The politics of modern thought and science

Epistemology should be the axe that breaks the ice of a traditionalism that covers and obstructs scientific enlightenment. This book explores the arguments between critical theory and epistemology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Focusing on the first and second generations of critical theorists and Luhmann's systems theory, it examines how each approaches epistemology. The book offers a critique of the Kantian base of critical theory's epistemology in conjunction with the latter's endeavour to define political potential through the social function of science. The concept of dialectics is explored as the negation of the irrational and, furthermore, as the open field of epistemological conflict between rationality and irrationality. The book traces the course of arguments that begin with Dilthey's philosophy of a rigorous science, develop with Husserl's phenomenology, Simmel's and Weber's interest in the scientific element within the social concerns of scientific advance. In structuralism, the fear of dialogue prevails. The book discusses the epistemological thought of Pierre Bourdieu and Gilles Deleuze in terms of their persistence in constructing an epistemological understanding of social practice free from the burdens of dialectics, reason and rationality. It also enquires into issues of normativity and modernity within a comparative perspective on modernism, postmodernism and critical theory. Whether in relation to communication deriving from the threefold schema of utterance- information- understanding or in relation to self- reflexivity, systems theory fails to define the bearer or the actor of the previous structural processes. Critical realism attempted to ground dialectics in realism.

Open Access (free)
Their basis and limits
Catriona McKinnon

criticisms. Section 1 explores two approaches to rights – the interest-based (IB) approach, and the obligation-based or Kantian view. Both are shown to offer coherent justifications that can avoid turning all political concerns into a matter of rights. Section 2 then compares the ways they relate to other social duties. It shall be argued that only the Kantian approach fully escapes the second criticism by positively requiring that

in Political concepts
Open Access (free)
Andrew Bowie

of the human subject and on the conceptions of art and language which emerge within the Kantian and post-Kantian history of aesthetics. My aim is both to rectify a series of misapprehensions about the history of modern thought which have become the prevailing orthodoxy in some areas of the humanities, and to develop plausible versions of some of the disregarded and misunderstood arguments in that history. In 1796 a German politico-philosophical manifesto, whose author seems to have been either Hegel or Schelling (but may have been Hölderlin), proclaims the ‘highest

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
Mark Robson

’ approach comes not from within early modern culture, but instead from Herder.11 Thus new historicism locates itself within the ambit of German Romanticism/Idealism and its inheritances, seeking to read the early modern in terms of an aesthetic that is post-Kantian (although not Kantian) rather than being itself early modern. This should not be surprising. Indeed, new historicist discourse frequently foregrounds its imbrication with present concerns, but tends to be selective about what those concerns are.12 So while it would not be possible simply to avoid the impact of

in The new aestheticism
Abstract only
Claire Colebrook

. Now, while in the organic sense it is expressionless, nevertheless, it is of extreme liveliness. 2 The modern Kantian sublime is tied directly to point of view in a transcendental sense. If we accept the Kantian Copernican turn, then it no longer makes sense to strive to know or intuit the absolute: if something is to be known or experienced then it must be given to a subject. The

in William Blake's Gothic imagination
Mark Robson

from within early modern culture, but instead from the German Idealist thinker Johann Gottfried Herder. 10 Thus it locates itself within the ambit of German romanticism or Idealism and its inheritances, seeking to read the early modern in terms of an aesthetic that is post-Kantian (although not Kantian) rather than being itself early modern. Indeed, new historicist discourse frequently foregrounds its

in The sense of early modern writing
The case of Oxfam
Craig Berry

Oxfam’s principal focus on trade policy and the WTO in recent years (its high-profile campaigns Make Trade Fair and Make Poverty History both have ‘trade justice’ as their main objective), it is one of the loudest voices within the issue area of foreign economic policy. Broadly speaking, Oxfam belongs to the liberal tradition. In promoting free trade, help for poorer countries and some form of multilateral governance, it can be associated with a Kantian liberal cosmopolitan perspective (see Berry, 2006). Yet its inception was more influenced by the Christian socialist

in Globalisation and ideology in Britain
Abstract only
Omen of a post-republic: the demon child of neoliberalism
Kieran Keohane and Carmen Kuhling

man and man is naked self interest and callous cash payment’ (Marx and Engels, 1985: 82), has effects at the level of subject formation and political anthropology. All revolutions set afoot a new man, and the neoliberal revolution also engenders a new subject: no longer the modern Kantian–Marxian–Freudian subject, a critical, historical subject with neurotic tendencies; a thinking subject governed by discourses of Reason; a producing subject who, through experiences of alienation from their product, from their fellow producers, and from their humanity, becomes

in The domestic, moral and political economies of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland
Abstract only
Saul Newman

return to ‘moral values’? On the other hand, we could also say that our world is desperately in need of ethics, even of the rigorous Kantian kind. Look at the way that the ethical norms, which in theory at least governed the international system, have now been transgressed and openly disavowed by the global superpower and its obsequious satellite states: we have seen the United States pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol, defying the United Nations and world public opinion by invading Iraq, exempting itself from the jurisdiction of the International War Crimes court

in Unstable universalities
Friedrich Schiller and the liberty of play
Peter M. Boenisch

3 Theatre as dialectic institution: Friedrich Schiller and the liberty of play We have started exploring how Regie reveals through scenes and senses a historically situated ‘style of thinking’, associated with the post-Kantian, post-1789 Western European ‘aesthetic regime of art’. No longer serving the functional semiotic economy of representation, it uses the three theatral ‘sensibles’ of kinesis, aisthesis and semiosis to insist on a subjective, affective intelligibility and sensibility. Already in 1803, we find a detailed outline by none other than German

in Directing scenes and senses