In the history of modern liberal thought, the work of F.A. Hayek stands out as among the most significant contributions since that of J.S. Mill. In this book, Kukathas critically examines the nature and coherence of Hayek's defense of liberal principles, attempting both to identify its weaknesses and to show why it makes an important contribution to contemporary political theory. Kukathas argues that Hayek's defense of liberalism is unsuccessful because it rests on presuppositions which are philosophically incompatible. In (...) his view, the unresolved dilemma of Hayek's political philosophy is how to mount a systematic defense of liberalism if one emphasizes the limited capacity of human reason. Hayek's social philosophy, he argues, offers a significant theory of the nature of social processes, and is therefore an important account of how this must constrain our choice of political principles. (shrink)
Exploring the connection between Bentham and Byron forged by the Greek struggle for independence, this book focuses on the activities of the London Greek Committee, supposedly founded by disciples of Jeremy Bentham, which mounted the expedition on which Lord Byron ultimately met his death in Greece. Rosen's penetrating study provides a new assessment of British philhellenism and examines for the first time the relationship between Bentham's theory of constitutional government and the emerging liberalism of the 1820s. Breaking new ground (...) in the history of political ideas and culture in the early nineteenth century, Rosen advances striking new interpretations based on recently published texts and manuscript sources of the development of constitutional theory from Locke and Montesquieu, the conflicting strands of liberalism in the 1820s, and the response in Britain to strong claims for national self-determination in the Mediterranean basin. He sets out to distinguish between Bentham's theory and the ideological context against which it is usually interpreted. (shrink)
The historiography of European liberalism has been dominated by large countries; this contribution focuses on the successful tradition of liberalism in the Netherlands. Just like German liberalism (but unlike the British 19th-century model), the spirit of Dutch 19th-century liberalism was constitutional (in the sense of being legal and juridical). It assumed that constitutional rules in a certain sense produced liberty, because liberty was not possible without a legally guaranteed context. Today the Dutch liberal party tries to (...) combine classical liberalism with a mild populism, but recently the Pim Fortuyn upsurge of populism has hurt the liberal party. A direct democratic style of politics has become popular among more right-wing liberals. Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the 19th-century doctrinaire liberal traditions. Their anti-democratic ideas have been superseded, but the constitutional organization of liberty is as important as ever. (shrink)
In pre-revolutionary Russia, law was criticized from many points of view: in the name of Christ or the name of Marx, in defense of anarchism or of an idealized autocracy, on behalf of the "Russian soul" or of universal progress towards socialism. Examining the rich tradition of hostility to law, Walicki presents those Russian thinkers who boldly challenged this legacy of anti-legal prejudice by developing liberal philosophies of law, vindicating the value of human rights and rule of law. He discusses (...) six leading theorists--Boris Chicherin, Vladimir Soloviev, Leon Petrazycki, Pavel Novgorodtsev, Bogdan Kistiakovsky, and Sergius Hessen--all of whom viewed law in the context of wider philosophical and social problems. (shrink)
Introduction -- Methodology : an approach to philosophical analysis -- Fukuyama I : the concept of a history with universal direction and end point -- Fukuyama II : why does history end in liberal democracy? -- Postmodern perspectives on the flow of time -- Questioning the universality of human nature -- The myth of the individual : how "I" is constructed and gives an account of itself -- A theory of a history which ends in liberal democracy (...) through a reading of Fukuyama and postmodernism. (shrink)
The basic concepts 'person' (Person), I/self (Ich) and 'subject' (Subjekt) structuring the Russian discourse of personhood (Personalität) developed during the philosophical discussions of the 1820s-1840s. The development occurred in the course of an intense reception of German Idealism and Romanticism. Characteristic of this process is that the modern meaning of personhood going back to the theological and natural-law interpretations of the person in Western Europe does not exist in the Russian cultural consciousness. Therefore the Russian concepts of personhood demonstrate the (...) influence of the semantic innovations of Romanticism. Correspondingly, the semantic core of the Russian discourses on personhood is not the idea of an 'autonomous person' but that of an 'unique individuality'. Here, personhood is not the indefeasible attribute of every man, but the mark of inimitable individuality. Accordingly, the basic distinction underlying the discourse on personhood in Russia is not the differentiation between 'person' and ' thing' as in the European tradition, but the distinction between 'individual' and (anonymous) 'community'. Also, in the meaning of the concept of I/self the dominant differentiation is not that between I/self (Ich) and not-I/not-self (Nicht-Ich), but that between I and We. This discourse on personhood centring on the idea of individuality took form in Russia starting in the middle of the nineteenth century, in particular in aesthetics, psychology, and educational theory, as well as in the philosophy of history. The comparative intercultural analysis of the history of concepts pertaining to personhood in the German-Russian cultural transfer brings to light the dialectic of European modernity in which a degree of tension is visible between the idea of personal autonomy and individuality. (shrink)
Certain English writers of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, whom scholars often associate with classical republicanism, were not, in fact, hostile to liberalism. Indeed, these thinkers contributed to a synthesis of liberalism and modern republicanism. As this book argues, Marchamont Nedham, James Harrington, Henry Neville, Algernon Sidney, and John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, the co-authors of a series of editorials entitled Cato's Letters, provide a synthesis that responds to the demands of both republicans and liberals by offering (...) a politically engaged citizenry as well as the protection of individual rights. The book also reinterprets the writings of Machiavelli and Hobbes to show that each contributed in a fundamental way to the formation of this liberal republicanism. (shrink)
It is argued that the moral theory undergirding J.S. Mill''s argumentin On Liberty is a species of perfectionism rather than any kind of utilitarianism. The conception of human flourishing that itinvokes is one in which the goods of personal autonomy and individualityare central. If this conception is to be more than the expression ofa particular cultural ideal it needs the support of an empiricallyplausible view of human nature and a defensible interpretation ofhistory. Neither of these can be found in Mill. (...) Six traditionalcriticisms of Mill''s argument are assessed. It is concluded thatin addition to depending on implausible claims about human natureand history Mill''s conception of the good contains disablingincommensurabilities. It is argued that these difficulties andincommensurabilities plague later liberal thinkers such as IsaiahBerlin and Joseph Raz who have sought to ground liberalism in avalue-pluralist ethical theory. No thinker in Mill''s liberal posterity has been able to demonstrate the universal authority of liberal ideals. (shrink)
Table of Contents: Politics, morality, and pluralism -- Liberal morality and political legitimacy -- Political legitimacy and social justice -- Williams's concept of the political -- Legitimacy, stability, and morality -- The politics of morality -- A moral point of view -- Manners and morality -- Morality and conflict -- Moral conflict and political theory -- The morality of politics -- Feminism and multiculturalism -- A defense of culture -- Politics and normative conflict -- The political as moral viewpoint -- (...) Morality and politics: a review -- Political unity and pluralism -- The liberal archipelago -- Loose linkage and political legitimacy -- Political unity and the body politic -- Social justice and political unity -- The bonds of civility -- Nationhood and the liberal polity -- The nature of nationhood -- Pluralism and nationalism -- Nationalism and social justice -- Deliberative democracy and the liberal polity -- Liberalism and democracy -- Democracy and deliberative discourse -- The terms of deliberative discourse -- Normative discourse and political legitimacy -- Deliberative democracy and intragroup politics -- Group autonomy and intergroup discourse -- Politics, history, and reason -- Principle and justice in the liberal polity -- Liberal institutions and liberal ideals -- Stopping history -- Rationalism and politics. (shrink)
Milestones was a manifesto of rightwing, anti-revolutionary liberalism, according to which the political events of 1905 should have officially concluded the intelligentsia’s battle against autocracy and inaugurated the intelligentsia’s cooperation with Russia’s “historical rulers” to turn the country into an economically and culturally strong “state of law.” All the Milestones ’ authors agreed that Russia’s intellectual history was not identical with the traditions of the radical intelligentsia, and that there was need for a new intellectual canon focused on (...) religious thought and efforts to define the Russian national identity. (shrink)
Mill and Liberalism was first published in 1963. Initial reactions varied from the uncomprehending to the splenetic. In the intervening quarter-century the intellectual climate has changed as reflected by its greatest exemplar, to warrant fresh consideration. Unlike many commentators, before or subsequently, Maurice Cowling endeavours to view Mill's thought as a coherent whole with a specific proselytising purpose, geared to the emasculation of Christianity and its replacement by a libertarian public doctrine. This interpretation aroused much contemporary hostility, and in (...) a new introduction Cowling locates Mill and Liberalism within the broader intellectual history of post-war Britain, looking at the various strands of the 'new Right' and relating the academic to more specifically journalistic or political manifestations. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to consider the standard objections put against the construction of metanarratives in the philosophy of history. The author distinguishes following intelectual sources questioning the grasp of Entirety in the philosophy of history: anti-naturalistic German philosophy of science, dogmatic Marxism, liberalism and postmodernism. Analysis of the content of these stances allows for disclose of hidden methodological and theoretical premises which are responsible for misunderstanding and critique of the historiosophical discourse.
Michael Oakeshott has long been recognized as one of the most important political philosophers of the twentieth century, but until now no single volume has been able to examine all the facets of his wide-ranging philosophy with sufficient depth, expertise, and authority. The essays collected here cover all aspects of Oakeshott’s thought, from his theory of knowledge and philosophies of history, religion, art, and education to his reflections on morality, politics, and law. The volume provides an authoritative and synoptic (...) guide to one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century. (shrink)
Liberal political theory is widely believed to be an inadequate source of civic commitment and thus of civic education primarily because of its commitment to what is perceived as a pervasive individualism. In this paper, I explore the possibility that John Rawls’s later political philosophy may provide a response to this belief. I first articulate a conception of liberal politics derived from Rawls’s idea of reflective equilibrium that generates an overlapping consensus about political principles among those who hold a wide (...) variety of cultural and personal conceptions of the good. Next I develop the aims for civic education in a society that employs such a politics. Then I suggest the elements of the public school curriculum appropriate for such a civic education, including a robust multicultural education, intellectual reflection on the society’s history, and philosophical training that enables children to understand the events and policies of their nation as following from general political principles. I also consider the kinds of classroom practice that seem necessary to provide the motivation to engage in the process of the emergence of an overlapping consensus, including opportunities to develop and to reflect on the principles that may be included in the current consensus and to understand the way in which those principles relate to children’s developing conceptions of the good. Finally, I compare this conception of civic education to those of other liberal theorists. (shrink)
Alexey Losev's concept of 'personality' was developed in his writings from the 1920s, "The Dialectics of Myth" and "The Philosophy of Name". In his later works (e.g. on the aesthetics of the Renaissance and in his book about Vladimir Soloviev) Losev also understood the 'personality' outside of the boundaries of philosophy and theology. For him, the mystical dimension of personality in the end dominates logical and cultural structures of the subject. Losev's concept of 'personality' as a myth, a symbol, rather (...) than an abstract theory was an attack on the European individualism seen as a principle of the self-affirmation of the isolated subject. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Explaining the Liberal Predicament * PART I: The Importance of Being Witty * A Young Boy from Riga * Becoming a Russian-Jew * The Realist Appeal * PART II: The Pink Liberal * Mr. Jericho's Piercing Eyes * 'I Never Don't Moralize' * Karl Marx * PART III: The Anti-Cosmopolitan Pluralist * Collisions * On Moses and Joshua * Shifting Horizons * 'This mighty conflict between the fantasy of Home and the fantasy of Away'.
The German ethnologist Gustav Klemm (1802–67) occupies a rather problematic position in the history of ideas, alternately hailed as a seminal figure in the development of concepts of race and culture, or belittled as a rather derivative marginal thinker. This article seeks to clarify Klemm's significance by rooting his theories in their contemporary intellectual and social context. It argues that his system, a linear model of human development driven by the interworkings of race and culture, grew from an attempt (...) to synthesize Enlightenment notions of universal progress with major shifts of the mid-nineteenth century, including experiences of dramatic social, political and technological change, commitments to constitutional liberalism, and changes in contemporary ethnology and museology. His works therefore illustrate the complex manners in which ideas of heredity, environment, civilization, development and gender could be blended in this often neglected period, and how their meanings and implications altered as syntheses were built. (shrink)
L'objectif de cet article est d'établir dans quelle mesure la théorie des jeux permet de formaliser et d'éclairer trois problématiques-clés de la philosophie politique de Hobbes : la guerre de tous contre tous dans l'état de nature ; le pacte instaurant un souverain absolu ; le mode d'action de ce dernier pour faire respecter les contrats au sein de l'état civil. L'analyse révèle qu'à certains égards le « problème de confiance » formulé par Amartya Sen apparaît plus pertinent que le (...) célèbre « dilemme du prisonnier » évoqué par de nombreux commentateurs. Elle révèle également les ambiguïtés d'une œuvre susceptible de plusieurs modélisations et de plusieurs jugements possibles quant à la place de son auteur dans l'histoire du libéralisme. (shrink)
Summary One of the great intellectual productions of the postwar period, J. G. A. Pocock's The Machiavellian Moment was also an intervention in the American polity of the 1970s. The book's content, its rhetorical style, its methodology, and even its physical printed form were all designed to effectuate a political gesture. The crises of 1968 to 1973 invalidated the optimistic liberalism of Pocock's academic circle. The history of political language offered a refuge and a programmatic foundation for Pocock's (...) pragmatic conservatism. The Machiavellian Moment was designed to reinforce the weight of tradition in contemporary political debate. (shrink)
La primera etapa de este trabajo, parte de la idea del Canon Occidental de Harold Bloom, pero trasladándola al ámbito de la explicación de la conformación y desarrollo de lo que podríamos denominar el Canon liberal, y sostiene que ese canon se cierra con On Liberty; pero, como un pensamiento canónico constituye siempre una realidad dinámica, compleja y en tensión interna permanente, las lecturas e interpretaciones de On Liberty, sobre todo las realizadas en nuestro país desde coordenadas que interpretan a (...) Mill en un sentido no-liberal, iliberal o anti-liberal (como la reciente de Carlos Rodríguez Braun), en realidad, constituyen ejemplos de una lucha interna dentro de ese canon por “abrirlo” y por superar el enorme influjo (“angustia de las influencias” en la terminología de Bloom) que dicha obra ha tenido en el pensamiento occidental. Un ejemplo de la tensión interna dentro del propio canon liberal entre el utilitarismo (y su defensa del valor del individuo y de su bienestar, que es dinámico y en construcción, como elemento crucial de un estado libre, y justo) y el liberalismo (y su defensa del valor primario de la libertad interpretada esencialmente como no intervención y poder limitado) la encontramos en la discusión llevada a cabo por Mill en el capítulo V de Sobre al Libertad acerca de la educación obligatoria. En la segunda parte de este trabajo se exponen y comentan con una cierta amplitud las tesis de Mill sobre este asunto, debido a su relevancia para la interpretación del sentido estricto del liberalismo de Mill. Creemos que es posible articular ambas tendencias sin obligar a Mill a dejar de ser liberal por el hecho de admitir posibles limitaciones a la libertad en circunstancias específicas. Es así por tanto posible sostener que hay buenas razones liberales de raíz utilitarista para sostener dos tesis distintas: (a) que es necesario garantizar una educación universal y obligatoria hasta un cierto nivel, y (b) que caso de noestar adecuadamente garantizada esta educación universal y obligatoria, es aceptable y estaría justificado que el propio Estado no sólo estimulara dicha educación sino que directamente la proporcionara, llegando al extremo de establecer cuáles son los contenidos de esta educación y asegurar su impartición. Finalmente, en la última parte del trabajo, se defiende que no hay contradicción entre esta defensa de una educación obligatoria y universal asumida por el estado y la paralela crítica de Mill al papel de la asunción permanente por parte del Estado de la tarea de educar a los ciudadanos.Para concluir, se defiende el papel central de Mill y de On Liberty en el canon liberal, que debe ser interpretado en un sentido plural, diverso, dinámico y vivo, no necesariamente encerrado o enclaustrado exclusivamente en la tesis, por otra parte central al liberalismo (pero no única) del poder limitado y del rechazo del intervencionismo. Sólo haciendo del liberalismo algo diverso y plural podrán los actuales liberales superar la influencia de Mill y pensar de un modo post-milliano en sentido genuino. (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)