On Cosmopolitanism

  • Ten Theses on Cosmopolitanism

  • There exists a real humanistic universalism of differences (including sexual differences). Human difference is a sine qua non of human existence. I believe that these differences have to be a key subject for the human studies.
    • There are perpetual conflicts about these differences (including sexual differences), the source of much human suffering. There is conflict and disagreement about these differences everywhere. They are not likely to go away; but they can be reduced.
    •  Cosmopolitanism stresses the struggles to live with the recognition of these differences (including sexual differences) of others as being crucial to what counts as being human.
    •  This recognition moves across private and pubic worlds
    •  Cosmopolitan suggests cultures of multiplicities  – and the problem is grasping the relationships between these There can be relations of hostilities, dominance, assimilation, accommodation or creative innovation. (Thes era my terms for the time being – September 2012)—-  Benhabib stuff see below
    •  Cosmopolitanism suggests a social psychology of empathy, communication, dialogue and an ability to live with these differences (including sexual differences) through an expanding  ‘circle of others’ spreading across the globe: at its extreme it requires an understanding of the flow of recognition, role-taking and reflexivity leading to dialogue, empathy, sympathy, compassion and care into a full blown Caring Cosmopolitanism.
    •  Cosmopolitanism suggests a form of society, social structure or social solidarity where a reciprocal inter and intra cultural awareness of differences ((including sexual differences) becomes enshrined in human rights, laws, institutions and everyday practices. But it also suggests a sociology of cosmopolitanism which recognizes only too clearly the problems with seeking common bonds and collective life in a world of individual differences.
    • Cosmopolitanism suggests a politics of human differences (including sexual differences) connecting local political struggles with global ones. It suggests a global civic culture… and it bridges world stages with local stages – through ideas like democracy, citizenship, international law, global human rights, universal values and grounded ethics. Cosmopolitanism suggests a politics and  an ethics which might bring a moral world community and a concern for what Martha Nussbaum has called a ‘decent world culture’. (Nussbaum, 2006:1317)
    •  Cosmopolitanism suggests an attitude of ‘openness’ and ‘tolerance’ towards difference (including sexual differences), which will often accompanied by a sense of irony, paradox, contradiction and contingency as a fuller appreciation of the different kinds of humanity is developed. It enables us to recognize multiple stances in the world and position ourselves in relationship to them. It tries to avoid outright condemnation, adopting an appreciative stance (even as they are our enemies).
    •  Cosmopolitanism is there to assert our ideals: it may be utopian. But it highlights out rich humanities: common and universal, different and unique

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