Moses Hess is a major figure in the development of both early communist and Zionist thought. The Holy History of Mankind appeared in 1837, and was the first book-length socialist tract to appear in Germany, representing an unusual synthesis of Judaism and Christianity that showed the considerable influence upon Hess of Spinoza, Herder and Hegel. In due course many of Hess's ideas would find their way into the work of Karl Marx, and into subsequent socialist thought. The distinguished political (...) scientist Shlomo Avineri provides the first full English translation of this text, along with new renditions of Socialism and Communism, A Communist Credo; and The Consequences of a Future Revolution of the Proletariat. All of the usual reader-friendly series features are provided, including a chronology, concise introduction and notes for further reading, in a work of special relevance to students of politics, modern European history, and the history of Zionism. (shrink)
The decline of communism in Eastern Europe in years 1989-1991 was a big surprise for Western Sovietology. The sudden disappearance of the object of research would undermine the reason of existence of the whole science. For this reason, in the first half of the 90s Western scientists tried to answer following question: why Sovietology was not able to predict the demise of communism. The purpose of my paper is not to make one more analysis of factors responsible for (...) this failure of social sciences but reconstruction of theories which accurately predicted the demise of communism. It is possible to point out two scholars whopredicted the collapse of communism at the turn of the 70s and 80s. One of them is Randall Collins, an American sociologist who elaborated in 1978 Geopolitical Theory. The second of them is Leszek Nowak, Polish philosopher, who in 1979 elaborated theory of historical process – non-Marxian historical materialism. In the last part of my paper I compare these two theories. Despite obvious differences, these theories share striking similarities: model status, antagonistic vision of society, grand scope of applicability and belonging to the periphery rather than to mainstream of social sciences. Maybe, this last feature is one of the necessary conditions of making accurate predictions in social and historical sciences. (shrink)
The author, against the background of Communist Studies developed in Poland since World War I, reconstructs theoretical orientations that explained the communist system in that country. In this paper, the division of theoretical approaches into political, economic, and cultural ones is proposed. Each of them seeks factors responsible for nature, evolution, and final decline of the communist system in a different sphere of social life. An approach of the political type was Leszek Nowak’s theory of communism as a system (...) of emancipated political power; of the economic type — Jadwiga Staniszkis’s theory of the communist system as incomplete capitalism; and of the cultural type — MichaÂ Buchowski’s conceptualization of communism as a system of new religion. In the final part, the author considers complementary character of reconstructed approaches and analyzes reasons why some of reconstructed theories did not generate schools of thought in Polish social sciences after 1989. (shrink)
This paper issues a highly controversial point: is there possible that a concept of ‘revolution’ can legitimize the historical revolutionary action and, if yes, how could this be possible? This debate on revolution is a subsequent part of a larger puzzle: the hermeneutics of the historical fact. Roughly explained, the concept of ‘revolution’ is the major piece of a ’revolutionary rhetoric,’ which generates the interpretation of the historical fact. Samples are offered by means of the concept of ‘revolution’ issued by (...) modern historiography. The case focuses on three main parts: a brief debate on the concept of ‘revolution’ viewed by the apologists of the French Revolution and their adversaries; a critique of Marx’s and Lenin’s ideology of revolution; finally, an illustration of a rhetorical dismantle of ‘revolution’ at hand in Kenneth Burke’s comments on Marxist ‘revolution.’. (shrink)
In A History of Philosophy in the Twentieth Century , Christian Delacampagne reviews the discipline's divergent and dramatic course and shows that its greatest figures, even the most unworldly among them, were deeply affected by events of their time. From Ludwig Wittgenstein, whose famous Tractatus was actually composed in the trenches during World War I, to Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger -- one who found himself barred from public life with Hitler's coming to power, the other a member of (...) the Nazi party who later refused to repudiate German war crimes. From Bertrand Russell, whose lifelong pacifism led him to turn from logic and mathematics to social and moral questions, and Jean-Paul Sartre, who made philosophy an occasion for direct and personal political engagement, to Rudolf Carnap, a committed socialist, and Karl Popper, a resolute opponent of Communism. From the Vienna Circle and the Frankfurt School to the contemporary work of philosophers as variously minded as Jacques Derrida, Jürgen Habermas, and Hilary Putnam. The thinking of these philosophers, and scores of others, cannot be understood without being placed in the context of the times in which they lived. (shrink)
The Cambridge World History of Medical Ethics is the first comprehensive scholarly account of the global history of medical ethics. Offering original interpretations of the field by leading bioethicists and historians of medicine, it will serve as the essential point of departure for future scholarship in the field. The volumes reconceptualize the history of medical ethics through the creation of new categories, including the life cycle; discourses of religion, philosophy, and bioethics; and the relationship between medical ethics (...) and the state, which includes a historical reexamination of the ethics of apartheid, colonialism, communism, health policy, imperialism, militarism, Nazi medicine, Nazi "medical ethics," and research ethics. Also included are the first global chronology of persons and texts; the first concise biographies of major figures in medical ethics; and the first comprehensive bibliography of the history of medical ethics. An extensive index guides readers to topics, texts, and proper names. (shrink)
The book narrates how, called to embody this selfless spirit, medical doctors were trapped in a spiral between cultivation and abolition, leading to the explosion of ideology during the Cultural Revolution.
It is reported that the moment anyone talked to Marx about morality, he would roar with laughter. Yet, plainly, he was fired by outrage and a burning desire for a better world. This paradox is the starting point for Marxism and Morality. Discussing the positions taken by Marx, Engels, and their descendants in relation to certain moral issues, Steven Lukes addresses the questions on which Marxist thinkers and actors have taken a number of characteristic stands as well as other questions--personal (...) relations and the moral virtues of the individual, for example--on which Marxism falls silent. A provocative exploration of the gray area where Marxism and morality meet, this book argues that Marxism makes a number of major moral claims and that its appeal has always been, in large part, a moral one. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction -- Chapter 1: Labor -- Political Ontology -- The Category Labor -- Labor1: Ontology of the Self -- Labor2: Historical Mode of Activity -- Labor3: Category of Capitalist Modernity -- Conclusion: On Work and Identity -- Chapter 2: Time -- Abstract Time as a System of Domination -- Bourgeois Temporal Norms -- Resistances to Temporal Domination -- Rebellions against Temporal Domination -- Complicity with Temporal Domination -- Conclusion: Social Class and Temporality -- Chapter 3: Property (...) -- Bourgeois Property and Ownership -- Is Water Property? -- Is Your Body Property? -- Conclusion: Does Property Help or Harm Us? -- Chapter 4: Value -- Use Value, Bourgeois Value, and The Work of Retrieval -- The Paradox of Value -- Imagining Value -- On Aristotle, Adam Smith, and Karl Marx -- Conclusion: Labor's Exchange Value -- Chapter 5: Crisis -- Political Economy -- Recurrence of Crisis -- Fall in the Rate of Profit -- The 2008 Economic Crisis and the False Desire of Home Ownership -- Conclusion: Crisis Writ Large. (shrink)
I examine the consistency of Kant's notion of moral progress as found in his philosophy of history. To many commentators, Kant's very idea of moral development has seemed inconsistent with basic tenets of his critical philosophy. This idea has seemed incompatible with his claims that the moral law is unconditionally and universally valid, that moral agency is noumenal and atemporal, and that all humans are equally free. Against these charges, I argue not only that Kant's notion of moral development (...) is consistent, but also that the assumption of the possibility of moral progress is indispensible for Kant's moral theory. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to argue that Kant's philosophy of biology has crucial implications for our understanding of his philosophy of history, and that overlooking these implications leads to a fundamental misconstruction of his views. More precisely, I will show that Kant's philosophy of history is modelled on his philosophy of biology due to the fact that the development of the human species shares a number of peculiar features with the functioning of organisms, these features entailing (...) important methodological characteristics. From this main claim will follow three further claims: (1) Kant's teleological view of history is not simply based on ethical considerations that have to do with the moral progress of the human species; rather, it stems from his conception of teleology as developed in his philosophy of biology. (2) Kant's philosophy of history allows for the practice of scientific history. In this sense, Kant's view of history is not merely teleological but involves a mechanical (and thus empirical) element. (3) Just as teleology is useful for furthering mechanical accounts of biological phenomena, teleological history is useful for scientific history. (shrink)
What are the relationships between philosophy and the history of philosophy, the history of science and the philosophy of science? This selection of essays by Lorenz Krüger (1932-1994) presents exemplary studies on the philosophy of John Locke and Immanuel Kant, on the history of physics and on the scope and limitations of scientific explanation, and a realistic understanding of science and truth. In his treatment of leading currents in 20th century philosophy, Krüger presents new and original arguments (...) for a deeper understanding of the continuity and dynamics of the development of scientific theory. These result in significant consequences for the claim of the sciences that they understand reality in a rational manner. The case studies are complemented by fundamental thoughts on the relationship between philosophy, science, and their common history. (shrink)
Analytic philosophers are often said to be indifferent or even hostile to the history of philosophy--that is, not to the idea of history of philosophy as such, but as a species of the genus philosophy rather than history. It is argued that such an attitude is actually inconsistent with commonplace positions within the philosophies of mind that are typical within analytic philosophy.
I show the sense in which the concept of history as a human science affects our theory of the natural sciences and, therefore, our theory of the unity of the physical and human sciences. The argument proceeds by way of reviewing the effect of the Darwinian contribution regarding teleologism and of post-Darwinian paleonanthropology on the transformation of the primate members of Homo sapiens into societies of historied selves. The strategy provides a novel way of recovering the unity of the (...) sciences: by construing the physical sciences themselves as human sciences - and, therefore, as themselves historied. (shrink)
Abstract In this essay I trace the role of history in the philosophy of art from the early twentieth century to the present, beginning with the rejection of history by formalists like Clive Bell. I then attempt to show how the arguments of people like Morris Weitz and Arthur Danto led to a re-appreciation of history by philosophers of art such as Richard Wollheim, Jerrold Levinson, Robert Stecker and others.
To date, no satisfactory account of the connection between natural-scientific and historical explanation has been given, and philosophers seem to have largely given up on the problem. This paper is an attempt to resolve this old issue and to sort out and clarify some areas of historical explanation by developing and applying a method that will be called “pragmatic explication” involving the construction of definitions that are justified on pragmatic grounds. Explanations in general can be divided into “dynamic” and “static” (...) explanations, which are those that essentially require relations across time and those that do not, respectively. The problem of assimilating historical explanations concerns dynamic explanation, so a general analysis of dynamic explanation that captures both the structure of natural-scientific and historical explanation is offered. This is done in three stages: In the first stage, pragmatic explication is introduced and compared to other philosophical methods of explication. In the second stage pragmatic explication is used to tie together a series of definitions that are introduced in order to establish an account of explanation. This involves an investigation of the conditions that play the role in historiography that laws and statistical regularities play in the natural sciences. The essay argues that in the natural sciences, as well as in history, the model of explanation presented represents the aims and overarching structure of actual causal explanations offered in those disciplines. In the third stage the system arrived at in the preceding stage is filled in with conditions available to and relevant for historical inquiry. Further, the nature and treatment of causes in history and everyday life are explored and related to the system being proposed. This in turn makes room for a view connecting aspects of historical explanation and what we generally take to be causal relations. (shrink)
Although first published in 1969, the methodological views advanced in Quentin Skinner's “Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas” remain relevant today. In his article Skinner suggests that it would be inappropriate to even attempt to write the history of any idea or concept. In support of this view, Skinner advances two arguments, one derived from the philosophy of the later Wittgenstein and the other from that of J. L. Austin. In this paper I focus on the (...) first of these arguments. I claim that the conclusion which Skinner draws from this particular argument does not necessarily follow and that an alternative assessment of the methodological significance of Wittgenstein's philosophy for historians of ideas is possible. On this alternative view, far from ruling out conceptual history, an appeal to the view of meaning set out in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations leads to a quite different conclusion, namely that the writing of such a history is arguably a necessary precondition for the elucidation of the meaning of a number of the core concepts in the canon of the history of political thought. Skinner's views have changed somewhat since 1969. Indeed, from the mid 1970s onwards he came to relax the strict opposition to the idea of conceptual history to which he was then committed. The paper concludes by noting that this evolution in Skinner's thinking has made him much more sympathetic than anybody reading “Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas” would have imagined to the research project of the Begriffgeschichte School of conceptual history. (shrink)
One of the most influential and significant developments in the philosophy of language over the last thirty years has been the rise of externalist conceptions of content. This essay aims to explore the implications of a form of externalism, largely derived from the work of Donald Davidson, for thinking about history, and in so doing to suggest one way in which contemporary philosophy of language may engage with contemporary philosophy of history. Much of the discussion focuses on the (...) elaboration of the externalism that is at issue, along with the holistic approach to content with which it is connected. It will be argued that such holistic externalism is itself thoroughly in keeping with the very character of historical inquiry itself, and can be seen to provide an underpinning to certain contemporary developments in historical thinking. (shrink)
Contemporary caution against anachronism in intellectual history, and the currently momentous theoretical emphasis on subjectivity in the philosophy of mind, are two prevailing conditions that set puzzling constraints for studies in the history of philosophical psychology. The former urges against assuming ideas, motives, and concepts that are alien to the historical intellectual setting under study, and combined with the latter suggests caution in relying on our intuitions regarding subjectivity due to the historically contingent characterizations it has attained in (...) contemporary philosophy of mind. In the face of these conditions, our paper raises a question of what we call non-textual (as opposed to contextual) standards of interpretation of historical texts, and proceeds to explore subjectivity as such a standard. Non-textual standards are defined as (heuristic) postulations of features of the world or our experience of it that we must suppose to be immune to historical variation in order to understand a historical text. Although the postulation of such standards is often so obvious that the fact of our doing so is not noticed at all, we argue that the problems in certain special cases, such as that of subjectivity, force us to pay attention to the methodological questions involved. Taking into account both recent methodological discussion and the problems inherent in two de facto denials of the relevance of subjectivity for historical theories, we argue that there are good grounds for the adoption of subjectivity as a non-textual standard for historical work in philosophical psychology. (shrink)
Philosophers' reflections on history have been dominated for decades by two themes: representation and memory. On both of these accounts, historical inquiry is divided by a certain gap from what it seeks to find or wants to know, and its activity is seen by philosophers as that of bridging this gap. Against this background, the concept of experience, in spite of its apparent rootedness in the present, can be revived as a means of thinking about our connection to the (...) past. After examining variants on the concept of experience, with special attention to its temporality, I argue in this essay that experience can be said to furnish a connection to the past that underlies both memory and representation. (shrink)
Abstract Contrary to most modern interpretations, in the early modern period, history was an indispensable resource for many philosophers. The different uses of history by Bacon, Gassendi, Locke, and Hume are explored to establish the role of history as a resource in early-modern philosophy.
In this paper I argue that, in at least two cases - his discussions of the temporal precedence o f polytheism over monotheism and of the origins of civil society - we see Hume consigning to historical development certain aspects of reason which, as a comparison with Locke will show, have sometimes been held to be uniform. In the first of these cases Hume has recourse to claims about the general historical development of human thought. In the second case, the (...) origin of the civil institution of justice and government is not linked directly to external circumstances and the principles of human nature, as it is in contractarian theories, but makes a detour through the historical acquisition of certain concepts. Because Hume's position does not conform in any simple sense to Dugald Stewart's 'incontrovertible logical maxim' that the capacities of the human mind have been the same in all ages, Stewart's account of the method of conjectural history is, in any simple sense, inadequate as a description of Hume's practice. (shrink)
Among many important claims, Allen Wood in Kant's Ethical ought proposes that Kant's philosophy of history can be grasped as a "naturalist" approach, grounding human nature in biology. I suggest some reservations. First, I question Kant's conception of biology as (a still emergent) science. Second, I question Kant's extension of his notion of "natural predisposition" to reason and freedom. Third, I question the naturalism of Kant's philosophy of history by suggesting the excessive role providence must play in Kant's (...) account. The upshot is to find Kant's philosophy of history one of the less persuasive elements in his system of thought, despite Wood's energetic effort at a contemporary reconstruction. (shrink)
This article analyzes how the relationship between philosophy and history has been conceived within the study of political thought, and how different ways of conceiving this relationship in turn have affected the definition of the subject matter as well as the choice of methods within this field. My main argument is that the ways in which we conceive this relationship is dependent on the assumptions we make about the ontological status of concepts and their meaning. I start by discussing (...) the widespread view that philosophy and history ought to be viewed as distinct if not incompatible ways of studying political thought, and then go on to describe the view that philosophical and historical approaches should be conceived of as identical or inseparable. I end this article by suggesting that these approaches rather should be viewed as mutually constitutive for the benefit of a more coherent study of political thought. (shrink)
In their work The German Ideology, the founders of Marxism assert that the prerequisite of post-capitalist (defined by them as communist) society is the universal development of human abilities and all social relations. But then on the same page, contrary to this statement, it is alleged that the abolition of private property is not only highly topical but it is also an imperative history-making task. In Manifesto of the Communist Party, Marx and Engels explain that economic crises recurrently shaking (...) capitalist society expose an apparent contradiction between the productive forces and the capitalist relations of production – therefore, these relations must be eliminated for the preservation of society. Nonetheless, the same treatise affirms that the bourgeoisie cannot exist without revolutionizing not only the productive forces but also the relations of production. But in this case it stands to reason to recognize that there is no conflict between productive forces and production relations, and, therefore, there is no crisis of the capitalist system, either. Paradoxes in the communist theory of Marxism stem not merely from erroneous conceptions but reveal the fact that Marxism as an ideology comes into conflict with its scientific social theory. Hence, these paradoxes disclose the relative independence of the social theory of Marxism from its ideological postulates. (shrink)
Abstract This paper argues that history of economics has a fruitful, underappreciated role to play in the development of economics, especially when understood as a policy science. This goes against the grain of the last half century during which economics, which has undergone a formal revolution, has distanced itself from its `literary' past and practices precisely with the aim to be a more successful policy science. The paper motivates the thesis by identifying and distinguishing four kinds of reflexivity in (...) economics. The main thesis of this paper is that because these forms of reflexivity are not eliminable, the history of economics must play a constitutive role in economics (and graduate education within economics). An assumption that I clarify in this paper is that the history of economics ought to be part of the subject matter studied by economics when they are interested in policy science. Even if one does not accept the conclusion, the fourfold classification of reflexivity might hold independent interest. The paper is divided in two parts. First, by reflecting on the writings of George Stigler, Paul Samuelson, George and Milton Friedman, I offer a stylized historical introduction to and conceptualization of the themes of this paper. In particular, I identify various historically influential arguments and strategies that reduced the role of history of economics within the economics discipline. In it I also canvass six arguments that try to capture the cost to economics (understood as a science) for sidelining the history of economics from within the discipline. A sub-text of the introduction is that for contingent reasons, post World War II economics evolved into a policy science. Second, by drawing on the work of Kenneth Boulding, in particular, George Soros, Thomas Merton, Gordon Tullock, I distinguish between four species of reflexivity. These are used to then strengthen the argument for the constitutive role of the history of economics within the economics profession. In particular, I argue that so-called Kuhn-losses are especially pernicious when faced with policy choices under so-called Knightian uncertainty. (shrink)