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Konturierungen eines umstrittenen Themas
Volume Editor: Winfried Löffler
Ein aktueller Überblick zur Ideen- und Missbrauchsgeschichte eines schillernden Schlagworts, aber auch zu seinen Potenzialen als philosophisches Analysewerkzeug.
Die Wortgeschichte von „Weltanschauung“ ist kurz: Zwischen seinem ersten, eher beiläufigen Auftauchen bei Kant 1790, subjektivierenden Aufladungen in der Romantik und den inflationären Ideologisierungen und Politisierungen von „Weltanschauung“ im späten 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert liegen nur 150 Jahre. Besonders sein Missbrauch durch NS-Ideologen hat das Wort in Verruf gebracht, es lebt aber u.a. im juristischen Sprachgebrauch fort und erlebt in der gegenwärtigen Religionskritik wieder etwas Konjunktur: Dort wird z.T. wieder eine naturalistische „wissenschaftliche Weltanschauung“ in Aussicht gestellt. Als philosophisches Analysewerkzeug hat das Wort aber Potenzial: „Weltanschauung“ könnte nicht nur für religiös-politische Bewertungen stehen, sondern auch für jenes implizite theoretische Koordinatensystem, das jeden Menschen in seinem Verstehen, Denken und Handeln leitet.
A Philosophical Study of the Commentary Tradition c.1260–c.1410
Author: Juhana Toivanen
In The Political Animal in Medieval Philosophy Juhana Toivanen investigates what medieval philosophers meant when they argued that human beings are political animals by nature. He analyses the notion of ‘political animal’ from various perspectives and shows its relevance to philosophical discussions concerning the foundations of human sociability, ethics, and politics.
Medieval authors believed that social life stems from the biological and rational nature of human beings, and that collaboration with other people promotes prosperity and good life. Toivanen provides a detailed philosophical interpretation of this view across a wide range of authors, including unedited manuscript sources. As the first monograph-length study on the topic, The Political Animal sheds new light on this significant period in western political thought.
Volume Editor: Peter Šajda
In debates about philosophical anthropology human beings have been defined in different ways. In Modern and Postmodern Crises of Symbolic Structures, the contributors view the human being primarily as animal symbolicum. They examine how the human being creates, interprets and changes symbolic structures, as well as how he is affected and impacted by them. The focus lies on the context of modernity and postmodernity, which is characterized by a number of interrelated crises of symbolic structures. These crises have affected the realms of science, religion, art, politics and education, and thus provoked crucial changes in the human being’s relations to himself, others and reality. The crises are not viewed merely as manifestations of dysfunctions, but rather as complex processes of transformation that also provide new opportunities.

Abstract

Dissident circles during the Czechoslovak communist regime were organized in semi-private islands of resistance. They saw themselves as a parallel polis in line with Arendt’s notion of political action by pursuing “life in truth,” authentic experience, and ultimately freedom. The heroes of these circles were that society’s pariahs. In their quest for authenticity, they turned to the past to find meaning, to understand the nature of their communities and the needs for political action towards the future. As such, they sought what Heidegger would label authentic public interpretations. After 1989, these heroes shaped and adapted to the constitutional design of the new polis and often experienced a transformation from pariah to inauthentic hero to at least the potential to become strong man, maintaining varying degrees of authenticity.

In: Modern and Postmodern Crises of Symbolic Structures
Author: Róbert Karul

Abstract

In the article I present the characterization of contemporary fine art as elaborated by Yves Michaud and based mainly on the ideas of Walter Benjamin and Arthur Danto. Michaud adds a number of his own new features to the interpretations of these authors. He claims that the work of art is distinguished by multiple “distractions”: the spatial one (the work of art is everywhere), the perceptual one (we perceive it as blurred), and the experiential one (the experience of art is a form of entertainment). Contemporary works of art become more and more entertaining cultural products. Michaud completes these sketches with one more sketch: art, including contemporary art, is a form of self-decoration. The function of decoration is very rudimentary; its roots reach into animality, and it has the ability to designate or confirm one’s identity. In the second part of the article I attempt to problematize the idea of identifying contemporary artifacts with products of consumption.

In: Modern and Postmodern Crises of Symbolic Structures
Author: Jon Stewart

Abstract

Feuerbach’s The Essence of Christianity tries to argue for the claim that it is a mistake to think of God as something objective, transcendent and fundamentally different from human beings, as is traditionally done in theology. Instead, according to his view, God is simply the essence of what is human, projected onto a fictional external entity. For this reason Feuerbach proposes to refer to his undertaking not as theology or philosophy of religion but as anthropology, that is, a study of the human. What is both striking and provocative here is that he argues that his radical reinterpretation of Christianity will not undermine it or diminish it; on the contrary, he claims, his theory will help to preserve it. In this paper I critically explore this claim by Feuerbach. Does it make sense to understand the field of theology or even the philosophy of religion as anthropology? I argue that Feuerbach’s proposal is a highly dubious attempt to reframe theology. His claim to be offering a support for religion is, I argue, disingenuous.

In: Modern and Postmodern Crises of Symbolic Structures

Abstract

Humanism is in crisis. It is a very deep crisis since the concept of humanism has become puzzling on an intellectual level. Obviously, the word is constantly imposed on man; however, the very injunction has become troublesome, even questionable or, even more, dangerous. In this paper, I first examine the deviation of the post-modern vision of man through the prism of post-humanism or transhumanism. Then, I try to understand what happened. How did this come about? Why has humanism gotten into a crisis? And finally I try to show a possible way out—allowing for some hope, despite the perilous deviation toward which we are propelled. I develop the idea of cosmopolitical humanism by tracing the origin of the idea of humanism.

In: Modern and Postmodern Crises of Symbolic Structures

Abstract

The aim of the article is to describe the points of contact between Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology and Helmuth Plessner’s philosophical anthropology. In the text I go through three steps: first, I describe Plessner’s suggestion concerning anthropology, its methodology, field of investigation and principles; second, I discuss how the culminating points of Husserl’s phenomenology and this version of philosophical anthropology enable (and require) us to specify the methodological question as well as the common point of departure. Third, this leads to the issue of the possible benefits of this Wechselwirkung for the concept of culture. As an analogy to the interpretative scheme used by researchers on intersubjectivity, “I—other—world,” I suggest a similar configuration for anthropological research: “organism—persons—culture.” The elaboration of anthropological issues in phenomenological philosophy enriches and stimulates the scope of phenomenology itself. It opens up the possibility for new fields and makes relevant the question of the human herself.

In: Modern and Postmodern Crises of Symbolic Structures
In: Modern and Postmodern Crises of Symbolic Structures
Author: Michal Lipták

Abstract

In the article I sketch the ways in which phenomenology can approach the phenomenon of revolution. After determining, with the help of Arendt, that revolution interprets itself as a radically new beginning, I outline, in the first section, the ways in which phenomenology can incorporate the notion of absolute novelty. The overview presented involves the approaches of Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, respectively. In the second section I further develop the understanding of revolution on the basis of Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology, and then I briefly confront the conclusions with the experience of the ongoing Syrian revolution.

In: Modern and Postmodern Crises of Symbolic Structures