This book is a collection of secondary essays on America's most important philosophic thinkers—statesmen, judges, writers, educators, and activists—from the colonial period to the present. Each essay is a comprehensive introduction to the thought of a noted American on the fundamental meaning of the American regime.
Rather than viewing Freud as a presumptuous Viennese physician who late in life attempted to "apply" some of his provocative psychological speculations to various social phenomena, this essay argues that from first to last, Freud was a social theorist. Indeed, what drew Freud to the study of biology and medicine was precisely the hope of addressing scientifically the most fundamental cultural problems: the nature of man and his culture; the origins of religion, morality, and tradition and the nature of their (...) extraordinary power; the sources of social order and disorder; the direction of contemporary cultural development; and, finally, the problem of how to live in a disenchanted and psychologically impoverished world. Reading Freud in this manner moves his "cultural" texts from the periphery to the center of his work and makes possible an appreciation of the more complex, coherent, and illuminating social theory that lies at its heart. (shrink)
In the 1950s and 1960s Freudian theory was deemed to be a vital part of the sociological tradition, but since then it has fallen from favor, largely because of the simplifications and misinterpretations both by Freud's sociological critics and by his supporters. Chief among such misunderstandings is the tendency to view Freud's social theory as a variant of that of Hobbes, in which a selfish and asocial human nature is made social through the imposition of external constraints; these constraints, as (...) Durkheim stated, eventually are "internalized" into the personalities of social beings. Against such a claim this paper argues that Freud's views differ profoundly from those of Hobbes and that the myth of the Hobbesian Freud has so distorted Freud's most fundamental concepts that their social theoretical significance has been largely obscured. (shrink)
In this article I suggest that perceived tension in Jonathan Mayhew's political and social thought is resolved by taking full account of the conservative (i.e. traditional) aspects of his political thought. Mayhew's social thought did contain elements that were profoundly conservative, most notably his belief in a relatively fixed social hierarchy. More, the presumption of a natural social ordering of men and the attendant emphasis on deference stands in tension with the more radical principles that characterized Mayhew's political theory. This (...) tension can be reconciled, however, by his faith in a king characterized by a paternal regard for his subjects, an assumption that continued to shape colonial political thought at the start of the British-colonial crisis. I conclude by suggesting that the greater tension lies not in his political theory, but rather between his political theory and a preaching style that at times undermined the very social and political order he sought to maintain. (shrink)
Feuerbach would be the first to recognize the importance of Hegel’s philosophy for the development of his own. He would, indeed, readily acknowledge Hegel as his teacher. It was, for example, to attend the lectures of Hegel that Feuerbach first begged his father to allow him to move from Heidelberg University to Berlin University in 1824. It was at Berlin that Feuerbach became a disciple of Hegel, hearing by 1826 all Hegel’s lectures “with the exception of the Aesthetic” and “his (...) Logic twice even.” We have Feuerbach’s word that those lectures made a great impression on him. He says, in a letter to his brother, that he has “already got to the bottom of what was still dark and not understood” with his former teacher, Daub. Daub, who had introduced him to Hegel in his theology lectures at Heidelberg, was but a pale shadow in comparison with the real thing; for, Feuerbach continues, what had previously “smouldered” in his mind had, after hearing Hegel lecture, “flared up” into an exceptionally bright flame. In short, Feuerbach would readily acknowledge that it was the genius of Hegel that first led him to philosophy. (shrink)
This study combines author's experiences as an analyst of post-Soviet politics and religious liberty with personal participation in the founding and public acceptance of a new faith in independent Ukraine during a quarter- century. Theattempt here is not only to describe a specific outcome, but to propose factors that offer explanation for why Ukraine is among the few Communist successor states in which new minority faiths have been relatively successful in achieving full toleration [Biddulph: 2016]. Religious liberty has been described (...) as the “first freedom of all freedoms” [Hertzke: 2013, 4], yet it has been noticeably unachieved globally. A 2007 Pew “Global Attitudes Survey” showed that 90% of respondents world-wide said that it was important to live in a country that enabled them to practice religion freely. Yet a more recent Pew “Forum on Global Restrictions on Religion” found that 70% of the world population reside in countries which have high or very high restrictions on religion either from government actions or from major social hostilities [Grim: 2013, 86]. Religious liberty, therefore, is an almost universal human aspiration, but is one of the more unachieved rights in the world. The Soviet Union successor states have a similar record of lower achievement [Lunkin: 2013; Grim: 2013]. (shrink)
This biography of the court scholar Xun Xu explores central areas of intellectual life in third-century China — court lyrics, music, metrology, pitch systems, archeology, and historiography. It clarifies the relevant source texts in order to reveal fierce debates. Besides solving technical puzzles about the material details of court rites, the book unfolds factional struggles that developed into scholarly ones.