In this book, Michael Murphy argues that if cosmopolitanism is to remain critical and relevant, rather than set out another grand project, what is required is a process of critique and cooperation. At the level of inter-cultural exchange, this requires understanding the encounter with the Other as a mutual phase of development and holds out the potential to rejuvenate world philosophies.Through this process the cosmopolitan imagination emerges from a dialogue between global traditions of relational sociologies on matters of common concern.
The second stage of the book applies this methodology to provide a radical account of being and acting in the world. This will be achieved through engaging in conversation with the works of the critical theorist Gerard Delanty, the decolonial theorist Walter Mignolo, and the Buddhist, Confucian, and phenomenological inspired work of Watsuji Tetsurō. In providing a move away from abstractions and ideals to instead focus on injustices and the everyday life, Murphy uncovers an independent source for political legitimacy not defined by the rationality of the state or dependent on the ideals of Western philosophy. Part of this investigation also reveals a post-individual account of agency as an enactive being. Emphasising agency as becoming has the potential to allow us to reimagine the relationship between the self and the institutions of democracy. The main themes of this book are eurocentrism, critical cosmopolitanism, post-individual subjectivity and democracy.
Michael Murphy is recognised as an expert with UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab and is a member of the Labour Academic Network of leading global scholars supporting the UK Labour Party’s policy work.
IntroductionPart One1. A Global History of Cosmopolitanism2. Global Critical Theories3. Watsuji, Modernity and the Art of LifePart Two4. The Emptiness of Cosmopolitanism: How Should a Cosmopolitan Think?5. Cosmopolitan Transmodernity: Re-imagining the Loci of Enunciation6. Aidagara and the Grounds of Radical ImaginationAfterword: The Failure of Thought: A Radical Imagination for the Critical Space of Democracy
Written with flair and imagination, Michael Murphy’s exciting and thoughtful book rethinks the relationship of self and other in critical conversation with Gerard Delanty’s cosmopolitanism and Walter Mignolo’s decolonial theory. By pollinating this engaging dialogue with Watsuji Tetsuro’ original concepts and perspectives, the book aspires to shed a new, valuable light on theorizations of temporal and spatial modalities of modernity.
This book makes a significant contribution to critical cosmopolitanism. It brings together different traditions of cosmopolitan thought in and opens the field to Japanese philosophy. It is a thoughtful and insightful analysis.
Michael Murphy succeeds in an extraordinarily ambitious task: to radically rethink critical cosmopolitan social theory as developed by Gerard Delanty and Walter Mignolo through an application of the central ideas of Watsuji Tetsurō, one of Japan’s most significant modern philosophers and perhaps the world’s first truly global thinker. Highly recommended for scholars and students of contemporary social theory and/or comparative thought.