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Confines of Democracy

Essays on the Philosophy of Richard J. Bernstein

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Edited by Ramón del Castillo, Ángel M. Faerna and Larry A. Hickman

The topics addressed by Richard J. Bernstein in his extensive and illuminating work span the stream of contemporary thought in several directions: ethics, politics, epistemology, philosophy of history, and social theory. In reflecting on them Bernstein has played an intermediary role between the most recognizable product of American philosophical tradition, i.e. Pragmatism, and such central trends in European 20th century thought as Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Critical Theory, and Hermeneutics.
In this volume a host of prominent scholars from the United States, Europe, and Latin America pays tribute to Bernstein’s lifelong reflection on such present human problems as: the achievements and the dilemmas of modern societies, the legitimation crisis of democracy, the uses and abuses of public space, the role of scientific knowledge and technology in shaping the modern life, the ethical and political interplay between identity and community, and the preconditions and limits of understanding in multicultural contexts.
The fifteen essays in this book, accompanied by separate replies by Bernstein, are organized in four sections: “Bernstein, Rorty and American Pragmatism,” “Epistemology and Hermeneutics,” “Good, Evil and Judgment,” and “Democratic Vistas.” As Prof. Bernstein declares in his Preface, these “contributions are expressions of my own commitment to engaged fallibilistic pluralism.”

The Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, 1899‒1904

Documents of the 'Economist' Opposition to Iskra and Early Menshevism

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Richard Mullin

Much has been written about the activity of Lenin and his colleagues on the editorial board of the Iskra newspaper, whereas little has been said about the opponents of Leninism, who unsuccessfully fought for control of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party during the Iskra period. To redress the balance, Richard Mullin has translated 25 documents from this period, most of which express an anti-Lenin view. They include articles from Rabochee Delo, the Jewish Bund's Poslednie Izvestiia and the post-Lenin Iskra, pamphlets by Plekhanov and Martov, the resolutions of Party meetings and some very revealing private correspondence. However, the result is not an anti-Bolshevik polemic: through these documents a clearer, and curiously flattering picture of Lenin's thought and activity is obtained.