Abstract for The Need for World Community: Lonergan’s Cosmopolis and Arendt’s Public Realm

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(This abstract was recently accepted by the North Texas Philosophical Association for the 2013 Annual Meeting which will take place at the University of North Texas, April 4-6, 2013. I will be presenting a paper based on this abstract. I am honored to be accepted and eagerly anticipating the conference.)

We do not have to look far to find elements of decline in our society: oppression of others exemplified by genocide, slavery and sex-trafficking; suppression of ideas represented by extreme censorship and propaganda; and alienation between human and human as well as between human and earth are several of the ostentatious signs of a society in decline.

Though they come from radically different backgrounds and presuppositions, Bernard Lonergan and Hannah Arendt are both deeply concerned with the signs of societal decline, and are driven to postulate a notion of world community to combat it. Lonergan’s notion of world community, which he labels “cosmopolis,” and Arendt’s notion of world community, which she designates, “public realm,” are surprisingly similar, and I will argue that they offer us a complementary and beneficial picture of world community.

In this paper, we will, first, explore the source of society’s decline according to Lonergan and Arendt, second, look at their respective definitions and descriptions of world community; and third, conclude with whether Arendt and Lonergan’s notions of world community are actually compatible and whether such notions can truly address any of the problems society is facing today.[ref]To read more on this, please see my Freedom in World Community: Lonergan and Arendt where I discuss one of the most important aspects of world community: freedom.[/ref]