Towards Cosmopolitan Philosophy

Arto Siitonen


Cosmos and polis, or nature and social relations furnish the framework of human
culture. Philosophy became a part of that culture, when questions arose as to the
structure of reality and the place of human beings in it. Philosophical quest emerged
from religious myths and nourished scientific research.

Philosophical discourse was originally expressed in Greek, Chinese, and Sanskrit;
later in Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Italian, etc. This draws attention to the problems of
language. Which conditions are imposed on the translation of philosophical texts,
e.g. from Chinese to English? How adequately can symbolic logic account for natural
language and for the differences between various languages? Is there any waterproof
means of settling disputes (cf. Leibniz)?
One may also wonder which features and issues guarantee the continuity of
philosophical research and establish its cosmopolitan character. Problems, arguments
and theories are such invariables, as well as the branches to which these belong
(logic, metaphysics, ethics). The issue of human rights deserves a special mention.
These rights present a universal claim; and our world is not a really civilized
cosmopolis before they will be safeguarded for all of its citizens.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; cultural cosmos; language; humanity

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