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Reinhold Niebuhr was a twentieth-century American theologian who was known for his commentary on public affairs. One of his most influential ideas was the relating of his Christian faith to realism rather than idealism in foreign affairs. His perspective influenced many liberals and is enjoying a resurgence today; most recently Barack Obama has acknowledged Niebuhr's importance to his own thinking. In this book, Kenneth Hamilton makes a claim that no other work on Niebuhr has madeathat Niebuhr's chief and abiding preoccupation throughout his long career was the nature of humankind. Hamilton engages in a close reading of Niebuhr's entire oeuvre through this lens. He argues that this preoccupation remained consistent throughout Niebuhr's writings, and that through his doctrine of humankind one gets a full sense of Niebuhr the theologian. Hamilton exposes not only the internal consistency of Niebuhr's project but also its aporia. Although Niebuhr's influence perhaps peaked in the mid-twentieth century, enthusiasm for his approach to religion and politics has never waned from the North American public theology, and this work remains relevant today. Although Hamilton wrote this thesis in the mid-1960s it is published here for the first time. Jane Barter Moulaison, in her editorial gloss and introduction, demonstrates the abiding significance of Hamilton's work to the study of Niebuhr by bringing it into conversation with subsequent writings on Niebuhr, particularly as he is re-appropriated by twenty-first-century American theology.
Prophetic Interruptions initially draws numerous, yet previously unknown, connections between Paul Tillich, Theodor Adorno, and Max Horkheimer during their shared years in Frankfurt and New York, focusing particularly on the years 1929-1944. While Critical Theory was being formulated, Tillich, the teacher and colleague of Adorno and Horkheimer, respectively, was working on his own religious social(ist) theory. Moving beyond this historical background, Wagoner shows how these personal connections evolved and were mutually engaging. Instead of pursuing discernible mutual influence among Tillich, Adorno, and Horkheimer, the book instead demonstrates that their ideas were forged in the crucible of friendship and common purpose, toward the common end of emancipation. The collective `prophetic interruptions' among the three thinkers have a common goal of naming and remediating injustices, and interrupting social forms that inhibit individual and collective agency. To that end, parallels are traced along four lines: critical rationality, theories of human nature (particularly vis-a-vis Nazism), metaphysics, and religion. These striking commonalities (coupled with potentially insurmountable differences, such as ontology) reveal historical connections between progressive religious thought and allegedly secular critical theory. The book suggests room for further conversation between progressive religion and critical theory rooted in Tillich's early `religious socialism,' read here as a type of critical social theory, anticipating that of Adorno and Horkheimer. The appendix includes the first translation of an important letter from Adorno to Tillich, written in 1944.
John Dewey's classical pragmatism, Daniel M. Savage asserts, can be used to provide a self-development-based justification of liberal democracy that shows the current debate between liberal individualism and republican communitarianism to be based largely on a set of pseudoproblems. From Dewey's classical pragmatism, Savage derives a conception of individual autonomy that, while meeting all of the criteria for a conception of autonomy, does not, as the dominant Kantian variant does, require transcendence from any particular language community. The Deweyan conception of autonomy that Savage derived from classical pragmatism, in fact, requires that the individual be situated within a context of cultural beliefs. Savage argues that this particular conception of autonomy is necessary if one wants to conceive of life, as communitarians do, as a quest for the good life within a social context. Thus, Savage constructs a conception of autonomy that consists of a set of intellectual virtues, each of which can be understood, like Aristotle's moral virtues, as a mean between two extremes (or vices). The virtue of critical reflection is the mean between the vices of dogmatism on the one hand and philosophical skepticism on the other. The virtue of creative individuality is the mean between the opposing vices of conformity and eccentricity. Finally, the virtue of sociability is the mean between the extremes of docility and rebelliousness. The three virtues together provide a natural method of adapting to change. The method is natural because it is in accord with a continuous cycle of activity - tension/movement/harmony - that is generic to all living things, Dewey's method of adapting to change requires, in both the individual and in the community, the synthesis of integrating and differentiating forces.
Composed of ten original essays written with the goal of exploring the thought of one of the most significant German philosophers of the 20th century, namely, Josef Pieper (1904-1997), this book is the only systematic treatment of his expansive philosophy to date. It brings his philosophy into dialogue with that of other important 20th century philosophers and schools of thought. The breadth of this discussion is itself a tribute to Josef Pieper. Not only do the essays seek to make better known the thought of this significant man, but they also deepen an understanding of some of the philosophical problems and challenges of our time. Some of the subjects discussed are, among others, the notion of totalitarianism and the question of what constitutes authentic culture; the intrinsic value of leisure and its relation to the total world of 'work'; the dimension of virtue in the on-going realization of the human person; the rational foundation of hope in confrontation with incomprehensible violence (such as that of Auschwitz, Burundi, and the events of September 11); the relation between faith and reason in a secular society; and the legitimacy of tradition.
In his renowned courses at the College de France from 1982 to 1984, Michel Foucault devoted his lectures to meticulous readings and interpretations of the works of Plato, Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus Aurelius, among others. In this his aim was not, Edward F. McGushin contends, to develop a new knowledge of the history of philosophy; rather, it was to let himself be transformed by the very activity of thinking. Thus, this work shows us Foucault in the last phase of his life in the act of becoming a philosopher. Here we see how his encounter with ancient philosophy allowed him to experience the practice of philosophy as, to paraphrase Nietzsche, a way of becoming who one is: the work of self-formation that the Greeks called askesis. Through a detailed study of Foucault's last courses, McGushin demonstrates that this new way of practicing philosophical askesis evokes Foucault's ethical resistance to modern relations of power and knowledge. In order to understand Foucault's later project, then, it is necessary to see it within the context of his earlier work. If his earlier projects represented an attempt to bring to light the relations of power and knowledge that narrowed and limited freedom, then this last project represents his effort to take back that freedom by redefining it in terms of care of the self. Foucault always stressed that modern power functions by producing individual subjects. This book shows how his excavation of ancient philosophical practices gave him the tools to counter this function-with a practice of self-formation, an askesis.
Kierkegaard has undoubtedly been an influence on phenomenological thinking, but he has rarely if ever been read as a phenomenologist himself. Recent developments in phenomenology have expanded our conception of the discipline itself and the varieties of experience it can address. Is it possible that Kierkegaard, a canonical figure by any measure, can be reappraised in light of these developments? Or more radically, is it possible that the frontiers of phenomenological investigation were already broached by Kierkegaard even before phenomenology was formally defined by Husserl? In Kierkegaard as Phenomenologist: An Experiment, Jeffrey Hanson embarks on a project to locate Kierkegaard within the current phenomenological discussion. This work is an experiment inasmuch as the plausibility of the undertaking itself will be determined only by the outcome. Some of the contributors clearly regard it as possible to read Kierkegaard as a phenomenologist. Others plainly do not and will contest the very hypothesis that forms the basis of this experiment. As with any experiment, the larger discussion will determine its success, but Kierkegaard as Phenomenologist lays the groundwork for two exciting possibilities: first, that Kierkegaard scholarship will be renewed, and second, that the meaning of phenomenology itself will be reconsidered.
With the exception of The Quest for Cer tainty (Volume 4) this fifth volume brings together Dewey's writings for the 1929-1930 period. During this time Dewey published 4 books and 50 articles on philosophical, educational, political, and social issues. His philosophical essays include What Humanism Means to Me and What I Believe, both of which express Dewey's faith in man's potentialities and intel ligence, and a lively Journal of Philoso phy exchange with Ernest Nagel, Wil liam Ernest Hocking, C. I. Lewis, and F. J.E. Woodbridge. Educational writings include The Sources of a Science of Education. The contents of this volume re flect Dewey's increasing involvement in social and political problems.
Volume 11 brings together all of Dewey's writings for 1918 and 1919. A Modern Language Association Committee on Scholarly Editions textual edition. Dewey's dominant theme in these pages is war and its after-math. In the Introduction, Oscar and Lilian Handlin discuss his philosophy within the historical context: The First World War slowly ground to its costly conclusion; and the immensely more difficult task of making peace got painfully under way. The armi-stice that some expected would permit a return to normalcy opened instead upon a period of turbulence that agitated fur-ther a society already unsettled by preparations for battle and by debilitating conflict overseas. After spending the first half of 1918-19 on sabbatical from Columbia at the University of California, Dewey traveled to Japan and China, where he lectured, toured, and assessed in his essays the relationship between the two nations. From Peking he reported the student revolt known as the May Fourth Move-ment. The forty items in this volume also include an analysis of Thomas Hobbe's philosophy; an affectionate commemorative tribute to Theodore Roosevelt, our Teddy; the syllabus for Dewey's lectures at the Imperial University in Tokyo, which were later revised and published as Reconstruction in Philosophy; an exchange with former disciple Randolph Bourne about F. Mat-thias Alexander's Man's Supreme Inheritance; and, central to Dew-ey's creed, Philosophy and Democracy. His involvement in a study of the Polish-American community in Philadelphia--resulting in an article, two memoranda, and a lengthy report--is discussed in detail in the Introduction and in the Note on the Confidential Report ofConditions among the Poles in the United States.