From Pilgrim to Local The Problem of Unity in Postmodern Philosophy


In this article, the author outlines the problem of unity from the perspective of postmodern philosophy. Basically, unity of the human being is one of the most important problems of philosophy. Ancient philosophers identified human being as identical with citizenship. Man as a citizen of Athens was able to prove his citizenship of Athens by pointing to his ownership of family tombs and fireplace. Medieval philosophy continued the ancient idea but added one new aspect, hope. A medieval man was a citizen of
the empire, but at the same time he or she was a citizen of Kingdom of Heaven. He or she was a pilgrim who travelled to God. Modern philosophy develops unity in an absolutely different way of thinking. First,
what we have to know is that unity is a problem. Second, if we would like to solve this problem, it is absolutely necessary to use a new terminology. In this article I emphasize like to highlight the phenomenon of identity through an analysis that the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman did in the past three decades. He divided a modern man into two categories. First, Bauman characterized a modern man as a global, very rich and well educated and can invest capital in all countries of the world. The second type is a local. He is
a type of modern man who is not necessarily poor, but who is bound to only one place where he resides. The problem of the locals is that they cannot freely travel and invest in their own capital. Locals live in one place, they have not enough power to influence local politics, economy, infrastructure, religions. Globals are able to influence the local community by means of politics, economy, social structures, and religion. Zygmunt Bauman describes the identity of modern man as a tension between locals and globals.


unity; “global” identity; “local” identity; postmodernity

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Published : 2022-03-02

Lucjan Klimsza
VSB-Technical University of Ostrava  Czechia

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