Martin Heidegger and Ernst Jünger rightly count among the signal examples of intellectual complicity with National Socialism. But after supporting the National Socialist movement in its early years, they both withdrew from political activism during the 1930s and considered themselves to be in “inner emigration” thereafter. How did they react to the end of National Socialism, to the Allied occupation and finally to the foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949? Did they abandon their stance of seclusion and (...) engage once more with political issues? Or did they persist in their withdrawal from the political sphere? In analyzing the intellectual relationship of Heidegger and Jünger after 1945, the article reevaluates the assumption of a “deradicalization” of German conservatism after the Second World War by showing that Heidegger's and Jünger's postwar positions were no less radical than their earlier thought, although their attitude towards the political sphere changed fundamentally. (shrink)
Mid-twentieth century American intellectual history is in the midst of a boom; a younger generation of historians, now half a century distant from the era, and less inclined than their immediate forerunners to be committed to a vision of the 1960s as a critical turning point in modern culture, is reshaping what has been an underdeveloped field. Recent studies of thinkers such as C. Wright Mills, Ayn Rand, Lionel Trilling, and Whitaker Chambers, and subjects such as postcapitalist social thought and (...) pollsters in mass society, to name a few, have regenerated interest in an arena that had once been dominated by studies of the New York Intellectuals and Richard Pells's useful summaries and evaluations of prominent intellectuals of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. The newer intellectual history of this period appears to be premised on several ideas: that the so-called “liberal consensus” of the era was an ideological product of liberalism itself, rather than an adequate description of the contours of thought; that thinking in terms of clear and sharp distinctions between right and left doesn't help us understand the ways in which ideas, sensibilities, and intellectual commitments were configured at mid-century; that there is a great deal more continuity in social, political, and cultural thought than an image of the 1960s as cultural watershed would allow; and that the mid-century decades are, in the most profound sense, the first years of our own time, with all the characteristic epistemic, moral, and critical problems that have characterized thought and culture in the world in which contemporary Americans live. What the Progressive Era was for mid-century historians and intellectuals such as Richard Hofstadter and Henry May, the mid-century, and particularly the early Cold War era of the late 1940s and 1950s, is, for the historian of today, the root of the destabilizing conundrums of modernity, particularly the puzzle of the role of critical intellect in a mass-mediated environment of socialized knowledge, feeling, and being. (shrink)
This exceptional anthology immerses students in such powerful ideas that they will find themselves not just reading about, but actually participating in, the kind of philosophical thinking that can change the way they look at their lives and the world around them. Now in a new edition, The Experience of Philosophy features eighty-five readings that challenge students' thinking about God, freedom, reality, nothingness, death, and their own identities. Provocative and accessible, these selections have been carefully chosen for their ability to (...) draw students out of an ordinary frame of reference into exciting new territory. Although the editors include many classic sources from philosophers such as Plato, Descartes, Locke, and Kant, the emphasis is on contemporary writings. Articles by Derek Parfit, Bertrand Russell, and others help students see philosophy's links to literature, the natural sciences, and the physical and social sciences. The sixth edition features twelve new essays--by Augustine, Alvin Plantinga and Daniel Kolak, Georges Rey, Fred Dretske, David Reisman, Paul Teller, Clea F. Rees, Padmasiri de Silva, Daniel Kolak, Karl Marx, Anand Chandavarkar, and Vincent Hendricks--as well as more text boxes offering excerpts from other relevant works. The Experience of Philosophy, Sixth Edition, integrates helpful pedagogical aids including section introductions, a brief introduction to each selection, biographical information on each author, and questions before and after each reading to reinforce main ideas and promote thinking. Further readings after each selection direct students to additional material on related issues. Ideal for introductory philosophy courses, The Experience of Philosophy, Sixth Edition, encourages students to "do" philosophy, rather than just read about its history. (shrink)
In this interview, Cornelius Castoriadis explains and develops many of the central themes in his later writings on politics and social criticism. In particular, he poignantly articulates his critique of contemporary pseudo-democracy, while advocating a form of democracy founded on collective education and self-government. He also explores how the “insignificance” in the current political arena relates to insignificance in other areas, such as the arts and philosophy, to form the core feature of our Zeitgeist. Finally, he seeks to break through (...) the ideological fog of liberalism and privatization in order to voice a radical appeal for an autonomous, self-limiting society. (shrink)
The first half of the paper consists of a philosophical reflection upon a historical exchange. I discuss Buber’s famous letter, and another letter by J. L. Magnes, to Mahatma Gandhi, both challenging the universality of the principle of ahiṃsā. I also touch on Buber’s interest and acquaintance with Indian philosophy, as an instance of dialogue de-facto across cultures. Gandhi never answered these letters, but his grandson and philosopher extraordinaire Ramchandra Gandhi ›answers‹ Buber, not on the letter but about the ideal (...) of dialogue at large, and the interconnection of dialogue and ahiṃsā. The second half of the paper focuses on the work of Daya Krishna, another ›philosopher of dialogue.‹ from within Daya Krishna’s vast philosophical corpus, I underscore one of his last projects, in which he sketches the outlines of what he refers to as »knowledge without certainty,« contrary to common and traditional ways of perceiving the concept of knowledge. I argue that the pramāṇa, means and measure of knowledge, in the intriguing case of »knowledge without certainty,« depicted by Daya Krishna as open-ended, dynamic, constantly evolving, is inevitably dialogue, and I aim to disclose the meaning and salience of dialogue in Daya Krishna’s oeuvre. However, not just the content, but also the form, or the ›how,‹ matters in my paper. I use different materials across genres and disciplines to rethink, in dialogue with Buber and Daya Krishna, the possibilities and impossibilities of dialogue. These ›materials‹ include Milan Kundera and Richard Rorty, Krishna and Arjuna, Vrinda Dalmiya who works with the notion of care as bridging between epistemology and ethics, Wes Anderson on seeing through the eyes of the other, and Ben Okri on hospitality in the realm of ideas. As author of the present paper I am moderating an imagined a multi-vocal dialogue between these ›participants‹ on dialogue as concept, as craft and especially, as a great necessity in the world in which we live. (shrink)
Distinguished contributors take up eminent scholar Daniel R. Schwarz’s reading of modern fiction and poetry as mediating between human desire and human action. The essayists follow Schwarz’s advice, “always the text, always historicize,” thus making this book relevant to current debates about the relationships between literature, ethics, aesthetics, and historical contexts.
Many libertarians believe that self-ownership is a separate matter from ownership of extra-personal property. “No-proviso” libertarians hold that property ownership should be free of any “fair share” constraints, on the grounds that the inability of the very poor to control property leaves their self-ownership intact. By contrast, left-libertarians hold that while no one need compensate others for owning himself, still property owners must compensate others for owning extra-personal property. What would a “self” have to be for these claims to be (...) true? I argue that both of these camps must conceive of the boundaries of the self as including one's body but no part of the extra-personal world. However, other libertarians draw those boundaries differently, so that self-ownership cannot be separated from the right to control extra-personal property after all. In that case, property ownership must be subject to a fair share constraint, but that constraint does not require appropriators to pay compensation. This view, which I call “right libertarianism,” differs importantly from the other types primarily in its conception of the self, which I argue is independently more plausible. (shrink)
Science and technology, as rational approaches to problem solving, are driving forces in the promotion of democracy at home and abroad. Science based decision-making is increasingly global as countries share technology, research results, and engage in joint studies on common problems. The widening rift between global wealth and poverty diminishes for many the opportunity for exposure to science, technology and social science based decision-making on issues that directly affect them. This paper outlines a model for democratizing science by utilizing the (...) interactive tools of the social sciences in a process that enables information-marginalized people to engage with the language, methods and results of social science for purposes of community empowerment and voice in science policy. The paper offers examples of approaches to implementation, citing various forms of research partnerships with communities, and discusses challenges including ethical considerations, the conflict between “local” and science-based knowledges and power differentials in practice. (shrink)
Most theisms and atheisms share an assumption about what divine action would look like; if God is real and acts in the world, then God acts through intervention, invading the mechanistic world as an alien agent. Whitehead's Religious Thought takes dead aim at this contention, arguing that such conceptions of divine intervention emerge from and reinforce a problematic dualism that permeates western theological discourse. Throughout his text Daniel A. Dombrowski links dualistic conceptions of human experience with metaphysical dualism, but (...) also argues that materialistic or mechanistic conceptions of the universe all presume the same basic constituents: machines and ghosts. Materialism rids the world of ghosts and... (shrink)
Joshua Daniel offers a reconstruction of the influence of Josiah Royce and George Herbert Mead on H. Richard Niebuhr to counter predominate strains in Christian ethics that overemphasize the role of socialization in moral formation at the expense of acknowledging the agency of individuals and their importance in preventing communities from turning in on themselves or becoming static. Daniel characterizes the driving worry of postliberal Christian ethics as “the accommodation of Christian communities to prevailing social forces and norms, (...) which is understood to radically undermine the churches’ existence and mission”. The primary accusation against these prevailing social norms is individualism. The modern... (shrink)
This interview explores the key themes and ideas in Daniel Chernilo’s recent book Debating Humanity: Towards a Philosophical Sociology. It is a hugely ambitious book that tackles a range of questions around the notion of humanity and the category of the human. Drawing on a wide range of thinkers, the book pushes at a number of far-reaching issues, problems and questions concerning humanity. It’s a rich text that develops themes that are likely to be of interest across the social (...) sciences and humanities, not least because it tackles some of the most difficult and crucial questions that face social theory today. The interview was conducted in October 2017. (shrink)
The great work of the psychotic judge Daniel Paul Schreber, namely Memoirs of My Nervous Illness, has received predictable and rather unimaginative interpretations as the discourse of a lunatic. The work has not been studied as a theory of law. Schreber, it is argued here, was an extreme lawyer, a radical melancholegalist, a black letter theorist, a critic avant la lettre, and a radical theorist of an impure jurisprudence.