Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung 6 (2):346-381 (1937)

Abstract
This study treats the writings of Fuchs as an example of recent materialistic historiography. Critical appreciation of his work involves critical appreciation of the whole concept of cultural history which prevailed in Socialist popular science in the last decade of the nineteenth century. The influence of dialectical materialism was slight, that of positivism greater. An excursus attempts to show how, with technical progress, the work of philosophers and scholars was impaired by this positivism even in the middle of the century. The way in which Fuchs, writing from a Socialist position, attacked the bourgeois art history of a man like Wölfflin is described, but without neglecting his kinship to great bourgeois scholars like Brandes and Bastian. His biological conception of art is then analyzed in its historical conditions, and its close relationship to the intuitive methods of the collector demonstrated. As a collector Fuchs was rooted in the French tradition, but he brought to it the strict morality of German historiography. The Jacobin element in his historical writing is traced back to Schlosser. It appears that Fuchs could not entirely avoid collisions between his Jacobin morality and the materialist conception of history. His work displays a similar tension between that theory of history and his sexual ethics. On the other hand, he was able to throw much light on creative art from the study of sex. His most brilliant theoretical work is in his studies of Daumier. Daumier was also one of his chief subjects as a collector. The study closes with Fuchs’s role in the history of art collecting.Ce travail porte sur les écrits de Fuchs, considérés comme exemple de la méthode matérialiste contemporaine.Le jugement critique porté sur l’oeuvre de Fuchs se confond avec un jugement critique sur la notion d’histoire de la culture, qui dominait alors la science populaire d’inspiration socialiste. L’influence du matérialisme dialectique sur celle-ci était limitée ; Finfluence du positivisme était d’autant plus grande. Une disgression essaie de montrer, comment déjà au milieu du xixe siècle, ce positivisme avait nui aux réflexions des philosophes et des savants sur le progrès technique. On indique comment Fuchs, d’un point de vue socialiste, s’oppose à l’histoire de l’art bourgeois d’un Wölfflin, sans méconnaître la parenté entre Fuchs et de grands savants bourgeois comme Brandes et Bastian. On précise ensuite les conditions historiques dans lesquelles Fuchs a développé son interprétation biologique de l’art ; la méthode intuitive qui correspond à la tendance spontanée du collectionneur, se révèle étroitement liée à cette interprétation. Le collectionneur Fuchs se rattache à la tradition française, à laquelle se joint le moralisme rigide qui vient de l’historiographie allemande. On remonte jusqu’à Schlosser pour expliquer les origines du jacobinisme qui apparaît dans les récits historiques de Fuchs. On aperçoit que celui-ci n’a pu éviter complètement les conflits entre jacobinisme moraliste et matérialisme historique. De même, son mode de considération historique n’est pas toujours en accord avec son éthique sexuelle. Par ailleurs, il apporte à la science des connaissances importantes sur le rôle de la sexualité dans la création artistique. Les études sur Daumier sont sans doute l’oeuvre la plus haute du théoricien Fuchs. Daumier a été également pour le collectionneur Fuchs un des thèmes les plus significatifs.La fin de l’article éclaire le rôle de Fuchs dans l’histoire des collections artistiques.
Keywords Continental Philosophy  Social and Political Philosophy  Social Science
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ISBN(s) 1011-0798
DOI 10.5840/zfs19376267
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