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2009 | 1 | 96-108

Article title

THE INTER-SUBJECTIVE DIMENSION OF LIBERALISM: TOWARDS THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF FRATERNITY (Intersubyektnyi vymir liberalizmu: do fenomenolohii braterstva).

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The article is devoted to the phenomenological consideration of the idea of fraternity as a component of a liberal doctrine that opens its inter-subjective dimension. The interpretation of liberalism as a political ideology that implies the primacy of the individual over the community is a consequence of etatism's predominance in continental political philosophy. Etatism in political phenomenology is shown by means of analysis of Merleau-Ponti's, Heidegger's, Levinas', Waldenfels' texts. Being connected with etatism, political philosophy's attention to the question of the best regime leads to elimination of the concept of fraternity from the liberal doctrine, because its meaning does not 'work' in the questions of legitimation of authorities. The path to etatistic political thinking starts from metaphysical understanding of freedom as the subject's ability to cause things and events. The political analogue of metaphysical freedom is public activity of a person as a subject of power. Moral freedom in a private life serves as an alternative to metaphysical freedom. In the political sphere, a person as a participant of the brotherly community corresponds to moral freedom. Analyzing the phenomenological texts about fraternity one may come to the conclusion that fraternity is an inter-subjective relation that specifies the community disconnected with a state. In liberal doctrine such a community is considered to be a source of political rights that arise from the ideas of freedom, equality, and fraternity.






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  • Alexandr Timokhin, Taurida V.I.Vernadsky National University, 4, Academician Vernadsky Ave, 95007, Simferopol, Crimean Autonomous Republic, Ukraine


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