Cosmopolitanism

Hello,

I set up this blog in the hope of creating a research network on the
idea of cosmopolitanism. For the moment there is not much content since
I am still developing the general structure of this site. I intend to
develop on other researchers’ themes and findings, provide reviews of
the most notable literature in the field, and cast my own ideas and
findings. This includes primarily cosmopolitanism on an epistemological
and ontological level, but also coincidentally nationalism and
patriotism, and through this empirical research more theoretical
considerations on method in the history of ideas. I also add a page on
cosmopolitan experiences, mainly a reflection on my own experience in
relation to other people and events around the world.

My own research using Foucault’s archaeology as a tool to study the
idea of cosmopolitanism led me to envisage it as a located discourse in
Western political thought, and as such it is dependent on the dominant
discourse since the nineteenth century, i.e. nationalism. As such, much
of what we understand as cosmopolitanism has been developed in what
Ulrich Beck calls methodological nationalism. If ideas are the product
of wars, then surely, cosmopolitanism as a minority idea is the product
of the dominant one — nationalism. This is why I call this a
national-cosmopolitanism.

However, recent trends in political theory have led to different
conceptions of cosmopolitanism, mainly under the influence of Jürgen
Habermas’ turn to communication instead of reason. In the second age of
modernity, cosmopolitanism appears less feasible as a universal ideal.
If “worlds too are imagined”, then cosmopolitanism is also located in a
particular discourse. As such, it can only be, in its universal
aspiration, the imposition of this particular discourse onto other ones.

There is thus a double difficulty with cosmopolitanism: ontological
and epistemological. If we want to build cosmopolitanism we need to
understand its past. But in order to do so, we must know what it is.
Both activities are thus related. Philosophers and historians should
gather around this peculiar philosophy, and this is what this blog
wants to provide: a platform for exchanges, communications on
cosmopolitanism. In the end it is hoping to contribute to the formation
of a cosmopolitan cosmopolitanism.

Everyone is free to participate by writing comments.

Best wishes,

Frank.

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