Foundations of Cultural Diplomacy: Politics among Cultures and the Moral Autonomy of Man

Foundations of Cultural Diplomacy: Politics among Cultures and the Moral Autonomy of Man

Foundations of Cultural Diplomacy: Politics among Cultures and the Moral Autonomy of Man

Foundations of Cultural Diplomacy: Politics among Cultures and the Moral Autonomy of Man

Synopsis

This original, systematic theory of cultural diplomacy opens a new way of thinking about diplomacy, politics and culture. Dr. Laos methodically investigates the relationship between culture and politics and between the reality of the world and the reality of consciousness. In so doing, he articulates a new approach to international relations theory and the concept of power, one based on philosophical arguments about reality, history and freedom. Dr. Laos takes a stark and realistic look at the interplay between culture and politics and makes an intellectually challenging contribution to normative international relations theory. The author proposes a new way of defining 'critical' political theory (substantially different from the Frankfurt School's approach) which leads to a new, dynamic understanding of history, and he argues that the chessboard of power is not so much on the surface of the earth as in the mental network formed by the communication between consciousnesses. He presents an original explanation of the inherent inability of Realpolitik to account for reality, throwing light on deep and controversial questions of identity for Europe and the West in general.

Excerpt

Existence means the continuity of a being. Consciousness, as consciousness of existence, aims at the preservation of the existence of a given being under the best possible terms. Thus, a conscious being aims not only at the preservation of its existence, but also at the improvement of its existential conditions. Therefore, the intentionality of consciousness operates as an impulse to participate in the world (since consciousness absorbs the world) and also as pure self-knowledge. These functions take place at three different levels—namely: instinct, experience and intellect.

At the level of instinct, conscious activity is minimal, and existence reduces to the two basic instincts—namely, those of survival and reproduction. Instinct is a highly formalized behavioural code which reflects the logic of organic nature. At the level of experience, the intentionality of consciousness is expressed through the functioning of the senses. The senses are oriented towards the external world, with which they connect existence. Experience is about the person finding himself in some situation, and being aware of it. At the level of intellect, reason plays an active role. Thus, the conscious mind perceives and thinks in non-linear ways and it influences perception.

Through reason, conscious beings achieve their spiritual autonomy from nature. However, the spiritual maturity of humankind, i.e., its emancipation from natural/historical necessities, has been purchased at a high cost. When . . .

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