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Toward A Non-Anthropocentric Cosmopolitanism

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Chapter Summary

The contemporary cosmopolitan ideal has its roots in an ancient theory of the cosmos. The crux of this theory is found in the writings of Aristotle. Like Aristotle, the Stoics presuppose a cosmos hierarchically structured in terms of degrees of perfection. To recognise the arbitrariness of excluding animals from the sphere of morality or the good is to begin to understand the notion of 'the abode of human beings' in a truly cosmo-political sense, and in turn to begin to realise such a sense of dwelling. In place of the ideal of an anthropocentric cosmopolitanism, Neo- Platonist Porphyry develops an ideal of cosmic justice that is well suited to the establishment of a non-anthropocentric cosmopolitanism. Contemporary disputes over the proper nature and terms of cosmopolitanism have some highly revealing implications for the endeavour to achieve a non-anthropocentric cosmopolitanism. Kwame Anthony Appiah offers a comparably anthropocentric vision of cosmopolitanism.

Keywords: Aristotle; cosmic justice; human beings; non-anthropocentric cosmopolitanism; non-human animals; Stoics



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