In this article, the author examines the contrasting worldviews of specific philosophers, architects, and physicists in an attempt to identify a position that would represent a viable alternative to the concept of universalization. In the history of civilization, he asserts, almost all wars have been of a territorial nature. Territories tend toward uniformity and universalization. He contrasts this worldview with reflections on oceanic thinking, which perceives bodies of water such as the Mediterranean as mediators between continents as well as between opposing worldviews, connecting and dividing at the same time. The sea, however, does not connect in order to homogenize but rather creates distance as an important prerequisite for true communication, thus linking multiplicity in all its variety as a viable alternative to universalism. The author moves on to scrutinize the cosmopolitan attitude as a paradox that on the one hand is oriented to the particular individual and on the other hand to an imaginary world community, that is, the universal. Taking this notion further to consider today’s world that is saturated with the imaginary and symbolic power of the Internet, the author proposes that cosmopolitanism could be understood as an adequate expression for the technologically advanced world community by its capability to strike a balance between the individual and the world as a whole, on one side, and synthetic identity generated by culture and technology, on the other. Nevertheless, deviating from all of these worldviews, the author concludes with a short reflection, inspired by two films, on an alternative to cosmopolitanism that he calls cosmoethics, which employs ethics as the guiding principle of thought and action and commits to a practice that stays in close contact not only with real but also with diverse realities.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.