Western anthropology (2nd slightly rev. ed.)
Montenbruck, Axel

Main titleWestern anthropology (2nd slightly rev. ed.)
Subtitledemocracy and dehumanization
AuthorMontenbruck, Axel
No. of Pages81 S.
Edition/Version2nd slightly rev. ed.
KeywordsFreedom; Civilization; Groupishness; Duties; Persons in Grammar; status communicativus; Neutralization; Conformity; Realistic Democratic Punishment; Rule of Weighing Freedom; Equity and Solidarity
Classification (DDC)100 Philosophy and psychology
340 Law
AbstractThe special kind of freedom of homo sapiens includes both abiding by a – normative – ethics of Humanity and a contrasting ethics using the – empirical – ability to dehumanize others. We humans are able to switch rather easily between both. The grammar of our Western lan-guages indicates that, and Western political philosophy defines the dignity of man by a similar formula.
Regarding punishment and crime, our psyche works with techniques of neutralizing brutal acts. Even we “good ones” suppress acting in-humanely towards others by the method of neutralizing or better by collectivizing ourselves. We democrats submit blindly to the Rule of Law and the mightiness of our own Justice. Easily justifying lifelong incarceration without accepting a bit of personal responsibility for our own decisions is a kind of a collective ritual of de-individuation sov-ereign democrats should be aware of.
In order to define humanity as well as its negation, inhumanity, the simple Democratic Trinity of “Freedom, Equity and Solidarity” we should turn to. Freedom means, for instance, private rights, self-defense, personality, and egoism/duty to yourself. Equity includes fairness, contracts, and cruel retaliation/duty to peers. Solidarity com-prises security, taxes, prevention, humanity, charity, and: inhumane collectivism/duty to society.
With a set of four theses I shall try reducing complexity:
I. Jurisprudence and Political Science: There might be “Three Democ-ratic Steps of Punishment.”
A. Democracy in light of punishment might be defined by freedom, fairness, humanity.
B. A crime in such a democracy means “gaining freedom,” by acting “unfairly,” and “inhumanely.”
C. A democratic punishment implies correcting the wrong by “taking freedom,” while reacting “fairly” and “humanely.”
II. Linguistics and Culture: The Grammar of Western languages indi-cates we are prepared for both Democracy in a We-group and for its Negation. Therefore Freedom might be defined as “status communica-tivus,” too.
III. Psychology and Ethics: Milgram et al. prove that the majority of us cannot avoid “obedience and submission”. Therefore we have to develop both strong collective ethics and, at least for leaders, a “Per-sonal Democratic Identity”.
VI. Finally, Philosophical Anthropology: The favored “Rule of Weighing Political Acts Democratically” means harmonizing in each important individual case “freedom, equity and solidarity”.
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FU DepartmentDepartment of Law
Other affiliation(s)WE Strafrecht
Year of publication2010
Type of documentBook
Terms of use/Rights Nutzungsbedingungen
Created at2010-09-29 : 01:31:35
Last changed2017-12-21 : 11:56:34
Static URLhttp://edocs.fu-berlin.de/docs/receive/FUDOCS_document_000000006532