The Open Lifespan answer to Jonathan Floyd’s political philosophy organising question: how should we live? Tens of arguments

This is the 4th post inspired by Jonathan Floyd’s book, Is political philosophy impossible? that started a new methodology (paradigm, revolution?) called normative behaviourism (NB). The posts so far:

Open Lifespan and Green political philosophy as single-trend approaches; reading Jonathan Floyd

The Open Lifespan answer to Jonathan Floyd’s political philosophy organising question: how should we live? Preparations

Blind spot of academic political philosophy: not recognising health as a political incentive and healthy longevity as a political goal

Floyd has used NB in his book to argue for social-liberal-democracy (SLD) as the (only) convincing and meaningful answer to the organising question of political philosophy: how should we live?

Our post today is the most relevant one concerning Open Lifespan, the main reason I studied Floyd’s book in the first place. Today, I’m going to demonstrate through a series of arguments that Open Lifespan as a political philosophy also picks out social-liberal-democracy as a compelling (convincing) and politically determinate (meaningful) answer to the foundational question of political philosophy, Floyd poses: how should we live?

Briefly put, the Open Lifespan answer to the question of how should we live: We should live indefinitely longer and healthier as by doing so we ‘exponentially’ enhance all the core elements of social-liberal-democracy (SLD): making it more democratic, more liberal, and more social (egalitarian). Continue reading “The Open Lifespan answer to Jonathan Floyd’s political philosophy organising question: how should we live? Tens of arguments”

Open Life as the central possible world and default anthropology in political philosophy

The main proposition of this study is to suggest that Open Lifespan/Open Life should be the central possible world and the default underlying anthropology behind moral and political philosophy. I think morality should be redefined by making the case for moral persons with open-ended lifespans. This Open Lifespan sub-study is being published in several subsequent posts, here are the ones already published.

Open Lifespan within the possible world framework 

Open Life as the central possible world and default anthropology in moral philosophy 

Open Life’s temporal value-pluralism enables neutrality towards different concepts of good life 

Let’s see some high-level details concerning political philosophy, some of them already investigated and summarised here, some of them to be investigated further. Continue reading “Open Life as the central possible world and default anthropology in political philosophy”

How Open Lifespan changes the political value of time; reading Elizabeth F. Cohen

When I started to study philosophy at the ELTE University in Budapest my first social/intellectual action was to compile a list of classical, modern and contemporary writings about the philosophy of time and then look for other undergrads being interested to seminarise these works. Think about Aristotle’s Physics IV. 10-14, St. Augustine’s Book XI of the Confessions and … the wonderful essay collection on The Philosophy of Time edited by Poidevin/McBeath. Eventually I think it was too nerdy an offering even amongst philosophy students but I stuck with studying these writings a lot. To me  studying the philosophy of time was a huge part of my personal motivation as after studying aging in the years before as a biology student I realised I have a problem understanding what is this ‘time thing’ with respect to biological aging is defined, what are we measuring here …

Philosophy of time and analysis of temporality by conceptual means is a great field and Elisabeth F. CohenAssociate Professor of Political Science at Syracuse University, managed to open a new chapter within this field by writing The Political Value of Time, that was published this very year by Cambridge University Press and I was lucky enough to see it amongst the new offerins at the CUP Bookshop.

I studied this book repeatedly this year, here’s a photo on my annotated copy.

Cohen’s analytical starting point is the tendency to ignore durational time in politics by the social sciences. Hence, most of the study is focusing on the temporal aspects of establishing sovereignty, mostly assumed hidden behind spatial boundaries and then how temporalities like schedules, waiting periods, deadlines are constitutive in the procedures of modern democracies. The main, deliberate subset of examples (‘temporal formulae’) are the age of maturity delimiting children from full citizenship, the probationary period needed for the naturalisation of non-citizens and prison sentences. Continue reading “How Open Lifespan changes the political value of time; reading Elizabeth F. Cohen”

Open Future: Open Life(span) as a foundation to reinvent liberalism

The political challenge

In this post I navigate the boat of Open Lifespan to the dangerous waters of politics and looking for land to anchor it nearby. This is going to be a longer exploration but what makes our adventure much easier is that we have a great compass in our hand and only one direction to look for: life-bound. Open Lifespan measures all politics with one measure: how can it support, maintain and amplify human lives. Let’s dive in.
The Economist’s 175th anniversary issue edition makes the case for reinventing liberalism by publishing an essay that is called a manifesto for a liberal revival. They say liberalism as a political philosophy cannot live by its glorious past, it needs to ‘promise a better future’. They think it’s time ‘to rekindle the spirit of radicalism’ and they claim that the ‘true spirit of liberalism is not self-preserving, but radical and disruptive’. In short, some new big ideas are needed, some intellectual fresh plasma transfusion to rejuvenate the liberal creed. However, when reading through their offering carefully, recommendations for new-ish liberal alternatives through different domains, like free markets, tariff systems, immigration, open societies, welfare states, new social contract, a ‘liberal world order’ the curious mind has a problem finding those big, radical, disruptive new ideas that would reinforce and amplify the liberal values, like individual freedom, self-dignity, diversity, continuous, gradual progress and constant search for the common interest.

The new foundation

Let me offer here one such idea that could form the foundation of liberal reinvention.
The idea is Open Lifespan, an open-ended, indefinite lifespan. I will also call it, simply ‘Open Life’. It is the opposite of our current, closed lifespan. Open Life is a way, we can frame our mortality, and also avoiding the trap of immortality. Open Lifespan is based on Open Healthspan a technological possibility to counteract ongoing biological aging processes in the human body, to keep age-associated functional decline and increasing mortality continuously at bay.
I’d like to show how Open Lifespan can be the main foundational and structural principle of a reinvented, renewed liberalism, the cohesive centre glueing together different aspects of the creed, from which different policies can be extracted. But am remaining mostly on the theoretical (philosophical) level here.[1]

Continue reading “Open Future: Open Life(span) as a foundation to reinvent liberalism”