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41. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Andrzej Maciej Kaniowski Communicative Rationality and Its Preconditions
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The idea of rational understanding lays very close to the heart of Professor Janusz Kuczyński, an advocate of universalism as well as dialogue between diverse philosophical schools and worldviews, and doctoral advisor to the present paper’s author. This idea’s theoretical conceptualisation—a conceptualisation that has proven to be convincing and adequate to the conditions of the modern world—was developed by Professor Jürgen Habermas, whose ideas and theories were also the subject of a doctoral thesis written by this paper’s author in the latter half of the 1970s under Professor Kuczyński’s tutelage. The author shares some grateful memories of his doctoral tutor, and also sets his one-time attempts to apply the theory of communicative action to two experiences of the real socialism era in Poland (the events of 1980/1981 and 1989) against his efforts to analyse contemporary Polish realities through the prism of the communicative rationality conception. This comparison shows that the application of a conception of rationality funded by communicative action to the turbulent transformations under real socialism was to a certain extent naïve—though not devoid of critical significance—and also reveals the preconditions (in the sphere of understanding oneself and the world) for the implementation of the rules of communicative rationality in social and political reality.The paper is in part dedicated to the memory of Professor Kuczyński, therefore it contains a somewhat extensive account of the circumstances which led the author to study the thought of Habermas under Kuczyński’s tutelage, as well as the consequences of this choice, which proved of considerable significance for his further life. However, the main themes are, first, the validity (and naivety) of applying a conception of rationality funded by communicative action to two significant experiences of the real socialism era, and, secondly, the need—revealed by diagnosing contemporary Polish reality with the help of the communicative rationality conception—for certain preconditions enabling the implementation of this type of rationality in social and political reality. One such precondition is the transition of sufficiently broad parts of society from thinking in terms of worldviews (Weltaunschauungen) to post-metaphysical thinking in terms of the “lifeworld” (Lebenswelt).
42. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Józef Leszek Krakowiak Post-Kantian Elements in the Intersubjectively Constituted Subject of Universalism as a Metaphilosophy
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This comparative essay about two kinds of interpersonal-centric humanism is dedicated to the memory of professor Janusz Kuczyński and his conception of dialogical universalism as a metaphilosophy, and shows Immanuel Kant’s thought as a ceaseless source of inspiration for all anti-conservatives and universalists. Kant’s philosophy gave man an unforgettable sense of freedom, because it not only posed the imperative of building a pan-human community of all rational beings, but also revealed the above-natural sense of the human species’ imposition of purposefulness upon itself, and the realisation of this purposefulness in the form of a republican federation of free states dedicated to co-creating eternal peace. Kantian ethics did not reach beyond the obligations people had towards one another, hence it was functionally anthropological and uninfluenced by religion, which re-situated philosophy with regard to scientific cognition and religious experience, giving rise to a metaphysics of anthropological responsibility for the condition of the spiritual freedom this ethic propounded. Kant revealed the existence of a metaphysical difference in the sphere of being—between the determinism of nature and the moral kingdom of freedom—without direct reference to the transcendental source of these two essentially different worlds. Kant was the first to set morality rooted in the autonomy and unanimous will of all rational beings—or true humanity—against legal and religious legalism. Kant laid weight on the processual character of man’s self-education to social life through the sense of commitment to self-improvement for the benefit of the solidary co-existence of all rational beings that he developed in himself as a rational being. Thus created freedom is founded on the selflesness of goodness and represents a new quality of being that only manifests itself and evolves in community, interpersonalcentrically. It is a universalistic approach capable of gradually neutralising the human inclination towards radical evil.My attempt to compare these two interpersonalcentric humanism conceptions aims to add some substance to this very delicate element in Kuczyński’s universalism as a metaphilosophy construct.
43. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Andrzej Walicki The Address on the Janusz Kuczyński’s 80th Birthday
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The address presents Janusz Kuczyński’s main ideas, conception and his diverse and longstanding activity (as an ideologist, philosopher, editor, ecumenist, patriot). The author of this essay includes his own reflections on Kuczyński’s views.
44. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Włodzimierz Lorenc, Karolina Chodzińska What Is Hermeneutic Philosophy?
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The aim of this article is to characterize hermeneutic philosophy in a manner that differs from the usual attempts at defining this philosophical direction, especially in German philosophy, that is by referencing traditional hermeneutics. I would like to propose expounding its characteristics not in a historical, but theoretical manner. This task involves analysing the place of hermeneutic philosophy among other tendencies in contemporary philosophy as well as showcasing the advantages of its way of philosophizing. The article does not discuss issues related to this philosophy such as its limitations and unilaterality.
45. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Zofia Rosińska, Grzegorz Czemiel The Phenomenon of Fanaticism
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The paper describes the model shape of fanaticism. It defines fanaticism as a willing enslavement of personality and analysed the following features of it: intentionality, missionary attitude, being in love, intolerance, ability to satisfy ambivalent desires for objectivization and for subjectivization, and ability to evoke ambivalent feelings: moral condemnation and the feeling of admiration.
46. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Janusz Kuczyński Universalism, Modern History and the Marxist Theory of Formations
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The paper proposes a new kind of universalism, i.e., a philosophy of “mankind-for-itself.” This conception which deals with the human world is based on some essential features of the western cultural world, indicated by the author, as well as on Karl Marx’s and Georg W. F. Hegel’s ideas and conceptions.
47. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Janusz Kuczyński Dialogues between Cultures, Science and Technology: Towards a New Kind of Universalism
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The author proposes and discusses the following thesis: That which determines the intensifying process of transition toward an entirely new situation on the globe is, to an ever increasing degree, consciousness, the self-knowledge of cultures, and above all philosophies as their most profound expression. The author considers this transition the growth of the universalism he interprets as a philosophy of mankind-for-itself. The considerations extensively refers to Kinhide Mushakoji’s conception of scientific revolution and inter-paradigmatic dialogue.
48. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Janusz Kuczyński The Sense of New History
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The paper discusses the problem of essence and sense of history, especially modern history, mainly by discussing Thomas Langan’s position expressed in his 1978 essay “Searching in History for the Sense of It All,” The Review of Metaphysics, September.
49. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Janusz Kuczyński The Sense of Existence in Marxism, Christianity and Liberal Mass Culture
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The paper presents reflections on human existence and the nature of human being. The author of the paper presents his own standpoint and compares it with other philosophical and religious conceptions of the human being, inter alia those formed in Christianity, Marxism and Cartesianism. The primary concern of the essay is the existential-anthropological significance of human being’s creativity.
50. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Janusz Kuczyński The Meaning of History and Peace
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The paper consists of two parts. In the first one the author analyses the situation of mankind in the last decades of the 20th century, regarding it as tragic; in his reflections he refers mainly to the conceptions of Georg W. F. Hegel, Karl Marx and some Christian thinkers. The second part is a critique of Karl Popper’s conception of history, especially his main claim that history has no meaning.
51. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Janusz Kuczyński Good as a Correlate of Community
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The paper analyses various conceptions of good and evil, as well as the bases of these two basic values. The author does not present these values in isolation but as elements of metaphysical conceptions and also of social systems.
52. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Małgorzata Czarnocka Editorial
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past philosophy for the present and future
53. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Kevin M. Brien Toward a Critical Synthesis of the Aristotelian and Confucian Doctrines of the Mean
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This paper is the second phase of a project that was begun more than three years ago. The first phase culminated in the publication of a paper working toward a critical appropriation of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.1 Therein Aristotle famously argues that human wellbeing (eudaimonia) is constituted by “activity of the soul in accordance with moral and intellectual virtue.”2 This earlier paper brought into focus all the main lines of Aristotle’s theoretical web in the N. Ethics: including the nature of the soul, intellectual virtue, moral virtue, etc. That paper went on to give a developed critique of Aristotle’s theoretical web, and against that background it argued for a very different way of thinking about intellectual virtue, and it prepared the ground for different ways of thinking about moral virtue. This current paper explores the various conceptual understandings of “the mean” in Aristotelian and in Confucian thought. It begins with an explanatory sketch of “the mean” as understood in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, and then in a second section goes on to explore “the mean” as presented in classical Confucianism. The third section of this paper offers some reflections oriented toward a tentative formulation of a modified conception of “the mean” as it might be construed from a humanistic Marxist perspective.
54. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
T. Brian Mooney, Damini Roy Politeness and Pietas as Annexed to the Virtue of Justice
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“Politeness” appears to be connected to a quite disparate set of related concepts, including but not limited to, “manners,” “etiquette,” “agreeableness,” “respect” and even “piety.” While in the East politeness considered as an important social virtue is present (and even central) in the theoretical and practical expressions of the Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist traditions, (indeed politeness has been viewed in these traditions as central to proper education) it has not featured prominently in philosophical discussion in the West. American presidents Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington all devoted discussion to politeness within the broader ambit of manners and etiquette, as too did Erasmus, Edmund Burke and Ralph Waldo Emerson but on the whole sustained philosophical engagement with the topic has been lacking in the West. The richest source for philosophical investigation is perhaps afforded by the centrality of the concept of respect in Immanuel Kant.However in this paper we will instead draw on the writings of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas to defend the centrality of “politeness” as an important and valuable moral virtue. Starting with an analysis of the broader Aristotelian arguments on the virtues associated with “agreeableness,” namely, friendliness, truthfulness and wit I will argue that “politeness” should be thought of as an important moral virtue attached to social intercourse (and by extension the vice of impoliteness). I then move to identify an even broader and more important account of politeness, drawing on the work of Aquinas, as intimately connected to the notion of pietas (piety) as a fundamental part of the virtue of justice.
55. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Robert Elliott Allinson The Problem of the External World in René Descartes, Edmund Husserl, Immanuel Kant and the Evil Genius: A Perennial Problem for Philosophers?
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The need to prove the existence of the external world has been a subject that has concerned the rationalist philosophers, particularly Descartes and the empiricist philosophers such as John Locke, George Berkeley and David Hume. Taking the epoché as the key mark of the phenomenologist—the suspension of the question of the existence of the external world—the issue of the external world should not come under the domain of the phenomenologist. Ironically, however, I would like to suggest that it could be argued that the founder of the phenomenological school of thought, Edmund Husserl, also did not avoid the question of the existence of the external world. What I would like to suggest further is that Immanuel Kant grants himself illicit access to the external world and thus illustrates that the question of the external world is vital to the argument structure of the first Critique.
56. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Dávid Kollár, József Kollár The Art of Shipwrecking: The Information Society and the Rise of Exaptive Resilience
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We argue that the epistemological, ontological, locality and social structure of the world have undergone radical changes over the last decades. The greatest riddle of the information age is whether we can domesticate the “unstable chaos” to “productive anarchy.” We argue that this results in the appreciation of the creative use of the “we do not know that we know” type of knowledge that we conceptualize as exaptive resilience. We briefly clarify the difference between exaptation and adaptation, and we compare the concept of adaptive resilience with that of exaptive resilience. Our results will show that the effectiveness of complex systems in the information age depends on the capacity of adaptive and exaptive resilience.
57. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Mitchell Atkinson III Parsimony and Ontological Control: Quine and Wittgenstein on the Size of the World
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In this paper, I argue that philosophers, while developing ontologies, can be classed as misers or profligates. I develop the categories of ontological miserliness and ontological profligacy and supply explanatory examples. I explore the theoretical motivation of both misers and profligates in terms of thought-time and inquiry scope. In brief, misers prioritize thought-time over inquiry scope; vice-versa for profligates. I examine the extent to which conservation of thought-time is an active concern for misers and provide a miserly taxonomy for ontologies; ontologies may be cheap, expensive or impossible. I argue that profligates countenance the generative character of the ontological enterprise at the expense of exclusion and limitation. The works of Willard Van Orman Quine and Ludwig Wittgenstein provide canonic examples of miserly and profligate ontologies. I argue that Quine is an ontological miser par excellence, and that Wittgenstein is profligate in his later period and evinces an intermediate position in his early period. Finally, I discuss the theoretical stakes involved in this entire discussion, provide brief contemporary examples, and explore the extent to which the distinction between miserliness and profligacy is illusory.
58. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Andrey I. Matsyna “Natural Work” as Self-capability: Remaining Human in the Era of Turmoil. In Memory of Grigory Savvich Skovoroda
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A great wandering humanist philosopher, enlightener and outstanding poet Grigory Savvich Skovoroda’s work pertains to a difficult period in the life of the 18th century Eastern Ukraine. Against the background of growing injustice and evil, the decline of spiritual values, an authentic practical philosophy of individual opposition to a self-serving world steeped in vice was born. Skovoroda’s philosophy completely lacks the intention to consider proprietary interests as the driving force of human development. Its key principle of human development is self-examination within one’s own energy-activity-object-related space. The call for self-examination from the perspective of the authentic idea of “natural work” is revealed dynamically as the process of bringing the objective world into harmony with the nature of an individual. “Natural work” is a process of individual’s constant creative self-overcoming on the ascent to subject identity; total communion of man with the universal whole.
philosophy and current human problems
59. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Omer Moussaly The Lessons of Gramsci’s Philosophy of Praxis
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For many intellectuals, including the philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis, the historical destiny of Marxism-Leninism has discredited the philosophy of praxis. It can no longer serve as a source for radical political thought. Analyzing the theoretical contributions of the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, we argue that a renewal of Marxism is both possible and needed. After more than forty years of neoliberal capitalism, a revitalized Marxism can contribute to the critique of contemporary forms of economic exploitation and statist domination. We propose that it is the concepts developed by Castoriadis that need to be translated and adapted to this reformed philosophy of praxis.
60. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Shuang Zhang Critique of Capital in the Era of Globalization
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Globalization does not only embrace economy, but also politics, culture, climate, military affairs, and so on. Its most important aspect is capital; the concept of capital is the key to analyzing and understanding the today world. Today capital has turned from primitive accumulation into “accumulation by dispossession,” extending its ruling logic to all fields and levels of the world. What we should do is to minimize the capitalist ruling logic in globalization; the very globalization is an imminent trend.