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Wilde, L (2007)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Languages: English
Types: Article
In Can We Live Together? Alain Touraine combines a consummate analysis of crucial social tensions in contemporary societies with a strong normative appeal for a new emancipatory 'Subject' capable of overcoming the twin threats of atomisation or authoritarianism. He calls for a move from 'politics to ethics' and then from ethics back to politics to enable the new Subject to make a reality out of the goals of democracy and solidarity. However, he has little to say about the nature of such an ethics. This article argues that this lacuna could usefully be filled by adopting a form of radical humanism found in the work of Erich Fromm. It defies convention in the social sciences by operating from an explicit view of the 'is' and the 'ought' of common human nature, specifying reason, love and productive work as the qualities to be realised if we are to move closer to human solidarity. Although there remain significant philosophical and political differences between the two positions, particularly on the role to be played by 'the nation', their juxtaposition opens new lines of inquiry in the field of cosmopolitan ethics.
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    • Marx, K., and Engels, F. (1976), Collected Works, volume six, Lawrence and Wishart, London [1848] K√ľng, H. (1997), A Global Ethic for Global Politics and Economics, SCM Press, London.
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