The Philosophy of Bosanquet, Mill and Nietzsche Discussed At The University Of Cyprus
Dr. Stamatoula Panagakou of the University of Cyprus organised a very successful panel on “Political Philosophy and the Concept of Crisis” at the 1st Annual Conference of the Cyprus Association of Political Science which took place at the University of Cyprus, 21st-22nd November 2014. The speakers were: Dr. Antis Loizides (University of Cyprus), Dr. Stamatoula Panagakou (University of Cyprus), and Mr. Adam Swinbank (University of Keele). The discussant was Professor Costas M. Constantinou, President of the Cyprus Association of Political Science and Head of the Department of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Cyprus. The panel was chaired by Dr. Emmanuel Alexakis (University of Crete, Greece).
Dr. Loizides focused on the political thought of James Mill (1733-1836) and discussed his views on the conditions of good government prior to the publication of his essay “Government.” In “Bernard Bosanquet on the Ethical System of the State,” Dr. Panagakou presented her latest research on the political philosophy of the British Idealist Bernard Bosanquet (1848-1923). Her analysis drew mainly, although not exclusively, upon The Philosophical Theory of the State which is Bosanquet’s major contribution to political thought. Dr. Panagakou depicted Bosanquet’s philosophy of the state in its wholeness as a logical synthesis of essentially interrelated parts culminating in a unifying ethical ideal. Mr. Swinbank, in assessing the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), asked whether Nietzsche’s notion of “Eternal Recurrence” can offer a new source of morality in a Godless world without moral certainties and argued that it fell short of being an adequate new source of morality in the 21st century.
Professor Constantinou talked of the important lessons we can draw from the writings of thinkers as those addressed upon the panel and stressed the value of political philosophy for political thinking and praxis. Commenting on the topic of the panel, Dr. Panagakou said: “The recent economic crisis has generated opportunities for political thinkers and intellectual historians to reflect on the state of current affairs and to revisit the work of celebrated philosophers in order to find inspiration, empowerment and guidance. How should I live my life? What is the relation between the state and the individual? What is the nature of the state? What is good government and how can the common good be safeguarded? What is the relation between self-realisation and the social whole? Political philosophy addresses these questions and stimulates thought, dialogue and critique. Engaging with the work of past masters shows not only the robustness of their vision, but also the perennial relevance of their ideas.”