Este artículo sugiere que los derechos humanos existen, que requieren fundamentación y que esa fundamentación debe ser objetiva para tener validez y legitimidad (debe ser verdadera). La clave para la fundamentación de los derechos humanos, aquí se propone, descansa en el concepto metafísico de naturaleza. El artículo concluye señalando el valor del diálogo, la comunicación y el consenso, si no para decidir cuál es la verdad, al menos para avanzar, a través de las contribuciones de todos, hacia el desvelamiento de (...) la verdad sobre la naturaleza humana. Los derechos humanos se ligan después al problema de la identidad política a través de la hermenéutica analógica. (shrink)
The paper reviews the foundational ideals that gave “Europe”, an integration project with continental ambitions, its initial meaning or identity. “Europe” meant reconciliation and peace, reconstruction and widespread prosperity, and the mitigation of nationalism through the creation of supranational communities. A broad cultural consensus made it easier to trust each other and work together. The enterprise received a tacit approval from Europeans throughout the initial stages. More than 60 years and 20 member states later the project is under strain in (...) the social, economic, political and cultural fields. Today, as Europeans (now continental citizens) experience not only the advantages, but also the sacrifices of belonging to “Europe” (in the form of a Union), their allegiance to, and indeed the identity of the whole project are in question. I will submit that the original identity of “Europe” should be revived, and revisited for it to evolve in response to the present challenges. If its future identity is that of an intercultural, inclusive, flexible, and analogical polity, Europe will be still worth fighting for. (shrink)
The Lautsi case in Italy attracted widespread attention in Europe and beyond. Though the issue under contention was a Christian symbol, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judgements showed changes in assessment both about religion (in contrast with former cases regarding Muslim veils) and secularism (which did not have the same meaning for everyone). In light of those rulings, this paper reflects on the concepts of neutrality and secularism and their normative implications for European citizens in terms of belonging, (...) solidarity and cohesion. An open and plural public sphere, in which intercultural exchange can flourish, is crucial if Europe is serious about the integration of its immigrants, many of whom possess a Muslim background. A ‘post-secular’ Europe may have to reconsider long-held stereotypes about religion and nuance its self-understanding as ‘secular’, in a way that religious citizens can identify with Europe too. The discussion will draw on the ideas of Taylor, Casanova, Habermas, Weiler and Beck to illustrate some of the political, ethical and theoretical complexities of the Lautsi case, specifically issues to do with neutrality, secularism and the role of religion in the public sphere. (shrink)
From the political point of view, European Union (EU) integration implies some kind of unity in the community constituted by EU citizens. Unity is difficult to attain if the diversity of citizens (and their nations) is to be respected. A thick bond that melts members' diversity into a 'European pot' is therefore out of the question. On the other hand, giving up unity altogether makes political integration impossible. Through a meta-theoretical analysis of normative positions, this paper proposes a composed notion (...) of European identity that links without binding. It contains four facets – cultural, political, social, external – with nuances, expressed in three binaries, that cut across all of them – history-project, ethos-achievement, commonness-uncommonness. I will submit that a workable European identity (and the related concepts of unity, polity and citizenship) can be better conceived as analogical – a mid way between blending unity and irreconcilable diversity. (shrink)
The increasing number of residents and citizens with non-Western cultural backgrounds in the European Union (EU) has prompted the question of whether EU member states (and other Western democracies) can accommodate the newcomers and maintain their free polities (‘liberal democracies’). The answer depends on how important – if at all – cultural groundings are to democratic polities. The analysis of a fascinating Habermas-Ratzinger debate on the ‘pre-political moral foundations of the free-state’ suggests that while legitimacy originates on the will of (...) the citizens that conform the political community, liberal democracies might not be completely free from moral principles implicit in their political culture. This possibility has normative implications for the political future of the EU - and of the West in general - particularly regarding immigration, integration and citizenship policies. (shrink)
Postnationalists like Habermas have suggested EU citizenship as a way to overcome nationalisms, grounding political belonging on the body of laws that members of the postnational polity generate in the public sphere. Cosmopolitan communitarianist like Bellamy think that EU citizens should form a mixed-commonwealth, with political belonging based on their nations. I will argue that the second option is more desiderable and submit the analogical character of the ensuing ideas of the citizenship, identity and polity. Cosmopolitan communitarianist citizenship promises to (...) better foster the great richness of European national cultural, religious, historical, political, legal and linguistic diversity while still maintaining a certain unity to form a "mixed" polity. (shrink)
As the euro crisis unfolds, political discourse on both sides of the European Union (EU)’s internal divide—“North” and “South”—becomes ever more exasperated, distant and untranslatable. At the root lies a weak pan-European sense of belonging—a common political identity thanks to which European citizens may regard each other as equals, and therefore as deserving recognition, trust, and solidarity. This paper describes some of the culture-related problems that impact directly on the formation of an eventual political identity for EU citizens. It then (...) suggests that the enacting of an interculturalist paradigm can help untie some of the nuts—political but also cultural—that Europe faces in order to solve the economic crisis. A few remarks are dedicated in the conclusive part to cultural pluralism in Singapore, a key player in any future progress towards the integration of the Asia Pacific Region. (shrink)
In 2004 Jürgen Habermas and Joseph Ratzinger participated in a debate on the ‘pre-political moral foundations of the free-state’. Their contributions showed broad agreement on the role of religion in today’s Western secular state and on areas of collaboration and mutual enrichment between Modernity and Christianity in Europe and the West. They diverged regarding the need or not of a common cultural background prior to the existence of the polity. Their diverging point becomes all the more fascinating to the extent (...) that the matter requires wider empirical, analytical and normative research before it can be settled. Nevertheless, the implications that derive from one or the other possibility are very different in terms, for instance, of immigration and citizenship policies. This is already clear in Europe and is becoming more evident in general in Western democracies. (shrink)
The euro crisis has hit “Europe” (the European Union, or EU) at its root. Economic harshness, social unrest and political turmoil betray a deeper problem: a weak pan-European sense of belonging — a common political identity thanks to which European citizens may regard each other as equals, and therefore as deserving of recognition, trust, and solidarity. This paper explores interculturalism from an analogical perspective, looking at the harmonious interplay between human rights and cultural plurality, as a possible source of trust (...) and solidarity among European citizens. Only a common — even if analogical — political identity, whereby European citizens regard each other, if not as “siblings” at least as “cousins,” can make the sacrifices required to overcome the crisis meaningful — and therefore less unlikely to happen. (shrink)
The economic crisis in Europe exposes the European Union’s political fragility. How a polity made of very different states can live up to the motto “Europe united in diversity” is difficult to envisage in practice. In this paper I attempt an “exegesis”—a critical explanation or interpretation of a series of published pieces (“the Series”) which explores, first, if European unity is desirable at all. Second, it presents a new methodology—analogical hermeneutics—used throughout the Series to approach the problem of unity. Third, (...) it conceptualises the source of unity as political identity. Fourth, it advances that the vehicle to share such identity is an analogical language: the political culture of human rights. Fifth, it submits the conditions under which such political culture could ground political identity through an open public sphere. Finally, it presents a way in which solidarity can grow as the increasingly diverse citizens of the European Union interact with each other. Even though the economic crisis can be solved by means of sound economic strategy (which is not the main object of my work), any successful economic strategy requires—as a precondition—a certain degree of political unity (the central concern of my research). (shrink)
Citizenship is the cornerstone of a democratic polity. It has three dimensions: legal, civic and affiliative. Citizens constitute the polity's demos, which often coincides with a nation. European Union (EU) citizenship was introduced to enhance ‘European identity’ (Europeans’ sense of belonging to their political community). Yet such citizenship faces at least two problems. First: Is there a European demos? If so, what is the status of peoples (nations, demoi) in the Member States? The original European project aimed at ‘an ever (...) closer union among the peoples of Europe.’ Second: Citizens are members of a political community; to what kind of polity do EU citizens belong? Does the EU substitute Member States, assume them or coexist alongside them? After an analytical exposition of the demos and telos problems, I will argue for a normative self‐understanding of the EU polity and citizenship, neither in national nor in federal but in analogical terms. (shrink)
El presente capítulo presenta un análisis teórico del tipo de amor que involucra la sexualidad, las altas expectativas que genera y la incertidumbre de que se cumplan. Para esclarecer el estudio se distingue entre sexualidad, impulso amoroso (“eros”) y amor propiamente dicho (“ágape”) y se echa mano de conceptos tomados de la filosofía personalista incluidos los de naturaleza, persona, racionalidad, relación y los varios tipos de amor. A final de cuentas se propone que sólo cuando se vuelve conyugal puede el (...) amor sexuado puede desarrollar su máximo potencial. (shrink)
In the concept of European citizenship, public and international law intersect. The unity of the European polity results from the interplay between national and European loyalties. Citizens’ allegiance to the European polity depends on how much they see the polity’s identity as theirs. Foundational ideals that shaped the European project’s identity included social reconciliation and peaceful coexistence, economic reconstruction and widespread prosperity, and the creation of supranational structures to rein in nationalism. A broad cultural consensus underlay the first impulse for (...) integration. Europeans had little trouble giving explicit or tacit allegiance to such a project, which resulted in an unparalleled success. However, roughly 60 years and 20 Member States later, social integration is being challenged as immigrants with diverse cultural backgrounds arrive, while far-right political parties surge in reaction; economic integration is confronted with a faltering euro and countries struggling to meet financial commitments; and political integration weakens as the EU seems to fail the democratic test. Cultural assumptions are no longer shared by all. Allegiance to today’s EU is problematic for the ordinary European citizen. This paper submits that careful attention to the spirit of the foundational ideals sheds light on how the present problems as well as future integration could and should be approached. (shrink)
The cultural, economic and political crisis affecting the European Union (EU) today is manifested in the political community’s lack of enthusiasm and cohesion. An effort to reverse this situation – foster ‘EU identity’ – was the creation of EU citizenship. Citizen- ship implies a people and a polity. But EU citizens already belong to national polities. Should EU citizenship override national citizenship or coexist with it? Postnationalists like Habermas have suggested EU citizenship can overcome nationalisms, grounding political belonging on the (...) body of laws that members of the post- national polity generate in the public sphere. Cosmopolitan communitarianists like Bellamy, by contrast, think that EU citizens should form a mixed commonwealth, with political belonging based on national citizenship. I will argue in favour of the second option, and submit an analogical reading of the ensuing ideas of citizenship, identity and polity. Cosmopolitan communitarianist EU citizenship promises to better foster the great richness of European national cultural, religious, historical, political, legal and linguistic diversity in a ‘mixed’ polity. Its main challenge is how to keep the diverse, mixed polity together. (shrink)
At a moment when a new crisis threatens Europe—a crisis containing, among other ingredients, COVID-19, a faltering economy, immigration and Brexit—the European Union (EU)’s motto ‘Europe united in diversity’ would appear progressively less attainable. This paper submits that the European ideal is still both desirable and possible through the fostering of political unity at the constitutional (regime) level by using the notions of analogical state and analogical culture, and at the community level by the enablement of public sphere secularity and (...) relational interculturalism. These concepts share the intuition that the EU should be envisaged in a more flexible manner, and carry several policy implications for the future of European integration. (shrink)
Political integration has been part of the European project from its very beginnings. As far back as the early seventies there was concern in Brussels that an ingredient was missing in the political integration process. ‘Output legitimacy’ – the permissive consensus citizens grant to a government that is ‘delivering’, even if they do not participate in setting its goals – could not sustain unification indefinitely. Such a lacking ingredient – or ‘soul’ – has been labelled ‘European identity’ (EI) in an (...) abundant and growing academic literature. According to Aristotle, ‘polity’ is a specific ‘constitution’ (regime or politeia) of a ‘city’ (or polis): a (‘political’) community composed of ‘citizens’ (politai). No polis can exist unless the politai come together to form it and sustain it. But what will gather and keep them united? Citizens can be very diverse regarding their language, history, religion or economic activity. In absence of a motivation, diversity of itself will make each member of a community go their own way. What kind of bond is required among very diverse European citizens to keep their polis (the EU) – their political community – together? In this paper I analyse several responses – culture, deliberation, welfare, power, multiplicity. Then I attempt a synthesis suggesting that the answers might be referring to different aspects of a single notion – rather than exhaustive explanations of it. Finally I mention three issues regarding the concept of EI that require further study. (shrink)
Political integration has been part of the European project from its very beginnings. As far back as the early seventies there was already concern in Brussels that an ingredient was missing in the political integration process. ‘Output legitimacy’ – the permissive consensus citizens grant to a government that is ‘delivering’, even if they do not participate in setting its goals – could not sustain unification indefinitely. Such a lacking ingredient – or ‘soul’ – has been labelled ‘European identity’ (EI) in (...) an abundant and growing academic literature. According to Aristotle, a ‘city’ (polis) is a community composed of ‘citizens’ (politai). No polis can exist unless the politai form it and sustain it. But what will keep them united? They can be very diverse regarding their language, history, religion or economic activity. In absence of a motivation, diversity of itself will make each member of a community go their own way. What kind of bond is required among very diverse European citizens to keep their political community (the EU) together? In this paper I analyse several responses – culture, deliberation, welfare, power, openness. Then I suggest that elements of those responses could be combined in a single notion. Finally I mention issues regarding EI that require further study. (shrink)
The focus of Australia-US relations is most often on mutual security and economic ties. But it is also important to acknowledge the significant role that educational linkages and exchanges have played in furthering the bond between the two countries.
But it would be neither fair nor truthful to present to those perhaps less familiar with the EU and the 60 year old project of European integration, a picture which is only partial. The highly successful project of European integration, the EU, faces today (like it did 10, 20, 30 years ago) big challenges. Yet Brussels is, often, a very useful tool to face them is.
La literatura universal muestra cómo resulta mucho más sencillo plasmar ciertos valores en “modelos” o ejemplos humanos que los encarnen. Y es de modelos de ese tipo que los niños - y muy especialmente- los adolescentes de todas las épocas, han tomado el ejemplo y los valores que orientarán su comportamiento durante toda la vida. Por lo menos esa constituye la intuición inicial de este trabajo, que está motivado por buscar hasta qué punto la presentación de modelos puede repercutir eficazmente (...) en la educación moral de los ciudadanos del mañana. En las líneas que vienen se procede a la investigación, siguiendo los desarrollos que al respecto han realizado diversos pensadores, en especial William Kilpatrick. (shrink)
El presente estudio tiene como propósito presentar a un pensador que murió hace apenas doce años, y que por varios motivos pudiera considerarse un “hereje” para la ortodoxia que dictan las corrientes filosóficas en boga hoy. No se trata, todavía, de un filósofo reconocido ampliamente, ni de uno muy popular: su discurso es profundo y a veces resulta arduo de leer. Sin embargo —es la opinión que se mantiene aquí— su pensamiento es sumamente valioso. Va directamente al núcleo de los (...) problemas más intrincados de la filosofía actual, y, sobre todo en el ámbito de la metafísica, aporta vías de solución que merecen un atento análisis. El tema del amor no queda exento. Su situación en los campos ético y antropológico llega a la total confusión o, peor, al sinsentido y la cosificación. Y el fondo del problema es —eso creemos aquí— de índole metafísica. Por eso se emprende una descripción del pensamiento de Cardona al respecto, en tres momentos: primero, la fundamentación del amor en el acto de ser, segundo en la explicación de toda la realidad a través del amor, y su importancia como sentido del hombre. Como conclusión se ofrece una sucinta valoración del aporte de Cardona al tema. (shrink)
The European project was aimed from the outset, alongside reconciliation (peace) and economic reconstruction (prosperity), at a degree of political integration too. Political integration has progressed modestly. Not everybody is convinced of its benefits. Besides, the notion of a European polity opens the question about its sources of cohesion. Those sources are more or less evident in the member states – language, history, legal, political and religious traditions, for instance. They give, say, Latvia, Italy or Hungary a certain degree of (...) unity – a national identity. But what ought to be that source of cohesion – or identity – for the European Union (EU) considered as a whole? This paper analyses five normative conceptions about such ‘European identity’ (EI) – cultural, legal, economic, international and cosmopolitan – and suggests that they are not mutually exclusive, but can be combined in a synthetic notion that promises to reflect in a more comprehensive and accurate way the sources of the minimal unity required to hold the EU polity together. (shrink)
En este contexto se sitúa el presente escrito. Se pretende describir el estado de una problemática antigua y nueva. Antigua, porque se remonta a los cimientos mismos de la filosofía y del pensar humano, varios miles de años antes de Cristo. Nueva, porque no han terminado en el siglo XX las discusiones sobre dicha problemática, ni las aplicaciones posibles que se derivan de ella. Se trata del principio de identidad. El presente trabajo partirá de la definición del principio de identidad (...) según Aristóteles. Se matizarán algunos aspectos de tal principio según otros autores que han perseguido sobre todo fines didácticos al presentarlo, ya sea para el desarrollo de la teología como para el de la epistemología o la metafísica. Finalmente, se expondrá —de una manera bastante elemental— la utilización y las conclusiones que algunos autores contemporáneos han efectuado con relación a la identidad. El trabajo se enmarca, así, en casi una pura descripción elemental que sienta las bases para una posterior profundización. (shrink)
Plurality implies a public sphere in which different worldviews (e.g. Secular Humanist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and others) coexist respecting each other. Banning the presence of one or several of them from the public sphere is questionable in principle, and divisive in practice.
A stunning phenomenon has dramatically changed the way in which we in the West regard the public sphere in particular, and democracy in general in the twenty-first century: the re-emergence of religion.
The separation of church and state isn’t the same as separating religion from politics. Countries that have enshrined secularism have found themselves discussing religious architecture, law and clothing.
Brexit has been widely covered in the news. Much of the attention of the press in English has gone to the British perspective. This piece seeks to present a holistic view of this event, including the European perspective. It argues that, notwithstanding this break-up and the problems it highlights (especially the tiredness of citizens with traditional party politics), the European project can survive this crisis and forge ahead into the future.
MacIntyre's is one approach among many to explain what philosophy ought to be. For Pieper (in: "Defence of Philosophy"), just to cite another one, "to engage in philosophy means to reflect on the totality of things we encounter, in view of their ultimate" or fundamental truth. And there are others. But my interest here is to explore the circumstances under which philosophers could claim a place in society due to a service they provide, as valuable as that of a mechanical (...) engineer in a factory, a waiter in a hotel or a pilot on an airplane. The circumstances, this is, which would make society see philosophers not (or not only) as oddly useless figures addressing intellectually engaging puzzles and uttering obscure conclusions, but as valuable contributors to the common good. (shrink)
Two metascientific concepts that have been ― and still are ― object of philosophical analysis are the concepts of model and theory. But while the concept of scientific theory was one of the concepts to which philosophers of science devoted most attention during the 20th century, it is only in recent decades that the concept of scientific model has come to occupy a central position in philosophical reflection. However, it has done so in such a way that, at present, as (...) Jim Bogen states in the back cover of the book Scientific Models in the Philosophy of Science, by Daniela Bailer-Jones, “[t]he standard philosophical literature on the role of models in scientific reasoning is voluminous, disorganized, and confusing”. In spite of this, one of the axes that would allow us to organize at least part of this literature, and with which Bailer-Jones’ book closes, is that which is identified as one of the “contemporary philosophical issues: how theories and models relate to each other” (Bailer-Jones 2009, p. 208).That is why, in this introduction to the special issues of Metatheoria devoted to the topic of “Models and Theories in Biology”, we will present the main advances that have been made in the philosophical analysis of the concepts of model and theory in general and in biology in particular, and we will also do the same with the answers that have been given to the problem of "how theories and models relate to each other”. (shrink)
Donald Davidson finds folk-psychological explanations anomalous due to the open-ended and constitutive conception of rationality which they employ, and yet monist because they invoke an ontology of only physical events. An eliminative materialist who thinks that the beliefs and desires of folk-psychology are mere pre-scientific fictions cannot accept these claims, but he could accept anomalous monism construed as an analysis, merely, of the ideological and ontological presumptions of folk-psychology. Of course, eliminative materialism is itself only a guess, a marker for (...) material explanations we do not have, but it is made plausible by, inter alia, whatever difficulties we have in interpreting intentional folk-explanations realistically. And surely anomalous monism does require further explanation if it is to be accepted realistically and not dismissed as an analysis of a folk-idiom which is to be construed instrumentally at best. Some further explanation is needed of how beliefs, desires, etc. can form rational patterns which have ‘no echo in physical theory’ and yet those beliefs, desires etc. be physical events. To this end I propose to graft on to anomalous monism a modest version of functionalism. (shrink)
The talmudic law bal tashchit (”do not destroy”) is the predominant Jewish precept cited in contemporary Jewish writings on the environment. I provide an extensive survey of the roots and differing interpretations of the precept from within the tradition. The precept of bal tashchit has its roots in the biblical command not to destroy fruit-bearing trees while laying siege to a warring city. The rabbis expandthis injunction into the general precept of bal tashchit, a ban on any wanton destruction. Such (...) a precept was interpreted in differing ways, along a continuum whose poles I describe as the minimalist and maximalist positions. In the minimalist position, interpreters limit the application of bal tashchit to only those situations in which natural resources and property are no longer viewed as having any economic or aesthetic worth. In the maximalist position, interpreters expand the application of bal tashchit to any situation in which nature and property are being destroyed for something other than basic human needs. Finally, I compare and contrast the substance and style of the discussion of bal tashchit from within the Jewish tradition with the contemporary discussion of environmental ethics. (shrink)
Gaia in Turmoil is the latest collaborative work put forth by the interdisciplinary group of Gaian thinkers. The contributors set out to meaningfully grapple with the bewildering ecological and social crises that humanity faces in this young century. Their work clearly rests on the assumption that such crises not only exist, but are dire—a conviction that unifies the essays in Gaia in Turmoil. By demonstrating how Gaia theory can advance various research projects, Gaia in Turmoil is an alarmist plea to (...) integrate the Gaian perspective into mainstream thought as the next watershed paradigm through which humanity can survive and prosper. (shrink)