Between 1933 and 1938, Eric Voegelin published four books that brought him into increasingly open opposition to the Hitler regime in Germany. As a result, he was forced to leave Austria in 1938, narrowly escaping arrest by the Gestapo as he fled to Switzerland and later to the United States. Twenty years later, he was invited to Munich to become Director of the new Institute of Political Science at Ludwig-Maximilian University. In 1964, Voegelin gave a series of memorable lectures on (...) what he considered "the central German experiential problem" of his time: Adolf Hitler's rise to power, the reasons for it, and its consequences for post-Nazi Germany. For Voegelin, these questions demanded a scrutiny of the mentality of individual Germans and of the order of German society during and after the Nazi period. _Hitler and the Germans,_ published here for the first time, offers Voegelin's most extensive and detailed critique of the Hitler era. Voegelin interprets this era in terms of the basic diagnostic tools provided by the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, Judeo-Christian culture, and contemporary German-language writers like Heimito von Doderer, Karl Kraus, Thomas Mann, and Robert Musil. Responding to publications on National Socialist Germany, Voegelin discusses the historian Percy Schramm's "Anatomy of a Dictator," along with studies of the churches and the legal profession. His inquiry uncovers a historiography that was substantially unhistoric: a German Evangelical Church that misinterpreted the Gospel, a German Catholic Church that denied universal humanity, and a legal process enmeshed in criminal homicide. While most of the lectures deal with what Voegelin called his "descent into the depths" of the moral and spiritual abyss of Nazism and its aftermath, they also point toward a restoration of order. His lecture "The Greatness of Max Weber" shows how Weber, while affected by the culture within which Hitler came into power, has already gone beyond it through his anguished recovery of the experience of transcendence. _Hitler and the Germans_ provides a profound alternative approach to the topic of the individual German's entanglement in the Hitler regime and its continuing implications. This comprehensive reading of the Nazi period has yet to be matched. (shrink)
Augustine’s important work De uera religione has been frequently read for its Neoplatonic resonances. However, there is much in the work that cannot be reduced to this reading. Themes such as the importance of the common and public dimension of uera religio, the significance of history, and the function of ‘true religion’ toward the training and renewal of the whole human, are topoi that reveal the dynamic structure of the work. A consideration of these themes in uera rel. brings into (...) full relief Augustine’s answer to why God acted in time and through history for the whole human race and helps to explain Augustine’s complex articulation of Christianity in the work. (shrink)
Detlev Clüver (1645-1708) was among the first to criticize Leibniz's new infinitesimal analysis. Although his criticisms were vague and his methods inconsistent, Leibniz had always for him a friendly sort of consideration. The article presents Clüver's biography, writings, and thought, together with a detailed description of Leibniz's relations to him and of their correspondence, and contains a bibliography of Clüver's writings.
The National Academy of Science's 1956 study on the Biological Effects of Atomic Radiation (BEAR) was designed to provide an objective analysis to assess conflicting statements by leading geneticists and by officials in the Atomic Energy Commission. Largely because of its status as a detached, non-governmental evaluation by eminent scientists, no studies have had a broader impact on the development of biological thinking in regard to nuclear policies. This paper demonstrates that despite the first BEAR study's reputation as an objective (...) and independent study, it was the product of careful negotiation between Academy scientists, the Atomic Energy Commission, and Britain's Medical Research Council. This paper also reveals the fragility of the consensus that produced the Academy's report, the range of political uses of the report, and the subsequent disaffection of the scientists who took part in it. (shrink)
Because of his preoccupation with the formal aspects of music and literature, Theodor W. Adorno is often regarded as the most aesthetically oriented thinker of the Frankfurt School theorists. It is Adorno’s perceived commitment to aestheticism—the study of art for art’s sake and the study of art as a source of sensuous pleasure, rather than as a vehicle for culturally constructed morality or meaning—that many scholars have criticized as hostile to genuine, concrete, substantive political, social, and ethical engagement with the (...) arts. _Adorno and Ethics_—the first issue of _New German Critique_ to be published by Duke University Press—takes issue with Adorno’s critics. These essays reconsider Adorno’s unique brand of aestheticism, revealing a “politics of aestheticism” and exploring the political and ethical dimensions of his writings. One contributor links the ethical turn taken in Adorno criticism with related developments in American poetry and poetics. Another examines Adorno’s aphorism “Gold Assay” for the ways in which it anticipates one of his seminal works, _The Jargon of Authenticity_. Focusing on Auschwitz and the testimony of its survivors, one contributor explores the impact of the Holocaust on modern philosophy and reason, a relationship that he argues Adorno never specified. Another contributor considers the figure of the animal in the writings of Kant, Adorno, and Lévinas, exploring what it might mean to live, as Adorno suggests, as “a good animal.” _Contributors_. J. M. Bernstein, Detlev Claussen, Samir Gandesha, Alexander García Düttmann, Christina Gerhardt, Martin Jay, Robert Kaufman, Michael Marder, Gerhard Richter. (shrink)
Abraham Pais's Subtle Is the Lord was a publishing phenomenon: a mathematically sophisticated exposition of the science and the life of Albert Einstein that reached a huge audience and won an American Book Award. Reviewers hailed the book as "a monument to sound scholarship and graceful style", "an extraordinary biography of an extraordinary man", and "a fine book". In this groundbreaking new volume, Pais undertakes a history of the physics of matter and of physical forces since the discovery of x-rays. (...) The book attempts to relate not only what has happened over the last hundred years but why it happened the way it did, what it was like for those scientists involved, and how what at the time may have seemed a series of bizarre or unrelated events, now with hindsight emerges as a logical sequence of events. Pais, a noted physicist, was personally involved in many of the developments he describes, and thus Inward Bound, like his earlier book, is filled with unique insights into the world of big and small physics. Between 1895 and 1983, the period he covers, the smallest distances explored have shrunk a hundred millionfold, Pais notes. Along this incompletely traveled "road inward," scientists have established markers that later generations will rank among the principal monuments of the twentieth century. In alternating technical and nontechnical sections, this magisterial survey richly conveys what has been discovered about the constituents of matter, the laws to which they are subject, and the forces that act on them. But the advances have certainly not come smoothly. The book shows that these have been times of progress and stagnation, of order and chaos, of clarity and confusion, of belief and incredulity, of the conventional and the bizarre; also of revolutionaries and conservatives, of science by individuals and by consortia, of little gadgets and big machines, and of modest funds and big money. About the Author: Abraham Pais is Detlev W. Bronk Professor of Physics at the Rockefeller University. The author of the prizewinning biography of Einstein now undertakes a history of modern physics. (shrink)
Instead of an overture : no heirs -- The house in Schöne Aussicht : a Frankfurt childhood around 1910 -- From Teddie Wiesengrund to Dr. Wiesengrund-Adorno -- Adorno as "non-identical" man -- Transitions -- Bertolt Brecht : "to those who come after us" -- Theodor W. Adorno : "out of the firing-line" -- Hanns Eisler, the non-identical brother -- Fritz Lang, the American friend -- Frankfurt transfer -- Adorno as "identical" man -- The palimpsest of life.
. The ability to enforce the provisions of a code of conduct influences whether the code is effective in shaping behavior. Enforcement relies in part on the willingness of organization members to report violations of the code, but research from the business and educational environment suggests that fewer than half of those who observe code violations follow their organizations procedures for reporting them. Based on a review of the literature in the business and educational environments, and a survey of 3605 (...) students at a mid-sized comprehensive university, this paper attempts to make conceptual sense of the non-reporting phenomenon. We present a conceptual framework based on four distinct factors which we have labeled: (1) factual non-responsibility; (2) moral non-responsibility; (3) consequential exoneration; and, (4) functional exoneration. Each of these factors suggest a different remedial strategy as well as provide a theoretical foundation for future research. Testable propositions for future research are developed, and some implications for organization leaders are discussed. (shrink)
We argue that the gap between an authentically ethical conviction of sustainability and a behaviour that avoids confronting the terrifying reality of its ethical point of reference is characteristic of the field of business sustainability. We do not accuse the field of business sustainability of ethical shortcomings on the account of this attitude–behaviour gap. If anything, we claim the opposite, namely that there resides an ethical sincerity in the convictions of business scholars to entrust capitalism and capitalists with the mammoth (...) task of reversing, the terrifying reality of ecological devastation. Yet, the very illusory nature of this belief in capitalism’s captains to save us from the environmentally devastating effects of capitalism gives this ethical stance a tragic beauty. While sincere and authentic, it nevertheless is an ethical stance that relies on an “exclusionary gesture of refusing to see”, what in psychoanalysis is referred to as a fetishist disavowal of reality. We submit that this disavowal is fetishistic because the act is not simply one of repressing the real. If it was, we would rightly expect that we could all see the truth if we only provide more or better information to fill the subject’s lack of knowledge. The problem is that the fetishist transfers a fantasy of the real as the real. In the case of destructive capitalism, the fetishist disavows that particular reality by believing in another, thus subjectively negating the lack. Therefore, from the perspective of psychoanalytic theory, we submit that the gap between attitude and behaviour is best understood not only as an ethical flaw, but also as an essential component of an ethics that makes possible the field of business sustainability. (shrink)
This article engages with contemporary debates about debt and money from the vantage point of an ethnographic study of unregulated, small-scale moneylending business who continues to operate in the township of Soweto’s poorer neighbourhoods. Following Peebles’ argument that reading poor people’s unwillingness to bank with formal institutions as a sign of ignorance is unwarranted, this article describes persistent dynamics of underground credit markets and personalized credit relationships, demonstrating how the practice of ukumashonisa by neighbourhood lenders are embedded in social fields (...) shared by lenders and borrowers. This article further demonstrates how the vilification of the figure of the township moneylender by a broad coalition of civil society groups, trade unions, the state and commercial financial institutions, assisted in the financialization of poor people’s monies. This public consensus about the depravity of the neighbourhood moneylender is not shared by all Sowetans, especially poor and unemployed Sowetans who have been pushed into a greater dependency on both money and intense personalized social relationships as they try to survive. Seeking out personalized credit relationships, and turning debt transactions, contracts and relationships with local moneylenders into exchanges that take on the appearance of gifts rather than commodity exchanges, continues to remain a strategy for people who are no longer able to count on stable wage work as their primary source of income. (shrink)
In this paper the author is attempting to establish the relationship - or the lack of it - of the Critical Theory to the "Jewish question" and justification of perceiving signs of Jewish religious heritage in the thought of the representatives of this movement. The holocaust marked out by the name of "Auschwitz", is here tested as a point where the nature of this relationship has been decided. In this encounter with the cardinal challenge for the contemporary social theory, the (...) particularity of the Frankfurt School reaction is here revealed through Adorno installing Auschwitz as unexpected but lawful emblem of the ending of the course that modern history has assumed. The critique of this "fascination" with Auschwitz, as well as certain theoretical pacification and measured positioning of the holocaust into discontinued plane of "unfinished" and continuation and closure of the valued project, are given through communicative-theoretical pre-orientation of Jürgen Habermas’s Critical Theory and of his followers. Finally, through the work of Detlev Claussen, it is suggested that in the youngest generation of Adorno’s students there are signs of revision to once already revised Critical Theory and a kind of defractured and differentiated return to the initial understanding of the decisiveness of the holocaust experience. This shift in the attitude of the Critical Theory thinkers to the provocation of holocaust is not, however, particularly reflected towards the status of Jews and their tradition, but more to the age old questioning and explanatory patterns for which they served as a "model". The question of validity of the enlightenment project, the nature of occidental rationalism, existence of historical theology and understanding of the identity and emancipation - describe the circle of problems around which the disagreement is concentrated in the social critical theory. (shrink)
This article discusses the background to Walter Benjamin's famous 'letter to an unknown correspondent', which was part of a series of letters between Benjamin and Norbert Elias. Elias had just finished writing the first volume of The Civilizing Process, and he wrote to Ben jamin asking him to review it, but Benjamin declined. The reasons for his reluctance are discussed. The letters themselves are reproduced at the end of the article.
ExcerptMisunderstandings are the medium for communicating the incommunicable. Theodor W. Adorno, “A Portrait of Walter Benjamin”You can hear the terror in the words. If you can't hear it, you cannot understand the words. The history of the critical response to Adorno can be read as a history of misunderstandings. “The whole is the false.”1 Who can understand this if he doesn't know Hegel's philosophy? Adorno formulated this aphorism in Minima Moralia in German even though he had been living in America (...) for some years. But he did not write this sentence for an American or…. (shrink)