Popular Sovereignty and Representative Democracy

Was Plato right after all when he remarked in ‘The Republic’ that the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavey rises out of the most extreme form of liberty.? For students of this political classic, contemporary events have never been so meaningful as Western democracies are going through a crisis of confidence in their social, political and financial élites. Popular sovereignty is being reclaimed throughout Europe by movements such as Indignados in Spain, Direct Democracy Now! in Greece or Nuit ...

Have I got your full attention?

Modern life is all about the sovereignty and autonomy of the individual while at the same time everyone of us is the voluntary slave of a paraphernalia of technological tools demanding our constant attention. Have we lost the ability to stay in touch with our ‘real’ self through periods of silence and meditation? Being genuinely free would surely require a conscious effort to dissociate ourselves from the ‘white noise’ of our everyday life and a return to the pleasures of ...

From political rights to the right to basic human needs

One significant new development in the debate on rights, going back as far back as the natural rights tradition of Grotius and Pufendorf down to John Rawls’s Theory of Justice , is the new approach and definition of what formerly-called ‘natural rights’ actually entail. Globalisation has highlighted the blatant social injustice prevailing between so-called ‘industrialised’ countries and ‘developing’ ones. The Lockean notion that ‘life, liberty and property’ summarise the legitimate aspirations of every human being, or possibly, every human being ...

Why Global Ethics Matters

Among the eight possible choices of the Philosophy optional themes, it seems that the one focusing on  People, Nations and Cultures best encapsulates the very spirit of the IB Diploma.  Since every Higher Level  Philosophy candidate has to choose two themes from the eight on the syllabus, why not combine Theories and Problems of Ethics with topical issues such as the impact of globalization on traditional cultures or the future role of international institutions in an ever-changing  world. Global ethics ...