“Post Scriptum”: Permanent Seminar

November,  21

The Speaker:

Hans-Herbert Kögler is Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Florida, Jacksonville, and regular guest professor at Alpen-Adria University, Klagenfurt, Austria. Major publications include The Power of Dialogue: Critical Hermeneutics after Gadamer and Foucault (1996; 1999); Michel Foucault (2nd ed., 2004, 2016); Kultura, kritika, dialog (2006; 2014); the co-edited Empathy and Agency. The Problem of Understanding in the Human Sciences (2000; 2018); Enigma Agency (2019); the edited Reconceiving Religion in the Postsecular Public Sphere” (2020); an edited volume dedicated to Hans-Herbert Kögler’s Critical Hermeneutics (2022). Numerous essays in critical hermeneutics, critical social theory (Frankfurt School), philosophical hermeneutics, philosophy of language, poststructuralism, cultural studies, and social and political philosophy.

The topic Empathetic Morality, Geopolitical Power & Lasting Peace

How (not) to conceptualize the ‘multipolar world order’ after Ukraine

Abstract:This talk presents follow-up reflections on my lead essay “Democracy or Dictatorship? The Moral Call to Defend Ukraine” in the European Journal of Social Theory (Vol. 26, 4, Nov. 2023). In that essay, I invoke the moral sentiment to assist someone in danger or being attacked as a core phenomenon to ground solidarity. I qualify this sentiment with normative reflections on the need for consequentialist considerations, the recognition of the Other’s status as self-determining subject, and the universalist orientation of the ‘moral call of support.’ This normative scaffold serves to challenge the geopolitical approach that reflects solely the interests of collective players, and to normatively reject demands for an unconditional peace now. These points are developed by analyzing Putin’s imperial strategy, Dugin’s cultural essentialism, and biopolitical war practices. Normative principles are suggested based on the whole complex situation. In this talk, I will reconstruct and deepen the ethical foundation of support & solidarity (including military support) for Ukraine; suggest a theory of power & domination which overcomes the methodological and moral abstractions of geopolitical realism; rehearse the role and critique of Dugin’s Eurasian cultural essentialism in Putin’s neo-imperialist perspective; and briefly discuss the normative principles relevant for a newly emerging world order.

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