The following text has been automatically reproduced by an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) algorithm. It may not have been checked over by human eyes. For matters of precision please consult the original pdf.

20 Reviews

Dilthey: Selected Writings, edited, translated and
introduced by HP Rickman, CUP, £8.75
The main philosophical project of Wilhelm Dilthey
(1833 -1911) was to establish the possibility of knowledge in the human sciences, or ‘human studies’

as Rickman prefers to translate the term Geisteswissenschaften, thus marking a difference between
these and the natural sciences, or Naturwissenschaften. Dilthey attempted to construct a critique
of historical reason, on the model of Kant’s three
critiques, the first of which, the Critique of Pure
:Reason, had allegedly established the possibility of
knowledge in the natural SCiences, or rather of a
paradigm case, Newtonian mechanics. This fourth
critique was not completed, and the various drafts
of the different sections found among Dilthey’s
papers after his death, as well as the published
fragments, contain indications of the difficulties
obstrUcting its completion. There are alternative
explanations for this incompleteness: that the author
was not equal to the task; or, more plausibly, that
these difficulties are insuperable, and the task itself unrealisable. According to the latter explanation, the task includes various indefensible presuppositions: an oppOSition between two unified
domains of knowledge, called the natural sciences
and the human sciences; the gro~ding of the possibility of knowledge in these two domains in two
opposing human faculties, perception and understanding; the adequacy of this grounding for the
natural sc;iences; and a commitment to.a philosophical anthropology, a system establishing on a priori
prinCiples a conception of the nature and destiny of
the human race. The indefensibility of these presuppositions cannot be demonstrated here, but the
purpose of studying could well be taken to be the
exposure of the insuperability of the difficulties
arising from these presuppositions, in Dilthey’s

Rickman makes it plain in his general intr oducti or.

that he is broadly in sympathy with the orientation
of Dilthey’s epistemology and methodology, and with
the philosophy of life, Lebens,Rhilosophie, in which
they are embedded. Dilthey’s failure to complete
the task of a critique of historical reason is suggested to be the result of his scrupulousness. The
emphasis in the selection of extracts for translation
is on Dilthey’s ‘contribution to the philosophy of the
social sciences’, on his attempt to establish ‘a
broad theoretical framework for the objective study
of man’. Rickman however also conveys, in his
briefer introduction to particular sections, that
Dilthey’s writings are fragmentary and apparently
self-contradictory. Rickman writes of The Nature
of Philosophy, first published in 1907:

It is a comprehensive ana systematic account of

DUthey’s conception of the nature and functions
of philosophy. He considered that philosophy
was man’s most comprehensive form of thought
by which means he confronts’ the mysteries of
his life and reflects on himself and his doings.

Rickman goes on to aescribe Dilthey’s The Trnes
of Worldviews, first .published in 1911:


In the light of historical perspective we see that

philosophic systems assume typical forms which
conflict and cannot be reconciled with each other.

This inSight Dilthey believes frees the mind from
bondage to anyone dogmatic system. It cures us
of the illusion that philosophy can give an ultimate and comprehensive knowledge of reality
which is many sided. (p107)
The’latter quotation implies that DUthey’s own
‘comprehensive and systematic account’ can be seen
‘in the light of historical perspective’ as a typical
form of philosophical illusion. There is no guarantee
however against the illusion of freedom from dogmatic systems of philosophy, the dogmatism of
which reemerges at another level through the language of sight, light and perspective. Thus Rickman
identifies Dilthey, not without justice, as simultane0usly affirming the systematicity of his own’

Lebensphilosophie, and denyirlg the permanence of
any such syste~This is precisely an instance of
the problem of historical specificity to which
Dilthey’s Fourth Critique was to have addressed
itself. The problem to be examined emerges as an
obstacle to beginning the examination; the specification of the possibility of knowledge in the human
sciences is itself historically specific, emerging in
response to particular problems, and in connection
with particular forms of human science. A recognition of this specificity undermines the mode of
universal prescription of method, prior to engagement in any particular investigation.

Dilthey established his reputation by publishing
the first part of his uncompleted life of Schleiermacher, in 1866, which identified Schleiermacher
as developing hermeneutics into a methodology for
the human sciences. Rickman ‘s selection of translated extracts begins with three fragments from
this published volume. In this first section, entitled
‘Dilthey as historian of ideas’, Rickman also
trallfdates extracts from DUthey’s essay ‘The great
poetry of tIie imagination’ (Die grosse Phantasie
Dichtung). Rickman helpfully points out in his introduction to the piece that this ‘gre~t poetry’ does not
refer to a general type of poetry, but to the literature produced in a certain era, the 16th and 17th
centuries in England and Spain. The identification
of such a unity depends on the assumption that
there is a single unifying structure underlying the
productions of particular historical periods. This
assumption depends on Dilthey’s concept of worldViews, (Jt eltanschauungen), of which there are
three, providing the stable basis for the interpretation ‘of remnants from other eras •• The three types
of wor ldviews, naturalism, the idealism of freedom,
and objective idealism, are outlined in an extract
from The Types of Worldview, in Rickman’s third
section. Access to historical remains is assured
by their location in an objective context, which,
because it must take one of these three forms, is
already known by the historian. It is not however
clear in what context, with which form, Dilthey’s
own writings are to be located. The universal
structure of human experience on which this typology is based is specified by the concept das
Erlebnis, which resists translation as ‘lived
experience’. This concept was introduced by
Dilthey in his essay ‘Das Erlebnis und die Dichtung~t’

first published in 1905, thus beginning its inglorious history as a covering term for confusions

in social theory. Unforhmately Rickman translates
no extracts from this essay, even though a complete
translation of this one essay would provide as much
basis as Rickman’s series of selections for an
English assessment of Dilthey’s theoretical

In line with the emphasis on Dilthey’s contribution
to the philosophy of the social sciences, the remain·
ing three sections of extracts are designed to
elaborate his theories in this area. The second
section presents Dilthey’s theories of psychology,
in an extract from Dilthey’s Ideas About a
DescriQtive and Analytical Psychology, of 1894.

This descriptive psychology is not to be understood
as empirical experimental psychology, but as a
systematic account of the mental processes of
human beings. In accordance with Dilthey’s commit·
ment to a philosophical anthropology, these processes, and the structures on which they depend,
are taken to be specifiable for all time. The shift
from concern with the structures of the individual’s
mental processes, evident in the~, to a concern with the objective context in which individuals
operate. was made in response to the neo-Kantian
objection that Dilthey’s theories were psychologistic. In the third section, the introduction to which
contains the passages cited above, Rickman translates extracts from The Nature of Philosop~ and
from The Types of Worldview, both of which have
been previously translated but are sufficiently
difficult to obtain to justify the duplication.

The fourth and last section contains extracts trans
lated from Dilthey’s An Introduction to the Human
Studies (Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften) ,
first published in 1883; and from the volume constructed by the editors of the collected works, from
the drafts of the unfinished second part of that
Introduction. This section also contains a translation of the essay ‘The Development of Hermeneutics”
from 1900, with a selection of Dilthey’s alternative
drafts. This essay has also been translated, in part:

by Paul Connerton ed. Critical Sociolo~, under the
title ‘The rise of hermeneutics’. The essay consists
of a summary history of the concept ‘hermeneutics’,
and again identifies Schleiermacher as developing
hermeneutics into a methodology of the human
sciences. It is in this essay that the famous sentence appears:

The final goal of the hermeneutic procedl:lre is
to understand th-e author better than he understood
himself: a statement which is the necessary
conclusion of the doctrine of unconscious
creation. (p259)
In ·the drafts for the second part of the Introduction,
Dilthey begins to develop the analysis of the categorial structures underlying the production of knowledge in the human sciences. Dilthey rejects the
conception of the epistemological subject as a pure
conSCiousness, or transcendental ego, and insists
that there can be no separation between this
epistemological subject, and the empirical subject
formed through historical contingency. Nevertheless he attempts to specify a finite number of
concepts, named the categories of life, defining
this categorial structure, on the model of Kant’s
twelve categories in the First Critique. Dilthey
describes these categories as follows:

We must now demonstrate the reality of what is
apprehended in experience: as we are concerned
here with the objective value of the categories of
the mind constructed world which merges from
experience, I shall first indicate the sense in
which the term ‘category’ is to be used. The

predicates which we attribute to objects contain
forms of apprehension. The concepts which
designate such forms I call categories •••
Among the real categories there are those
which originate in the apprehension of the mindconstructed world even though they are then
transferred to apply to the whole of reality.

General predicates about a particular individual’s
pattern of experience arise in that experience.

Once they are applied to the understanding of
objectifications of life and all the subjects dealt
with in the human studies, the range of their
validity is increased until it becomes clear that
the life of the mind can be characterised in
terms of the systems of interactions, power,
value etc. Thus these general predicates achieve
the dignity of categories of the mind-constructed
world. (P208)
Thus the categories which are applicable to the
‘pattern of experience’ of the present individual are
to be extrapolated and applied to the ‘patterns of
experience’ of past individuals. There is no question
of allowing the terms of analysis of those past
patterns to emerge from the encounter between the
present individual and the remains of the past.

Furthermore, although Dilthey asserts that ‘time’

is the most inclusive category of life, unifying all
the other categories in a synthesis of consciousness:

there is no suggestion that the understanding of the
individual theorist, and the categories which he
uses, are themselves subject to change. Dilthey’s
theory of how knowledge in the human sciences is
possible assumes that the subject of that knowledge
is unaffected by the acquisition of that knowledge.

Thus it assumes that it is possible to specify the
structure of the mental processes for all such subjects of knowledge. The etlmocentricity and ahistoricality of this theory is self-evident. The
theory plainly reflects the dominance of the model
of natural science, where it is more plausible
although not without Significant consequences, to
~ssume that the knowing subject is not implicated
in the knowledge which is produced. Thus the
theory is both ahistorical, and a product of definite
historical conditions.

The third and fourth sections suffer particularly
from the distorting effects of translating in extract.

The fragmentary nature of Dilthey’s writings and
the more fragmentary nature of Rickman’ s presentation of them give an illusory impression of more
substantial theory than there is. For example
Dilthey writes, in The Nature of Philosophy:

Thus the history of philosophy passes three
problems on to systematic philosophy: it must
provide a basis, a justification and systematisation for the sciences and come to grips with
the never. ending desire for the ultimate reflection on being, ground, value, purpose and their
relationships in a worldview – whatever form
or direction it take.s. (p132)
This is not, as might be supposed, the conclusion
to the introduction to a work applying itself to these
problems, but is instead the conclusion to the work
[itself, passing on the problems for future considera:tion. Dilthey does not construct a systematic
‘philosophy, he projects it. In the existing fragments
of his project, however, there are evident the
theoretical obstacles which prevent the system being
anything more than a project, complet~able neither
iby Dilthey, nor by a successor. The attempt to
Iprovide a baSiS, a justification for the sciences,
lpresupposes a kind of knowledge which cannot itself
jbe grounded, since it is itself the justification and

origin of knowledge. The justification cannot itself
be justified.

In spite of his own stated aims, Rickman suggests,
through his selection and commentary, that
Dilthey’s more valuable writings must be his studies
of particular writers and eras, and not the fragmented reflections on general procedural principles.

In the latter there is the insuperable obstacle identified in the previous paragraph, and the more
individual difficulties indicated in connection with
the particular parts of the incomplete system. It is
however in the former body of writings that Dilthey

Martin Howarth-Williams, R. D. Laing: His Work
and its Relevance for Sociology, Routledge Direct
Editions, Routledge & Kegan Paul, .1977, 219pp
+vii, £4.50
Andrew Collier, R. D. Laing: The Philosophy and
Politics of Psychotherapy, Harvester Press, 1977,
214pp+x, £ 8.45
Laing’s work presents a number of difficulties: it
draws on sources that are not always well known,
and Laing rarely systematically relates himself to
any of them; and it combines, almost incoherently,
theoretical argument and speculation, description,
analYSiS, and (not very good) poetry. HowarthWilliams offers us an elaboration of Laing’s work
and its sources (excluding Freud), breaking it down
into stages and exploring its internal coherences.

He ends with a discussion of the’ concept of ‘intelligibility’ comparing Laing first with Schutz and
ethnomethodology and then with Levi-Strauss and
structuralism. Unfortunately his discussion is
unnecessarily verbose and his definition of the
philosophical, theoretical and political issues is
too general and naive; he just fails to produce the
sympathetic introductory exposition of Laing’s
work that would be useful.

Andrew Collier’s book is more readable and more
philosophically acute, but in a sense he falls foul of
Laing’s refusal to engage in systematic theoriSing.

Collier writes as a Marxist, presenting a sort of
balance sheet of Laing’s achievements and failures,
and given the current fashion for epistemological
hatchet jobs, perhaps his most impressive accomplishment is to remain scrupulously fair to the
compl~xities and ambiguities of Laing’s work. He
situates Laing’s theory in between psychoanalysis
and Marxism; like Juliet Mitchell, he sees Laing
as offering a description of the experience of the
family without necessarily producing a knowledge
of the family or its internal relationships. However~
he argues that in the course of Laing’s descriptions”,
we can find an analysis of the mechanisms of interpersonal relations which complements that of the
mechanis ms of intra-personal relations produced
by psychoanalysis proper. –Thus Laing identifies
the social relations which produce a ‘schizophrenic’

re,~ction, but Freudian analysis is necessary to
e.lain why an individual is unable to escape those
-ftj1ations in any other way. Collier acknowledges
Laing’s claim to make ‘schizoid’ behaviour intelligible, but argues that this is no substitute for a
causal explanation; rather it is a conceptual comple·,
went or parallel to a causal explanation provided by
liTeudian theory. Beyond this, ~ing is important
because he maintains the socially critical dimensio:q


-remarks casually, indefensibly, ‘history did,not
need Nietzsche’ (P117). It is tempting to respond,
equally fatuously, ‘history did not need Dilthey’.

However, the writings of both Dilthey and Nietzsche
have made a certain impact on their contemporaries
and on their successors, and it is important to
discover why there are revivals of interest in them;
whether it is possible to read them now as they
have been read, and why they were so read.

‘J oanna Hodge

of psychoanalysis, and offers the beginnings of an
understanding of the way in which the family
functions in the wider social formation.

On the other hand,’ there are distinct dangers in
Laing’s approach. His social phenomenology can
lead too easily to the acceptance of the actor’s
point of view – the experience of ‘schizophrenia’

becomes part of the theory of ‘schizophrenia ‘; and
there is a tendency to dissolve ‘process’ – the
independent working of social structures (and a
term which Laing misappropriates from Sartre)
– into praxiS – individual action. These dangers
are subsumed under the label ‘personalism’ – the
acceptance of a misleading notion of the individual
ego as an autonomous, free origin of social phenomena. This is seen as accounting for a number of
tensions in Laing’s–work which lead to opposing
and equally unacceptable prescriptions: the first
is’the moralistic encourage ment, in the name of
love, of an unattainable independence in relationships to others; the second is the encouragement
of a mystical transcendance of the individual ego.

Collier would seem to see both as unsuccessful
attempts to escape the schizoid situation, mistaken
by Laing as real solutio~s.

It would be difficult to disagree with any of this
on the basis of Laing’s own work, but the real
-problem is Laing’s relationship to Sartre. Collier
makes life too easy for himself in never coming to
grips with that relationship in i~s most vital aspect:

the critique of psychoanalysis. Now it is certainly
true that Laing has an ambiguous attitude to- the
unconscious: he seems to employ the concept and
to criticise it at the same time. Collier sees this
a sign of the deficiency of Laing ‘s “social
phenomenology, indicating that the approach needs
to be artictllated with orthodox Freljdian analysis.

But there is another way of making-‘sense of the
ambivalence: as Laing’s implicit appropriation of
a distinction in Sartre’s early phenomenology
between a thetic and a non-thetic (a reflective and
an un-/pre-reflective) consciousness. The latter
is the equivalent in what Sartre calls ‘existential
psychoanalysis’ to the unConscious in Freudian
analySiS – and indeed the pre -reflective remains
uncons cious until it is brought to light through
analysis. Nevertheless, ,it is intentional;’ requiring comprehension rather than causal explanation.

Now it seemS to me that Laing is oppoSing albeit in an implicit and possibly confused way a Sartrian notion of pre-reflective consciousness
to a Freudian concept- of the unconscious as a
’cause’. This presupposes an argument to be found
in -Being and -Nothingness: the mechanisms of
repreSSion, projection etc, upon which Freudian
explanation draws, must be understood in one of
two ways: either they imply the intentional action
of a non-thetic consciousness which represses,
projects etc; or they are’ physical mechanisms
operatiJ?g”on psychic material – a position which,


as farlo,M I can see, would be unacceptable to anybody but an incoherent behaviourist.

If I am right, then much of Collier’s critique of
Laing becomes irrelevant. Laing is not proposing
a personalis m: the ego is a pro4uct of the non-thetic
consciousness, and the ‘unity’ and ‘freedom’ of the
latter is of a very special and limited form certainly not sufficient for it to be taken as the
source and origin of external social phenomena.

It further be co mes necessary to distinguish
between the-experience Laing “is articulating and
the actor’s point of view (and in fact- Laing always
interprets as”well as presents that point of view).

The simple opposition of conscious and unconscious
ceaseS to be adequate in this sort of analysis.

I would not for one minute suggest that Sartre’s
critique of Freud is necessarily right, and in
Laing’s work tt takes on all sorts of doubtful
meanings. It does, however, raise more fundamental questions about the nature and status of
psychoanalytic theory than Collier is willing to
admit, and the problem of the ‘meaning’ of
‘insane’ behaviour cannot be settled as simply
as he desires.


utopian (or visionary) mode of writing, which
connects with Morris’ concern to fan the flames of
the human spirit, literally to inspire, in order to
promote the life-affirmation of socialist revolution
and to help lift it beyond a mere drive for ‘improvements’ or a mere destructive outbreak. Thus his
poetry, his architecture, his decoration, as well as
his pamphlets, function – or strive to function through embodying the values of beauty, life, love
and care that are socialism’s promise. This sense
of the ‘whole’ of the way things, words and activities
add to or detract from the ‘commonwealth’ helps
explain Morris’ following Ruskin in his stress on
architecture as the art which shapes human life
most obviously yet most deeply ..

With their stress on ‘qualitative’ questions (e. g.

about work) and his sense, as an activist, of the
objective loss to the movement that comes with a
mania for ‘tactics’, Morris’ writings, despite the
long-windedness characteristic of the period, are
important. And Thompson’s biography helps us
understand that importance. (Asa Briggs’ Penguin
collection is probably the best, cheap introduction
to Morris’ own writings.)

E P Thompson, William Morris, Romantic to
Revolutionary, Merlin, 1977 (1955) £3. 90
Thompson’s revised biography is a wonderful book,
essential reading for anyone interested in MorriS,
in the British socialist tradition and in the issues
that Morris raises: in particular what could be
called ‘political aesthetics’. For, as Thompson
shows from the book’s earliest chapters on
Romanticism and the Pre-Raphaelites, Morris’

distinctive characteristic was to hang on to his
artistic vision and to stand out against both an asocial aestheticism and art unaesthetic commercialism or state-socialism. (See, especially, the
chapter on ‘The Anti-Scrape’ and the section:

‘Necessity and Desire’.)
In his postscript Thompson indicates what seems
true: that a measure of CP piety had led him to play
down some of Morris’ distinctiveness in the interests of emphasizing his ‘genuine Marxism’ (There is
often a strange sense of Thompson congratulating
Morris across the years on behalf of the Party.)
In particular Thompson here mentions Morris’


Carmen Claudin-Urondo, Lenin and the Cultural
R.evolution, translated from the French by Brian
Pearce, Harvester Press, Sussex, England, 1977,
One of the.most important issues to emerge after
the Russian Revolution was the cultural revolution.

Whilst everyone was at one on the importance of
culture, there were controversies about its meaning, its content and function in the period of transition. One of the main questions at issue was this:

As the proletariat was now the new ruling class
should it create its own class culture, its- own art,
its own marxist science? Or should the proletariat
utilize bourgeois culture inherited from capitalis m ‘(
During the 1920s Lenin’s point of view on these
questions was dominant. The author-therefore
examines Lenin’s writing and attempts to show
how his views affected the fate of .the Russian

Lenin believed that the revolution was threatened
because the masses lacked culture (as Knowledge).

‘Civilization’ was aSSOciated with the western
countries with their highly developed productive
forces, rationalized organization of labour, and
advanced science and technology. They offered

lan Craib

T Skillen
Russia a ready-made model. Scientific and technological know ledge was an achieve ment of advanced
capitalis m and all that was needed was for it to be
taken over so that the masses could ‘learn’ it.

Lenin conceived science and technology as neutral
entities, rather like tools, the function of which
can change depending on the use being made of
them. As there must be complete assimilation of
scientific culture, bourgeois experts must be
fully utilized. Claudin – Urondo des cribes how
Leninlls rejection of the concept of proletarian
culture brought him in conflict with Proletkult,
the organisation whose aim was to create a new
class culture. Proletkult maintained that bourge0is culture cannot serve the interests of the
proletarian regime. Without science socialism is
impossible, and it is also impossible with
bourgeois science. Whilst Proletkult held that
the new culture could be realized only by the
proletariat itself, Lenin believed that the proletariat was incapable of building the new society
without recourse to bourgeois culture and specialists. The proletariat could only develop trade union
consciousness, and as it was incapable of liberating
itself, it must be elevated to knowledge. Hence the
need for a vanguard, the Party. The same lack of
culture in the masses which makes the Party ‘8
intervention indispensible gives rise, at the same
time, to the necessity for the Party to directly
manage the State on their behalf.

The Bolsheviks took over from the Second

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 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

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 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

Buy the newest RP in printDownload the PDF