Fiddling while Rome burns: The ethical cost of living the high life

On April 24 last year, more than 1,100 people lost their lives in the rubble of Rana Plaza. The tragedy made headlines around the globe, and fundraising committees were formed both in Bangladesh and abroad immediately after the building had collapsed. Horrified by the pictures on social media, in the newspapers and on TV, people from all walks of life spontaneously decided to help. People with no personal relation to those affected by the tragedy, total strangers donated money, medical supplies, and blood, physically participated in the rescue efforts, and took to the streets to protest against a politico-economic system that continues to put the lives of workers in Bangladesh at risk. Continue reading “Fiddling while Rome burns: The ethical cost of living the high life”

ব্লাসফেমি আইন বনাম মতপ্রকাশের স্বাধীনতা

মানুষের সবচেয়ে গুরুত্বপূর্ণ অধিকার খুব সম্ভব মতপ্রকাশের স্বাধীনতা, এ মুহূর্তে বাংলাদেশে এ নাগরিক অধিকারটি হুমকির সম্মুখীন। হেফাজতে ইসলাম কঠোর ব্লাসফেমি আইন প্রণয়নের দাবি জানাচ্ছে এবং সরকার মুক্তমতের পক্ষে না থেকে একটি হীন আপোষের নীতি গ্রহণ করেছে, ফলে মিডিয়া সাধারণের তথ্যঅধিকার প্রদানে বাধাপ্রাপ্ত হচ্ছে, গ্রেপ্তার হয়েছেন বা হওয়ার আশঙ্কায় রয়েছেন এমন তরুণ ব্লগারদের ভবিষ্যত অনিশ্চিত হয়ে পড়ছে; ধ্বংসের আশঙ্কার মুখে পড়েছে দেশের গণতন্ত্রের ভবিষ্যতটাও। Continue reading “ব্লাসফেমি আইন বনাম মতপ্রকাশের স্বাধীনতা”

Blasphemy and the right to offend

The right to express one’s opinion freely is maybe the most important democratic right, and it is currently under assault in Bangladesh. Hifazat-e-Islam demands the introduction of strict blasphemy laws, and the government, instead of defending freedom, resorts to an ill-advised and imprudent appeasement strategy that hinders the press in its duty to inform the public, threatens the futures of young bloggers who were, and continue to be, arrested, and puts in peril the future of the democracy of the country. Continue reading “Blasphemy and the right to offend”

Interview: African Philosophy, and non-human animals

reginald_oduorUniversity of Nairobi’s Reginald M. J. Oduor talks to Anteneh Roba and Rainer Ebert:

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and describe your academic career?

Dr. Oduor: I am a Kenyan, born in 1963 in Eldoret, a town in the Rift Valley. However, my ancestral home is Ugenya, a part of the former Nyanza Province, now part of Siaya County. As I had total visual disability from the age of one, I studied at the Thika School for the Blind up to O-level. I then undertook my A-level studies at Thika High School, a regular boys’ school, where we were only two boys with visual disabilities; yet, the two of us came out top in a class of ninety-five boys. Continue reading “Interview: African Philosophy, and non-human animals”

Fritz Mauthner: Die Sprache

“In science, language reveals its impotence; in poetry, it shows the power of its beauty; in religion, we are tyrannized by the power of language […].” (Die Sprache, p. 19)

Fritz Mauthner was born in the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1849, in the city of Hořice that is now a part of the Czech Republic. His three-volume Contributions to a Critique of Language (1901-1902) are symptomatic of the linguistic turn that began to transform philosophy at the end of the nineteenth century and shaped much of the discipline in the century that followed. In 1906, Mauthner published Die Sprache (Language) which reiterates – in concentrated form – some of the main ideas of his Contributions and shows their relevance to scientific, philosophical, religious and socio-political thought. Continue reading “Fritz Mauthner: Die Sprache”