The object of this article is to focus on a survey on political participation in Belgium in the mid seventies. By political participation, the author refers to a set of political activities - conventional and less conventional, electoral and pre-electoral - which are hierarchical structured on a Guttman scale.Although the research is more or less unique - in Belgian terms - in this respect, the results are at first glance compatible with earlier findings. Most Belgians are rather passive citizens; 30 (...) % of the survey sample performs none of the activities integrated in the scale.A closer look learns that male, middle aged citizens with some education and a decent job are most involved in polities, but it reveals also that gender, age, socio-economie class and educational attainment are not the one and only reliable predictors of political activity. (shrink)
J.S. Mill's plural voting proposal in Considerations on Representative Government presents political theorists with a puzzle: the elitist proposal that some individuals deserve a greater voice than others seems at odds with Mill's repeated arguments for the value of full participation in government. This essay looks at Mill's arguments for plural voting, arguing that, far from being motivated solely by elitism, Mill's account is actually driven by a commitment to both competence and participation. It goes on to argue that, for (...) Mill, much of the value of political participation lies in its unique ability to educate the participants. That ability to educate is not, however, a product of participation alone; rather, for Mill, the true educative benefits of participation obtain only when competence and participation work together in the political sphere. Plural voting, then, is a mechanism for allowing Mill to take advantage of the educative benefits that arise from the intersection of competence and participation. (shrink)
J.N. Findlay was a South African philosopher who published from the late 1940s into the 1980s. He had a prestigious international academic career, holding many academic posts around the world. This article uses a textual comparative approach and focuses on Findlay’s Gifford Lecture at St Andrews University between 1965 and 1970. The objective of the article is to highlight the extent to which Findlay’s philosophical writings were influenced by Mahāyāna Buddhism. Although predominantly a Platonist, Findlay drew influence from Asian philosophy (...) and religion, particularly Mahāyāna Buddhism. In these lectures, he applies the metaphor of the Platonic Cave to investigate Hegelian and Husserlian approaches to knowledge. Though he was a leading Hegel and Husserl scholar, his reading of these two philosophers is strongly influenced by Mahāyāna Buddhism, resulting in a unique mystical interpretation of these two philosophers. Revisiting Findlay’s writings is significant for two reasons; firstly, he investigated Buddhism prior to the Asian religions being included in Religious Studies departments’ purview in South African universities, and secondly, his interpretation of two prominent Western philosophers along Buddhist lines provides an early attempt at decolonising the predominance of Western philosophical views of knowledge.Contribution: This contribution forms part of a larger collection of essays investigating philosophical works that have had a significant impact on the study of religion. This contribution investigates the Buddhist influence on J.N. Findlay’s philosophical readings of Husserl and Hegel. (shrink)
Thomas J.J. Altizer is one of the most important theologians of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, and all radical theology must pass through and be conversant with his work and the historical significance of his earlier contributions. This chapter presents Altizer’s essential ideas in a straightforward and accessible manner and provides a guide for the beginning reader.