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Aristotle argued that citizenship is like friendship, and this book applies his argument to modern society. Modern citizens may lack the concept of civic friendship, but they persist in many practices and passions that were once considered essential to it. Citizens share many similarities with friends: prejudices held in common, favoritism towards each other, and - despite disagreement on specifics - underlying agreement about what is important, such as freedom and equality. Aristotle's theory reminds us that civic friendship is a factual condition of healthy societies, not a pie-in-the-sky ideal. By recognizing when it occurs and understanding it, we can build on it to counteract societal polarization. Civic friendship offers an alternative to populism and nationalism by engaging some of the same passions. In an era increasingly marked by tribalism and identity politics, this timely study will be of interest to a wide range of readers in political science, classics, and philosophy.
Brown dwarf atmospheres form molecules, then high temperature condensates (corundum, titanates, silicates, and iron compounds), and then low temperature condensates (ices) as they cool down over time. These produce large opacities which govern entirely their spectral energy distribution. Just as it is important to know molecular opacities (TiO, H2O, CH4, etc.) with accuracy, it is imperative to understand the interplay of processes (e.g. condensation, sedimentation, coagulation, convection) that determines the radial and size distribution of grains. Limiting case models have shown that young, hot brown (L) dwarfs form dust mostly in equilibrium, while at much cooler stages (late T dwarfs) all high temperature condensates have sedimented out of their photospheres. But this process is gradual and all intermediate classes of brown dwarfs can partly be understood in terms of partial sedimentation of dust. With new models accounting for these processes, we describe the effects they may have upon brown dwarf spectral properties.
Of the two authors of Dialektik der Aufklärung, Theodor W. Adorno is by far the more influential philosopher. Born in Frankfurt in 1903, he lived his first eleven years in the same street on which Arthur Schopenhauer had once resided. His father, Oscar Wiesengrund, owned a successful wine business; his mother, Maria Calvelli-Adorno della Piana, had been an opera singer. It was only when Adorno emigrated to America, in 1938, that he replaced the patronymic Wiesengrund with the less German-sounding surname taken from his mother. Maria's unmarried sister, Agathe, a well-known pianist, also lived with the family, and within this environment Adorno developed a passion for music. Indeed, for a while he even considered becoming a professional composer: in 1925, after having completed a PhD in philosophy at the tender age of twenty, he moved to Vienna to study composition with Alban Berg, who, like his master Arnold Schönberg, was among the most famous avant-garde composers of the day. But Adorno, though not without musical talent, lacked genuine creativity, and he soon returned to Frankfurt — and to philosophy. In this field, he possessed an originality and mental penetration matched by few. He never lost his interest in music, however, and a significant part of his oeuvre is devoted to the topic.
The Nazi ascent to power in 1933 robbed the Jewish philosopher of his teaching position at the University of Frankfurt and forced him into exile in Britain. He stayed there for the next five years — not, as he had hoped, as a university lecturer, but as a PhD student at Merton College, Oxford. His subsequent emigration to America was facilitated by Max Horkheimer.
The year 1788 stands out in the history of German philosophy for being the year in which Kant's Kritik der praktischen Vernunft was published, in Riga, and Arthur Schopenhauer was born, down the Baltic coast in Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland), on 22 February. This contingent conjunction of the two philosophers’ lives was a happy coincidence, since Schopenhauer would in due course become one of Kant's most devoted followers (as well as one of his most stringent critics). Their lives were markedly different, though, and can perhaps be taken as symptomatic of the larger differences between the Enlightenment and the Romantic age that followed it: whereas Kant's life was well-regulated, governed by duty and rational insight, and devoted to the pursuit of knowledge, Schopenhauer's was, at least for its first forty-five years, restless, effervescent, and diverse.
Schopenhauer's father, Heinrich, was a merchant and shipowner who moved the family to Hamburg for business reasons in 1793, when Prussia annexed the free city of Danzig. This was but the first major upheaval in the life of the philosopher, who continued to travel extensively in his childhood and youth, picking up fluent competence in foreign languages as he went, and gaining the education and experience required to follow in his father's footsteps. Arthur spent two years in Le Havre (1797–99), for example, and even enrolled for three months at a boarding school in London (1803).
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was born in the village of Röcken, Saxony, on 15 October 1844. His father and both grandfathers were Protestant clergymen, so the family naturally expected him to follow in this tradition when, after attending primary school in Naumburg, in 1858 he took up a place at the prestigious boarding school of Schulpforta nearby. Here, he excelled at the classics, which he went on to study at the universities of Bonn (1864) and Leipzig (1865–69), by which stage he had abandoned his religious faith. As a student he fell under the influence of the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer (after discovering Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung in 1865) and the ideas, music, and personality of the composer Richard Wagner, whom he first met in 1868. He would wrestle with their work for the remainder of his career.
Nietzsche's academic distinction was such that, on the recommendation of his supervisor Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl, he was appointed Professor of Classical Philology at the University of Basel at the precocious age of 24 without even having completed his doctorate. He took up the post in the autumn of 1869. Upon his appointment, he renounced his Prussian citizenship, but he was nevertheless patriotic enough to volunteer for the Prussian army the following year, so as to fight in the Franco-Prussian War. His extremely poor eyesight confined him to service as a medical orderly. After a few weeks, he contracted diphtheria and dysentery at the front and was discharged. Poor health of one kind or another, especially migraine attacks, would dog him for the rest of his life.
Heidegger polarizes opinion. To some, he is the most important philosopher of the twentieth century; to others, he is little more than a mystifying word-spinner. The perplexingly difficult nature of his work derives to a significant extent from his exploitation of the resources of the German language, so — even more than with most other philosophers — there is a clear advantage in reading him in the original rather than in translation. In the immediate postwar period, the vogue for Existentialism favored Jean-Paul Sartre (whose early philosophy was largely based, as Hubert L. Dreyfus once put it, on “a brilliant misunderstanding” of Heidegger's Sein und Zeit), but the German thinker has since eclipsed him. However, while Heidegger's seriousness of philosophical purpose is beyond doubt, and while his critique of metaphysical abstractions often reads as yet another metaphysical abstraction — in the words of Malcolm Bowie, “a motor-cycle does appear in Being and Time, but such intrusions are rare” — his reputation is tarnished by some very concrete real-world decisions he took during a key period in his life.
Martin Heidegger was born in the Swabian town of Meßkirch, in southwestern Germany, on 26 September 1889. Initially destined for the priesthood, he studied theology and philosophy in Konstanz and Freiburg, flirting with the idea of a Jesuit novitiate. In the summer of 1911, he abandoned his plans to become a priest, dropped theology, and continued with philosophy alone, combining a study of the leading phenomenological and hermeneutic thinkers — Edmund Husserl (1859–1938) and Wilhelm Dilthey (1833–1911) — with a focus on Scholasticism (medieval Roman Catholic thought).
Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin was born into a wealthy Jewish family in Berlin in 1892. His childhood, which he would later evoke in the memoir Berliner Kindheit um neunzehnhundert, was culturally refined and protected, with servants, French nannies, elegant soirées, and expensive holidays. (As an adult, Benjamin admitted he could not even make his own coffee.) After several years of private tutoring, he was forced into the straitjacket of a Prussian Gymnasium. Only an extended stay, made for health reasons, at the progressive Thuringian boarding school Haubinda offered a temporary respite from an educational regime that Benjamin experienced as tyrannical and collectivist. At Haubinda, the precocious adolescent came under the influence of the school reformer Gustav Wyneken (1865–1964), who propagated an elitist and idealistic concept of social renewal — a transformation of the oppressive and philistine Wilhelmine Empire through a cultural revolution based on the vitalism and purity of youth.
From 1912 to 1917, Benjamin studied philosophy at the universities of Freiburg, Berlin, and Munich. Initially, most of his energy was devoted not to studying but to furthering Wyneken's cause through organizational activities and publications. However, as the movement became increasingly politicized, Benjamin grew skeptical about its potential to bring about genuine change. Wyneken's blind enthusiasm about the outbreak of the First World War, a conflict his former pupil considered pointless and deeply tragic, was the final straw. The young student now gravitated towards a religiously inspired philosophy of history that, in a rather opaque manner, viewed the present as a kind of prefiguration of a Messianic end-time. Central to this development was his friendship with the Jewish-German philosopher and historian Gershom Scholem (1897–1982), who had a strong interest in Jewish mysticism.
The Hungarian philosopher Georg Lukács, who published most of his works in German, played a central role in the development of twentieth-century Marxism. Like many other Marxist thinkers, he was born into a rich family. His mother belonged to one of the wealthiest dynasties in the Austro-Hungarian Empire; his father, a self-made man, was a highly successful banker. Both were Jewish. Growing up in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Budapest, Lukács became a native speaker of both Hungarian and German, while also gaining fluency in French and English. He studied at the universities of Budapest and Berlin, and was awarded his PhD in 1909. The next seven years he spent as a kind of philosophical itinerant, roaming between Budapest, Berlin, and Heidelberg, interspersing his stays there with journeys to France and Italy.
Most philosophers at the time, from the Left and the Right alike, regarded capitalism, liberal democracy, and the bourgeois way of life as both manifestations and causes of a potentially catastrophic cultural malaise. Lukács was no exception: for him, too, modernity meant anonymity, atomization, and alienation. At this stage, however, he was not yet pinning his hopes on a social revolution as the way out of this predicament, but opted for a solution that went back to Nietzsche and the Romantics: the redeeming power of art, which would lift people out of the squalor and banality of everyday life and deliver them from the “Anarchie des Helldunkels,” in which nothing and no one ever found true fulfillment.
Karl Marx was born in the historic Rhineland city of Trier in 1818, into a middle-class Jewish family. From 1835 until 1841 he studied a rather eclectic variety of subjects, including law and philosophy, at Bonn and Berlin before obtaining his doctorate from the University of Jena with a comparative study of the Greek philosophers Democritus and Epicurus. During these years, he was heavily influenced by the Young Hegelians, a group of left-wing intellectuals who used what they considered the progressive elements in Hegel's philosophy to move beyond that philosophy with its seemingly conservative implications into various forms of political and religious criticism. In 1842, Marx started working as a journalist for the Rheinische Zeitung, only to resign a year later, exasperated by the Prussian censorship regime. Shortly afterwards, he accepted the offer to edit a new journal, the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher, in Paris — a position that not only provided him with a platform for his ideas but also enabled him to marry his fiancée, Jenny von Westphalen.
Paris was home to a large number of German political refugees, so prospects seemed good for a magazine aiming to bring about a left-wing Franco- German intellectual alliance. No French thinker or writer, however, was willing to contribute to the Jahrbücher. More importantly, Marx quickly fell out with his co-editor, the Young Hegelian Arnold Ruge. This was due not just to personal animosity, but also to philosophical and political differences. By now, Marx was progressively moving away from his Young Hegelian roots and beginning to arrive at a theory that located the main source of social injustice not in specific political structures or inhumane ideologies, but in economic antagonisms.
Introducing a survey of modern French philosophy, Vincent Descombes summarizes the post-war developments covered by his book as follows:
In the recent evolution of philosophy in France we can trace the passage from the generation known after 1945 as that of the “three H's” to the generation known since 1960 as that of the three “masters of suspicion”: the three H's being Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger, and the three masters of suspicion Marx, Nietzsche and Freud.
What is perhaps most striking about these six named maîtres à penser is that they are all German, or at least German-speaking. Descombes's observations thus illustrate well the outstanding importance of German thought: for over two centuries, German thinkers have mattered in philosophy, not just in the German-speaking world, but world-wide.
The reputation of philosophy teaching in Berlin, in particular, ensured that from the time of Hegel in the 1820s until the Second World War what is now known as the Humboldt University acted as a magnet for generations of the world's brightest philosophical talents. Notable examples include the Dane Søren Kierkegaard, the Americans George Santayana and W. E. B. Du Bois, the Russian Alexandre Kojève, the Romanian Emil Cioran, and the Frenchman Jean-Paul Sartre.
Philosopher, sociologist, and political theorist Jürgen Habermas is the most distinguished German intellectual currently alive, and one of the world's leading thinkers. Combining genuine philosophical depth with penetrating social analysis, his work draws inspiration from a wide variety of sources, including Marxism and neo-Marxist kritische Theorie, post-Wittgensteinian linguistic philosophy, and the sociological tradition since Émile Durkheim (1858–1917) and Max Weber (1864–1920).
Habermas was born in Düsseldorf on 18 June 1929 and brought up within a bourgeois Protestant family in Gummersbach, near Cologne, where his father chaired the local Chamber of Commerce. In the phrase of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl (b. 1930), Habermas enjoyed the “blessing of late birth” (Gnade der späten Geburt), which meant that — unlike the leading German novelist Günter Grass (b. 1927), for example — he was just young enough not to be directly caught up in fighting the Second World War. A member of the boys’ branch of the Hitler Youth, the Jungvolk, from 1939 until 1943, he served for the remainder of the war as a medical orderly so as to escape the Hitler Youth proper. He had no personal experience of the interwar Weimar Republic with its frustrated democratic ambitions, and his formative political experience was the Nuremberg Trials, which confirmed for him the bankruptcy of Nazism and the fragility of liberal democracy. He completed his schooling in 1949, just as the West German state was being founded, and spent the next five years studying at the universities of Göttingen (1949–50), Zurich (1950–51), and finally Bonn (1951–54), the capital of the new Federal Republic. He was awarded his doctorate in philosophy in 1954 with a dissertation on F. W. J. Schelling, Das Absolute und die Geschichte: Von der Zwiespältigkeit in Schellings Denken.
German-language thinkers such as Kant, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud are central to modernity. Yet their reception in the English-speaking world has largely depended on translations, a situation that has often hampered full engagement with the rhetorical and philosophical complexity of the German history of ideas. The present volume, the first of its kind, is a response to this situation. After an introduction charting the remarkable flowering of German-language thought since the eighteenth century, it offers extracts -- in the original German -- from sixteen major philosophical texts, with extensive introductions and annotations in English. All extracts are carefully chosen to introduce the individual thinkers while allowing the reader to pursue broader themes such as the fate of reason or the history of modern selfhood. The book offers students and scholars of German a complement to linguistic, historical, and literary study by giving them access to the wealth of German-language philosophy. It represents a new way into the work of a succession of thinkers who have defined modern philosophy and thus remain of crucial relevance today. The philosophers: Immanuel Kant, G. W. F. Hegel, Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Martin Heidegger, Walter Benjamin, Georg Lukács, Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, Jürgen Habermas. Henk de Berg is Professor of German at the University of Sheffield. Duncan Large is Professor of German at Swansea University.
Born in Stuttgart in 1770, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel studied theology and philosophy at the Tübinger Stift, the theological seminary attached to the University of Tübingen. Here, he formed friendships with two students who would also become major figures in German cultural history, the poet Friedrich Hölderlin and the philosopher F. W. J. Schelling. He graduated in 1793. Not wanting to become a vicar, he started working as a private tutor, first in Bern (where he became acquainted with the work of the economists James Steuart and Adam Smith, whose ideas would remain crucial to his thinking) and after that in Frankfurt. When his father died in 1799, Hegel came into a little money, which allowed him to pursue an academic career. With Schelling's help, he was appointed Lecturer and then Professor of Philosophy at the University of Jena; both jobs were badly paid, as Hegel was remunerated by students’ fees only. In 1806, he completed the Phänomenologie des Geistes, the first extensive exposition of his own philosophical ideas. (Before that, he had published several other, less independent and less accomplished texts, and had also written a substantial number of manuscripts and lecture notes.) When Napoleon's forces occupied the city following the Battle of Jena, Hegel was obliged to look for gainful employment elsewhere and, after a stint as a newspaper editor in Bamberg, became head of a secondary school in Nuremberg. During his time there, he got married (he already had an illegitimate son by his former landlady in Jena). He also published the two-volume Wissenschaft der Logik, a treatment of the most fundamental concepts of his thought and one of the most difficult philosophical texts ever written.
Sigismund Schlomo Freud was born in 1856, in the small town of Freiberg, which at the time belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire (renamed Příbor, it is now part of the Czech Republic). Both his parents were Jewish. Their domestic situation was unusual: Freud's mother, Amalia, was not only twenty years younger than her husband, Jacob, but also younger than Freud's oldest half-brother. In 1859, Jacob's wool business was facing financial ruin and he moved the family to Leipzig. They settled in Vienna the following year (by which time Freud's two half-brothers had emigrated to England). Jacob's commercial position remained precarious, however, and Freud's childhood and adolescence were marked by extreme austerity.
Freud did exceptionally well at school and went on to study medicine at the University of Vienna. Many of his professors were leading authorities in their fields, most notably the physiologist Ernst Wilhelm von Brücke (1819–92), a charismatic multi-talent with a relentless work ethic who became a lifelong role model. Freud's time at university was interrupted by one year of compulsory military service, an unwelcome interlude during which he nonetheless acquitted himself well. As a student, Freud spent an unusual amount of time on scientific research, making two extended research trips to Trieste and working long hours in Brücke's physiological laboratory. Having obtained his medical degree in 1881, he wanted to continue his academic career, but soon afterwards he met the love of his life, Martha Bernays, and there was not enough money in research to allow him to set up home with her. He therefore began to prepare for a private practice by working in various departments of the Vienna General Hospital.
The title “father of modern philosophy” (modern in the sense of “not ancient”) is usually ascribed to the Frenchman René Descartes (1596–1650). By introducing mathematical methods into philosophy, Descartes founded the rationalist tradition in epistemology (the theory of knowledge and its objects), which holds that all knowledge of reality is ultimately derived from the exercise of human reason according to foundational principles independent of the senses. The rationalist position, which in Germany was taken up by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716), Christian Wolff (1679–1754), and Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten (1714–62), gave philosophical underpinnings to the European intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment, which accorded pride of place to the “light of reason” in human affairs. Rationalism came into conflict with the empiricism of the British tradition — a position that was developed by John Locke (1632–1704), George Berkeley (1685–1753), and David Hume (1711–76), and that likewise played a central role in Enlightenment thinking. In contrast to the rationalists, the empiricists maintained that all knowledge is derived by inference from sense experience. By the second half of the eighteenth century, the two camps were separated by a seemingly unbridgeable divide. The first thinker to offer a resolution to this conflict was Immanuel Kant, and already in his own lifetime his philosophy was recognized as a breakthrough despite its near impenetrability. Kant, too, has therefore been hailed as the father of modern philosophy (modern in the sense of “not superseded”), which is why it is appropriate that we begin our series of excerpts with him. Moreover, Kant can be seen as the father of modern German philosophy, since he was the first major German-language philosopher to write his main works in the vernacular language.