Between Philosophy and Social Science: Selected Early by Max Horkheimer

By Max Horkheimer

Max Horkheimer is widely known because the director of the Frankfurt Institute for Social study and as a someday collaborator with Theodor Adorno, specifically on their vintage Dialectic of Enlightenment. those essays display one other part of Horkheimer, targeting his amazing contributions to severe thought within the Thirties. integrated are Horkheimer's inaugural handle as director of the Institute, within which he outlines the interdisciplinary study software that will dominate the preliminary section of the Frankfurt institution, his first complete monograph, and several other items released within the Thirties. The essays, such a lot of that have no longer seemed in English earlier than, are strangely correct to present post-philosophy debates, particularly "On the matter of Truth," with its specialize in pragmatism, and "The Rationalism Debate in present Philosophy," a sustained critique of the post-Cartesian philosophy of attention. Horkheimer's 1933 critique of Kantian ethics, "Materialism and Morality," is of specific curiosity given the present response to the neo-Kantian point of Habermas's paintings. There also are essays proper to the present foundations debate inside Continental philosophy, and the rationality/relativism query is continued during the quantity.

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To do what may prove for the common benefit of all,"8 it becomes clear that he does not observe the natural instincts of most human beings simply in a natural-scientific light, but regards them as bad and reprehensible. However distant and unprejudiced his conscious stance toward Christianity may be, on this point he is substantially in agreement with Luther and Calvin. As exponents of similar historical interests, they all break with the Catholic tolerance toward certain modes of human reaction that interfere with the establishment of the new economic order.

The interests of the bourgeoisie regarding the system of ownership did not agree with those of the masses; despite the progressiveness of the system which the bourgeoisie was trying to establish, from the very start it implied a gap between the owners and the majority of society which grew increasingly wide. The spread of this system ultimately meant an improvement for humanity, but by no means for all people living at any particular time. The bourgeoisie's efforts to push through its own demands for a more rational administration against page_61 Page 62 the feudal powers with the help of the desperate popular masses, while simultaneously consolidating its own rule over the masses, combine to account for the peculiar way the struggle for "the people" is carried on in these movements.

With moral indignation Frederick II of Prussia defended his unprejudiced, egoistic policy against Machiavelli, in spite of the fact that it was first established by the latter; and Mandeville's Fable of the Bees, in which the author establishes and propagates egoism as the foundation of present society under the motto "private vices, public benefits," was specifically refuted, characteristically enough, by one of the most representative philosophers of the ascending bourgeoisie. 16 Mandeville himself well knew that the open advocacy of egoism is unwelcome precisely to those who embody it most strongly.

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