The evolution of the present legal system is powered by the contradictory double-structure of a law that at once is repressive and emancipatory. I take three examples, one from the early time of the twentieth century’s legal transformations, and two from the present. They all show, that the latent emancipatory potential of public law can be activated to challenge repressive function of hegemonic law. The first example is concerned with the challenge of imperial law from within the managerial mindset of the legal system, the second shows that every modern constitutional law “can strike back”. The third one emphasizes the tension between the Kantian constitutional mindset and the managerial mindset that dominates present international law.
(University of Amsterdam)
Is the Internet one of the causes of the crisis of the public sphere or does it rather provide a way to address this crisis? Do new forms of digital activism undermine the functioning of existing democratic institutions or open up new avenues for democratic participation? In my talk I will address these questions by first discussing the traditional Habermasian notion of the public sphere and the challenge that the digitalization of communication and action poses to it. In a second step, I will argue that digitalization indeed leads to a new structural transformation of the public sphere and distinguish ways in which this development can be both detrimental to and beneficial for the project of a democratic public sphere in the 21st century.
Chow Pak Kiu
(HKCT Institute of Social Science and Associaçăo de Filosofia da China em Macau)
Those who have a high regard for public sphere have their own reasons. There are at least two. First of all, discourses that take place in public sphere are processes of argumentations in which rationality, inter-subjectivity and impartiality are valued. Paternalism and vested interests will never exert their influences upon the decisions collectively made by the interlocutors. Secondly, most, if not all, pieces of information relevant to collective decision making are accessible to every interlocutor in public sphere. Such a flow of information helps to nurture a democratic decision making process that could overcome deep differences among the interlocutors and thereby give rise to 'a legitimate bonding force' for a pluralistic society. Critics who have doubts about public sphere may ask what kind of interlocutors is entitled a place in the public sphere as mentioned above... → read more
Ein Vergleich zwischen den Prinzipien der Gerechtigkeit im Konfuzianismus, Mohismus (Mohistenschule), Legalismus und Taoismus des chinesischen Altertums einerseits und in den griechischen Theorien der Gerechtigkeit bei Solon, Anaximander, Heraklit, Sokrates, Plato und Aristoteles andererseits soll zeigen: Was die Ursprünge der Gerechtigkeitsidee in China und im Westen betrifft, bilden sowohl das chinesische Yi (义) als auch die griechische Dike (Δίκη) die Kernidee und -wertvorstellung, die die jeweilige Gesellschaft bindet. Jedoch zeigen sich auch viele Unterschiede in den Gerechtigkeitsideen in China und im Westen. Im Wesentlichen geht der Unterschied auf die folgenden Gründe zurück: ... → read more
经过对中国古代儒家、墨家、法家和道家对待正义的态度的考察，以及对古希腊从梭伦、阿那克西曼德、赫拉克利特、苏格拉底和柏拉图到亚里士多德的正义理论的分析，所得出的结论是，中西正义观在其源头上，也就是中国先秦的“义”和古希腊的“正义”，虽然都是维系一个社会的核心理念和价值，但却有如此多的差异，究其本质来看，这种差异主要源于以下几个方面。 → read more
Andrea Marien Esser
Kant on the Public Sphere and Some Reflections on Hannah Arendt and the Contemporary Discussion / 康德和阿伦特论公共领域
Kant’s famous motto of enlightenment, “Sapere aude!”, is inseparably entwined with the demand for the “public use of reason”. There is no doubt that this also embraces the notion of a free and unrestricted exchange of ideas between writers and scholars, or one which is free of restriction or control on the part of the political authorities. But the understanding of the public sphere which springs from this conception is not simply restricted, in the course of its development, to small circles of learned participants in such intellectual exchange. The “public use of reason” merely indicates the potential beginning of a process in which “subjects” of the state and passive citizens are capable of developing into citizens of the world, and in which nation states are capable of developing into a kind of world community. This conception of the public sphere also receives further concrete articulation in Kant’s Critique of Judgement, as Hannah Arendt already clearly recognized. In particular, the doctrine of reflective judgement which is developed in that work also allows us to derive several critical insights from Kant’s conception of enlightenment and the public sphere which are highly relevant to the contemporary discussion regarding these issues.
(Department of philosophy, Beijing University)
Religion, Nation-state and Civil religion. The Assumption and Practice of Confucianism in the Process of national Construction
According to Liang Qichao’s viewpoint in the Biography of Kang Youwei, Kang Youwei should be remembered as an excellent religionist. Indeed, Kang Youwei, calling himself Martin Luther of Confucianism, tried to find a properly existing way for Confucianism in the new political and social structure through imitating church religion in western society, because he firmly believed that the modern democratic politics and constitutional government system must be established on the base of immanent culture and morality. Furthermore, Confucianism, epitomizing Chinese traditional thought, should take this responsibility. Reforming Confucianism into a religion of western style, Kang faced many challenges. Firstly, Confucianism is a kind of religion or not? Secondly, if Confucianism is a kind of religion, what is the difference between Confucianism and western religion? → read more
按照梁启超的说法，康有为最为重要的贡献应推其孔教事业。的确，康有为称自己为孔教的马丁路德，他希望在中国近代的大变局中维护儒家的价值，所以期望以西方教会的方式来使儒家获得固定的传播途径，以维持世道人心。当然他的这种做法，遇到很大的挑战，首要的问题是，儒教到底是否是一种宗教。如果是，这种宗教和西方宗教之间的差别何在。为了解决这个问题，康有为对宗教概念进行了分析，并认为儒教的人道特色意味着它是比基督教等有神教更为进步的一种宗教。戊戌变法失败之后，康有为进入了漫长的流亡生涯，他对儒教问题做了系统的思考，其结果是试图建立一种国教。虽然梁启超反对这个主场，但是他的另一个重要的弟子陈焕章则坚决支持，并将康有为的主张落实。→ read more
(Free University of Berlin)
Problems require an at least satisfactory solution. To find such a solution we have to make use of our faculty of reasoning. Reasoning in turn requires publicity - however in different senses and degrees. Only if reasoning is public in the substantial sense of a mutual and public justification it can be guaranteed that reasons are brought forward and be recognized that are indeed relevant and decisive from the perspective of all affected. In that sense the publicity of reason-giving and -taking enhances the effectivity of the problem-solving. In the context of our societies for problem-solving to be just and effective it has to be a public, common and finally deliberative democratic process.
In contemporary philosophy and social sciences, the concept of publicity has been widely focused, while it remains the weakness of vague and indeterminacy. Although this situation provides a variety of opportunities for people to discuss or address it, but also can’t help to clarify the understanding of it and the utility of practice. The key of the understanding and definition of publicity doesn’t consist in a theoretical analysis and construction, but also in a positive investigation of the social behaviour and the relationships, as well as the aspects and maxims inducted and sorted out on the basis of the investigation. The publicity can also be understood from the perspective of justice, and the overlapping between the two lies in the social goods, or more precisely, their coincidence lies in how the social goods are to be understood and defined. In this sense, the idea of social goods in a theory of justice is the core of the publicity.
(Departement of philosophy, Party School of the Central Committee of the C.P.C.)
At the present stage of Chinese society, relatively independent public spheres are still in the process of emerging and constructing. According to existing practices, the perfection of ethic norm construction in public spheres plays a very important role in this process. In this regard, religious ethics, like the social ethics, could serve for some important functions. In order to fulfil such functions in the emerging process of pbulic spheres, we should form right religious views. Therefore, we need to reflect upon and re-interpret the fundamental questions about the religions and avoid the related mistakes.
(Humboldt University of Berlin)
If societies are systems of social cooperation we can conceive of democracy as a certain way to organize and shape these cooperative relations. Publicity – the unrestricted and transparent discussion about our common life – can be seen as the medium for a democratic organization of society.
Now, understanding democracy as a form of life, as I will suggest, following John Dewey, means that democracy has to be understood as a certain way to shape social practices and institutions „all the way down“. This understanding is accompanied with an experimental attitude towards the kind of problems and processes of problem-solving that come up within (modern) societies. In my talk I will argue, that this democratic understanding of social change does not only have „epistemic advantages“ but also reflects an adequate understanding of the kind of crises and dynamics that evolve within (modern) societies. Normatively shaped and historically situated these crises and conflicts can neither be understood nor solved by of social-engeneering. Not technocratic social experiments but democratic experimentation driven by the public articulation of social conflicts are the „stuff“ from which the social process is made of – whereas to hinder conflicts from being articulated in a democratic manner leads to a „blockage of experiences“ that ends up in regression and social pathologies.
(University of Frankfurt a.M.)
Private law is aiming at the realization and protection of individual autonomy. Particularly, the principle of private autonomy and property rights enable different persons with different schemes of life to organise their cooperations. Insofar, „the fact of pluralism“ (John Rawls) relies on private law. But in a pluralistic society, the exercise of private autonomy by different individuals and groups can lead to further clashes of interest. The question arises, if there is a public dimension of contract law. Should contract law focus on the internal relationship between the parties? Or should contract law be evaluated and revised by public deliberation?
(College of Philosophy and Sociology, Beijing Normal University)
China is in the process of transformation of traditional agricultural society to modern industrial one in which citizenship is crucial to the society as its foundation. The civil society has a long history in the West, but there are challenges for China to focus on cultivation of citizenship and to make publicity to be common factor for Chinese transformation of society. In this paper I will analyse those challenges in China by distinguishing citizenship and morality in the traditional Chinese philosophy and culture, arguing that there were no idea of publicity in the traditional Chinese society and political life. In contrast, China has been in the struggle of the contradiction between publicity and privacy, the latter which has been based on personal morality and the former on political authority. In modern China the idea of citizenship has been flourished with the social development, but the publicity has not been focused as the source of the idea of citizenship. It is surprised that prosperity of the civil society in China is proceeding without cultivation of publicity. There are some faults in understanding the idea of citizenship in contemporary Chinese society, and some contradictions of the idea with the traditional Chinese thoughts. Thus it is still a big challenge that how the Chinese society changes the traditional thoughts into modern idea of citizenship with publicity.
(Free University of Berlin)
It is difficult to abstract entirely from the ambiguity in the word “global.” It means “world encompassing,” as intended above, while, in a more pejorative sense, it labels something inexact or only crudely conceived. Talk about the global is nearly always too global, gaining magnification at the cost of an erasure, of a loss of empirical reality. There is to that extent something permanently
A deliberative model of politics has been criticised recently for not being equipped very well to conceive public spheres in world society.
A first critique is that this model assumes a conception of public spheres that is too idealistic, because it presupposes contrafactual conditions of communication in any public discourse that do not meet empirical real word conditions. Secondly, it assumes an antiquated notion of a shared ‚we’ of political actors. Because of this it does not take into consideration the ‚digital turn’ and the ego-centering and dispersonifizing effects of social media like Facebook, twitter, and blogs that have led to a rapid decline of the public sphere. And a third critique states that the deliberative model ignores that politics and especially protests and revolutions are not seminar like debates but spontaneous, chaotic and sometimes violent expressions. So it is not just insensitive for the ‚digital space’ but also for gathering and protesting on real public places surrounded by military troops.
I will argue that all these critiques fall short. A deliberative model of politics allows to address the tension between the idealist and the real, the ‘old media’ and the so-called digitalization of public spheres as well peaceful discourse and violent uprisings. Especially, the concept of communicative power, a notion also used by Hannah Arendt, reveals the potentials for future participation in digital spaces and public places.
(BFSU / University of Bonn)
Es herrscht nicht nur in der "westlichen" Presse, sondern auch in der "westlichen" Wissenschaft ein Schwarz-Weiß-Bild von China vor. Der Referent versucht, auf der Basis eigener Erfahrungen in China und im "Westen" aufzuzeigen, wie fragwürdig mitunter die Sicht "Westen = Freiheit" / "China = Unfreiheit" sein kann. Die "Öffentlichkeit" ist nämlich nicht nur in China ein Problem, sondern andernorts mitunter ebenso, nur dass dieses im "Westen" nicht thematisiert wird.
(Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)
The “bachelors” or “scholars” (“士”) of Pre-qin Confucians, as a social stratum, is situated between the state political authority and the social economic domain, they “strive for the Dao (道) and not to seek food”, “be anxious about the Dao and not to sorrow poverty”, so that may reflect the divide between the public political domain and the private economic domain. Since Confucians perceives “cultivating one's morality, regulating one's family, governing a country, even world” as a continuous whole, there is no clear divide between “private domain” and “public domain” in the Confucianism. However, comparatively speaking, “cultivating one's morality, regulating one's family” is comparable to “private domain”, while “governing a country, even world” can be comparable to “public domain”. Pre-Qin Confucians pay special attention to the faithfulness (“忠信”) in public domain. As indicated in the Analects, Confucius said，to rule a country “there must be reverent attention to political affairs, and sincerity”, “never slack off in your position and fulfill your responsibility loyally”. Confucius also believes that “people’s trust in the government” is more important than “sufficient food, sufficient armaments”. The Dao of Faithfulness (《忠信之道》) is included in the Guodian bamboo slips unearthed in 1993, which takes the essence of kindheartedness and justice (“仁义”) as faithfulness, where faithfulness is promoted to the supreme position. The faithfulness presented in pre-Qin Confucianism emphasizes that the rulers should be loyal to their subjects, then making “people trust in the government”. Consequently, the aim of “governing the country with moral” (“以德治国”) can be realized. After Qin dynasty, in the context of “three cardinal guides” （“三纲”）, the moral obligation of “loyalty” (“忠”) was only applied to the subjects but not monarch, so that the special meaning of rulers’ faithfulness was lost, which reflecting the predicament of “governing the country with moral” in the era of monarchy. In the modern democratic societies with rule of law, how to make the leaders set as a good example, deeds according with words and keeping their promises, so that the credibility and trust can be enhanced, is still a problem to be solved and must not be overlooked.
(University of Magdeburg)
Since the founding of the UN, the protection of human rights is a national and international challenge. In international human rights covenants, States Parties undertake, first, to respect human rights in their respective constitutional area and to protect and possibly incorporated into the relevant constitution, but secondly they submit to an international control. The national protection is usually organized by different institutions (Constitutional Court, "Human Rights Commissioner of the Government", etc.), but also accompanied by critical NGOs and national civil public. The international protection is also once implemented by a number of international organizations and institutions (Human Rights Council in Geneva, UN Human Rights Commissioner, monitoring bodies to individual contracts, regional and international human rights courts), on the other but also accompanied by a critical public, now operate on regional and international public. Here are mentioned a number of permanent NGOs, but also ad hoc groups, tribunals and the various media (print, TV, internet) and anonymous campaigns on the Internet and the social networks. The paper examines the functions and tasks of such concomitant national and international publics and tries to assess their importance for the protection of human rights.
(University of Amsterdam)
Talking about the private in the public prima facie seems to be a contradiction: why should privacy have to play a role within the public sphere? What could possibly be private in the public? However, quite a number of theories of privacy conceptualize privacy as a protective shield which we carry with us wherever we are: respect for privacy in public then means, for instance, not listening in on private talks between friends on the street or in a cafe. Respect for privacy also means not commenting on, ignoring, odd behaviour in public, exercising what Goffman called "civil inattention" (cf Goffman, 1959; Nagel 2001).
The most important form of privacy in public, however, which has gained a lot of attention during the last decade or so is privacy as anonymity: the form of privacy in the public sphere, online as well as offline, which means invisibility, non-traceability, not being identifiable as an individual person. Theories of privacy differ as to the possiblity as well as to the desirabilty of anonymity in public contexts, online as well as offline (cf Kerr e.a. 2009; Kizza 2013; Marx 1999). Furthermore, it is interesting to realize that the jurisdiction regulating privacy and anonymity is very different in the various countries (for instance US, Canada, EU; see part IV in Kerr e.a. 2009).
In my paper, I investigate into the complicated relations between privacy, anonymity, and the public sphere. I will, firstly, clarify the conceptual relation between privacy and anonymity, drawing on theories which define privacy in terms of (contextually varyfied) conditions enabling individual freedom and autonomy. I will also review some normatively relevant differences between the online and the offline world. In the second part, I will discuss possible normative conflicts between a moral or legal right to privacy and anonymity, and considerations of security, accountability, or moral responsibility. One of the important questions will concern the ethical consequences of the technical possibilities of identification and de-anonymisation in the online world (Koot 2012; Mayer-Schoenberger & Cukier 2013, Kerr e.a. 2009).
(Ruhr University Bochum)
An open society together with a pluralistic public sphere is a cornerstone of modernity and a necessary element of democracy. However, the idea of the open society is not generally accepted. It is often attributed to "Western" liberal individualist assumptions that are not easily applicable to non-Western cultures including China. It is among other things argued that the Confucian value orientation with an emphasis on concrete personal rather than abstract impersonal relations does not allow for civil structures constituting an independent realm beyond family and state. Such as value orientation would rather lead to a socio-political system in which the formation of the political will is not achieved by free public deliberation (democratic government by public opinion) but by non public negotiation processes between the government and the corporate units of society (governance with a curb on public debate).
Are there cultural limits to the idea of the open society, then, in particular with regard to China? As I see it, such a conclusion would be based on a number of problematic premises. First, there is no one-sided dependence of the political system on culture, since political systems, above all participatory ones, can themselves be culture-generating. Second, the contemporary Chinese society seems much too diverse to be dominated by Confucian values, let alone family values of a traditional kind. Third, if one nevertheless accepts that China's cultural history is a factor worth to be considered in this context, this cultural history can be brought into the debate in yet another way than as a negative factor inhibiting and restricting an open society. There is textual evidence that forms of open society existed already in ancient China. It is true that already in antiquity they were not always supported by the elite. Nevertheless, China’s intellectual heritage offers enough points of reference in order to refute the claim that the open society is an alien element in Chinese culture.
(Tsinghua University, Beijing, P.R. China)
If we say that “universality” means the very purport of all kinds of philosophy, then “publicity” can be regarded as another schema of universality for which contemporary philosophy has been seeking with her commitment to the modern social public transformation. However, how does modern philosophy turn her subject-matter or purport from “universality” to “publicity”? And how has modern publicity been formatted? Or, which kind of publicity has modern philosophy been seeking after all for? Is the “public reason” in John Rawls’s term or the “public virtues” in Arendt’s term, to be more exact, in Greek’s term? These questions justly has made up what I called “the puzzlements of modern publicity” and to which any attempting reasonable systematic response of some kind will make a great effect on or even a remaking-up of the basic approaches and theoretical constitution of contemporary political philosophy.
(Department of Philosophy, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan)
On the Political Freedom in View of the Contrast between „téchne“ and „túche“ – A Comparison between Arendt and Heidegger
This paper begins with discussion of the thesis that politics is a kind of téchne (art), as Aristotle stated. He defined téchne to be against túche (chance). Hence politics is neither an exact science nor an accidental opinion; it is rather a teachable art of skill (Kunstlehre). Based on this theme, the paper investigates how Hannah Arendt understands the political freedom as the will of the plural citizens who are facing the uncertain future and attempt to still the willing ego’s disquiet. A comparison between her and Heidegger could be made, if we further investigate Heidegger’s understanding of the political freedom on the basis of his comprehension of the will of Dasein and the appropriative event (Ereignis) of Being.
技藝與機運的對立關係來看政治的自由 – 鄂蘭與海德格的比較
汪文圣 國立政治大學哲學系教授 台灣 台北市 汪文聖
The issue of international justice is both theoretical and practical. Being involved difficulties in both perspectives, this issue became one of major problems in public debates between liberalism and conservatism, the Right and the Left, globalization and nationalism, modernity and traditionalism, democratic and centralist claims, etc. This paper wants to clarify key conceptions involved, such as “private” and “public”, “society” and “state”, “global” and “universal”, “ideology” and “management”.
(Research Fellow, CASS)
Publicracy could be understood as an updated form of democracy, or an improved way to do democracy, on the condition of internet as the new agora, the divergent public opinions and the possibility of re-establishing a legitimated public sphere. The possibility of an improved system of voting to better reflect the rational collective choices will be discussed.
(University of Munich)
The talk places the modern Euro-American ("Atlantic") conception of publicity (Öffentlichkeit) into the historical and systematic context of classical and neo-classical political republicanism. Section 1 details the coincidence of publicity and rationality in the account of the public use of reason provided by Immanuel Kant in the European late Enlightenment. Section 2 features the state as the public realm of political deliberation and decision in the twin traditions of the Greek city state (polis) and the Roman republic (res publica). Section 3 explores the distinction between civil society and the state in Hegel's Political Philosophy as a high-modern retake on the ancient distinction between the private and the public. Section 4 draws on Kant's political neo-republicanism in order to advance a specifically modern conception of participatory publicity. The aim of the talk is to identify the classical and neo-classical "political state" (Hegel), rather than modern civico-commercial society, as the forum in which right and might, reason and power are to be joined in the self-rule of the commonwealth.
- Öffentlichkeit, publicity and public sphere, Deutsch-Chinesische Konferenz, Peking, 公共领域 , 德中会议，2014年10月7-10日，北京, Deutsch-Asiatische Graduiertengruppe, DAGG, Freie Universität Berlin, FU, PD Dr. Hans Feger, Philosophie, Soziologie, Sozialwissenschaften, Interkultureller Diskurs, Aufklärung in Deutschland und in China, CASS