Cosmopolitanism’s Multiple Histories: Going Beyond Conventional Understandings of the Genesis of Cosmopolitan Thought
Quaderni di Teoria Sociale
Like other intellectual fields, cosmopolitan thought today is partly constructed through narrations of its history, which debate what is living and dead in previous forms of cosmopolitical thinking. A standard narration has emerged, which depicts Western cosmopolitan thought as being made up of several key periods: ancient Greek and Roman metaphysics, 18th century political philosophy, post-1945 institutionalisations of cosmopolitan political structures, and the contemporary diversification in cosmopolitan thought, encompassing both political philosophy and the sociological/anthropological analysis of ‘really existing cosmopolitanisms’. This standard narration threatens to become unquestioned truth, unhelpfully restricting how the field understands itself. Against this trend, this paper proposes a re-thinking of the history of Western cosmopolitan thinking, doing so in two ways: 1) incorporating figures and schools of thought not normally included within the established cosmopolitan canon, and 2) focussing on under-examined dimensions of thinkers conventionally understood as central to cosmopolitan thought. The paper endeavours to depict some new possibilities for the self-understanding of the cosmopolitanism field today.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Morlacchi Editore.
Vol. 14, pp. 89 - 120
Place of publication