Presentation on theme: "Utopian values, Postmodernism and the Universal. By Gulshan Ara Khan"— Presentation transcript:
Utopian values, Postmodernism and the Universal. By Gulshan Ara Khan
Abstract The desire, dream or hope for better futures, different societies and alternative values is a pulsating force of life. The postmodern embrace of epistemological perspectivism and the relational character of identity are commonly misconceived as leading to politically empty consequences. It is perceived as sustaining the status quo because the emancipatory potential of the universal has been exposed as a particularity thereby rendering problematic any commitment to an alternative politics. In this paper I demonstrate that the work of contemporary postmodernist political theorists is utopian par excellence. However, I argue that the problem of the actor as a determiner of collective values remains a key problematic in certain strands of Left postmodernism. I outline a conception of the actor as a creator and determiner of collective values, which does not seek to universalise its perspective, but rather creates more spaces in which the political imaginary of communal and individual actors can flourish.
Outline of Paper 1. Concept of Utopia 2.Postmodernism 3.Agnostic Respect and Critical Responsiveness 4.The Problem of the Universal 5.Agency: The Struggle for Utopias
1. Concept of Utopia etymological roots of the term utopia: a conjunction of 2 Greek words. topos (place) and ou (no or not) to create the term outopia meaning no/not place or nowhere. Thomas More in Utopia (1516) coined the term utopia to refer an imaginary well organised island of people (good place). eu – good/well and topos (place) eutopia to mean good place.
1. Concept of Utopia Mores concept of utopia is a conjunction of 3 Greek words: topos, ou and eu to mean a good non-existing place. (e/o)utopia – productive tension between good place and no place
3. Agonistic Respect (AR) and Critical Responsiveness (CR) William Connollys civic virtues of AR and CR are utopia values. AR is a relation of engagement that enables individuals and groups with relatively established identities to respect other faiths (theistic and non-theistic) in the public realm. CR is an agonistic relation that extends generosity to emerging identities coming into being.
3. Agonistic Respect (AR) and Critical Responsiveness (CR) Why are AR and CR utopian virtues? How do AR and CR differ from alternative ethical approaches? What is the function of AR and CR? What are the sources from which AR and CR emanate?