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! DIFFERENCE AS COMMON : IN DEFENSE OF DIFFERENCE AS THE ANTI FOUNDATION FOR LIBERAL COSMOPOLITAN DIALOGUE BY ROCHELLE H. DUFORD A THESIS Submitted to the Division of Humanities New College of Florida in partial fulfillment for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the Sponsorship of April Flakne Sarasota, Florida April, 2010
! "" Acknowledgements I would like to thank April Flakne, my dut iful thesis sponsor. Jason Scag lione, for talking through my ideas and arguments with me. Ray Roberts and Gene vieve Vai da, for staying up late and keeping me company. Lastly, I would like to thank my family, for their never ending support and care pack ages full of snacks and caffeine.
! """ Table of Contents Acknowledgements .ii Table of Contents iii Abstract .... iv Introduction 1 Chapter One 5 Chapter Two ... 21 Chapter Three .47 Chapter Four ... 66 Conclusion ..88 Works Cited 93
! "# DIFFERENCE AS COMMON : IN DEFENSE OF DIFFERENCE AS THE ANTI FOUNDATION FOR LIBERAL COSMOPOLITAN DIALOGUE Rochelle H. DuFord New College of Florida, 2010 ABSTRACT The task of the thesis is to propose an anti foundation for liberal cosmopolitan dialogue, such that dialogue both across and within cultural divides be more inclusive, and better representative of liberal ideals. The first chapter explores an ideal type o f liberalism, informed by a tradition of natural right and Mill's theory of the freedom of speech showing how Mill's theory fails within Butler's critique of the marginalizing effects of universalizable' foundations. The second chapter Antony Kwame Appia h's theory of rooted cosmopolitanism'. This is shown to be an unsuccessful solution to the problem of inclusive cosmopolitan dialogue when put to MacIntyre's critique of translation The third chapter presents Rorty as attempting to save c osmopolitan dis course through a non foundationalist approach. Yet, lacking a foundation, discourse becomes an act of either imposing an alien/dominant world view or exoticizing th e Other for selfish betterment -a theory that a liberal ought to avoid an imperialist theory The fourth chapter, develops an anti foundation of difference from which we can have interlocution; starting with Jean Franois Lyotard's theory of interlocution and le differend
! # incorporating Hannah Arendt's theory of the public realm. Additionally, th is chapter shows how a genuine anti foundational cosmopolitanism can help to assuage the inconsistencies in liberal theory of speech and dialogue itself April Flakne Division of Humanities
! $ Introduction Abundant conflict occurs, both practically and theoretically, when talking to each other. While it is not certain that these conflicts can be completely remedied, there are steps that can be taken if one wishes to foster and participate in di alogue. For liberalism, dialogue is desirable insofar as it can develop and improve thoughts, opinions, ideas, and beliefs. Liberal cosmopolitanism attempts to expand this dialogue across boundaries of cultural difference as well. Dialogue is how we learn about differences between individuals and cultures as well as develop new and interesting solutions to our life problems; it can generate new life projects and perspectives to aid us in our quest for t he true, the right, and the good This process, though is hampered by a number of factors that are also the keys to its success, factors such as identity, difference, and incompatible values. The difficulties arising out of talking to each other, or the refusal to talk to each other, are present even when de aling with a relatively small population of individuals, such as might be found in a liberal political society. Many varieties of liberal theory posit that more discussion leads to better thoughts and the best ideas for courses of action. But w ho is capabl e of speaking, or authorized to speak, as well as whom is it that one ought to listen to? W ho is worthy of participation in discourse, and how do we decide? If authorization to speak is itself a political problem how ca n the political process solve it? Wo n't this power simply breed more of its own power? He who speaks the loudest, most convincingly, or presents the best credentials for expertise according to a status quo criteria will be the best candidate for legitimacy. Such legitimating functions fly in the
! % face of other liberal tenets, such as equality of access to the political process, as well as the equality of individuals. When the classical liberal model for discourse, a flawed model as we will see is transposed to a cosmopolitan world view, thes e problems remain and become exponentially larger. Classically, cosmopolitanism has been characterized as a sort of ruthless' enterprise. In order to talk to each other, and connect to others, we must have the same terms for our dialogue. If one member re fuses these terms, it seems that we must force them on the other, which often results in the destruction or de valuing of the other's identity and values. Without this destruction, the situation is one in which there are two beings that have no commonality from which to participate in a dialogue together. There is no common ground on which to base the dialogue. The question becomes how do beings with different identities, with their corresponding beliefs, values, and moral structures, have a point of contac t such that they can communicate with each other in the absence of a forceful recognition of the terms that situated the dialogue? This question can be answered in at least three ways that I explore. The first is to found dialogue on some fundamental tenet of humanity. There is just something about us humans that provides enough commonality for discourse. Human nature, a shared metaphysical world, and a shared biology might provide this foundation of commonality, such that we can over come the boundaries th at our identities and differences put in place. Because we all share the same nature or world we can tell each other about our life projects through human narratives that are universally accessible to those within the same world, or sharing said nature. W e begin by telling stories and this results in sharing values, beliefs, and morals. Human nature, though, or a shared world turns out to be an
! & insufficient answer It is unclear which human nature' and whose metaphysical world we are referencing, and the answer seems to default to our world, our nature.' But this is simply another attempt at making the Other agree to "our ," world view setting out the terms of solidarity in advance The risk is that rather than sharing a world we simply abduct Others fro m their worlds, by translating their concepts and values into schemas of our own concepts and values. Discourse with Others then becomes more like discourse with ourselves. The next solution explicitly sets aside the question of what it is that we, humans are to the point of throwing out the concept of humanity' altogether. But it is not clear how a non foundational account can avoid elitism, and/ or status quo imperialism. With no norms to answer to or to keep biases in chek, what is to stop the powerful from imposing their values on others? Elitism and imperialist tendencies rob the Other of her potential to create her own world, to base her identity, morals, and values on that world. These things get destroyed when her values are de valued, and her mora ls are re taught' to her Liberals who seek dialogue, even for selfish reasons, best avoid the elitism and ethnocentrism that are supported by these non foundationalist arguments, and so must develop another method for a point of contact. At this point, t he thesis must reckon with the fact that both a foundationalist approach to dialogue as well as a non foundationalist approach have been dismissed as inappropriate to the liberal project for various reason s This difficulty will be overcome in the fourth c hapter by developing an anti foundationalist approach. The anti foundation proposed is difference. By incorporating difference into constructive dialogue, by definition, we reduce the risk that Others will be cast aside because of their differences,
! or tha t they will be made to conform to a certain value structure because it is the value structure of the most powerful part of cosmopolitan society. On the basis of this anti foundation dialogue may be come more accessible and open, and therefore more consisten t with liberalisms own ideals.
! ( Chapter One Liberalism: Constructing an Ideal Type Liberalism, as a political theory, represents many different things to many different theorists. In the natural right tradition it revolves around som e conception of human nature, and what it means to be a person; after this has been established the rights and liberties of these people can be determined on the basis of their nature. Personhood in liberal theory, is often based on human nature defined a s the possession of reason; thus rationality entitles a person to be a member of political society, in which they are able to be equal and autonomous individuals. Through a brief look at some of the basic tenets of classical liberalism as articulated by Jo hn Locke and J.S. Mill we can develop a better idea of what it means to be a person in a liberal society, and what liberal society takes to be beneficial for individuals and groups within it. One beneficial process turns out to be participation in dialogu e and the free exchange of ideas. But it turns out that "personhood" may constrain rather than liberate or perfect this dialogue process. In Locke's work, The Second Treatise of Government (1980) he outlines the project of liberalism and tells us who the subject is in liberal society. Locke 's criteria for an individual to be able to be subject to the laws of, and act within, a society is made clear by his contrast with children. Children are without the use of reason, and therefore not free. He sets up th e paradigm of free men (the man of liberal society) by analogy to Adam who was under "the law of reason." The law of reason is not so much a limitation, but rather is that which directs a free and intelligent agent to his proper interest, and
! ) prescribes n o farther than is for the general good of those under that law." 1 Once the law of reason,' is acquired, it bequeaths on its owner freedom (or liberty), intelligence, and agency, all of which are necessary for self government, and participation in liberal society. To say that reason is acquired' is not quite correct, in the sense that there is something that I do not have, and acquiring it would be known as my attaining it. It is clear that Locke believes reason to be an inborn trait, a type of natural tr ait, which individuals have at birth but must learn to exercise. 2 With its proper exercise man is able "to dispose, and order, freely as he lists, his person, actions, possessions, and his whole propertynot to be subject to the arbitrary will of another, but freely follow his own." 3 Reason, then, is the condition sine qua non which "helps us find the most efficient means fo r the pursuit of our given ends, 4 i.e. to be autonomous. The pursuit of our ends is important, and necessary to liberal theory in tha t it explains a number of other tenets that are taken to be of importance to liberal society. The concern for civil and personal liberty is i ntertwined with the thought that individuals have the right to assign values to their lives and the beliefs they ho ld 5 Being autonomous in this way also accounts for why equal access to education, freedom of thought and discussion, and freedom of the press are important because we must be educated and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 John Locke, Second Treatise of Government (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co, 1980) 34. (italics Locke's) 2 Locke, 36. 3 Locke, 34. 4 Will Kymlicka, Liberalism, Community, and Cul ture (New York: Clarendon Press, 1989) 17. 5 Kymlicka, "Liberalism," 13.
! well versed in the possible choices in order to make the best poss ible choices for ourselves 6 The proper exercise these liberties, rights, and freedoms, makes necessary the possession of something that is able to guide the rest of one's actions, values, and beliefs; the tenet that both Kymlicka and Locke use for this pu rpose is reason'. From this discussion we can locate three basic tenets -reason, freedom 7 and equality 8 -that have become constitutive of the definition of liberalism. This is not to say these are the only tenets constitutive of liberal society. Will Kym licka identifies a number of related concepts, such as "rights', liberty', 'the greatest good for the greatest number', [and] equal opportunity '" 9 O thers argue that self determination or freedom from government intervention ought to be added My typolo gy of liberalism however, is less concerned with which of these myriad concepts define liberalism than how these concepts are founded in claims about the nature of human beings, and flow from their reason Taking this in to account, we can see that the con cept of rights as combining issu es of autonomy and equality leads one to question "who has rights, what are the criteria for a person to exercise rights?" and liberty leads one to question, "what liberties are good for people? What are people such that th ese liberties are beneficial?" The preeminence of reasons seems to predetermine certain answers to this question. While this makes sense, as I will show below, it also puts liberalism at odds with itsel f in the more concrete projects it ought to endorse. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6 Kymlicka, "Liberalism," 13. 7 Including exercises of autonomy. 8 It should be noted that which of these tenets one chooses has large consequences for particular theories. 9 Will Kym licka, Contemporary Political Philosophy: An Introduction (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001) x.
! + Highlighting core values of equality and freedom, t he political theory of liberalism takes itself to be creating an inclusive sphere of politics in which individual freedom and self government are beneficial and in some cases necessary for human flourish ing. One such freedom often championed by liberal theorists is the freedom of, and accessibility to, discussion and speech. Mill, for example, is consistently understood to claim that the more speech and discussion, as well as viewpoints and opinions, the better for decision and policy making, as well as for the flourishing of human society and individuals who are thereby rendered better at making autonomous life choices However, as I will argue v arious forms of exclusivity remain in liberal theory that b ar some individuals from entering discussions, or deny the authorization of such marginalized persons as speakers. This internal inconsistency in the liberal theory of speech and dialogue has prompted a number of thoughtful responses from individuals who a re discontent with this marginalizing functio n in liberal theory. I will first explore Mill's classical case for freedom of thought and discussion, and then return to one such critique, that of Judith Butler Mill J.S. Mill dedicates a large portion of his book On Liberty (1978) to the explication of liberal theory on speech and thought in the aptly named section, Of Thought and Discussion Prior to this lengthy discussion, Mill highlights the aspects of liberal theory that he takes as central to self gover nment and liberty. Self government is described not as being the government of each by himself, making unto himself his own rules and laws, and all others doing the same for themselves; rather self government is understood as the collective agreement by m embers of the political society as to the laws and rules by
! which government is to be run and individuals are to act. Mill further stipulates that self government "is not the government of each by himse lf, but of each by all the rest. However, he notes th at the will of the people is the will of "the most active part of the people." 10 Tyranny of the majority is the term Mill gives to the potential for the largest portion, or what seems to be the largest portion, of individuals in society to determine the wil l and laws for everyone Fear of this type of tyranny necessitates that individuals participating in liberal society have access to the ability to participate, so as to make their opinions and thoughts heard. In an effort to avoid the pit fall of tyranny of the majority in the liberal system as it is being defined, it becomes necessary to enable and allow a large span of freedoms and liberty which would foster individuality against the trends found in mass society Such a span of necessary liberties incl udes the right to taste, pursuit, creating a life plan, acting as one desires, to unite and converse with others, freedom of consciousness, though t feeling, sentiment, and opinion. Mill argues that all these liberties be understood as not affecting others in society, so as to harm them, without their consent or participation. 11 He m akes very clear at this point that these liberties must exist in a society that strives to be a free society; and that free society is beneficial to the human flourishing of indi viduals It is to the exploration of how we can have, and why we need, such liberties that Mill dedicates the rest of his book. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 10 J.S. Mill, On Liberty, ed. Elizabeth Rapaport (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 1978) 4. (Emphasis Mill's) 11 Mill, "Liberty," 11 12.
! $! Mill offers four arguments specifically in favor of the liberty of thought and discussio n. T hese arguments provide general re asons why a plurality of thoughts, opinions, and viewpoints are useful or necessary for the practice of liberal government. The first argument points to the fallibility of man, such that men are never perfect or able to be completely sure of the truth of t heir own beliefs and opinions. 12 Indeed, all individuals are fallible, and as such, their opinions and beliefs are as well. Marginalizing certain opinions, or types of opinions, from discussion is harmful to the liberal project, in that it may be silencing a lesser held opinion that is actually correct. This is damaging to both the obstinate individual, as well as others in society, in his imposition of his surety onto the whole of society. Being obstinate in this way is a sign that we believe, "that we our selves, and those who agree with us, are the judges of certainty, and judges without hearing the other side." 13 The second argument Mill makes regarding the freedom of thought and discussion refers to the first, in that regardless of whether another's opin ion wholly contains the truth, it may be partially true while one's own opinion is partially false. This argument again refers to the fallibility of man, and his opinions. For even if his argument is partially true, it is seen as worthwhile to entertain th e possibility that it is partially false. The paradigm of an individual who fully recognizes the fallibility of his opinions is the wise man who becomes as such due to "[t]he steady habit of correcting and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 12 Mill, "Lib erty," 17. In making this argument, Mill defines infallibility as, "the undertaking to decide that question [of feeling sure of a doctrine] for others, without allowing them to hear what can be said on the contrary side. Ibid, 22. 13 Mill, "Liberty," 21 22.
! $$ completing his own opinion by collating it with th ose others." 14 This implies that a man may hold an opinion that is partially containing truth, such that it may be amended, completed, and corrected to contain more truth than it previously contained Mill's third and fourth arguments are interconnected as well Here, Mill assumes that the opinions and beliefs being put forth are indeed true. Here, Mill contends that without fearless discussion of a topic, regardless of its truth, it becomes a "dead dogma." 15 T he reason to believe the truth then becomes lost on the believer. If one holds no reasoning to found a belief, one is absolutely unable to defend said belief from any attack or contest. Maintaining a dead dogma am ounts to holding a superstition; it contains no reason, and as such those who maintain it "do not in any proper sense of the word, know the doctrine which they themselves profess." 16 Mill's final argument is that once one has accepted an opinion as true, it eventually loses its efficacy as action guiding. I t is "[t]he fatal tendency of mankind to leave off thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful [that] is the cause of half their errors." 17 Mill argues that once a true opinion becomes so engrained in society so as to become tacitly accepted, it gradually slips from the individual's mi nd. The dead dogma to which one ascribes has no basis for its truth in the mind of the knower,' and so can hardly be applied to experience or action at all. Moral trut hs are a case in point. I f one does not understand the reason behind them, or the applic ability of them, they are essentially useless for moral deliberation !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 14 Mill, "Liberty," 19. 15 Mill, "Liberty," 34. 16 Mill, "Liberty," 36. 17 Mill, "Liberty," 41.
! $% The right to freedom of thought and discussion rests in these four arguments, and yet the author of this argument subtly subverts the position he is attempting to hold. Throughout these arguments it becomes clear that Mill takes that certain opinions, thoughts, and beliefs to be worth' more than others. Such beliefs are more useful for the project of human flourishing, not necessarily on the basis of the beliefs themselves since the tr uth of a belief seems to matter less than the fact that it has been scrutinized through discussion 18 One begins to suspect that the characteristics of the individual holding the belief, or putting forth the opinion actually provide the worth of an opinion ; as Mill famously said it is better Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. Unfortunately, the masses of society do not have the characteristics of Socrates such that their beliefs have been subjected to a criticism and only those beliefs that stand to this criticism are kept; only a few individuals within society are such r ational individuals Similar sorts of arguments occur throughout Mill's examination of the contribution of beliefs and opinions to the flourishing of human beings. We must recall that in order to say what flourishing is, we must already have a sense of what the nature of man is. Mill often refers to the wise man', the most intelligent', or the most learned' man as holding the most desirable opinions because of his characteristic of subjecting his opinions and beliefs to scrutiny. Mill states that the value, then, of human judgment depending on the one property, that it can be set right when it is wrong 19 F rom this one is able to determine that the opinions and beliefs that dese rve confidence are the opinions that an individual has s ubjected to the most scrutiny. Such opinions in which one may be !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 18 Mill, "Liberty," 19. 19 Mill, "Liberty," 19.
! $& confident can be seen as more valuable, and stronger, simply because they have been subjected to contests; not that the holder is sure they are true, merely that the beliefs are able to be p ut to contest and still be held. On this basis is held to be useful to the project of human flourishing. Mill goes on to discuss what he takes to be the primary asset of a great thinker' being that, "[n]o one can be a great thinker who does not recognize that as a thinker it is his first duty to follow his intellect to whatever conclusions it may lead." 20 This implies that one who merely accepts opinions, and has confidence in the opinions of others i s neither a wise man', nor able to be a great thinker' ; a man who does not exercise his individuality and rationality will n ever be anything but the holder of another's opinion, popular opinion, or mass opinion. This person falls into all the negative ef fects of a lack of individual thought and discussion that are mentioned above 21 It becomes clear that while freedom of thought and discussion is essential to human flourishing, certain types of thought and discussion are more useful on the basis of the ide as being put forth for discussion and whether or not they are able to stand up to scrutiny One could read Liberty as saying that the opinions or ideas themselves will stand up to scrutiny if they are produced and developed by being scrutinized; this arg ues in favor of freedom of thought and discussion, because it produces both reliable beliefs, and rational individuals who subject beliefs to scrutiny Since it is not in the character of the masses of society to search endlessly for contests to their opin ions, these opinions are !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 20 Mill, "Liberty," 32. 21 Mill, "Liberty," 50. He conveniently summarizes his points in three paragraphs on this page
! $' less valuable, and should be weighted as such. In another of Mill's texts, Considerations on Representative Government (1962) he makes a similar argument much more explicitly. When discussing minority voting and the subject of rep resentation, Mill makes it explicit that the more instructed' minority, the small amount of learned and educated people, should "in the actual voting, count only for their numbers, but as a moral power, they would count for much more, in virtue of their k nowledge, and of the influence it would give them over the rest." 22 This explicit description of voters and how much their votes matter supports the implicit suggestion in On Liberty that beliefs developed in a rational way, by scrutinizing t hem, are worth more than others, and that individuals capable of going through the above process are more qualified speakers. Mill's discussion of minority voting rights is not focused on what we would today call minority voting rights, the voting rights of traditionally disenfranchised people such as women, those with a lower socio economic status, African americans etc, but rather focused on the voting procedures as they concern the intellectual minority of the highly educated. It is this minority which is seldom repres ented in government as, "[t]he natural tendency of representative government, as of modern civilization, is toward collective mediocrity; and this tendency is increased by all the reductions and extensions of the franchise." 23 This statement implies a tende ncy of Mill's theory that is damaging to the prospect universal accessibility to discussion and opinion. First, Mill believes that the majority of society are at best mediocre thinkers, they either do not have or do not use their rationality The mediocre masses, then, through their sheer number s, may be able to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 22 J.S. Mill, Considerations on Representative Government (Indiana: Gateway Editions Ltd., 1962) 161. 23 Mill, "Considerations," 155.
! $( overpower the vote for representatives, lea ving the minority intellectuals excluded from representation, "except such of them as are willing to sacrifice their own opinions and modes of judgment, an d become the servile mouthpieces of their inferiors in knowledge." 24 Due to this, it seems as though Mill advocates for some sort of mediating factor between a universal voting right, which is one aspect of expressing opinion, and the mediocrity that may co me with it through the mediocrity of the voters who would be expressing their opinions. Mill's answer to this is to give a weighted value to the opinions and though ts of the intellectual minority: "It would then be found out whether the opinion which preva iled by counting votes would also prevail if the votes were weighed as well as counted." 25 The weighting of an intellectual's opinion, Mill stat es, can serve multiple purposes: it can raise the overall intellectual character of the representatives 26 serve t he social function of challenging ideas and opinion so as to enable representatives and constituents to become more aware of the multiple facets of an idea, 27 and guard popular opinion from deterioration or from becoming a dead dogma. 28 Through this, Mill i nsists on the need to consider a rational individual who holds scrutinized beliefs, over a common individual concerning matters of government, opinion, and beliefs. Mill's project exemplifies a tension in liberal theories of discourse that others and I f ind detrimental to the very project of liberalism. The initial arguments appear to be in !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 24 Mill, "Considerations," 155. 25 Mill, "Considerations," 157. 26 Mill, "Considerations," 154. 27 Mill, "Considerations," 158 28 Mill, "Considerations," 161.
! $) favor of the extension of the privilege, right, or liberty of speech to th e general masses of individuals. Very often strong arguments in favor for this occur. Yet, th e hand that writes such an inclusive argument, turns back on itself, and underwri tes within the initial plea for inclusion an argument f or marginalization Mill follows this exact pattern in his works, theorizing that freedom of thought and discussion are necessary for human flourishing, but then qualifies this by saying that some beliefs are more valuable, and some speech is worth more than other speech This double gesture has become a nagging problem for Enlightenment versions of liberalism, and has been taken up by a number of philosophers and theorists in an attempt to sort out what should be preserved from such theories, from what should be set aside. Critiques of Enlightenment liberalism often take issue with the natural rights tradition; it seems tha t often someone is excluded from having such a rational' nature, as occurs in Locke's system Even in Mill's utilitarian re write of this tradition, someone can end up being marginalized on the basis of their underlying use of reason One trenchant critiq ue of the qualifying procedure that undergird supposedly open dialogue will be presented here, with others brought in as the discussion of various facets of liberal dialogue and its cosmopolitan cousin are explored in subsequent chapters. Critique of Liber alism Liberalism, often hailed as the most useful, the most tending toward human happiness, and societal betterment, has a track record of marginalizing minority (or oppressed majority) groups, which it claims is to the betterment of the system. One examp le of this is Mill's utilitarian argument toward weighting intellectual opinions and votes above all others. This facet of liberalism has come under some attack from
! $* individuals such as Judith Butler, who takes seriously the benefits of liberalism, while s eeking the rectification of the wrongs done through marginalization of groups of individuals. Working through her dissatisfaction with liberal theory will better enable one to apprehend the benefits of a change in liberal theory, and the consequences of le aving liberal theory to its past devices. Judith Butler takes up the concerns of the marginalization of Others in liberal political structures in her essay, "Contingent Foundations (1995) She does this through exploring the idea of the liberal subject taken as the autonomous political subject (of Locke) or rational individual (of Mill) Her exploration involves critique of the notion that "politics requires a stable subject 29 This notion is tantamount to claiming that there is no possibility of a polit ical opposition to the subject so qualified. The political is maintained an d enacted by subjects; for liberalism this subject is the autonomous man or the man of reason. At the same time, though, subjects are constituted by the political either through law s or other general political structures of power what counts as exercising power, in this structure, is a result of power The political determines who the effective agents (or subjects) can be, but only as such agents within the political. If we remove s ubjectivity, this also then involves the removal of politics for there is no one to act within the political realm From here, Butler launches her critique of the idea of the subject, or individual, in liberal political theory. It is important to recognize that Butler adopts from Foucault the standpoint that "power pervades the very conceptual apparatus !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 29 Judith Butler, "Contingent Foundations," in Linda Nicholson ed. Feminist Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange (New York: Routledge, 1995) 36.
! $+ that seeks to negotiate its terms." 30 Here, Butler is describing the power dynamics of the political. Politics is partially a contest about the power to dict ate what is, and what is not, able to fit into the rubric of the political' ; to decide what counts as power and as efficacious action In other words, to claim that reason or individuality are necessary to the political subject, is already an attempt at u sing political power. With Mill, saying that reasonable individuals deserve weighted votes, i.e. more power, is another. This liberal political subject, for Butler, has been constituted through its political construction at the sake of the exclusion of ot hers, "through the creation of a domain of deauthorized subjects, presubjects, figures of abjection, populations erased from view." 31 Butler does not stop here, insisting that the domain of the subject and non subject inserts itself into the political struc ture, so that, "it becomes quite urgent to ask who qualifies as a "who," what systematic structures of disempowerment make it impossible for certain injured parties to invoke the "I"" 32 What foundations found the political subject, that subject authorized to speak in the political sphere ? W hen we find a foundation, and seek to universalize it, this universalization only serves to authorize and create that which is interior to the foundation, subjecthood, but also to authorize and create that which is extern al to the foundation, Otherness. The foundation, in the creation of subjects, also creates the exteriority of non subjects and presubjects, as such is the nature of universalization, "such a totalizing notion could only be achieved at the cost of producing new and further exclusions." 33 It is this totalizing nature of universalization that will be !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 30 Butler, 39. 31 Butler, 47. 32 Butler, 47. 33 Butler, 40.
! $, taken up and further critiqued throughout the thesis. The question then becomes what might we use to found the liberal theory of speech, if universalized (or purp ortedly universalizable) foundations create marginalizations that ought to be unacceptable to the liberal Butler's theory on the authorization of subjects in the political, links expressly to what has been discussed in the theory of both John Locke and J .S. Mill. By following the tradition of natural rights and human flourishing they deny the nature' of some, in order to found the potency for that nature in others. This is cent ral to my critique of liberal and cosmopolitan discourse because in descr ibing what speech is beneficial for society, and what characteristics those speakers have Mill marginalizes non beneficial' speech and speakers from political efficacy. Without having the characteristics that are attributed to efficacious and beneficial speakers, one is marginalized from the political sphere, and as such cannot lobby that one should be allowed to participate in said political sphere through speech. Mill's theory claims that an exercise of rational autonomy, through free speech, provides l iberal agency. At the same time, this serves to both marginalize some individuals from agency or subjecth ood by disallowing their speech, as well as to create an exteriority in those who cannot speak, those who are not valid speakers. The criteria creates a liberal us' but only at the expense of creating an Other, them'. Interestingly, according to Butler, any act of political foundation of subjects cannot help but to do so; to create a sphere of authorized and valid action and actors will come at the co st of the creation of a new sphere of unauthorized and invalid action and ineffective Others. In producing criteria for X, where X is subjectivity, knowledge, being a speaking subject, etc. we also produce criteria for being not X. This is important,
! %! beca use projects concerning a theory of dialogue often begin with a structure that founds dialogue and establishes the criteria for subjects of dialogue Such a foundation was seen in Mill, and will be seen in forthcoming pages concerning Kwame Anthony Appiah who adopts much of Mill's utiliatarian theory for his cosmopolitan purposes The difficulty with this becomes the quandary of defining an open dialogue, and the subject participating in that dialogue, without marginalizing Otherness. Additionally, this ma y lead one to inquire whether the ideal liberal project is even worth attempting to practically achieve, due to such theoretical difficulties. Attempting to assuage these difficulties, and keeping the liberal project of discussion, opinion, and value intac t will be the task of the subsequent chapters. The next chapter will deal with an extension of liberalism, wherein its alleged inclusivity is universalized to contain the sphere of the world. Through an exploration of a liberal cosmopolitanism, the theore tical difficulties in liberal dialogue are easier to tease out. It will be of concern to deal with both liberal ideals as well as cosmopolitanism, in an attempt to determine if cosmopolitan can achieve an ideal liberalism, that liberalism itself has thus f ar been unable to achieve. Cosmopolitanism, though, creates an added element of difficulty for dialogue, in that it must occur across boundaries of cultural differences, at the same time that it universalizes itself. The question is whether this attempt ca n succeed? With this, we turn to Appiah's self conscious attempt at the development of a sufficiently inclusive "rooted cosmopolitanism."
! %$ Chapter 2 Cosmopolitan Dialogue As seen in the previous chapter, there is a strong tension within liberalism It att empts to universalize the value of discussion, thought, and opinion, but at the same time is wary that such universalization may be to the detriment of liberal political society. This tension comes to the fore in the attempt to define and explicate a theor y of liberal cosmopolitanism. Cosmopolitan literally translated from the Greek word kosmopolits' means to be a citizen of the world; for the liberal, this involves the project of dialogue and discussion with other members of the world. Cosmopolitanism re quires taking ourselves to be first and foremost human beings who have relations, and duties, to other human beings. In one classical formulation, 34 cosmopolitanism requires that we take each human, as a rational being, to be an end in themselves rather th an as a means to an end 35 This formulation, though, assumes that the designation of human is earned on the basis of thinking the liberal value of autonomy to be valuable. Since this classical formulation, interaction in a cosmopolitan society has been a co mplicated subject B ut in light of the liberal project of extended discussion and dialogue cosmopolitan remains as a type of ultimate goal, or an ideal H ow might the liberal individual be able to talk with those with whom he has nothing in common, how we, human beings, converse and share our life stories, cultures, values, and opinions without domination, oppression, and marginalization? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 34 Kant's formulation 35 Kwame Anthony Appiah, The Ethics of Identity (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2005), 58.
! %% Defending Cosmopolitanism Kwame Anthony Appiah outlines and defends an updated version of cosmopolitanism in his book T he Ethics of Identity (2005) and further explores the idea of this cosmopolitanism in a subsequent book, Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (2006). In Identity Appiah outlines his version of an autonomy based cosmopolitanism, which relies on the principle that self determination is the highest principle of human flourishing, and takes autonomy to be the overarching value of cosmopolitanism 36 This autonomy, for Appiah, is expressed as the taking up' of an identity and subsequent life projects that are understood in relation to that identity. 37 An initial problem for classical cosmopolitanism stems from the fact that a person does not usually identify themselves first as a human being, and second as white or Baptist, or homosexual; this usually functions the other way around. Identity is strongly rooted in thick relations between individuals and society, family, religion, hobbies, careers, etc. A person's identity is complex in that it evolves from a number of beliefs and values that are all form ed and influenced by a person's social situatedness, this is the root' of which Appiah speaks when he describes his theory as a rooted one, and moves from the Kantian idea of a rootless' cosmopolitanism. 38 Two controversially interconnected strands that Appiah finds to be of importance to maintain in the theory he entitles rooted cosmopolitanism' are that we have !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 36 Appiah, "Ethics," 60 61. 37 Appiah, "Ethics," 66 71. On these pages, Appiah outlines what is meant by autonomy, and what is to be expected from the autonomo us individual. On 160 164, Appiah defends that the taking up of identity, and making of a life project from that (or those) identity/ies, is what provides the possibility for autonomous human flourishing. 38 Appiah, "Ethics," 163.
! %& obligations to those immediately around us, on the basis of identity, but in the same way we have obligations to value human lives in general, and by extension the values, practices, and opinions which made those lives an option. 39 This creates an awkward bal ancing act that Appiah attempts to maintain Individuals have rooted' social identities, yet are able to also have the overarching identity of being a citizen of the world. To have a rooted social identity, a discrete life project of one's own creation and not merely human dignity defined as autonomy amount to Appiah's ideal of human flourishing 40 Individual autonomy is of specific importanc e to Appiah's ethical project, because who and as it turns out what 41 we are is developed through the exercise of autonomy. 42 Identities and identification with various groups, "provide what we might call scripts: narratives that people can use in shaping th eir projects and in telling their life stories." 43 This is made possible through participation in any number of communities, and provides the basis for individual flourishing. It is from this foundation that an individual is able to make decisions that allo w for her to make a life for herself that she would deem going well' or understand what it would mean to be living well'. The project of rooted cosmopolitanism requires individuals to have thick identities but this may be at odds with the value pluralis t conception of cosmopolitanism !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 39 Kwame Anthony Appiah, Co smopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (New York: Norton, 2006), xv. 40 As Kant argues that agency, or autonomy, provide the basis merely for human dignity, but not for human flourishing. Mill, however, does provide a more robust understanding of aut onomy as being central to human flourishing. 41 The differentiation here, between who we are and what we are is that by describing a personal identity or the who in who we are, we also identify with a lower order concern of what it is to be a thing that can have an identity, what we are. 42 Appiah, "Ethics," xiv. 43 Appiah, "Ethics," 22.
! %' This conception requires that we', human individuals, have a moral obligation to equally value all other individuals, and consequently their values, beliefs, and opinions. Yet, if I really value my own identity, I must val ue it more than other identities that I could have chosen. If this is the case, I clearly do not value all identities equally, for I have valued one set the most, and chosen to make those identifications. From this, there are three distinct problems that a rise for Appiah's theory of cosmopolitanism. Appiah very clearly lays out the commitment to pluralism recognizing that, "[o]ne distinctively cosmopolitan commitment is to pluralism Cosmopolitans think many values are worth living by and that you cannot l ive by all of them," but as he goes on to stipulate, "they have to be values worth living by." 44 I t is not totally clear how one is to take the sense of the word "worth", and this is a problem that will be taken up again, later in the chapter. For now, it w ill have to suffice that in Appiah's conception, a value worth living by seems to be one that I freely adopt on the basis of my identity. Utilizing this distinction, we will explore the three difficulties that surface from this formulation of cosmopolitani sm. First it seems that if the identity taken up does not undercut one's autonomy, then it is a candidate to be a value worth living by. However I may adopt values that undercut my ability to adopt values; can I then be said to be maintaining my autonomo us identity? The second problem is that having thick relations, and a situated identity, could be trivialized if we take seriously that there are many ways of living, and many ways of being what we are There are two things possibly going on here, the first is the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 44 Appiah, "Cosmopolitanism," 144. Italics Appiah's.
! %( aesteticising of values, wherein I can pick and choose and combine values as I please. This undermines the constitutive role that values play in identity formation. In the end, I could have chosen nearly anything, and the reason to value things los es its urgency The second is that autonomy can be seen as the highest value, it is the value that governs other values, in so far as our values do not undercut autonomy they are acceptable values. If this is the case, then the pluralism is illusory; there is really only one worth value, autonomy, and it does not so much matter what we are, so long it is a who worth being. The third, and related, problem is that, "[i]f persons are of equal worth, as liberals claim, what could justify favoring members of you r particular group over others?" 45 From an identity point of view, who I am is bound up with my affectional context. But f rom the pluralist view, there is no reason to be partial to the members of one's state, one's family, or one's friends. The values of a ll people, and the value of the people themselves on this account are taken to be equal across the board. Appiah takes this potential problem for cosmopolitanism very seriously, outlining how it is that we are able to value our mothers over other women who are mothers, or that we value our friends over other individuals who are certainly someone's friend; all the while maintaining that there are responsibilities we have to all other human beings qua human beings. Rooted cosmopolitans have a duty to recogniz e the value of other's lives and their life projects as examples of human flourishing, as well as recognizing the value of the communities that have gi ven rise to these possibilities. I n order to recognize those values however, one must converse with othe rs who have fundamentally different values. All the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 45 Appiah, "Ethics," 221
! %) while, the cosmopolitan must also be able to maintain that she holds her duty to her friend, Jane, higher than other duties to other individuals for good reason. 46 Since, "[w]ho you are is constituted, in part, by what you care about; to cease to care about those things would be to cease to be the sort of person you are," 47 that is to say that my friendship, kinship, and loyalty make up parts of my roo ted identity, my life projects and ethical concerns, and are shaped by the communities in which I reside. If I were to give up these types of partiality, I would have to cease to care about these types of bonds, and these individuals, in the same way that I do now E ssentially, I would have to give up my ethica l identity. Appiah solves this difficulty through his claim that individuals are not bound by a liberal moral tenet of equality because it applies only to "a regulative ideal for political, not personal, conduct." 48 In private relations individuals are me rely bound to recognize that people should be given what they are owed as human beings. I am able to be partial to my friend Jane, in that I can treat her better (than I would treat a stranger) because I simply like her more and know her; this does not cre ate the problem of partiality. That all individuals are given the respect they earn as fellow human beings does not, in effect, dictate that no one may be given more than this level of respect or obligation. 49 There are, however, both ethical and moral obl igations that must be fulfilled if we are to take up Appiah's rooted cosmopolitanism. These demands being ethical concerns and constraints [which] arise from my individuality[and] govern how I behave toward !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 46 Appiah, "Ethics," 221 223. 47 Appiah "Ethics," 236. 48 Appiah, "Ethics," 230. 49 Appiah, "Ethics," 228 230.
! %* people with whom I have a thick relationship an d tend to be more demanding the thicker that relationship is." 50 That is to say, that I have more demands made of me by my m other, which I often indulge, than I have demands made on me by the neighbor three doors down. N onetheless both are examples of ethic al concerns. There are also moral concerns that arise from "my personhood," 51 from the fact that I am a member of the category person' 52 These involve abstract, and often universaliz ed, normative concepts. Both the moral and ethical types of demands seem t o rely on the fact that we are able to interact meaningfully with both those immediately around us, our thick relations, as well as those who are further from us, ideologically, culturally, and physically 53 While we do have demands that are thick and roote d in our identities, demands that arise from our life projects, these demands must take into account the moral demands of personhood; because autonomy, as the highest moral value, trumps all of our ethical concerns, which must take it into account. In orde r to maintain autonomy as the highest value, it cannot be negated or de valued by another value that I am able to adopt; otherwise it risks losing its status as the trumping value. It is within this set of two different types of obligation, which often int ermingle and blur' into each other but just as often conflict, that agents act, and engage in various sorts of partiality implicit in their actions because no one is merely a person, they are also people with thick relations. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 50 Appiah, "Ethics," 232. (Italics the author's) 51 Appiah, "Ethics," 232. 52 There are strong tensions concerning whether person applies to all featherless bipeds, rational beings, beings with sentiments, being who autonomously choose their life pro jects or beings who are able to address others and be addressed in speech. 53 Appiah, "Cosmopolitanism," 46 47.
! %+ It is clear how we are relate d to the thick demands of personal relations. At this point it would make sense to ask how we are related to these other things, "persons" to whom we have a duty. Appiah makes several claims concerning this facet of his theory. It is pivotal for the succes s of rooted cosmopolitanism that we value all persons, but this also means that we must value the values that made possible the autonomous choices of their identity; in order to do this, we must talk to persons. In talking to them, we are able to be presen ted with their values, and reasons, for their autonomous choices. Without talking to each other one can, at best, make educated guesses as to the values that inform their autonomous life choices. This issue is also one of the concerns that is central to Mi ll's liberal project; that the field of available discourse be as wide as possible in order to ensure a diversity of ideas and opinions for the sake of human flourishing. Appiah's insistence on the benefits of rooted cosmopolitanism would be undermined if we cannot effectively communicate and relate to others (or Others) who are sometimes radically 54 different from us. Appiah provides two pictures of how this dialogue occurs, the second of which I take to be an elucidation and attempt at clarification of the first. In the first picture there is a shared world, and a shared capacity, 55 connecting individuals across a variety of differences. This as it will become clear implies a fundamentally rational basis, even though Appiah distances himself from the narrow Enlightenment sense of the term "reason" 56 The second, clarifying claim that he makes is that there is a shared human !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 54 radical difference, as it was defined in the discussion of Butler at the end of chapter one, is to be understood as a difference that results in the silencing of the Other, and marginalization from discourse. My use of radically is meant to imply that there is a difference between very different, as used by Appiah to signal a difference that is present, but able to be overcome, and separate it f rom one that is unable to be overcome. 55 Appiah, "Ethics," 257. 56 Appiah, "Ethics," 250.
! %, biological nature, rooted in a genetic similarity, which humans have in common. On the basis of this nature there seem to be particular i nterests, as components of identities that could be shared by a wide variety of different peoples 57 On this account shared interests may open the way for dialogue across the cultural, social, and political divide. Talking to Persons: Rationality The first claim made by Appiah is that talking to each other will ameliorate the aforementioned contradiction between one's rooted identity with its related ethical concerns, and one's more overarching identity with its related universal and moral concerns. Followin g from the Millian tradition discussed in Chapter 1, dialogue is the liberal political way in which dispute is solved; we can come to better solutions for problems through debate and discussion with others than we can alone. One of the problems brought to light in Appiah's more general project is the tension between not only between conflicting ethical constraints, but our moral concerns and our possibly confl icting ethical concerns as arisi n g from our rooted identities; this gives rise to the debate betwee n universalism, a possible threat to difference (even more so if our universal concerns are still stated in rationalist terms), and anti universalism, which could possibly devolve into societies that are so different that no conversation between them is po ssible. Appiah wants to tread the line of the contradiction in applying both; he is not quite a universalist, but not quite an anti universalist. It seems to me that rather than choosing the path of a possibly ethnocentric universalism or a possibly probl ematic anti universalism, Appiah wants to maintain an !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 57 Appiah, "Cosmopolitanism," 94 97.
! &! anti universalist bent of questioning Enlightenment ethnocentrism and its universalization of both nature and values, while maintaining an open dialogue with the Enlightenment as one way the human story could go. The Enlightenment theory under scrutiny is that of the universal human capacity for reason.' This reason,' critics complain, has been too thoroughly defined by Western standards and thus is exclusionary of different types of human capacities. Rationalist rhetoric denies personhood to those who do not exhibit rationality or reason in the Western way that it is defined; it Others those who do not display it to the extent that they are no longer able to be interlocutors. There are practical benef its, Appiah admits, in denying the Enlightenment conception of reason. "[G]etting rid of rationalistic rhetoric would permit the West to approach the non West in the role of someone with an instructive story to tell," 58 a story more along the lines of, "The se techniques and these principles better allow people in Western societies to flourish in developing their own life projects." Keeping this in mind, Appiah claims to be rejecting a narrow conception of rationality as the fundamental tenet that we can take away from the Enlightenment. Yet, he does think Enlig htenment theories were on track. F or example, in trying to find a foundation in a linguistic capacity shared by humans who may then engage in "a shared search for truth and justice." 59 But at this point the question reemerges; is it the case that these linguistic capacities and the dialogue they enable require that reason or some sort of rationality be at the foundation of discourse or interlocution? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 58 Appiah, "Ethics," 250. 59 He claims that arguments concerning the ethnocentrism of the Enlightenment are "a critique best expresse d by the statement that the actually existing Enlightenment was insufficiently Enlightened; it is not an argument that the Enlightenment was the wrong project" (Ibid)
! &$ On my interpretation, the evidence in Appiah's work p oints toward yes. He claims interlocution is based on "odd hodgepodge of particular and general: narrative imagination, the capacity for love and reason, some principles, judgment about the rightness and wrongness of particular cases, and the appreciation of certain objects." 60 Interpreting this hodgepodge is difficult but it seems as though many of these capacities have their roots in an expanded rationality. 61 Judgment about the rightness and wrongness of particular cases, as well as shared appreciation se em to presuppose that there is some similar reasoning process or some shared rational interest; this is displayed in that if two individuals have a shared judgment, there is a probably a reason why. Both individuals can provide a logic behind the judgment ; they can also tell a story about how they arrived at the judgment. A similar logic is at work in the appreciation of certain objects; in order to share an appreciation, we share a logic by which we evaluate what is to be appreciated and why we appreciate the object. It is true that Appiah is casting a wider net of rationality than Enlightenment thinkers with his idea for example his notion of shared narrative evaluation. One basis for interlocution would appear as something along the lines of a share d n arrative logic and narrative imagination in which we can posit a world in which the other may live, and posit the story their life would convey. 62 Keeping this in mind, it seems that while we can project a shared narrative capacity it is only fictitious nar rative. In it, we posit what the world appears to be from the perspective of another individual; it is not the positing of a !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 60 Appiah, "Ethics," 258. 61 On this point, perhaps even love requires that we live in a wo rld such that there is something like mutual love, and in order to mutually experience it, we must be a part of the one world. 62 Appiah, "Ethics," 257.
! & % world in which the narrative actually takes place the positing of multiple worlds But this capacity too can be explained as devel oping out of the rationalist rhetoric' in that it mandates, "that in all encounters human beings are struggling with similar mental apparatus to understand a single world." 63 With in this "single world," we may share any of the above particular or general i nterests and characteristics, but it must be within this one world, and we must be reckoning with the world using the same mental apparatus; providing what may be called a rational functioning. Regardless, for Appiah this odd hodgepodge' results in the s ituation that two humans share being persons who are recognized as making meaningful utterances due to their similar mental apparatus and a single world He goes on to state, "relativism about either is not a reason to converse, but to fall silent," 64 presum ably because a relativism about a shared world or shared capacity denie s his basis for interlocution. A sh ared world and mental apparatus turn out to be necessary presuppositions for cosmopolitan conversation. Teasing out the implications of this becomes c omplicated, in the first place, because it seems as though Appiah wants to maintain that there is one world; and possibly along with this, one set of proper or real values, and morals. Recall here the ideas of values "worth" living by. Worthy'ness seems t o indicate a scale by which to judge worth, and for Appiah that scale is autonomy. Having this single scale, with one highest value, combined with the idea that there is one empirical world results in the idea that not only is there one empirical world pop ulated by humans with a similar set of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 63 Appiah, "Ethics," 257. 64 Appiah, "Ethics," 257.
! && capacities but also one moral world with one set of values and valuation in which such beings might flourish Yet, Appiah also wants to maintain that individuals can posit "worlds" for themselves, and imaginatively p osit worlds in which others belong; we can conjure narrative worlds in which our lives and the lives of others take place. 65 Here it seems he not only tread s the line of universalism/anti universalism, but also the line between moral realism and moral relat ivism. If we, indeed, share one moral world, despite Appiah's claims that this is not meant to be imperialistic, 66 there remains a right and a wrong way of moral valuation; there are moral values that are worthy of adoption, and those that are not. Along th is vein, it is highly probable that we will, indeed, take it that we are right, e.g. look at our, liberal, sense of value judgment, and the degree to which it allows us to flourish "(according to an internally generated standard) more than your moral judgm ent, and concluding that our judgment must be right and yours must be wrong, or if nothing else, ours must be closer to right than yours. Appiah does reject a narrow Enlightenment rationalism as the fundamental thing that binds humans together but in my interpretation he retains a wider definition of rationality as foundational to his theory of rooted cosmopolitanism. It is important to Appiah that we keep rationalism, defined as a principle that declares a shared world and shared mental apparatus, for th e grounding of any discourse. But let us think through more carefully what is necessary in order to form a moral community; for Appiah talking to each other seems necessary, to this end One example of this would be two individuals !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 65 Appiah, "Ethics," 258. 66 Appiah, "Ethics," 257. He e xclaims that it is not necessarily a situation in which "we" would be right and "they" would be wrong, for "they" may also be right. However, we cannot know until we converse with them. This implies a fallibalism regarding the world, but not a denial that there is or might be one world.
! &' who discuss their love f or their daughters. Through the telling of stories about their love for their daughters, both can recognize some shared values between the two of them, and so seek to discover other values that each has. This requires, however, both curiosity and care at t he individual level, as well as the imagination to posit a world in which I may value in the same way the other values. In the first place it requires some sort of curiosity as to what the other's values are, such that we can learn something about that oth er through discourse. Additionally, curiosity requires care in that if we are to be curious we must in some way care 67 about the values of the other, and her beliefs, opinions, and thoughts. There is a way in which Appiah's rooted cosmopolitanism comes from this very assertion, the more we talk to each other, the more we will be able to see what we have in common, the easier it will be to associate with people all over the world as persons in the same moral community with me while still maintaining identitie s grounded in societies and thick relations 68 How do we get this dialogue started, though? It seems that there must be something discursively similar between individuals who are rooted in different identities having beliefs, values, and logics conversing across societies e.g. a rational logic that allows us to recognize kinship ties As Appiah says, "You will have few disagreements with your cat. Confronted with someone remote from us in his or her idiom and assumptions, we're more likely to react with pla in incomprehension than with disagreement." 69 Taking the above example, as a paradigm that can be used to display this type of incomprehension, talking with each other can become complicated. Let's say !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 67 Appiah, "Ethics," 222. 68 Appiah, "Ethics," 222. 69 Appiah, "Ethics," 255.
! &( that I start talking to you about how much I love my da ughter, to which you reply that you plan on sacrificing your daughter in a holy ceremony to your god. You will have meant this as an explanation of your love for your daughter. I am more likely to have no comprehension of the meaning of the story you are t elling me, and merely to be confused. I may not comprehend you, but I do recognize you as a being such that you can speak in meaningful utterance, a being who is able to tell a story. This incomprehension is something that Appiah believes can be overcome, through the sharing of stories in his account in Ethics and through lower order interests commonalities that are less common to all humans but common to a few from which one can universalize something like humanity, and identity claims in Cosmopolitanism But is it so obvious if and how we come to recognize all humans as speaking beings, not merely as vocalizing beings? What is really the difference between the sacrificing mother and the cat? Before I even approach you to talk about your kinship relations I must take it that you are somehow like me, in that we can have a conversation. In the case of the cat I simply cannot have a conversation with my cat. I can talk at him, and he can meow at me; he is able to make vocalizations, but not able to speak. T he meaning of these utterances, though, will be utterly i ncomprehensible to either party. There is no basis to eve n get this conversation started; I do not recognize my cat as a being with speech capacities; "[a] n extreme form of disagreement is where X ca nnot comprehend that the sounds uttered by Y form words and chains of words similar to X's owndisagreement bears on what it means to be a being that uses words to argue." 70 Following from this example, you will !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 70 Jacques Ranciere, Dis Agreement (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999), xii.
! &) not only have few disagreements with your ca t; you will also have few disagreements with your slave, wife, children, or natives in a colonized land. W e simply may not share a world in which we are both interlocutors. Rather than reacting with incomprehension and confusion in the above situations, th ere is nothing and no one to which or whom I am able to react. T o this point, Appiah provides little guidance Given what I have constructed as his moral realist position, those beings who are able t o argue and enter into dialogue are beings who participa te in this world (being the singular world in which we are all living, interacting, and making moral judgments) and have the relevant human capacities If you cannot enter this world, you are somehow less than human. Talking to Each Other: Human Nature App iah's account of how dialogue occurs, in Ethics across a great number of factors which would create difficulties (identities, values, beliefs, and societies) is foggy at best. His appeal to an emergent property of commonality in dialogue, base d on an ulti mately shared world as the foundation for discourse is painstakingly contorted so as to avoid flatly stating that it is in human nature to be able to rationally dialogue with one another in a shared world, and those without it are lacking something which s eparates us, people', from them, Others'. In Cosmopolitanism, Appiah declares that there is somethi ng shared between human beings. He calls these factors "the statistical norm in every society." 71 This appeal to the statistical norm in each society seems to connect with his earlier claim, in Ethics, that there is something that allows us to have a shared !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 71 Appiah, "Cosmopolitanism," 94.
! &* narrative logic, as well as other shared functionings and interests 72 Appiah does, however, attempt to make it more concrete and clear in cosmopolitanism as to how this shared capacity works, and what exactly it is. The title of a chapter of Cosmopolitanism called "Imaginary Strangers is clarifying, in that it may signal that Appiah believes that there are no real' differences between different types of persons, that we are not really stranger' or Other to any human beings. From this we can conclude that while strangers may seem strange to us, this strangeness does not translate into any real' differences between people, but only imagined differences o r misunderstandings. Take as an example of this the above two conversations, one with a very strange other, and one with a cat. I can be utterly confused as to the meaning of the story the other is telling me about her daughter, but I comprehend that we bo th have kinship relations. This, however, can only occur if I recognize her as an individual who is able to make meaningful sentences. By contrast I cannot comprehend in the least what my cat is trying to tell me or if he is capable of telling' me anythin g at all; there is a real difference between my c at and I, he is Other to me yet there is only a misunderstanding between the strange other and I. Throughout Cosmopolitanism especially in "Imaginary Strangers", Appiah once again appeals to something unive rsal that humans share. But even in his attempt to clarify what it is exactly that we share, the explanation remains vague. Difference between people seems to be downplayed in my interpretation of Appiah's version of humanity. This is not to say that the re are not particular differences !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 72 Appiah, "Ethics," 258.
! &+ between individuals, but to state that there is something universal, as well as many particular things that we have in common. Appiah takes his cue from the claim, which he attributes to cultural psychology, "that the mach inery of the mind is the same everywhere. There must be some sense in which this is true." 73 So, in looking to mathematics, empathy, and color vision as examples of this sort of mind machinery, Appiah claims, "[t]he answer in each case is not that every hum an being has these traits or capacities. Rather, they are present in every large enough group of our species; in particular, they are the statistical norm in every society." 74 Essentially we can take what is statistically normal among societies of human be ings and from this declare that this is a shared human essence, or at least a share d capacity or set of cap acities, which would amount to natural capacities Claiming, merely, that there is a shared human essence seems to be a threadbare explanation of hum anity; in Ethics Appiah himself recognizes this. 75 What may be natural to the human creature, qua creature, is too thin of a relation to provide the basis for a shared ethics. While myself and an other may share a common functioning of our minds, this does not translate into being a part of the same ethical community, or sharing an ethical essence; importantly, it does not in the least amount to my obligation to recognize that other as being a member of a linguistic or moral community. Despite the claims fo r a statistically shared human essence, as statistically normal biology, the central claim of "Imaginary Strangers" is that even if we do have a shared nature, this is not what connects people together. The connecting factors are instead !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 73 Appiah, "Cosmopolitanism," 94. 74 Appiah, "Cosmopolitanism," 95. Italics Appiah's. 75 Appiah, "Ethics," 252.
! &, particular interes ts, happenings, and ways of life. Cosmopolitanism, in Appiah's view, does not begin with who we are that connects us our human nature but what we are such that we have interests that are our own 76 Here Appiah seems to abandon the search for something like rationalized discourse that will connect human beings together, and settles instead for shared interest But this still contains at least contains a nod to rationalism in that interests imply we are able to rationally choose one option as being bette r for us than the other options: "[t] he cosmopolitan curiosity about other peoples does not have to begin by seeking in each encounter those traits that all humans sharewhat we start with is some small thing we two singular people share." 77 It does not seem, th ough, that this is what we start with. T he actual beginning must be that we recognize others in the first place as beings like us, in that they are able to meaningfully interact with us, and in the second place that we are able to be interested in them, pr esumably for our own benefit with regard to our own flourishing e.g. to satisfy curiosity These particular interests, and facets of individual lives are, in Appiah's picture, how one person can connect to another person. We start by having a conversation about how we both like the musical "Cats ," and eventually, in his account, talk to each other about the things we do not have in common. This conversation provides better opportunities for us to choose our identities, as well as have a better understanding and thus toleration, of other cultures and identities. In short, by connecting through particulars, human beings can put themselves in a position, through dialogue, to better flourish at their life projects. 78 This picture, though, only succeeds if we gra nt that individuals are the type of thing that can have !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 76 Appiah, "Cosmopolitanism," 94, 97. 77 Appiah, "Cosmopolitanism," 97. 78 Appiah, "Cosmopolitanism," 97.
! '! autonomous interests, interests that they have taken up and chosen for themselves, and can meaningfully communicate them to me. If we do not choose our interests and life projects, then having them co mmunicated to me is merely an explanation of a broader cultural or social norm. It is not an interaction with an individual who is able to fit the framework of having a life worth living, and so it is probably not one that I would want to adopt, or encoura ge another to adopt. On this point, Appiah's account of conversation based on interest presupposes that interests are autonomously chosen, and that these interests provides hints as to what we, humans, are. This sounds fair enough. I f we just focus on the particulars of every day life we may well have things in common with people who are sometimes very different from us. However, we still have not discovered what is exactly meant by people' with whom we may have a conversation; does it mean beings who hav e this shared "mental mechanics", reasonable beings, linguistic bipeds, or those who have autonomously taken up life projects. This becomes a large problem if, indeed, we take Appiah to task about his belief that his theory of "[c]osmopolitanism, as we've been conceiving it, starts with what is human in humanity." 79 It seems as though it may actually start with what is autonomous in humanity, connecting to what is linguistic in humanity; the taking up my interests, the telling of my stories, and the making o f my life project, when my" is taken to be ownership based on authorship, and is all qualified by the notion that I am a being such that I am able to participate in dialogue. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 79 Appiah, "Cosmopolitanism," 134.
! '$ We have come back around to Appiah's first attempt to make sense of the problem of dialogue; we must in some sense participate in a world in which those individuals deal with that world through the same cognitive mechanics, by taking up interests recognizable to others To start from what is human in humanity, we must determine what i t is that makes us explicitly people, not a threadbare account of "birth, copulation, and death 80 T here must be something thicker that unites us. The only claims to universal human identity that are provided by Appiah are the two above, in the first case on some shared capacity and a shared world, and in the second case an e thically bare biological nature in addition to various particular interests. Other than that, the only information Appiah provides is that particulars of people matter, or at least they ought to matter. But who and what exactly are these people' and what is it that makes them persons who are qualified to converse and dialogue with me? Is it people who participate in a recognized world', or beings who have a bare biological nature ? As m entioned above, Appiah is well aware of the danger of parsing out the claims to human nature' that characterize who qualifies as a person with whom I am able to converse. Alasdair MacIntyre's theories of reason' and rationality' will better outline this danger. What We Aren't As seen in the second section, it is clear that not only who we are, as in our identities, but also what we are matters as to how we are able to communicate with each other; i.e. I must be a thing such that I can make meaningful ut terances, otherwise no !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 80 Appiah, "Ethics," 252. Appiah is quoting T.S. Elliot on the bare minimum of what is shared between human beings. Interestingly, this shared minimum is also shared between all living things, animals, and to some extent plants, included.
! '% dialogue is possible. Whether Appiah provides us with a rational foundation, which is merely our shared world and shared mental apparatus' or human essenc e', or if this foundation with a bunch of other things piled on top, makes no difference. By providing even a broadly rationalist account of how human life and interaction go Appiah has created a problem for his su pposedly open' cosmopolitanism, e ffectively closing it to the idea of a radically d ifferent Other with whom we might be able to converse Alasdair MacIntyre explores the notion of rationality as a tradition (a framework or set of rules for enquiry and dialogue) that marginalizes those who are not based in such a rational tradition, in Whose Justice? Which Rationality? ( 1988). Why does it matter that Appiah bases his dialogue on a rationalist foundation? First Appiah's refusal to admit that only from within a tradition of rationality can one contest the virtues, morals, and arguments of the tradition is problematic. Takin g for example Appiah's view that if there is only one world, then it is possible that we, western liberals, are wrong and they, any number of individuals outside our tradition, are right. 81 This seems unlikely given as MacIntyre says, "it is an illusion to suppose that there is some neutral standing ground, some locus for rationality as such, which can afford rational resources for inquiry independent of all traditionsThe person outside all traditions lacks sufficient rational resources for enquiry and a f ortiori for enquiry into what tradition is to be rationally preferred 82 It would be, on this account, next to impossible for Appiah to come to believe someone outside his tradition was correct, and that he was wrong if this other individual claimed that t here was indeed more than one !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 81 Appiah, "Ethics," 257. Se e footnote 65. 82 Alasdair MacIntyre, Whose Justice? Which Rationality? (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1988), 367.
! '& world. For, on Appiah's account, there is only one world, and if you think there is more than one, you are not rationally able to come to conclusions in the same way that I am; perhaps you cannot come to well reasoned conclusi ons at all. At the crux of Appiah's appeal to rationality is the thesis that there is one world. In support of maintaining liberalism, he claims that while we participate in one world, we do so fallibalistically. One opinion does not have the advantage of being certainly correct. However, it may be impossible for those of us participating in the liberal western world to recognize others as being right. If this is the case, then Appiah's open cosmopolitanism becomes liberalism on safari. The concept of his r ooted cosmopolitanism is that through dialogue rooted individuals are able to learn, better their lives, and flourish. Yet, when taking into account his rationalist b ent, and the criticism of such rationality by MacIntyre, it seems more like the impetus to discourse is for us to teach them how to flourish and less like a mutual benefit to different parties through dialogue Perhaps, though, I need not believe that the other buys into my tradition, in order to have a cosmopolitan conversation with her. T his takes into account all aspects of the hodgepodge' of things that are able to serve as a point of contact for conversation. As regards these, Appiah's account once again fails if we are unable to recognize that we, human beings (qua beings who are capa ble of making meaningful utterances, in Appiah's account) do in fact have something in common, or fear we are merely imposing a commonality where none exists. The first scenario would mean that we are simply unable to have coherent conversations with other s, in the way that Appiah describes; the second scenario, on the other hand, provides for a more ominous critique.
! '' Appiah makes it fairly clear that, according to his theory, we are indeed able to talk to some very strange others; others with whom we have little in common except perhaps one small point of intersection, such as having a kinship relation. There are complications for the way in which this works. In order to talk to someone who is embedded in a different set of assumptions, their words and sen tences must be translated, into a language, and set of assumptions, which the hearer knows. This translation carries with it the possibility of untranslatability. Untranslatability of a language happens because a speakers sentences are much like a text, an d "a kind of text which cannot be read as the text it is out of context" yet through translation it, "is never the less rendered contextless." 83 This fundamentally distorts contextually embedded speech and texts, and their rooted nature. B y taking them out of context we are depriving them of the contextual meaning that they are meant to convey. This is, in fact, what translation is doing all the time to texts and speech from cultures that are remote from the tradition of modernity. T ranslation makes it unde rstandable to the reader or hearer, but at the expense of making it incomprehensible to the speaker. The text is no longer what the speaker said, wrote, or filmed; it is a different animal entirely. So, why does Appiah ignore that the problem of untranslat ability may present issues for his theory of cosmopolitanism? It seems that it would need to be addressed, since translating individuals is literally imposing meaning or depriving meaning to what is actually said through their translation s MacIntyre makes an interesting point that will serve as an answer to this question, "[t]his distortion by translation out of context from the standpoint of those who inhabit the tradition from which the distorted texts are taken is of course apt to be !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 83 MacIntyre, 385.
! '( invisible to those whose first first language is one of the internationalized languages of modernity." 84 It is j ust such languages and cultures of modernity that make it not only impossible for us, western liberals, to accurately portray something through translation, yet als o make inaccuracies of translation invisible to those reading, or hearing, the translation. 85 In refusing to acknowledge that translation across traditions, and across societies or cultures, becomes problematic, we are denying that there is any inaccuracy i nherent in the idea of a translation. It becomes impossible to adequately represent texts and speech from other traditions, because of a lack of recognition that a translation may not be accurate. Why does this matter for Appiah's cosmopolitanism though? I t matters because multiple individuals, in Appiah's account, are supposedly on a level playing field of speech and dialogue. But by refusing to recognize untranslatability, we do not allow, "for the possibility of its [our rationalist tradition] hegemony b eing put in question[a]nd only those traditions whose adherents recognize the possibility of untranslatability into their own language in use are able to reckon adequately with that possibility." 86 The inability of us modernized western English speakers to recognize that not everything that is said, or written or filmed, can be made directly accessible to us, assumes that we do indeed have a correct handle on this one world in which we live. On this front, this is again a closing off of the possibility that "they" might be right, and "we" might be wrong. If what "they" say is being rationalized through translation, and in this vein also distorted, we will hear in "their" speech something that they never said, a recognition of the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 84 MacIntyre, 385. 85 MacIntyre, 387. 86 MacIntyre, 388.
! ') correctness of the view that the rationalized world is the one world, and they are a part of it. It seems clear, then, that while what we are matters, beings such that we can participate in a rooted cosmopolitanism; in my interpretation, Appiah bases the idea of what we are on ration alist assumptions. These assumptions, however, prove detrimental to his theory, in that by refusing to recognize that there is more than one world, we are refusing to recognize as legitimate the speech of others who claim they are not in that world, or who are outside that world. This undercuts, in the ways mentioned above, the entire project of speaking to and with each other, across a variety of differences (tradition, assumption, morals, values, and cultures). Speaking with others becomes more of an exer cise in either finding what we already know, or imposing what we already know on those who do not know it yet. In either case, we are provided with sufficient reason for aba ndoning Appiah's cosmopolitan dialogue. Yet, we are not given sufficient reason to abandon the possibility of liberal cosmopolitan dialogue altogether. Perhaps exploring an idea of dialogue that does not include a rationalized foundation, or explicit human nature will allow for a cosmopolitan dialogue that is more open and less likely to become liberalism on safari when placed on a cosmopolitan scale This must, however, keep in mind the accepted posit by Appiah that our ethical identities are as important to maintain as a moral identity. This will be the task of the next chapter, to expl ore an explicitly non foundational theory of discourse, and evaluate whether this provides liberal cosmo politanism wit h a better option for dialogue, and the possibility of maintaining our identities in the face of difference.
! '* Chapter 3 Pragmatist Possibi lities The last chapter exposed a harmful morally realist universalism underlying Appiah's explication of rooted cosmopolitanism. If one follows my interpretation of Appiah as presenting a thesis that is dependent upon a moral and metaphysical realism, wi thin which there is something like human nature ,' there is the constant threat of Othering and marginalization of speakers who do not fit into that normative structure. Many, including Richard Rorty have raised relativist challenges to moral realism and t he universalization of values. But Rorty does not end with a critique of moral realism. Instead he outlines a way in which dialogue and conversation across various boundaries might function without need for such a foundation. Rorty argues that what is need ed is not some shared linguistic capacity, a shared human nature, or a shared world. Instead he claims that we need not share anything beyond stories, beyond sentiments, in order to converse with each other. The theoretical rift between Richard Rorty and Appiah's theories is the debate over whether human nature is a fundamental foundation of dialogue. Since, as I have argued, for Appiah, liberal agency is founded on the subject in question being recognizably rational 87 that subject can only be an agent if he possesses or expresses this nature or participates in a recognizable same' world. Rorty, on the other hand, denies that rationality, as such, is the source of agency. Moreover denying that it does any good !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 87 As was said, the word rational here is meant in an exp ansive way, but at a minimum would include the ability to formulate life projects, follow a life plan, and adhere to a narrative logic.
! '+ to appeal to human nature or a shared metaphys ical or moral world as an element of humanity that provides a source for common discourse; "[f]or everything turns on who counts as a fellow human being, as a rational agent in the only relevant sense the sense in which rational agency is synonymous with m embership in our moral community." 88 Rather than asking what it is that we have in common, what is the essential nature of humanity, Rorty wants to suggest we shift the dialogue to a question of what we, featherless bi peds, can make ourselves into. 89 Diggi ng Up the Foundation Appealing to rationality, as a fundamental principle of discourse is potentially Othering. This Othering is partially defined as its tendency to deny access to cosmopolitan discourses. Discourse does not include those who are Othered, or others who are not'; this includes individuals who either are not spoken with from the beginning and the marginalization of certain discourse as "non discourse" when the y fail to meet a criteria of rationality. The threat lies in marginalizing discours es of those who are least like us, wh om we comprehend the least about perhaps who inspire only fear, loathing, or contempt Our conversations will then only tell us what we, rational individuals' already know 90 Importantly what we western liberals already know is that liberal political systems are beneficial for making and executing life projects, as well as !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 88 Richard Rorty, "Human Rights, Rationality, and Sentimentality in Stephen Shute and Susan Hurley ed., On Human Rights: The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 1993 (New York: Basic Books, 1993) 124. 89 Rorty, "Human Rights," 115. 90 One good example of this is the way that translation was discussed in the previous chapter. When listening to someone who is remote from one's system of v aluation and belief, we tend to superimpose their words onto our frameworks of value, rendering those words at the same time (a) not what was said by the speaker and (b) something we potentially have already known.
! ', the best way to go about instituting them; that we should be striving for certain types of rights; and that all persons should have similar sorts of a ccess to similar sorts of infrastructure. The moral project of cosmopolitanism gets lost in the assertion that only certain types of interlocutors will be recognized, such as those with a story to tell in a way that can be comprehended by other rational ag ents and that will aid in a search for what counts as truth and what counts as justice. At the same time, though, by denying a principle of solidarity between us featherless bi peds it becomes unclear how we would all communicate with each other. If we can not ground our humanity in something, what is it that we have in common such that dialogue can begin and what an individual says can be understood by another individual who has a completely different set of values what might found a meta moral principle by which we are constrained to listen to Others, who might be morally repugnant to us? Rorty answers this by what he calls a pragmatist position regarding morals. This position could be taken as tantamount to a relativist position and I will briefly outlin e later in the chapter why that is the case. First it is important that we understand what it is that Rorty means by a pragmatist' position, since the term itself can be problematic. Rorty uses the word in the sense of critically questioning "what we can make of ourselves" and what it is practical to believe, essentially, what concepts are actually making our moral values, beliefs, and justifications possible for us. If a concept is not, in fact, helpful in determining these things, then the concept is no longer of use, and as such is no longer relevant to the topic at hand. The list of irrelevant topics for Rorty includes, "a purportedly ahistorical human nature, there is probably no such nature, or at least
! (! nothing in that nature that is relevant to our m oral choices." 91 Going along with this pragmatism, Rorty proposes that we set aside the project of foundationalism As I argued in the last chapter Appiah builds a framework or architecture of the conditions of possibility for human interaction in language; at the bottom of this is a shared world and a similar biology or essence between humans. If one does not, in fact, take up the architectural framework from the bottom, one cannot reach the higher sections of the building in which we share our beliefs and values with each other in language, and tell our life stories to others through narrative. For Rorty setting aside a foundation on which dialogue, morals, and human interaction is thought to be based opens up the possibility for other types of dialogue, ne w versions of moral and ethical theory. This would allow for different types of interaction to be recognized as valid types of conversations, as well as marginalized speakers to be recognized as interlocutors. Such a non foundationalist theory 92 is what con cerns Rorty in "Private Irony and Liberal Hope" 93 and provides a complement to his pragmatic theory in "Human Rights, Rationality, and Sentimentality." On Rorty's account, his pragmatic theory, by asking what we (as featherless bi peds) can become silences questions such as "Is man the rational animal?" and "What is required for personhood?". There are, as is noted by Rorty, many ways of be ing disqualified for personhood: being equated with animals, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 91 Rorty, "Human Rights," 119. 92 I refrain here from directly referring to this as a relativist' theory, as a theory lacking foundation need not be a relativist theory. However, a discussion of relativism will occur later in the chapter. 93 Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (New Y ork: Cambridge University Press, 1989).
! ($ womanhood and femininity, as well as being a child or "chil dlike 94 The first step to avoiding such qualifications is casting aside the idea that we must make claims about human nature or humanity, that one must provide some instance which separates man from animals, be it autonomy, a shared biology, or a shared w orld provided by our ability to make autonomous decisions, shared judgments, or a search for truth'. But i f we can say nothing about what we, human beings, are, then how is it possible to make moral claims about these creatures' about which we are able t o claim little else? Rorty's doubts concerning the causal efficacy of claims to human nature or to moral knowledge are rightly placed; for while these types of claims attempt to make connections between all individuals, we have seen how they merely set up paradigms of marginalization by creating an "us" they also create the possibility of a "them" 95 One ought instead to be asking what one is clever enough, and courageous enough to make oneself into, "[w]e do not need to dig behind this historical fact [of the moral progress of sentiments in a liberal western world] to nonhistorical facts about what we really are." 96 The posit that Rorty makes is that today, there is more freedom, more autonomy, more caring and less harm than there was in the past; condition s that are internally articulated in liberal theory and practice as being beneficial. This means that in order to achieve the ideal type of liberalism, pragmatically, we simply need to replicate the historical !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 94 Rorty, "Human Rights," 113 114. 95 Rorty, "Human Rights," 119. The causal efficacy mentioned here is in reference to the employment of the term humanity' as it is meant to bolster or found solidarity. As it has bee n shown in the previous chapters, terms such as this create an interior by creating an exterior; and thus someone gets excluded from humanity'. For that reason, I find it best to avoid such usage, as does Rorty. 96 Rorty, "Human Rights," 121.
! (% situations that have brought about this progre ss of sentiments within liberalism, and continue it in the future. "Sentimental Education" Part of the project of cosmopolitan dialogue is complicated by the different identities, rooted beliefs, values, and interests that people have. It is clear that R orty does not provide a foundation for what it is that we have in common other than a bestial susceptibility to pain. He adds to this a specific susceptibility to humiliation, as a type of pain that is particular to featherless bi peds because we often po ssess a desire to see our own objects, beliefs, and values be respected, or at the very least, allowed to remain coherent. It is not, however, necessary for one to value one's world and things. The generalization that we often do, however, is merely an imp etus toward respecting the other's things, in the instance that the other respects those things, and would be harmed if they were disrespected. If it is the case that we want our identities to cohere then from where does the drive, along with the toleranc e and curiosity, to speak with others who are much different from one come from? In our discourse with Others, we may find our small things disresp ected, or our values de valued. Speaking with a radically different Other, without being marginalized or humi liated and marginalizing or humiliating the other 97 requires a few things, on Rorty's account. O ne of these things is sentimental education. 98 Exposure !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 97 The avoidan ce of such marginalization and humiliation being within the paradigm of an ideal type of liberalism, is internally consistent with the westernized world view. Additionally, the care it requires to avoid these things will be discussed later in the chapter. 98 Rorty, "Human Rights," 122 123.
! (& to stories of those who are humiliated, who have had their worlds shattered would "acquaint people of diff erent kinds with one another so that they are less tempted to think of those who are different from themselves as only quasi human." 99 This education requires the lesson, it seems, that other featherless bi peds have stories, values and beliefs, regardless o f their degree of remoteness from our own value and belief structures. These stories are meant to con vey the similarities between us. W hen one tells a sad story and another empathizes with said story and value. This promotes a similarity of sentiment that provides a point of contact wherein one is more likely to see the other as included in one's own moral community. Sentimental education is troubling for a few different reasons, the largest of which is the one that is recognized by Rorty, which is that it requires those in power and of the dominant parts of society to be in charge of instituting this education. 100 Additionally, because of this, sentimental education could be used to propose any group of sentiments, any set of values. It also may be disturbin g for other reasons, such as being a mechanism through which one is able to impose a human nature'. Progress of morals and sentiments, relies on "manipulating their sentiments in such a way that they imagine themselves in the shoes of the despised and op pressed...Producing generations of nice, tolerant, well off, secure, other respecting students of this sort in all parts of the world is just what is needed indeed all that is needed to achieve an Enlightenment utopia." 101 This manipulation of sentiments wou ld necessarily occur through the telling of sad, sentimental stories; stories of oppression, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 99 Rorty, "Human Rights," 122 123. 100 Rorty, "Human Rights," 129 132. 101 Rorty, "Human Rights," 127. (italics Rorty's)
! (' Othering, harm, silencing, and marginalization. The point of contest is whether manipulating' sentiments is not in some ways internally inconsistent with the libe ral project, or to individual autonomy? Initially the answer appears to be no, there is nothing necessarily within the idea of the manipulation of the sentiments that seems to be dangerous to the liberal project or to individual autonomy. Having heard a s tory of a woman refused education, or an African slave, one may choose to simply ignore the affect that it perhaps has, or one may feel no affect whatsoever. The affect itself cannot be forced upon those who are being educated However, the affect cannot i n fact occur if there is no stimulus for the initial reckoning with the stories told to us by others. This is where the criticism that Rorty addresses becomes relevant, because the process and affect of sentimental education is simply different from a n ind ividual going out and finding others to tell their stories There is an element of power or force involved in sentimental education that is different from a type of curiosity that serves as an impetus toward learning about others. Rorty recognizes that thi s education' of certain factions of society by other factions of society may be susceptible to charges of elitism yet sets the criticism aside. We however will address the critique, as it seems to underlie a certain difficulty that Rorty is not able to o vercome. This sentimental education' is, at its base, an education of those without power by those with power. What is there to ensure that this education is indeed a liberal sentimental education, meant to increase sensitivity, tolerance, and acceptance of different others; or if it is, if it is not aimed at exoticising the Other into an object for myself? Absolutely nothing I f there were a system in place by which sentimental education occurred, it would be designed by those instituting it and would
! (( sim ply reinforce the divide between the powerful few and the dependent masses. 102 The power that imposes the sentimental education, at the same time is concerned with re enforcing its own power. This gets us to the heart of the criticism, that such sentimental education' merely reinforces the division of the elite from the mass; it reinforces the us them relation, there are those who design the sentimental education, who presumably know that in which individuals need be educated, and those who are in need of ed ucation. In addition to this, there is the very real possibility that this manipulation of the sentiment is just that, manipulation, and as such could be used for any number of possibilities of formation of the sentiments. Yet in all cases, whether the e du cation is to have a positive effect or a negative' e ffect, this education is a form of manipulation of the many by the few who presumably know what is best for the many. This integral state of affairs paralleling Mill's development of weighting votes in C onsiderations on Representative Government (1962) is one that the modern liberal would like to avoid One might, at this point, note some striking similarities between Rorty's notions of sentimental education and Appiah's insistence that we tell our lives through narrative and relate to each other through such narratives. It is important to remember at this point that the fundamental problem with Appiah's theory was not the narrative or sentimental aspects, but simply a problem of coherence between the ide a that we people can discourse with each other in a meaningful, moral way without marginalizing or misunderstanding others and that we people all exist in one world and share one essence or nature. In order to determine if Rorty's theory of sentimental sto ries out performs the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 102 I call the vast majority of society, to whom such a program would be directed the dependent masses' be cause they are indeed dependent on those elite few for their education, their value of tolerance, their sense of community etc..
! () theory provided by Appiah, due to his lack of a foundation' and appeal to some sort of trumping moral value it is necessary to explore the theory of dialogue provided by Rorty There seems to be a difficulty with Rorty's set up of a non foundationa list claim about human morality. Morality does seem to require we take seriously that we are a part of a larger scheme of action than our insular decisions and actions. On Rorty's account w e are, in most circumstances, as beings bearing diff ering linguistic capacities, conjoined by our clever use of words, sentences, grammar, and syntax. We, language users use words as signs to signify something, we "carry about a set of words which they employ to justify their actions, their beliefs, and th eir lives." 103 ( sic) We share sentiments, explain beliefs and judgments, and justify ourselves based on the words that we use Rorty terms these words a person's "final vocabulary." 104 It should be noted that for Rorty this list of things we do is meant to be d escriptive, not prescriptive. It does not act as qualifying criteria, merely as observed behavior and behaviors can change over time in response or reaction to other behaviors. Translation and Re Description According to Rorty many featherless bi peds have a final vocabulary a set of interrelated words for which one can provide no non circular definition. Individuals rely on these words to justify themselves and to define each other. However, these words and their usages are centrally located within a cult ure, society, region or religion; these are the sorts of words that have culturally and socially relevant meanings that sometimes make !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 103 Rorty, "Contingency," 73. 104 "final vocabulary" while important to mention here, takes on greater theoretical importance later in the chapter.
! (* translations difficult or impossible, keeping in mind the critique of translation presented in chapter two. Sometimes the se words are thin concepts, such as "true" or "just ," words that are less descriptive and less effective for critical usage, and often can be representative of thicker concepts such as "rude" or "decent ," concepts that create the content of our moral and c ultural systems. These vocabularies, though, vary greatly across cultures and societies; we often use words that we find ourselves at a loss to describe and define, words and subsequently concepts that nonetheless impact our moral lives and put at odds oth ers for whom different words and concepts are final. Final vocabularies are strange in this way, they can make certain actions, inactions, beliefs, and decisions look good or bad, harmful or beneficial, simply by being used, re used, re described, and tran slated. One example of this is the usage of the term suicide bomber, as is often given to individuals who give thei r lives as a product of bombing what is in their mind, a significant or malicious place, or entity. These individuals, from within their own moral and valuation structures, are often making the ultimate sacrifice for what they believe in, they are not mere suicide bombers, but martyrs for the cause. Our actual actions, beliefs, and decisions can be made to look good or bad by being re described in a different final vocabulary, or a final vocabulary of an Other. 105 Those who know that these words and thus concepts can be changed through their description of them, Rorty entitles ironists. That concepts, beliefs, and actions can be made to be positiv e or negative simply through their re description is an entirely relativistic claim. Rorty is really trying to contend that our concepts and the actions springing from them have no intrinsic moral value, that there is not a set of positive moral !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 105 Rorty, "Contingency," 73.
! (+ concepts s uch as "the good" that we ought to strive toward; that our moral worlds, and words, are radically relative to other moral worlds and words. For this reason, an ironist recognizes that there is not one highest value, such as autonomy, or one thing that join s us humans together across varieties of difference Nonetheless, r e description of what could ultimately known a s a functional moral vocabulary provides an entrance into how we can interact with each other in a cosmopolitan world through dialogue. Our voca bularies, and worlds (both moral and metaphysical) nee d not be shared. O n the ironist's account, the creation of a community "is not a matter of sharing a common truth or a common goal but of sharing a common selfish hope, the hope that one's world the l ittle things around which one has woven into one's final vocabulary will not be destroyed." 106 This hope, that our small worlds will not be destroyed, parallels Appiah's arguments concerning individual identity; that we should maintain our ethical obligati ons, lives, and actions; ones that pertain only to us, or to people with similar identities and interests to us. This is not a question of whether individuals ought to value their particular worlds and identities; that is a question which each much answer for themselves; it is merely a statement that often we do value our small worlds, and feel a sense of humiliation when those worlds are de valued. The ironist is impelled toward dialogue with the Other because she must test her vocabulary in hopes that it passes this test. Unless she does she, she will be beleaguered with its contingency and instability. But, can this schema get us to cosmopolitan dialogue? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 106 Rorty, "Contingency," 92.
! (, Initially, Rorty describes an ironist as an individual who has a set of terms and words in which she describes her life and world, yet is in constant doubt that these are the correct' or best' terms in which her world can be described. This comes about from the exposure to different sorts of acquaintance, through books, media, film, and human interactio n. The plethora of human "final vocabularies" causes her to doubt her own. Final vocabularies were described earlier as terms and words for which there is no non circular recourse for explanation. While there is no non circular way to define and describe t he terms in one's final vocabulary, vocabularies can be, and are constantly, compared to each other. 107 I am able to compare my definition of what it means for a romantic partner to be faithful, with what it means for a Christian to be faithful to God. This comparison will yield to me a new concept of what it is that the world faithful means, as well as the use of the concept. There is no essence' or nature' to things, persons, or objects of moral knowledge' as such; no real way to decide whether my usage of faithful, the Christian usage of faithful, or Bill Clinton's usage of faithful is the morally correct use of the concept, and so no real way to decide whose concept is morally superior This highlights the radical contingency in our condition, we are co ntextually embedded individuals, and we have immediate relations, moral beliefs, and cultural beliefs. Yet, these are all various contingencies, the words we use, the concepts we apply, and the beliefs we have are not able to be verified in any way as some thing like moral truth. Still it is out of these contingencies that we build our lives, they are the words we use to describe our lives, projects, and beliefs. This creates some fragility to the sense of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 107 Rorty, "Contingency," 75.
! )! self and sense of community, for the ironist recogni zes that these contingencies could have been otherwise, and would not necessarily have been the worse for it. 108 Radical contingency, though, leads one to the question of determining what it is that should be contained in one's final vocabulary, what words s hould signify, and what concepts should be employed in one's interaction with the world. As Rorty states, "[t]he ironist spends her time worrying about the possibility that she has been initiated into the wrong language gamebut she cannot give a criteria of wrongness." 109 So, what does the liberal ironist do? She reads, and especially reads those who have traveled more, encountered a wider range of diverse individuals and cultures, and attempts to experience as much of the world as possible. The notion of ra dical exposure to alternative cultures, vocabularies, and persons is necessary, for what can serve as the critique of a criteria less vocabulary, save another vocabulary? There is a sense, here, in which one might take this self exposure to be a type of se ntimental self education. In this way sentimental education applied to others turns out to be only an extension of my valuing it for myself. I already seek to expose myself to it, and then universalize that value. But the fact that this is done both throug h persuasion as well as though voluntary means, and can be accomplished on one's own only reinforces the earlier critique of sentimental education itself. For the question becomes, why must we try to educate others, when they well enough could be educating themselves? To which the answer must cite a power differential, a sense of knowing what is best for the other; a sense that we have constantly been attempting to avoid through the previous chapters. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 108 Rorty, "Contingency," 74. 109 Rorty, "Contingency," 75.
! )$ The comparison between terms, between concepts, and betw een beliefs is essential in order for the liberal ironist to adequately figure out what it is that they are trying to say, and what it is that they should be trying to say. Making the best of a certain set of vocabularies requires this comparison in order that one can re describe situations, and concepts. This re description is what can make anything to look good or bad'; and not only is the liberal ironist's vocabulary subject to this re description, but everyone's vocabulary is subject to this re descrip tion. 110 The ironist's hope, in fact, is that these re descriptions will stick, that using words in a different sense will encourage that usage of the word as the common usage of the word There is a continual striving toward better concepts, values, and vo c abularies, while the criteria for those superlatives remains entirely relative to the theory of value to which the individual subscribes. This leads to the fear that while I propose to be open to the vocabulary of the Other, while adopting an irony regardi ng my own. I am in fact translating the Other's vocabulary into my tradition, to prove the superiority of my own vocabulary, meanwhile degrading that of the Other. For Rorty, though, the point is that theory of value attained in any vocabulary cannot be st atic. These words and vocabularies have use not only in our private lives, but in our public lives as well, incorporating different usages of words, redefined and re contextualized words into the public sphere via individuals private lives. Rorty insists t hat the, "only important political distinction in the area is that between the use of force and the use of persuasion." 111 No one person will ever be able to control such words, they can become broadly used in public situations, as well as re defined or tran slated. As a !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 110 Rorty, "Contingency," 80 81. 111 Rorty, "Contingency," 84.
! )% result, one cannot be forced' per se, to use words in a certain way or to accept a re definition. This is a classically liberal distinction harkening back to Mill's harm principle. Persuasion through rhetoric is seen to be acceptable, but the use of power to force a belief on another is not. Rorty clearly counts sentimental education in the category of persuasion, as was discussed earlier. However, one could argue (with Foucault) that both force and persuasion are power plays meant to increase one's own power, or the power of one's belief. The differentiation between the use of force and use of persuasion is hard to draw on the level of fundamental beliefs and applies to what Rorty describes as sentimental education as well as the re descripti on of vocabularies and concepts. Persuading individuals to maintain a certain type of caring or concern for the lives of others, for their small worlds, and for their relative safety occurs, on Rorty's account, through a type of persuasion. The use of pers uasion, though, indicates the use of a disparity in power in order to educate' or teach' something necessary, which should be learned only according to certain sets of final vocabularies. Harm, Care, and My' Small World As you will have perhaps have not iced, the fact that an ironist's vocabulary, and thus values and beliefs, is radically relative to the point of lacking a coherent criteria for even goodness seems in some ways strange, given their ambition. The ambition to learn and educate others about a plurality of belief systems and values seems misplaced when one cannot give a reply as to why it is important that we do these things. First of all, I would like to agree that it does seem strange. T he liberal ironist cares for those around
! )& her, and has worries that she cannot found in anything deeper than a habitual vocabulary. It is clear that in some ways she cares for others, in that she wants others to have fulfilling and happy lives, to maintain the small worlds that they have set up for themselves. But why care, especially when it seems that they don't care? There is given no reason for this external to liberal discourse and the only possible explanation is that the liberal theory the ironist subscribes to, that has given her the ability to create a world she finds good so far, has been enabled partially through care and preserving it requires that we care about others. Thus, it is pragmati c for us to care about others. I t is important to the ironist because it preserves a theory of the world that i s beneficial for the ironist; it perpetuates and sustains the liberal world that the liberal ironist supports. Another question one might ask is why does the ironist attempt to do little harm, and values the idea that another individual should not be cause d pain, specifically humiliation, when it seems that re d escription and translation may well destroy these worlds, at least in part, and cause great humiliation. The answer to this seems to be in the talk of the creation of one's own small world. There are undoubtedly parallels here to Appiah's insistence on the ownership via authorship of one's own identity. An individual's small world is that which contains the reference point for all of her values, her beliefs, and her customs. To haphazardly destroy thi s through re description is harmful to the individual who now can no longer find evidence for the value of her beliefs, desires, and values; there is something very cruel about this. Yet, it seems only to be a side effect of the re description, and a negat ive side effect at that, that individual's worlds will be destroyed through re description and translation. The hope of the ironist, because she is also a liberal, is that these individual's lives will be made better for their
! )' re description; that the live s, and worlds, will contain more freedom, autonomy, and justice values internally consistent with the ironist's liberal theory. Essentially, that increasing the qualities of individual's lives increases the quality of our own. The more individuals are vali dated as speakers, the more individuals we can discourse with and with which we can compare and contrast our vocabularies, the better refined and more shared our vocabularies will become. Better refined to be what though? It is unclear, the ironist does no t know, but she will remain open to paths to becoming that are endorsed by her other values and beliefs. It seems unfortunate that in Rorty's project, the ironist's goal and hope, as well as the project of sentimental education, fundamentally rely on explo itation of the existing power structure -the very same power structure that has encouraged and maintained the marginalization of various groups of people already. This reliance on existing power relations, such as imp lementing sentimental education from th e top down only reinforces the power differential, and further ingrains in society a sense of us and them, i.e. those who need this to be made more like us This means "w e, ironists (the elite), will decide how you (the average or marginalized individuals) will be educated and with what material; in addition we will set the standard for how your language will be used. We will reuse, re translate, and re describe your concepts until they are what we desire them to be." The ironist merely utilizes the existin g marginalization of others in order to provide what she thinks to be the best language, moral vocabulary, and world view in her mind. Only then can she converse with the other who is suposed to challenge her world view. At this point, you may find yourse lf wondering, if Rorty's theory does not solve but simply augments the difficulties found within the previous discourse on Appiah, then
! )( what purpose does a discussion of his theory serve? The point, as it stands, is that both the flaws in Rorty's arguments -the relativity of value and inability to choose between values, as well as the reinforcemen t of existing power disparities -do not stem from his theory being a non foundationalist one Difficulty stems from the liberal elitism present in the theory, as w ell as a broad sweeping relativism that constantly threatens to aesthetisize morals, values, and beliefs. It becomes important here to note that relativism was not the impetus to di ssolve a theory of human nature, rather it was pragmatism. Pragmatism enabl es one to declare that the idea of a human nature or metaphysical world does not encourage individuals to view themselves as a world community, but instead sets up a paradigm of Otherness, and the possibility of marginalization. Accepting the pragmatic dec ision to do away with the concept of humanity, as well as accepting the empirical assumption that individuals will act pragmatically in the ways that they deem best will remain as the back drop of the next chapter. Since the idea of human nature is not ful filling the theoretical function it is supposed to be fulfilling, it is more practical to do away with it, the theory of human nature, or of metaphysical and moral realism, in favor of a non foundational theory of dialogue. Picking up where this left off, but eschewing liberal elitism and western "ethnocentrism" will be the task of the next chapter.
! )) Chapter Four The Anti Foundation: Difference There is a sense in which the preceding chapters have painted a fairly bleak picture for the possibility for i nclusive discourse and liberalism to co exist. In one case we have liberalism, but at the cost of doing away with comp letely open access to discourse due to the interna l inconsistencies I n the other we have cosmopolitan discourse, but at the cost of disre ga rding liberal tene ts such as the ability to aut onomously create a life project and identity which are able to serve as the basis for our values The most problematic idea throughout this discussion has been the foundation of discourse. However, lacking a foundation for discourse, the reason to discourse at all becomes the selfish aesthetic interest of the elite, or to teach' those who are not l iberals the way of the liberals. Either way, such discourse expresses an imperialist model. The express purpose of this chapter is to develop and defend a different t ype of foundation for discourse; to develop something that allows for discourse but lacks the potential for the damaging, marginalizing properties of foundations ; to develop a sort of anti foundation for discourse that allows our values, identities, and worlds to remain intact so as to avoid t he cruelty of their destruction, in keeping with our liberal bias for what makes a better world and the empirical assumption that individuals act pragmatically. On Being the Other: Interlocution and Silence The starting point for this dialogue will be the controversial claim by Rorty in favor of sentimental education; that some need teachers in order to learn moral interaction and proper moral affect. Jean Frano is Lyotard also has a discussion of the
! )* Other as teacher, yet this inverts the power relation of Rorty's teacher and student In "The Other's Rights 112 Lyotard takes up speech rights, how these rights might be enacted, and what composes them. As an analogy to the way in which meaningful dialogue occurs, Lyotard presents the Other as the figure of the Master T he Master imposes on the pupil capturing him to make him hear that which he does not understand. 113 How does this teaching of tha t which is not understo od occur ? The Master alone can present the unknown, the strange ; she is radically different from the pupil I f the M aster presented that which was already known, it would not be possible for her to be Other; s he would be interiorized. If s he did not presen t that which the student is incapable of producing herself then s he would teach nothing. 114 Her "Mastery" consists in her Otherness. It is this teaching of Otherness that comprises the right to speak. The capacity to speak of one's own Otherness exists in every possible interlocutor to whom one is able to address oneself; "it cannot help but bind all human speakers in a speech community 115 However, capacity does not legitimacy make L egitimacy is only gained in the act of an nouncing the concept of which i s discussed below It is important here to n ote that legitimacy does not entail standard legal implications of who can or has a right to speak ; rather it seems to imply a certain meaningful speaking For Lyotard speech is only !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 112 Jean Franois Lyotard, "The Other's Ri ghts," On Human Rights: The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 1993 ed. Stephen Shute and Susan Hurley (New York: Basic Books, 1993). 113 The Master, in this sense, does not invoke a type of Hegelian master, as in a lord who brandishes the power of death over the slav e, but rather brandishes that which is unknown over the head of the apprentice; the relation, in other words, is not that of master : slave, but rather master : apprentice. 114 Lyotard, "The Other," 142, 143. 115 Lyotard, "The Other," 140.
! )+ legitimate as interlocution g iven that it involves the figure of the teacher who is able to speak that which we could not speak ourselves. To explain this, it is necessary to dwell on the nature of interlocution, how it works, what it is, and why it, via difference (not the differe nd as will be discussed later in the chapter) provides an anti foundation for human interaction on a cosmopolitan scale. Interlocution differs from mere speech in that it is an address, and an announcement. It is an address in that it is addressed to an Ot her, from the perspective of the addressor, and an announcement from the Other, from the perspective of the addressee. It simultaneously calls upon the addressee as an interlocutor, while it creates the addressor as an interlocutor. In this sense, interloc ution is only possible due to difference it relies on Otherness If one simply states what has already been said, or what the addressee himself could have said; one ceases to stand up and against the addressee as Other and Teacher ceases to both address and to announce, to speak in a meaningful way, beyond pointing to an object 116 at all. The definition of legitimacy provided by Lyotard, forces each to listen to each other, necessarily to the Other W ithout this listening we are simpl y reinforcing our ow n knowledge. I n order to avoid this, we must confront experience that is not ours and create a shared' space for the development of experience It also provides what might function as a foundation for speech yet posits this solidarity only through diff erence. This d oes not necessitate a commonality beyond our being different from each other, and therefore, it cannot foreclose, as ordinary foundation do, who might count as a !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 116 This is a referenc e to a signal bas ed language, lacking difference. C ommunication then simply becomes pointing toward something, or making noises. Neither of these are characteristic of interlocution.
! ), speaker. Everyone can speak and disclose their Otherness. On those occasions whe n they do so, interlocution occurs. The foundation for speech becomes a kind of anti foundation in its need to include the Other which as we have seen, other foundations tend to suppress. T hat we are different from each other is the basis of the foundati on' I am proposing There is nothing that is human as such, except tha t through interlocutionary acts we disclose the figure of the Other. When interlocution refers to being between phrases or words; we are being among the Other (inter') when we use wo rds and phrases to disclose (locution') our own Otherness This necessitates that in order for us to encounter each other, we do so by means of our words and phrases, while recognizing that each exists only as between or among those phrases the inter' of interlocution Not only am I taken hostage by the Master's teaching, but I can also take hostage with my own teaching. Through this, the self can become Other and can recognize the Other. 117 We must be able to do these things in order to have interlocution ; becoming Other then is essential to the possibility of meaningful speech. It is important to note that the relationship of the Teacher/Other to the pupil/self is not a uni directional relation. The p upil can always also announce that which the M aster doe s not know, effectively reversing the relation and making her self as Other This reversibility attests to the fluidity of the relationship between self and Other that can be enacted through interlocution. On this model, what does it mean to be a being t hat can speak, a being with speech capacities, or a being who is a legitimate speaker? Lyotard theorizes that the we', !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 117 Lyotard, "The Other," 136.
! *! the posit of solidarity or universalization of what and who is a speaker, "does not precede but results from interlocution. In this we the figure of the other remains clearly present to each, to the extent that the other is his possible interlocutor." 118 An inter' is created through our locution', and so interl ocution becomes a sort of being among the Other through speech. The posit of s olidarity is a direct result of addressing and announcing ; no foundation' proper precedes the event of interlocution The possibility of interlocution is genetically prior to the we This prior state occurs only because of the fluidity of the self/Other relation; each recognizes herself as Other, while at the same time recognizing her self ness. This model of solidarity significantly differs from the models of both Appiah and Rorty since for Lyotard solidarity does not need to be supported through natur e, narrative story telling or shared sentiments that somehow attest to our humanness'. W ithout interlocution, we are simply animals connected through a signal based language like other communicative animals ; we are simply moving around or pointing towar d some object through sound 119 This posit of solidarity does not develop into a stagnant and universalizable set of criteria for interlocution One cannot know all of the possibilities for interlocutors and interlocution until she has been presented with e very possible Teacher who presents ever new possibilities through interlocution. If being Other, and carrying the figure of the Other within oneself, is the marked characteristic of interlocution, then does the possibility of marginalization simply dissol ve? Lyotard is not so nave as to agree In fact he discusses the possibility of a !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 118 Lyotard, "The Other," 138. Italics Lyotar d's. 119 Lyotard, "The Other," 137 138.
! *$ radical marginalization as le differend' 120 in the book of the same title. Lyotard theorizes that radical marginalization from interlocution is possible, and is able to con tinue on a systematic level. 121 While marginalization may continue, even within the theory I propose, I would like to account for its existence within my theory of the anti foundation of difference. The point of marginalization seems to be explicated in the theory developed and defined by Lyotard, as "the unstable state and instant of language wherein something which must be able to be put into phrases cannot yet be." 122 The definition attests that at times, and in certain situations, one will not be able to sp eak in phrases that are recogni zed as phrases at all. One is marginalized from the possibility of locution' and so becomes marginalized from the possibility of interlocution'. M arginalization from linguistic participation in this sense, is not the fault of some individual trait disqualifying the individual from speech, but is the result of the Other that language is to each. Lan guage is neither wholly created nor wholly used by one speaker; for this reason, it is never completely interiorized A s such la nguage itself is an Other, as are the phrases of it that we use in interlocution Language exists between speakers and it s use is created by the use of a multiplicity, and so can never be the enterprise of an individual. Every possible interlo cutor is able to experience the phenomenon of Otherness to language: w hen one cannot find the correct' words to express oneself, or when the only words available make non sense when strung together into a phrase. The positive facet of this, however, is the fluidity an d malleability of language, as well as our !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 120 Jean Franois Lyotard, The Differend: Phrases in Dispute (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983). 121 A possibility that is not to be discounted, as systematic marginalization is often the most prevalent kin d, mixing social, political, economic and legal marginalization to create an extreme case of Othering. 122 Lyotard, "Differend," 13.
! *% relation to it, and to O thers through it It is this fluidity of relation that is developed through interlocution, I can make my self as Other, and I can make a space in which I exist among the Other s in language. Through this, o ne can institute a new matrix of phrases with which to express a previously inexpressible sentiment, value, or story a possibility that will be explored below Interlocution and the differend are connected, it would seem, as the marginaliz ation that is the differend that is inflicted on otherwise capable speakers calls into existence the possibility of new regimes of phrases I will provide an example of how this anti foundation of difference functions in light of marginalization below The definition of le differend i s intimately connected with what Lyotard calls a "wrong" (in th e strict sense, a silencing). Silencing creates a victim, but that victim, for various reasons lacks the ability to tell the story of their wrong, to point to the accused, and explain what has been the harm. W rong, in Lyotard's sense is the state of severe silencing. It p ut s an O ther into a situation i n which they are unable even to attest to being a victim The problem with these wrongs' is that one is unable t o testify to them. E ither, "you are the victim of a wrong, or you are not. If you are not, you are deceived (or lying) in testifying that you are. If you are, since you can bear witness to this wrong, it is not a wrong" 123 The d ifferend is a state such that there can be no witness concerning the silence imposed as characteristic of a wrong ; any attempt at such witness would be the aforesaid making of non sense T he victim is in a double bi nd; either testify to the wrong and cease to be a victim a nd cease to having been wronged. O r keep silent of the wrong !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 123 Lyotard, "Differend," 5.
! *& such that one remain s a victim and continue s to remain wronged in which case nothing can be done about the situation as it has occurred. T he double wrong of imposing silence, does occur, but occurs such th at one is unable to test ify to this wrong without lying. I f one can testify, then he is lying that he has been wronged. This is a familiar trap of marginalization; if one defends a person who is mad, he is also thought to be mad himself 124 A contemporary ex ample of this is the case of sexual harassment. At the time when the laws defining what it meant to be sexually harassed did not yet exist, if one were to attest that a wrong such as inappropriate s exual demands had occurred one would be placed in the d if ferend Either the force did not occur, because you did not fulfill the demand, and so you are deceived that it was indeed a demand and you were being forced ; or it was not inappropriate because you fulfilled the demands and so must have deemed them appro priate' at the time, in which case you are lying. 125 This situation, while dire, also puts the victim into the unique position of having the ability to introduce a new phrase regimen. The victim has no choice but to use phrases that are incomprehensible to t he listener, the judge, the jury, the audience ; phrases that subvert the legal system and its paradigm of phrases. The victim makes herself Other to the legal system and becomes the teacher, in order to say what can not be said by any possible self within the existing regime of phrases "The victim's vengeance !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 124 Lyotard also analogizes to those who defend damages inflicted upon animals; the animals however, have no means to recourse for their wrongs, and so there is no damage, or the damage is beyond proof. The claim of the advocate, then, is simple non sense, and the animal becomes the paradigm of the victim. Lyotard, "Differend," 28. 125 The example provided by Lyotard is the example of victims of the Holocaust giving testimony to the existence of gas chambers. They are placed into the differend ; they can give testimony as having been deceived or lying that they were victims; but if they were actually victimi zed, they would be unable to testify because they would not be living.
! *' alone gives the authority to bear witness." 126 Vengeance 127 provides this authority because it subverts the phrase regimen of the court and so it subverts the power that declares the victim' to be decei ved or lying. This occur s because vengeance is not within the legal power that declares the phrases to be non sense, and so the victim reclaims her right to testify. Only from outside the regimen of phrases that are recognizable to the court is the victim able to bear witness and resurrect the possibility of interlocution. Interlocution, then, is a combination of teaching/learning and the subversion of regimes of phrases endorsed through power. This serves to announce a new phrase regimen into existence. It also announces the possibility of a new knowledge, as well the experience of the self as Other 128 Difference, functioning as an anti foundation, does not serve to marginalize the Other but to integrate the Other into interlocution. The, perhaps, unintended consequence is that interiorized speech, such that the lis tener could have produced it her self, is simply not interlocution at all, it is more like intralocution In seeking to avoid a type of intralocution it seems that we are provided with an impetus to ward dialogue with the Other, toward a cross cultural dialogue in cosmopolitanism. This cross cultural dialogue in cosmopolitanism could proceed in a few different ways, some of which I have explored and critiqued, and one of which I am proposing here. Thi s could involve a simple translation of what an Other is saying, into the culture and value structure that the listener already has. It could also involve a simple !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 126 Lyotard, "Differend," 30. 127 Understood as an action that is not authorized or sanctioned by the legal regime of power because it is a private action not a legal or political action 128 In subverting the legal paradigm, the victim reclaims her interlocution, and authorizes a new discourse. Through this, she makes the legal system Other.
! *( abandonment of one's own context of cultural and value structures, in order to adopt the cul tural and value structures of the Other; this would render what the Other's words and meaning comprehensible to me via the sharing of a context of meaning. I am not advocating for either of these structures, as both involve a pretext of subordination, and do not capture properly the mutua lity involved in interlocution, and the reversibility of the position of the Teacher and the pupil. To capture this reversibility and mutual reciprocity properly it is perhaps best to think of this relation as the temporary transformation of each not exclusively toward the other, but toward the malleability of phrases and the language used in the being among of interlocution. For each to turn toward this instant in language wherein they can exist together, but not as one, an d institute new phrases for the pupil in turn: it is this that composes the possibility of a non subordinating interlocution to occur across and within societies. On a cosmopolitan scale, the consequence of the interconnection of interlocution and the dif ferend precludes the possibility of an imperialistic model for discourse. The situation in which teachers inculcate students to simply reproduce feelings, sentiments, and phrases, as Rorty theorizes occurs in sentimental education, results in a lack of int erlocution at all. Similarly, Appiah's theory that narrative logic might be the link between hu man kind serving as a foundation for cosmopolitan discourse is equally unacceptable. If, through Appiah's theory, we are taking the words of the Other, and assum ing they can fit into our moral and belief structures, then we are making their words into ones we already know; we are interiorizing that which remains exterior to us, and thus distorting it The remainder of this chapter will explore in more depth the im plications of difference as an anti founda tion for cosmopolitan discourse and whether
! *) this substitution can rescue a liberal cosmopolitan theory of discourse from itself, while allowing interlocuto rs to maintain their identities, worlds and difference Ou r Worlds, Our Morals, Our Selves There are, as previously discussed many ways of silencing the voice of those whom one does not wish to hear; making them into an animal, a non male, an alien, or a child. But translating their words into words that the sp eaker did not say, but which fit into the structure of one's own values and moral s is a particularly pernicious way, often promoted but glossed over by liberal theories of discourse I have explored possible solutions to this problem that are aimed toward opening dialogue to be inclusive arguing that this is crucial to a liberal world view leaning toward cosmopolitanism. The best solution to this problem, as I propose it, is to define interloc u tion as necessitating the Other. This takes form as listening w ithout speaking and is founded on the notion that we are connected by difference; we are all different from each other, and we are able to become, and to notice, the Other in everyone even our selves How is it, though, from difference as the foundation o f relation that we come upon worlds; worlds which at points overlap, and enable participation of multiple interlocutors within them such that one is able to posit cosmopolitanism alongside difference ? In the preceding section I merely explored the idea th at speaking be understood not merely as a giving signals, but as interlocution. The theory presented until now in which we attend to the Other as our teacher and Master does not necessarily preserve those cultural worlds and the moral beliefs that are the basis of our identities as a source of difference
! ** As a reminder, the cosmopolitan objective that I am att empting to achieve is that of an intercultural dialogue that alleviates the risks of marginalization and denial s of access to speech. This goal provi sionally accepts a liberal model insofar as it springs from the idea that more speech, and increased access to speech are fundamental to the liberal political process as well as to learning process es that is for both our public and our private lives. By basing this speech on the anti foundation of difference, however we eliminate the necessity for a certain world, and /or a certain moral/ethical structure e.g. one found ed on something like the concept of humanity. Instead what is most common amongst inte rlocutors is the ability to make the self as Other, and to be confronted by an Other. Difference, though, perhaps belies a certain against the world' sentiment that is not meant here, in the sense that I am an island, or essentially a solipsistic world un to mysel f. It will be the purpose of this section to explore how incorporating and accounting for difference does not preclude our ability to create shared cultural and moral worlds, as well as political communities, on which we base the identities we adop t. Rather than theorizing that we strictly inhabit one existing and real world, it is more useful to posit that we inhabit multiple and shifting worlds which accounts for our difference (in the sense that these worlds are constantly changeable, as are ou r identities, beliefs, and the morals that are founded upon them); yet that we can create distinct points of overlap. 129 There must be something about my relation to the Other, who inhabits a different world than I, that allows for an overlap between our two worlds through interlocution I perhaps have no context in which to place the Other's words, and no !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 129 It is worth mentioning that there are at least as many worlds as there are interlocutors, if not mor e.
! *+ reliable method to translate them into comprehensible sentences. Yet, the possibility of communication seems to lie in the anti foundation of interlocution ; that difference is a necessary and sufficient condition for our ability to interlocute. In interlocution we have the seeds of a common goal between the self and the O ther: the common goal of teaching and being taught may allow for resurrection of the Mil lian notion that our actions and our life projects are better informed when they stand up against Otherness or can be changed by it. Merleau Ponty 's discussion of speech as what allows us to find new forms of knowledge, and to present them to each other, a s well as to lead the other to new forms of knowledge can further illuminate Lyotard's concept of interlocution According to Merleau Ponty, t he Other, "is able to get across to me inasmuch as I am also speech, that is, capable of allowing myself to be led by the flow of talk toward a new state of knowledge. 130 This can be juxtaposed with the notion presented by Lyotard of the Other as the teacher. When interlocuting with the Other, we are resuming the quest for knowledge' in a loose sense, e.g. personal mo ral knowledge on which we base our actions, or simply knowledge of the things surrounding us. It is a knowledge' that constitutes rather than discloses as Appiah proposes, what we take to be our world. It is this speech, as interlocution, which constitut es the inter', or the being among of speakers. There is not a being among, such as sharing one world prior to this constituting act of speaking to the Other. In this act we develop both a shared world, and the ability to create knowledge within it; if we are, in fact, not creating this being among with its !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 130 Maurice Merleau Ponty, The Prose of the World trans. John O'Neill, ed. Claude Lefort (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1973) 143.
! *, various possibilities, we are not inter locuting but intra locuting. That is, we are taking it that my self and the Other already share a world that interiorizes the Other. On my view, by contrast s peech is no t only possible across cultures and political structures; speech as interlocution with the Other is to be encouraged, if one continues to accept the terms of a liberal search for truth, knowledge, and justice. It is worth noting, here, that speech acr oss cultures and political structures is indeed encouraged by the theory that I propose. This does not, however, eliminate the possibility for interlocution within a single culture or single political structure. The difference between the two situations is de facto irrelevant. One is able to become Other to those within her own society, or to those who are outside of her own society or culture. As long as one is able to present oneself as Other, to appear as different, than one is able to interlocute. The structure of interlocution as an ability to interact with that which is not yet known significantly differs from the other structures and uses of speech that we have already explored. The Other, in his presentation to me of things that I cannot lexically l ocate is "the stranger, the foreigner. How can one dialogue with the foreigner?...It is a matter of speaking otherwise than is my wont and saying something other than what I know how to say[the Other] takes me hostage in order to make me hear and say what I do not know." 131 W e are not able to translate what is said by the Other into our own language; we are "taken hostage" to listen to what we do not know, to create that which we do not know. The dynamic process of speaking with the Other excludes the poss ibility !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 131 Lyotard, "The Other," 142.
! +! for mis translati on of what is said by the Other; instead we transform ourselves in the direction of the Other. The language between us, then, takes on a character that neither created individually, but both created in concert with the other. We ca nnot translate it at all, the point made by McIntyre, we must simply strive to hear that which we do not know. This may very well require changing our matrix of cultural and moral valuation and knowledge (it may also require the Other to change his matrix as well due to reversibility), in order t o understand what is being said. This is possible once the listener is made Other to her self. An example of what this might look like can be found in geometry. I n Euclidean geometry, two parallel lines on a plane by definition do not intersect. However, two parallel lines in parabolic space necessarily intersect. I am simultaneously able to hold both of these tenets, and to not contradict myself. Yet, it would seem that the two phrases about parallel lines contrad ict each other, so what exactly are the properties of a parallel line? It becomes important here to note the stipulations in both tenets O ne occurs on a plane, in one world. The other description occurs in a parabolic space, an entirely different world. I would like to contend that one is able to hold both without contradiction because they simply exist in different worlds, one in the world of planes, the other in the world of parabolic spaces. This applies to morals and identities as well. Lucy can hold t hat one set of morals is applicable to her world, while John can hold another as applicable to his world. Both are able, through interlocution, to recognize that contrary moral beliefs do not preclude the possibilities of other beliefs being applicable in other worlds. But such beliefs in geometrical posits do not lead to actions, unlike moral or
! +$ political beliefs. I have less of a stake in supporting them. What do we make of those beliefs that we do have a moral or political stake in supporting? This relat es in an interesting way to Mill's liberal project, as well as to Appiah's cosmop olitan project. We are, indeed able to learn and create knowledge through dialogue with the Other, but only so far as that Other remains Other If the Other becomes self, if through dialogue, translation, and transcription we simply integrate the Other, and her announcements and addresses into ourselves, and we will never learn anything. The ideal, and the reason, for engaging in dialogue and interlocution dissolve if we disso lve the Other, and appropriate her into the self. If this occurs, Lyotard theorizes that, "the human community may spread, but it will remain the same, prostrated in the euphoria it feels at being on such very good terms with itself." 132 To be on good terms with itself is not the object of the community achieved through interlocution; neither is interlocution itself the goal. It is to learn from and teach the Other, to become Other such that we can teach, and to listen to th e Other such that we can learn, po ssibly even act in concert with the Other. In order to remain Other, we must not forget the anti foundation of difference, that we have in common the fact that we are different from each other. This difference must include some maintenance of identity, mor als, beliefs, and desires, which are particular to the self, or the cultural communit y in which the self identifies, in order to maintain difference and not sink into homogeneity. Hannah Arendt, in The Human Condition supports this conception of differenc es as necessary to the development of action in common. It is the point of contact between !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 132 Lyotard, "The Other," 143.
! +% differences that creates the public realm her name for a contingent and shared world R ather than stagnating into sameness this world is dynamic, and "[t]hus, acti on not only has the most intimate relationship to the public part of the world common to us all, but is the one activity which constitutes it." 133 The public realm can be seen as a point of overlap between worlds through the creation of a shared world, but i t is a constituted not pre existing, point of overlap based on a common goal. As such, the public realm, "does not always exist" and "[i]ts peculiarity is that, unlike the spaces which are the work of our hands, it does not survive the actuality of the m ovement whi ch brought it into being. 134 The community, or sharing of a world, is merely a potential community wherever people are gathered. The community is not necessary, and never exists forever. 135 The overlap of worlds as the creation of communities paral lels this situation; while there is always a potential for creation through interlocution of a temporarily shared world, this sharing is not guaranteed. However, it is pragmatic for individuals to come together to develop a common realm in order to achieve common goals; while it is not necessary that individuals do so, it is to be assumed that groups are more politically effective than individuals. Even if these shared worlds occur, the world dissipates as soon as the interlocutors cease to interlocute. The space created in common dissolves back into separate worlds. For this reason, it makes little sense to attempt to institutionalize the means through which individuals act in common through a created, common, public realm. To institutionalize such a struct ure would be to destroy the possibility of the actual public realm coming into being, and dissolving away naturally. It is sufficient, then, that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 133 Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition, 2 nd ed. (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1998) 198. 134 Arendt, 199. 135 Arendt, 199.
! +& there is a pragmatic impetus toward common action, and is in no way beneficial to institutionalize the means t hrough which to achieve the public realm. Maintaining our identities is one way in which we are able to sta nd over and above as the Master; it is one road of access to teach ing Our own worlds, our cultures, and our identities differentiate us each from e ach other; as such, they connect us in a community based on difference. It is noteworthy that we often do have communities based on sameness from which we derive our identities; we attend churches, clubs, political meetings, etc. that are congruous with ou r own moral and political values. To state that we should band into a community based on difference is not meant to be the impetus to disband such identity forming communities. Rather, it is meant to be an impetus to search outside of our own communities o f sameness, such that we can learn from and create knowledges and practices that are informed by more than our own opinions. To sacrifice these things, to give up our relatively individual worlds, and things in them that we find of importance, is to give u p the anti foundation for interlocution. The previous foundations have through this attempt at developing something like a cosmopolitan community either forced some to give up their own worlds, or integrated the worlds of the Other into our own world throu gh translation. The anti foundation of difference renders both of these situations unnecessary, even harmful, to the development of a cosmopolitan community. The way to a self with an identity, a self who is able to preserve her world, is by allowing the O therness to remain as an ever present potential which is actualized when she makes her self as Other. Both her world, and the world of the Other must rem ain, in order for interlocution t o remain in tact.
! +' On Saving Liberalism from Itself: The Anti Foundati on as Difference At this point it becomes clear that in order to maintain an ideal of liberal cosmopolitan discourse we must save liberalism from the implicit contradictions regarding speech in liberal political theory. These contradictions surfaced in c lassical form in the first chapter, where Locke was shown to base rights on a naturalized sense of person Mill 's utilitarian interpretation of this classical liberal tenet was shown to extend speech and opinion to all, for the betterment of society. Yet, with the same hand, exclude s and marginalize s certain individuals from participation. In an effort to save liberalism from such internal contradictions, I will ext rapolate an ideal of liberalism based on the proposed anti foundation of difference as the st ructur e through which interlocution occurs and knowledge is constituted The anti foundation of difference, then, when integrated into the liberal project necessitates that we listen to the opinion, thoughts, and speech of those who are different from t he self in myriad ways. It necessitates this because without it, no interlocution is possible and all talk' is merely an effort at praising ourselves for how far we have come, how much progress we have made, and how great our thoughts and theories are. T he essential facet of difference as a foundation is that it allows interlocutors to announce themselves as Other, and announces that which is not yet known, and that which is not yet capable of being known. It seems that the announcement of the Other is wh at is needed in order for liberal political theory and practice to be saved from its internally contradictory tendency toward marginalization. This allows for a p ragmatic and beneficial liberal cosmopolitan theory from which our opinions become better form ed, our knowledge more vast, and our practices better suited to continue flourishing.
! +( The utilization of difference, as an anti foundation, also satisfies the critique of liberalism that is waged by Butler. Difference does not stagnate as a general and un iversalizable principle in the way the Locke's rational human, or Mill's wise man does. In place of this stagnation, difference constantly presents us with new options for who has speech capabilities, what we are, and who we are. None of these options, tho ugh, can be explicitly laid out prior to interlocution. The subject and non subject are both necessary to interlocution, as is the possibility for the non subject to be the subject and the subject to be the non subject. Possibilities for who, what, and why that subject' interlocutes are unable to be explicated in advance and will only develop with the announcement that the Other makes. But these possibilities are presented as possibilities from interlocution and, rather than creating a permanent exterior and interior, create a contingently shared world, the public realm. It is from this that we act in concert with each other, and are able to strive toward a common goal. The interior that is our community of sameness will be able to improve other communitie s, in the same way that those other communities are able to improve our community. In this sense, the anti foundation does not limit the possibilities for agents, actors, and speakers ( recall how Butler had accused foundations of by definition limiting pos sibilities ) ra ther it proliferates possibilities and is able to be more consistent with liberal ideals of accessibility and open ness The anti foundation, however, does not proliferate these possibilities through the foreclosure of other possibilities. C lassically, liberalism followed such a model. Identities, values, and beliefs needed to be rationalized, justified, or otherwise founded. This was as such because it was to be understood that we liberals inhabit a singular world
! +) in which one identity, beli ef, or value was the trumping value, the highest good. Given, though, the idea of multiple worlds, in which many set s of beliefs could be made to be consistent it seems as though we are free to found our lives on morals and beliefs as we please and to ado pt the identities that are be st suited to our life situation. T he possibilities are only foreclosed when one comes upon the limit of encroach ing on an Other's world, destroy ing or de valuing it, and therefore destroying the ability of the self to become Ot her, to learn and to teach. Such proliferation of possibilities is, in a certain sense, one of the goals of liberalism. The possibilities for creating a life project, a narrative life story, a political community, and even a self were limited, though, by the previous rationalized foundations within liberalism. Yet, these possibilities always remained as the justification for why we should maintain free and open dialogue, autonomy, and justice as liberal tenets. To ensure the proliferation of possibility of both lives and what we are such that we are able to participate the anti foundation of difference provides a more internally consistent liberalism one able to achieve its own ideal s In summary, it has been of importance throughout the discussion of lib eral cosmopolitan dialogue that we maintain liberal ideals, individual identities, and the possibility of non marginalizing, mutual dialogue between parties who are very different. Through basing the possibility for dialogue on difference, the possibility for identities to be maintained, as well as dialogue to occur has been opened up. The theory, however, does not end with this, and posits that pragmatically, action and group identifications are possible and pragmatically important in order to achieve grou p goals, and political objectives. An anti foundation of difference,
! +* as I have posed it, also provides for the possibility of liberalism reaching its own ideals without marginalizing effects for those within and outside of liberal societies.
! ++ Conclusion In my concluding remarks, I would like to summarize the arguments of the thesis, as well as the threads that connect throughout. This will lead us through the internal inconsistencies in classical liberal speech theory, into the possibilities for a genuine liberal cosmopolitan theory of dialogue. The theory of dialogue presented is meant to be mindful of the possibility for marginalization of speakers, and attempts to avoid creating a theory that marginalizes certain interlocutors. In order to do this, I have argued that it is useful to do away with a problematic concept of humanity, or human nature,' in favor of a theory of interlocution based on an anti foundation of difference. In the first chapter, I outlined briefly the classical concept ion of the liberal subject as based on rationality and/or nature. One of the central reasons for this was to explore how the interconnection of rationality, autonomy, and dialogue in liberal theory operate in an "ideal type" of liberalism. I further argue d that Mill, while making an argument for open and non marginalizing dialogue for the political subject, additionally theorizes that some subjects' thoughts, opinions, and speech is worth more than others, based on norms that belong to the ideal type. This creates an unacceptable internal inconsistency in liberal theory, in that it at once declares that more opinions are best, while also declaring that some of those opinions just do not matter. I have argued along with Butler that this creates a class of n on subjects' or pre subjects'. These non subjects, who are not authorized to be proper political subjects, are not even able to argue that they should be included in the political sphere, because their speech is not valid in that political sphere. At this point, in search of an acceptably inclusive liberal theory of dialogue, the thesis turned to a recent project of liberal cosmopolitan dialogue. Such a conception must strive
! +, to be inclusive, in so far as it would be used to incorporate dialogue partners a cross cultural divides. The second chapter takes up this project of inclusive cosmopolitan dialogue through Appiah's theory of rooted cosmopolitanism. Appiah outlines the possibility of dialogue based on our moral identity, which is derived from a biologi cal nature and/ or shared metaphysical world. In addition, he outlines the way in which individuals are also able to maintain their ethical identities. This is an integral facet of the theory he is proposing in that Appiah does not seek to simply do away wi th our ethical identites in favor of a universalistic moral identity; the fact that we must maintain our ethical identities is a posit accepted within the thesis Through this line of argumentation, Appiah takes up Mill's Utilitarian theory, and argues tha t our life flou rishing, and autonomous actions are better the more we talk to diverse others. This becomes problematic, because Appiah still bases his theory of how such diverse humans will interact in the first place on a broadly rationalistic foundation. I critique the use of such a rationalist foundation by arguing, along with MacIntyre, that when we translate someone across a boundary of tradition we are fundamentally misinterpreting her For this reason, the thesis moves beyond the notion of a problema tic foundation for discourse, and examines what a cosmopolitan theory of discourse could be if there were no foundation. Cha pter three begins with the idea that it is more pragmatic to do away with the notion of humanity or human nature as a foundation, be cause it serves to create a sphere of humans' at the expense of creating a sphere of non humans' or quasi humans. Rorty argues that through sentimental education, others may be taught certain types of moral affect that make them less likely to think of O thers as only quasi human This is deeply
! ,! problematic, b ecause while positing that we can indeed come to see Others as having lives similar to ours, this occurs through the teaching of sentiments that are approved of by a powerful (western liberal) elite. I argue, at this point, that sentimental education, while seemingly valuable, is unacceptable to an ideal type, equality loving liberal because it reinforces the power disparity between elite, knowledgeable liberals and the average' bi ped who cannot be t rusted to discover moral concepts if left to her own devices. To further this point, I also outline Rorty's ideal of th e liberal ironist. It turns out that it is indeed the liberal ironist who ought to engage in the sentimental educating. This situation is problematic in that while the liberal ironist does not know which concepts she ought to endorse she still decides how best to inculcate others with them. Meanwhile, she reinterprets, redefines, and retranslates concepts and values that have been shared w ith her by the Other into whatever it is that she endorses (some liberal and internally consistent use of the concept ) at the expense of the Other The liberal ironist, in seeking out cosmopolitan conversation, risks destroying the worlds of Others, and th e values on which they found their lives. As I have argued, the ethnocentrism and elitism present in Rorty's theories makes them unacceptable to liberal theory, pre cisely because they perpetuate marginalization and the destruction of the worlds of Others t hrough irony and sentimental education. However, I also argue that while we should not seek to adopt the ethnocentrism and elitism of Rorty's theory, we are able to adopt Rorty's pragmatic postulate that having a foundation for something like humanity' is simply not useful. This is the starting point for the arguments in Chapter Four. Chapter Four begins with a type of quandary, in that it has dismissed a foundation for dialogue, but has also dismissed a non foundational dialogue because of its tendency
! ,$ to ward the reinforcement of unacceptable power relations, elitism and ethnocentrism. The thesis comes to a point where it seems problematic to continue holding on to the possibility of inclusive dialogue. To this, I posit, and argue in favor of, an anti foun dation of dif ference for interlocution through taking up Lyotard's idea that what interlocutionary beings have in common is our difference. We have the figure of the Other withi n us, such that we can make our selves Other. But we are also able to inhabit ou r own worlds of concepts and value, the languages, which constitute our identities (and mor al valuations/concepts), though these are in a sense "on loan ." T hey are exterior to the interlocutor using them. I argue that this is a productive interlocution, be cause it only properly occurs when one is learning from the Other or is the Other This reciprocal relationship encourages the development of knowledge as well as interaction, because otherwise we are only hearing what we already know; a situation that was dismissed as being unacceptable in Chapter Two. The concept of interlocution, as a sort of being among, does not, though destroy the possibility of marginalization. This possibility remains in the form of the differend Yet, this is a marginalization fro m language itself, such that one makes non sense when putting together words and phrases. As I argue, however, this is integral to the production of knowledge and concepts because one can always offer up a new regime of phrases, a new possibility for conce pts and values such that one is able to subvert the old regime of what counts as meaningful phrases. This marginalization from language opens up the possibility for a cosmopolitan world view, in that one can connect to, act with, and create knowledge with the Other; despite and directly due to the exteriority that language is to each. The thesis of an anti foundation of difference confronts some aspects of how this
! ,% interlocution is beneficial and pragmatic in the possibility for action in concert and the d evelopment of projects with Others. This takes up Arendt's definition of the public sphere as that which is created when we come together for a common goal, and is always possible where more than one interlocut or is present. I argue, along with Arendt, tha t this sphere does not become a permanent shared world, because it dissipates when the action in concert, or reaching toward a common goal, disappears. This allows for both the possibility for multiple worlds, and multiple Others, while also maintaining th at we can do something together such that cosmopolitanism would be beneficial. The thesis ends with an argument that liberalism can be saved from its own contrary tendency of marginalization, given that it replaces a tradition based on natural right o r tr umping human characteristics with an anti foundation based on difference. This is not, however, meant to argue that difference, then, becomes the ultimate natural right.' Instead, it is to argue that one cannot pre scribe what it is that counts as the pol itical subject I argue, in closing, that it is pragmatically beneficial to our life projects, both public and private (or political and personal), to be presented with the most possibilities for what a life could look like. Classically, liberal theory poi nted the way, but foreclosed the realization. But this is al lowed, encouraged, and mandated if we take seriously difference as the anti foundation for interlocution in the liberal society, and across societies or cultural boundaries.
! ,& Bibliography Appia h, Kwame Anthony. Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers. New York: Norton, 2006. -----The Ethics of Identity New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2005. Arendt, Hannah. The Human Condition. 2 nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998. Butler, Judith. "Contingent Foundations," in Linda Nicholson ed. Feminist Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange. New York: Routledge, 1995. Foucault, Michel. Power/ Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972 1977. Trans. and Ed. Colin Gordon. New York: Pantheon Books, 1980. Hegel, G. W. F.. Phenomenology of Spirit Trans. A. V. Miller. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977. Kant, Immanuel. Foundations for the Metaphysics of Morals : and What is Enlightenment? Trans. Lewis White Beck. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1997. Kymlicka, Will. Contemporary Political Philosophy: An Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. -----Liberalism, Community, and Culture. New York: Clarendon Press, 1989. Locke, John. Second Treatise of Government. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co, 1980.
! ,' Lyotard, Jean Franois. The Differend: Phrases in Dispute Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983. -----"The Other's Rights," in Stephen Shute and Susan Hurley ed., On Human Rights: The Ox ford Amnesty Lectures 1993 New York: Basic Books, 1993. MacIntyre, Alasdair. Whose Justice? Which Rationality?. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1988. Mill, J.S. Considerations on Representative Government Indianapolis: Gateway Editions Ltd ., 1962. -----On Liberty, ed. Elizabeth Rapaport. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 1978. Merleau Ponty, Maurice. The Prose of the World Trans. John O'Neill, Ed. Claude Le fort. Evanston: Northwestern University Press 1973 Ranciere, Jacques. Dis Ag reement. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999. Rorty, Richard. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989 -----" Human Rights, Rationality, and Sentimentality" in Stephen Shute and Susan Hurley ed., On Human Rights: The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 1993 New York: Basic Books, 1993.