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A non-contingent concept of connectedness for cosmopolitanism

Dineen, Katy (2011) A non-contingent concept of connectedness for cosmopolitanism. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

My aim, in this thesis, is to criticise what I see to be a theme in contemporary cosmopolitanism, and suggest a new direction for such theorizing to follow. That theme is the placement of empirical considerations at the very centre of cosmopolitan theorizing. It seems at times that many cosmopolitans look around them, see something they find deeply unsettling (i.e. global poverty and/or inequality), and this moves them to theorize cosmopolitan obligations into being. I will argue against this kind of approach. I believe this ‘pragmatic turn’ to be damaging to cosmopolitanism. The starting point of these cosmopolitanisms seems to affect those theories, and makes suspect the implied obligations. It would be better if premises and presuppositions that were neutral with respect to these cosmopolitan obligations could imply such obligations. Furthermore, I will argue that a modestly metaphysical Kantianism can give us such neutral starting points. My interpretation of Kant centres on his ideas concerning moral agency, and will be metaphysical: the relevant ideas may be said of all relevant agents at all times, cannot be experienced through empirical investigation, and cannot be proved by theoretical deduction. Nevertheless, I will argue that my Kantian interpretation gives forth a modest metaphysics, insofar as the warrant we have to assert metaphysical claims is not given to us by speculative or theoretical reason, but rather by our practical reason. In particular, I will argue that, from a cosmopolitan perspective, a metaphysical, but also modest, interpretation of imperfection and freedom may be very useful

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2011 Katy Dineen
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Flikschuh, Katrin
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/177

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