On the way to global ethics? Cosmopolitanism, ethical selfhood and otherness

Odysseos, Louiza (2003) On the way to global ethics? Cosmopolitanism, ethical selfhood and otherness. European Journal of Political Theory, 2 (2). 183 - 207. ISSN 1474-8851

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In response to varied processes of globalization, the cosmopolitan perspective has rightly insisted that discussion of global ethics ought to be taken seriously. This article agrees with cosmopolitan theorists in calling for the implementation of a perspective that can address the other outside of narrow communal determinations. Yet it also advances a critique of their reliance on legalist instruments such as human rights, contending that the bestowal of human rights does not necessarily or directly lead to an ethics of inclusiveness. While the attribution of universal humanity to all may appear as an appropriate means of extending ethical regardedness to all others, this does not immediately follow from such a legalist gesture. Any attempts to articulate a truly global ethics must begin by questioning the distinct communal sensibilities which, by the very fact of their distinctiveness, always already contain within them a ‘xenophobic’ element that cannot be transcended solely by the bestowal of human rights or other such instruments. This article, therefore, discusses a different kind of ‘cosmopolitan’ disposition, one which is based on the recovery of an ethical selfhood that understands itself as an opening to otherness. For this task, it explores the phenomenological analyses of German philosopher Martin Heidegger and specifically his examination of how communication can be cultivated through hearing and silence.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Depositing User: Louiza Odysseos
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:26
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2012 09:13
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/12488
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