Arquivo para June 11th, 2024

The Other as a political category

11 Jun

In the history of philosophy, Being, Entity and Essence were three fundamental metaphysical categories, as modern philosophy threw the “dirty water with the child in the basin”, in addition to the forgetfulness of Being as pointed out by Heidegger and his interpreters and dialogues (Hannah Arendt, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Peter Sloterdijk, Byung-Chul Han and others), there is also a rediscovered, or even new, category from outside religious culture: the Other, seen as the “neighbor”, the “brother” or the “faithful”.

Paul Ricoeur wrote about the neighbor and the partner, to differentiate the relations between the two in the modern utilitarian relationship, but also Lévinas (Time and the Other), Martin Buber (I and You) and Byung-Chul Han, in a more contemporary analysis, wrote The Expulsion of the Other, but Junger Habermas’ work “The Inclusion of the Other – Studies in Political Theory” is one, as the title says, that tries to include this analysis within the modern polis, it says in the introduction: “I defend the content rational basis of a morality based on the same respect for all and the general joint responsibility of each one for the other” (Habermas, 2002, p. 7) and condemns the distrust of a universalism marked more by the appeal to difference than “the same respect for everyone extends to those who are similar, but to the person of the other or others in their otherness” (idem).

The author says: this moral community is not just the mere inclusion of the Other (pg. 8)”, but the “inclusion of the other” means that the borders of the community are open to everyone – also and precisely to those who are strangers who are strangers each other – and they want to continue being strangers and constituted exclusively by the idea of ​​discrimination and suffering” (pg. 8 and the entire first part of the book refers to this issue.

The second part refers to a reply and a discussion with John Rawls, who was invited by the editor of the Journal of Philosophy, where he analyzes in terms of concepts, the moral institutions that guide Rawls and clarifies that his reply also serves the purpose of clarifying “the differences between political liberalism and a Kantian republicanism as I understand it” (pg. 8), I remember that also Paul Ricoeur “The Just or Essence”, written in two volumes, also aborted the ideas of John Rawls.

The third part of the book “intends to contribute to the clarification of a controversy that resurfaced in Germany after reunification. I continue to follow the line that I began in the past in an essay on `Citizenship and National Identity’” (pg. 8), but the author knew that the theme would be so current today.

The fourth part was one of the motivations for this post, as Byung-Chul Han talks about Kant’s eternal peace, the author talks about human rights at a global and national level (in Germany obviously), on the occasion of the bicentenary text on Peace Kant’s perpetual, “The light of our historical experience”.

The book will have a no less thought-provoking fifth part on “the theory of discourse regarding the conception of democracy and the rule of law” (pg. 9) and this is all just the author’s preface, and the first topic is about the cognitive aspect of morality, which must be prior to the other chapters, as it presents its foundations.

The author writes: “moral manifestations bring with them a potential of motives that can be updated with each moral dispute” (pg. 10) and thus “moral rules operate by making references to themselves” (idem) and will establish “for this two levels retroactively coupled to each other” (pg. 12).

At the first level, they direct social action immediately, to the extent that they compromise the will of the actors and guide it in a determined way” (pg. 12).

At the second level, “they regulate critical positions in the case of conflict… it does not just say how members of the community should behave… it provides reasons to consensually resolve conflicts of action” and sees this in a way very analogous to Wittgenstein’s language games where polyphony is established.

The theme is close to Byung-Chul Han’s Narration Crisis because both, and this also includes John Rawls and Martin Buber although in quite different ways, as Han clarifies: “the face requires distance. He is a You, and not an available It” (pg. 96), and penetrating Communicative Theory, Habermas’ great thesis, Han sees so much in his idea of ​​psychopolitics in the Swarm from a digital perspective, that the only possibility of symmetry is respect , power relations are asymmetrical, and for him so are communicative ones.

Who is the Other, the one I meet and who is often very different from me, if he wishes me peace, says the biblical passage, we will sit and have dinner together.

Han, Byung-Chul (2023). A crise da narração (The crisis of narration). Trans. Daniel Guilhermino. Brazil, Petrópolis: ed. Vozes.

Habermas, Jürgen (2002) A inclusão do outro – Estudos de Teoria política. (Die Einbeziehung des Anderen Studien zur politischen Theorie). Trans. Georg Sperber, Paulo Astor. Edições Loyola, São Paulo, Brasil.