Abstracts for Esprit 5/2007

Jürgen Habermas
An awareness of what is missing. The links between faith and reason

How is modern-day rationality, having freed itself from any shackles, to understand the way it relates to religion? Overlooked or cast off as it is in secular societies, this issue keeps returning, forcing us to revisit our notion of the Enlightenment with a critical eye.

Nathalie Heinich
A very Catholic brand of sociology? On Bruno Latour

A specialist in the sociology of science and technique, Bruno Latour presents a double-bill programme in his latest book: “Changing society, overhauling sociology”. Does this mean that both ventures must move forward at the same pace? What is to be expected from sociology? How can it broaden the scope of its inquiries into society without disrupting its own sense of identity?

Céline Spector
Contemporary political Spinozism: Toni Negri, Etienne Balibar, et al.

Spinoza is back and making a significant imprint on contemporary political philosophy, even to the point of being held as a benchmark where Marx used to stand tall, in a bid to stem the tide of neo-liberalism. But what exactly is this view of power, where “multitudes” substitute for the people and stand as a political subject which is open to pluralism and to differences?

Thierry Quinqueton
An alternative type of globalization is at work in publishing

As a few of the world’s major publishers go global, the book business is coming under the law of large numbers. And yet, awareness and discovery of literary creation can take an alternative path, one that involves craftsmanship instead of economics and that relies on linkages between smaller entities, as demonstrated here.

Pierre Hassner
The European Union, a multipolar world, and multilateralism

Having moved on from the bipolar world of Cold War days and a UN-centred multilateral system, are we on the threshold of a multipolar world? This would pitch large regional groupings in front of each other in a bid to eschew US predominance. What, within such a reshuffle, would be Europe’s standing and strategy?

Nicole Gnesotto
Security in a post-Western world

How can European countries reckon with the “shrinkage of the West”, i.e., their relative loss of influence within the international system, while at the same time taking a fresh look at their own role? Shared responsibility opens up the best perspective if security is to be enhanced, but we need to identify its contours.

An interview with Arjun Appadurai
Violence and anger in a global age

The Indian-born author sheds light on his attitudes to “postcolonial themes”, of which he is a prominent exponent. As we discover “post-Empire”, the world is restructuring itself into a “geography of anger”, on which the author sheds some light.

Olivier Abel
This is only a slide. The need for geo-ethics

As we respond to very long-term environmental challenges, the risk for us is that the compromises we have to make end up being detrimental to fairness. How do we keep the upper hand on the complex sets of data and information which technical progress is forcing us to deal with? This sliding movement is already present: the ground shifts under our feet, just as intellectual power fails in the face of technical risks of our own making.

Jean-David Naudet, Jean-Michel Severino, and Olivier Charnoz
International aid: Towards social justice on a global scale?

The authors identify four ethical models which justify international aid, comparing their respective benefits and shortfalls. They argue in favour of the more cosmopolitan principle, which, they argue, is responsive to current expectations and needs.

Paul Thibaud
The remembrance of “forsaking” the Jews in France goes back a long way

An official ceremony honouring the “righteous among the nations” who helped save French Jews during the war took place at the Pantheon in Paris in January 2007. How does this event feature in the country’s collective memory, and what role can it play in the formulation of a common future?

Published 7 May 2007
Original in French

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