Eric Voegelin and the Continental Tradition

Explorations in Modern Political Thought
Author: Lee Trepanier,Steven F. Mcguire
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
ISBN: 082627238X
Category: Philosophy
Page: 284
View: 432

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Twentieth-century political philosopher Eric Voegelin is best known as a severe critic of modernity. Much of his work argues that modernity is a Gnostic revolt against the fundamental structure of reality. For Voegelin, “Gnosticism” is the belief that human beings can transform the nature of reality through secret knowledge and social action, and he considered it the crux of the crisis of modernity. As Voegelin struggled with this crisis throughout his career, he never wavered in his judgment that philosophers of the modern continental tradition were complicit in the Gnostic revolt of modernity. But while Voegelin’s analysis of those philosophers is at times scathing, his work also bears marks of their influence, and Voegelin has much more in common with the theorists of the modern continental tradition than is usually recognized. Eric Voegelin and the Continental Tradition: Explorations in Modern Political Thought evaluates this political philosopher—one of the most original and influential thinkers of our time—by examining his relationship to the modern continental tradition in philosophy, from Kant to Derrida. In a compelling introduction, editors Lee Trepanier and Steven F. McGuire present a review of the trajectories of Voegelin’s thought and outline what often is portrayed as his derisive critique of modernity. Soon, however, they begin to unravel the similarities between Voegelin’s thought and the work of other thinkers in the continental tradition. The subsequent chapters explore these possible connections by examining Voegelin’s intellectual relationship to individual thinkers, including Hegel, Schelling, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Gadamer. The essays in this volume go beyond Voegelin’s own reading of the modern philosophers to offer a reevaluation of his relationship to those thinkers. In Eric Voegelin and the Continental Tradition, Voegelin’s attempt to grapple with the crisis of modernity becomes clearer, and his contribution to the modern continental tradition is illuminated. The book features the work of both established and emerging Voegelin scholars, and the essays were chosen to present thoughtful and balanced assessments of both Voegelin’s thought and the ideas of the other thinkers considered. As the first volume to examine the relationship—and surprising commonalities—between Voegelin’s philosophy and the continental tradition as a whole, this text will be of interest not only to Voegelin disciples but to philosophers engaged by continental modernism and all disciplines of political philosophy.

The Eric Voegelin Reader

Politics, History, Consciousness
Author: Charles R. Embry,Glenn Hughes
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
ISBN: 0826273904
Category: Philosophy
Page: 464
View: 396

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By the time Eric Voegelin fled Hitler’s regime and made his way to the United States in 1938, he had already written four books criticizing Nazi racism, establishing what would be the focus of his life’s work: to account for the endemic political violence of the twentieth century. One of the most original political philosophers of the period, Voegelin has largely avoided ideological labels or categorizations of his work. Because of this, however, and because no one work or volume of his can do justice to his overall project, his work has been seen as difficult to approach. Drawing from the University of Missouri Press’s thirty-four-volume edition of The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin (1990-2009), Charles Embry and Glenn Hughes have assembled a selection of representative works of Voegelin, satisfying a longstanding need for a single volume that can serve as a general introduction to Voegelin’s philosophy. The collection includes writings that demonstrate the range and creativity of Voegelin’s thought as it developed from 1956 until his death in 1985 in his search for the history of order in human society. The Reader begins with excerpts from Autobiographical Reflections (1973), which include an orienting mixture of biographical information, philosophical motivations, and the scope of Voegelin’s project. It reflects key periods of Voegelin’s philosophical development, pivoting on his flight from the Gestapo. The next section focuses on Voegelin’s understanding of the contemporary need to re-ground political science in a non-positivistic, post-Weberian outlook and method. It begins with Voegelin’s historical survey of science and scientism, followed by his explanation of what political science now requires in his introduction to The New Science of Politics. Also included are two essays that exemplify the practice of this “new science.” Voegelin started his academic career as a political scientist, and these early essays indicate his wide philosophical vision. Voegelin recognized that a fully responsible “new science of politics” would require the development of a philosophy of history. This led to the writing of his magnum opus, the five-volume Order and History (1956–1985). This section of the Reader includes his introductions to volumes 1, 2 and 4 and his most essential accounts of the theoretical requirements and historical scope of a philosophy of history adequate to present-day scholarship and historical discoveries. In the course of his career, Voegelin came to understand that political science, political philosophy, and philosophy of history must have as their theoretical nucleus a sound philosophical anthropology based on an accurate philosophy of human consciousness. The next set of writings consists of one late lecture and four late essays that exemplify how Voegelin recovers the wisdom of classical philosophy and the Western religious tradition while criticizing modern misrepresentations of consciousness. The result is Voegelin’s contemporary accounts of the nature of reason, the challenge of truly rational discussion, and the search for divine origins and the life of the human spirit. During his philosophical journey, Voegelin addressed the historical situatedness of human existence, explicating the historicity of human consciousness in a manner that gave full due to the challenges of acknowledging both human immersion in the story of history and the ability of consciousness to arrive at philosophically valid truths about existence that are transhistorical. The essays in this final section present the culmination of his philosophical meditation on history, consciousness, and reality.

Eric Voegelin's Dialogue with the Postmoderns

Searching for Foundations
Author: Peter A. Petrakis,Cecil L. Eubanks,Eric Voegelin
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
ISBN: 9780826264275
Category: Political Science
Page: 187
View: 9175

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This collection of essays endeavors to generate a dialogue between Eric Voegelin and other prominent twentieth century thinkers and explore some of the more perplexing issues in contemporary political theory. Each essay rests on the underlying question: is it possible or desirable to construct or discover political foundations without resorting to metaphysical or essentialist constructs? The introduction focuses on the two nineteenth century thinkers, Nietzsche and Husserl, who have framed the debate about modernity and postmodernity; thereafter, the book examines Voegelin's ideas as compared to those of other twentieth century thinkers. Discussed within the volume are Levinas and the precedence of ethics, Ricoeur's theory of narrative representation, Deleuze and the philosophy of immanence, Voegelin's relationship to a speech dimension theory of human behavior, and Patocka's theory of pre metaphysical transcendence in Socrates. What will impress scholars most about this collection is the provocative dialogue created between Voegelin and other major thinkers of postmodernism that addresses the issue of establishing foundations without foundationalism.

A More Beautiful Question

The Spiritual in Poetry and Art
Author: Glenn Hughes
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
ISBN: 0826219179
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 168
View: 6773

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As more and more people in North America and Europe have distanced themselves from mainstream religious traditions over the past centuries, a “crisis of faith” has emerged and garnered much attention. But Glenn Hughes, author of A More Beautiful Question: The Spiritual in Poetry and Art, contends that despite the withering popularity of faith-based worldviews, our times do not evince a decline in spirituality. One need only consider the search for “alternative” religious symbolisms, as well as the growth of groups espousing fundamentalist religious viewpoints, to recognize that spiritual concerns remain a vibrant part of life in Western culture. Hughes offers the idea that the modern “crisis of faith” is not a matter of vanishing spiritual concerns and energy but rather of their disorientation, even as they remain pervasive forces in human affairs. And because art is the most effective medium for spiritually evocation, it is our most significant touchstone for examining this spiritual disorientation, just as it remains a primary source of inspiration for spiritual experience. A More Beautiful Question is concerned with how art, and especially poetry, functions as a vehicle of spiritual expression in today’s modern cultures. The book considers the meeting points of art, poetry, religion, and philosophy, in part through examining the treatments of consciousness, transcendence, and art in the writings of twentieth-century philosophers Eric Voegelin and Bernard Lonergan. A major portion of A More Beautiful Question is devoted to detailed “case studies” of three influential modern poets: Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emily Dickinson, and T. S. Eliot. In these and its other chapters, the book examines the human need for artistic symbols that evoke the mystery of transcendence, the ways in which poetry and art illuminate the spiritual meanings of freedom, and the benefits of an individual’s loving study of great literature and art. A More Beautiful Question has a distinctive aim—to clarify the spiritual functions of art and poetry in relation to contemporary confusion about transcendent reality—and it meets that goal in a manner accessible by the layperson as well as the scholar. By examining how the best art and poetry address our need for spiritual orientation, this book makes a valuable contribution to the philosophies of art, literature, and religion, and brings deserved attention to the significance of the “spiritual” in the study of these disciplines.

Eric Voegelin

In Quest of Reality
Author: Thomas W. Heilke
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780847694280
Category: Philosophy
Page: 193
View: 5441

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During his distinguished academic career, Eric Voegelin was described as the most important philosopher of history and consciousness since Toynbee; similarly, Voegelin has been interpreted by his critics using virtually every ideological label available: fascist, communist, liberal, conservative, existentialist, fideist, socialist, reactionary, Jew, Catholic, and Protestant. With startling new insights into the theoretical foundations of Voegelin's writings, Heilke's gripping analysis and compelling conclusions demonstrate how his subject was primarily a philosopher in quest of reality, and why no ideological category can grasp the core of such an intellectual journey.

Lonergan and the Philosophy of Historical Existence


Author: Thomas J. McPartland
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
ISBN: 9780826263209
Category: History
Page: 305
View: 6651

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Bernard Lonergan's ambitious study of human knowledge, based on his theory of consciousness, is among the major achievements of twentieth-century philosophy. He challenges the principles of contemporary intellectual culture by finding norms and standards not in external perceptions or reified concepts, but in the dynamism of consciousness itself.

Transcendence and History

The Search for Ultimacy from Ancient Societies to Postmodernity
Author: Glenn Hughes
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
ISBN: 9780826262769
Category: Philosophy
Page: 249
View: 3696

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"Transcendence and History is an analysis of what philosopher Eric Voegelin described as "the decisive problem of philosophy": the dilemma of the discovery of transcendent meaning and the impact of this discovery on human self-understanding. The explicit recognition and symbolization of transcendent meaning originally occurred in a few advanced civilizations worldwide during the first millennium B.C.E. The world's major religious and wisdom traditions are built upon the recognition of transcendent meaning, and our own cultural and linguistic heritage has long since absorbed the postcosmological division of reality into the two dimensions of "transcendence" and "immanence." But the last three centuries in the West have seen a growing resistance to the idea of transcendent meaning; contemporary and "postmodern" interpretations of the human situation - both popular and intellectual - indicate a widespread eclipse of confidence in the truth of transcendence."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Transcendence and History

The Search for Ultimacy from Ancient Societies to Postmodernity
Author: Glenn Hughes
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
ISBN: 9780826262769
Category: Philosophy
Page: 249
View: 8339

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"Transcendence and History is an analysis of what philosopher Eric Voegelin described as "the decisive problem of philosophy": the dilemma of the discovery of transcendent meaning and the impact of this discovery on human self-understanding. The explicit recognition and symbolization of transcendent meaning originally occurred in a few advanced civilizations worldwide during the first millennium B.C.E. The world's major religious and wisdom traditions are built upon the recognition of transcendent meaning, and our own cultural and linguistic heritage has long since absorbed the postcosmological division of reality into the two dimensions of "transcendence" and "immanence." But the last three centuries in the West have seen a growing resistance to the idea of transcendent meaning; contemporary and "postmodern" interpretations of the human situation - both popular and intellectual - indicate a widespread eclipse of confidence in the truth of transcendence."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Revolutions

Finished and Unfinished, From Primal to Final
Author: Paul Caringella,Wayne Cristaudo,Glenn Hughes
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN: 1443846767
Category: Philosophy
Page: 400
View: 685

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Revolutions: Finished and Unfinished, From Primal to Final is an important philosophical contribution to the study of revolution. It not only makes new contributions to the study of particular revolutions, but to developing a philosophy of revolution itself. Many of the contributors have been inspired by the philosophical approaches of Eric Voegelin or Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, and the tension between these two social philosophies adds to the philosophical uniqueness and richness of the work.

Voegelin, Schelling, and the Philosophy of Historical Existence


Author: Jerry Day
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
ISBN: 9780826264381
Category: History
Page: 300
View: 7148

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In this important new work, Jerry Day brings to light the need for an extensive reinterpretation of the mature philosophy of Eric Voegelin, based on Voegelin's published and unpublished appreciation for nineteenth-century German philosopher F. W. J. Schelling. Schelling, whom Day maintains was one of the most important guides to Voegelin's mature philosophy of consciousness and historiography, has been described as the father of several disparate movements and schools of continental philosophy-chief among them being "Hegelian" idealism and existentialism. This characterization implies that Schelling was a scattered thinker with little or no appreciation for philosophy as a disciplined inquiry into the nature of human affairs. Voegelin was critical of this portrayal of Schelling. He argued that it lacked proper sensitivity for the impressive extent to which this giant of continental thought was able to rise above the "creed communities" of his time and recover the abiding concern of mature philosophers everywhere: the philosophia perennis. Those who claim that Schelling was scattered have failed, according to Voegelin, to appreciate the nonideological breadth of this great philosopher, misled by the splinter movements and schools that arose from mere fragments of his thought. In truth, Schelling founded no school and launched no movement. Instead, he reasoned with the disciplined integrity and wonder of a "spiritual realist." Day argues that Voegelin was a fine interpreter of Schelling, particularly during the decisive years when the central orientation of Voegelin's mature thought was beginning to take hold-between the writing of his History of Political Ideas and its eventual transformation into Order and History. Day gathers an impressive array of evidence to interpret Voegelin's little-known support for Schelling's achievements, while offering detailed analyses and helpful summaries of a vast body of literature that has yet to be translated into English. Day's partial agreement with Voegelin's uncommon assessment of Schelling provides him with the point of departure that leads to one of this book's most distinctive contributions to contemporary thought. It has the rare ability to help clear the way for philosophical realists to make peace with many of their contemporaries, giving them further grounds for accepting the strongest anthropological and psychological insights of recent continental philosophy, while helping them to avoid its tendencies toward nihilistic despair or fideistic historicism. By reading each philosopher through the eyes of the other, Day provides an analysis that will be illuminating for Voegelin scholars and Schelling scholars alike. The book will also appeal to readers with more general interests in the history and development of continental philosophy, political theory, and comparative religion over the past century.

The Unspeakable Girl

The Myth and Mystery of Kore
Author: Giorgio Agamben,Monica Ferrando,Leland De La Durantaye
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780857420831
Category: Philosophy
Page: 104
View: 8073

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This title is a book of three richly detailed treatments of the myth of Kore. Kore, also called Persephone and referred to poetically by the Greeks as 'the unspeakable girl', was the daughter of Dermeter and Zeus. She was abducted by Hades and made queen of the netherworld

Approaches to Political Thought


Author: William L. Richter
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742564336
Category: Philosophy
Page: 332
View: 2435

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This book focuses on the ways in which major contemporary scholars approach political thought and writing from Plato to the present.

The Voegelinian Revolution

A Biographical Introduction
Author: N.A
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
ISBN: 9781412839594
Category: Philosophy
Page: 299
View: 1382

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Over the past half-century, Eric Voegelin has produced a demanding body of writing on the philosophy of history and the history of political theory since antiquity. This is the first full-scale treatment of his inquiry into the reality of man's political existence. It includes close readings of the texts, with Voegelin's own comments on them interspersed, offering a thorough explication of the philosopher's quest. Incorporating an "Autobiographical Memoir" prepared in collaboration with Voegelin especially for the volume, Ellis Sandoz interweaves the events of this great thinker's life with the philosophical inquiry to which that life has been devoted. Among the uniquely engaging biographical subjects covered are Voegelin's reminiscences of his involvement with such seminal minds as Max Weber, and with Karl Kraus, Hans Kelsen, and other lights of Vienna's intellectual community of the 1920s and 1930s; a full discussion of his early responses to national socialism and his escape from the Anschluss in 1938; and a summary of his early years in America, with particular attention to the years at Louisiana State University with Cleanth Brooks, Robert Penn Warren, and Robert Heilman. Carefully analyzing Voegelin's contribution to our understanding of ourselves, Sandoz convincingly argues that Voegelin's achievement is revolutionary. He emphasizes the common sense running through Voegelin's thought, and reveals how Voegelin reached a new analysis of reality and provides us with a new science of human affairs. Sandoz does not reveal the "truth to end the quest for truth," but shows how such "stop history" answers are defective. Exploring the meaning of that "first truth" as it has been intellectually and spiritually unraveled by one of our century's leading thinkers, Voegelinian Revolution shows anyone interested in politics and human affairs how to follow Voegelin's path. This book will be of interest to historians, political theorists, students of philosophy and religion, and educated readers concerned about the plight of American/Western civilization and looking for a new view on our current "crisis." Ellis Sandoz, the Hermann Moyse, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Louisiana State University and a former chairman of the department, is director of the Eric Voegelin Institute for American Renaissance Studies.

From Big Bang to Big Mystery

Human Origins in the Light of Creation and Evolution
Author: Brendan M. Purcell
Publisher: New City Press
ISBN: 1565484339
Category: Religion
Page: 365
View: 1024

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In this fascinating, accessible and thorough study, renowned priest and academic Brendan Purcell combines the latest discoveries in paleoanthropology, genetics, neuroscience, and other sciences with the insights of philosophers and theologians to address the question of the Big Bang of Human Consciousness. Purcell shows the complementarity these disciplines can bring to an understanding of the mystery of human existence.

Herman Dooyeweerd and Eric Voegelin

A Comparative Study
Author: David Van Heemst
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: Philosophy
Page: 220
View: 7440

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This study provides an introduction to two of the twentieth century's most significant philosophers, Herman Dooyeweerd and Eric Voegelin. Dooyeweerd and Voegelin provided a new, deeper understanding of history and philosophy. They were early interpreters of the crisis of modern humanism, exposing its contradictions and uncovering its fundamental, spiritual problems. They both re-described philosophy itself as depending upon something deeper than human autonomy. Dooyeweerd demonstrated that all philosophizing was shaped by the commitment of the human heart and Voegelin showed that all philosophizing was a reflection on one's deeper experiences of transcendence. Throughout their work they both consistently emphasized the limits of humanity. Despite these similarities, Dooyeweerd and Voegelin came from different religious traditions, they never met, spoke different languages, lived in different countries, and with the exception of one passing reference, never made mention of the other's work. Dooyeweerd was a Christian philosopher, and Voegelin a Classical philosopher. part because there are few introductions to their works and no introductions to both of them. The purpose of this book is to provide an introduction to these two significant philosophers. relatively few people have studied both Dooyeweerd and Voegelin and even fewer who have written about them in a comparative fashion. This book is, in that regard, unique.

Plato

The Man and His Work
Author: A.E. Taylor
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 041562780X
Category: Philosophy
Page: 562
View: 8737

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This book provides an introduction to Plato’s work that gives a clear statement of what Plato has to say about the problems of thought and life. In particular, it tells the reader just what Plato says, and makes no attempt to force a system on the Platonic text or to trim Plato’s works to suit contemporary philosophical tastes. The author also gives an account that has historical fidelity - we cannot really understand the Republic or the Gorgias if we forget that the Athens of the conversations is meant to be the Athens of Nicias or Cleon, not the very different Athens of Plato’s own manhood. To understand Plato’s thought we must see it in the right historical perspective.