Chapter 2 “How do we begin to think about the world?”
• Living in the world with other people is the realm of politics and ethics.
Ethics is about how we should live with other people in the world and politics is
about what kinds of living and ways of thinking about who we are are made
• Theory (thinking about the world) and practice (doing things in the world) can be
separated. A separation is made and assumed to be possible.
• The ticking time bomb scenario does two other things besides separating theory
1) The scenario suggests that we need to employ our rationality and come to
conclusions based on either certainty or reasonable belief. There are certain things
we need to know before making a decision and we need to balance them up
2) Although some scenarios suggest that all human life has value not only the
lives that are at risk from the bomb’s explosion, but also that of the person that we
have in custody. The scenario is not constructed from the point of view of the
person who is in custody…there is not mention of the justifications that he/she
may have, or what reason there may be, for planting the bomb. The scenario is
also silent in regards to the motivations the perpetrator may have.
This means that “we” are the potential torturers in the scenario. Furthermore,
“we”, as potential torturers, feel more akin tot hose whose lives are at rick from
the bomb than to the person we have in custody. Whoever he or she is, it seems
that he or she is not “us”.
• In global politics, what is at stake in the practices of torture is not a question of
the justifiability of an isolated incident of the action of one person (the torturer) in
only one other (the person in custody). It is, more accurately, the actions of many
(“us”) on many (“them”).
Walzer (communitarian) Beitz (Cosmopolitan)
Reason Reason cannot overcome Reason transcends our
intrests, biases and socio interests and biases
The subject The state or political The individual ( as a
community is the moral member of humanity) is the
subject moral subject
Ethico – political space Ethics takes place within Ethical responsibility
states; those outside are not extends to every person
our primary moral concern regardless of where they
live. LECTURE NOTES
Thursday October 18 , 2012
• Inter, nation and politics are the 3 things that make up International Politics.
• When we think about politics in a social process it frames our world. Who
belongs, why do they not belong...etc.
• We don’t usually think about ethics when we are thinking about politics.
• For her, ethics is how we should live with other people in our world.
• On one hand it’s how we live with others in our communities and its also how we
interact with others in our communities. It is also how we interact with those
outside of our community, outside of the state, nation.
• When we think about ethics this way we can think about politics as how me
manage our lives.
• We’ll think about politics as management of the ways that we live collectively and
we’ll also look at how can live and how we cannot live. As well as who can live
in this collective and who cannot.
• Who constituted this collective? It is the nation
• Up until now we have been looking at the emergence of the nation as the basis…
• In the united nations charter, nationhood, and the ability to act on nationhood is
the sole method to recognize a nation