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The Honor Code

Appeals to personal honor often seem to belong to the past, conjuring images of gentlemen in wigs dueling at dawn; or worse, of blood-soaked Achaeans storming the walls of Troy.

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In the strictest sense Enlightenment means the cultural movement of philosophical origins that spread through Europe after the beginning of the 18th Century until the French revolution and that is characterised by trust in reason and its clarifying power.

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It is possible to participate in a brutal event – such as gang rape, lynching, an ethnic cleansing operation – or in a humanitarian event – fund raising, collective adoption, sacrificing oneself in an exchange of prisoners..

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The process resulting in the definition of one’s own identity – hence an “us” – in an oppositional manner by, explicitly or implicitly comparing ourselves with “others”, is considered a universal movement in every society.

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In recent times, "dialogue" has emerged as an important and even central notion in both philosophy and politics.

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A month of ideas.
Giancarlo Bosetti Editor-in-chief
Association for dialogue and intercultural understanding

New Media


Twittering for Change

Hatim Salih

Countless Iranians have taken to the streets, challenging the outcome of the country's recent presidential poll, and forcing Iran's powerful Guardian Council to agree to recount disputed votes. A fortnight ago this would have not seemed possible. What are the implications for the rest of the Middle East: states where the outcome of elections is invariably a foregone conclusion, and others where the concept of an election - free or otherwise - is non-existent? Anxiously watching, oppressive regimes in the region may be trembling at the thought that events currently unfolding in Iran will, at some point, spill over to their own oppressed populations.

IT AR Globalization

The blessing of Skype and the satellite ghetto

Amara Lakhous

My father was an immigrant in France during the fifties and at the start of the sixties. For seven years he had no way of speaking to his family. Fortunately for me, my immigration experience today is drastically different from his; I call my parents on my mobile when I want and thanks to Skype I speak to my sister almost every day. I can share emails, voice messages, text messages, photos and videos with relatives and friends all over the world. But when immigrants abuse globalisation it also creates narrow-mindedness and ghettoisation. I know many immigrants who follow television programmes from their own countries every day thanks to satellite channels, and in this setting the globalisation of communication can stand in the way of an immigrant’s integration process.

IT Media

Blogging in Egypt

Courtney C. Radsch

With the increasing importance of citizen journalism on the Internet, which has burgeoned since blogging started to gain popularity in 2003, the new media are not only impacting mainstream journalism but the political process itself. Last year the World Bank reported that Egypt, with more than 4 million Internet users, had the highest rate of Internet access among non-oil Arab states. But having expanded access, Mubarak is now trying to reassert state authority over cyberspace by expanding the state security service into the virtual public arena. The more promising hope of the Internet for citizens in their quest for political reform lies in the potential for blogs to galvanize, inspire and organize.

IT Galileo Galilei

Being heretic in the knowledge society

Emanuela Scridel

In 2009, European year of Creativity and Innovation, and in our society, defined as the “knowledge society”, at a distance of four hundred years from Galileo’s “heresy”, there is any hope to be “authentically heretic”? Internet, real instrument of democracy, gives everyone the opportunity to get knowledge, entering an almost infinite number of sources and information.


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