Kempner. You do not have to testify, Professor Schmitt, if you do not want to, and if you think you are incriminating yourself. But if you do testify, then I would be grateful if you would be absolutely truthful, would neither conceal nor add anything. Is that your wish? Schmitt: Yes, of course. Kempner: And if I come to something you might find self-incriminating, you can simply say you prefer to remain silent. Schmitt: I have already been (...) interrogated by the C.I.C. and in the camp. I would be glad to tell you all I know. However, I would like to know what I am being blamed with. (shrink)
Written in the intense political and intellectual tumult of the early years of the Weimar Republic, Political Theology develops the distinctive theory of sovereignty that made Carl Schmitt one of the most significant and controversial ...
This is the first full-length study in English of twentieth-century Germany's most influential authoritarian right-wing political theorist, Carl Schmitt, that focuses on the central place of his attack on the liberal rule of law. This is also the first book in any language to devote substantial attention to Schmitt's subterranean influence on some of the most important voices in political thought in the United States after 1945.
In Knowledge and Belief, Frederick Schmitt explores the nature and value of knowledge and justified belief through an examination of the dispute between epistemological internalism and externalism. Knowledge and justified belief are naturally viewed as belief of a sort likely to be true--an externalist view. It is also intuitive, however, to view them as an internal matter; justification must be accessible to the subject or constituted by the subject's epistemic perspective. The author argues against the view that internalism is (...) the historically dominant epistemology by examining closely the epistemological principles that underlie the treatment of skepticism in Plato, the Academic and Pyrrhonian skeptics, Descartes and Hume. Schmitt develops a sustained, detailed argument against many forms of internalism in favor of a reliabilist/externalist epistemology. His version of reliabilism, though strictly externalist, accommodates and explains the most durable intuitions alleged to support internalism. Knowledge and Belief assumes no knowledge of epistemology or its history. Readers of philosophy will find this an excellent introduction to ancient and modern epistemology; this systematic study of the internalist and externalist debate is the first of its kind. (shrink)
Frederick F. Schmitt offers a new account of Hume's epistemology in A Treatise of Human Nature, which alternately manifests scepticism, empiricism, and naturalism. Critics have emphasised one of these positions over the others, but Schmitt argues that they can be reconciled by tracing them to an underlying epistemology of knowledge and probability.
One of the most significant political philosophers of the twentieth century, Carl Schmitt is a deeply controversial figure who has been labeled both Nazi sympathizer and modern-day Thomas Hobbes. First published in 1938, The Leviathan in the State Theory of Thomas Hobbes used the Enlightenment philosopher’s enduring symbol of the protective Leviathan to address the nature of modern statehood. A work that predicted the demise of the Third Reich and that still holds relevance in today’s security-obsessed society, this volume (...) will be essential reading for students and scholars of political science. “Carl Schmitt is surely the most controversial German political and legal philosopher of this century. . . . We deal with Schmitt, against all odds, because history stubbornly persists in proving many of his tenets right.”— Perspectives on Political Science “[A] significant contribution. . . . The relation between Hobbes and Schmitt is one of the most important questions surrounding Schmitt: it includes a distinct, though occasionally vacillating, personal identification as well as an association of ideas.”— Telos. (shrink)
Carl Schmitt's critique of liberalism has gained increasing influence in the last few decades. This article focuses on Schmitt's analysis of international law in The Nomos of the Earth, in order to uncover the reasons for his appeal as a critic not only of liberalism but of American hegemonic aspirations as well. Schmitt saw the international legal order that developed after World War I, and particularly the "criminalization of aggressive war," as a smokescreen to hide U.S. aspirations (...) to world dominance. By focusing on Schmitt's critique of Kant's concept of the "unjust enemy," the article shows the limits of Schmitt's views and concludes that Schmitt, as well as left critics of U.S. hegemony, misconstrue the relation between international law and democratic sovereignty as a model of top-down domination. As conflictual as the relationship between international norms and democratic sovereignty can be at times, this needs to be interpreted as one of mediation and not domination. (shrink)
This is the first in-depth critical appraisal in English of the political, legal, and cultural writings of Carl Schmitt, perhaps this century's most brilliant critic of liberalism. It offers an assessment of this most sophisticated of fascist theorists without attempting either to apologise for or demonise him. Schmitt's Weimar writings confront the role of technology as it finds expression through the principles and practices of liberalism. Contemporary political conditions such as disaffection with liberalism and the rise of extremist (...) political organizations have rendered Schmitt's work both relevant and insightful. John McCormick examines why technology becomes a rallying cry for both right- and left-wing intellectuals at times when liberalism appears anachronistic, and shows the continuities between Weimar's ideological debates and those of our own age. (shrink)
Carl Schmitt is one of the most widely read and influential German thinkers of the twentieth century. His fundamental works on friend and enemy, legality and legitimacy, dictatorship, political theology and the concept of the political are read today with great interest by everyone from conservative Catholic theologians to radical political thinkers on the left. In his private life, however, Schmitt was haunted by the demons of his wild anti-Semitism, his self-destructive and compulsive sexuality and his deep-seated resentment (...) against the complacency of bourgeois life. As a young man from a modest background, full of social envy, he succeeded in making his way to the top of the academic discipline of law in Germany through his exceptional intellectual prowess. And yet he never felt at home in the academic establishment and among those of high social standing. In his works, Schmitt unmasked the liberal Rechtsstaat as a constitutional façade and reflected on the legitimacy of dictatorship. When the Nazis seized power Schmitt was susceptible to their ideology. He broke with his Jewish friends, joined the Nazi Party in May 1933 and lent a helping hand to Hitler, thereby becoming deeply entangled with the regime. Schmitt was irrevocably compromised by his role as the ‘crown jurist’ of the Third Reich. But by 1936 he had already lost his influential position. After the war, he led a secluded life in his home town in the Sauerland and became a key background figure in the intellectual scene of postwar Germany. Reinhard Mehring’s outstanding biography is the most comprehensive work available on the life and work of Carl Schmitt. Based on thorough research and using new sources that were previously unavailable, Mehring portrays Schmitt as a Shakespearean figure at the centre of the German catastrophe. (shrink)
In this essay, Frederick Schmitt and Reza Lahroodi explore the value of curiosity for inquiry and knowledge. They defend an appetitive account of curiosity, viewing curiosity as a motivationally original desire to know that arises from having one’s attention drawn to the object and that in turn sustains one’s attention to it. Distinguishing curiosity from wonder, the authors explore several sources of the epistemic value of curiosity. First, curiosity is tenacious: curiosity whether a proposition is true leads to curiosity (...) about related issues, thereby deepening our knowledge. Second, it is to some extent biased in favor of topics in which we already have a practical or epistemic interest. Third, and most important, curiosity is largely independent of our interests: it fixes our attention on objects in which we have no antecedent interest, thereby broadening our knowledge. Schmitt and Lahroodi elucidate the value of curiosity by outlining its role in levels of development — an approach indebted to John Dewey’s explanation of the value of curiosity. Finally, they raise some questions about the implications of their account for educational practice. (shrink)
The Sociosexual Orientation Inventory (SOI; Simpson & Gangestad 1991) is a self-report measure of individual differences in human mating strategies. Low SOI scores signify that a person is sociosexually restricted, or follows a more monogamous mating strategy. High SOI scores indicate that an individual is unrestricted, or has a more promiscuous mating strategy. As part of the International Sexuality Description Project (ISDP), the SOI was translated from English into 25 additional languages and administered to a total sample of 14,059 people (...) across 48 nations. Responses to the SOI were used to address four main issues. First, the psychometric properties of the SOI were examined in cross-cultural perspective. The SOI possessed adequate reliability and validity both within and across a diverse range of modern cultures. Second, theories concerning the systematic distribution of sociosexuality across cultures were evaluated. Both operational sex ratios and reproductively demanding environments related in evolutionary-predicted ways to national levels of sociosexuality. Third, sex differences in sociosexuality were generally large and demonstrated cross-cultural universality across the 48 nations of the ISDP, confirming several evolutionary theories of human mating. Fourth, sex differences in sociosexuality were significantly larger when reproductive environments were demanding but were reduced to more moderate levels in cultures with more political and economic gender equality. Implications for evolutionary and social role theories of human sexuality are discussed. Key Words: culture; gender; mating; reproduction; sex differences; sex roles; sexual strategies; sociosexuality. (shrink)
“Karl Marx may have discovered profit, but I discovered political profit.” Carl Schmitt's only half-joking remark plays with a persistent problem for political theory since Hegel — the often perplexing similarity of ideological positions on the left and the right. German intellectual history in this century presents an unusually complicated example of such “convergence” in the reception of Schmitt's work by the Frankfurt School. The controversy surrounding Schmitt is not so much about the quality and depth of (...) his work as about its political consequences. An uncomfortable question for intellectual history in general, the case of Schmitt is most problematic for the German left. (shrink)
Le théisme est la position métaphysique au cœur des religions monothéistes : il est l’affirmation qu’il existe un Dieu omniscient, omnipotent, parfaitement bon et créateur. Penser l’objet de ces croyances, à savoir Dieu, suppose donc une étude des catégories métaphysiques nécessaires à l’explicitation du théisme. Loin de tout rationalisme étroit et de toute exaltation mystique, le présent ouvrage mobilise les outils de la philosophie contemporaine afin de mettre au jour les choix théoriques qui sont requis pour concevoir un Dieu compris (...) comme l’être ayant toutes les perfections. Les questions du réalisme, de la vérité, du premier principe, du possible et du nécessaire sont étudiées aussi bien à partir du contenu des croyances religieuses que de la métaphysique analytique contemporaine, en réponse aux critiques de Kant et de Heidegger. Car avant même de s’interroger sur l’existence ou sur l’inexistence d’un tel Dieu, ou encore de discuter de la rationalité ou de l’irrationalité des croyances religieuses, ce sont les outils conceptuels pour penser un Dieu qu’il nous faut examiner philosophiquement. (shrink)
Theories of epistemically justified belief have long assumed individualism. In its extreme, or Lockean, form individualism rules out justified belief on testimony by insisting that a subject is justified in believing a proposition only if he or she possesses first-hand justification for it. The skeptical consequences of extreme individualism have led many to adopt a milder version, attributable to Hume, on which a subject is justified in believing a proposition only if he or she is justified in believing that there (...) is testimony in favor of the proposition deriving from a reliable source. I argue that this Humean individualism also leads to skepticism in a wide range of cases; it makes it impossible for a layperson to be justified on expert testimony. In addition, I argue that the apparent motivation for the Humean view, an insistence on intellectual autonomy in justification, does not succeed in motivating it. I then explore the contours of a collectivist view of justification on testimony, with special attention to the place of a subject's intellectual autonomy in such justification. I try to bring empirical results of the psychology of persuasion to bear on the epistemological issues. (shrink)
Reorienting the Political examines the reception of two controversial German philosophers, Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss, in the Chinese-speaking world. This volume explores the powerful resonance of both thinkers in Chinese political thought from a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspective.
Alston begins his exposition of the realist conception of truth in chapter 1 with a roughly Aristotelian formulation: “A statement is true if and only if what the statement says to be the case actually is the case”. This condition has the drawback that it defines truth via illocutionary acts; yet, as Alston argues, propositions are the most basic truth-bearers. Alston therefore turns to the universalized T-schema for a condition that characterizes the truth of propositions without mentioning illocutionary acts: “ (...) The proposition that p is true iff p”, where “” is a substitutional rather than objectual quantifier over propositions. Later Alston avers that this account of truth is equivalent to another that is overtly realist in characterizing truth in terms of facts, a minimalist correspondence theory: “ The proposition that p is true iff it is a fact that p”. (shrink)
When it comes to evaluating reductive hypotheses in metaphysics, supervenience arguments are the tools of the trade. Jaegwon Kim and Frank Jackson have argued, respectively, that strong and global supervenience are sufficient for reduction, and others have argued that supervenience theses stand in need of the kind of explanation that reductive hypotheses are particularly suited to provide. Simon Blackburn's arguments about what he claims are the specifically problematic features of the supervenience of the moral on the natural have also been (...) influential. But most discussions of these arguments have proceeded under the strong and restrictive assumptions of the S5 modal logic. In this paper we aim to remedy that defect, by illustrating in an accessible way what happens to these arguments under relaxed assumptions and why. The occasion is recent work by Ralph Wedgwood, who seeks to defend non-reductive accounts of moral and mental properties together with strong supervenience, but to evade both the arguments of Kim and Jackson and the explanatory challenge by accepting only the weaker, B, modal logic. In addition to drawing general lessons about what happens to supervenience arguments under relaxed assumptions, our goal is therefore to shed some light on both the virtues and costs of Wedgwood's proposal. (shrink)
In this article, I explain how and why different attempts to defend absolute divine simplicity fail. A proponent of absolute divine simplicity has to explain why different attributions do not suppose a metaphysical complexity in God but just one superproperty, why there is no difference between God and His super-property and finally how a absolute simple entity can be the truthmaker of different intrinsic predications. It does not necessarily lead to a rejection of divine simplicity but it shows that we (...) may consider another conception of divine simplicity compatible with some metaphysical complexity in God. (shrink)