Contemporary Transformations of Cosmopolitanism: Habermas, Nussbaum, Derrida Open Access

Timme, Samuel (Summer 2019)

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Cosmopolitanism and the concept of world citizenship in philosophy begin in ancient Greek Cynicism and remain contemporary: in the past two decades, hundreds of philosophical publications discussed cosmopolitanism in relation to poverty, education, peace, etc. As it passed to Stoics then Immanuel Kant, world citizenship changed from a moral to a political view, from a negation of local citizenship to an affirmation of multiple citizenship.

The concept of world citizenship could respond to increasingly urgent transnational problems: climate change, underregulated global markets, and refugee crises. Kant suggested cosmopolitan law could start with a right to hospitality for foreign visitors in a world federation and develop further. Today’s transnational problems call for further transformations of cosmopolitanism. To evaluate cosmopolitanism in contemporary philosophies, I focus on its place in Jürgen Habermas's writings on deliberative democracy, Martha Nussbaum's essays in the 1990s and her version of political liberalism, and Jacques Derrida's writings on responsibility and the democracy to come.

Habermas sees economic power outpacing political social integration. Where cosmopolitan law is emerging, deliberative bodies have asserted and appealed to the validity of a more robust cosmopolitan legal order and aimed to realize it. Habermas argues that cosmopolitan solidarity could constitute political will to match global economic power.

Nussbaum originally advocated cosmopolitan education to inform critical democratic citizens. After developing her Capabilities Approach to political liberalism, she favored critical patriotism over cosmopolitanism. Despite this reversal, I argue that Nussbaum's Capabilities Approach to global justice transforms world citizenship in powerful ways, especially in its aim to include people with disabilities and nonhuman animals as subjects of political justice.

Derrida utilizes cosmopolitanism as a support for expanding access to philosophical education, supporting democratic freedoms (especially through secularization), and opening cities of refuge. Although unconditionality (of justice, responsibility, or hospitality) gives impossible, unrealizable demands, Derrida stands for cosmopolitical engagement to decrease the violence of our political institutions.

Cosmopolitanism forms part, not the whole, of Habermas’s, Nussbaum’s, and Derrida's views. Their conceptions of justice diverge. Each has some hope for human rights and international institutions. Each advocates critical solidarity and engagement on transnational problems.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Functions of World Citizenship 1

2 Contemporary Import of World Citizenship 4

3 Reservations about World Citizenship 5

4 Chapter Outline 6

Chapter 1 – From Ethical to Political Cosmopolitanism: Cynics, Stoics, and Kant 16

1 Cynic Cosmopolitanism 16

2 Stoic Cosmopolitanism 27

3 Kant’s Cosmopolitanism 39

Chapter 2 - Cosmopolitanism in Habermas’ Deliberative Democratic Politics 46

1 Citizenship, Solidarity as Social Integrating Force 47

2 Critically Building on the Cosmopolitan Law of “Perpetual Peace” 53

3 Habermas’ Advocacy for European Cooperation with a Cosmopolitan Purpose 62

4 Conclusion – Habermas’ Conception of Cosmopolitan Law 68

Chapter 3 – Nussbaum’s Cosmopolitanism and Capabilities Approach 73

1 Three Essays 1994-2003 75

2 Frontiers of Justice 90

3 Nussbaum Moves Away from Cosmopolitanism 104

4 Conclusion 117

Chapter 4 - Cosmopolitanism in Derrida’s Works on Responsibility 124

1 Right to Philosophy, Kant’s Cosmopolitanism, and our International Institutions 125

2 New International Solidarity 132

3 Cosmopolitanism and Hospitality 139

4 Democracy and Democracy to Come 145

5 Unconditionality and Sovereignty 157

6 Conclusion 161

Conclusion: Transforming World Citizenship 163

Bibliography 170

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