Politische Subjektivität. Der lange Weg vom Untertan zum Bürger (German Edition)
Welche Generation war schon mal vor so einem Offenbarungseid? Ich kann mich nicht erinnern. Nein, kann ich nicht. Habe Mut, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen! Ich habe vielfach festgestellt, dass Klimaskeptiker das Kant'sche Argument missbrauchen, und den 'Verstand' auf den 'gesunden Menschenverstand' eingrenzen. Was ein grober Fehler ist, da wir heute leider gezwungen sind, Nanoscale, Mesoscale, Macroscale zu unterscheiden.
Weder in der Quantenmechanik noch in der Astrophysik gilt das 'menschliche Mass'.source
A Companion to Twentieth-Century German Literature
Weil uns das nicht weh tut. Tut nicht weh, kann ich ignorieren. Das ist einer meiner Hauptklagepunkte. Gegenargument: "reality is that, which does not go away, if You stop believing in it. Nur ein kleiner Hinweis. Wie plausibel das im Einzelnen erscheinen mag ist ein andere Sache. Aber es gibt immer noch durchaus ernsthafte Untersuchungen, die den 2.
Hauptsatz in Frage stellen. Man sollte aber auch im Internet respektieren, dass Menschen einen unterschiedlichen Ausbildungsstand haben. Insofern haben innerhalb der Physik oder der Wissenschaft diese Diskussionen ihren Platz. Sie sind doch sehr lehrreich. Bei den verschiedenen Umfragen stellte sich heraus dass fast jeder Wissenschaftler und Laie "klima-skeptisch" ist. Die einen sind es bloss weniger als die anderen. Es geht ihnen eher um Weltverbessserung als um das Vermitteln von Wissen.
Wieso kann er nicht ganz banal ehrliche Antworten geben, wie z. Ich stelle diese Fragen, bzw. Ganz im Gegenteil stelle ich meine Fragen nur noch in diesem Blog weil da freundliche, ehrliche und gute Antworten zu erwarten sind. Ich frage mich nur immer wieder wieso ich ein Leugner sein soll, wo ich doch bloss skeptisch bin? MfG Yeph. Peter Weingarts Artikel reiht sich hier leider ein ausnahmsweise, sonst sind sie viel anregender.
Kein Wunder, dass die klimazwiebel zur Plattform auch derjenigen wird, die nur darauf warten, bis die "Klimablase" endlich platzt und dem ganzen Spuk ein Ende bereitet wird. Eigentlich schade. Viele intelligente Leute sind Christen. Dawkins zufolge eher wenige, aber immerhin. Newton war Alchemist, Darwin Christ.
Lieber Werner Krauss Ich verstehe nicht richtig aus was sie hinaus wollen. Jemand verfasst einen Blogbeitrag zum Thema selbsverschuldeter Klimaskeptizismus. Werner Krauss Ob die Klimablase platzt oder nicht interessiert doch eigentlich niemanden mehr. Doch auch das ist schon gescheitert. Heute erschien bei Enquetewatch ein bemerkenswerter Artikel. Zuerst Klimaschutz, dann Nachhaltigkeit, dann Verteilungsgerechtigkeit und so weiter.
Die gibt es schon, sie basieren aber auf i. ZB die Nullpunktsenergie. Das sind spannende Fragen, an denen ich mich auch gelegentlich abarbeite. Mein Interesse daran ist aber rein hypothetisch. Und es gibt keine, ausser Gedankenspiele. Das kann ich im Traum. No problem there. Will heissen: ich nehme erstmal das Wahrscheinliche an. Das Vermutete hat unklaren Status.
Flucht in Esoterik in case of problems ist eine beliebte Methode. Nicht meine. Quentin Quencher. Ob die Klimablase platzt oder nicht interessiert doch eigentlich niemanden mehr. Das verstehe ich nicht. Wsa meinen Sie mit 'Klimablase'? Das auch nicht. Ein Widerspruch in sich. Wachstum: Welches? Quantitativ physisch? Qualitativ geistig? Zu letzterem gibt es leider wenig Indizien. Wer die Statistiken studiert und extrapoliert, sieht, dass physisches Wachstum in kapitalistischen Wirtschaften bei weitem dominiert.
Mehr Energie. Mehr Ressourcen. Es wird allenfalls relociert. ZB nach China. Unserer Werkbank. Geistiges 'Wachstum' ist unter diesen Randbedingungen ein frommer Mythos. Krauss: Ihren Ausbruch verstehe ich nicht. Es geht hier um die Frage von Sinn und Unsinn naturwissenschaftlich basierter Politikberatung. Hier schieben ein paar Leute ordentlich Frust, weil die Klimaforschung der Politik bislang nichts weiter mitgegeben hat als Emissionshandel oder Karbonsteuer. Da wird das hehre Lied der Wissenschaft gesungen, gleichzeitig aber werden "Nachhaltigkeit" und "Vorsorgeprinzip" hochgehalten.
Das sollte Ihnen eher zu denken geben. Es ist das Wesen des Skeptikers, dies zu verdeutlichen. Sie auch? Es gibt meiner Erfahrung nach sehr viele hart arbeitende Menschen mit guten Absichten. Ist das in ihrer Umgebung anders? Das ist sein gutes Recht. Nehmen Sie doch auch da das Wahrscheinliche an. Lieber Herr Heller, Es ist ja eigentlich noch eine Nummer besser. GW "Das verstehe ich nicht. Versuchen Sie sich einfach mal eine andere Denkweise vorzustellen. Sie meinen, Skeptiker denken nicht weit genug, und Skeptiker denken dies von Leuten die Positionen vertreten, die der Ihren gleichen.
Sollten sie zumindest nicht sein. Wobei unter Leugnen man verschiedenes verstehen kann. Ich sehe leugnen als eine Art Abstreiten von offensichtlichen bzw. Wobei nicht jede offensichtliche bzw. Darwin hat, wenn Sie so wollen, die biblische Geschichte der Entstehung der Arten geleugnet. Ist das so? Wo sind all die Lobbyisten in diesem Bild, die die Fakten verdrehen wie es ihnen in den Kram passt?
Das versuche ich. Die Fakten liegen auf der Hand. Wes Brot ich ess', des Lied ich sing'. Das ist eine ganz andere Kategorie. Kategoriale Fehler sollte man schon erkennen, wo sie sich zeigen, right? In meiner Umgebung gibt es solche Menschen nicht. Ich kenne niemanden der so handelt wie Sie es beschreiben. Ich habe also eine andere Beobachtung. Deshalb nehme ich wenn ich auf andere Menschen treffe, ob privat, beruflich oder im Internet an, dass er mit guten Absichten handelt. Von der Wahrscheinlichkeit her kann ich also niemanden schlechte Absichten unterstellen.
Was bei mir von Ihnen ankommt. Das kommt bei mir egozentrisch und diktatorisch an. Nun das funktioniert nicht, da jeder Mensch das gleiche Recht hat. Da geht es nur um Taktik. Fast wie imm Krieg. In der Wissenschaft geht es um Offenlegung. In der Wirtschaft um Verheimlichung. Profit hat immer Vorfahrt. Lieber Herr GW, da sind Sie ausgewichen.
Ich hatte konkreter gefragt. Eben nach besten Wissen und Gewissen in guter Absicht, aber mit wenig Methodenkenntnis wie Herr Heller eindrucksvoll zeigt. Was gute Absichten sind und welche Handlungen welche Auswirkungen haben kann niemand von uns wissen, da wir die Zukunft nicht kennen. Deshalb empfehle ich da zu trennen. Ansonsten ist es mir unerfindlich, wieso Sie Interesse an meinen Einlassungen entwickeln. Die die ich kenne handeln nach besten Wissen und Gewissen in guter Absicht Auf welcher Insel leben Sie? Da will ich auch hin. Das entspricht ganz und garnicht meiner Erfahrung, wenn man die Floskel 'nach besten Wissen und Gewissen' nordet.
Problematisch wird es beim 'Gewissen'. Letztlich den eigenen Narzissmus. Man gucke nur auf den Strassenverkehr. Ich spreche hier in den Wind King Crimson Schon klar. Sie funktioniert meiner Erfahrung nach im Umgang mit Menschen und in Unternehmen. Nur mit ihr kann das Potential des Menschen voll zum Einsatz kommen. Ich habe das geschrieben, weil es zum Thema passt. In einem Unternehmen trennt man Am besten die Fachberatung von der Entscheidung. Nur dann lassen sich effiziente Entscheidungen auf Grundlage aller Fakten treffen.
Und so ist das Leben in der Demokratie und in Unternehmen, man muss akzeptieren wenn der Entscheider anders entscheidet. Jahrhundert nicht Alles auf den Tisch bringen was im Fullreport steht. Man braucht ein positives Menschenbild. Menschen sind eben komplex und handeln nie gleich, das ist ebenfalls eine Unsicherheit die man aushalten muss. Post a Comment pop-up window,non-moderated. Hans von Storch Kirchenalle 23 Hamburg. Namen, Kontaktdaten o. Die Bereitstellung erfolgt in einem maschinenlesbaren Format.
Unsere Website vewendet Funktionen des Dienstes Twitter. Anbieter ist die Twitter Inc. Unserer Website verwendet Funktionen des sozialen Netzwerkes Pinterest. Anbieter ist die Pinterest Inc. Standort der Server sind die USA. Quelle: Datenschutz-Konfigurator von mein-datenschutzbeauftragter. Chefredakteur: Wolfert von Rahden. Heft 27 : Grenzen der Wissenschaft, S. Volltexte online unter: www. Nach"druck" mit freundlicher Genehmigung durch W. Der Rest folgt zwingend aus dem wissenschaftlich generiertem Wissen.
Vielmehr haben die Produzenten wahren Wissens seit dem Jahrhundert eine herausgehobene Stellung in der Gesellschaft. Sie stellen eine besondere Elite mit besonderen Privilegien, und ihr Einfluss auf die Politik ist eins dieser Privilegien. Aber nirgendwo gibt es grenzenlosen Erfolg. Was sind in diesem Fall die Grenzen? Damals waren das noch vereinzelte Stimmen. Es ist die Unterstellung, dass die Wissenschaftler hier die Klimaforscher aus eigenem Interesse — es geht um politischen Einfluss und Geld — Katastrophenstimmung verbreiten.
Das sollte hierzulande dazu dienen, Gewissheit zu signalisieren und die Dringlichkeit daraus folgender politischer Entscheidungen zu vermitteln. Aber was, wenn die Katastrophe ausblieb, bzw. Gravierender als der Vorgang selbst war der zum Teil kompromittierende Inhalt der Emails.
Wissenschaftliche Politik- bzw. Print this post. Email This BlogThis! Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom. We have scientists and lay people; natural scientists and social scientists. People with different cultural and professional backgrounds. This is a unique resource for a relevant and inspiring discussion.
This resource needs sustainable management by everybody. Therefore we ask to pay attention to these rules: 1. We do not want to see insults, ad hominem comments, lengthy tirades, ongoing repetitions, forms of disrespect to opponents. Also lengthy presentation of amateur-theories are not welcomed. When violating these rules, postings will be deleted. Please limit your contributions to the issues of the different threads. Please give your name or use an alias - comments from "anonymous" should be avoided.
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Recent comments. Lennart Bengtsson: Global climate change and its relevance for a global energy policy. Lennart Bengtsson sent me this manuscript and asked for publication. In a previous thread, we were discussing the claims of desmoblog. McShane and Wyner on climate reconstruction methods. Some readers have expressed their interest in discussion about the recent paper on climate reconstructions methods A statistical analysis of The traditional Japanese self-understanding is based on a place of secret inner minds which seem to be sustained by traditional emotional sensitivity mono-no-ahare.
People can share the meanings of this traditional emotional sensitivity, but the sadness coming from it is confined to each person. This is a kind of fragile relationship between persons with fragile minds that underlies the desire to share the same meanings of existence in this world whilst at the same time keeping apart from each other.
This is an interesting topic for intercultural angeletics. To put this another way, we might say that Japanese people live in mental situations leading them to constant pursuit of the meaning of life and human relations as well as to meta-communication or shared cultural, existential contexts determining their life, human relations and ways of communication. This research, done in , is based on samples of Japanese university students.
His interpretation of these data can lead to misunderstandings in some ways. I try to interpret the data as follows:. Students with an orientation toward strong and constant friendship and with an orientation toward moderate, not strong but also not weak, i. Do you have a cold? In order to understand some problems related with Japanese phatic communication and with intercultural angeletics, we should take into consideration, using this as an example, the Japanese orientation toward or the pursuit of the meaning of good communication, good human relations and good human living.
I discussed the meanings of Japanese blogs, Japanese popular songs, the Japanese sense of privacy as subject matter for communication via SMS or blogs in my papers Nakada , ; Nakada and Capurro What is exactly meant, from the point of view of angeletics, by the original connection between a sender and a receiver? And as you know, his studies on aphasia and agnosia are strongly associated with Jakobson's studies on language and aphasia Merleau-Ponty The phatic function might be considered to be the only function that birds have in common with human beings.
This is very interesting too. Then we human beings and other creatures would have 'the original connection' in the dimension of the phatic function! But each function, understood as a basic mood, makes the world openness or ontological dimension, manifest in different ways, at least in the case of Dasein. According to Luhmann, these three dimensions constitute the concept of communication. In this model there is an original and recursive relation between sender and receiver.
This means, if I understand you correctly, that the phatic function is an essential element of communication because it enables a distinction to be made within the process of communication itself each time when a selection of a meaning takes place. Is my understanding correct? Cybernetics has taught us that every receiver can turn into a sender. This relationship, called the transference phenomenon, takes place from both sides. We can distinguish roughly the following conceptions:.
I shall try to explain this issue later. Each interpretation is based on a process of message transmission. Which means that hermeneutics presupposes angeletics. Hermes is first and foremost a messenger, no less than an interpreter and translator. Of course, a philosophical angeletics is no less ambitious than twentieth century hermeneutic philosophy. We should also make a distinction between an ontic or empirical science of messages and messengers, and a philosophical angeletics. As an empirical science, angeletics is not necessarily reduced to the phenomenon of human communication but can include also all kinds of messages and messengers in the natural sciences.
Let me further explain what I understand by angeletic philosophy and, correspondingly, by a philosophical angeletics, using other Heideggerian themes, without going into a detailed textual analysis or exegesis of Heidegger. As Jean-Luc Nancy, following Heidegger, remarks, philosophy and particularly hermeneutics can be understood as the presentation of a message.
The task of thinking is of the kind of being a messenger Nancy , ; Capurro This can be expressed in simple terms by saying that we human beings are finite beings and are aware of our givenness as well. Sheehan It is in original unity and difference with its Here. The message is the world. Dasein announces its facticity with the phatic dialogical! Humans as the Here of Being are messengers of Being, letting beings be what they are. He writes:. The messenger must already come from the message. But he must also already have gone toward it. Heidegger , , my translation RC.
It is the opposite of the kind of messengers we call ambassadors Botschafter. There is an original unity and difference between Being and Dasein beyond or prior to any ontic separation of sender, message, messenger and receiver. I think that today this double-bind casting of Being is done from a perspective of the digital. Loneliness and anxiety are moods through which, as Heidegger taught us, we discover the truth, that is to say, the finitude of being-in-the-world-with-others. We receive and pass on — and sometimes try to bypass — the message of Being because we are originally the Here of its disclosure.
Although we mostly live immersed in the given openness of everyday existence, exchanging messages and maintaining communication through the phatic function, we have the potentiality to grasp a given historical disclosure of Being as a possible one, that is to say, to change its truth. An example of this at the level of an ontic region is the so-called paradigm change in science where the pre-ontological messages facts that are supposed to prove or falsify a theory are re-interpreted when the theory, with all its biases, pre-conceptions and pre-suppositions, its instruments, institutions, traditions, etc.
This opens the debate as to which are the ethical criteria for making a distinction between a messenger of Being and its opposite a charlatan , with all degrees in between. One important criterion for this difficult ethical task that is always endangered by manipulation and self-deception is whether the messenger maintains critically the openness of Being or proclaims an absolute truth.
Another criterion is whether other messengers also remain critical with regard to the alternative casting of Being as passed on to them, or whether they develop from there, say, a political ideology, a mere worldview or a theoretical dogma I thank Michael Eldred for an enlightening e-mail exchange on this issue. I've struggled with the problem why a lot of people are influenced by fiction or the imaginative representation of the mass media, even though they know the difference between the reality facts and the fictions copies of reality.
This problem can't be solved if we think that facts or messages of some facts are the first original and the mediated portrayal news, dramas are the copies of the first-hand realities. And now I know that we have to think about the presupposition that the message of Being is first and the human messenger is second. This is my personal understanding. Now, I feel that we are close to the core questions of mediated and aesthetic expressions as well as of communication itself. I wonder how we as messengers can send this kind of discussion to a broader range of possible receivers.
I wonder also how we can relate this kind of discussion to the problems of information ethics and robo-ethics in an academic or theoretical as well as in a practical way in order to address difficult matters such as youth's wrong-doings as an expression of the loss of identity, or the loss of sense of fundamental relations between human beings, the poverty of meaning in our minds and so on. I am also thinking about comparing the phatic function in different cultures. Some of my graduate students come from various countries. Hideo Kobayashi says that if we try to make good use of active wisdom, we have to get rid of selfishness.
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This means that the interpretation of some poems or novels can't be separated from the imaginative relations between authors and readers. I remember having heard a story about nodding robots. Even nodding robots enable people to communicate more easily, for example, when speaking on the telephone, even if the nodding robots are just showing fake agreement. It is strange that some autistic patients can communicate with robots more easily than with human beings in some cases, according to studies on human-robot-interaction Feil-Seifer and Mataric In my view, we can explain these phenomena in such a way.
Human communication consists of different levels and in many cases patients with, for example, agnosia, autism or schizophrenia,have difficulty dealing with or understanding information or meanings at the meta-level of communication. I gained this insight from Bin Kimura Kimura and Masakazu Yamazaki Yamazaki ; fake communication with robots might enable patients to deal with the meanings at the meta-level more easily because this sort of communication has a simple structure.
So in this sense, the distinction between fake and real is not so important. Hideo Kobayashi did not study Heidegger or Gadamer but he knew that these questions regarding the relations between texts and readers are important. From this perspective, Socrates is not a sender but a messenger of ideas that come to him from beyond. In the middle of the tale we read about Princess Asagao, daughter of Prince Momozono, brother of the Emperor, who has been courted in vain by Prince Genji, her cousin, from his seventeenth year onward.
Genji is now thirty-three years old. In Chapter 20 Murasaki Shikibu tells the story of the problematic relationship between Genji and Asagao. At the beginning of Chapter 21 she writes:. Lady Asagao expressed great displeasure at this lavishness and, if the presents had been accompanied by letters or poems of at all a familiar or impertinent kind, she would at once have put a stop to these attentions. But for a year past there had been nothing in his conduct to complain of. From time to time he came to the house and enquired after her, but always quite openly.
His letters were frequent and affectionate, but he took no liberties, and what nowadays troubled her chiefly was the difficulty of inventing anything to say in reply. Murasaki Shikibu , Princess Asagao is in trouble. Should she answer or not? Should she continue a formal and, at least for her, meaningless phatic communication? But, of course, it is Murasaki Shikibu herself who gives such an answer by writing this story. This connection between ethics and aesthetics seems to be characteristic of Japanese culture to the present day. The irresistible amorist is a pessimist at heart, weighed down by a sense of misfortune, by the weight of an unhappy karma.
At the age of thirty we find him haunted by the impermanence of worldly things, and on the point of embracing a monastic life. Throughout the story, even in its saddest episodes, there runs a thread of delight in beauty. All the love talk is interspersed with enjoyment of colour, shape, and perfume, and a continual exchange of poetic messages. Sansom , In this sense, we can say that the Here of Being or the structure of a culture is at best understood if it is conceived and lived as a place where messages pass through instead of being blocked. This is one of the lessons of Chinese Taoism.
One is the level of fixed moral rules and the other one is chaos, where such rules are invisible and can be violated Yamaguchi In his pursuit of love affairs, he violates, on the one hand, fixed mores and, on the other, through the connection between ethics and aesthetics, his life reproduces the cultural norms. We are very close to the core of problems from which our mutual understanding and some misunderstanding arose.
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I think that our dialogue itself is a realization of an angeletic relationship and shows the importance of intercultural angeletics. Die Darstellungsfunktion der Sprache. Frankfurt am Main Orig. Das System an der Geschichte aufgezeigt. An Outline. Grundlegungsfragen der Internetethik. Munich , pp. Frankfurt am Main Goffman, Ervin: Frame Analysis. Cambridge MA In ibid. Pfullingen , pp. Tokyo In Thomas A. Sebeok Ed. Cambridge MA , pp. Paris German translation by E. Weinmayr: Zwischen Mensch und Mensch.
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Lacan, Jacques: Le transfert. Livre VIII. Livre VII, Paris Luhmann, Niklas: Soziale Systeme. In Maria Botis Ed. Computer Ethics: Philosophical Enquiry. Athens , pp.
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Sudweeks, H. Hrachovec, and C. Ess Eds. Stanford Shannon, Claude E. It is often also translated as "humanity towards others", but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity". However, this view is challenged and contextualized by Christian B. The society is still active at the beginning of the 21st century, however, now it plays only a ceremonial role.
Members of the Ekpe society are said to act as messengers of the ancestors ikan. The economics of the society is based on paying tribute to the village ancestors. Only males can join, boys being initiated about the age of puberty. Members are bound by oath of secrecy, and fees on entrance are payable. The Ekpe-men are ranked in seven or nine grades, for promotion to each of which fresh initiation ceremonies, fees and oaths are necessary. The society combines a kind of freemasonry with political and lawenforcing aims. For instance any member wronged in an Ekpe district, that is one dominated by the society, has only to address an Ekpe-man or beat the Ekpe drum in the Ekpe-house, or blow Ekpe as it is called, i.
Ekpe members always wear masks when performing their police duties, and although individuals may nonetheless be recognized, fear of retribution from the ikan stops people from accusing those members who may overstep their limits. Formerly the society earned a bad reputation due to what the British viewed as the barbarous customs that were intermingled with its rites. At least in the past, very large sums, sometimes more than a thousand pounds, were paid to attain these upper levels.
The trade-off is that the Amama often control the majority of the community wealth. The Amama often appropriate hundreds of acres of palm trees for their own use and, with the profits they earn, ensure that their sons achieve comparable rank, which has the effect of limiting access to economic gain for other members of the community. The Ekpe society requires that its initiates sponsor feasts for the town, which foster the appearance of the redistribution of wealth by providing the poor with food and drink.
The Ekpe-house, an oblong building like the nave of a church, usually stands in the middle of the villages.
The walls are of clay elaborately painted inside and ornamented with clay figures in relief. Inside are wooden images to which reverence is paid. At Ekpe festivals masked dancers perform. Some of the older masks show horns and filed teeth. Non initiates and women are not allowed to come in contact with the masked dancers. As the religion has spread around the world, the name of this Orisha has varied in different locations, but the beliefs remain similar.
Eshu is known as the "Father who gave birth to Ogboni", and is also thought to be agile and always willing to rise to a challenge. Exu is known by various forms and names in Afro-Brazilian religions. It is, in general, made of rough clay or a simple mound of red clay. They are similar to those found in Nigeria. Ritual foods offered to Exu include palm oil; beans; corn, either in the form of cornmeal or popcorn; farofa, a manioc flour. Four-legged male birds and other animals are offered as sacrifice to Exu.
He appears as a bawdy trickster to foil the colonialist Prospero in Act 3, Scene 3. Names and worship of Esu. Roots and Rooted. Retrieved 1 August Pelton University of California Press. Lopes, Nei Translated by Richard Miller. He is the messenger of Olofi. He differs somewhat from Exu, who in this case is seen as his brother, by having dangerous and less aggressive characteristics. In Afro-Brazilian religion Elegbara is one of the titles of Exu. Adeoye, C. Ibadan: Evans Bros. Nigeria Publishers. Not much has been published on the role that African philosophy can play in thinking about the challenges arising from the impact of ICT on African societies and cultures.
Most research on ICT from an ethical perspective takes its departure from Western philosophy. Let us review very briefly some recent works on African philosophy that are relevant in a negative or positive sense to the subject of this conference. The terms '"information" and "communication" are absent, not even listed in the index. I explicitly acknowledge modern reason without assuming that its manifestations are inviolable, particularly when they serve the purposes of colonialization.
I locate ethical discourse between the particular and the universal. My aim, following the Kantian tradition, is universality, but I am aware, with Aristotle, that moral and political utterances are contingent, subject to different interpretations and applications based on economic interests and power structures. We are all equal, and we are all different. It consists of the principles of sharing and caring for one another.
What is the relation between community and privacy in African information society? What kind of questions do African people ask about the effects of information and communication technology in their everyday lives? Olinger, Johannes Britz and M. They write:. The South African government will attempt to draft a Data Privacy Bill and strike an appropriate balance within the context of African values and an African worldview. The task of such an analysis would be to recognize the uniqueness of African perspectives as well as commonalities with other cultures and their theoretical expressions.
This analysis could lead to an interpretation of ICT within an African horizon and correspondingly to possible vistas for information policy makers, responsible community leaders and, of course, for African institutions. Both Britz and Peter John Lor, former Chief executive of the National Library of South Africa, think that the present north-south flow of information should be complemented by a south-north flow in order to enhance mutual understanding.
Although Africa is still far from a true knowledge society, there is hope of success on certain fronts, such as investment in human capital, stemming the flight of intellectual expertise, and the effective development and maintenance of IT infrastructure Britz et al. This should include leadership, followers, agree-upon principles and values as well as effective interaction among all these elements. A value-based reorientation implies personal awareness, an understanding of information, effective interactions between leaders and their communities without limitations of time and space, and mutual confidence in representative leadership.
There is no such thing as a morally neutral technology. This is not to say just that technologies can be used and misused, but to express the deeper insight that all technologies create new ways of being. They influence our relation with one another, they shape, in a more or less radical way, our institutions, our economies, and our moral values. This is why we should focus on information technology primarily from an ethical perspective. It is up to the African people and their leaders to question how to transform their lives by these technologies. African educational and research institutions should also reflect critically on these issues.
The space of knowledge as a space of freedom is not, as Jollife rightly remarks, an abstract ideal. It has a history that limits its possibilities. It is a space of rules and traditions of specific societies, in dialogue with their foundational myths and utopian aspirations. We are morally responsible not only for our deeds but for our dreams. Information ethics offers an open space to retrieve and debate these information and communication myths and utopias. The main moral responsibility of African academics is to enrich African identities by retrieving and re-creating African information and communication traditions.
Cultural memory must be re-shaped again and again to build the core of a humane society. This means no more and no less than basing morality on memory and communication, thereby establishing information ethics at its core. It is related to our myths and to our dreams. But not for your dreams! The Egyptian god Thot is a symbol of cultural memory as a social task. He is the god of wisdom and writing as well as messenger of the gods, particularly of the sun god Re, and is associated with the goddess Maat, the personification of justice. I think that retrieving the African cultural memory with regard to information and communication norms and traditions is the main information challenge for African information ethics.
It should recognize the different strategies of social inclusion and exclusion in the history of African societies, including traumatic experiences such as slavery and apartheid. Since the emergence of the Internet, this challenge is discussed under the heading of the digital divide. But African information ethics implies much more than just the access and use of this medium. The problem is not a technical one, but one of social exclusion, manipulation, exploitation and annihilation of human beings. It is vital that thought about African information ethics be conducted from this broader perspective.
As readers will discover, this book has a long history. I began writing it clandestinely in during my imprisonment on Robben Island. Without the tireless labor of my old comrades Walter Sisulu and Ahmed Kathrada for reviving my memories, it is doubtful the manuscript would have been completed. The copy of the manuscript which I kept with me was discovered by the authorities and confiscated. However, in addition to their unique calligraphic skills, my co-prisoners Mac Maharaj and Isu Chiba had ensured that the original manuscript safely reached its destination.
I resumed work on it after my release from prison in Since my release, my schedule has been crowded with numerous duties and responsibilities, which have left me little free time for writing. Fortunately, I have had the assistance of dedicated colleagues, friends, and professionals who have helped me complete my work at last, and to whom I would like to express my appreciation. I am deeply grateful to Richard Stengel who collaborated with me in the creation of this book, providing invaluable assistance in editing and revising the first parts and in the writing of the latter parts.
I recall with fondness our early morning walks in the Transkei and the many hours of interviews at Shell House in Johannesburg and my home in Houghton. A special tribute is owed to Mary Pfaff who assisted Richard in his work. I want to thank especially my comrade Ahmed Kathrada for the long hours spent revising, correcting, and giving accuracy to the story. Many thanks to my ANC office staff, who patiently dealt with the logistics of the making of this book, but in particular to Barbara Masekela for her efficient coordination.
Likewise, Iqbal Meer has devoted many hours to watching over the business aspects of the book. I am grateful to my editor, William Phillips of Little, Brown, who has guided this project from early on, and edited the text, and to his colleagues Jordan Pavlin, Steve Schneider, Mike Mattil, and Donna Peterson. I would also like to thank Professor Gail Gerhart for her factual review of the manuscript. The only rivalry between different clans or tribes in our small world at Qunu was that between the Xhosas and the amaMfengu, a small number of whom lived in our village.
AmaMfengu, who were not originally Xhosa-speakers, were refugees from the iMfecane and were forced to do jobs that no other African would do. They worked on white farms and in white businesses, something that was looked down upon by the more established Xhosa tribes. When I was a boy, amaMfengu were the most advanced section of the community and furnished our clergymen, policemen, teachers, clerks, and interpreters. They were also amongst the first to become Christians, to build better houses, and to use scientific methods of agriculture, and they were wealthier than their Xhosa compatriots.
There still existed some hostility toward amaMfengu, but in retrospect, I would attribute this more to jealousy than tribal animosity. This local form of tribalism that I observed as a boy was relatively harmless. At that stage, I did not witness nor even suspect the violent tribal rivalries that would subsequently be promoted by the white rulers of South Africa. My father did not subscribe to local prejudice toward amaMfengu and befriended two amaMfengu brothers, George and Ben Mbekela. The brothers were an exception in Qunu: they were educated and Christian.
George, the older of the two, was a retired teacher and Ben was a police sergeant. Despite the proselytizing of the Mbekela brothers, my father remained aloof from Christianity and instead reserved his own faith for the great spirit of the Xhosas, Qamata, the God of his fathers. My father was an unofficial priest and presided over ritual slaughtering of goats and calves and officiated at local traditional rites concerning planting, harvest, birth, marriage, initiation ceremonies, and funerals.
He did not need to be ordained, for the traditional religion of the Xhosas is characterized by a cosmic wholeness, so that there is little distinction between the sacred and the secular, between the natural and the supernatural. While the faith of the Mbekela brothers did not rub off on my father, it did inspire my mother, who became a Christian. In fact, Fanny was literally her Christian name, for she had been given it in church. It was due to the influence of the Mbekela brothers that I myself was baptized into the Methodist, or Wesleyan Church as it was then known, and sent to school.
The brothers would often see me playing or minding sheep and come over to talk to me. One day, George Mbekela paid a visit to my mother. But she did relay it to my father, who despite — or perhaps because of — his own lack of education immediately decided that his youngest son should go to school. The schoolhouse consisted of a single room, with a Western-style roof, on the other side of the hill from Qunu.
I was seven years old, and on the day before I was to begin, my father took me aside and told me that I must be dressed properly for school. Until that time, I, like all the other boys in Qunu, had worn only a blanket, which was wrapped around one shoulder and pinned at the waist. My father took a pair of his trousers and cut them at the knee. He told me to put them on, which I did, and they were roughly the correct length, although the waist was far too large.
My father then took a piece of string and cinched the trousers at the waist. On the first day of school, my teacher, Miss Mdingane, gave each of us an English name and said that from thenceforth that was the name we would answer to in school. This was the custom among Africans in those days and was undoubtedly due to the British bias of our education. The education I received was a British education, in which British ideas, British culture, British institutions, were automatically assumed to be superior. There was no such thing as African culture. Africans of my generation — and even today — generally have both an English and an African name.
Whites were either unable or unwilling to pronounce an African name, and considered it uncivilized to have one. That day, Miss Mdingane told me that my new name was Nelson. Why she bestowed this particular name upon me I have no idea. Perhaps it had something to do with the great British sea captain Lord Nelson, but that would be only a guess. My later notions of leadership were profoundly influenced by observing the regent and his court. I watched and learned from the tribal meetings that were regularly held at the Great Place. These were not scheduled, but were called as needed, and were held to discuss national matters such as a drought, the culling of cattle, policies ordered by the magistrate, or new laws decreed by the government.
All Thembus were free to come — and a great many did, on horseback or by foot. They were wise men who retained the knowledge of tribal history and custom in their heads and whose opinions carried great weight. Letters advising these chiefs and headmen of a meeting were dispatched from the regent, and soon the Great Place became alive with important visitors and travelers from all over Thembuland. From that point on, he would not utter another word until the meeting was nearing its end. Everyone who wanted to speak did so. It was democracy in its purest form.
There may have been a hierarchy of importance among the speakers, but everyone was heard, chief and subject, warrior and medicine man, shopkeeper and farmer, landowner and laborer. People spoke without interruption and the meetings lasted for many hours. The foundation of self-government was that all men were free to voice their opinions and equal in their value as citizens. Women, I am afraid, were deemed second-class citizens. A great banquet was served during the day, and I often gave myself a bellyache by eating too much while listening to speaker after speaker. I noticed how some speakers rambled and never seemed to get to the point.
I grasped how others came to the matter at hand directly, and who made a set of arguments succinctly and cogently. I observed how some speakers used emotion and dramatic language, and tried to move the audience with such techniques, while other speakers were sober and even, and shunned emotion. At first, I was astonished by the vehemence — and candor — with which people criticized the regent. He was not above criticism — in fact, he was often the principal target of it. But no matter how flagrant the charge, the regent simply listened, not defending himself, showing no emotion at all.
The meetings would continue until some kind of consensus was reached. They ended in unanimity or not at all. Unanimity, however, might be an agreement to disagree, to wait for a more propitious time to propose a solution. Democracy meant all men were to be heard, and a decision was taken together as a people. Majority rule was a foreign notion. A minority was not to be crushed by a majority.
Only at the end of the meeting, as the sun was setting, would the regent speak. His purpose was to sum up what had been said and form some consensus among the diverse opinions. But no conclusion was forced on people who disagreed. If no agreement could be reached, another meeting would be held. At the very end of the council, a praise-singer or poet would deliver a panegyric to the ancient kings, and a mixture of compliments to and satire on the present chiefs, and the audience, led by the regent, would roar with laughter.
As a leader, I have always followed the principles I first saw demonstrated by the regent at the Great Place. I have always endeavored to listen to what each and every person in a discussion had to say before venturing my own opinion. Oftentimes, my own opinion will simply represent a consensus of what I heard in the discussion.
He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind. It was at Mqhekezweni that I developed my interest in African history. I learned of these men from the chiefs and headmen who came to the Great Place to settle disputes and try cases. Though not lawyers, these men presented cases and then adjudicated them. Some days, they would finish early and sit around telling stories. I hovered silently and listened.
Their speech was formal and lofty, their manner slow and unhurried, and the traditional clicks of our language were long and dramatic. At first, they shooed me away and told me I was too young to listen. Later they would beckon me to fetch fire or water for them, or to tell the women they wanted tea, and in those early months I was too busy running errands to follow their conversation.
But, eventually, they permitted me to stay, and I discovered the great African patriots who fought against Western domination. My imagination was fired by the glory of these African warriors. The most ancient of the chiefs who regaled the gathered elders with ancient tales was Zwelibhangile Joyi, a son from the Great House of King Ngubengcuka. Chief Joyi was so old that his wrinkled skin hung on him like a loose-fitting coat.
His stories unfolded slowly and were often punctuated by a great wheezing cough, which would force him to stop for minutes at a time. Chief Joyi was the great authority on the history of the Thembus in large part because he had lived through so much of it. But as grizzled as Chief Joyi often seemed, the decades fell off him when he spoke of the young impis, or warriors, in the army of King Ngangelizwe fighting the British. In pantomime, Chief Joyi would fling his spear and creep along the veld as he narrated the victories and defeats. When he first spoke of non-Xhosa warriors, I wondered why.
I was like a boy who worships a local soccer hero and is not interested in a national soccer star with whom he has no connection. Only later was I moved by the broad sweep of African history, and the deeds of all African heroes regardless of tribe. Chief Joyi railed against the white man, who he believed had deliberately sundered the Xhosa tribe, dividing brother from brother. The white man had told the Thembus that their true chief was the great white queen across the ocean and that they were her subjects.
But the white queen brought nothing but misery and perfidy to the black people, and if she was a chief she was an evil chief. Chief Joyi said that the African people lived in relative peace until the coming of the abelungu, the white people, who arrived from across the sea with fire-breathing weapons.
Once, he said, the Thembu, the Mpondo, the Xhosa, and the Zulu were all children of one father, and lived as brothers. The white man shattered the abantu, the fellowship, of the various tribes. The white man was hungry and greedy for land, and the black man shared the land with him as they shared the air and water; land was not for man to possess. I did not yet know that the real history of our country was not to be found in standard British textbooks, which claimed South Africa began with the landing of Jan Van Riebeeck at the Cape of Good Hope in For this purpose, we have a useful historical starting point.
Europe and the United States experienced in the 17th and 18th century along with the Bourgeois Revolutions a breakthrough of new ideas of public order and of human self-description. The philosophical question that will explore and illuminate this historical context is: How was this possible? In the first part of the book we will investigate on three new phenomena that marked the beginning of western political modernity. Individuality, aesthetics and publicity and their interrelations show in various fields philosophy, economy, law, pedagogic, warfare a new self-understanding of human beings as citizens that was accompanied by a strong need of individual self-expression.
There are strong indications that in analogy to this need a new cognitive ability emerged, a specific way of thinking about oneself and society. By then we switch to the philosophical analysis of the historical findings. The fundamental forms of human thinking, perception, action and knowledge are judgments. But how can we extract a concept of political reasoning from an opus that only deals with aesthetics and teleology?
Some authors tried to identify the reflective judgment with common sense, more precisely the ability to understand and to recreate common sense. Kant indeed explained also the common sense based on reflective judgment. But this cognitive competency of reflective judging was far much bigger and richer in consequences.
As the mentioned authors focused on the simpler concept of common sense, they did not need to dig into the more complex topics of the CoJ, namely beauty, the sublime, the concept of ends and the whole context of Kantian critical philosophy. At the same time their tentative philosophies of common sense did not provide more than common places. Here we will develop a new approach that starts with the entire CoJ and that takes into account the whole system of Kantian philosophy in order to identify a sort of judgment that has a quality which can legitimately be called political.
For this purpose, we have to break up systematically the methodical shell of the CoJ. We have developed a counter-method that consists in a controlled re-mixing of certain kinds of judgments that Kant had analyzed and kept pure. The guideline for the re-mixing process of judgments on beauty, sublime and ends is the definition of the unity of political judgment as reflexion on public order. This formula describes the unity of reflective-individual judgements within the medium of an imagined public space on imagined public orders. The formula by itself is empty and must be filled with aesthetical and teleological concepts.
Within this process, the aesthetic concepts of beauty and sublime take over the function of labelling the actual status and condition of the individual. They valuate the situation and feeling of the judging individual. Those semantic allocations must be connected to the syntactical concepts of individuality and order so that it is defined who is reflecting on what. The permutation of possible combinations of semantic and syntactical concepts along the guideline of the unity of political judgments results in a complete set of fundamental concepts for the political judgment, namely the subjective concepts of justice, time, body and might.
These concepts differ widely from their homophones in common speech. Many examples illustrate how the concepts of beauty and sublime systematically fill the political judgement with familiar contents if they are properly combined with ideas of ends. On this basis, we can go further and define more accurately and convincingly than ever before the difference between the moral and the political subject within the unity of the individual. We will find out that the individual is a polycentric formation of qualitatively different subjects from which each is in charge of a specific form of judgement.
With this approach, it becomes even possible to identify the religious momentum within political judgments and to define the conditions for the compatibility of moral and religious ideas with the political quality of the judgment. In the chapter Hypostasis of Identity, we will try to locate the concept of political subjectivity as a Second Tradition of Philosophy of Consciousness that systematically adopts the philosophical heritage of Enlightenment and especially the Kantian concept of subjectivity. In a genealogy of theorems of subjectivity, the concept of political subjectivity will take its legitimate place between social philosophy and the theories of society.
Against the predominance of communication theories in social sciences that avoid any reference to some kind of subject of reason we will show that the Kantian philosophy of subjectivity is far from being exhausted and that in can still tell us a lot about the anthropology of politics. The philosophy of Enlightenment had a much less monolithic image of the subject of reason than postmodernist authors wanted to make us believe.
After this philosophical polemic, the concept of political subjectivity will be tested with an interesting sociological and psychological phenomenon first described by Max Weber, namely charisma. The results of empirical research on charisma are re-evaluated in a perspective of political subjectivity. The result is a fundamentally different understanding of charisma because for the first time we can ask what makes the political subject receptive for charisma? And we will see how the charismatic field is not an emanation of the charismatic object or person but created by the reflecting subjects.
The book is wrapped up by a chapter on the Emergence of Political Subjectivity. In the first part of the book we took the historical constellation in early modern Europe as a starting point of our investigation because we felt that a new cognitive quality made surface in large parts of the population. But what was the principle of generation of this emerging power of judgment? Is there only one way of emergence of political subjectivity? The answer is no and it is provided by a general theorem on the emergence of political subjectivity that can also explain why political subjectivity could appear in Greek antiquity and disappear again for two millennia.
But there are many other possible scenarios for the emergence of political subjectivity. We could show that it is not a robust anthropological equipment but something that can disappear quite easily as history has proven more than once. It is easy to destroy and difficult to cultivate. Among the many possibilities that are part of human nature political subjectivity is one of the most challenging and demanding. The Emergence of the Political Triad Political Subjectivity as Fundament to the Political An Attempt to Define the Democratic Personality This is not the story of a smooth highroad to success but of a new strand of philosophy coming down a bumpy road in a soapbox, often shaken by the rejection of others and by my own ignorance.
In retro- spect, it's a miracle that I was able to raise the initial funds for this huge project, my dissertation in political science see Preface to the 1st German edition. Consequently, after its completion in nobody was interested in the results. As there is no effective competition about ideas and theories in German social sciences and humanities but all the more about social and intellectual conformity , the present work, a bulk of groundbreaking new concepts and methodical innovations, never got a chance.
Every move I made was stalled. I couldn't get an assistant post also because my own doctoral supervisor preferred to promote anyone around but me , I was refused every post-doctoral scholarship I applied for and even all academic publishers I approached turned down the offer of making this ambitious work of mine public. Eventually, in , I became a publisher myself and this book was the first I published.
Yet, this was an exception. I always believed in my first scientific monograph as a truly original achievement in philo- sophy, but I had to face the possibility that it would not be understood and even less accepted during my lifetime see Introduction. Now, more than twenty years later and a life completely outside of academia except for three years as the co-founder of a university, the European College of Liberal Arts, today Bard College Berlin I came to understand that my description of the 'fourth kernel of subjectivity', the political one, was only an epiphenomenon to a much bigger discovery that I was originally not aware of.
In October , I published the treatise Laws of Singularity about how any future artificial superintelligence will neces- sarily be controlled by laws of rationality that can be deduced from Immanuel Kant's critical philosophy. You can also read them as a blueprint for achieving such a technical feat. I spelled them out and it was easy because I still have access to this practical understanding of Kantian philo- sophy that I had gained in my earlier studies on political subjectivity. The subdivision of subjectivity was once more only instrumental to the task of describing something else, this time the rules that will govern future technological singularities.
Being fascinated by this prospect, I completely overlooked the importance of the tool that I had used and that had even been sharpened in the process. It was not until a friend of mine, an architect, read the Laws in early and mentioned that it reminded him of something Edmund Husserl had written about the possibility that the subject, as the bearer of reason and consciousness, might not be in one piece, not one homogenous entity, but a composition of several entities of subjectivity.
My friend couldn't re- member where he had read this, but I quickly found out that this is just a few paragraphs in Husserl's last and unfinished book from , The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. I myself, as transcendental ego, 'constitute' the world, and at the same time, as soul, I am a human ego in the world. The understanding which prescribes its law to the world is my transcendental understanding, and it forms me, too, according to these laws; yet it is my the philosopher's psychic faculty.
Can the ego which posits itself, of which Fichte speaks, be anything other than Fichte's own? If this is supposed to be not an actual absurdity but a paradox that can be resolved, what other method could help us achieve clarity than the interrogation of our inner experience and an analysis carried out within its framework? If one is to speak of a transcendental 'consciousness in general,' if I, this singular, individual ego, cannot be the bearer of the nature-constituting understanding, must I not ask how I can have, beyond my individual self-consciousness, a general, a trans- cendental-intersubjective consciousness?
And we know for fact from his estate that Husserl had long since walked into another direction, namely a mysterious form of transcendental intersubjectivity that was supposed to ultimately buttress his phenomenology and that nobody seems to have understood to date. Suddenly, I understood that I had inadvertently worked on or with; as an instrument a subject that is not monocentric any more, but decidedly polycentric. And that until Husserl's essay nobody had tried to do so, even less since then. At that very moment, I decided to finally focus on exactly that and only that.
I started writing You are Many. The Polycentric Subject. In parallel, I prepared the translation and publication of the present work Political Subjectivity in English language. It is nothing less than the origin of it all, starting with the one kernel of subjectivity that nobody has ever thought of before apart from Hannah Arendt and a few more people who had at least an inkling that there could be something like an 'organ of political thinking' hidden in our mind. The great advantage now is that we have already one kernel of subjectivity that is described completely and in much detail.
You will see that this is almost a euphemism, given the complexity and depth of analysis that lies ahead of you. And I firmly believe that there is nothing to add. Now, having learned the noble craft of excavating kernels of subject- tivity within the field of politics, I feel prepared to do the same with the three other kernels, which Kant has already described, at least partly and implicitly. To an extent I had already begun this endeavor with writing Laws of Singularity.
But we must dig much deeper from here, because Kant's philosophy, especially the transcendental part of it, i. The three kernels of subjectivi- ty theoretical, practical moral and aesthetic , meanwhile, have stayed widely undisclosed, just like the political one that I could only give birth to by applying a resolute 'counter-method' to Kant's approach see Chapter B. Strangely enough, it will be the achievements of the discovery of political subjectivity that serve as a guide and a rope when digging into the fundaments of three more forms of subjectivity.
This said, please feel encouraged to read You are Many. The Polycentric Subject first if you want to study the general method of 'subjectivity debunking'. Otherwise, the present study will make you acquainted with this method in depth and in detail. In this case, I hope you will enjoy the journey as much as I did when I originally wrote this.
Al- though it was supposed to deliver just a rough translation, we were amazed at the breathtaking quality of it. And honestly, this English edition of my equally ambitious and voluminous doctoral thesis would not have seen the light of day without this excellent automated preparatory work. Many of the quotes and references herein would be useless without translation.
Therefore, I translated non-English titles of papers and books between bracket '' into English. Yet, whenever available, I referred to the English translation of the respective paper or book. In this latter case, the page numbers for the originally German or French edition are only an approximate indication for the English one.
One cannot thank Guyer enough for it. The improvements compared to earlier translations are absolutely critical and I frankly didn't believe that this level of accuracy in the translation of Kantian philosophy could ever be attained. The corresponding page numbers of the English editions of both works in Guyer's translation are indicated in square brackets. See CPJ, transl. Preface to the nd, Updated and Extended German Digital Edition, A lot has happened since the first edition in , and even more so since I submitted my dissertation entitled Political Subjectivity in Munich in Everything around us has changed and the course of events has been full of crises, disasters and wars.
But one thing has hardly changed at all, namely the text of this book. I was amazed at how little I had to edit, correct or supplement the original text in That was no different this time. The deviations from the manuscript of my doctoral thesis seventeen years ago comprise just three added paragraphs, a somewhat brisker and cheekier introduction, indexes of persons and subjects and of course the two forewords.
That's it. I have nothing to complain about either the con- tent or my written expression at that time. As I said, I'm surprised myself, but if you can't improve something good any more, then you should just leave it at that. As a bonus material I have added the essay What is a Democrat? Then there is the important reference to the graphic overview of the political subject with all its conceptual organs at the beginning of the study. This graphic was hidden in the printed edition of the book on the last page, where hardly anyone discovered it.
It is an enormously helpful topographical map for orientation in the vast foundation of political philosophy that we will be exploring. Not only because I like the title of this article so much, but because the reviewer has well reco- gnized the militant, aggressive and provocative nature of this new political philosophy. Totalitarianism and the collective collapse of moral judgment are part of the signature of this epoch.
How it could have happened that in a relatively short period of time think of the twelve years of National Socialism in Germany the moral orientation system of an entire generation could be suspended is still in need of explanation today. Even after the totalitarianism of the 20th century, massacres and atrocities continue. Humanity could learn nothing from the past because it still misunderstood the essence of politics.
Under the guidance of Immanuel Kant and Hannah Arendt, the author returns to the concept of polis. The human capacity to generate different forms of living-together has become 'mysterious to us since antiquity, when it lost its self-evidence'. An important part of the support was immaterial, because without the trust expressed in this support, I probably would not have had the courage to tackle such an extensive and complex project.
I dropped a first version in which I wanted to examine the form of political judgment under the fascinating title Critique of Form in an abstract way that would still have impressed the young Hegel. Instead, I took a more historically and sociologically grounded approach. I regretted that very much at first. But then the collection and rearrangement of the rich material from the 18th century and the foundation of my philosophical theses on it gave me so much joy that the time of writing my dissertation between summer and spring became one of the most beautiful times of my life.
This work is marked by the impression of personal encounters with the now deceased sociologist Niklas Luhmann. The open-mindedness and creativity of this man had convinced me that I had to deal thoroughly with the theoretical design of his systems theory. With its help I developed the ambition to create a new basis for political philosophy, which finally makes it independent of moral philosophy, state theories and practical teachings for witty heads of state.
This scholar, the first doctoral student of Dieter Henrich, a long-standing pen pal of Albert Einstein and John von Neumann, who knew how to combine spirit and action throughout his life, occasionally introduced me to reading Immanuel Kant's works during his teaching at the Geschwister-Scholl- Institute for Political Science in Munich in In doing so, he opened up natural philosophy and epistemology to me.
Instead of encouraging me to research between the lines, he has shown me the richness that lies unseen in the open of the lines of the Kantian texts.
The corresponding hermeneutic rule required an untiring study of the sources. I hope that the inevitably resulting thoroughness has had a beneficial influence on the book I would like to dedicate to him. From German unification together with the preceding civil protests in the GDR to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the peaceful abolition of the apartheid minority rule in South Africa and finally the Arab Spring or from the violence and bloodshed in China on Tiananmen Square via ethnically fanatical nationalism in former Yugoslavia to Islamic terrorism in Algeria: For better or for worse, there are many reasons and current occasions to once again think about what historically powerful forces are secretly at work when people as political subjects try to determine and change the public order of rights, customs and the distribution of goods.
Political philosophy should feel called upon to finally get to the bottom of the pressing question: What is political? But the time for simple answers is over. We have been fobbed off for too long with trivial and less plausible definitions of the political.
This book sets a new level, both in terms of the question and the answer. The goal is a new theory of reflection for political science. The approach being developed here is so radically new, so thorough and so incredibly complex that the simple ideas and old knowledge of politics will probably be the greatest obstacle to understanding the new that will be discovered here. For the first time it becomes clear that not only physics, biology and mathematics can be highly demanding, complicated and difficult to repre- sent.
The foundations of political philosophy exposed here are at least as great a challenge for the mind and imagination. The results claim to be as universally valid as the great scientific models. That is why I would like to call the following treatise with a wink the first theory of relativity of politics. Who is this book written for? These Traditionalists can hardly accept the consequences of the following considerations, for here a philosophical axe is put to the root of their political worldview, which was always only a moral one.
We'll see what a huge difference this makes. Then there are the Progressives, who have extensive social science and perhaps even philosophical knowledge, but who, unlike the traditionalists, are already completely cut off from the fascinating intellectual world and the subtle questions of Western metaphysics.
They believe in the linguistic turn and consider all problems of philosophy as problems of everyday language. Or they still believe that reason itself is the greatest crime of Western philosophy, like the last postmodernists in the wake of Nietzsche, Heidegger and Foucault. With this simple intellectual equipment, they will hardly be able to follow our ascent to the intellectual plateaus of Leibniz, Baumgarten, Shaftesbury, Smith and Kant, let alone enjoy it. Finally, there are the Liberals, especially those of Anglo-American breed. Admittedly, they have a really good point.
Because they will ask why they actually need all this philosophical hair-splitting. It was quite simple to become a political subject; their forefathers and -mothers showed it in the bourgeois revolutions. That's all right. But I maintain that the Liberals have still not understood what really happened back then and how modern liberal-political thinking actually came about. Liberals take the external historical events of that epoch, in which they were still successful revolutionaries, as proof of the universal validity of liberalism and remain to this day superficial in the philosophical justification of it in an almost frivolous way.
They prefer to do this with moral-philosophical arguments, which are often naive, alien to life or simply counterfactual. Only when they embark on our expedition to find the true origin of their political worldview and explore how great the theoretical achievement was that implicitly lay in the revolutionary practice of their founders, will the Liberals make in the following chapters the greatest find in their history.
This is the paradoxical challenge of this book: it is written for well- trained philosophers, social scientists and intellectuals in terms of style, argumentation and information density; but most of them will fail. There- fore, it is secretly aimed at the thirst for knowledge of young students, researchers and thinkers of all kinds. I have observed this in the works of some of the authors that will be mentioned here. The academic commentary literature manages on a regular basis to completely overgrow the original work and make it practically disappear. I hope that my philosophical work will be spared this fate.
Therefore, the answer to the question for whom this book is written is quite simple in the end: for the future. The human capacity to generate different forms of coexistence has been a mystery to us since antiquity, when it lost its naturalness. Consequently, the political has attracted the attention of important thinkers. With the philosophical, theological and scientific terms at their disposal, they tried to make certain orders the epitome of the political.