Habermas on "The Political"

In a new book edited by Eduardo Mendieta and Jonathan VanAntwerpen, entitled "The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere" (Columbia University Press), you will find essays by Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, Judith Butler and Cornel West.

Here are some excerpts from Jürgen Habermas's contribution ""The Political": The Rational Meaning of a Questionable Inheritance of Political Theology" (pp. 15-33):

"In the welfare state democracies of the latter half of the twentieth century, politics was still able to wield a steering influence on the diverging subsystems; it could still counterbalance tendencies toward social disintegration. (....) Today, under conditions of globalized capitalism, the political capacities for protecting social integration are becoming dangerously restricted. As economic globalization progresses, the picture that systems theory sketched of social modernization is acquiring ever sharper contours in reality. According to this interpretation, politics as a means of democratic self-determination has become as impossible as it is superfluous. (....) "The political" has been transformed into the code of a self-maintaining administrative system, so that democracy is in danger of becoming a mere facade, which the executive agencies turn toward their helpless clients." [p. 15f]

"Today the social sciences lay claim to the political system as their subject matter; they deal with "politics" that is, with the struggle for and the exercise of power, and also with "policies" - that is, the goals and strategies pursued by political actors in different fields. Besides normative political theory, philosophers have long since lost their special competence for the "political system". "The political" no longer appears to constitute a serious philosophical topic alongside "politics" and "policies"." [p. 16f]

"If we continue to understand "the political" as the symbolic medium of self-representation of a society that consciously influences the mechanisms of social integration, then the expansion of markets (....) involves, in fact, a certain degree of "depoliticization" of the society at large. [p. 20]. (....) In Carl Schmitt's view, liberalism is the force that robs politics of its significance for society as a whole - on the one hand, a functionally differentiated society is emancipated from the shaping force of politics and, on the other, the state is decoupled from a privatized religion that has lost its sting. Schmitt, therefore, develops a new and provocative concept of "the political" that is superficially adapted to mass democracy but preserves the authoritarian kernel of a sovereign power with its legitimizing relation to sacred history." [p. 21f]

"Of course, Carl Schmitt's clericofascist conception of "the political" is a matter of the past, but it must serve as a warning to all those who want to revive political theology. (....) In one way or the other, the diagnosis of a progressive "negation of the political" does not seem to have been refuted. The remaining worry can be put in a nutshell: How can respect for the inviolability of human dignity, and, more generally, a public awareness of the relevance of normative questions, be kept alive in the face of growing and disarming systemic strains on the social integration of our political communities?" [p. 23]

"In a liberal democracy, state power has lost its religious aura. And, in view of the fact of persisting pluralism, it is hard to see on which normative ground the historical step toward the secularization of state power could ever be reversed. This in turn requires a justification of constitutional essentials and the outcomes of the democratic process in ways that are neutral toward the cognitive claims of competing worldviews. Democratic legitimacy is the only one available today. (....) This is, however, not to deny the great insight of John Rawls: The liberal constitution itself must not ignore the contributions that religious groups can well make to the democratic process within civil society. (....) Rawls .... offers, with his idea of the "public use of reason", a promising key for explaining how the proper role of religion in the public sphere contributes to a rational interpretation of what we still might call "the political" as distinct from politics and policies. The only element transcending administrative politics and institutionalized power politics emerges from the anarchic use of communicative freedoms that keeps alive the spring tide of informal flows of public communication from below. Through these channels alone, vital and nonfundamentalist religious communities can become a transformative force in the center of a democratic civil society - all the more so when frictions between religious and secular voices provoke inspiring controversies on normative issues and thereby stimulate an awareness of their relevance." [p. 24f].

"The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere" is based on lectures given at SUNY Stony Brook in October 2010. Materials related to this event, including audio recordings and transcripts of the panel sessions, are available here.

See my previous post on the book here.

See excerpts from Craig Calhoun's afterword to the book here.


Habermas receives Brunet Prize for Human Rights

Jürgen Habermas received the International Brunet Prize for Human Rights 2008 at a ceremony on May 9, 2009, in Pamplona, Spain. The prize was awarded by the Fundación Jaime Brunet and the Public University of Navarre (UPNA). The chairman of the Government of Navarra, Miguel Sanz, the president of Parliament, Elena Torres, and the rector of UPNA and president of the Foundation Brunet, Julio Lafuente, participated at the ceremony.

Read Habermas's acceptance speech (in German) here.

In his acceptance speech Habermas stressed that the human rights are the result of "political resistance against arbitrariness, repression and humiliation. After the constitutional revolutions of the eighteenth century they have gradually been incorporated into nearly all nations and all languages, but as often violated as confirmed."
"The struggle for the establishment of human rights continues in China, Africa, Bosnia or Kosovo, and also in our own countries. Every return of asylum applicants behind the closed entry at an airport, every sinking boat with people fleeing from poverty on their way from Libya to the island of Lampedusa puts a question to us - the citizens of Europe. The struggle for recognition of religious, racial and cultural minorities, for child protection, for equal treatment for homosexual couples and for equal working conditions between men and women is still ongoing - not to forget the young women from immigrant families who have to extricate themselves from the violence of a code of honor rooted in tradition." (unofficial translation).

Before the ceremony Habermas met the press. Asked about president Obama, he stated that "Obama is an American phenomenon and in Europe we have nothing comparable to him. After eight years of Bush, Obama has been a great gift. Something that sets us apart from the Americans is that they get exited about things that are not directly related to their personal interest. The history of Europe in the twentieth century has been quite complicated, and that makes it more appropriate that in Europe we are less enthusiastic and to a larger extend have our feet placed on the ground." (unofficial translation from "Diario de Navarra, May 9, 2009).


New Blog on Habermas and Rawls

My blog will bring news on the two philosophers - Jürgen Habermas (1929-) and John Rawls (1921-2002). The blog will mainly have comments on new books and articles and information about conferences and other events. It will be written in both English and German.

The blog will be a supplement to the Habermas website www.habermasforum.dk, which I am co-editing. For an extensive bibliography on Habermas see this website.

Charlie Chaplin

Charles Spencer Chaplin was born on April 16 at 1889 in Walworth, London. His childhood similar with Charles Dickens novel, because Chaplin live under destitution with his brother, Sydney. His parents are hall musicians. They divorce when Chaplin was vey young. His mother attacked mental disruption illness and her turn into psyche hospital. Although his father is a famous musician, Chaplin’s idol is his mother. When he was young, Chaplin often watches his mother performance. These experiences make him decide his live become an artists like her mother. To reach his goal, Chaplin join with Eight Lancashire Lads group. Then, Chaplin gets his performance at Sherlock Holmes and Casey’s Court Circus.

Meanwhile, his brother, Sydney has joined with famous Fred Karno Company and soon, become main actor and director. He success invite Chaplin to joined and together, Chaplin become a star in that group. For that brothers, Fred Karno Company is a comedian high school. This period have a big impact to Charlie Chaplin to face the future. At 1910, together with Fred Karno Company, Chaplin organize a circumference performance around USA and that it again at 1912.

His second performance in Fred Karno Company, Chaplin founded by seeker talent, Mack Sennett. He is a Keystone Film Company owner. With this company, Charlie Chaplin introduced to movies world. His first film is a Makin A living at 1914, director by Henry Lehrman. Together with his film director, Mabel Normand, Chaplin makes many performances in Keystone Production. At Twenty Minutes of Love movie, he directs his own film. At that moment, he always directs his own next film.

His popularity make him able move to many film company with better contract. At 1915, after creates 35 films, he move to Essanay. Here, he solidifies his career together with long-lasting major artist at his film, such as Edna Purviance. At that moment, he create many protrude film, include The Champion, The Tramp and The Bank.

At 1916, he moves again to Lone Star Mutual and get better contract and higher payment. Here, he create short comedy film and then known as it peculiarity, The Rink, Easy Street, The Cure and The Immigrant, and then continue with First National and create a long film which become his masterpiece, The Kid. He create some short famous comedy film is his next production, included Sunnyside and The Idle Class.

Together with his best friend, like Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and D.W Griffith, Chaplin created United Artist at 1919. His first film to this company at 1923 is Woman of Paris performed by Edna Purviance. Maybe this film not too famous, but after this film, The Gold Rush, The Circus, City Light and Modern Times was born and known as Charlie Chaplin Classics. At 1940, Chaplin make his first sound film, The Great Director, and continue with Monsieur Verdoux and Limelight, a his childhood memory in music hall film. Limelight (1952) is a last film in America. McCarthy politic maneuver success extrudes him out of America and not back again until 1972 for obtain Academy Award (Oscar) for his serve to film world.

During that, he welcomed well in England. He live in Switzerland together with his wife, Oona O’Neil and his children. He create 2 more film, A king In New York (1957 together with Dawn Addams) and A Countess From Hong Kong (1967 with Sophia Loren and Marlon Brando). He spend his live with create a music to his film and enjoy live with his family before died at 4 A.M in Christmas 1977.

William Hewlett

If we hear ‘Hewlett’ maybe our imagination is imagine of famous print brand named Hewlett-Packard (HP). It’s true that one of Hewlett Packard founder is William R. Hewlett. Hewlett was born on May, 20 at 1912 in¬¬ Ann Arbor, Mich. At 1939, Hewlett establish Hewlett-Packard (HP) Company together with David Packard who died at 1996.
This company was build only with $538 investment. Of course Hewlett-Packard name taken from their name. In Hewlett-Packard Company, Hewlett hold important commission, but after 1978, Hewlett quit from his commission as Chief Executive Officer.
During his student, Hewlett take some academic title from many colleges. In 1934, Hewlett gain his Bachelor Arts academic title from Stanford University. His master academic in Electrical Engineering, gained from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at 1936 and next 3 year, Hewlett gain engineering academic from Stanford University. Hewlett is a receiver of 13 Honorary Degrees in many Universities.
When studied at Stanford University, he meet with David Packard and finally become Hewlett best friend. Hewlett career is interesting. When second word war happen, Hewlett work as US soldier. During his assignment as US soldier, Hewlett included as inspection Japan industries team when second word war over. At 1947, after he back from his assessment, Hewlett go to Palo Ato.
He begin work at his establish company with David Packard and officiate as vice president in Hewlett-Packard company. At 1957, Hewlett officiate as Executive vice president. Seven years later, Hewlett officiate as President of HP. At 1969, he officiate as Chief Executive Officer. Hewlett hold his position during 9 year and at 1978 he quit from his position.
Hewlett is a subjugate person of science and technology. Because of that, at 1985, US president, Ronald Reagan gives him a National Medal of Science appreciation for his service to science and technology. That award is a higher appreciation in America. Hewlett is a education, medical and social big concern person. He work at many institute, like Stanford Medical Center, Kaiser Foundation Hospital, The Carnegie Institution of Washington and Drug Abuse Council in Washington.
William R. Hewlett died at 12 January 2001 when he 87 years, but, Hewlett will always become people memorizes cause his company with David Packard is a one of the best word IT company. Hewlett-Packard creates many gadget like PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), printer, computer, and etcetera. Now, many of Hewlett-Package item, use by all person in the word.

Thomas Alfa Edison

Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio on February 11, 1847. His parents were Samuel and Nancy Edison. Thomas's three older brothers and sisters died before he was born from very harsh winters. He had brother named Pitt and two sisters named Marion and Harriet Ann. His parents named him Thomas because of his great uncle.

When he was young, everyone called him Al. Al asked a lot of questions and was VERY curious. When young Thomas was six, he started a fire in his father's barn and burned it to the ground. He was charged with arson. To show that he was truly sorry, Samuel Edison spanked his son in front of the whole town the next day. Thomas was very embarrassed.

Sam was afraid that his son had no feelings because when Thomas was at the creek, his friend drowned and he showed no emotion. Al's teachers thought that he could not learn and was stupid, and when his teachers told Nancy Edison, she became very mad and decided to teach Thomas herself. Thomas's mother bought him the Dictionary of Science, and he read it all. After that, all of his allowance was spent buying chemicals at the drug store.

Before Thomas Alva Edison was ten, he had already read History of England, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, History of the World, and The Age of Reason. When he was eleven, he made his own telegraph set from a picture in a book. Then and there, he decided he wanted to become a telegrapher. At age twelve, he started selling candy on trains to people riding.

When he was 13, he was running behind a train, trying to catch it, when a man snatched his ear and pulled him up onto the train by his ears. Right then, he started to slowly become deaf. Another time, at 15, Thomas saw a boy on a train track, and a train was heading right for him. Al swept by, grabbing the boy, and put him on the grass. The boy's father was so happy, he taught Thomas telegraphy in reward.

When Thomas Edison was 21, he experimented with everything. He was fired from his job at the Boston Telegraph Service because he became bored and started playing jokes on his boss. On May 1, 1869, Thomas received a patent for a vote recording machine, but once it was invented, no one wanted it.
Later, Thomas invented a device that would control errors in stock tickers, and engineers liked it. He wanted at the most, $5,000 for it, but he kept quiet and the engineers offered him $40,000. When Thomas brought his check to the bank, the teller began to yell at him, because he could not hear. He took his check and got out of line. Al went back to the engineer's office and the engineer identified him to the teller, and Thomas had his money, which he spent all on shop equipment.

One day, Thomas Edison saw a lady standing out in the rain, and he fell in love with her. Her name was Mary Stilwell. He offered her a job in his lab, and she accepted. He taught her Morse code, and married her. After the wedding, Thomas went to see the new stock tickers. Mary spent her wedding day alone. The next day, Thomas took Mary to Niagara Falls for their honeymoon and Mary took her sister because she was so upset about Thomas leaving on their wedding day. The telephone was invented a short time later by Alexander Graham Bell. Engineers asked Thomas if he could improve it, and he tried. He invented the first phonograph, and everyone loved it. Mary later had two baby girls: Madeline, and Dot. After his daughters were born, his hard work finally had paid off. He had invented something that would change the world and technology forever.

Thomas Alva Edison had invented the light bulb. He installed a lighting system in New York, and lit it up. Everyone thought that Thomas was a wizard, and gave him the name "Wizard of Menlo Park". After his invention of the light bulb, Mary had two baby boys: Junior and Will. Mary died of Typhoid fever on August 9, 1884. Thomas was sad, but a short time after, he married a young woman named Mina Miller. On their wedding day, he was 38, and she was 22. The next day, they took Thomas's first actual vacation. They went to Paris. Mina had a baby boy named Charles, and a year later, she had another boy, Theodore. After the birth of his sons, he had invented the motion picture. America was so astounded, they named him the American Wizard.

Thomas Alva Edison died a short time later on October 21, 1931 at age 84. He was buried under an oak tree in Glenmont. The United States were so sad, they turned off their power for one minute and prayed throughout the whole United States for a tribute to Thomas Alva Edison.

Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur , Master of France chemical and biology, is a very excellence person in medicine history. Pasteur donate many of important idea for science, but the most protrude at himself is a his argue about basil disease theory and preventive technique development by injection.

Pasteur was born in Dole city at 1822, east France. As a Paris student, he deepens his knowledge in science and medicine scope. When he study at France, His genius not really visible, even one of his professor, categorized Pasteur as intermediate person in chemical. After he gain a doctor academic, Pasteur proof that his professor utterance is a big mistake. His research about tartaric acid of glass, make his dignity up to famous chemistry when he 26 years. Then he distract his concern to yarn and proof that that process is same as type of another organism which can produce unwilling yarn water. Soon, this argues lead him to another idea, that organism can produce unpredictable thing and can carry good effect for human or animal.

Pasteur is not the first person who make a problem about basil disease theory. A same hypothesis has been develop earlier by Girolamo Fracastoro, Friedrich Henle and many more. But, Pasteur is the most protrude indeed basil disease theory. Pasteur proof his theory with many of experience and demonstration as a major factor and he success to persuasive cleaver public that this theory is true.
When basil caused disease, prevent bacteria to enter in human body, make the disease can far away from human. Because of that, Pasteur emphasizes the important antiseptic methods for a doctor and he have big influence to Joseph Lister who introduce antiseptic way into surgery scope.

Dangerous bacteria can enter in human body by food and drink. Pasteur develops pasteurization technique to annihilate micro organism in drink. This technique, can annihilate bacteria as infection agent in milk. All of bacteria perish and the milk safe to drink.

When his age approach 50 years old, Pasteur change his concern to cattle basil disease, a kind of serious infection which attack cattle and another animal unexpected human. Pasteur ability to show that kind of basil cause a disease. The most important work is his development technique when product weaker disease basil. With injection a basil to cattle body, the weaker disease basil can caused a light disease but cannot caused anything fatal and probably, the cattle gain an immune to faced normal disease. Pasteur ‘s demonstrate his successes immune cattle from basil in a public caused consternation. Soon, general method can used for prevent various resident disease.

Pasteur in his laboratories
The most famous personal Pasteur discovery is a in a injection technique development for human to prevent scared rabies disease. Like Pasteur, another scientist develop a vaccine to prevent another hard disease like typhus an poliomyelitis.

Pasteur, a workaholic man, create unimportant discovery but still useful for his famous. Pasteur found anaerobic phenomena too, for example one microorganism can live without air or oxygen. Pasteur's works about silk caterpillar, incur a high commercial value. The other discovery is vaccine to prevent cholera disease to chicken and poultry. Pasteur died near Paris 1895. Until now, his discovery still used as basic immune.

Galileo Galilei (1)

Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa, Italy on February 15, 1564. He was the first of 7 children. Although his father was a musician and wool trader, he wanted his clearly talented son to study medicine as there was more money in medicine. So, at age eleven, Galileo was sent off to study in a Jesuit monastery.

After four years, Galileo had decided on his life's work: he announced to his father that he wanted to be a monk. This was not exactly what father had in mind for his gifted son, so Galileo was hastily withdrawn from the monastery. In 1581, at the age of 17, he entered the University of Pisa to study medicine, as his father wished.

Shortly thereafter, at age 20, Galileo noticed a lamp swinging overhead while he was in a cathedral. Curious to find out how long it took the lamp to swing back and forth, he used his pulse to time large and small swings. Galileo discovered something that no one else had ever realized: the period of each swing was exactly the same. The law of the pendulum, which would eventually be used to regulate clocks, made Galileo instantly famous.

Unfortunately, except for mathematics, Galileo was bored by most of his courses and outspoken to his professors. His frequent absences from class eventually led the university to inform Galileo's family that their son was in danger of flunking out. A compromise was worked out, where Galileo would be tutored full-time in mathematics by the mathematician of the Tuscan court. Galileo's father was hardly overjoyed about this turn of events, since a mathematician's earning power was roughly around that of a musician, but it seemed that this might yet allow Galileo to successfully complete his college education. In the end, Galileo left the University of Pisa without a degree--a college dropout.

Faced with the need to somehow earn a living, Galileo started tutoring students in mathematics. He did some experimenting with floating objects, developing a balance that could tell him that a piece of, say, gold was 19.3 times heavier than the same volume of water. He also started campaigning for his life's ambition: a position on the mathematics faculty at a major university. Although Galileo was clearly brilliant, he had offended many people in the field, who would choose other candidates for vacancies. Ironically, it was a lecture on literature that would turn Galileo's fortunes. The Academy of Florence had been arguing over a 100-year-old controversy: What were the location, shape, and dimensions of Dante's Inferno?

To modern ears, this type of question sounds like asking for the location of Sherlock Holmes's 221B Baker Street, or the size of Dr. Frankenstein's castle. But the question was absolutely serious, and Galileo, asked to answer the question from the point of view of a man of science, treated it with dignity. Extrapolating from Dante's line that "[the giant Nimrod's] face was about as long/And just as wide as St. Peter's cone in Rome," Galileo deduced that Lucifer himself was 2,000 armlengths long. The audience was impressed, and Galileo was remembered with favor.

Within the year, Galileo had received a three-year appointment to the University of Pisa, the same university that never granted him a degree!

Isaac Newton (1)

In 1642, the year Galileo died, England on Christmas Day. His father had died three months earlier, and baby Isaac, very premature, was also not expected to survive. It was said he could be fitted into a quart pot. When Isaac was three, his mother married a wealthy elderly clergyman from the next village, and went to live there, leaving Isaac behind with his grandmother. The clergyman died, and Isaac’s mother came back, after eight years, bringing with her three small children. Two years later, Newton went away to the Grammar School in Grantham, where he lodged with the local apothecary, and was fascinated by the chemicals. The plan was that at age seventeen he would come home and look after the farm. He turned out to be a total failure as a farmer.

His mother’s brother, a clergyman who had been an undergraduate at Cambridge, persuaded his mother that it would be better for Isaac to go to university, so in 1661 he went up to Trinity College, Cambridge. Isaac paid his way through college for the first three years by waiting tables and cleaning rooms for the fellows (faculty) and the wealthier students. In 1664, he was elected a scholar, guaranteeing four years of financial support. Unfortunately, at that time the plague was spreading across Europe, and reached Cambridge in the summer of 1665. The university closed, and Newton returned home, where he spent two years concentrating on problems in mathematics and physics. He wrote later that during this time he first understood the theory of gravitation, which we shall discuss below, and the theory of optics (he was the first to realize that white light is made up of the colors of the rainbow), and much mathematics, both integral and differential calculus and infinite series. However, he was always reluctant to publish anything, at least until it appeared someone else might get credit for what he had found earlier.

On returning to Cambridge in 1667, he began to work on alchemy, but then in 1668 Nicolas Mercator published a book containing some methods for dealing with infinite series. Newton immediately wrote a treatise, De Analysi, expounding his own wider ranging results. His friend and mentor Isaac Barrow communicated these discoveries to a London mathematician, but only after some weeks would Newton allow his name to be given. This brought his work to the attention of the mathematics community for the first time. Shortly afterwards, Barrow resigned his Lucasian Professorship (which had been established only in 1663, with Barrow the first incumbent) at Cambridge so that Newton could have the Chair.

Newton’s first major public scientific achievement was the invention, design and construction of a reflecting telescope. He ground the mirror, built the tube, and even made his own tools for the job. This was a real advance in telescope technology, and ensured his election to membership in the Royal Society. The mirror gave a sharper image than was possible with a large lens because a lens focusses different colors at slightly different distances, an effect called chromatic aberration. This problem is minimized nowadays by using compound lenses, two lenses of different kinds of glass stuck together, that err in opposite directions, and thus tend to cancel each other’s shortcomings, but mirrors are still used in large telescopes.

Later in the 1670’s, Newton became very interested in theology. He studied Hebrew scholarship and ancient and modern theologians at great length, and became convinced that Christianity had departed from the original teachings of Christ. He felt unable to accept the current beliefs of the Church of England, which was unfortunate because he was required as a Fellow of Trinity College to take holy orders. Happily, the Church of England was more flexible than Galileo had found the Catholic Church in these matters, and King Charles II issued a royal decree excusing Newton from the necessity of taking holy orders! Actually, to prevent this being a wide precedent, the decree specified that, in perpetuity, the Lucasian professor need not take holy orders. (The current Lucasian professor is Stephen Hawking.)

James Watt (1)

James watt is from Scotland he invent steam engine, the key to industrial revolution.
Actually, watt is not the first person that made steam engine, same scheme also made by hero from iskandarya in early cristian's years. In 1682 thomase savery made his paten to his water pump machine and in 1712 english man thomas newcomen also made his same paten that more perfect but still newcomen machine is less eficient and low quality because only can use to waterpump for coal mine.
Watt became intersting in steam engine in 1764 when he fixed newcomen machine, even he only have one year study in tools but he had big talent to create something big, he made more perfect to newcomen machine, because the perfection of watt is more important so deserve to became the first person who made practically steam engine.


G.A. Cohen: Essays in Political Philosophy

On the Currency of Egalitarian Justice,
and Other Essays in Political Philosophy

by G. A. Cohen

(Princeton University Press, 2011)

288 pages


G. A. Cohen was one of the most gifted, influential, and progressive voices in contemporary political philosophy. At the time of his death in 2009, he had plans to bring together a number of his most significant papers. This is the first of three volumes to realize those plans. Drawing on three decades of work, it contains previously uncollected articles that have shaped many of the central debates in political philosophy, as well as papers published here for the first time. In these pieces, Cohen asks what egalitarians have most reason to equalize, he considers the relationship between freedom and property, and he reflects upon ideal theory and political practice.

Contents [preview]

Part One: Luck Egalitarianism

Ch. 1: On the Currency of Egalitarian Justice [pdf]
Ch. 2: Equality of What? On Welfare, Goods, and Capabilities
Afterword to Ch. 1 & 2
Ch. 3: Sen on Capability, Freedom, and Control
Ch. 4: Expensive Taste Rides Again
Ch. 5: Luck and Equality
Ch. 6: Fairness and Legitimacy in Justice, And: Does Option Luck Ever Preserve Justice?

Part Two: Freedom and Property

Ch. 7: Capitalism, Freedom, and the Proletariat

Ch. 8: Freedom and Money [paper]
Two Addenda to Ch. 8

Part Three: Ideal Theory and Political Practice

Ch. 9: Mind the Gap

Ch. 10: Back to Socialist Basics
Ch. 11: How to Do Political Philosophy
Ch. 12: Rescuing Justice from Constructivism and Equality from the Basic Structure Restriction [draft]

Gerald A. Cohen (1941-2009) was Professor of Social and Political Theory at All Souls College, University of Oxford, from 1985 to 2008.


Sales Philosophy - What You Believe Determines How Well You Sell

I have a simple sales philosophy: provide value first and make a friend at all costs. Now, what's YOURS? Do you believe every word of it? You should, if you want to be a great salesperson.

EVERY salesperson should have a sales philosophy that they firmly believe in.

It represents your values and defines who you are as a company and as a salesperson. It also affects how you approach your customers and how effective you are at making the sale. "I think I already have a sales philosophy..." You may think you have a good sales philosophy, but chances are it needs improvement. Does it accurately represent YOU? Is it as effective as you think it is? In reality, you probably fall into one of these two categories: A. You've been trained to follow some silly, scripted sales process you barely believe in, and may even hate. B. You've been in sales for what you consider to be a long time and have your "own way" of selling.

A: The Scripted Sales Philosophy

This usually happens to the newest of salespeople. They join the team, get a few scripts and are told to "go get 'em!" Let them get their teeth kicked in a few times, they'll learn. Is that really the best way to train someone in sales? Well, there is something to be said for failing your way to success, but you're disheartening and devaluing your recent sales investment-your new hires. There are very few times when a verbatim script will actively engage another human being, whether it's a cold call over the phone or in person. People buy from people, not a phony sales script. When your sales philosophy, or the one you are forced to swallow, doesn't match what you believe deep in your heart, you will NOT be a successful salesperson.

B: The Dated Sales Philosophy

So, you've been in sales for a long time and have grown accustomed to your own way of doing things, but is your method still working? Or has it gathered dust and lost its meaning, edge and effectiveness? Maybe you're stuck in your habits, or perhaps you're anxious about trying something completely new. Whatever your reason for sticking with this method, it's time to realize that this reality won't bring you the sales results that you want. Your numbers could be better if you let go of your excuses and old ways. Start with a new sales philosophy!

How do I develop a sales philosophy?

The key to developing a great sales philosophy depends on you and your individual values. The most important thing about is that you make sure it is completely YOURS. First, however, you must identify your company's unique sales philosophy: what it wants its customers to think about the company, the products and the people. Then you need to consider what YOUR personal sales philosophy is. What YOU want your customers to think about you, the products you have chosen to represent, and the company you have chosen to work for. There will often be some discrepancies between these two philosophies, but learning to work your own personal sales philosophy within your company is the key to success. Using a sales philosophy that is not in line with your own values will only leave you frustrated with lackluster results.

So stop using trained scripts and old habits that no longer represent you and what you have to offer as a salesperson! Identifying your unique sales philosophy and harnessing the power of its authenticity will give you the enthusiasm to achieve the results you desire! Your customers will see your self-confidence and trust coming to you for their needs. If you truly believe in your sales philosophy, your company and your product, they will, too!


Review of Rawls's "Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy"

Review article by Michael L. Frazer (Harvard):

The Modest Professor: Interpretive Charity and Interpretive Humility in John Rawls’s Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy [pdf]
(Published in "The European Journal of Political Theory" vol. 9. no. 2, 2010).

"Given the extraordinary level of his philosophical achievements, John Rawls was by all accounts a remarkably modest man. Those who knew him personally recall Rawls’s humil­ity as perhaps his most characteristic trait. [....] Steven B. Smith has even argued that Rawls’s "very modesty and lack of speculative curiosity are what exclude him from the ranks of the great philosophers". [....] This essay will focus, not on the role that Rawls’s modesty played in the presentation of his own ideas, but on the role it plays in his interpretations of the other canonical texts under examination in his Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy. It argues that the personal virtue of humility stands in a complicated relationship with the preeminent hermeneutic virtue of interpretive charity: the principle (which Rawls repeatedly, explicitly endorses throughout his Lectures) that a text must always be read in its intellectually strongest form. Sometimes, interpretive charity is taken to imply that a text ought merely to be read in its most consistent form. Yet while this approach has the benefit of charitably reconstructing a text’s meaning without appeal to any standards outside the work itself, mere consistency is neither necessary nor sufficient for philosophical excellence."

Michael L. Frazer is Assistant Professor at the Department of Government, Harvard University. He is the author of "The Enlightenment of Sympathy: Justice and the Moral Sentiments in the Eighteenth Century and Today" (Oxford University Press, 2010).


Neues Buch über Richard Rorty

Pragmatismus als Kulturpolitik
Beiträge zum Werk Richard Rortys

Hrsg. von Alexander Gröschner & Mike Sandbothe

(Suhrkamp Verlag, 2011)

252 Seiten


Richard Rorty (1931–2007) gehört zu den prägenden Denkern des 20. Jahrhunderts, hat einflußreiche Beiträge zur Auflösung der Grundprobleme der modernen Philosophie geleistet und dem Begriff des Pragmatismus eine kulturpolitische Bedeutung gegeben. Der Band versammelt namhafte Wegbegleiter Rortys sowie international renommierte Philosophen und Kulturwissenschaftler, die Rortys intellektuelle Entwicklung nachzeichnen und zeigen, wie lebensnah Philosophie sein kann, wenn sie sich kulturpolitisch versteht. Dabei geht es auch um aktuelle Themen wie das Verhältnis zur Natur, den respektvollen Umgang mit Kindern und Fragen der Staatsangehörigkeit, der Interkulturalität und der Körperlichkeit. Mit Beiträgen u. a. von Barry Allen, Robert Brandom, Jürgen Habermas, Claus Leggewie, Alasdair MacIntyre, Saskia Sassen und Richard Shusterman.

Inhalt (pdf)

Alexander Gröschner und Mike Sandbothe

I. Rortys Denkweg

Robert Brandom
Ein Gedankenbogen

Jürgen Habermas
»…And to define America, her athletic democracy«.
(in English here).

Alasdair MacIntyre
Richard Rortys Vermächtnis

Richard Bernstein
Richard Rortys tiefer Humanismus

Bjørn Torgrim Ramberg
Um seiner eigenen Generation willen

II. Pragmatismus als Kulturpolitik

Richard Shusterman
Pragmatismus und Kulturpolitik
[in English here]

Barry Allen
Die Kulturpolitik nichtmenschlicher Dinge

Esa Saarinen
Freundlichkeit gegenüber Babys und andere radikale Ideen in Rortys antizynischer Philosophie

Saskia Sassen
Die Transformation der Staatsbürgerschaft und Rortys Konzept eines kosmopolitischen Patriotismus

Claus Leggewie und Dariuš Zifonun
Was heißt Interkulturalität?

Alexander Gröschner ist wissenschaftlicher Assistent an der TUM School of Education der Technischen Universität München.

Mike Sandbothe ist freier Autor und kulturpolitischer Berater in Hamburg.


New issue of "Public Reason"

A new issue of the online journal "Public Reason" (Vol. 2, No 2) is available. It includes

Modus Vivendi, Consensus, and (Realist) Liberal Legitimacy
Enzo Rossi (University of Wales)

“Scales of Justice” and the Challenges of Global Governmentality
Ina Kerner (Humboldt University of Berlin)

The Basis of Universal Liberal Principles in Nussbaum’s Political Philosophy
Matthias Katzer (University of Siegen)

Dussel’s Critique of Discourse Ethics as Critique of Ideology
Asger Sørensen (University of Aarhus)

Amartya Sen, The Idea of Justice (pdf)
Reviewed by Stefan Bird-Pollan (University of Kentucky)


Mendieta on Habermas's forthcoming book on religion

In a new essay on Habermas's thoughts on "Rationalization, modernity and secularization", Eduardo Mendieta gives us some information about Habermas's forthcoming book on religion:

"In autumn 2008, Habermas gave a series of lectures at Yale, which were followed the next autumn by another set of lectures, and a seminar at Stony Brook University on "Political Theology". That same autumn a workshop was organized on Habermas's recent work on religion for which he made available several large manuscripts of what appears to be the working draft for a book on religion. The workshop yielded a large manuscript of essays engaging Habermas's comprehensive rethinking of some of his earlier ideas and formulations on religion. One of the centrepieces of this working draft is a critique of modernization theory that links social progress to secularization. Here Habermas aims to show why secularization theory has been mistaken on several accounts and why we must attenuate and revise some of its major claims. At the very least if we are to hold on to the basic claims of modernization theory, we must uncouple them from strong "secularist" assumptions.This critique of modernization theory is matched by a turn towards the latest work on anthropology, ethnography and archeology that is theorizing the relationship between ritual, the emergence of mythological narratives and the evolution of human mind. These is also a long chapter on the Axial Age and the simultaneous emergence of universal, monotheistic religions and world-transcending philosophical perspectives."

Eduardo Mendieta's essay is published in Barbara Fultner (ed): Jürgen Habermas - Key Concepts (Acumen, 2011), pp. 222-238. See my post on the book here.

Eduardo Mendieta is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. In 2002, he edited Jürgen Habermas's "Religion and Rationality. Essays on Reason, God, and Modernity" (MIT Press & Polity Press, 2002), which includes Mendieta's famous interview with Habermas: "A Conversation About God and the World" from 1999. Later this year a new book on "Habermas and Religion" will come out on Polity Press, edited by Craig Calhoun, Eduardo Mendieta and Jonathan vanAnwerpen.

Also see Mendieta's interview with Jürgen Habermas "A Postsecular World Society?" (2009) [pdf]


New introduction to John Rawls

Rawls Explained
From Fairness to Utopia

by Paul Voice

(Open Court, 2011)

176 pages


This book introduces the reader to the political theories of the American philosopher John Rawls. Rawls Explained sets out Rawls’s complex arguments in a way that makes them accessible to first-time readers of his hugely influential work. This book is both clear in its exposition of Rawls’s ideas and is true to the complex purposes of his arguments. It also attends to the variety of objections that have been made to Rawls’s arguments since it is these objections that have shaped the progression of his work.

Contents [preview]


Part I: A Theory of Justice

1. Two Introductory Ideas
2. The Analytic of Justice
3. The Practicum of Justice
4. The Theoretical Basis of Justice
5. Objections and Responses

Part II: Political Liberalism

1. The Good in Political Liberalism
2. The Justfication of the Principles Reconsidered
3. The Right and the Good Revisited
4. Objections and Responses

Part III: The Law of Peoples

1. Ideal Theory - An Analytic of International Justice
2. The Practicum of International Justice
3. Objections and Responses


Paul Voice teaches philosophy at Bennington College, Vermont. He is the author of "Morality and Agreement: A Defense of Moral Contractarianism" (Peter Lang, 2002).


Neues Buch: Transnationalisierung der Volkssouveränität

Transnationalisierung der Volkssouveränität
Radikale Demokratie diesseits und jenseits des Staates
(Ingeborg Maus zum 70. Geburtstag)

Hrsg. von Oliver Eberl

(Franz Steiner Verlag, 2011)

354 S.


Mehr als zweihundert Jahre nach der Französischen Revolution stellt sich die Frage, wie ihre zentrale staatstheoretische Errungenschaft, die Theorie der Volkssouveränität, den Herausforderungen der Globalisierung widerstehen oder zur Demokratisierung der internationalen Beziehungen beitragen kann. Volkssouveränität heißt, dass alle Macht zur Verfassung- und Gesetzgebung in den Händen des Volkes liegt. Gesetzgebung durch das Volk und Rechtsstaatlichkeit gehen in ihr eine konstitutive Verbindung ein.
Kann Volkssouveränität die globalen Grenzüberschreitungen der wirtschaftlichen und kommunikativen Systeme durch Transnationalisierung demokratisch nachvollziehen? Oder wird nicht vielmehr eine demokratische Kontrolle der Politik durch die globale Entgrenzung unmöglich gemacht? Wie stehen die Chancen radikaler Demokratie im 21. Jahrhundert diesseits und jenseits des Staates?

Inhalt [pdf]

Teil I. Kritische Theorie der Demokratie und des Rechts

Dieter Grimm
Reformalisierung des Rechtsstaats als Demokratiepostulat? (1980) [pdf]

Sonja Buckel
Von der Selbstorganisation zur Gerechtigkeitsexpertokratie

Michael Hirsch
Nominalismus der radikalen Demokratie

Soraya Nour
Pluralismus und Identitätskonflikte

Tim Eckes
Personelle Gewaltenteilungslehre und parlamentarische Demokratie

Michael Becker
Reine Theorie der Volkssouveränität oder prozeduralistisch halbierte Herrschaft des Rechts

Teil II. Volkssouveränität und Völkerrecht

Rainer Schmalz-Bruns
Das unbestimmte „Selbst“ der Selbstgesetzgebung

Ulrich Thiele
Von der Volkssouveränität zum Völker(staats)recht

Øystein Lundestad / Howard Williams
Kant und die humanitäre Intervention

Oliver Eberl / Peter Niesen
Kein Frieden mit dem ‚ungerechten Feindʻ?

Teil III. Volkssouveränität jenseits des Staates

William E. Scheuerman
Der Republikanismus der Aufklärung im Zeitalter der Globalisierung

Florian Rödl
Demokratische Verrechtlichung ohne Verstaatlichung

Andreas Niederberger
Kant und der Streit um den Kosmopolitismus in der politischen Philosophie

Hauke Brunkhorst

Oliver Eberl ist wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter im Arbeitsbereich Politische Theorie und Ideengeschichte, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Technische Universität, Darmstadt.


Martha Nussbaum on Perfectionist Liberalism and Political Liberalism

In the new issue of "Philosophy & Public Affairs" (vol. 39, no. 1, 2011), Professor Martha Nussbaum has an article on "Perfectionist Liberalism and Political Liberalism".

There is free access to the article (and to every issue of Philosophy & Public Affairs in its online library) if you registrer for a free 30-day trial.

An early draft of the article is available here.

"As I define perfectionist liberalism, following [Charles] Larmore, it is a species of a genus of liberal views that might be called “comprehensive liberalisms,” liberalisms that base political principles on some comprehensive doctrine about human life that covers not only the political domain but also the domain of human conduct generally. Most forms of comprehensive liberalism are perfectionist, involving a doctrine about the good life and the nature of value. But a doctrine can be comprehensive without being perfectionist." (....)

"Perfectionistic forms of comprehensive liberalism (whether utilitarian or Hegelian, or based on a picture of neo-Aristotelian virtue, or on Christian doctrines, or on one of many other possible views) have been immensely influential historically and remain so today. The Raz/Berlin position, avowedly perfectionist in Larmore’s sense, remains a particularly interesting and attractive liberal view, which deserves continued scrutiny (along with its various relatives)." (....)

"The major liberal alternative to Berlin’s and Raz’s perfectionist liberalism, in the recent Anglo-American philosophical literature, is the view called “political liberalism.” This view was developed first by Charles Larmore in Patterns of Moral Complexity and The Morals of Modernity, with explicit reference to Berlin, but in most detail by John Rawls in his great book Political Liberalism." (....)

"... although Rawls’s Theory of Justice is widely known, and frequently discussed in the literature on welfarism and utilitarianism, such is not the case with his great later book [Political Liberalism]. The concept of political liberalism is simply ignored in a large proportion of discussions of welfare and social policy, as are the challenges Rawls poses to thinkers who would base politics on a single comprehensive normative view. Many theorists influenced by various forms of normative utilitarianism have simply not attended to the issues of respect raised by their commitment to a comprehensive normative ethical doctrine as the basis for political principles and policy choices. It is certainly possible for consequentialist and welfarist views to be reformulated as forms of political liberalism. It also might be possible for them to defend their perfectionist doctrines against Rawlsian challenges. But the failure of their proponents to confront the issue head-on means that this work has not yet been done. It is my hope that the challenge contained in this article may stimulate this further work."

Also see Martha Nussbaum - "Rawls's Political Liberalism. A Reassessment". Ratio Juris vol. 24 no. 1 (March 2011).

Habermas: "A Pact for or against Europe?"

In "Süddeutsche Zeitung" April 7, Jürgen Habermas on Germany and Europe:

"Ein Pakt für oder gegen Europa?"
An Gründen für eine Gemeinschaft fehlt es nicht, wohl aber einem politischen Willen - und an Verantwortung.

This is a speech given by Habermas on April 6 at a meeting on "Europe and the re-discovery of the German nation-state" arranged by the Berlin office of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). Habermas criticised political elites for shirking their responsibility of delivering Europe to its citizens, instead relying on opportunism that threatens to “sink 50 years of European history”. Former foreign minister Joschka Fischer also took part in the discussion. See Habermas's full speech here (pdf).

See the reports on Habermas's speech in
- The Irish Times, April 7
- The Financial Times Deutschland, April 7
- EurActiv, April 7
- Der Tagesspiegel, April 8
- The Local (German news in English), April 8
- The Irish Times, April 9.

"Die neue deutsche Normalität erklärt nicht die Tatsache, dass es bisher in keinem der Mitgliedsstaaten eine einzige Europawahl und kaum ein Referendum gegeben hat, in denen über etwas anderes als über nationale Themen und Tickets entschieden worden ist. Politische Parteien vermeiden natürlich die Thematisierung von unpopulären Fragen. Das ist einerseits trivial, weil es das Ziel von Parteien sein muss, Wahlen zu gewinnen. Andererseits ist es keineswegs trivial, warum seit Jahrzehnten Europawahlen von Themen und Personen beherrscht werden, die gar nicht zur Entscheidung anstehen. Der Umstand, dass sich die Bürger über die Relevanz des Geschehens im subjektiv entfernten Straßburg und Brüssel täuschen, begründet sehr wohl eine Bringschuld, der sich jedoch die politischen Parteien hartnäckig entziehen.

Freilich scheint die Politik heute allgemein in einen Aggregatzustand, der sich durch den Verzicht auf Perspektive und Gestaltungswillen auszeichnet, überzugehen. Die wachsende Komplexität der regelungsbedürftigen Materien nötigt zu kurzatmigen Reaktionen in schrumpfenden Handlungsspielräumen. Als hätten sich die Politiker den entlarvenden Blick der Systemtheorie zu eigen gemacht, folgen sie schamlos dem opportunistischen Drehbuch einer demoskopiegeleiteten Machtpragmatik, die sich aller normativen Bindungen entledigt hat. Merkels Atommoratorium ist nur das auffälligste Beispiel. Und nicht Guttenberg, sondern die Regierungschefin selbst hat (in den Worten der FAZ) "die halbe Republik und fast die ganze CDU zum Lügen gebracht", als sie den öffentlich überführten Plagiator aus Rücksicht auf dessen Beliebtheit im Amt behielt. Kühl kalkulierend hat sie für ein paar Silberlinge, die sie an den Wahlurnen dann doch nicht hat einstreichen können, das rechtsstaatliche Amtsverständnis kassiert. Ein Großer Zapfenstreich hat die Normalität dieser Praxis auch noch besiegelt.

Dem liegt ein Verständnis von Demokratie zugrunde, das die New York Times nach der Wiederwahl von George W. Bush auf die Formel von der post-truth democracy gebracht hat. In dem Maße, wie die Politik ihr gesamtes Handeln von der Konkordanz mit Stimmungslagen abhängig macht, denen sie von Wahltermin zu Wahltermin hinterherhechelt, verliert das demokratische Verfahren seinen Sinn. Eine demokratische Wahl ist nicht dazu da, ein naturwüchsiges Meinungsspektrum bloß abzubilden; vielmehr soll sie das Ergebnis eines öffentlichen Prozesses der Meinungsbildung wiedergeben. Die in der Wahlkabine abgegebenen Stimmen erhalten das institutionelle Gewicht demokratischer Mitbestimmung erst in Verbindung mit den öffentlich artikulierten Meinungen, die sich im kommunikativen Austausch von themenrelevanten Stellungnahmen, Informationen und Gründen herausgebildet haben."


At Rutgers: Symposium on Sen's "The Idea of Justice"

The Institute for Law and Philosophy at Rutgers University will host a two-day symposium on Amartya Sen's "The Idea of Justice" (Harvard University Press, 2009) on April 15-16, 2011.

The program:

Friday, April 15

Samuel Freeman (Pennsylvania):
"Perfect Justice and the Well-Ordered Society"

Erin Kelly (Tufts)
Public Reason as a Collective Capability” (pdf)

David Estlund (Brown):
"The Best and the Rest: Optimizing and Comparing in Theories of Justice"

Saturday, April 16

Henry Richardson (Georgetown)
"Mapping Out Improvements in Justice: Comparing vs. Aiming" (pdf)

Gerald Gaus (Arizona):
"Social Contract and Social Choice" (pdf)

Debra Satz (Stanford):
"The Idea of Justice: What Approach, Which Capabilities?"

Professor Amartya Sen will also attend the symposium.

The proceedings will be published in a special issue of the Rutgers Law Journal.


Habermas on the Habermas-Rawls Debate

"Habermas and Rawls - Disputing the Political" (Routledge, 2011), edited by James Gordon Finlayson & Fabian Freyenhagen, includes a new article by Jürgen Habermas in which he comments on John Rawls's political theory and on the other contributions in the book.

Here are some excerpts from Habermas's "Reply to My Critics" (pp. 283-304):

"How far are morality, law and politics amenable to rational justification and how do they relate to the normative content of the ethical-existential life orientations and worldviews of individuals and communities? For my part, I follow Kant in assuming that, with the concept of autonomy, the practical reason shared by all persons offers a reliable guide both for morally justifying individual actions and for the rational construction of a legitimate political constitution for society. Kant understands "autonomy" as the ability of persons to bind their will to universal norms that they give themselves in the light of reason.

Rawls takes this individualistic and egalitarian universalism into account only in his exposition of a concept of political justice, however, wheread he situates moral conceptions on the particularisic side of the plurality of "comprehensive doctrines". Nevertheless, the "priority of the right over the good", as I understand it, sets the parameters in such a way that the concept of political Justice as Fairness is composed entirely of universalized contents that can also count as "morally" justified in the Kantian sense and are not shaped by values of a particular political culture." (p. 284)

"[There is however] a problem that, in my view, besets the construction of the "overlapping consensus". The correctness of the political conception of justice is supposed, on the one hand, to be measured by whether it can be integrated into the different comprehensive doctrines as a module; on the other hand, only the "reasonable" doctrines that recognize the primacy of political values are supposed to be admitted to this test. It remains unclear which side trumps the other, the competing groups with a shared worldview who can say "no", or practical reason that prescribes in advance which voices count. In my opinion, the practical reason expressed in the citizens' public use of their reason should have the final word here, too. This admittedly calls for a philosophical justification of the universal validity of a morality of equal respect for everyone. Rawls want to sidestep this task by confining himself to a "freestanding" theory of political justice." (p. 285)

"Rawls employs the concept of "freestanding" in a more specific sense when he refers to the independence of philosophical subdisciplines from one another. (....) The reason for Rawls's intention to insulate his theoretical program from controversies in neighboring disciplines has to do with the meaning of normative political theories. He hoped that this would enable the concept of Justice as Fairness to secure broad public acceptance. I am skeptical in this regard because each of Rawls's basic conceptual distinctions - moral versus political, rational versus full autonomy, the right versus the good, true versus reasonable, reasonable versus rational, truth versus objectivity, etc. - forces him to take positions in specialist discourses that reach far beyond the boundaries of political theory. Fallibilism and continued controversies on all fronts are the price to be paid for metaphysical abstinence" (p. 290)

See my previous post on "Habermas and Rawls - Disputing the Political".


Book on the Habermas-Rawls Debate

Habermas and Rawls
Disputing the Political

Ed. by James Gordon Finlayson
& Fabian Freyenhagen

(Routledge, 2011)

315 pages


Habermas and Rawls are two heavyweights of social and political philosophy, and they are undoubtedly the two most written about (and widely read) authors in this field. However, there has not been much informed and interesting work on the points of intersection between their projects, partly because their work comes from different traditions — roughly the European tradition of social and political theory and the Anglo-American analytic tradition of political philosophy. In this volume, contributors re-examine the Habermas-Rawls dispute with an eye toward the ways in which the dispute can cast light on current controversies about political philosophy more broadly. Moreover, the volume will cover a number of other salient issues on which Habermas and Rawls have interesting and divergent views, such as the political role of religion and international justice.

The volume includes a new article by Jürgen Habermas in which he comments on the contributions.


The Habermas-Rawls Dispute: Analysis and Re-evaluation
James Gordon Finlayson and Fabian Freyenhagen

Part I: The Habermas-Rawls Dispute

1: Reconciliation through the Public Reason (1995) - Jürgen Habermas
2: Political Liberalism: Reply to Habermas (1995) - John Rawls
3: Reasonable versus True (1996) - Jürgen Habermas

Part II: Disputing the Political

4: Justice: Transcendental not Metaphysical - Joseph Heath
5: The Justice of Justification - Anthony Simon Laden
6: The Justification of Justice (1999) - Rainer Forst
7: Procedure in Substance and Substance in Procedure - James Gledhill
8: Habermas, Rawls, and Moral Impartiality - Chris McMahon
9: Rawls and Habermas on the Place of Religion in the Political Domain - Catherine Audard
10: Two Models of Human Rights - Jeffrey Flynn

11: Beyond Overlapping Consensus - James Bohman

Part III: Afterword

12: A Reply to my Critics - Jürgen Habermas

James Gordon Finlayson is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Head of Social and Political Thought at the University of Sussex. He is the author of the excellent "Habermas: A Very Short Introduction" (Oxford University Press, 2005).

Fabian Freyenhagen is a lecturer in political philosophy at the University of Essex. He is the co-editor (with Thom Brooks) of "The Legacy of John Rawls" (Continuum, 2005).


How to Earn a Graduate Degree in Philosophy

If you want to further your philosophical studies or prepare for a career in law, humanities or politics, a gradate degree in philosophy will help you. After receiving your undergraduate degree, pursuing a master's degree is usually the next option for students who enjoy reading, studying and applying the tenets of philosophy to everyday life.
1. Choose a specific area of study. You may want to isolate your focus to social activism, or study the works of past masters like Plato if you are more oriented to research and academia. You may want to eventually teach philosophy or humanities.
2. Delve further into subjects like epistemology, which is the study of knowledge, or existentialism which centers on the belief that the individual has full responsibility for his or her own life. There are dozens of other schools of philosophical thought to explore as you study for your masters or other advanced degree.
3. Become more involved in outside activities that incorporate what you've learned in class, including political debate and social activism. If you are interested in a career in public service, use some of what you've learned in philosophy in your part time job or other government-focused activities.
4. Earn a graduate degree in philosophy as an excellent foundation for law school. This advanced degree also affords students interested in theology or religion a basis for work in the ministry or other spiritual careers.
5. Work toward a thesis or non-thesis degree. Some schools offer this option to students, depending on their ultimate goal. Non-thesis students use their philosophy studies as a springboard to a career in law, government or another area. Thesis students are academically oriented and go on to pursue a doctorate in philosophy or other scholarly discipline.
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Study American law and the U.S. legal system in New York City

Source : http://www.ehow.com/how_2055080_earn-graduate-degree-philosophy.html

Interview with Michael Sandel

The new online journal "Art of Theory: A Political Philosophical Quarterly" brings an interview with Professor Michael Sandel (Harvard):

12 Questions with Michael Sandel


Art of Theory: What features of our political life most puzzle you?

Sandel: I would say the largely arid terms of political discourse, the thinness of public discourse in the world’s leading democracies. That’s the single most striking and worrisome thing.

It’s partly the tendency, over the past three decades, of economics to crowd out politics. This has been an age of market triumphalism. We’ve come to the assumption that markets are the primary instruments for achieving the public good. I think that is a mistaken notion and people are now beginning to question that.

It also has led to political discourse being preoccupied with technocratic, managerial, economic concerns. The broader public questions and ethical questions have been crowded to the side. (....)

At the level of political theory (and this is what I’ve tried to do in some of my work), we need to challenge the premise that a pluralist society, or a society based on mutual respect, must avoid or set aside substantive moral and spiritual questions or questions of the good life.

Also at the level of political theory, I think there needs to be a challenge to economistic visions of democracy. (....)

Excellent political theory is determined by how interesting the question is. (....) After the question is chosen I am a methodological pluralist — a radical methodological pluralist — to the point where I don’t even think we could lay down any meaningful criteria for the right research method.

Michael Sandel is Professor of Government at Harvard University. His latest book is "Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009).

See some of my previous posts on Michael Sandel here, here, here & here.


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Tax time will be easier when you use a Chase Ink Bold(sm) with Ultimate Rewards(sm) card because expenses and potential tax deductions are itemized on a monthly and quarterly statement for you and your accountant.

Ultimate Rewards(sm)

The greatest value of this credit card is the ability to earn high class rewards. You can redeem your points for airline tickets to any destination and with no blackout dates or class restrictions. You can fly for fewer points which means your rewards go further. Additionally, you can transfer your points at full value to many of the leading frequent flyer programs, as well as hotel loyalty programs

Points can be redeemed for gift cards, certificates, merchants or cash back. As a business owner, you might consider using your rewards points to create employee incentives and gifts at no additional cost to your business

You can book travel online through the Ultimate Rewards(sm) program from airport parking, tickets, hotel, rental car and even dining reservations.

There are no limits to how many points you can earn, and the points you've earned don't expire. Every one dollar in purchases will earn you one point. When you shop online at more than 300 retailers, you get an extra ten bonus points per dollar through the Ultimate Rewards Mall; and you can earn two points per dollar on airfare through the online Travel Booking Tool.

Your card entitles you to Visa Signature Concierge service, trip cancellation insurance reimbursement, trip delay coverage, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay refund, and emergency service assistance. In addition, you're covered up to $500,000 for accidental death or dismemberment insurance through the travel accident insurance coverage, and roadside assistance for towing and locksmith services within the United States and Canada.

Source : http://www.creditorweb.com

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