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Abstract

Climate change threatens humanity more than anything else. If we talk of nationalism, we ought therefore consider its pros and cons in light of the climate emergency. Anatol Lieven believes that civic nationalism along the lines of Chaim Gans, David Miller, and Yuli Tamir helps combat global warming. He thinks that when nationalists recognize that climate change is just as threatening to the survival of their nation-state as wars, they will make the sacrifices necessary to avert the threat. In this view, the military has an important role, and migration will have to be restricted. In this paper, I show that this solution is at best highly risky, and more probably unsound. However difficult it will be to realize, addressing climate change must be based on international cooperation, normatively grounded in human rights. I show how international law rather than civic nationalism gives us examples of how to go forward.

Open Access
In: Danish Yearbook of Philosophy

Abstract

Exceptionalism is the view that one group is better than other groups and, by virtue of its alleged superiority, is not subject to the same constraints. Here we identify national exceptionalism in the responses made by political leaders in the United States and the United Kingdom to the covid-19 pandemic in early 2020. First, we observe that responses appealed to national values and national character and were marked by a denial of the severity of the situation. Second, we suggest an analogy between national exceptionalism and unrealistic optimism, i.e., people’s tendency to make rosier predictions about their future than is warranted by the evidence due to illusions of superiority and control. Finally, we argue that, at the national level, exceptionalism gave rise to an assumption of invulnerability that made for slow responses to the pandemic, and at the individual level, it served as a justification of people’s failures to adopt safety behaviors.

Open Access
In: Danish Yearbook of Philosophy
Author:

Abstract

Bringing Simone Weil into conversation with Roberto Frega’s Pragmatism and the Wide View of Democracy

Open Access
In: Contemporary Pragmatism

Abstract

In The Practice of Political Theory, Clayton Chin puts Richard Rorty’s pragmatism in dialogue with a range of contemporary political theorists, particularly focusing on how his notion of cultural politics can speak to the ontological turn in political theory. This article focuses on Chin’s claim that Rorty’s cultural politics provides an ethos of inclusive and tolerant political engagement. After exploring the basis for Chin’s interpretation, it identifies three tensions in this ethos, in relation to character of its demandingness, the fissure between ethnocentric and egalitarian engagement, and the relationship of this ethos to the virtues and procedures of democratic citizenship.

Open Access
In: Contemporary Pragmatism

Abstract

In this paper, we argue that the concept of environmental scaffolding can contribute to a better understanding of our affective life and the complex manners in which it is shaped by environmental entities. In particular, the concept of environmental scaffolding offers a more comprehensive and less controversial framework than the notions of embeddedness and extendedness. We contribute to the literature on situated affectivity by embracing and systematizing the diversity of affective scaffolding. In doing so, we introduce several distinctions that provide classifications of different types of environmentally scaffolded affectivity. Furthermore, we differentiate eight dimensions (e.g., trust, individualization, or intent) that allow us to evaluate the quality and effectivity of scaffolds in particular applications. On that basis, we develop a taxonomy using paradigmatic examples of affective scaffolding. This taxonomy enriches the current debate by emphasizing distinctions that are often conflated and by identifying fields of application that are commonly overlooked.

Open Access
In: Danish Yearbook of Philosophy

Abstract

In this paper I explore the ways in which Alexander of Aphrodisias employs and develops so-called ‘common notions’ as reliable starting points of deductive arguments. He combines contemporary developments in the Stoic and Epicurean use of common notions with Aristotelian dialectic, and axioms. This more comprehensive concept of common notions can be extracted from Alexander’s commentary on Metaphysics A 1–2. Alexander puts Aristotle’s claim that ‘all human beings by nature desire to know’ in a larger deductive framework, and adds weight to Aristotle’s use of the common understanding of the notion of ‘wisdom’. Finally I will indicate how these upgraded common notions are meant to play an important role in the general framework of metaphysics as a science.

Open Access
In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
Author:

Abstract

In late antiquity, logic developed into what Ebbesen calls the LAS, the Late Ancient Standard. This paper discusses the Neoplatonic use of LAS, as informed by epistemological and metaphysical concerns. It demonstrates this through an analysis of the late ancient debate about hypothetical and categorical logic as manifest in the practice of syllogizing Platonic dialogues. After an introduction of the Middle Platonist view on Platonic syllogistic as present in Alcinous, this paper presents an overview of its application in the syllogizing practice of Proclus and others. That overview shows that the two types were considered two sides of the same coin, to be used for the appropriate occasions, and both relying on the methods of dialectic as revealing the structure of knowledge and reality. Pragmatics, dialectic, and didactic choices determine which type or combination is selected in syllogizing Plato. So even though there is no specific Neoplatonic logic, there is a specific Neoplatonic use of LAS.

Open Access
In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
Italian Perspectives on Apocalypse and Rebirth in the Modern Study of Religion
In The Life and Work of Ernesto de Martino: Italian Perspectives on Apocalypse and Rebirth in the Modern Study of Religion, Flavio A. Geisshuesler offers a comprehensive study of one of Italy’s most colorful historians of religions. The book inserts de Martino’s dramatic life trajectory within the intellectual climate and the socio-political context of his age in order to offer a fresh perspective on the evolution of the discipline of religious studies during the 20th century. Demonstrating that scholarship on religion was animated by moments of fear of the apocalypse, it brings de Martino’s perspective into conversation with Mircea Eliade, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Clifford Geertz in order to recover an Italian approach that promises to redeem religious studies as a relevant and revitalizing field of research in the contemporary climate of crisis.
On the Kinship of Spirit and Thought: John Henry Newman and Edith Stein
Author:
Both Newman and Stein present a mature response to the challenges of their eras. In like manner they reflect splendid examples of genuine persons in the grip of disrupting cultural trends. They show the primacy of individual conscience and the importance of individual integrity even at the expense of social ostracism and extermination. Newman and Stein are outstanding witnesses of individual freedom vis-à-vis social and political systems. This book uniquely combines the biographies of these two figures in order to show that no matter what kind of circumstances we may live in, loyalty to one’s own self is the most significant part of life.

"In a penetrating account of Newman and Edith Stein, Jan Kłos explores the spirituality of two saints, each of them 'speaking to our time'. By explorations of their life and work, the author provides a wealth of insights for the twenty-first century. At once sensitive and learned, Jan Kłos's Heart Speaks unto Heart is a volume to be treasured and read again." - Prof. Andrew Breeze, Universidad de Navarra, Spain
"In this profound and stimulating study, Kłos invites the reader to think, not so much about Newman and Stein as with them, and thus join them in their unique but mutually illuminating efforts to make sense of their faith, their times (still very much our times), themselves, and, ultimately, the mystery of the truth in whose grasp they both lived and died. In translating Newman’s work, Stein discovered herself in communion with him. Heart Speaks unto Heart beautifully explores this communion, and in doing so shows us why it matters." - Prof. Paul Wojda, University of St. Thomas, U.S.A.
In: The Knowledge of Good