Monday, February 20, 2023

Afterword to Scanlon's "Why Does Inequality Matter?"

Tim Scanlon has uploaded an afterword to his great book "Why Does Inequality Matter?" (Oxford University Press, 2018): 

"Afterword" (at

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Responses to Habermas's "A Plea for Negotiations" [updated]

Responses to Jürgen Habermas's "Ein Plädoyer für Verhandlungen" (Süddeutsche Zeitung, 15-02-2023):

Atilio A. Borón - "The West shows Jürgen Habermas a red card", Time News, online 20-06-2023.

Franz-Josef Overbeck – "Die Ursachen bekämpfen. Katholische Friedensethik nach der Zeitenwende“, Herder Korrespondenz, 5/2023, pp. 26-29.

Stefan Müller-Doohm – "Benjamin Gollme im Gespräch mit Stefan Müller-Doohm" [Interview], Kontrafunk, 31-03-2023

Stefan Müller-Doohm - "Die Gewalt muss ein Ende haben", Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 16-03-2023.

Konrad Schuller - "Willst du Frieden, sprich vom Krieg", Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 12-03-2023.

Oskar Lafontaine - "Wir brauchen eine neue Friedensbewegung", Die Weltwoche, 09-03-2023.

Thomas Ribi - "Der unvernünftige Hüter der Vernunft", Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 09-03-2023.

Stephan Hebel - "Keine simplen Gleichungen", Frankfurter Rundschau, 07-03-2023.

Helmut K. Anheier - "Germany’s Self-Centered War Debate", Project Syndicate, online 28-02-2023.

Robert Treichler - "Was gegen „Frieden“ spricht", Profil, 26-02-2023.

Michael Ignatieff - "Only brute determination on the battlefield will win the war", The Globe and Mail, 25-02-2023.

Bascha Mika - "Ukraine-Krieg und Pazifismus: Eine Zäsur, auch im Denken", Frankfurter Rundschau 24-02-2023.

Gerd Koenen - "Wer den Blick senkt, hat schon verloren", Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 24-02-2023.

Heinrich August Winkler - "Es geht auch um unsere Freiheit" (interview), Handelsblatt, 24-02-2023.

Lennart Laberenz - "Ukraine-Krieg: Die Verblendung der deutschen Linken", Der Freitag online 23-02-2023.

Peter Neumann - "Seine Sorge", Die Zeit, 23-02-2023.

Thomas Zaugg - "Die Friedensbewegten – festgefahren im geschichtspolitischen Dilemma", Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 23-02-2023.

Armin Nassehi - "Der falsche Gegensatz", Die Zeit online, 21-02-2023.

Martin Schulze Wessel - "Imperium oder nichts", Die Zeit online 21-02-2023.

Andrea Gawrich & Anna Veronika Wendland - "Wo Habermas irrt", Salonkolumnisten (blog), 21-02-2023.

Stefan Müller-Doohm - "Er kann gar nicht anders, als sich zu äußern" (interview), Frankfurter Rundschau 21-02-2023.

Peter Strasser - "Der Krieg als Denkprobe", Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 20-02-2023.

Herfried Münkler - Das sind Schlachten wie 1915 bis 1919“ (interview), Die Welt, 20-02-2023.

Mathias Brodkorb - "Das Orakel vom Starnberger See", Cicero online, 19-02-2023

Robin Alexander - "Wen man nicht als rechts diffamieren kann, den macht man lächerlich", Die Welt online, 18-02-2023.

Reinhard Schulze - "Krieg und Gegenkrieg – auch eine Antwort auf Jürgen Habermas",, 18-02-2023.

Robin Alexander - "Respekt für Habermas", Die Welt, 18-02-2023.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit & Claus Leggewie - "Habermas unterschlägt die Risiken", taz - die Tageszeitung, 18-02-2023.

Kurt Kister - "Du hältst es nicht aus. Debatte um Jürgen Habermas und den Krieg", Süddeutsche Zeitung, 18-02-2023.

Wolfgang Ischinger - "Bei allem Respekt für Jürgen Habermas" (interview), Die Welt online, 17-02-2023.

Mladen Gladic - "Die Offensive der Verhandlungsfreunde", Die Welt, 17-02-2023.

Jan C. Behrends - "Lauter blinde Flecken", Die Zeit online, 16-02-2023.

Michael Jäger - "Jürgen Habermas plädiert für Verhandlungen: Genealogie des Weltfriedens", Der Freitag online 16-02-2023.

Christian Geyer - "Habermas", Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 16-02-2023.

Ronald Pohl - "Habermas plädiert für "rechtzeitige Verhandlungen"“, Der Standard, 16-02-2023.

Gerrit Bartels - "Sorgen vor einem dritten Weltkrieg", Der Tagesspiegel, 16-02-2023.

Gregor Dotzauer - "Die Waffen der Vernunft", Der Tagesspiegel, 16-02-2023.

Michael Hesse - "Schlafwandeln am Rande des Abgrundes", Frankfurter Rundschau, 16-02-2023.

Corinna Hauswedell - "Habermas und der Krieg" (interview), Deutschlandsfunk, 15-02-2023.

Herfried Münkler - "Verhandlungen sind keine Alternative zum Kämpfen" (interview), Deutschlandfunk Kultur, 15-02-2023.

Tobias Rapp - "Der Abwehrzauber", Der Spiegel online, 15-02-2023.

Kurt Kister - "Was treibt diesen Mann?", Süddeutsche Zeitung, 15-02-2023.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

New essay by Habermas on the Russian invasion of Ukraine

A new essay by Jürgen Habermas on the Russian invasion of Ukraine (Süddeutsche Zeitung, 15-02-2023): 

"Ein Plädoyer für Verhandlungen" [paywall] 

"A Plea for Negotiations" [paywall]


"Et innlegg for forhandlinger", Morgenposten, online 24-02-2023 [paywall]

"Plaidoyer pour des négociations en Ukraine", Le Monde, 22-02-2023 [paywall]

"Plaidoyer pour des négociations sur l'Ukraine", Le Temps, 21-02-2023 [paywall]

"Por qué este es el momento de negociar la paz", El País, 19-02-2023 [paywall]

"Europa tra guerra e pace", la Repubblica, 19-02-2023 [paywall]

"Et forsvar for forhandlinger", Information, 16-02-2023 [paywall]


"The West has good reasons for supplying weapons to Ukraine: But this entails shared responsibility for the further course of the war. 

(….) thoughtful voices are making themselves heard not only to defend the Chancellor’s stance but also to plead for public reflection on the difficult path to negotiations. If I add my voice to these, then it is precisely because the statement: “Ukraine must not lose the war!” is correct. My concern is with the preventive character of timely negotiations, negotiations that prevent a prolonged war from claiming even more lives and causing even more destruction, and from presenting us in the end with a hopeless choice: either to intervene actively in the war or to leave Ukraine to its fate in order not to trigger the first world war between nuclear-armed powers. 

The war is dragging on, the scale of the destruction is increasing and the casualties are mounting. (….) 

Sleepwalking on the edge of the abyss is becoming a real danger especially because the Western alliance is not only strengthening Ukraine’s hand, but is tirelessly reiterating that it will support the Ukrainian government for “as long as necessary” and that the Ukrainian government alone can decide the timing and goal of possible negotiations. This protestation is meant to discourage opponents, but it is inconsistent and obscures differences that are obvious. Above all, it can lead us to deceive ourselves about the need to take our own initiatives for negotiations.

On the one hand, it is a truism that only a party involved in the war can determine its war objective and, if necessary, the timing of negotiations. On the other hand, how long Ukraine can hold out at all also depends on Western support. (....)

The fact that the West itself cannot avoid making, and taking responsibility for, important decisions is also evident from the situation it fears most – namely, the aforementioned scenario in which Russian military superiority would confront it with the alternative of either caving in or becoming a party to the war. (....)

But the broad camp of emphatic supporters of Ukraine is also currently divided over the right moment for peace negotiations. One side identifies with the Ukrainian government’s demand for military support, increasing without limit, to defeat Russia and thus restore the country’s territorial integrity, including Crimea. The other side wants to push for attempts to bring about a cease-fire and negotiations that would at least avert a possible defeat by restoring the status quo ante of February 23, 2022. The pros and cons of these positions reflect historical experiences.

It is not a coincidence that this smouldering conflict is now pressing for clarification. The front has been frozen for months. (....)

It is in the light of this development that I understood the formulation that Ukraine “must not lose the war”. For I interpret the moment of restraint as a warning that the West, which is enabling Ukraine to continue the fight against a criminal aggressor, must neither forget the number of victims, nor the risk to which the possible victims are exposed, nor the extent of the actual and potential destruction that is accepted with a heavy heart for the sake of the legitimate objective. Even the most altruistic supporter is not relieved of the responsibility to weigh up this proportionality. (….)

These are not promising conditions, but neither are they hopeless.

For apart from the human lives that war claims with each passing day, there is an increasing cost in material resources that cannot be replaced to an arbitrary extent. And the clock is ticking for the Biden administration, too. This thought alone should prompt us to press for energetic attempts to start negotiations and search for a compromise solution that would not give the Russian side any territorial gain beyond the status quo before the beginning of the war and yet would allow it to save face. 

Apart from the fact that Western heads of government such as Scholz and Macron maintain telephone contact with Putin, the U.S. government, which is apparently divided on this question, cannot maintain the formal role of an uninvolved party. A tenable negotiated outcome cannot be embedded in the context of far-reaching agreements without the involvement of the United States. Both warring parties are interested in this. This applies to security guarantees that the West must provide for Ukraine. But it also applies to the principle that the overthrow of an authoritarian regime is credible and stable only to the extent that it is driven by its own population, and hence enjoys internal support. 

In general, the war has focused attention on an acute need for regulation in the entire Central and Eastern European region, which extends beyond the objects of contention of the warring parties. Eastern Europe expert and former director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, Hans-Henning Schröder, has pointed (in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" of  January 24, 2023) to the agreements on disarmament and economic framework conditions without which there cannot be a stable agreement between the immediate parties. Putin could take credit for the very willingness of the United States to engage in such negotiations of geopolitical scope.

Precisely because the conflict affects a broader network of interests, it cannot be ruled out from the outset that a compromise that saves face for both sides could also be found for the present diametrically opposed demands."