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News from Dubrovnik, Two Notes from the US

I¥ternational the notion that western societies
were the only model for the building of socialist
society. Lenin wished to adopt the hl.rgel scale
industry of Western countries, to catch_ up and
surpass them. He argued (as did Trotsky) that
there .w~ no need to invent Some original way of
organIzIng labour as capitaUs m had created and
perfected one that was immediately usable. Lenin
Introduced the scientific management of industry
(the system devised by F. W . Taylor and used by
Ford), without examining its inherently alienating
character. Just as till proletariat cannot acquire
class consciousness by its own efforts nor it
.

,
seems, can It acquire competence in ‘management’.

!heproletariat was therefore expected to delegate
Its powers to the Party. This process of ‘substitution’ whereby the Party tended to substitute itself
for the class, led to the proletariat being excluded

NEWS
.News from Dubrovnik
In August 1963, almost exactly fifteen years ago,
the Korcula Summer School was founded by philosophers and sociologists from the universities of
Zagreb and Belgrade, in Jugoslavia, for internation.

al discussion of social issues. In 1964 the journal
Pr~is was founded by the same group, in order to
pubbsh material arising from this discussion. As
a result of a political crisis generated by problems
surrounding the ‘economic reorganisation of 1965 -7 ,
the Party organisation of the Department of
Sociology and Philosophy at Belgrade University
was dissolved. This was an indication of official
displeasure with the department, and marked the
beginning of a series of threats to the autonomy of
the faculty councils (see RP8, 9 and 10), which
were at the time, in accordance with Jugoslav
1)rinciples, self-managed bodies. In 1973, ten years
after the founding of the Korcula Summer School,
the committee of the League of Communists
finally demanded the dismissal of eight Belgrade
philosophers, all of whom were connected with the
journal, Praxis, and the summer school. As a
result of local resistance, and intern,ational support~
the dismissal was not easily achieved and the
faculty councils had to be ‘reformed’ so that half
the members of the relevant faculty council were
appointed from .outside the University, by the Party.

A letter from the Belgrade eight, dated 28 January
1975, to the Assembly of the Socialist Republic of
Serbia, giving an account of this dismissal,
appeared in RP11. For a time, some of the eight
were in p.rison, and had their passports withdrawn.

They were suspended from the University, forbidden to teach, publish or address public meetings,
and the propaganda campaign organised against
them was intensified. The Korcula Summer School
was closed down, and instead philosophy coursesare held at Easter at the International University
Centre, in Dubrovnik, under the administration of
Zagreb, and not Belgrade, University. As a result
of the international status of the Dubrovnik centre,
it is possible to invite members of the Belgrade
eight to speak, although they are still forbidden to
46

from power. Lenin did not realize that the streSs
on absolute 8ubo’rdtnation in production, and to the
Party, contained the danger of influencing the
general character of the new society at every level.

It is argued that Lenin’s view, to a certain extent
provided the legitimation for the subsequent devel’opment of SStalinis m’. Lenin’s assumptions contributed to a process the consequences of which were
alien to the aims of the Russian Revolution, and
which he would have been the first to denounce. He
would certainly-not have approv~d of the fate of his
awn ideas. I hope I have said enough to make you
want to read this book. It is’ very short, clear and
forceful. I think it is an important book; it
directly relates and clarifies many of the issues
with which we are concerned.

Madan Sarup

teach and address public meetings in Jugoslav
institutions. Two of them, Mihailo Markovic, and
Svetocar Stojanovic, were scheduled for the opening session of the philosophy course this Easter,
on Rationality in the Natural and Social Seiences.

In contra:;;t to the Korcula summer school of 1974,
as r.eported in RP9, there were unfortunately very
few Jugoslav partiCipants.

The course directors were Richard Bernstein, of
Haverford College, USA; Jtirgen Habermas of the
Starnberg Institute, West Germany; and Ivan
Kuvacic, of Zagreb University, Jugoslavia. Other
participants were Robert Cohen, of Boston
University, USA, who opposed, and was a victim.

of McCarthyism, and is a long-standing supporter
of the Belgrade eight; and stephen Lukes, of Balliol
College, Oxford, who was on his way.to attend the
Russell Tribunal in Berlin, on profeSSional
repression (Berufsverbot) in West Germany (see
RP19). None of the participants are paic;l, since
neither Zagreb University, nor the ruc have funds,
and thus the discussions are predicated on a
commitment to free enquiry, since the principle
motive for attending is to support the Belgrade
eight. This commitment to free enquiry had one
‘unfortunate aspect, which was the freedom with
which the participants interpreted the theme of
rationality. Furthermore it is impossible to make
demands on partiCipants to commit themselves in
. advance to specific lines of enquiry, and thus the
order of presentations cannot be satisfactory
except by accident. Thus ~fter the Marxist humanis m of Stojanovic and Markovic, there came an
elementary discussion of dialectics, followed by
reflections on economic; rationality in Smith and
Marx, followed by a brilliant paper from Robert
Cohen on Marx’s and Engels’ concepts of nature
~nd science which, although containing the only
substantial reference to natural science, among all
the main presentations, had no direct connection
with the theme. Nor was there a complementary
paper, developing the argument for which this
paper opened the way concerning the need to
supplement the technical rationality embodied in
capitalistic practice with a rationality not based
. on the exploitation and objectification of nature.

Stephen Lukes presented his reflections on
Ideology and Relativis m, more aboutrelativis m
than ideology, which were’ concerned with the problem of the underdetermination of theory by data. and

the problem of the determination of terms by theory:

with particular reference to theories of power. In
one of the many unscheduled evening sessions, he
and Bill Newton-Smith, also of Balliol College,
presented a joint discussion of problems of theory
construction and testing, in the natural and social
sciences, emphasising the problem of constructing
the relevant counterfactuals. These problems pose
difficulties for the construction of a concept of
rationality in the context of highly technical and
sophisticated theory construction, and their significance is not easily grasped.

When the the me of rationality in the natural and
social sciences was more directly addressed, the
mode was very much that of G. H. von Wright’s book
Explanation and Understanding, in which the distinctions made by German theorists in the course of
the Methodenstreit at the beginning of this century
are reformulated in terms of an analytical philosophy distinction between reasons and causes. Von
Wright, of the Academy of Finland and Cornell
University, USA, presented a paper on three different kinds of reasons for action, as opposed to
causal accounts of action. Professor Charles
Taylor of All Souls College Oxford addressed himself to the specificity of the mode of reasoning of
the social sciences, reaffirming the opposition
between the causal explanation ‘of the natural
sciences, and the interpretative understanding of
the social sci~nces. Even at the beginning of this
century it was already recognised that this parallelis m is more helpfully construed/not as an oppOSition,
but as a complementariiy. I1i the writitlg of hi~tory,
causal explanation has a place;, and Similarly in the
reading of research reports, there is some interpretative understanding, even if it is reduced to a
minimum in the rntural sciences as a result of a
greater formalisation of modes of presenting
research. Such interpretative understanding has
been called hermeneutics. HQwever, the epistemological hermeneutics was transformed by Heidegger
into an ontology of understanding, investigating the
conditions for the possibility of existence. This kind
of hermeneutics is not to be understood as being on
the same level as causal explanation, and opposed
or complementary to it. Rather it is an investigati on of the conditions of possibility of both social
and natural scientific investigation, in the broadest
sense, and is thus epistemologically prior to both,
and has been conceived of as a transcendental
enquiry. This ontological turn is interestingly
reflected in the, attempts of Gajo Petrovic, among
others, to combine Heidegger and Marx, and in the
pleas of Milton Fisk, of Indiana University, USA,
for a Marxist ontology. Richard Bernstein talked
about hermeneutics, in this ontological form, as
developed from Heidegger’s work by Profes~or
Hans -Georg Gadamer, who was also briefly in
Dubrovnik. Bernstein suggested that through the
development of a theory and practice of political
judgment, it might be possible to secure practical
discourse from its deformation as instrumental
reason, concerned with the achievement of ends
(Zweckrationalit!’t) rather than with the evaluation
of those ends (Wertrationalitiit). The key words
are hermeneutics, political judgement, phronesis,
and rational com munity, but in the absence of a;
theoretical structure articulating the one to the
other, it is impossible to judge this latest mode
of bridging the gap between theory and practice.

In West Germany, much work has been done on
the conditions for rational dis course, in rational
communities, with much talk of ideal speech situa-

tions and ideal speech communities, or communication communities, and of linguistiC turns in
general. Albrecht Wellmer, of Konstanz University
West Germany, and Jtirgen Habermas presented
parts of their work in this area. Wellmer presented
a theory of the practical limits of rationality,
building out of Weber’s rationalisation theory,
Kuhn’s theory of paradigm shifts, and the difference betw~en paradigm shifts and changes in
forms of life. Habermas discussed tlW two concepts of rationality in Weber’s work, and the
concept of rationalisation, and moved on to present
his own schematism of types of action, and types
of social action, with the forms of rationality
which they embody. His present concern with .

rationality emerges out of the project of restormg
the reflexive e’lement to theories -of knowledge,
lost in the transition from Kant’s enquiry into the
conditions of possibility of knowledge, to present
day philosophy of science. His theory of communicative competence, or universal pragmatics, and
the consensus theory of truth are parts of the
anticipation of free symbolic interaction and unconstrained communication, which is required in
order to guide action towards the realisation of such
interaction and corn munication. His presentation
was tantaliSing in that it gave a glimpse of the investigations being undertaken at Starnberg, under
his direction, into theories of individual and social
development, and into the general reconstruction of
historical materialis m. As a s mall sample of so
much activity, the presentation could not but be
unsatisfactory.

At other sessions, partiCipants exchanged information about the present problems in West German
universities precipitated by the Berufsverbot, and
a letter of. support Signed by seventy people was
sent to the Russell Tribunal. People with particular
knowledge of the social and political organisation
of Jugoslavia also gave presentations about workers’

self-management, local political organisation, the
structure of nationalities, and the role of the Party.

These sessions, and the more informal contacts,
were in fact quite as valuable as the large formal
sessions, where it proved difficult to develop lines
of argument across presentations. Each session
constituted its own terms of reference, which in
many cases merely reproduced the terms of reference of the presentation. This was partly the
result of there being a very large number of people
attending the major seSSions, for example, those
at which Habermas spoke. There was therefore
some dissatisfaction with the organisation of the
course, and a series of meetings was held to discuss the problems and make suggestions for next
year. Here there were two major difficulties:

there were very divergent interests, and perhaps
an over-ambitious assess ment of the extent to
which voluntary partiCipation can be organised into
‘a systematic investigation of the contexts of
academic research and intellectual reflection.

This is of course a problem which has arisen for
Radical Philosophy conferences, and there is no
obvious solution. However, while it is possible to
support the Belgrade eight, and meet people with
~uch varied backgrounds and interests, it is evident
that the Dubrovnik roc courses in philosophy will
be well worth attending. I particularly enjoyed
talking with two Jugoslav philosophers of the
importance of P. F. Strawson’s Individuals, and of
Michael Dummett’s Elements of Intuitionism.

JNH

47

Two notes from the U .S.

A current focus of activity ‘for the women”s movement in the US is the passage of the Equal Rights
Amendment. This, if passed, would make it unconstitutional to deny equal protection to any US
citizen on grounds of sex. The Amendment has to
be ratified by three – fourths of the states, and has
for some time been stalled at just short of that
number. A campaign is now being mounted to
persuade organisations not to hold conventions in
states which have not ratified the ERA. The idea
is that the loss of revenue to those states would be
a powerful financial inducement.

The American Philosophi cal Association had been
planning to hold its December 1978 meeting in
Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia has not yet ‘ratified the
ERA. At the December 1977 APA convention, individuals and groups including the Society for Women
in Philosophy persuaded the APA Executive to’try
to cancel its agreement with the Atlanta Hilton,
where the 1978 meeting would have been held.

(The political situation was complicated by the fact
that Atlanta has recently elected a black mayor and
is anxious not to lose conference trade for racist
reasons; there is thus something of a conflict here
between anti-racist and anti-sexist politics.)
The Atlanta Hilton has refused to cancel the
arrangements. To get it to change its mind, SWIP
is now urging American philosophers to write to
the Hilton saying that they will not attend the APA
convention if it is held there, or, if they do, will
not stay at the Hilton or eat or drink there. The
aim is to make the Hilton realise that if it refuses
to agree to the cancellation, it will nevertheless
lose its profit.

There are currently at least three groups in the
US with aims and interests similar to Radical
Philosophy. The ~adical Caucus is an ad hoc grouping which gets together at APA conventions; its
meetings are billed as part of the official
programme. At the convention this December they
had discussions on ‘Alienation and Class’, ‘The
Professional-Managerial Class’, and ‘Rights in
Capitalism and Communism’ (and one on the
activities of Radical Philoso.phy). A more organised
group is the Marxist Activist Philosophers (MAP),
the majority of whose members seem to come from
the east coast area, and which meets regularly for
conferences with papers and workshops. There is,
third, the Radical Philosophers’ Newsiournal, a
magazine which is produced at semi-regular intervals, mainly by radical philosophers in the Boston
area, and which ought to get our fraternal support.

The most recent issue (Fall 1977) had articles on
‘Individualism and Class Consciousness’, ‘Marx’s
Theory of Ideology’, and ‘The Material Basis for
Progress in Science’. Their current inland sup..,
scription rates are $4.00 for individuals, $8.00
for institutions, and $15.00 for sus taining sub.

(free subscriptions for unemployed and prisoners).

They don’t have fixed overseas rates, but no doubt
people can work out the appropriate adjustments.

Write to: Radical Philosophers’ Newsjournal,
12 Dartmouth Stree~, Somerville, Ma. 02145, USA.

RJN

Praxis, No. 3
The Spokesman, 23, Summer 19’r7, ‘The Just
SOCiety’

The Zetetic, No. 1, Winter 1976
48
r

BOOKS RECEIVED
Barker, Coombes, Htilme, ‘Musselwaite(eds.),
Literature. SOCiety and the Sociology of Literature
University of Essex, 1976, £’13.9’0.

Ernest Bloch an:! others, Aesthetics and POlitics,
Lonion, NLB, 1978, £6.50 hc.

J Blon:!el, Thinking Politically, Harmondsworth,
Penguin, 1978, 80p pore
A. Bose, Political Para10xes an j Puzzles, London,
Clarenjon Press, aup, 1978, £5 hc/£2.50 ppr.

S. Buck-Morse, Origin of Negative Dialectics,
Hassocks, Harvester, 1978, £9.95 hc.

M. Corbin (ed.), The Couple, Harmondsworth,
Penguin, 1978, 95p ppr.

A. Cutler, B. ~~1indess, P. Q. Hirst, A. Hussain,
Marx’s Capital ani Capitalism Today. Vol. 2,
London, RKP, 1978, £6.95 hc/£3.50 ppr.

G.Oella Volpe, Critique of Taste, London, NLB,
1978, £9 hc.

R. “Ounayevskaya, Marx’s Capital an:! TodaY’s
Global CriSiS, London, News and Letters, 1978,
£1 ppr.

,R. Gelwick, The Way of piscoyery. Oxford, aup,
1978, £9.80 hc.

N. Hadjinicolaou, Art History and Class Struggle,
London, Pluto, 1978, £7.50 hc/£3.60 ppr.

P. Hammond (ed.), The Shadow and its Shadow,
London, BFI, 1978, £1 ppr.

F. A. Hayek, New Studies, London, RKP, 1978,
£7.25 hc.

R. M. J ones, The New Psychology of Dreaming,
Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1978, £1 ppr.

S. Lipshitz (ed.), Tearing the Veil. London, RKP,
1978, £2.95 ppr.

G. Lukacs, The Ontology of Social Being: 1. Hegel,
London, Merlin, 1978, £1. 80 ppr.

d:tukacs, The Ontology of Social Being; 2. Marx.

London, Merlin, 1978, £1. 80 ppr.

J. Neu, Emotion. Thought and Therapy, London,
RKP, 1978, £6.95 hc.

G. S. Papas and M. Swain (eds.), Essays on
Knowled~ and JuStification, Ithaca and London,
Cornell UP, 1978, £12.25 hc/£4.75 ppr.

H. Putnam, Meaning and the Moral Sciences,
London, RKP, 1978, £4.95 hc.

F. P. Ramsey, Foundations, London, RKP, 1978,
£9.50 hc.

L. Seve, Man in Marxist Theory, Hassocks,
Harvester, 1978, £16.50 hc.

C. and B.Smart (eds.) Women. Sexuality and Social
Control, London, RKP, 1978, £2.95 ppr.

.

G. Therborn, What does the Ruling Class do when It
Rules?, London, NLB, 1978, £7.50hc.

N. Timms and D. Watson (eds.), Philosophy and
Social Work, London, RKP, 1978, £5.95 hc/£~9£2.95 ppr.

G. Vesey (ed.), Communication and Understanding,
Hassocks, Harvester, 1978, £10.50 hc.

K. V.Wilkes, Physicalism, London, RKP, 1978,
£4.75 hc.

Women’s Studies Group, Women Take Issue,
London, Hut chins on , 1978, £6,,59 hc/£3.25 ppr.

, JOURNALS RECEIVED
Cine – Tracts, 3, ‘Psychoanalys is and the Cine ma’

Das Argument, Nov-Dec 1977, 106
Jan-Feb 1978, 107
Degrees of Freedom, No.l, March 1978
Economy and Society, Vol. 7, No.l, February 1978
Glyph/2, 1978, Johns Ho pkins, Textual Studies
MERIP REPORTS, 61,62,63,!64
NegacioneS”, October 1977, N6.4
‘New Left Review, Nov-Dec 1977, 106
Jan-‘Feb 1978, 107

….:

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