I am Because You Are: Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Xenophobia

Michael Onyebuchi Eze

Abstract: This paper argues that the dominant discourse on cosmopolitanism has largely focused on its constitutive character (what the law tells us) while ignoring its substantive essence (human fellowship, subjective good). While recognizing the contribution made by
other intellectual traditions, the paper argues that none of the approaches have yet answered basic questions of how to live with the stranger beyond the requirement(s) of the law. The paper is also critical of those versions of cosmopolitanism that privileges subjective preference to members of our community over the stranger, or that advocates eradication of boundaries as key condition for cosmopolitanism. The paper champions subjective equality through dialogue as a key condition for cosmopolitanism. Subjective equality on the other hand defines our terms of global justice.

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