The volume is intended to constitute a cosmopolitan project in itself, comprising contributions from scholars with very diverse approaches. Together, these contributions provide a stimulating analysis of what cosmopolitanism can offer to socially and politically diverse twenty-first-century societies.
5 Cosmopolitanism and Antisemitism: Two Faces of Universality (Robert Fine)
Robert Fine1 5 Cosmopolitanism and Antisemitism: Two Faces of Universality Prejudices, like odorous bodies, have a double existence both solid and subtle – solid as the pyramids, subtle as the twentieth echo of an echo, or as the memory of hyacinths which once scented the darkness. —George Eliot, Middlemarch (1874) Two faces of cosmopolitanism The relation between cosmopolitanism and antisemitism is more trou- bled than it might at first sight appear. At one level, cosmopolitanism is a profoundly emancipatory project. It embraces a universal conception of humanity, treats Jews as fellow human beings and draws practical legal and political consequences from this sense of common humanity. It embraces a project of inclusion toward Jews, just as it does to other categories of people previously designated ‘inhuman’, ‘not-yet human’ or worse ‘anti- human’. It manifests itself in movements for legal recognition of Jews as equal citizens and for social recognition of Jews as equal human beings. As a guiding principle of thought and action, cosmopolitanism demands 1 I should thank Daniel Chernilo (Loughborough), Glynis Cousin (Wolverhampton), David Hirsh (Goldsmiths), Lydia Morris (Essex), David Seymour (City) and the editor of this collection, Anastasia Marinopoulou, for their valuable criticism and advice. I am grateful to the Prague Symposium on Philosophy and Social Science (2012) and the British Association for Jewish Studies Conference in Kent (2012) for the opportunity to present and get feedback on this paper. 154 Robert Fine that the right of every human being to have rights be respected and that all...
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