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Dr. Stamatoula Panagakou of the University of Cyprus organised a panel on “Political Philosophy and the Concept of Crisis” during the 1st Annual Conference of the Cyprus Association of Political Science which took place at the University of Cyprus last week.
The speakers explored issues of politics, society, ethics, metaphysics and state theory, while addressing such themes as the role of the state, the moral dimension of good government, and Nietzsche’s analysis of western values.
The speakers included Dr. Antis Loizides (UCy), Dr. Stamatoula Panagakou (UCy) and 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).
Dr. Loizides focused on the political thought of James Mill and discussed his views on the conditions of good government prior to the publication of his essay “Government.” Adam Swinbank asked whether Friedrich 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. Dr. Panagakou provided an innovative analysis of Bosanquet’s political philosophy which concentrated on the ethical system of the state and on its four key components (ethical life, metaphysics of the self, institutions as ethical ideas, and ethical citizenship).
The presentations stimulated discussion.
Prof. Constantinou talked of the important lessons we can draw from the writings of thinkers as those addressed upon the panel.
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.”