dr. Emiliano Acosta

Are exclusion mechanisms inherent to cosmopolitanism? Towards a deconstruction of contemporary cosmopolitanism discourses.

Professor at the Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Post-doctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Visiting Professor at the Universidad Austral de Chile (2013)
Visiting Professor at the Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil (2011)
Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles. (2010)
Member of the Young Academy, Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium
Director of Fichte on line
Editor in Chief of Revista de Estud(i)os sobre Fichte
Coordinator of the Inter-university Network Re-Thinking Europe
Co-Founder and coordinator of the Latin-American Fichte Society (ALEF)


Political Philosophy - Modern Philosophy - German Idealism
Picture of Emiliano Acosta

Academic titles:

  • He has a daughter, Maria.




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  • 2022

    • Political Philosophies of Recognition

      Acosta, E., & Avery, S. (Eds.). (2022). Political Philosophies of Recognition.
    • Dissent as political legitimacy : a discussion of the relation between power and freedom in Two Treatises of Government

      Van Cauwenberge, D. (2022). Dissent as political legitimacy : a discussion of the relation between power and freedom in Two Treatises of Government. PHILOSOPHICA (GENT), 93(1), 71–83.
      This paper argues that Locke develops a new conceptualization of both power and freedom in the Two Treatises of Government. Unlike his predecessors, Locke claims that freedom is a necessary rather than a conditional property of men. Therefore, power must be understood as a relationship of consent between radically free actors. However, instead of critically examining power structures in society, Locke uses this new definition as a tool of political justification. Locke emphasises the power of people to rebel against their conditions in order to legitimise the authority of states in which the people do not revolt. Although the individual is a theoretically important player, they are reduced to cogs in the political machine. The right to revolt, this paper will argue, is but a rhetorically strategic device to validate the power of the state.
    • Tijdens het lezen van Kants Zum ewigen Frieden

      Acosta, E., & Van de Vijver, G. (2022). Tijdens het lezen van Kants Zum ewigen Frieden. PSYCHO-ANALYTISCHE PERSPECTIEVEN, 40(2), 555–571.
      In this paper, we propose an alternative reading of Kant's Towards Perpetual Peace that stresses the ideological moment of his cosmopolitan and perpetual peace project. On the basis of our reading, we conclude that i) according to Kant every humanitarian and/or cosmopolitan discourse needs a grand narrative (ideology) for convincing and mobilizing people, and ii) contemporary cosmopolitan and humanitarian discourses lack precisely this grand narrative and, consequently, the convincing power every political project requires according to Kant.
    • The struggle for recognition : lost before it was fought

      Avery, S. (2022). The struggle for recognition : lost before it was fought. PHILOSOPHICA (GENT), 93(1), 59–70.
      This paper takes as point of departure the centrality of recognition in the contemporary political landscape. More specifically, it focuses on those struggles for recognition known as identity politics. We depart from the hypothesis that modern theories of recognition, more specifically those advanced by Axel Honneth and Nancy Fraser, cannot adequately accommodate the demand for the recognition of difference. Our contribution with this article is to argue that, in a discussion of struggles for recognition, the distinction between affirmative and transformative strategies must be taken into account. We argue that affirmative approaches to recognition risk resulting in the negation of difference and reproducing the exclusive social order. By thinking through the implications of an affirmative approach to recognition, we aim to contribute to the understanding of failed attempts at recognition. We conclude with a tentative outline of the conditions for a transformative approach that aspires to meet the demands of actors in movements for social justice and avoid the problems of the affirmative approach.
  • 2020

    • Plato lezen : liefde, filosofie en democratie in de Apologie van Socrates

      Acosta, E. (2020). Plato lezen : liefde, filosofie en democratie in de Apologie van Socrates. Academic and Scientific Publishers (ASP).
      Athene, anno 399 voor Christus: Socrates verschijnt voor het gerecht om zich te verdedigen tegen de aanklacht van godslastering en bederf van de jeugd. Niet enkel het lot van Socrates staat op het spel, maar ook het lot van de democratie in Athene, van Plato en bijgevolg van de hele filosofie. Te veel verantwoordelijkheden voor een gewone sterveling. Te veel druk voor een oud lichaam. In Plato lezen biedt Emiliano Acosta een interpretatie van Plato’s Apologie van Socrates in de politieke context van het toenmalige Athene. In dialoog met de bestaande literatuur bespreekt hij Plato’s filosofische verwerking van de dood van zijn meester en het probleem van Socrates. Aan bod komen de socratische liefde, Plato’s heruitvinding van de filosofie en de tragische toon van zijn herschrijving van het leven van Socrates, de vraag of Socrates al dan niet schuldig is, het populisme van de Atheense democratie en de clash tussen de filosoof en de democratie. Plato lezen wilt de lezer aanzetten tot de abnormale denkwijze die we filosofie kunnen noemen, en overtuigen van de nood en het nut om terug te keren naar de werken van Plato, deze enigmatische kruising van tragicus en mislukte politicus.
  • 2019

    • Observaciones acerca del estudio de la relación entre Kant y Fichte

      Acosta, E. (2019). Observaciones acerca del estudio de la relación entre Kant y Fichte. https://doi.org/10.15581/
    • Nature and perpetual peace in Kant and Fichte’s cosmopolitanism

      Acosta, E. (2019). Nature and perpetual peace in Kant and Fichte’s cosmopolitanism. ANUARIO FILOSÓFICO, 52(1), 87–111. https://doi.org/10.15581/
  • 2018

    • Badiou met Lacan : aantekeningen uit het spiegelhuis : een structurele onrust, een gemeenschappelijke ethiek?

      Persijn, J.-J. (2018). Badiou met Lacan : aantekeningen uit het spiegelhuis : een structurele onrust, een gemeenschappelijke ethiek?
    • Revisiting Kant and Fichte’s Conceptions of Cosmopolitanism

      Acosta, E. (2018). Revisiting Kant and Fichte’s Conceptions of Cosmopolitanism. REVISTA DE ESTUD(I)OS SOBRE FICHTE, 16.
  • 2017

    • Diálogo interreligioso y reconocimiento a la luz del legado de la ilustración

      Acosta, E. (2017). Diálogo interreligioso y reconocimiento a la luz del legado de la ilustración. HORIZONTE-REVISTA DE ESTUDOS DE TEOLOGIA E CIENCIAS DA RELIGIAO, 15(46), 615–637. https://doi.org/10.5752/p.2175-5841.2017v15n46p615
      Departing from a study of the imagery and conceptual legacy of European Enlightenment in broader sense, this article offers a conception of interreligious dialogue based on a logic of difference. First, our post-secular time is briefly described in order to justify the need of the present study. Secondly, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's parable of the three rings in his Nathan the wise is analyzed in order to show, on the one hand, to what extent the Enlightenment can provide images (allegories, metaphors) for rethinking dialogue among religions, and, on the other, to what extent Lessing's account is conditioned by a logic of identity, which prevents a positive recognition of the particularity of each of the religions involved in the dialogue. Thirdly, an alternative to this problem is developed by examining the concepts of recognition in two authors of the late German Enlightenment, namely, Schiller and Schelling. Both, it is argued, conceive recognition from a logic of difference that results in a positive recovery of the particular content of religions. So, it is shown that dialogue is only possible if the dignity of the differences of the actors involved in the dialogue is recognized as such. Fourthly and finally, the article concludes with some reflections for outlining a praxis of interreligious dialogue based on both the affirmation of the own identity and the recognition of the other in his or her otherness.

Type :

  • Journal article
  • Authored book
  • Other
  • All

Keywords :

  • Recognition,
  • Identity politics,
  • Philosophy,
  • Axel honneth,
  • Identification,
  • Nancy fraser,
  • Kant,
  • Continental philosophy,
  • Schiller,
  • Lessing