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A Friendship That Lasted a Lifetime

The Correspondence Between Alfred Schutz and Eric Voegelin

Gerhard Wagner & Gilbert Weiss

 

Scholarly correspondence can be as insightful as scholarly work itself, as it often documents the motivating forces of its writers’ intellectual ideas while illuminating their lives more clearly. The more complex the authors’ scholarly works and the more troubled the eras in which they lived, the more substantial, and potentially fascinating, their correspondence. This is especially true of the letters between Alfred Schutz (18991959) and Eric Voegelin (19011985). The scholars lived in incredibly dramatic times and produced profound, complex works that continue to confound academics. The communication between these two giants of the social sciences, as they sent their thoughts to one another, was crucial to the work of both men.

 

 

            A Friendship That Lasted a Lifetime: The Correspondence between Alfred Schutz and Eric Voegelin demonstrates that Schutz and Voegelin shared a remarkable friendship: they first met as students in Vienna in the 1920s and found themselves great partners in discussion; years later they were pushed out of Europe by Nazi pressure and went to work at separate American universities. For twenty years they wrote each other, developing their respective scientific works in that dialogue. The letters bear witness to their friendship during the years they spent in exile in the United States, and they document the men’s tentative attempts at formulating the theories of “lifeworld” and “gnosis” associated with Schutz and Voegelin today.

 

 

            The entire collection of 238 letters was printed in German in 2004, but this edited volume is the first to present their correspondence in English and offers a selection of the most important letters—those that contributed to the thinkers’ theoretical discussions and served as background to their most significant thoughts. Editors Gerhard Wagner and Gilbert Weiss do not analyze Schutz’s and Voegelin’s works in light of the correspondence—rather, they present the collection to create a framework for new interpretations.

 

 

            A Friendship That Lasted a Lifetime takes a unique look at two major social scientists. This volume is a valuable resource in the study of Voegelin’s political philosophy and Alfred Schutz’s contribution to American sociology and marks an important addition to the literature on these remarkable men. Showing how scholarly discourse and the dialogue of everyday life can shed light on one another, the book finally presents this correspondence for an American audience and is not to be missed by scholars of philosophy and sociology.

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From Liberal Values to Democratic Transition

Essays in Honor of Janos Kis

Edited by Ronald Dworkin

The book contains twelve essays by Stephen Holmes, Frances M. Kamm, Mária Ludassy, Steven Lukes, Gyorgy Markus, András Sajó, Gáspár Miklós Tamás, Andrew Arato, Timothy Garton Ash, Béla Greskovits, Will Kymlicka, and Aleksander Smolar. The studies explore a wide scope of subjects that belong to disciplines ranging from moral philosophy, through theory of human rights, democratic transition, constitutionalism, to political economy. The common denominator of the studies collected is their reference to the scholarly output of János Kis, in honor of his sixtieth birthday. János Kis is a distinguished political philosopher who, after many years spent as a dissident under the Communist regime, emerged as an important political figure in Hungary's transition to democracy. Currently he is University Professor of Philosophy at Central European University, Budapest.

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Giorgio Agamben

Beyond the Threshold of Deconstruction

Kevin Attell

Agamben’s thought has been viewed as descending primarily from the work of Heidegger, Benjamin, and, more recently, Foucault. This book complicates and expands that constellation by showing how throughout his career Agamben has consistently and closely engaged (critically, sympathetically, polemically, and often implicitly) the work of Derrida as his chief contemporary interlocutor. _x000B__x000B_The book begins by examining the development of Agamben’s key concepts—infancy, Voice, potentiality—from the 1960s to approximately 1990 and shows how these concepts consistently draw on and respond to specific texts and concepts of Derrida. The second part examines the political turn in Agamben’s and Derrida’s thinking from about 1990 onward, beginning with their investigations of sovereignty and violence and moving through their parallel treatments of juridical power, the relation between humans and animals, and finally messianism and the politics to come. _x000B_

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Global Fragments

Globalizations, Latinamericanisms, and Critical Theory

Global Fragments offers an innovative analysis of globalization that aims to circumvent the sterile dichotomies that either praise or demonize globalization. Eduardo Mendieta applies an interdisciplinary approach to one of the most fundamental experiences of globalization: the mega-urbanization of humanity. The claim that globalization unsettles our epistemic maps of the world is tested against a study of Latin America. Mendieta also recontextualizes the work of three major theorists of globalization—Enrique Dussel, Cornel West, and Jürgen Habermas—to show how their thinking reflects engagement with central problems of globalization and, conversely, how globalization itself is exemplified through the reception of their work. Beyond the epistemic hubris of social theories that seek to accept or reject a globalized world, Mendieta calls for a dialogic cosmopolitanism that departs from the mutuality of teaching and learning in a world that is global but not totalized.

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Great Books, Bad Arguments

"Republic, Leviathan", and "The Communist Manifesto"

W. G. Runciman

Plato's Republic, Hobbes's Leviathan, and Marx's Communist Manifesto are universally acknowledged classics of Western political thought. But how strong are the core arguments on which they base their visions of the good society that they want to bring into being? In this lively and provocative book, W. G. Runciman shows where and why they fail, even after due allowance has been made for the different historical contexts in which they wrote. Plato, Hobbes, and Marx were all passionately convinced that justice, peace, and order could be established if only their teachings were implemented and the right people put into power. But Runciman makes a powerful case to the effect that all three were irredeemably naive in their assumptions about how human societies function and evolve and how human behavior could be changed. Yet despite this, Runciman insists that Republic, Leviathan, and The Communist Manifesto remain great books. Born of righteous anger and frustration, they are masterfully eloquent pleas for better worlds--worlds that Plato, Hobbes, and Marx cannot bring themselves to admit to be unattainable.

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Hannah Arendt and Human Rights

The Predicament of Common Responsibility

Peg Birmingham

"Peg Birmingham's reading of Arendt's work is absolutely unique. She seeks nothing less than an ontological foundation of the political, and in particular, the notion of human rights." -- Bernard Flynn, The New School for Social Research

Hannah Arendt's most important contribution to political thought may be her well-known and often-cited notion of the "right to have rights." In this incisive and wide-ranging book, Peg Birmingham explores the theoretical and social foundations of Arendt's philosophy on human rights. Devoting special consideration to questions and issues surrounding Arendt's ideas of common humanity, human responsibility, and natality, Birmingham formulates a more complex view of how these basic concepts support Arendt's theory of human rights. Birmingham considers Arendt's key philosophical works along with her literary writings, especially those on Walter Benjamin and Franz Kafka, to reveal the extent of Arendt's commitment to humanity even as violence, horror, and pessimism overtook Europe during World War II and its aftermath. This current and lively book makes a significant contribution to philosophy, political science, and European intellectual history.

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Hannah Arendt and the Negro Question

Kathryn T. Gines

While acknowledging Hannah Arendt's keen philosophical and political insights, Kathryn T. Gines claims that there are some problematic assertions and oversights regarding Arendt’s treatment of the "Negro question." Gines focuses on Arendt's reaction to the desegregation of Little Rock schools, to laws making mixed marriages illegal, and to the growing civil rights movement in the south. Reading them alongside Arendt's writings on revolution, the human condition, violence, and responses to the Eichmann war crimes trial, Gines provides a systematic analysis of anti-black racism in Arendt’s work.

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Hegel's Political Philosophy

Interpreting the Practice of Legal Punishment

Mark Tunick

To scholars of Western intellectual history Hegel is one of the most important of all political thinkers, but politicians and other "down-to-earth" persons see his speculative philosophy as far removed from their immediate concerns. Put off by his difficult terminology, many participants in practical politics may also believe that Hegel's idealism unduly legitimates the status quo. By examining his justification of legal punishment, this book introduces a Hegel quite different from these preconceptions: an acute critic of social practices. Mark Tunick draws on recently published but still untranslated lectures of Hegel's philosophy of right to take us to the core of Hegel's political thought. Hegel opposes radical criticism like that later offered by Marx, but, argues Tunick, he employs "immanent" criticism instead. For instance, Hegel claims that punishment is the criminal's right and makes the criminal free. From this standpoint, he defends specific features of the practice of punishment that accord with this retributive ideal and criticizes other features that contradict it. In a lucid account of what Hegel means by right and freedom, Tunick addresses Hegel specialists and those interested in criminal law, the interpretation of legal institutions and social practices, and justification from an immanent standpoint.

Originally published in 1992.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Hegel's Retreat from Eleusis: Studies in Political Thought

George Armstrong Kelly

Concentrating on Hegel's political philosophy, George Armstrong Kelly pursues three lines of inquiry. The first is the broad question of the connection of philosophy, politics, and history within Hegel's system of thought. Second, the author explores Hegel's relationship with his surrounding political culture and his rejection of aestheticism for the higher goal of politics. Finally, he analyzes Hegel's theory of the state, its historical and structural foundations, its demolition by a later generation, and its relevance. Professor Kelly explains how Hegel's total philosophical method and system convey his apprehension of the meaning of European culture and its links with a political harmony accessible to modern times.

Professor Kelly explains how Hegel's total philosophical method and system convey his apprehension of the meaning of European culture and its links with a political harmony accessible to modern times.

Originally published in 1978.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Herman Dooyeweerd

Christian Philosopher of State and Civil Society

Jonathan Chaplin

The twentieth-century Dutch philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd (1894–1977) left behind an impressive canon of philosophical works and has continued to influence a scholarly community in Europe and North America, which has extended, critiqued, and applied his thought in many academic fields. Jonathan Chaplin introduces Dooyeweerd for the first time to many English readers by critically expounding Dooyeweerd’s social and political thought and by exhibiting its pertinence to contemporary civil society debates. Chaplin begins by contextualizing Dooyeweerd’s thought, first in relation to present-day debates and then in relation to the work of the Dutch philosopher Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920). Chaplin outlines the distinctive theory of historical and cultural development that serves as an essential backdrop to Dooyeweerd’s substantive social philosophy; examines Dooyeweerd’s notion of societal structural principles; and sets forth his complex classification of particular types of social structure and their various interrelationships. Chaplin provides a detailed examination of Dooyeweerd’s theory of the state, its definitive nature, and its proper role vis-à-vis other elements of society. Dooyeweerd’s contributions, Chaplin concludes, assist us in mapping the ways in which state and civil society should be related to achieve justice and the public good.

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