society

Rethinking Justice within the law

Rethinking Justice within the law

Western philosophy’s most well-known concept is that of justice, yet its vagueness has resulted in both philosophers and jurists failing to agree on its exact meaning.[1] Its lack of a solid, defining characteristic leads individuals to maintain their own perception of justice, accepting and attributing various characteristics to their understanding of it. [2] However, what remains a defining characteristic of justice, is its tendency to “attack and replace all theories that came before it”. [3] In the words of Hans Kelsen, "man cannot find a definite answer but can only try to improve the question".[4]

Rethinking Social Categorisation

Rethinking Social Categorisation

            Tejftel and Turner unpack ‘social identity’ as the phenomenon through which individuals associate themselves with groups that provide them with a sense of belonging, as well as an additional source of pride and self-esteem. Social identity differs from personal identity – the distinction was made by William James in the 19th century. In his work, he explicates the difference between the ‘me’ and the ‘I’. Whereas the former makes for the sociological component of the individual, the latter makes for the personal component of the individual. Social identity, as explained by Tejftel and Turner, is formed in three steps: self-categorisation, social identification with the chosen group(s) and social comparison (of one’s chosen group to the out-groups). In their piece “The Social Identity Theory of Intergroup Behaviour”, Tejftel and Turner thus make the argument that social identity is spontaneous, malleable and voluntary, and that its formation and consolidation are overall individual processes. Through this article, we suggest that social identity has been redefined and institutionalised in a way that feeds into our system’s problematic obsession with categorisation.

How Western is Modernity

How Western is Modernity

Modernity is all-encompassing and therefore frustratingly hard to define and write succinctly about. The philosopher Marshall Berman said that it was ‘an environment that promises us adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and the world – and, at the same time, that threatens to destroy everything that we have, everything we know’. Shmuel Eisenstadt called the history of modernity a ‘story of continual constitution and reconstitution of a multiplicity of cultural programs’. Zygmunt Bauman suggests that ‘post-modernity’ stems from the realisation that that the long effort to accelerate the speed of movement has presently reached its ‘natural limit’. I like to think that this last one implies that the history of modernity corresponds to the development of ever-quicker modes of transportation. Maybe a convenient point to say that modernity started is the invention in 1804 of the first working steam locomotive. Gross simplification, I know.

Can Corporate Social Responsibility Save Capitalism ?

 Can Corporate Social Responsibility Save Capitalism ?

By adapting the 2nd law of thermodynamics to our economic system MUSE seems to warn us about how in a society led by consumerism, mankind seems to have started a race which could end  with its annihilation. With all that we have learned about the impact of global warming on our environment it would be wrong to dismiss this out of hand. To avoid such a result, disparate voices have offered a variety of alternate methods.  Whereas some promote a society free of capitalist thoughts, such as the degrowth movement, others still think the very DNA of capitalism could be transformed to embrace environmentalism. This branch of thought has led to the rise of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). 

A Word On Fellowship

A Word On Fellowship

When I think about the word ‘fellowship’ the first thing that came to my mind was the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. And even though, I love it and J.R.R. Tolkien is a genius writer, I could not help myself thinking that such powerful word could be narrowed in my mind to Frodo Baggins’ and his companions fantasy adventure. That feeling of helplessness encouraged me to rethink about the idea of Fellowship and share it, perhaps in a non-conclusive work but sufficiently persuasive to encourage further rethinking on its readers.

Religion In Our Time: Adaptation or Extinction.

Religion In Our Time: Adaptation or Extinction.

Through this text I wish to engage you in a discussion regarding the relationship between ourselves and the religious experience- not necessarily religious belief in the orthodox theist sense, but rather the wilful adoption of moral principles on an individual basis, without any physical coercion or external input, fostered internally just as those prescribed by religion are held, regardless of society’s attitudes as they currently stand or the permissions granted to us by the state. The core idea at the heart of this investigation is to understand how we can distance ourselves from any instilled or unquestioned ethics, something that is oddly commonplace in a world so obsessed with the individual’s tangible experience- what material wealth they possess or how much attention they garner-  yet with such little care given towards individual psychological experiences, and how the gradual removal of individual agency from morality through socialised norms, expectations and enforced laws has created a culture of people unwilling to question those norms and therefore unable to understand the significance there is in obedience or disobedience to them. There is a climate of lethargy in ethical thought, morality is thought of as being formed around the laws and principles of society at large, which none can function outside of, however much they may disagree. To provide an antithesis to this we will examine the ideas of C.G. Jung and Soren Kierkegaard on the topic, examining their utility in giving us a new perception on faith and religious devotion in a way that both strips away the long-defunct role of religion in enforcing moral uniformity whilst breathing into it new life, giving us an opportunity to use the process of religion as a defence against the thoughtless, materialistic individualism that is prevalent throughout the west and as a tool to deconstruct and analyse the normative prescriptions that are impressed on us.

Culture and the Universality of Human Nature

Culture and the Universality of Human Nature

This is less of a question of inheriting the culture of ones’ parents through their genetics, or that culture itself is ingrained to the genetic makeup of each cultural group– there is little question that such a thing is possible– but more a question of how much of what we call ‘culture’ exists in all of us.

A Consideration on Knowledge

A Consideration on Knowledge

To know or not to know? Or more actually do we have the possibility to know? I believe that the reality of knowledge is something that is only narrowly considered and needs to be recalled. The discussion starts first with what we consider as knowledge. The traditional vision of knowledge as “Justified true belief” will help me to raise the right questions about the knowledge gathering process, and by extension, knowledge itself. The three conditions of this theory will be contrasted with Descartes’ approach: constant doubt, which will enable us to put into perspective our common, taken-for-granted sense of knowledge.

The Reification of Education

The Reification of Education

Education is playing a fundamental role in structuring individuals and society at large. It is a mechanism that decides and shapes our learning journey through the educational norms and values it advocates. Such norms and values include: exams and testing, transmitting knowledge, high-achievement, etc. But one has to be critical or even suspicious towards those educational conventions which educational systems around the world have established. Are they fair? Do they fulfil particular needs? If yes, whose needs come first? Are these norms and values effective variables to achieve the ‘right’ education? This article will attempt to de-construct the concept of ‘education’ and will highlight different lenses that would bring a fresh understanding of its policy, structure and implementation in the 21st century.