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ERIC Number: EJ1087514
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8249
The Cosmopolitan Turn and the Primacy of Difference
Zhao, Guoping
Journal of Philosophy of Education, v49 n4 p510-524 Nov 2015
Cosmopolitanism is commonly understood as a universal norm--moral and political--in the light of enduring differences, and for that reason it has historically embodied a seemingly inevitable dilemma of universality/particularity. Since its inception, cosmopolitan thinkers have struggled with the dilemma and have attempted ways to address the question of difference so that the universal norm and obligation can be justified and defended. One of the most common strategies is to give primacy to universal humanity and override difference; another recent strategy is to give up universalism to take difference seriously and frame difference in agonistic terms. I argue in this article that both strategies are inadequate and unsatisfactory in conceptualising and dealing with difference. Briefly tracing some of the major cosmopolitan approaches, I argue that the conceptualisation of difference and human subjectivity is at the core of the problem as well as the solution. Drawing on Lévinas and his emphasis on the primacy of difference in the constitution of human subjectivity and community, I propose a new understanding of the self and the Other for the success of the cosmopolitan project.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A