Philosophy in a time of terror: dialogues with Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida


Read also: Review of Philosophy in a Time of Terror

The only responsible legal response to the attacks—here again Derrida and Habermas agree—is the strengthening, differentiation, institutionalization and enforcement of international law. The answer emphatically is not the fierce return to national power politics, which pretends to enhance respect for law; the right course is legal self-restriction of overwhelming political, economic, military and technological power, the recognition of existing and the creation of new supranational organizations, the universal acceptance of their judgments and decisions and, of course, their transformation from mere deliberative organizations into bodies capable of political and military action to help to create a new world order in which material inequalities can be offset, in part, through assuring equal national rights. Only a West, as Habermas says, that has more to offer than the ideology of consumerism, only a West that revives its universal normative ideal of self-determination and formal equality as means to allow differences in culture and personality will be able to overcome the deep-rooted resentment of (especially Arab and Muslim) non-Western peoples at having been materially expropriated and culturally corrupted.

About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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