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Intercultural
Lexicon

Relativism

Few concepts are both so controversial and recurrent within the philosophical and cultural debate as the concept of relativism.

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City

The city is an artefact.

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Freedom

The philosophical justification of the idea of freedom is one of those enigmas all great philosophers have addressed, often concluding their imposing attempts by acknowledging the impossibility to access a firm Archimedean point placing freedom on a incontrovertible theoretical pedestal..

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Modernity

The concept of modernity can be analysed from various points of view. A sociological perspective sees modernity as the historical era arising from feudal society’s profound transformation processes and that, starting with the Protestant Reformation, sees the emergence of the new bourgeoisie..

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Revolution

Though its semantic origins are pre-modern, revolution has been a fundamental category of the interpretation of modern times.

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Reset
A month of ideas.
Giancarlo Bosetti Editor-in-chief
Association for dialogue and intercultural understanding
Intercultural Lexicon
IT Monday, 6 November 2006

Cosmopolitism

Danilo Zolo

It is the philosophical and political concept that extends the ideas of citizenship and homeland to the whole world and to all humankind, opposing the particularity of nations and national states. Those sharing a cosmopolitan idea of relations between persons and peoples, refuse to identify with one particular vision of the world or with one particular civilisation.


The word is quite a recent one, however cosmopolitan philosophy was supported in Greece both by the Cynics and the Stoics. To those asking him where he came from, Diogenes answered that he was a “citizen of the world, while according to Zeno all human beings were fellow countrymen and fellow citizens. Christianity followed in the footsteps of ancient cosmopolitism. The evangelical announcement was addressed at all humankind as the children of God, regardless therefore of all political, social or cultural factors. With enlightenment the cosmopolitan ideal was represented by authors such as Wolff and Kant.

Wolff re-proposed the idea of a civitas maxima as a ‘universal community of human beings’ and Kant, in Zum ewigen Frieden, advance the idea of a League of peoples creating a global juridical system (Weltbürgerrecht) and promoted stable and universal peace. States intending to join forces in a peaceful federation must be ‘republics’ committed to defend the rights of citizens. During the 20th Century the greatest theoretic of cosmopolitan philosophy was Hans Kelsen, who drew from Kant the idea of perpetual peace and the federalist model. According to Kelsen the way to achieve the objective of peace lies in the unification of States in one world federal state.

The instrument of power and the armed forces of all national states should be made available to world government and penal court exercising power according to the laws emanated by a world parliament. cosmopolitan philosophy was taken up in the last decades of the 20th Century by the so-called Western globalists, among them Jünger Habermas, Richard Falk, Norberto Bobbio, Luigi Ferrajoli, and David Held. They believe that globalisation processes lead to a gradual erosion of the sovereignty of states and this phenomenon requires a reform of international bodies leading to the creation of a world government guaranteeing peace and justice at a global level.

Readers' comments
canan gülseren inan

This argument might be taking an initiative position in proposing the new world order, which has been popularized to a great extent already. I appreciate all those guys mentioned above, but, why, on earth,it has to be that westernized, also we see not any references to another direction as though there did not used to be those philosophical ideas grown in the east such as in Symmerians and Ancient Egyptians? Is not that crude Westtoxication?

Tuesday, 22 May 2012
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