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1. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Andrew Targowski The Civilization Index
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Before one can speculate about a new world order and “a clash of civilizations”, or “the end of history”, it is necessary to develop an appropriate set of measures to compare human competition in world politics and economy. Components and the generic model of an autonomous civilization is defined for eight civilizations recognized at the beginning of the 21st century. Each component of contemporary civilizations is numerically estimated in order to construct the civilization index. A comparative analysis of 8 civilizations’ indexes is provided in order to define strategies for the civilization development within 3 zones of encounters: clashes, modernization, and westernization. Two layers of world civilizations are defined and the dynamics of world civilization at the beginning of the 3rd Millennium is modeled. Based on that dynamics, the challenges for civilizations and peoples conclude the paper.
2. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Władysław Stróżewski Rev. Wacław Hryniewicz: Hope Teaches Differently
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These are reflections on Rev. Professor Hryniewicz’s substantial essay presented by an eminent historian of philosophy.
3. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Wacław Hryniewicz Hope for Man and the Universe. On Some Forgotten Aspects of Christian Universalism
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The paper attempts to show that Christian hope is not a product of religious fantasy. It finds today an ally in the dialogue with the natural sciences which started in recent years on the topic of the ultimate destiny of the world. The natural sciences have confirmed that the universe is doomed to physical annihilation. Humanity with its cultural riches, scientists say, is only an episode in universal history and doomed to perish. Hence, if the Earth is nothing more than an island of rationality in a cosmic void, then the only thing we can do is to keep up a heroic attitude worthy of human beings towards our own fragile existence. Contemporary science’s visions of the future are pessimistic: abundant, though short-lived, evolution culminating in a sense of final futility and the ultimate destruction of all life in the universe. Such forecasts question religion’s claims for the eschatological transformation of all creation. Christian eschatology does not accept, however, reductionist presuppositions about the very nature of reality. The universe contains levels of meaning far richer than what we have been able to discover sofar. Theology’s task is not to provide easy consolation, or generate false hopes. It has a good reason to avoid catastrophism, and maintain calm in its strivings to keep up our faith in God’s concern for the destiny of all His creatures. Theologians have to take a serious stand on the very concept of finitude, furthered by natural and social sciences. This, in turn, will require critical review of such concepts as the world’s future in God, hope and new creation. This effort must be undertaken in dialogue with the scientific views of the world’s finitude. Both sides are prone to stereotype judgements and shallow answers which must be corrected in consideration of the complexity of the issue at hand. Christian theology has to justify its claim to truth, but certainly not by launching battles with science. Christian hope shows the new creation not as annihilation and destruction of the old but as its ultimate transfiguration and salvific transformation. It speaks about the paradox of continuity/discontinuity in this new universe’s emergence. Special attention is paid in the paper to the “logical” structure of matter. If the world ofultimate events is, in fact, to be a new world of the resurrection, created by transition into new reality, then certain scientific suggestions and data on the present world’s processes could prove helpful in grasping the truly cosmic dimensions of Christian hope. Crucial here will not so much be particular data but rather a sort of meta-science allowing the deduction of general concepts from the detailed achievements of scientific research. Such generalized insights include today the following elements: 1) the dynamic concept of physical reality, 2) the relationality of its processes and, 3) a deeper understanding of the complexity of matter/energy as carriers of a specific information-bearing pattern. It appears that there are some similarities in science’s and theology’s strivings for a deeper understanding of the truth of reality, which continues to evade our theories and teaches us modesty. Neither method nor concept has yet managed to explaineverything. There exists no universal key to a comprehensive interpretation. The postulate to avoid reductionism in approaching the manifold richness of reality is addressed to scientists and theologians alike.
4. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Gary B. Madison Global Ontologies
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This paper examines various views—religious, scientific, philosophical—on the meaning and significance of world history. The view it defends is a phenomenological, non-metaphysical one, i.e., it is one that does not seek to understand history in the light of end-states lying beyond time and history but which seeks, rather, to lay bare the logic at work within the contingency of events. Taking as its focus the phenomenon of globalization, the paper seeks to make explicit the global ontology that is implicit in philosophical hermeneutics. The thesis it defends in this regard is that, to the degree that it prevails and by reason of a kind of “functional necessity,” globalization is capable of bringing into being a global ethic of mutuality and reciprocity.
5. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Michael H. Mitias Universalism as a Metaphilosophy
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In this article I offer an account of what it means for Universalism to be a metaphilosophy. I first argue that traditional philosophical systems and views suffer from two main defects. First, they are closed, in the sense that they have made their final judgment on what the world is like. Second, they are mostly Eurocentric; regardless of their attempt to be objective and universalist in their orientation, they express the European values, beliefs, and world views. As a metaphilosophy, Universalism is an open concept. It recognizes that our knowledge of the world is an on-going process of discovery. It does not attempt to synthesize or reject the variety of religious, ideological, and philosophical views and approaches; on the contrary, it seeks to provide a universal conceptual framework within which these views and approaches can thrive and dialogue with each other. The structure of this framework is made up of the universal features of nature and human nature. Accordingly the universal is not an ideal or natural or metaphysical essence of some kind. The universal is made, and it is made collectively by scholars from the different academic disciplines. This is why Universalism aspires to articulate the most comprehensive vision of the world. In this attempt it tries to grasp the highest fruits of all the achievements of the human spirit in religion, ideology, philosophy, and culture. I also discuss two more important features of Universalism as a metaphilosophy: co-creation and metanoia.
6. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Emilyia Velikova, Zbigniew Wendland Reasoning in Faith: Reflections from 20th Seminar in Washington
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In the period from September 15, 2004 to November 15, 2004 there took place a 10-week philosophical seminar, which for some time has been organized every fall by The Council for Research in Values and Philosophy and The Center for the Study of Culture and Values—both institutions associated with The Catholic University of America in Washington.
7. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Jan Danecki, Maria Danecka, Maciej Bańkowski At the Roots of Global Threats: Development Dilemmas
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Political relations in today’s world are in a deep, perhaps even radically threatening disequilibrium; similarly, humanity’s home—the Earth—is treated with disdain and contempt despite its increasingly angry protests. Moreover, the rules and principles by which most of the world runs its economic affairs and strives to “modernize” its life are founded on a set of market laws devoid of all social context and only serve to deepen the dangerous contrasts between small islands of wealth and a sea of humanity doomed to poverty and alienation.
8. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Tadeusz Kowalik Systemic Diversity of Modern Capitalism
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The article analyzes the scope and depth of systemic differences between national economies in the modern world, focusing on the experience of Central Europe in the process of the enlargement of European Union. The core argument of the article is that the world needs not one model of development, but more diversity and more experimentation, encouraging entrepreneurship and institutional change. There is no one best model that can be implemented in any country, independent of its tradition and culture. Globalization as well as integration is, beyond certain limits, harmful to future development.
9. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Krzysztof Gawlikowski From False “Western Universalism” Towards True “Universal Universalism”
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The article outlines tragic consequences of wrong, Euro- and Americano-centric views of the world, with the military intervention “to introduce democracy” in Iraq as its most recent example. The study presents the roots of “false universalism” identified with Western civilization, the intricate way of dialogue among civilizations as leading towards a true “universal universalism”, which considers all civilizations as valuable sources and treats them as equal. The reasons and consequences of the Western and American domination in the world, including the cultural dimension, and some fundamental characteristics of the Western civilization are also outlined. Some indications are presented how the future universal civilization could evolve, and how to deal with the differences of values. The problem of human rights and of democracy is also discussed.
10. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 10/12
Cezary G. Cerekwicki The Practice of International Cooperation in the Third Sector
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In this paper I describe three similar projects, and investigate origins of their success. All of them are non-governmental and non-profit voluntary international initiatives that developed from small local projects. I claim that the basis of their success is universality of their underlying philosophy.
11. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3/4
Ryszard Panasiuk Review of the Achievements of Leszek Kołakowski
12. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3/4
Karol Toeplitz Review of the Achievements of Leszek Kołakowski
13. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3/4
Library of Congress Announces Winner of First John W. Kluge Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities and Social Sciences
14. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3/4
Leszek Kołakowski Worst Memories—Again
15. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3/4
Jadwiga Staniszkis, Philip Earl Steele The Rise and Demise of the Metaphysics of the State
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Two streams of political thought will be presented: metaphysics of State (that started in the 14th century with the Ockhamian nominalism and ended with the “political theology” of Carl Schmidt and Weberian rationalization and “dictatorship of form”) and metaphysics of Power (from Nietzsche and Kierkegaard to Derrida, with power as imposed discontinuity). An impact of globalization concealing both traditions (and leading to de-politization, de-hierarchization and de-ontologization of power) will be analyzed, with the present evolution of European Union as an example. Structural violence (as a case of structural power, characteristic of globalization) will be shown in a post-communist context.
16. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3/4
Bernard Albin Professor Leszek Kołakowski’s Curriculum Vitae
17. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3/4
Andrew Targowski From Global to Universal Civilization
18. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3/4
John Rensenbrink Wisdom and the Learning Imperative
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The word “wisdom” has a multitude of different meanings. This occurs both in popular language and in academic circles. It has that in common with other words of special significance and grandeur in the many languages of our species—think of “justice”, “peace”, “love”, “beauty”, and “reality”. Consider these various meanings of the word “wisdom”: being wise beyond her years, wise old man, wise guy, wise use, the wisdom of the ancients, conventional wisdom, the wise judge, the wise old crone, the three wise men, and so forth. Wisdom is associated with tradition, cleverness, moral rectitude, contemplation, resignation, wonder, keen insight, ripe old age, the received view, judicious balance, acute foresight, superior understanding, solace in time of trouble, and stoic endurance. The list could go on, but even just this much reveals a riot of meanings—and a great deal of confusion. Many of the things we think of as wisdom seem to be at odds with other things we think of as wisdom, and some seem wide of the mark, if not downright mistaken and wrong.
19. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3/4
Karol Bal Laudation
20. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3/4
Adam Daniel Rotfeld Once Again on the Worst Issues