ABSTRACT. In issues such as the question of the ethical responsibility of states regarding asylum seekers, improvement of immigration policies in general, or migrant claims to citizenship rights, the moral cosmopolitan can answer in various ways. It is in this vein that this particular paper chose to focus on significations and articulations. The objective is to clear the space for the discourse to be understood by exploring the parameters of the terms that are being used in the moral cosmopolitan debates. To propel the discussion forward especially in the light of immigration issues, it seems prudent to explain where the discourse finds itself at an impasse. Are cosmopolitan issues, as the Logical Positivists would say, mere questions of language? If this is the case, if and when these terminologies are clarified, will moral issues of a cosmopolitan nature be resolved or, at the very least, render actual results in the form of policies? Or, are the issues caused by differences in value? And usually the most personal, the most hotly contested point where cosmopolitans find themselves at a stalemate in migration issues is the appeal to culture. Basically, the aim is to explore the different iterations of the usage of culture within the universal. Hence, this paper is divided into two major ideas used in the discourse of moral cosmopolitanism, namely: culture and universalism, more specifically, the signification of culture within the universal. These two fundamental concepts are discussed in relation to other ideas such as identity, nation-state, human rights claims, globalization and the like. This paper will focus on these two terms because of their central position in the debate. pp. 41–47

Keywords: signification; culture; essentialism; cosmopolitanism; universalism; discourse

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