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What does a cosmopolitan attitude entail? And what are the implications of such an attitude in the context of education? When we compared two different approaches to the concept of cosmopolitanism in relation to education, we found both a critical and hermeneutic interest at work. This directed us to a discussion about what reflexivity means in relation to cosmopolitanism. In this article, we thus argue that reflexivity, in a cosmopolitan sense, requires a capacity for suspension. Suspension helps delay premature closure and makes it possible to be open to unique situations while also re-reading our own cultural narrative.
This article is an inquiry into cosmopolitanism, nationality and citizenship and how they might be presented in the classroom. I argue that cosmopolitanism does not contradict nationality and citizenship, and that cosmopolitanism should be a restraint on nationalism. Common sense morality accepts that personal relations are a source of moral obligations separate from moral worth of humanity in general. Nationality should be grouped with universal relations like freedom and equality and justified in universal terms. Thinking about nationalism is important for teachers, because there is a tradition for using schools to encourage nationalism.
This article explores how any success in encountering difference a discourse on tolerance might have in education, depends on how it deals with different meanings of otherness. By making a distinction between tolerance of diversity and tolerance of difference, it proposes a way of responding to this challenge that takes the otherness of the Other seriously. The point made is that to promote tolerance on the basis that we can already tell the tolerable from the intolerable, risks excluding the very possibility of welcoming something new and unforeseen that may alter the perception we have of ourselves and the world.
To Alain Badiou, the pressing question is not how we should deal with differences – celebrate, respect, tolerate or fight them – but how an event may render differences, which until now have seemed natural or self-evident, inconsequential. The current debate concerning tolerance is dominated by the implicit assumption that this issue is of universal interest and relevance. However, tolerance implies recognition of a number of concepts – such as the person, the individual, and the self – which are not universally recognized. Introducing some crucial concepts of Badiou and Lacan, this article contends that the concept of tolerance is linked to a particular philosophical tradition.
Toleration usually denotes the acceptance of differences in lifestyles, religious beliefs, etc. Recognition is a stronger notion, as it contains an additional element of respect and a willingness to listen to contradicting others. The relation between toleration and recognition becomes more complex when reciprocity is lacking. One concrete example is the demand, by some religious groups, to educate their children in separate schools, following standards that do not celebrate differences. It is here argued that G.W.F. Hegels theory of mutual recognition and the notion of Unhappy Consciousness help to understand the implications of reciprocity. Recognition is here seen as a continuous process, realized in daily life. Separate education is not compatible with this view.
In this article I shall show that equal respect is the only principle shared by all main alternative justifications for liberal-democratic legitimacy. By developing equal respect as the grounds for liberal legitimacy, I defend political liberalism from the criticism of being a political order appealing only to those who are already liberals. The reason to support liberal principles and democratic institutions is thus a moral principle, not simply the pragmatic need to find consensus. Moreover, such a principle is shared in so far as the lack of respect constitutes the implicit or explicit criticism that all contestants raise against alternative political views.
In this article we argue that a positively formulated theory of education ought to take into consideration empirically based knowledge. Theories of education are normative theories, because they are mainly focused on how the world ought to be: they present ideals, they prescribe preferred repertoires of actions, and they describe valued attitudes. However, using a recent example of an ideal of cosmopolitan education, we here reveal some ways in which prevalent theories of education quickly become remote and powerless if they rebuff empirically based knowledge about peoples actual experiences and ways of being in the world.