Sunday, November 15, 2009

Universalism vs. Communitarianism

How many Americans know there is another theory of ethical norms called universalism? Here's a prime example of the level of discourse behind Bill Clinton's cheeky Utopian promises:

Universalism vs. Communitarianism
Contemporary Debates in Ethics
Edited by David Rasmussen

Universalism vs. Communitarianism focuses on the question, raised by recent work in normative philosophy, of whether ethical norms are best derived and justified on the basis of universal or communitarian standards. It is unique in representing both Continental and American points of view and both the older and a younger generation of scholars. The essays introduce the key issues involved in universalism vs. communitarianism and take up ethics in historical perspective, practical reason and ethical responsibility, justification, application and history, and communitarian alternatives. Based on a special issue of the Journal Philosophy and Social Criticism, the book includes two additional essays by Chantal Mouffe and by Hubert and Stuart Dreyfus.

David Rasmussen is Professor of Philosophy at Boston College and editor of Philosophy and Social Criticism.

Contents: introduction, David, Rasmussen. Universalisms: Procedural, Contextualist, and Prudential, Alessandro Ferrara. Beyond Liberalism and Communitarianism: Toward a Critical Theory of Social Justice, Gerald Doppelt. The Liberal/Communitarian Controversy and Communicative Ethics, Kenneth Baynes. Discourse Ethics and Civil Society, Jean Cohen. Equality, Political Order and Ethics: Hobbes and the Systematics of Democratic Rationality, Rolf Zimmermann. Atomism and Ethical Life: On Hegel's Critique of the French Revolution, Axel Honneth. The Gadamer-Habermas Debate Revisited: The Question of Ethics, Michael Kelly. What Is and What Is Not Practical Reason? Agnes Heller. Adorno, Heidegger, and Postmodernity, Hauke Brunkhorst. Impartial Application of Moral and Legal Norms: A Contribution to Discourse Ethics, Klaus Günther. An Ethics, Politics, and History, Jürgen Habermas in an interview conducted by Jean-Marc Ferry. Rawls: Political Philosophy without Politics, Chantal Mouffe. What Is Morality: A Phenomenological Account of the Development of Ethical Expertise, Hubert L Dreyfus, Stuart E. Dreyfus. Universalism and Communitarianism: A Bibliography, Michael Zilles.

August 1990
308 pp.
$28.00/£20.95 (PAPER)


I was thinking of applying for this program.. just to see what they'd respond:

Applications are now available for the Global Fellows Program for the 2010-2011 academic year at New York University's School of Law.

This is an opportunity for academics, lawyers, government officers, and doctoral students to spend up to a year in residence at NYU School of Law. The principle aim of the Global Fellows Program is the production of scholarship and the advancement of research on global issues prioritized by the Hauser Global Law School Program. We have a notable history of hosting distinguished U.S. and foreign scholars, judges, lawyers and government officials who wish to spend time advancing their scholarship and engaging fully in the intellectual life of the Law School. To that end, Fellows will find a wealth of academic activities in which they may participate, including fora, lectures, colloquia, seminars and conferences. Additionally, various social events occur each year, some specifically for Global Fellows and other community-wide celebrations.

Some funding may be provided, based on individual need.

The deadline for submission of applications is March 1, 2010.

All applications and materials must arrive by this date. For further information an application instructions, please visit:
Any queries about either program should be directed to:
Please feel free to circulate this email to anyone who may be interested in these academic opportunities.
We look forward to hearing from you,
The Hauser Global Law School Program

Wikipedia has a new entry called Singaporean Communitarianism


angry cheese said...

Interestingly, baby-faced Dr. Henry Tam, a chinese from Singapore, Harvard educated and a huge fan of Etzioni, has helped New Labour under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, bring Communitarianism into the UK. Not a lot of people know that!
He comes across as naive and well-meaning in his blog but he is a powerful and dangerous man IMHO. Every bit as influencial as Julia Middleton (Common Purpose) yet most people have never heard of him. He is an accademic, has never run a business or done a day's work in the REAL world in his life, yet he has interfered big-style in the lives of the ordinary British people and the way Britain is now run.

Singapore is presented as the ideal - like Utopia, the icing on the cake but the horrors of "Communist" China are the reality, the festering darkness underneath that most of us can expect under his beloved Communitarianism.

When you search for accademics on Communitarianism, lots of chinese and singaporeans can be found praising it in their papers. A lot of this stuff is coming from over there.

the tent lady said...

Good work cheese, Tam was definitely under my radar up til now. His blog is a crack up.. Question the Powerful, eh?

I have seen several papers discussing China's experience in building communitarian communities, China was one of the first sources I found for communitarian case law, and I made the statement in our manifesto that Etzioni thinks we should all be rebuilt like Chinese collectives.

The leading "thinkers" on police as a "social resource" and methods for community policing are also coming from China. There's 13 billion people already trained to help "teach" the rest of the unenlightened world how to perform our new global citizenship duties.