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The Yearbook on History and Interpretation of Phenomenology 2014

Normativity & Typification

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Edited By Anton Vydra

The second issue of The Yearbook on History and Interpretation of Phenomenology focuses on the intertwined topics of normativity and of typification. The area of their application and specification is relatively broad: from biological questions through various lived experiences and political life to aesthetical judgments. The contributors see normative aspects of human existence as a possibility to act according to inherent or personal values rather than according to some fixed and external rules or even laws.
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Political World, Cultural Normality and Multicilturalism

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Abstract In this contribution the author addresses the problem of multiculturalism from the perspective of a phenomenological description of the political. This approach, as he argues, escapes the hazards of one-sided essentialist responses dealing with the fact that societies are becoming more culturally diverse. Phenomenological description of the political overcomes the modern prejudice that the emergence of the political sphere is, or rather should be, a result of the expression of a nation’s sovereign will or of the united will of an ethnic community prescribed in its normal ways of life. He also deals with the argument that the phenomenological description of the political cannot do justice to the fact of human plurality, which is a condition of all politics in the true sense of the word, because the political is allegedly derived either from interchangeable subjectivity or from inaccessible and incomprehensible radical Otherness. Contrary to this claim, the author argues that true political relation arises from the recognition of rupture in the reciprocity of perspectives, i.e. in the ground for intersubjectivity. The political in the end emerges rather as an active and attentive effort to transcend the limits of different views co-constituting this intersubjective rupture. In other words, the political arises as a transcendence of the normal in the sense of passive constitution of meaning from and against cultural background. From this perspective the phenomenology escapes the trap of multiculturalist fashion attributing “goodness” to difference for simply being different and calls for reflective and critical examination of...

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