2000-2004 Ph.d., Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy (MPP), Copenhagen Business School, The dissertation was entitled ”GN Store Nord – a company in Transition, 1939-1988”, opponents: Professor Haakan Lindgren, Stockhom School of Economics & professor John Wilson, University of Central Lancashire
29 politics that he distinguishes: historicism and social engineering, the former of which he rejects, while embracing the latter on condition that it is not “utopian” but “piecemeal” in nature. He claims that the latter is the only approach that does justice to the open society’s demand to assume full responsibility for our political decisions. Since Popper argues that “piecemeal social engineering” is the only approach to politics that deserves the predicate “scientific”, in the third section I go on to provide an explanation of his distinctive philosophy of science, more specifically of his strict separation of “facts” (or scientific propositions) and “decisions” (or moral and political proposals). In the fourth section, I reconstruct in detail both his criticism of the “utopian” form of social engineering and of “totalitarianism”, which he ascribes to Plato, and his own “piecemeal”, liberal- democratic alternative to it, which he ascribes to Pericles and Socrates. In the final two sections, I critically examine the consistency of Popper’s position, arguing that the distinction between “piecemeal” and “utopian” social engineering, crucial to his project, is in fact difficult to maintain if it is based on the restricted conception of rationality inherent in the “scientific” attitude of “social engineering”. I show that he requires as complement a more comprehensive conception of rationality, that is, a conception that is capable of accounting for the rational validity not only of technological propositions (the choice of means) but also of political proposals (the choice of ends). However, this broader conception of rationality can itself not be accounted for on the basis of Popper’s restricted epistemological presuppositions, especially due to his strict separation of facts from decisions. As mentioned above, he thereby runs the danger of lapsing into some kind of “irrational” political “decisionism”, despite his explicitly professed rejection of this stance.
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82 principle” (Sabl, 2017, 368). He goes further than Sleat by arguing that because “liberals value diversity, experimentation, and freedom of thought”, the level of diversity we see in our ethical lives is “something to be welcomed, not lamented” (Sabl, 2017, 368). He argues that neither “politics nor political theory requires ‘regulative ideals’: principles, derived from systematic philosophy, that are allegedly necessary to orient common action and to motivate social and political progress … the motivational force [of social movements] has never required that they form a coherent philosophical system” (Sabl, 2017, 368). Instead, we should see liberal institutions as operating by “managing conflict and diversity rather than assuming (or seeking) ethical agreement” and “involves steady improvement, either through experimental learning within a given society or – more commonly – through a tendency to borrow best practices from elsewhere” (Sabl, 2017, 370-371). We should see liberal institutions drawing their value in theory and practice “from [their] ability in a rough sense to promote the interests of all members of society” and whether it promotes “indefinite and multiple values and purposes rather than giving exclusive priority to any one” (Sabl, 2017, 371). To the extent that it fails to do so, there should be “demands for reform, on that basis” (Sabl, 2017, 371). In this sense, political realists tend to see institutions as not being “produced by a deliberate plan, nor supported by an ex-post consensus regarding its purpose. [They] often though not necessarily, arise as the consequences of acts by agents who would not have favoured the way the institution ends up working” (Sabl, 2017, 372). This is one of the reasons why we should be so careful when engaging in reform and criticism of these institutions. It is possible that the origins and persistence of existing institutions are for counter-intuitive reasons in the sense that “they initially seem to endanger a variety of human interests that experience later shows them to promote” (Sabl, 2017, 372). A theorist who is not careful and has no historical knowledge of how these institutions emerged (and why they persist) will act irresponsibly when recommending reform of existing institutions based on their preferred theory of justice.
dialogues have the capacity to build enduring relationships that hold parties in responsibility to each other, and to each other’s investments and commitments. In neoliberal university environments organised around competitive metrics for output and impact, humanities scholars need strong, inter-connected academic communities through which to advocate for the worth of our labor, which so often cannot be sufficiently measured in monetary value or key performance indicators. Diversifying the themes, methods, and perceived canons of continental philoso- phy may be an important way to transform the meanings attached to the “con- tinental.” Nevertheless, we cannot escape the histories of colonial violence and epistemological injustice that have shaped imagined geographies of philosophi- cal competence, including the prestige still accorded to “European thinkers” and Western European languages (especially English, French, and German). Nelson Maldonado-Torres’ articulation of post-continental philosophy may be useful for thinking through these issues:
part of all that, part of my advice to her was a suggestion that she make an appointment with the consultant. I wasn 't actually there at the birth, I actually had to go and see her afterwards to get rid of that awful feeling that we had acted counter to what our philosophy is. I also couldn't see any other way around it because I truly believed that it wasn't safe for her and I documented page after page with all the things that were explained and she still kept to her plan and I said, "I have to say that I admired you. " Because I did. In the event the baby was not that overdue. Obviously it was not that overdue. But that is almost besides the point, it isn't really the issue. We supported her with those reservations and she was well aware of our reservations and she wasn't ... over the top sort of person, she was obviously a person who was determined that this baby ivas to be born at home and she wasn't accepting anything else other than what she believed. But we wouldn't accept that with all our documentation we had done· our best to get her into an obstetrician. The obstetrician herself said, "That woman would have delivered alone, she was so determined. "
In general, the Basij and the Ansar (a special group inside the Basij) have been most visible in Iranian politics during periods when reformist leaders or their allies have gained a substantial share of power. For instance, during the first years of the Khatami presidency, the Basij were organised to act against reformists and their supporters. In many cases, they attacked student events at the universities, or harassed reformist political leaders such as Khatami’s minister of the interior and his minister of culture and Islamic guidance. Similarly, in 2000, a group of Basijis assassinated Saeid Hajjarian, a reformist political strategist and advisor to President Khatami (Golkar, 2012). During major social movements and popular uprisings such as the Iranian student protests of 1999 or the green movement (after the 2009 presidential election), these armed groups have cooperated with other military and security troops to manage the crises. The Basij frequently suppress women’s rights activists and their supporters, calling them threats to national security and to Islam. For instance, in 2006 when women activists called for a public protest to demand equal laws for women, Basiji groups, in cooperation with police, prevented the demonstrators from holding a peaceful assembly. They beat the demonstrators with batons, used pepper gas against them, and sprayed them with paint to mark and arrest them (Center for Human Rights in Iran, 2009).
The most impressive thing about Andrew Norris’ book is its unflinching and unequi- vocal ease in bringing us to what I have elsewhere called the “Cavellian precipice” th- rough ordinary language philosophy and “external world” skepticism exclusively. That is, this book has a remarkable and fluid grasp of Cavell’s contribution to formal philosophical thought, which literary sorts like myself often eschew explaining preci- sely because the path to explaining skepticism, for us, feels far more pregnant and ur- gent when discussing objects of pleasure, namely film and literature.
Cowling’s admirers sometimes talk about his estrangement from the ‘post-war consensus’ of 1945 (or 1940) to the mid 1970s. This seems to me to miss the point. Cowlings view of politics actually worked best for periods when there were no real disagreements of principle between major politicians and when politics really could be explained in terms of personal rivalries amongst the elite. It is no accident that Cowling’s most significant works of political history were produced during the great age of the political diarists (Castle, Crossman, Donoughue) who recorded machinations of individuals on a day-by-day basis. For Cowling himself, the key date in post-war history was 1963.(7) This was the year of Macmillan’s resignation and also, significantly, the year in which Cowling began his career as a serious academic. Cowling’s hero, Harold Wilson, was, of course, the great winner from 1963 and, in some ways, this suited Cowling. The conflict between admiration for impossibilist principle and admiration for political skill need cause no problems if the Conservative cause was irredeemably lost. Cowling could now sit back and admire Wilson’s manoeuvres without feeling that anything serious was at stake. The self-indulgent melancholy with which Cowling surveyed the British political scene between 1963 and 1975 reminds one of how left-wing historians, often installed at rich American universities, regarded Thatcherism during the 1980s.
We can now say that, according to this perspective, practices which do not enhance our powers to think - in other words, processes which engender passive modes of engagement with the world - are non-ethical. I imagine that most people here would not find it difficult to indicate how philosophy with children promotes active thinking. However, in order to further understand our involvement with this practice, it is also important that we critically examine its limitations and those aspects which challenge its development. I would thus like to conclude by indicating two (among many) areas to which I believe less thinking has been dedicated - in doing that I hope to generate some discussion. Firstly, I invite you to reflect upon the role played by obedience and social/moral rules established in the context of our groups of philosophy in schools. I ask whether thinking can also be engendered where non-examined forms of subjection prevail? Are the tacit social norms to which we abide conditions or obstacles to empowerment? If both, when do they prevent and when do they allow our thinking to happen or even promote it? Lastly, if we consider that thinking is always affective and that therefore our openness to being affected by others is an important condition for the enhancement of our thinking, it is worth inquiring about our emotional patterns which imprison others in pre-conceived images and prevent us from experiencing transformative encounters. I thus ask: How can we teachers unlearn to see in our students what they ought to be? How can we children and adults, women and men, black and white, poor and rich, Arabs and Jews dismantle our plans, our prejudice, our fear, our anger, our weapons and shields in order to experience otherness and, who knows, finally think together?
quantification and calibration of bodies as data have been socially situated in similar ways as the politics of vision. Briefly, Puar contends that the visual field is a racially contested terrain and “seeing” is not simply a biological mode of perception, but seeing is also an interpretation, signification, and a practice of “reading” bodies through social, political and historical lenses (183). The digitization of bodies cannot be separated from those practices of “seeing” where legacies of racism and contemporary practices of discrimination are coded into recognition and control. The field of data is an enfleshed terrain based on human assumptions of race and gender that shape the ways in which one’s biometric identity is enrolled or not enrolled. The insidious and pervasive nature of networked surveillance perpetuated by corporate interests, does not eliminate the fact that individuals are visually tracked and identified through perceptual and panoptic systems that are completely unconcerned with “decorporealized data doubles.” Clearly, the concept of the assemblage as advanced by Deleuze and Guattari would not deny hierarchical practices of surveillance. Indeed, their concept of assemblage would
Benevolo’s larger interpretation of the public works is based on an incomplete separation between the technical and the political aspects of planning existing at that time. He thus explained the tensions that arose through the public works as coming out of the politics that emerged from Haussmann’s planning practice, an insight he is alone among scholars of the public works in making. This is an idea that we will be discussing at length throughout the thesis. Haussmann’s legislative defeats, for Benevolo, are thus directly linked to his attempts to interpret planning laws in manner at odds with the Second Empire’s conservatism. What we can see with Benevolo (and will see later with Sutcliffe) is that this translates into a focus on the opposition Haussmann faced as a way of situating Haussmann in the history of planning. For Benevolo, Haussmann came into legislative difficulties because he sought to go against the separation between the technical and political aspects of planning that had been created after 1848. This allowed planning to become a merely technical preoccupation which sidelined any deep political issues: “Town planning [...] cut adrift from political discussion, tended to become increasingly a purely technical matter at the service of the established powers. This did not mean that it became politically neutral; on the contrary, it fell within the sphere of influence of the new conservative ideology which was evolving during those years, of Bonapartism in France, of the reforming Tory groups in England and of Bismarckian imperialism in Germany” (Benevolo 1967: xiii). Haussmann, in seeking to interpret expropriation laws to the advantage of the city “refused to accept the political logic of the regime which he personally supported so whole-heartedly” (Benevolo 1967: 136). In doing so, he brought politics back into planning and suffered the consequences in the Council of State. Benevolo’s emphasis on Haussmann’s politics will be crucial to this thesis.
This Black Nationalist education combined with my religious and class-based extracurricular activities created a space and a social network where class, politics, gender, altruism and even religion were articulated through a racialized lens. I learned early on, through my parents and church, the importance of giving back and uplifting other people (specifically other Blacks), as well as the implications of being a person of African descent in the United States, as a result of the interpretation of Old Testament scripture (Dr. Cornel West refers to this as the focus of the prophetic Black Christian worldview in The Cornel West Reader 1999.) My religious altruism, class, and politics seemed to clash, or rather I became aware that their juxtaposition was precarious, during one of my childhood summers when my parents directed our church’s vacation Bible school. The vacation Bible school offered poor children in the community free meals as well as summer Bible-based activities. Many of the attendees were poor Black American and Hispanic children, who relied upon the Bible school for their summer meals while school was out of session. My parents as well as some of their close friends all ran vacation Bible schools across the city. They enjoyed working with the children, but often
Catastrophe and redemption attempts to reconstruct the history behind Agamben’s philosophy. This is done in order to counter Agamben’s ‘one sided’ teleology of Western politics. Whyte focuses attention on the ‘other side’ of the political events Agamben analyses in his works (Whyte, 2013: 155). She claims, with much validity, that the current political malaise in which we live is as much the result of the defeats of political movements of the past as it is the direct inheritor of those movements (Whyte, 2013: 41-42). In a salient point, she notes that Agamben does not spend any time contemplating what the world would be like where the political struggles of modernity – women’s rights, human rights, workers’ rights – had not taken place (Whyte, 2013: 41). A result of this is that Agamben turns away from active political movements today, which leads, in Whyte’s view, to a potential deterministic understanding of social transformation in his work (Whyte, 2013: 45).
Over against a “thin,” stereotypical image of Ankersmit as a White-inspired postmodernist, this article has tried to offer a thicker description of the Dutch philosopher of history by situating him firmly within his European context. We have argued that Ankersmit’s work has been shaped decisively by the Dutch historical profession—by the social-scientific moment of the 1970s that he de- tested as much as by the Huizinga revival to which he actively contributed—and especially by the University of Groningen, where Ankersmit stayed all of his professional life, until his retirement in 2010. We have argued that his Groning- en teacher Ernst Kossmann exerted considerable influence on Ankersmit, most importantly by introducing his pupil to nineteenth-century historicism as inter- preted by Meinecke. Retrieving key elements from this historicist tradition is a Leitmotiv in Ankersmit’s work, or so this article has argued. Nothing is more characteristic of Ankersmit’s reflections on history and politics alike than his attempt to translate a historicist Ideenlehre into modern analytical categories, thereby stripping it of its metaphysical dimensions and emphasizing the aesthet- ic nature of both historical and political representation.