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Cosmopolitanism and the Arab Spring

Foundations for the Decline of Terrorism


Lori J. Underwood

Cosmopolitanism and the Arab Spring: Foundations for the Decline of Terrorism analyzes the role of social media in the Arab Spring within a specific philosophical framework. Kantian cosmopolitanism, enhanced by social media and Internet communications technologies, offers a solid explanation of the political evolution of the Arab Spring. These technologies have given rise to a new cosmopolitanism that rejects alternating dichotomies in favor of an evolving consciousness of our status as citizens of a global commonwealth with a tiered set of duties to everyone within our sphere of influence. Cosmopolitanism as extended through social media has the potential to break down barriers to aid those who suffer under unjust governmental systems and to yield real and sustainable progress toward the amelioration of both tyranny and terrorism. Cosmopolitanism and the Arab Spring is recommended for political philosophy courses as well as interdisciplinary capstone courses exploring problems in the modern world.


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Chapter Two: Kantian Cosmopolitanism 17


Chapter Two Kantian Cosmopolitanism Introduction In the first chapter, I suggested that one of the fundamental forces leading to the perpetuation of terrorism is alterity. I also suggested that recent develop- ments in communications technology may allow for the rise of a new kind of cosmopolitanism which may help to ameliorate the alterity that fosters and supports conditions accommodating to terrorism. To establish how this is possible, it is necessary to first establish the foundations of traditional Kant- ian cosmopolitanism. Kant’s cosmopolitan ideal brings together several components of his critical thought. To fully explicate the cosmopolitan ideal, it is necessary to first understand a number of components of Kant’s critical philosophy. These components are: Kant’s philosophy of history, his con- cepts of the political state of nature and the ethical state of nature, his theory of morality, his theory of a just political state, and his theory of a state of vir- tue. Kant argues that when all of these theoretical threads intertwine in prac- tice, the cosmopolitan ideal will become a reality. Philosophy of History Kant’s conception of history is grounded in the idea that there is a pur- pose to everything in nature. For Kant, the very necessity of the laws of na- ture is grounded in their relationship to pure reason. Therefore, allowing the possibility that mankind could progress through history in the absence of any intention or purpose is unacceptable. He acknowledges that the individual actions of any single person are freely chosen. Thus, although the...

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