Lecture Tangier Global Forum Lecture Series
This lecture will argue that the objective of the European Enlightenment was to create a plan for a universal cosmopolitan existence. It argued that only when all human beings had accepted to become autonomous, self-critical, independent of the dogmas of religion, or the limiting restraints of unexamined customs, would it be possible to establish a “permanent peace” throughout the world. We are today a long way from realizing that project; but I shall argue that, nevertheless, some modern version of this cosmopolitanism rather than the ideologies of nationalism or patriotism, much less religious sectarianism, is still the best prospect for “our troubled world.”
Anthony Pagden is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and History at the University of California, Los Angeles. Previously he held positions at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, the Warburg Institute, London, The Johns Hopkins University and the European University Institute, and has held visiting positions at various other European and American universities. His principal research interests have been the interaction between Europe and the non-European world, the political and legal legacy of empire and the history, and possible future, of cosmopolitanism. He has written numerous books, most recently Worlds at War (2008), The Enlightenment and Why it Still Matters (2013) and Burdens of Empire (2015), which have been translated into several European and Asian languages. He has also written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the New Republic, the National Interest, Il Sole 24 Ore (Italy) and El País (Spain).