The Right to punish and the Obligation to Die: Hobbes and Vico on Voluntary Death
The article is focused on the chapters 19-22 of G. Vico's “New Science” of 1725. It deals with the Vichian reconstruction of the archaic self-consciousness of the Roman patricians. In contrast to the plebeians, the patricians, according to Vico, claimed the understanding of the language of the divine revelations. This “interpretative” privilege entailed the obligation to follow exclusively the indications of this fancied divinity. In this type of self-comprehension a peculiar dialectic of necessity and freedom, determining the self-consciousness of the patricians: their unlimited power upon other classes was preconditioned by their readiness to obey to the divine orders and, if necessary, to sacrifice themselves. Thus, the personal freedom and “great deeds”, distinguishing the patricians from other classes and usually considered as a manifestation of an ancient heroism were, according to Vico, not individual virtues of particular persons, but a principle of the collective mind of the upper class.
The article is devoted to the influence of Giambattista Vico on Edward Said. It claims, first, that Vico inspired Said to engage in the intellectual-political project of Postcolonial Studies, and second, that Saidian reading of Vico is the most sophisticated, detailed and fresh left interpretation of the great Neapolitan philosopher in the twentieth century.
The monograph carried out by the joint efforts of the scholars from Italy, Russia, Brazil, and Japan sheds the light on the new methods and perspectives in the interdisciplinary investigations of the Giambattista Vico's intellectual legacy. Vico was one of the most prominent European thinkers of the 18th century, lately rediscovered and proclaimed the founding father or radical reformer of a number of scientific disciplines: sociology, philosophy of history, philosophical anthropology, philosophy of language, contemporary philology, philosophical aesthetics and history of culture. The essays brought together in this book carry out different ways of approaching the Vichian legacy and demonstrate the heuristic value of the G. Vico's thought for the resolution of problems, topical in various contexts and areas of the 21th century humanities.
In the Social Science, as different from the history of ideas, the steady preconception of viewing Hobbes as the philosopher who considered human to be a rational and selfish being exists. Such human beings in their natural condition set the war of all against all, but only the strong power can preserve them in the condition of peace. However true Hobbesian views as to the human relationships have almost nothing in common with these trivial suggestion. The article deals with some aspects of Hobbesian anthropology and his doctrine of the virtue. It is argued that the social order is represented by Hobbes as very agile and complex in its structure. At the first glance his philosophy could seem very legible and solely constructivist, designed as the triumph of coherence and implacable logic. At depth - it is not even contradictory, but the terrain of the questions without any answers.
Hobbesian philosophy holds the attention of the researches up to now. The most discussable questions are the following ones: 1. Whether the philosophy of Hobbes is to be considered in relation to his physics and metaphysics or it is an autonomous area of contemplation? 2. Is the philosophy of Hobbes immanently intelligible, as a system of interrelated suppositions or it is to be interpreted out of the historical context of his published works? 3. Is his bellum omnium contra omnes merely an intellectual construction or this notion can be referred to the historical and universal facts of social life design?
The first volume contains articles devoted to the problems of sociology of space, as well as the theory and the history of sociology. The main issues considered here are the theoretical analysis of the phenomena of empire, the theoretical problems of mobility and globalization and the perspectives of sociological theory in Russia. The are followed by the articles on the value of the classical works of J.-J. Rousseau, F. Toennies, M. Weber et al. The conluding chapters are devoted to the German conservative sociology of intellectuals.
Late in life, William F. Buckley made a confession to Corey Robin. Capitalism is "boring," said the founding father of the American right. "Devoting your life to it," as conservatives do, "is horrifying if only because it's so repetitious. It's like sex." With this unlikely conversation began Robin's decade-long foray into the conservative mind. What is conservatism, and what's truly at stake for its proponents? If capitalism bores them, what excites them? Tracing conservatism back to its roots in the reaction against the French Revolution, Robin argues that the right is fundamentally inspired by a hostility to emancipating the lower orders. Some conservatives endorse the free market, others oppose it. Some criticize the state, others celebrate it. Underlying these differences is the impulse to defend power and privilege against movements demanding freedom and equality. Despite their opposition to these movements, conservatives favor a dynamic conception of politics and society--one that involves self-transformation, violence, and war. They are also highly adaptive to new challenges and circumstances. This partiality to violence and capacity for reinvention has been critical to their success. Written by a keen, highly regarded observer of the contemporary political scene, The Reactionary Mind ranges widely, from Edmund Burke to Antonin Scalia, from John C. Calhoun to Ayn Rand. It advances the notion that all rightwing ideologies, from the eighteenth century through today, are historical improvisations on a theme: the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back.
The paper contextualises the philosophy of Adam Smith and analyses the pre-history of political economy as being in large parts determined by notions of patriarchalism, i. e. the notion that the role of a head of state is analogous to the head of a private household. It is shown how this notion migrates from political philosophy proper (Bodin, Hobbes) into mercantilist discourses and that it is a fundamental part of Locke's economic theory. Adam Smith denies the validity of this analogy: his cosmopolitanism, his views on the divison of labour, and his arguments against interventionism are all directed against patriarchalist misunderstandings of the relationship between the economy and the state.
The article examines the key notions of G. Vico’s doctrine of nature, anthropology and historical process by means of the category of modality in its interpretation by Nancy S. Struever. Our study is focused on the semantic shifts of socialitas, a concept extremely important for Vichian anthropology and philosophy of history, which were performed since Vico’s earlier De Constantia jurisprudentis to the NS 44. These shifts are placed in the context of a more general process, that of transformation and complication of the modality of the Neapolitan’s texts, conceptualizing the notion of history. In our opinion, this approach could not only explain the contradictory character of the sociality in the last New Science, but could open a larger perspective in Vichian studies. It seems that the comparative analysis of conceptions put forward in Vico’s earlier writings, and modal characteristics of the texts where these conceptions are laid down would be promising a task for future researchers. Such investigations would substantially enhance the study of the Modern political discourses.
In the last 100–150 years not only has the uniform understanding of Hobbes failed to prevail, but moreover, the stable tendency of permanently rethinking his doctrine has emerged. Today this tendency is only becoming stronger. A.Philippov thinks that the never-ceasing interest in Hobbes can be primarily explained by the fact we are still occupied with the same problems that occupied the mind of the philosopher who lived several centuries ago. In the second part of his article published in this issue (for the first part see Politeia, 2009, № 2) Philippov demonstrates that most questions arising while one is reading Hobbes are left without answers in the works by Hobbes himself. Reading his works thoroughly we come across a rather curios phenomenon. The whole construction erected by Hobbes is sort of vibrating, but doing it latently. On the surface one can see clear, easily understandable constructions thought out as triumph of coherence and inexorable logic, but going deeper one will find not so much inconsistency as exactly a field of questions left without answers. According to the author’s conclusion, the dynamic unstable world described by Hobbes is different from what it seems to be. It fascinates an observer and demands new research studies.
The article is concerned with the notions of technology in essays of Ernst and Friedrich Georg Jünger. The special problem of the connection between technology and freedom is discussed in the broader context of the criticism of culture and technocracy discussion in the German intellectual history of the first half of the 20th century.