Sferen en globalisering. Ethische aspecten Van sloterdijks bijdrage aan het globaliseringsdebat

Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (3):479-507 (2002)
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Abstract

This article discusses the ethical dimension of Sloterdijk's spherology and its contribution to the current debate on globalization. It is shown that Sloterdijk already developed the core of his ethics in his earlier works. The central distinction here is the ontological difference between the intimate stay of the fetus in its mother's womb and the ominous outside of the world. From its birth onwards the infant has to develop new intimate spheres to make life bearable and to expand into the world. This coming into the world depends on the quality of macrospheres that take over the immunological functions of the microspheres. Sloterdijk believes that the current debate on globalization is a late and superficial reflection of the crisis of the metaphysical globalization. This crisis means that Europeans have lost their all-embracing macrosphere of the idealized globe. As a consequence, modernity means that people and cultures have to become more self-reliant to protect themselves from a radical outside. The actual globalization of the earth can therefore be understood as an ongoing exteriorization of the animated space of the local spheres. At the same time people from different cultures and states are forced to work together on an unprecedented scale. This actual globalization does not mean however, that there is a universal moral law that obliges us to put our self-interest aside in favour of the interests of strangers. In this respect Sloterdijk stresses the importance of care for one's own spheres, be it an individual, a family or a company, as a condition of responsibility and solidarity

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Bert Van De Ven
Tilburg University

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