Recognition of a right of resistance to oppression clearly helped modern Western polities accept constitutional forms of order. Drawing on Locke's canonical discussion in the Second Treatise, influential Anglo-American political theorists also suggest that the establishment of modern constitutional states required outlawing resistance practices. A francophone perspective, however, raises a problem for such generalizations about modern Western political philosophy and practice: the French “résistance” differs in meaning from the English “resistance” in important ways. Reconstructing the histories of the cognate concepts, I show that “résistance” emerged out of feminized discourses concerning moral conscience and that, as a result, excluding résistance from politics seems implausible, a conclusion that sheds light on the discussion of résistance in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. The article closes with the suggestion that, following the Second World War, French understandings of “résistance” may have influenced American politics and thought in unrecognized ways.
Jeffrey D. Burson
This article explores the relationship of religion, universal histories of philosophy, and eighteenth-century French vitalism in the work of Abbé Claude Yvon. Yvon, while in exile in the Netherlands, was a high-ranking associate of the Masonic societies of The Hague and close to radical publishers. He was also heralded as a materialist and radical Enlightenment partisan. Upon his return to France in 1762, his significant role in the Prades Affair (1752) led to mistrust and scorn on the part of the French clerical establishment, but he also spent the bulk of his later years writing anti-philosophe apologetics for the Catholic Church. This unlikely collision of seemingly inimical career trajectories makes Yvon a figure that transcends common understandings of Catholic Enlightenment, as well as recent scholarly taxonomies of “radical” and “moderate” Enlightenment introduced by Jonathan Israel's controversial synthesis of the age. Yvon's awkward adherence to a kind of “vitalistic materialism” is but one such aspect of his ambivalent position on the peripheries of radical and Catholic Enlightenment currents.
Blurred Boundaries and Terminological Problems
Departing from a recent work by Helmut Müller-Sievers the author charts the intricacies of the debate between preformationism and epigeneticism and its theoretico-epistemological repercussions during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Although the most common interpretation equals preformationism to mechanism and fixism, on one side, and evolutionism to epigeneticism and organicism, on the other, the actual picture, once key authors are analyzed, is far more complex. All preformationist theories were, in principle, mechanistic, but not all mechanistic theories were preformationist: they could also be epigenetist, which means that not all epigenetist theories were necessarily organicist. Although all organicist theories were, in principle, evolutionary, not all mechanistic theories were fixist. And finally, all preformationist theories were, in principle, fixist, but not all fixist theories were preformationist. The redefinition of the notion of embryonic preformation in the first decades of the nineteenth-century resulted, in turn, in a new concept of the “organism,” crystallizing a view of nature that combined fixism (at a phylogenetical level) and evolutionism (at the embryological level).
A View from Natural Philosophy
of his time. The concept of innovation has no place in natural philosophy. Natural philosophy and innovation are two distinct spheres of activity. The first part of the article presents the meaning of the concept of innovation from its very early
From the English Philosophical Context to the Greek-Speaking Regions of the Ottoman Empire
Eirini Goudarouli and Dimitris Petakos
and the philosophy of science and technology, scholars strongly acknowledge the role and gravity of conceptual change in historical and philosophical inquiry. They are interested in the changing meaning of fundamental scientific concepts and the direct
How Medieval Ideas of Time Influenced the Development of Mechanical Reproduction of Texts and Images
are occasionally found, we are confined on the whole to material evidence of what has been preserved to date, although it is being more deeply plumbed by imaging and other technologies. But almost all of the abundant philosophy of the late Middle Ages
A Study of Two Argumentative Tropes
now political rather than metaphysical, the term has preserved its role as a technical concept among theoretical philosophers and historians of philosophy. Pluralism and Antipluralism between the World Wars During the first decades of the twentieth
Discovering the Future in the Hispanic World
Translator : Mark Hounsell
“discovery.” Although this discourse changed over time and would take on a new meaning with dissemination of the Enlightenment philosophies of history, stagist theories included, there persisted a “denial of coevalness” 10 on behalf of Europeans that meant
Bioarchaeological Perspectives on Pinker’s “Prehistoric Anarchy”
–646; James R. Kerin, “Combat,” in Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict , ed. Lester R. Kurtz, 2nd ed. (San Diego: Academic Press, 1998), 349. 13 David Warbourton, “Aspects of War and Warfare in Western Philosophy and History,” in Warfare and Society
Propaganda’s Role in Liberal Democratic Societies
Jason Stanley and John B. Min
Stanley and Min discuss how propaganda works in liberal democratic societies. Stanley observes that the inability to address the crisis of liberal democracies can be partially explained by contemporary political philosophy’s penchant for idealized theorizing about norms of justice over transitions from injustice to justice. Whereas ancient and modern political philosophers took seriously propaganda and demagoguery of the elites and populists, contemporary political philosophers have tended to theorize about the idealized structures of justice. This leads to a lack of theoretical constructs and explanatory tools by which we can theorize about real-life political problems, such as mass incarceration. Starting with this premise, Stanley provides an explanation of how propaganda works and the mechanisms that enable propaganda. Stanley further theorizes the pernicious effects that elitism, populism, authoritarianism, and “post-truth” have on democratic politics.