Friday, March 24, 2023

New book on "Democratic Respect"

Democratic Respect

Populism, Resentment, and the Struggle for Recognition

by Christian F. Rostbøll

(Cambridge University Press, 2023)

234 pages


"Democratic Respect" is about how democracy should recognize the people. The debate over the meaning and value of populism is essentially a debate over this question. Populism promises to provide the people the recognition that they deserve. We should not understand populist resentment as blindly emotional but as a struggle for recognition based on moral experiences that can be explained by people’s beliefs. By adopting a participant attitude and associating populist resentment with alleged violations of democratic principles, we can discuss what citizens and governments owe one another in terms of recognition and respect. Not all struggles for recognition contribute to the deepening of democracy, and we must distinguish between different kinds of recognition in order to understand why populism is often a threat to what this book calls democratic respect. How democracy should recognize the people relates to debates over the meaning and value of democratic procedures, rights, majority rule, compromise, and public deliberation. The book disputes the widespread assumption that populism is essentially democratic and only against liberal constraints on majority rule. The shortcoming of populism is not that its understanding of democracy lacks substantive constraints, but that it fails to appreciate the procedural value of democracy.

The book includes discussions of Jürgen Habermas, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, and John Rawls.

Contents [pdf] [Preview]

Introduction: Recognition of the People [Excerpt, pdf]

1. Recognition and the Politics of Resentment

2. Respect, Esteem, and Solidarity

3. Rights and the Populist Claim for Recognition

4. Procedures, Outcomes, or Identification? 

5. Respecting Disagreement

6. Publicity and Correcting Democracy

Christian F. Rostbøll is Professor of Political Theory at University of Copenhagen. He is author of "Deliberative Freedom. Deliberative Democracy as Critical Theory" (SUNY Press, 2008).

20% discount on this book: Enter the code DCR2023 at

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Rawls's critique of welfare state capitalism

Catherine Audard has written a new paper on John Rawls and the fight against structural injustices:

"Addressing the rise of inequalities: How relevant is Rawls's critique of welfare state capitalism?" (open access)

(forthcoming in "Journal of Social Philosophy")

From the Introduction:

In this article, I examine Rawls's "political" critique of WSC [welfare state capitalism] and of its inability to fight structural injustices together with his proposal for POD [property-owning democracy] as a realistic prospect and a credible alternative to WSC. Section 2 describes the rise of inequalities of wealth and power as a source of structural injustices, and Rawls's insight as to why WSC is unable to fight them. Section 3 presents Rawls's alternative proposal of POD with its two ambitions, to protect, but also to emancipate citizens and guarantee their full rights. Section 4 asks whether POD can fully articulate these two aims and answer Sen's criticism (Sen, 1999) that this is still a "resourcist" solution that fails to fully emancipate citizens. Section 5 tentatively suggests that the justification for POD must rest on a new paradigm that redefines the nature of the Self in developmental terms (Audard, 2019), both capable and vulnerable over time (Nussbaum, 2006). The fight against inequalities of wealth through POD can then be justified as it aims at increasing agency and social mobility for all, not simply consumption and utility maximization, and, most importantly, as a basis for democratic citizenship and the full value of political liberties (Thomas, 2017b; White, 2015; White, 2016).

Catherine Audard is a Visiting Fellow Fellow at the Department of Philosophy of the London School of Economics. She is the author of "John Rawls" (Acumen Press, 2007).

Sunday, March 19, 2023

What Good is Philosophy? Ukraine Benefit Conference

Ukraine Benefit Conference, March 17-19,  2023, organized by Aaron James Wendland:

A Benefit Conference for Ukraine aims to raise the funds required to establish a Centre for Civic Engagement at Kyiv Mohyla Academy.

Session 1 (video)

* A.J. Wendland – ‘Introduction: On War and Philosophy’

* Jennifer Nagel – ‘Philosophy, For Better, For Worse, and In Itself’

* Quassim Cassam – ‘Liberation Philosophy’

* Volodymyr Yermolenko – ‘Thinking in Dark Times’

Session 2 (video)

* Sally Haslanger – ‘Philosophy and Paradigm Shifts’

* Philip Pettit – ‘From Philosophy to Politics’

* Elizabeth Anderson – ‘Philosophy is for Everyone’

* Jeff McMahan – ‘What Good Is Moral Philosophy?’

Session 3 (video)

* Kieran Setiya – ‘Public Philosophy, Amelioration, and Existential Value’

* Agnes Callard – ‘The Paradise Paradox’

* Dominic Lopes – ‘Beauty at the Barricades’

* Margaret Atwood – ‘Crisis Literature

Session 4 (video)

* Timothy Snyder – ‘Thinking About Freedom in Wartime Ukraine’

* Jonathan Wolff – ‘Values and Public Policy’

* Jason Stanley ­– ‘Discourses of Genocide’

* Seyla Benhabib – ‘Philosopher’s Dreams of Perpetual Peace’

Session 5 (video)

* Kate Manne – ‘Philosophy and Gaslighting: It’s (Not) All in Your Mind’

* Barry Lam – ‘Discretion: A Philosophical Analysis of the Power of Bureaucrats’

* David Enoch – ‘What Good Is Political Philosophy in the Face of an Acute Political Crisis?’

* Peter Godfrey-Smith – ‘Philosophy and the Events of the Day’

Session 6 (video)

* Peter Adamson – ‘What Good Is a History of Philosophy ‘Without Any Gaps’?’

* Angie Hobbs – ‘Public Philosophy in an Age of Uncertainty’

* Melissa Lane – ‘Philosophizing Our Way Out of the Cave’

* Timothy Williamson – ‘Debating the Good’

Session 7 (video)

* Simon Critchley – ‘Question Everything’

* Tim Crane – ‘Philosophy as Freedom of Thought’

* Mychailo Wynnyckyj – ‘Grappling with Evil’

* Amb. Yulia Kovaliv – ‘Conclusion: Defending Democracy’

Saturday, March 18, 2023

New papers on "Auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie"

The new issue of "Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Theologie" (vol. 69, no. 2) features articles on Jürgen Habermas‘ "Auch eine Geschichte der Philosophie" (Suhrkamp, 2019):

* Georg Kohler – "Vernunftinteresse, Religion und Philosophie. Zu Jürgen Habermas’ grossem Diskurs über Glauben und Wissen" [Abstract]

* Samuel Vollenweider – "Ein achsenzeitlicher Booster: Das frühe Christentum in der Sicht von Jürgen Habermas" [Abstract]

* Theo Kobusch – "Die “Hellenisierung des Christentums“ – ein Irrweg. Zur Begegnung von Christentum und Hellenismus in J. Habermas' Philosophiegeschichte" [Abstract]

* Peter Schulthess – "Eine Auseinandersetzung mit Habermas’ pragmatischer Sicht auf Augustin" [Abstract]

* Martin Bondeli – "Kant und Hegel in Habermas’ Genealogie nachmetaphysischen Denkens" [Abstract]

* Jean-Claude Wolf – "Habermas liest Kierkegaard" [Abstract]

Friday, March 17, 2023

Video: "Habermas - und das Begreifen der Gegenwart"

Professor Philipp Felsch (Berlin) and Professor Martin Saar (Frankfurt) talk about Jürgen Habermas's critical theory and his interventions in the public debates in Germany:

"Jürgen Habermas - und das Begreifen der Gegenwart" (video; 1 h 50 m)

(Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden, March 16, 2023)

See also discussions on Hegel, Marx, Adorno, Arendt & Luhmann.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Ernst Tugendhat has died aged 93

In Memoriam: Ernst Tugendhat (1930-2023):

Christoph Schulte - "The Non-Jewish Jewish Philosopher", Jüdische Allgemeine, online 17-03-2023

Thomas Assheuer - "Moralisch sein, trotz allem", Die Zeit, 16-03-2023

Doris Helmberger-Fleckl - "Nachdenken über Logik, Ethik und das Nichts", Die Furche, 16-03-2023

Alexander Grau - "Klarheit statt vorgetäuschten Tiefsinn", Cicero, online 15-03-2023

Alexander Grau - "Ernst Tugendhat (1930-2023)", Die Weltwoche, online 15-03-2023

Stefan Gosepath - "Memorial notice", Daily Nous (blog), online 15-03-2023

Thomas Ribi - "Staunen, bis zum Schluss", Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 15-03-2023

Micha Brumlik - "Sprachanalyse und Mystik", taz, 15-03-2023

Jürgen Kaube - "Seitliche Relativierung des eigenen Daseins", Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 15-03-2023

Mara Delius - "Sagen, was ist", Die Welt, 15-03-2023

Stefan Gosepath im Gespräch, Deutschlandsfunk, 14-03-2023

Thomas Meyer - "Ein Wohnsitz in der Welt", Süddeutsche Zeitung, 14-03-2023

Karl Gaulhofer - "Er dachte so, wie ein Philosoph denken sollte", Die Presse, 14-03-2023

Ursula Wolf - "Denken über Sprache", Deutschlandfunk Kultur, 13-03-2023

G. H. Holländer - "Philosoph Ernst Tugendhat gestorben", Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, online 13-03-2023

Michael Hesse - "Der Solitär", Frankfurter Rundschau, online 13-03-2023