundamental principle in the Western vision of the world-order, and its crucial archetype constituted the eternal struggle of Evil against Good, with the eventual triumph of God, who embodies Good and forces of Light. The Chinese tradition promoted instead the vision of the universe as one giant organism based on the principle of harmony, where Yin complements Yang. Hence both civilisations adopted the dualistic concepts, but one was antagonistic, and the second—complementary.In the 19th century, when Asian nations faced the colonial conquests, many of them tried to protect their independence and modernise themselves. For this end they tried to adopt not only Western armaments and military skills, but also Western bellicose ideology and values. Japan was obviously the champion of such a militarist course, but there were similar tendencies in China as well. Such bellicose ideology reached its apex there during the famous Maoist Cultural Revolution, when class struggle and bellicosity was exalted. The triumph of the Western bellicose approach and rejection of the traditional native heritage marked the century 1860’s–1960’s in China. However, after the unimaginable sufferings of the World War I and II, of Nazism and of communism, the West started to revalidate its traditions condemning war and violence. People started to appreciate peace and co-operation within and among nations. The United Nations and the European Union had been founded for such purposes: to promote peace and co-operation. However, the condemnation of wars did not halt military confrontation of the states, and the West still cultivates political ideologies, which propagate the “proper order” based on competition and struggle. Hence the concepts of multi-party democracy and of free market could serve as hallmarks of the West. In China, since the end of the 1970’s step by step the ancient ideological traditions have been appreciated again and the new concepts of peaceful and harmonious development evolved. At the beginning of the 21st century the Chinese leaders elaborated a new ideology of both harmonious domestic and international order aiming at peaceful development based on co-operation. Of course, there are still vivid the remnants of the previous Western-type approach of the brutal competition and of aggressive foreign policy.Notwithstanding divergent tendencies inside each of these civilisations, in general they both approach each other again, but this time in a common search for peace, cooperation and harmonious development. Their interpretations obviously differ, since in China such concepts are traditional, but rather new in the West, and in various respects both sides have different values and ideals.
29. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Andrew Targowski Civilization’s Impact upon Education in the IIIrd Millennium
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This investigation presents the Civilization Development Curriculum which should impact almost every kind of higher education and particularly should be practiced in educating leaders of world societies. The justification for this plan comes from a historic perspective of education, the state of education at the dawn of the 21st century, and synthesis of learning for work and life, both individually and socially. Then, the civilization approach to education is defined. An example of the civilization development curriculum is offered as well as an octopus strategy for its implementation.
precursors of civilizational science
30. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Vladimir Alalykin-Izvekov Sorokin’s Contribution to the Civilizational Theory and Science
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31. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo Fire and Force: Civilization as Noosphere in the Works of Teilhard de Chardin
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The French Jesuit, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote provocatively about world civilization from his dual expertise as paleontologist and Catholic priest. This paper will extract from his many writings references to civilizational process in terms of his concept of the noosphere, that is, the transhuman accumulation of knowledge. Basing himself on the notion of a geogenetic process that he described in his important publication, Le Phenomenene Humain (1955), de Chardin considered the evolution of humankind to involve not merely the change of individual members of the species, but in the development of the capacity to shape the earth and its forces by the invention of technology. He foresaw the human creation of a new level of understanding (some would say this is the cyberspace of the Internet) that would be the achievement of a unifying human civilization. The impulse to contribute to and benefit from this wealth of shared knowledge constituted for the Jesuit a quasi-magnetic force that brought together disparate human experiences. Borne in part by his religious faith, de Chardin described in a second masterpiece, Le Milieu Divin (1957) this unifying force as “love”. When a new world civilization learned to harness this kind of love in common purpose, said de Chardin, “for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire”. Possibly because of his religiously tinted language and mystical orientation, Teilhard has not always been viewed a contributor to the field. This paper will offer suggestions for ways to incorporate the French Jesuit among the sources for civilizational analysis.
32. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Roman Zawadzki Feliks Koneczny: The Forgotten Philosopher of History and Civilization
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The paper presents the life and work of Feliks Koneczny, the forgotten polish scientist of the 19th and the 20th centuries. The four main field of his activity areshortly presented, especially his historiosophic synthesis in form of very original theory of the plurality of civilizations, based on the axiological assumptions. His concept of social philosophy that emerged from his historical studies seems to be controversial but, in fact, has strongly influenced the work of many historians and philosophers. In his opinion, any utilitarian political, economical, social and psychological functionality turned into the ideologically imposed life algorithms must be considered as very dangerous threat for the freedom and free will of individual as well as for the independence of so many different communities, societies and cultures. Consequently, Koneczny suggested to be very careful in attempts to implement, by international political means, the idea of total globalization considering it as harmful illusion.
the question of cooperation in the world of multiple civilizations
33. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Piotr Balcerowicz Rationality as a Common Public Domain
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Even though globalization is not necessarily a modern phenomenon, quantitatively id does exceed anything which we could observe in the past. In its modern form it entails certain side effects and brings news risks which often involves direct encounters of people representing different or conflicting worldviews and systems of values. To speak of “a clash of civilizations” or “a war of civilizations” would be a misunderstanding, probably motivated politically. What is really pertinent is, however, the question to what extent conflicting systems of values (i.e. people representing or subscribing to conflicting systems of values and lifestyles) can coexist or enter in a dialogue, which should be a requirement for any strategy to solve or manage a conflict. In this context, it proves extremely fruitful to distinguish two kinds of rationality: of the first and second level. Such distinction helps, first of all, to understand to what degree, e.g., deeply religiouspeople and secular scientists are rational, and in what context a dialogue or exchange of ideas between such divergent parties is possible. These results can easily be transferred onto a wide range of other conflicting systems of values. Further, the paper claims that it is not cultures or civilizations, the identity which being extremely complex, heterogeneous and multi-layered, as such enter into a conflict but cultural / civilizational subgroups. The conclusion is that a dialogue between two systems of values is in most cases possible, with one exception.
34. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Ashok Kumar Malhotra Reflections on the Clash or Reconciliation of Civilizations
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The thesis of the paper is that the root cause of clash or reconciliation among civilizations is housed in the drama of consciousness! Two models of consciousness that highlight this drama are put forward here. First is Jean Gebser’s view, which asserts that the history of human civilization is nothing more than the manifestations of the development of consciousness. This development has taken place through five distinct stages: the archaic, magical, mythic, mental and integrative. Clash in civilizations is due to the fixation on the first four stages whereas reconciliation is possible through the use of the integrative stage. The second is the Tantric Yoga view of consciousness in terms of the seven chakras or wheels of consciousness. These chakras are spread out in the body like seven colors of the rainbow—starting with the base of the spine to the genitals, the belly button, the heart, the throat, the forehead and ending in the crown of the head. Clash in civilizations is due to the fixation on the first three levels (chakras) of consciousness whereas reconciliation is possible through the use of the upper fourwheels of consciousness (chakras), which are focused at developing universal consciousness. Since religion and civilization are intimately connected and several of the prominent civilizational clashes have been due to the religious differences, religious consciousness will be taken as the paradigm of this paper.How can humanity move from clash towards reconciliation? Such a possibility is suggested by both Gebser and Tantric Yoga whose theories point towards the development of an integrative universal consciousness: an encompassing consciousness that will transcend as well as incorporate all limited religious consciousness perspectives in its fold! The views of Vivekananda, a scholar-monk of India, on “one religion/one spirituality” are of particular interest in this context. They indicate an approach, which might lead to a possible future solution thus paving a path towards one-world-spiritual-peaceful order!
35. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Stephen Blaha The Future of Civilizations
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The short term and long term prospects of civilizations is considered. It appears that the present mix of five major civilizations will continue with the possible addition of a Pan-African civilization that appears to be in the process of formation. The cycles of events in these civilizations is expected to be a continuation of cyclic behavior found in the author’s earlier work. Global Warming, environmental degradation, overpopulation, excessive numbers of older unproductive people, warfare and competition for resources will be detrimental to the future of civilizations for the foreseeable future. In short, the discussion is based on a continuation of ongoing civilizational trends. Improved communications and technology will have a significant impact but is not likely to change the overall unity of each contemporary civilization.
36. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Pedro Geiger Civilization, Mode of Production, Ages of History and the Three-Legged Movements
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Since its presumed origin by the big bang, about 14 pasts billion years, the Universe is composed of entities, or objects, that produce movements that produce new objects that produce new movements, in an endless sequence.The human mind is one of these entities, whose movements are capable to produce many objects, materialized or as ideas. Those objects in their turn will interact with the mind and new movements will be produced. This process had composed the history of mankind.The Nature presents a world of movements, originated from its first movement—the explosion of the Singularity. The Universe continues in its expansion, while the Earth rotates and the animals move on its surface. So are the humans, who continue to reproduce by natural movements, biologically, but are capable to fly to the Moon. The entire Universe is composed by the same particles, forming a multitude of objects, inserted in the primary objects, participating in the primary movements, and introducing new ones. It is a World of an infinite number of movements derived from the first one, disposed in levels. The upper levels are constituted by the social movements.Thus, history is a development of the producing of material and ideal objects and of their related movements. To produce it mankind have been using the natural environment, offered by the earth’s surface, and the social products already produced during their times of history.Among the last, the social products, one recognizes: a) the knowledge, or information; b) the social relations between men and their social structures, and c) the spatial shaping of their social life, or geography.Thus, in this paper one tries to develop the idea of relating the terms Civilization, Mode of Production and Ages of History to the above three-legged composition.An example is given here: the invention of the caravel, that had conduced to the large discoveries (technology, information, knowledge). It intensified commercial activities, geographical interactions, accelerating the replacing of the feudal society in Europe by the mercantile society (social relations, social structure). The geography also changed with the higher development of the commercial sea port urban centers (spatial shaping geography).The current age of globalization is being an age of a new geography and of new forms in the urbanization process.
37. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Marek J. Celiński The Concepts of Progress and Regress in Relation to Civilizations
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History provides us with instances of various societal and economic changes that with a hindsight are interpreted as either indicating progressive or regressive trends. The present paper attempts to define what represents progress and regress by applying psychological constructs to evaluation of the psychosocial changes. Seven principles of progress are applied as criteria for interpreting various historic events. The primary condition for progress is courage to face adversity or, in the cognitive domain, ambiguity, controversy and “unknown”. An overall model of Challenge-Resilience-Resourcefulness is described as the process through which progress can be achieved.
38. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Norman C. Rothman Islam as a Multi-Faceted Phenomenon in Culture: The Case of Indonesia
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Indonesia has received Islam over the past millennium During this period, Islam has intermingled in varying degrees with Buddhism, Hinduism, and indigenous animism in different parts of the archipelago. Consequently, beliefs and practices diverge. Nevertheless, Islam has an overwhelming if diverse presence in Indonesia. The paper will examine the resultant diverse versions of Islam that currently coexist in Indonesia. These versions are the modernist, traditional, devotional, and syncretic aspects of Islam. Each version will be analyzed in terms of both differences and similarities.
39. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Editors’ Note
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book review
40. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
J. Reed Smith The Oxford History of Byzantium, Cyril Mango
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