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Famous philosophers: Hegel is very much alive: Just ask Slavoj Žižek, Judith Butler or Byung-Chul Han | Culture

German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.
German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.Diego QUijano con fotografía de Getty Images

They all go out of style, but some of them make comebacks. The philosopher who placed the notion of relation and contradiction at the center of reality, who reflected about human beings and gave them a prominent place in history, who spoke of blood and liberty – for a long time, this thinker was considered a “dead dog.” Yet if we read Slavoj Žižek, Judith Butler and Byung-Chul Han, some of the 21st century’s most widely followed thinkers, one thing seems certain: Hegel’s legacy is very much alive.

In popular culture, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel represents the dark thinker whom Monty Python proclaimed as the best defense in their old gag about the soccer game between German philosophers and Greek philosophers. Now, more than 250 years after his birth, Hegel has inspired new books based on his philosophy and fresh print runs of his work. Even Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach recently quoted him to illustrate the moral duty of getting vaccinated against coronavirus: “Freedom is the recognition of necessity.”

Two of the last books by Slavoj Žižek are Hegel in a Wired Brain and Less Than Nothing: Hegel And The Shadow Of Dialectical Materialism. In a telephone conversation, Žižek reflected on that Hegelian view of history as a path of heartbreak. “Hegel does not talk to us about the future – that would be Karl Marx – but instead wants us to notice the processes of history and the act of constantly rewriting it,” he warns. In that sense, Hegel’s lesson for today’s world would be not to trust our own vision of the future. “We need to be more skeptical, instead of considering ourselves great makers of history.”

With post-humanism on the horizon, Žižek warns that the real game changer of our time is not surveillance capitalism (which focuses on personal data as a commodity to be used for profit) but potential new forms of domination through the brain-machine interface, whose goal is to make our thinking processes transparent. This new technological ability, still incipient but very real, “is horrible because it poses a threat to metaphors, poetry and the very idea of language. What’s at stake is our basic form of freedom which is human thought.”

Desire and power

In every one of her books, from the latest The Force of Nonviolence: An Ethico-Political Bind to her first, Gender Trouble, thinker Judith Butler uses Hegelian concepts such as the need for recognition, mediation or the right to citizenship. Butler, who earned a PhD with a thesis on Hegel and the concept of desire, published an article in The Institute of Art and Ideas in 2019 titled “Hegel for our times,” underscoring the current relevance of the notion of interdependence, a very Hegelian concept. “It is in the course of encountering another that I stand a chance to become self-conscious,” reads the article.

Meanwhile the thinker Byung-Chul Han, who studied philosophy at Freiburg University, seems to take a less transformative view of Hegel. In his book The Agony of Eros, he equated Hegel’s notion of absolute with love, and warned that in a narcissistic world where all social interaction is mediated by technology, we run the risk of entirely eradicating the notion of the Other. And one of his latest books is What is Power?, whose main thesis is that certain forms of power dialectics can take place from a place of concord, as is the case with surveillance capitalism.

Populism and conspiracy theories

Germán Cano, who teaches philosophy at Madrid’s Complutense University, believes there has been a return to Hegel’s work because of the need to think about the whole, to think about the structure of what’s real, to get some relevant perspective in these times of populism and conspiracy theories based on the logic of finding a scapegoat. To Cano, the problem is that we live in increasingly atomized societies without a robust public sphere, which makes it difficult for us to understand one another as a society.

Hegel was the first to uncover the workings of ideas posing as natural facts of life, notes Ricardo Espinoza Lolas, a professor of history of philosophy at the Catholic University of Valparaíso, in Chile. Hegel offers us tools to “perforate the given, mediate the immediate and build a new sociohistorical fabric” made of the feminist, anti-racist and anti-colonialist movements, among others.

Wearing Hegel glasses can help us see further, but they don’t work for everyone. In her work Let’s spit on Hegel, the Italian activist Carla Lonzi underscored that feminism was the first social movement to interrupt the masculine monologue that had been so carefully cultivated in Western philosophy. Yet the very Hegelian concept of transformation lies at the heart of feminism. “Through thinkers who are indebted to Hegel, such as Butler, we are introduced to the idea that each person is simultaneously singular and plural,” notes Francesca Recchia Luciani, who teaches history of philosophy at Bari University. Recchia says we are undergoing a profound change, a conflict between an old world and a new world, a dialectical duel that seeks to overcome the patriarchal paradigm that refuses to give space or a voice to a majority of people.

A revolutionary beer drinker

Hegel lived through the French Revolution and he grasped that the idea of conflict in history is painfully real. Up until 1800 Hegel did not want to be a philosopher but a revolutionary, and this crossroads represents a critical moment in his work, explains José María Ripalda, a professor of history of modern philosophy at Spain’s distance university UNED, in his work El joven Hegel. Ensayos y esbozos (or, Young Hegel. Essays and sketches).

Hegel was something of a poet, and he also liked beer and women. He had a child and paid for the latter’s upkeep throughout his life as a good scholar of ethics. Besides an icon of philosophy, Hegel was also a man, just like Beethoven exclaimed about Napoleon: “So he is no more than a common mortal!” His wife Marie von Tucher described him as one of those people who expect nothing and hope for nothing. But not everyone loved him: Schopenhauer said that Hegel’s work would remain as “a monument to German stupidity.”

In any event, Hegel is a light that refuses to go out. The historian Wilhelm Dilthey said Hegel was one of those men who have never been young and who still have a hidden fire in old age.

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Assessing Property Size: What Square Footage Can You Get With The Average UK House Price In Your Area?

Assessing Property Size In The UK

In the United Kingdom, there is a prevailing tendency to gauge the size of residences based on the number of bedrooms rather than square footage. In fact, research indicates that three out of five individuals are unaware of the square footage of their property.

However, a comprehensive analysis conducted by Savills reveals significant variations in property sizes throughout the country. For instance, with the average property price standing at £340,837, this amount would typically afford a studio flat spanning 551 square feet in London, according to the prominent estate agency.

Conversely, in the North East region, the same sum would secure a spacious five-bedroom house measuring 1,955 square feet, nearly four times the size of a comparable property in London.

Best value: Heading to the North East of England is where buyers will get the most from their money

In Scotland, the median house price equates to a sizable investment capable of procuring a generous four-bedroom residence spanning 1,743 square feet. Conversely, in Wales, Yorkshire & The Humber, and the North West, this sum affords a slightly smaller four-bedroom dwelling of approximately 1,500 square feet, while in the East and West Midlands, it accommodates a 1,300 square foot home. In stark contrast, within the South West, £340,837 secures a modest 1,000 square foot property, and in the East, an even more confined 928 square feet.

London presents the most challenging market, where this budget offers the least purchasing power. Following closely, the South East allows for 825 square feet of space or a medium-sized two-bedroom dwelling. Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, emphasizes the profound disparity in purchasing potential across Britain, ranging from compact studio flats in London to spacious four or five-bedroom residences in parts of North East England.

While square footage serves as a critical metric, with a significant portion of Britons unfamiliar with their property’s dimensions, the number of bedrooms remains a traditional indicator of size. Personal preferences, such as a preference for larger kitchens, may influence property selection. For those prioritizing ample space, Easington, County Durham, offers a substantial 2,858 square foot, five-bedroom home, while Rhondda, Wales, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland, provide 2,625 and 2,551 square feet, respectively. Conversely, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, £340,837 secures a mere 547 square feet, equivalent to a one-bedroom flat.

The disparity continues in central London, where purchasing power diminishes considerably. In Kensington, the budget accommodates a mere 220 square feet, contrasting with the slightly more spacious 236 square feet in Westminster. Conversely, in Dagenham, the same investment translates to 770 square feet. Three properties currently listed on Rightmove exemplify the diversity within this price range across the UK market.

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

2. Lewisham: One-bed house, £345,000

This one-bedroom property in Lewisham, South London, is on the market for £345,000.

The semi-detached house is set over two floors, and has a private patio.

The property is located near to bus links and amenities, as well as Catford train station.

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

3. Edinburgh: Three-bed house, £350,000

This three-bedroom detached house in Edinburgh could be yours for £350,000.

The house, which has a two-car driveway, boasts a large kitchen diner, and is within easy reach of Newcriaghall train station.

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Top 10 Florida Cities Dominate The Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

Top 10 Florida Cities And Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

The Voice Of EU | Florida emerges as a hub for entrepreneurial endeavors, with its vibrant business landscape and conducive environment for startups. Renowned for its low corporate tax rates and a high concentration of investors, the Sunshine State beckons aspiring entrepreneurs seeking fertile grounds to launch and grow their businesses.

In a recent report by WalletHub, Florida cities dominate the list of the top 10 best destinations for business startups, showcasing their resilience and economic vitality amidst challenging times.

From Orlando’s thriving market to Miami’s dynamic ecosystem, each city offers unique advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurial success. Let’s delve into the chronologically listed cities that exemplify Florida’s prominence in the business startup arena.

1. Orlando Leads the Way: Orlando emerges as the most attractive market in the U.S. for business startups, with a remarkable surge in small business establishments. WalletHub’s latest report highlights Orlando’s robust ecosystem, fostering the survival and growth of startups, buoyed by a high concentration of investors per capita.

2. Tampa Takes Second Place: Securing the second spot among large cities for business startups, Tampa boasts a favorable business environment attributed to its low corporate tax rates. The city’s ample investor presence further fortifies startups, providing essential resources for navigating the initial years of business operations.

3. Charlotte’s Diverse Industries: Claiming the third position, Charlotte stands out for its diverse industrial landscape and exceptionally low corporate taxes, enticing companies to reinvest capital. This conducive environment propels entrepreneurial endeavors, contributing to sustained economic growth.

4. Jacksonville’s Rising Profile: Jacksonville emerges as a promising destination for startups, bolstered by its favorable business climate. The city’s strategic positioning fosters entrepreneurial ventures, attracting aspiring business owners seeking growth opportunities.

5. Miami’s Entrepreneurial Hub: Miami solidifies its position as a thriving entrepreneurial hub, attracting businesses with its dynamic ecosystem and strategic location. The city’s vibrant startup culture and supportive infrastructure make it an appealing destination for ventures of all sizes.

6. Atlanta’s Economic Momentum: Atlanta’s ascent in the business startup landscape underscores its economic momentum and favorable business conditions. The city’s strategic advantages and conducive policies provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish.

7. Fort Worth’s Business-Friendly Environment: Fort Worth emerges as a prime destination for startups, offering a business-friendly environment characterized by low corporate taxes. The city’s supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives facilitate the growth and success of new ventures.

8. Austin’s Innovation Hub: Austin cements its status as an innovation hub, attracting startups with its vibrant entrepreneurial community and progressive policies. The city’s robust infrastructure and access to capital foster a conducive environment for business growth and innovation.

9. Durham’s Emerging Entrepreneurship Scene: Durham’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene positions it as a promising destination for startups, fueled by its supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives. The city’s collaborative culture and access to resources contribute to the success of new ventures.

10. St. Petersburg’s Thriving Business Community: St. Petersburg rounds off the top 10 with its thriving business community and supportive ecosystem for startups. The city’s strategic advantages and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high inflation, these top Florida cities remain resilient and well-equipped to overcome obstacles, offering promising opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.

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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.

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