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3 Editorial

_DIAL PHIlOSOPHY 3

WINTER 1972

..

Since our last issue one of the most encouraging
developments has been the formation of several new
local groups. There are at least two functions these
groups can perform
both useful and neither
necessarily exclusive of the other. A group aay
provide a context in which ideas, ~nich are otherwise ignored and suppressed, can be expressed and
discussed; and a group may also criticize and confront
and seek to change the structures which perpet.uate
academic philosophy and which suppress radical
.

alternatives. These two functions can, and indeed
should, operate in harmony.

As support for radical philosophy grows, however,
so opposition begins to manifest itself; and the
question : What is radical philosophy? becomes a
pressing one. In this issue we are printing a
variety of short pieces on this theme in a special
section. But the specific problems of defining the
aims and activities of our movement also raise
general questions about the nature of philosophy,
and this theme is explored in this issue in the
articles by Horkheimer and Burke as well. We hope
to receive letters and other reactions and replies
to all these pieces and to continue the discussion
in future issues.

So far. the Warnocks have taken upon themselves the role of defenders of the orthodoxy*.

Both proclaim that the radical philosophy movement
seeks to make philosophy – an otherwise neutral
field – “political”. We, by contrast. assert. that
the sort of philosophy which the Warnocks defend
has functioned politically, as ideology: we have
no need to make philosophy political, i t is so
already.

Academic philosophy has served a
political function. and not just when it has dealt
with an overtly “political” subject-matter. The
fact that the articles we have so far carried have
tended to concentrate on themes in social and
political thought does not mean that we think these
to be the only areas in .which there can be a
“radical philosophy”. On the contrary, the more
abstract discussions of epistemology, logic etc. can
be equally active as ideology, even though their
social effects are less direct and less i.mediately

* See

20.10. 72, price 20p from
Cambridge Review, 7 Green Street, Cambridge.

apparent. And at the other extreme too, we see
philosophical theories guiding and justifying social
practice and political strug61es and we want to carry
aaterial which is more directly related to these.

Please keep sending in stuff for future issues.

Not just articfes and reviews: we also want material
on co~rses and atte.pts to change them, exams and
the struggle against them (we regret that we have
nothing of this kind in this issue). And replies,
notes, letters, cartoons (use black ink), nice
quotations etc., etc. are all needed.

Since one of our main complaints about recent
British philosophy is that it has been written to
be of interest only to a small clique of professional
philosophers, we are concerned that RADICAL PHILOSOPHY
should aim at a wider audience. Our readers are not
just professional philosophers. Plea~c bear this in
mind when writing: try to speak to as wide an audience
as possible; do not feel obliged to make your ideas
look “respectable” by dressing them up in unnecessary
technical language and superfluous scho’larly apparatus.

Put your points as simply and as clearly as ~’ou can:

avoid academicism!

Starting this issue, the size of the journal has
been increased to 44 pages. We have used thL’ in.’reased
space to enlarge the type – at least it will nOh he
readable. We have also standardised the price at 2Sp we have reluctantly abolished the student reduction,
mainly because bookshops will not operate it. ror :’13.ny
readers, however, these changes will mean more pages
for less money. Those who have already subscrihed for
future issues at the original higher rate will be
compensated when they renew their subscriptions.

Issue no.l, which twice sold out, has now heen
reprinted again and copies are available; and there
are still some copies of no.2 left (at the original
price: 3Sp or 20p for students).

Deadlines for contributions:

RADICAL PHILOSOPHY 4

1st December, 1972

RADICAL PHILOSOPHY 5

23rd February, 1973

Ca1liJri dge Review

(Please send material typed in triplicate i f p03sible).

,…

“The weapons of criticism obviously cannot replace
the criticism of weapons. Ilateria1 fm:ce must be
overthrown by IIBteria1 force.

But theory also
becomes a IIBteria1 force once i t has gripped the
IIBsses.

Theory is capable of gripping the IIBsses
when i t demonstrates ad hominem and i t delJJDnstrates
ad hominem when i t becomes radical. To be radical
is to grasp things by the root.

But for IIBn the
root is IIBn himself ••• The criticism of religion
ends with the doctrine thllt man is the highest
being for man, hence with the categorical imperative
to overthrow all conditions in which man is a
degraded, enslaved, neglected, contemptible being.”
(Narx)

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