Course Schedule

Veranstaltungen von Dr. Tiago Cerqueira Lazier


The Politics of Equality and Difference: Community, Plurality, and the Common Plural World (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Tiago Cerqueira Lazier

wöchentlich | Freitag | 14:15 - 15:45 | 28.10.2022 - 03.02.2023 | C 5.019 | .
Einzeltermin | Fr, 03.02.2023, 16:15 - Fr, 03.02.2023, 17:45 | C 5.019

Inhalt: “Were men not equal, they could not understand each other; were they not distinct, they would need neither speech nor action”. This is how Hannah Arendt (1998, p.175)–closed paraphrased in this sentence–defines the human condition. By granting us the opportunity to communicate with others and to organize society to our liking, our human political condition also challenges us to deal with the paradox of being equals while being different and of being different while being equals. Things become even more complicated if we consider that the difficulty of balancing equality and difference does not only apply to the relationship between persons inside a community but also to the relationship between different communities and their members. All in all, the question becomes: is there at all a way of achieving a balancing that respects both cultural and personal identities in their equalities and differences? To try to answer this question in the affirmative, the seminar–after introducing and setting up the problem–considers how three major political philosophers of the last century dealt with the paradox of equality and difference in a democratic perspective. They are Charles Taylor and his concern with the importance of community for the development of the self; William Connolly and his concern with plurality and pluralization ("subversion" of what is considered normal); and Hannah Arendt who arguably manages to integrate both concerns in her conceptualization of the world. In doing so–as we will explore in the seminar’s final part–she also gives us some hints to how we can better balance equality and difference by considering the challenge in its full, multicultural complexity. (Arendt, Hannah, 1998, The Human Condition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press).