Felsefi Düşün Issue:4 – Contemporary Political Philosophy / April 2015
Issue Editor: Tülin BUMİN (Yeditepe Üniversitesi)
Please click on the name of any article for abstract and keywords.
Halil Rahman AÇAR (Yıldırım Beyazıt Üniversitesi)
Salih AKKANAT (Gümüşhane Üniversitesi)
Kudret ARAS (Bingöl Üniversitesi)
Mehmet Ruhi DEMİRAY (Kocaeli Üniversitesi)
Bahtiyar Yücel DURSUN (Ankara Üniversitesi)
Uğur EKREN (İstanbul Üniversitesi)
Mehmet GÜNENÇ (İstanbul Üniversitesi)
Can KARABÖCEK (Kırklareli Üniversitesi)
Nurgün OKTİK (Maltepe Üniversitesi)
Enver ORMAN (İstanbul Üniversitesi)
Kaan H. ÖKTEN (Kemerburgaz Üniversitesi)
Güncel ÖNKAL (Maltepe Üniversitesi)
Cengiz İskender ÖZKAN (Adnan Menderes Üniversitesi)
Devrim SEZER (İzmir Ekonomi Üniversitesi)
Özgür SOYSAL (Ege Üniversitesi)
Hüseyin Fırat ŞENOL (Anadolu Üniversitesi)
Cengiz Mesut TOSUN (Mersin Üniversitesi)
Ahu TUNÇEL (Maltepe Üniversitesi)
Sadık TÜRKER (Kırklareli Üniversitesi)
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN KANT AND HEGEL
The aim of this study is to make a comparative analysis of international relations in Kant and Hegel. In terms of their approach to international relations, Kant is a representative of idealist paradigm whereas Hegel is an advocate of the realist side. In this respect, these philosophers stand for the two opposing sides in discussion of particularism vs. universalism. Thus, Kant and Hegel draw different conclusions in the matters of international law, war and peace. Whereas Kant defends universal peace and world republic, Hegel advocates particularism based on his concept of Sittlichkeit and interprets war as an ethical moment among nation-states. In this point, the main difference stems from their disparity of approach to philosophy in general and political philosophy in particular; therefore, their perspectives on international relations take root within the context of their philosophical systems respectively.
Keywords: idealism, realism, federation, world state, war, particularism, universialism.
THE CREATION OF EQUALITY STAGES: ON THE AXIOMATIC CONCEPTION OF EQUALITY IN JACQUES RANCIÈRE
One of the most important contemporary French thinkers, Jacques Rancière discusses a significant idea concerning the creative element of the political, politics as an act of equality. The politics is the corruption of the structure recognised as hierarchical, representative and homogeneous in the existing order. It is reconstitution of this structure by rendering sensible the voice of those excluded from order and by making them visible. So, politics is reconstruction of the order based on unequality through the act of equality. In this work, “the idea of equality”, which is one of the most important concepts of Rancière such as politics, police, will be dwelled on. Because Rancière gives readers an opportunity to cover all history of political thoughts and practices with this concept. Furthermore, he offers readers a possibility to have a break from the the idea of equality becoming ordinary through French Revolution and so to say, becoming reversed in practices of equality. Here, investigating how this break is practiced is the subject of this study. If briefly told, the equality is not an intentional result but a thing just assumed in the beginning of the action for Rancière. Because inequality merely arises from inequality. Therefore, results related to equality can be expected if equality is assumed from the beginning of the action. In this context, “the idea of equality as presupposition/axiom” will be discussed. To deepen the discussion, that will be presented the idea of “equality of intelligences” and will be dwelled on “equality stages” created by different sides of the community. In this way, the method internalised by Rancière,which breaks from modern political philosophy and also from Ancient philosophy will be annotated.
Keywords: politics, equality, equality of intelligences, equality stages, axiom.
THE JOURNEY TOWARDS PRAXIS IN CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
In this article some concepts in the contemporary Italian political philosophy such as praxis, historical materialism are going to discuss. Therefore, I will try to reveal the genesis of praxis philosophy tracing to Antonio Gramsci and of historical materialism. Through this work, I will demonstrate that the idealist and both materialist and praxis genesis of contemporary Italian philosophy are affected by German philosophy and particularly G. W. Friedrich Hegel’s philosophy. In this context, the article progresses to the German idealism and philosophy of Bertrando Spaventa in order to understand the Italian Marxism. When one calls praxis, generally Gramsci comes to mind. But when we look through the development of praxis in contemporary Italian philosophy before Gramsci, we discover the progress of praxis going back to Spaventa. In this work, which focuses on some texts of Spaventa, during the period of unification and re-foundation of Italy, it will observe how the intellectual climate is influenced by German idealism. Thus, Spaventa envisages a philosophy with a materialistic perspective and through a historical approach. Finally, after an investigation on Spaventa we arrive at the philosophy of Antonio Labriola. Labriola develops the idea of praxis and in particular the historical and materialistic approach by taking it over from Spaventa. As Spaventa did, firstly I will begin with the history of contemporary Italian philosophy in order to comprehend Italian philosophy itself.
Keywords: Spaventa, Labriola, praxis, historical materialism, Hegelianism, neo-Hegelianism.
The Formation of Anthropology in Tension Between Universality-Particularity: The Conceptions of Human in Kant and Herder
This paper is an attempt to show the importance of philosophical anthropology for political thought by making use of Kant’s and Herder’s conceptions of human. In addition, by briefly describing the universality versus particularity problem in traditions of Enlightenment and counter-Enlightenment, it will be argued that philosophical anthropology is central to politics, culture and ethical theories. As is known, the tension between universality and particularity is one of the ancient problems in philosophy. This tension is still has an impact on contemporary political thought. Due to the fact that the problem of universality and the critical approaches to the concept of humanity have a crucial role in contemporary political philosophy, this paper aims to reevaluate this problem on the basis of philosophical anthropology. Also, by revisiting the modern understanding of philosophical anthropology, it is intended to question whether or not a new perspective is possible, which provides more effective and efficient solutions to contemporary political problems. It is expected that this study will draw attention the importance of the tension between universality and particularity and open something up for discussion about this tension by new analyses.
Keywords: Philosophical anthropology, universality, particularity, culture, culturalism, Enlightenment, Counter-Enlightenment, intersubjectivity.
In Labyrinths Crossroads: An Introduction to the political philosophy of Cornelius Castoriadis
In this article Cornelius Castoriadis’ political concepts and his originality have been pointed out and it is emphasized why he should be accepted as a philosopher. Two main thesis are proposed: First that the ideas of Castoriadis must be accepted as a philosophy on its own. Secondly that the philosophy of Castoriadis has a specific aim, his work and his purpose is to establish a relationship between philosophy and politics. First of all Castoriadis is an imaginary philosopher. The imaginary is the faculty and the supreme power that provides human creation. The politics is the creation of radical imaginary. Castoriadis proposes to develop a political imaginary and a political praxis for the individual and social autonomy. He claims that this imaginary element is being exhausted in all domains: philosophy, politics, arts and science. However his philosophic task resists this actual situation and not to accept this exhaustion. This thought tries to preserve and enlarge the possibilities and actions of autonomy.
Keywords: Cornelius Castoriadis, imaginary, autonomy, creation, democracy.
THE FOUNDATIONS OF ISLAMIC POLITICAL THEOLOGY
The question of “Who’s to rule” is asked for the first time in the Islamic world after the death of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. The history of Islamic thought could be read as the answer to the question of “Who’s to rule”. This question requests to determine the principle that will provide the legitimacy to the political authority. Middle age Islamic society formed its political history by theological reasons. These reasons, demolished the unity of the Islamic society and in time many groups that presented themselves as “real” Islam and seek political authority emerged. In the first caliphate period, the caliphates that possessed only the political authority, in time by defining themselves as the religious authorities started to use the title of God’s Caliphate. This article aims at evaluating the political-theological dynamics of this process.
Keywords: Islam, political theology, political conflicts, religious sect, government, caliphate.
BACK TO HEGEL IN CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY: THE PROBLEM OF RECOGNITION AND THE SOCIAL CONDITIONS OF LIBERTY IN AXEL HONNETH’S THOUGHT
As the multicultural theories have revived the problem of recognition, Hegel’s thought has moved once again at the center of contemporary debates in the field of political philosophy. Axel Honneth’s thought -which has rather been associated with the critical theory, although not aloof to the problems raised by multicultural theories- has constituted an important step in this reactivation of Hegel’s philosophy. In his “normative social theory” elaborated in Kampf um Anerkennung (The Struggle for Recognition: The Moral Grammar of Social Conflicts), Honneth efforts to demonstrate the individual pathologies caused by the lack of social recognition and the role of the conflicting spirit fuelled by these pathologies in the development of relations of mutual recognition and the expansion of the field of recognition, by drawing on Hegel’s works of Jena period. Whereas in Leiden an Unbestimmtheit (The Pathologies of Individual Freedom: Hegel’s Social Theory), which can be considered as his second-period work, he tends towards Hegel’s late-period work, Philosophy of Right, and he questions the institutional structures of recognition in modern societies as well as the relation of mutual determination between individual freedom and social freedom. The evolution of his own thought orientates Honneth to Hegel’s works of different periods. Thus, on the one hand the thinker performs a reading that allows us trace the evolution of Hegel’s philosophy and on the other hand reveals those aspects of Hegel’s thought that still preserve their actuality, and he constructs his own normative theory based on these aspects. In this respect, Honneth’s theory of recognition, which finds its origins in Hegelian thought, constitutes an efficient example of the relation that the critical theory establishes with both the history of society and the history of thought.
Keywords: Recognition, ethical life, individual freedom, social freedom, civil society, abstract right, morality.
DISCUSSIONS ABOUT DEMOCRACY AS AN AN-ARCHE PRINCIPLE IN CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
Nowadays, the discussions on the idea of democracy and its aporias constitute one of the complicated problems of contemporary political philosophy. We need democratic principles to live together in an equal and free manner; but at the same time we have reasons for “hate from democracy” because it cannot prevent takeover the power by the authoritarian, despotic and totalitarian systems. In this paper, we are trying to explain democracy in light of the political philosophies of M. Abensour, J. Rancière and É. Balibar who consider it not as a political system or a form of government, but as an an-arche, groundless principle without any origin in terms of the sense of politics. In order to demonstrate this groundless character of democracy, i.e., its an-arche principle, we pose these main questions: How can we rethink about the possibility of political action and “the political” in democracy? What are the rights of the democratic subject who manifests herself in her action? What is the relation between human and citizen rights and democracy? What is the origin and the ground of this democratic rights? Can democratic principles make possible and stable the institutionalization of political actions?
Keywords: Democracy, the political, an-arche, human rights, civil rights, action, disobedience.
SHARING THE WORLD WITH OTHERS: ETHICAL OR POLITICAL? A PHILOSOPHICAL ENCOUNTER BETWEEN GADAMER AND ARENDT
This article juxtaposes two key figures of the 20th century continental philosophy, Hans-Georg Gadamer and Hannah Arendt, with a view to setting up between them a philosophical dialogue which did not actually take place. My point of departure is that it is possible to read Arendt and Gadamer as responding to the same fundamental question; namely, the question of what it means to share the world with others. This reading will also bring home to us the central theme of the imaginary dialogue between them: Does our experience of sharing the world with others have an essentially ethical character, as Gadamer claims? Or is it primarily a political experience, as Arendt maintains? In mapping out this question and the dialogical encounter that turns on it, I focus on four major themes: (1) the claim of philosophical hermeneutics to be a “practical philosophy” in the Aristotelian sense; (2) Arendt’s insistence on the autonomy and authentic meaning of politics; (3) the intentionality and performativity of human agency; and finally (4) the tension between the continuity of tradition and the search for a new beginning.
Keywords: Hannah Arendt, Hans-Georg Gadamer, phenomenology, hermeneutics, human agency, ethos, autonomy of the political.
CLAUDE LEFORT: THE SIGNS OF THE POLITICAL
Claude Lefort mentions that he will raise political philosophy against the thoughts of the political science, Marxism and the New Philosophers (Les Nouveaux Philosophes). According to Lefort, these three thoughts being the political (le politique) and having not been analyzed sufficiently led them miss out totalitarianism which he calls as ‘the major political fact of our time’. Lefort tells that totalitarianism is not a phenomenon having been experienced and finished in certain period of time. Due to the empty place of power (le lieu vide du pouvoir) feature of democracy, it is a regime open to the truth of totalitarianism materializing again. Therefore, according to Lefort, only if totalitarianism, the absolute negation of democracy, is resolved, it will be possible to reach democracy and its’ acquisitions and we can stand against totalitarian temptation. In this article, the division (la division) and associated with the conflict (le conflit) and ‘the dissolution of the markers of certainty’ (la dissolution des repères de la certitude) that Lefort sees as the two characteristics of modern democracy will be discussed along with the sources in thinkers’ various readings. Furthermore, along with the explanation of these two characteristics, we will try to address the criticism of the political science, Marxism and New Philosophers, the thinker who is after the ‘the signs of the political’ brought.
Keywords: democracy, totalitarianism, the political, division, conflict, ‘dissolution of the markers of certainty’, human rights, empty place of power.