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The Limits of Cosmopolis

Ethics and Provinciality in the Dialogue of Cultures


Kathleen Glenister Roberts

This book is concerned with cosmopolitanism – a privileged notion of «world citizenship» – and whether or not a cosmopolitan position is conducive to human flourishing when its preoccupation is aesthetic.
The Limits of Cosmopolis addresses the question of how human life is organized: Is it possible to be a «citizen of the world»? Is there a difference between avowing that identity for oneself and morally and ethically making a commitment to others? What are the implications for communication – for a real dialogue of cultures?
Because the identity claim to cosmopolitanism brings particular challenges to intercultural dialogue, the author argues that alternative routes to transnational human rights – to moral and ethical commitment and communication – are crucial. This book is interested in those alternative routes, in a more just organization of human life. It considers the ways in which a «cosmopolitan identity» may exacerbate intercultural conflicts rather than alleviating them as well as exploring its implications for intercultural interactions.

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