To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The application of the word ‘development’ to a fully formulated principle of temporal Order becomes ubiquitous in Rousseau’s Emile. The biologist Buffon, the psychologist Condillac and particularly Bonnet all influenced this seminal treatise. But where they had written of development only occasionally and in an abstract sense, with Rousseau it becomes normative and the main descriptor of the structured lifespan of the individual. Rousseau retains the older sense of development as the ‘unfolding’ of an already existing, preformed structure; nevertheless, he also reveals in outline the modern human sciences’ presupposition that the child is an incomplete being. Thanks to Bayle and Diderot, Rousseau derived his concept of a political General Will, irrespective of the individual will, from that of God’s general will to save humankind that does not take individual behaviours into account; this has its psychological equivalent in Rousseau’s creation of ‘the abstract man’, against whose developmental norms the individual must be measured.
Following the revolutions across Europe in 1848, nationalist conceptions of Europe became increasingly dominant, culminating in the founding of the new nation states of Italy (1861) and Germany (1871). The period also saw an intensification of European colonialism, culminating in the “scramble for Africa” towards the end of the nineteenth century. European nationalism and colonialism were increasingly shaped by an ethnological idea of the European, with racial theories of Homo Europaeus justifying colonial barbarism (as exposed by Joseph Conrad at the end of the century). Alongside this particularly dark period in the history of the idea of Europe, Chapter 5 also considers the work of those who sought to champion a cosmopolitan idea of Europe, including Victor Hugo’s calls for a United States of Europe and Friedrich Nietzsche’s notion of the “good European,” most fully embodied for Nietzsche by Western Europe’s Jewish population. As this chapter reveals, however, Hugo’s idea of Europe was profoundly Francocentric, while Nietzsche’s incorporated deeply disturbing elements of the emerging race theory. The chapter concludes with an assessment of growing sense of European decadence at the end of the century, as articulated by writers such as Max Nordau and Georges Sorel.
The British Enlightenment grappled with the concept of “modern history”: what it should contain and what kind of guide to the world it should be. This chapter examines the decline of neoclassical assumptions about history writing in the context of Britain’s rapid social transformation and the emergence of its robust commercial society. A new pressure for historiography to acknowledge this modern world led historians to profound questions about the relation between present and past. How was the eighteenth-century world different from what came before it? When and where did its modernity begin? Asking and answering these questions produced not only new kinds of history writing but also new readers and writers of history. Setting aside the history of great men, new kinds of histories made clear that everyone is a historical actor, opening the door for women and men who would never be statesmen to tell their stories. New histories took many forms, and the chapter’s sections focus on the different answers to questions about the past—and how to represent it-- provided by philosophical history writing, antiquarianism, and the novel.
Is there progress in evolution? Many, including Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles), Herbert Spencer, Julian Huxley, and Richard Dawkins think there is. Others are not so sure. Some, like Charles Darwin himself, sit on the fence. It is hard enough getting progress, let alone putting up barriers like the non-directedness of the Darwinian evolutionary process. One problem is that of defining evolutionary progress. Often it is done in the name of complexity, but as paleontologist Dan McShea points out, to define complexity is a far from easy process and it is not always the case that complex means desirable. The backbone of the whale is simply but highly adapted for life in the deep. A number of possible progress-supported mechanisms are introduced and discussed – arms races, morphological convergence, and even some natural unguided processes simply emerging. The drunkard is going to fall off the sidewalk eventually, even though he doesn’t plan it. All are found lacking, as one might have predicted. Darwinian theory is drained of absolute value judgements. Progress is of absolute value. Hence, it cannot be derived from Darwinian theory.
Why do we think ourselves superior to all other animals? Are we right to think so? In this book, Michael Ruse explores these questions in religion, science and philosophy. Some people think that the world is an organism - and that humans, as its highest part, have a natural value (this view appeals particularly to people of religion). Others think that the world is a machine - and that we therefore have responsibility for making our own value judgements (including judgements about ourselves). Ruse provides a compelling analysis of these two rival views and the age-old conflict between them. In a wide-ranging and fascinating discussion, he draws on Darwinism and existentialism to argue that only the view that the world is a machine does justice to our humanity. This new series offers short and personal perspectives by expert thinkers on topics that we all encounter in our everyday lives.
Several high-profile evolutionary biologists in the twentieth century were committed organicists. Conrad H. Waddington, the British geneticist was one, trying to simulate Lamarckian processes through orthodox genetical approaches. Another was the well-known American paleontologist and scientific popularizer Stephen Jay Gould, who promoted morphology over adaptation. And a third was the founding populational geneticist, American Sewall Wright. He argued that random processes, genetic drift, could and would lead to major adaptive breakthroughs. Philosophers likewise embrace organicism, including the British John Dupré and the American philosophers Jerry Fodor and Thomas Nagel. Nagel in particular has been highly critical of Darwinian theory, thinking it to be crude materialism masquerading as science. Expectedly, the Darwinian mechanists have struck back, confirming the suspicion that we have paradigm differences at stake. The two sides, mechanism and organicism, defend their positions with alternative reasons. For the mechanists, the triumphs of their approach trumps all. The double helix is a popular example in support of mechanism. For the organicists, the special place of humans trumps all. We are superior and no further argument is needed.
In this innovative account of the origins of the idea of the League of Nations, Sakiko Kaiga casts new light on the pro-League of Nations movement in Britain in the era of the First World War, revealing its unexpected consequences for the development of the first international organisation for peace. Combining international, social, intellectual history and international relations, she challenges two misunderstandings about the role of the movement: that their ideas about a league were utopian and that its peaceful ideal appealed to the war-weary public. Kaiga demonstrates how the original post-war plan consisted of both realistic and idealistic views of international relations, and shows how it evolved and changed in tandem with the war. She provides a comprehensive analysis of the unknown origins of the League of Nations and highlights the transformation of international society and of ideas about war prevention in the twentieth century to the present.
Ibsen engaged with many of the dominant scientific ideas of his time, especially those in the natural sciences, such as evolution and heredity. This chapter explores such scientific contexts and shows how and why Ibsen oscillated between respecting science, medicine and technology’s role in humanity’s progress and disparaging their destructive capabilities. The discussion also points out how science underpins some of Ibsen’s revolutionary innovations in theatrical form and content: his explorations of Zola’s naturalism, his dramatization of Darwin’s ideas, his foregrounding of the family unit as the subject of drama, his depiction of the constant tension between the twin forces of heredity and environment, and his radical scenographic vision of nature and landscape.
In this chapter, Samantha Matherne solves a number of tensions in Cassirer’s dispersed writings about art. Does art align with the “expressive” or the “representative” function of consciousness? And is art, like myth and religion, a cultural domain that we are supposed to surpass toward mathematics and natural science, or is it also situated on the highest rungs of human culture? Matherne first argues that Cassirer defends a cognitivist rather than an expressivist theory of art, according to which art represents the intuitive forms of external objects and emotions. Next, she attributes to Cassirer a “liberal” theory of cultural teleology, which allows for culture to progress toward different goals. On this basis, she holds that, for Cassirer, although mathematics and natural science are more advanced than art with respect to progress toward conceptual knowledge, art is more advanced than all the other symbolic forms when it comes to intuitive insight. In this way, Matherne elucidates not just the place but the place of priority that art has in Cassirer’s system of culture.
Marshall’s contribution to welfare economics is often summarized in the analytical tools developed in his Principles of Economics. This paper places Marshall’s views on welfare or rather ‘wellbeing’ in more broad perspective including his notes on ‘Economic Progress’; how Marshall thought of ‘economic, as well as the moral, wellbeing’, in his ‘high theme of economic progress’ or ‘organic life-growth’. It shows how he thought of the progress and ‘wellbeing’, economic as well as ‘physical, mental and moral’, in relation to ‘standards of life’ and to ‘quality of life’, ‘fullness of life’; and it aims to shed a fresh light to reconsider the welfare economic thought of Marshall.
Progress Unchained reinterprets the history of the idea of progress using parallels between evolutionary biology and changing views of human history. Early concepts of progress in both areas saw it as the ascent of a linear scale of development toward a final goal. The 'chain of being' defined a hierarchy of living things with humans at the head, while social thinkers interpreted history as a development toward a final paradise or utopia. Darwinism reconfigured biological progress as a 'tree of life' with multiple lines of advance not necessarily leading to humans, each driven by the rare innovations that generate entirely new functions. Popular writers such as H. G. Wells used a similar model to depict human progress, with competing technological innovations producing ever-more rapid changes in society. Bowler shows that as the idea of progress has become open-ended and unpredictable, a variety of alternative futures have been imagined.
Using material from the history of African thought, this essay proposes a strategy for writing a comparative history of race that ranges beyond a consideration of white supremacy and its anti-racist inflections. Studies of race outside the global north have often been hobbled by rigid modernist assumptions that over-privilege the determining influence of Western discourses at the expense of local intellectual inheritances. This essay, in contrast, proposes a focus on locally inherited discourses of difference that have shown signs of becoming racialized, at times through entanglement with Western ideas. It pays particular attention to discourses that arranged “human kinds” along a progression from barbarian to civilized, suggesting the presence of African historicisms that in modern times have converged with the stadial ideas that played a major role in Western racial thought.
Kratochwil criticizes two important teleological global narratives of universal progress – Luhmannian systems theory and jus cogens – and defends the need for a non-ideal and situated approach to law and politics. Despite the cogency of Kratochwil's analysis, why should we place our hope in his pragmatic program given the complexity of actual decision-making? This paper shows that more needs to be said about the role of hope grounding Kratochwil's account. Which hopes are hopeless, and which warranted? Why should we care and ‘go on’, choosing to be prudential and political rather than focusing on one's inner development or pleasure?
This chapter introduces the context and objectives of the book. International criminal law is still a relatively new body of criminal law, that was constructed in a rapid transnational conversation. The time is ripe for careful systematic and normative evaluation of this corpus of law. For example, scholars have noted that some doctrines may contradict fundamental principles of justice that the system claims to uphold. The book proceeds in three steps: it explains a problem, it outlines a solution, and then it demonstrates the solution through application.
The first, preliminary, objective of the book is to demonstrate a problem. Namely, the book highlights the need for an additional type of reasoning in criminal law: ‘deontic’ reasoning, which is different from doctrinal or teleological reasoning, and engages directly with principled constraints such as the legality and culpability principles.
Second, the book outlines a method for deontic reasoning, and in particular for identifying fundamental principles. ICL poses several special challenges for identifying the appropriate principles. The book advances a liberal, open-minded, humanistic, and coherentist approach (and explains each of these features).
Third, the book dissects current controversies in command responsibility in order to demonstrate the method, its questions, and the insights it can generate.
Must we ascribe hope for better times to those who (take themselves to) act morally? Kant and later theorists in the Frankfurt School tradition thought we must. In this article, I disclose that it is possible – and ethical – to refrain from ascribing hope in all such cases. I draw on two key examples of acting irrespective of hope: one from a recent political context and one from the life of Jean Améry. I also suggest that, once we see that it is possible to make sense of (what I call) ‘merely expressive acts’, we can also see that the early Frankfurt School was not guilty of a performative contradiction in seeking to enlighten Enlightenment about its (self-)destructive tendencies, while rejecting the (providential) idea of progress.
In a lecture that Habermas gave on his 90th birthday he ironically, but with serious intent, called a good Kant a sufficiently Marxist educated Kant. This dialectical Kant is the only one of the many Kants who maintains the idea of an unconditioned moral autonomy but completely within evolution, history and in the middle of societal class and other struggles. The article tries to show what Kant could have learned from his later critics to enable him to become a member of the Frankfurt School’s neo-Marxist theory of society.
Chapter 5 is concerned with the ways in which Synge’s plays engage with and interrogate the temporal disjunctions of Edwardian Ireland. It highlights the specifically performative means to which Synge has recourse and implicitly contrasts the plays with the ethnographic dimension of his prose record in The Aran Islands. The chapter explores the moments of disrupted linearity in plays such as Riders to the Sea, The Playboy of the Western World and Deirdre of the Sorrows and highlights the ways in which they give theatrical expression to the sense of temporal disjunction, which modernity fostered and which Edwardian Ireland’s colonial situation accentuated. Even though the narratives of Synge’s plays follow a linear pattern and, in that sense, appear to endorse the conception of chronology and time upheld by a dominant modernity, they also leave room for other, alternative temporalities to be explored. Through discordant bodily movements, linearity and its corollary, progress, can be questioned; alternative sequencing can be envisaged and different rhythms allowed to unfold concurrently. Now and again vignettes erupt in Synge’s plays which disrupt the linear flow of time and open up the possibility of other temporal configurations.
The European "modernism" of which Strauss was considered a representative in the 1890s and the "avant-garde" modernism that would exclude him in the new century differed significantly. Both are defined here as manifestations of, or critical reactions to, cultural and technological modernity. Varying shades of modernism are illustrated with reference to critical responses to Strauss and to his own 1907 essay "Is there an Avant-Garde in Music?" The length of Strauss’s career and the stylistic choices he made both reflect and problematize the once common notion that the history of the period’s music was simply one of evolutionary progress, which he first exemplified and then rejected. The varied and changing context of Strauss’s critical stance and compositional output resides not only in artistic ideas but also in politics and social practice in institutions like opera houses and concert halls and their audiences.
While the concept of progress that gave birth to the development episteme in Africa emerged from European post-Enlightenment traditions, the idea of development in Africa has been reshaped as much by the targets of development as by those who claimed expertise. The illusion of the omnipotence of the development episteme will only be exposed when we can see clearly the crumbling stones out of which it was built. Development is not the powerful edifice it claims to be; it is a holdover of colonialism that is quickly losing relevance in our current world. A decolonizing of the mind, not of Africans but of people living in the global north who see Africa as perpetually less than, is the wave of the future. Today the development discourse is a global debate in flux and Africans have more influence than ever over reshaping the development episteme. This final chapter discusses recent debates about progress, modernity, and development in Africa and offers some closing thoughts on what development might mean for Africa’s future.
This chapter focuses on the reception of Richard Strauss’s music in the context of contemporary culture and influential ideas that circulated during his lifetime. It reveals how reception changed during these years, which spanned the monarchy, the democracy of the Weimar Republic, and the national socialist dictatorship. Around 1900, music journalism played an increasing role for music reception. Study of the music critics who reviewed premieres of Strauss’s operas and orchestra compositions illuminates key elements through which his music was understood and judged. Topics of discussion include orchestral virtuosity, the question of progress, new psychological ideas, the artistic presentation of history, heroism, and irony and satire in art, literature, and theater. The chapter further explores how Strauss's portrayal of himself in some works became a controversial issue.