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HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE AND POLITICAL ACTIVITY

Authors
Publisher
Faculty of Political Science
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Država
  • Polis
  • Civitas
  • Državni Oblici
  • Politika
  • Kultura
  • Povijesna Tradicija
  • Političko Djelovanje
  • Fenomenologija
  • Komunitarizam
  • Sfere Pravednosti
  • State
  • Polis
  • Civitas
  • Forms Of The State
  • Politics
  • Culture
  • Historical Tradition
  • Political Activity
  • Phenomenology
  • Communitarianism
  • Spheres Of Justice
Disciplines
  • Astronomy
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science

Abstract

The author’s starting point is the principle of contemporary phenomenology: we are able to comprehend and adequately evaluate our own and new regimes in general, only if familiar with their predecessors and their traditions in their otherness. Naturally, in this paper the otherness is neither the essential natural world nor its cosmological structuredness as a universe, but a historical and political world as well as the possibilities of its alterations and transformations. Despite the changes it has gone through in the course of history, it has retained its culturalhistorical continuity and its “fundamental features” in the form of a certain, in Husserl’s words, “contingent apriori”, that precedes certain cultural and historical experiences, but not “the entire experience”, as Waldenfels points out. In order to adequately grasp these complex problems of cultural and political world, the author refers to Aristotle who, when asked in the second volume of his Politics about the best state, uses the then known forms of the state to show “what is right and useful in them” and what is not, and also that it is possible not only to transcend the existing forms but to elaborate them and search for “something new”. Contrary to the modern reduction of the concept of the state to “the organization of government”, Aristotle defines the state by means of three prerequisites: the land, the people and the government and “always by one of these three components, while the other two are somehow implied”. Thus, in all its various forms, the state always includes all these three components: the land as territory, the people as identity and the sum of its citizens and sovereign government as state authority of the people. Regarding the opportunities for political activity in contemporary global world, the author opts for a certain practical philosophy that, despite the universal crisis of today’s society shows that the practice of good life is still possible and that not everybody has given up on it. This also means that in reflecting upon and in accomplishing the good life it is possible to build upon Aristotle’s practical philosophy. Besides the phenomenological and practical philosophy, the final part of the paper looks into the political philosophy of American communitarians and shows that communitarian universalism and historicism are complementary to the European phenomenological and hermeneutical philosophy and productively assist it in developing a new historical thinking as practical knowledge that is applicable to our contemporary situation and that, historically, and in a variety of spheres and at different levels enables us to act ethically/ politically in today’s global world.

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