Paradigms and Contentions

Paradigms and Contentions

Junior Visiting Fellows’ Conferences, Vol. VII
IWM, Vienna 1999 [Published on the Web]

Edited by: Maria Gomez, Ann Guthmiller and Stefan Kalt

Contributions by: Stefan Kalt, Ann Guthmiller, Margit Leuthold, Michal Ivantysyn, Piotr Graczyk, Ulrike Krampl, Philipp Steger, Violeta Zentai, Maria Gomez and Jarmila Maresova

Introduction

This collection reflects the harvesting of these efforts which took place at the Junior Fellows Conference December 10-11, 1998. The Conference provided the Junior Fellows with a chance to present refined versions of their papers, which were initially given in the weekly seminars to one another, as well as to the Permanent and Senior Fellows. Each paper presentation was followed by the comments of a discussant of the Fellow’s choosing, who offered suggestions and an appraisal of the work. The papers in this collection have been revised in light of the conference discussion and the discussant’s remarks...
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Bodies that Mean. On (Mis)recognition of the Female Body

The question of recognition occupies a central position in contemporary political and philosophical debates. Recognition constitutes not only the question of the so called multiculturalism of western societies but the kernel of discourses -in favor or against- the formation of individual and collective identities and their placement as political forces in the scope of a democracy "to come."...
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Simone Weil – Love and Language

European philosophy - the natural environment of what we call reason - did not generate itself, although there was a time when it believed in its self-creation ex nihilo. Philosophy has a great mother - religion. Religion is the background against which philosophy loomed, the soil out of which it grew. I will not try to characterize this soil and this background directly; I hope that the reasons for my reticence will become clearer in the course of my argument. From the very moment of its birth, European philosophy was destined to question the relationship between itself and its soil: myth. This became a particularly burning question (literally) when Christianity entered into the life of Europe, transforming all its institutions and traditions so profoundly that their continuity became problematic. This Christian abduction of Europe involved the second birth of everything European, including European philosophy...
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“Make Straight Your Own Path to Destiny” A Reading of Sophocles’ Antigone

"Wisdom is far the chief element in happiness and, secondly, no irreverence towards the gods. But great words of haughty men exact in retribution blows as great and in old age teach wisdom.” This is the closing passage of the play, Antigone, spoken solemnly by the chorus as the defeated and weary Creon exits the stage. In their terse eloquence, these lines capture any of the crucial themes of the text: the intellectual struggle of reconciling religious and civic allegiances, the danger of human hubris and the denial of limits, the inescapability of fate, the need for wisdom in order to achieve eudiamonia and the tendency for this wisdom to come in old age after years of errors and suffering...
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Main Trends in Slovakia’s Political System

In recent years, Slovakia’s development (in ways similar to other post-socialist countries) has been characterized by politics and policies designed to cope with the challenge of building both a functional economy and a representative democracy. Most of the problems facing young Central and Eastern European democracies were produced by their former regimes. Viewed in this way, research into the transition process is an exciting effort which can shed light on many events of recent years.
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Obligation and Action in Hume’s Moral Psychology

In the following paper, I will present an interpretation of Hume's account of the motive force of "conscience, or a sense of morals;" that is, of our tendency to act because we "feel" that we ought to. I will introduce this topic with some general remarks about Humean sentimentalism. I will then focus on Hume's cognitive psychology to prepare the ground for an examination of the virtue of benevolence, the virtue which best illustrates the nature of moral motivation as Hume conceives it. After reconstructing the specifically Humean "sense" of obligation, I will draw a
brief comparison between Hume's ethical views and those of Kant and Aristotle...
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“Particular” Remarks on “General” Problems. Methodological Questions on the Appearance of False Witches in Eighteenth Century Paris

Witchcraft has a long history, as does its interpretation. What is more, the two cannot be separated from one another, as the reading and understanding of an object of interest are always part of its constitution. The history of witchcraft in early modern times, upon which my paper will concentrate, is but one telling example. In the following pages I would like to problematize two issues which are always "at stake" in the reading/understanding of magic and witchcraft: the power of identification by naming and the opposition between the general and the particular;
or, in different terms, the problem of popular culture and a focus on women’s relationship to the dominant order....
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Eco-Knowledge for the Future or “Interference is the only way to stay realistic.” (Heinrich Böll)

In times of change, questions about education and about what humans should learn and know become more and more interesting for public debate. Therefore, discussions about reforming and restructuring pedagogical practices are not simply topics for academics. To varying degrees, what education is concerned with and how it is practiced is determined by politicians, pedagogical establishments, and economists, among others...
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Labor Migration to Austria. Czech and Slovak Temporary Workers in Vienna

Mass migration influences the political, economic, social, demographic and cultural environment of the target countries. It changes not only quantitative, but also qualitative aspects of reality and that is why it is an important phenomenon of the present, as well as the future....
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The Long Good Bye to the Catholic Country or How Powerful is Poland’s Roman Catholic Church?

The good news for the Polish Roman Catholic Church in 1989 was that communism had lost, but it soon became obvious that there was also bad news: capitalism had won! While the Roman Catholic Church’s current pontifex maximus’s share in bringing about the historic fall of the Communist regimes in the countries of the so-called "East Bloc” is undisputed and gratefully acknowledged in his native country, he may - paradoxically enough - not have done the Polish Roman Catholic Church such a good service after all...
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From Losers and Winners to Victims and Perpetrators

n the post-socialist transformation, people are engaged in reinventing the standards of a decent human life and social well-being. In a parallel way, critical debates have arisen in scholarly and other intellectual circles to investigate the outcomes of the wholesale social restructuring. Many observers contend that the critical accounts of the transformation dominantly express disappointment, discontent, and even deep despair in most countries of the region. Investigating the experience of post-communist disillusionment, Vladimir Tismaneanu concludes that constitutional pluralism lacks magnetizing virtues; people experience cultural chaos, sense deep cynicism, humiliation, panic, and insecurity. Under circumstances in which sources of authority are eroding, an entrenched attitude of suspicion characterizes people's imagination. This disposition invites the return of the repressed, politics of emotion, hostility and anger...
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