Kosmopolitisme - en begrebshistorisk undersøgelse med fokus på Immanuel Kant og Ulrich Beck: Cosmopolitanism - a conceptual historic investigation with Immanuel Kant and Ulrich Beck as focal points

Mathias Dahl Meier, Johan Fleischer, Thor Ekberg Bonde & Jesper Bagger Hviid

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This project explore the notion of cosmopolitanism in a conceptual historic scope with Immanuel Kant’s 1784 essay Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim and Ulrich Beck’s 2004 publication Cosmopolitan Vision as its focal points. It seeks to do so with a theoretical and methodological basis in Hans-Georg Gadamer’s theory of hermeneutics as introduced in Warheit und Methode (1960) and Reinhart Koselleck’s theory of conceptual history and thesis of modernity as introduced in Begriffsgeschichte und Sozialgeschichte (1972) and ‘Erfahrungsraum' und 'Erwartungshorizont' - zwei historische Kategorien (1976). The first chapters expound the conceptual history of the cosmopolitan notion in three periods: In Hellenic Greece, when it was conceived, during the Age of Enlightenment when it was reintroduced by Kant and finally around the new millennium when it was reintroduced once again by ‘new cosmopolitans’ such as Ulrich Beck. With basis in Koselleck and his theory of conceptual history these chapters seek to elaborate how the usage of cosmopolitanism and cognate notions such as the universal and the particular mirror the historical contexts of the different periods in a reciprocal relation. The analyses of the main texts; Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim and Cosmopolitan Vision, serves as the pivotal point of the project. Both analyses begin with a close, expounding reading of their theories of cosmopolitanism in order to better understand their different ways of utilizing the notions of cosmopolitanism, universalism and particularism. Firstly, the discussion seeks to compare the usage of the notion of cosmopolitanism and cognate notions by the two authors. Then it proceeds to discuss how the authors are generally criticized and how they contradict themselves with primary regard to the notion of universalism. Finally, it seeks to discuss the main problematic of cosmopolitanism; the universal against the particular, and the question if it is possible to be cosmopolitical without being universalistic. The project concludes that the main difference between Beck’s and Kant’s way of using the cosmopolitic notion lies in the concept of universalism. It concludes that Beck seeks to dissociate his usage of universalism by adopting a relativistic attitude due to elements in the historical context of his writing.

UddannelserBasis - Samfundsvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) BasisBasis - Humanistisk Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato21 dec. 2015
VejledereSøren Blak Hjortshøj


  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Universalisme
  • Cosmopolitan Vision
  • Universalism
  • Immanuel Kant
  • Ulrich Beck
  • Kosmopolitisme
  • Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim