Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"Vittorio Hösle"

Titel: How Should One Evaluate the Soviet Revolution?
Autor: Vittorio Hösle
Seite: 199-221

The essay begins by discussing different ways of evaluating and making sense of the Soviet Revolution from Crane Brinton to Hannah Arendt. In a second part, it analyses the social, political and intellectual background of tsarist Russia that made the revolution possible. After a survey of the main changes that occurred in the Soviet Union, it appraises its ends, the means used for achieving them, and the unintended side-effects. The Marxist philosophy of history is interpreted as an ideological tool of modernization attractive to societies to which the liberal form of modernization was precluded.

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Titel: The Philosophy of History: A Value-pluralist Response
Autor: George Crowder
Seite: 223-239

Abstract: Vittorio Hösle’s evaluation of the Soviet Revolution on the ground of the philosophy of history can be usefully examined from the value-pluralist perspective of Isaiah Berlin. Although Berlin would agree with most of Hösle’s judgements on the Revolution, he would do so for very different reasons. Most importantly, Berlin would not accept the teleology that lies at the heart of the philosophy of history. For Berlin, the notion of a human telos to be realized at the end of history is a species of moral monism, and so falsified, indeed rendered incoherent, by the deeply pluralist reality of human values. However, Berlin’s pluralism also seems to present a problem for the justification of liberalism, and I consider a range of responses to this difficulty.

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Titel: Value Pluralism and Philosophy of History
Autor: Vittorio Hösle
Seite: 185-189

Inmy reply to George Crowder’s criticism ofmy essay on the Soviet Revolution in the last issue of Analyse & Kritik, I discuss two problems: the nature of a reasonable value pluralism and the relation between ethics and philosophy of history. Concerning the first, I insist on the necessity of an objective rank ordering of values; with regard to the second, I side with Kant, who builds philosophy of history on ethics, and reject the Marxist idea that ethics is itself grounded in philosophy of history.

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Titel: Pluralism, Kant and Progress
Autor: George Crowder
Seite: 191-197

Vittorio Hösle’s reply helpfully clarifies his ethical position but raises three questions from a value-pluralist point of view. First, is the Kantian starting point he proposes a monist position that undercuts the value pluralism to which he says he is committed? Second, in what sense does he accept the central pluralist idea of the incommensurability of values? In particular, what kind of constraint does he believe this places on the rank ordering of values? The formulations he offers are ambiguous between allowing contextual ordering, which is widely endorsed by pluralists, and permitting a comprehensive order that applies in all cases, which most pluralists would reject. Third, Hösle’s commitment to the cause of progress is admirable, but how can this be squared with pluralism? Here, I return to the broad approaches to the problem of pluralist ranking that I identified in my original reply to Hösle.

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Evaluating Societies Morally?
2017 (39) Heft 2

There is hardly a greater distance between our everyday attitudes and scientific caution than in the case of evaluative statements concerning states and their representatives. Even though it is rare that whole cultures are called ‘evil’, judging state representatives in moral terms, often negatively, is wide-spread, and not only among the politically involved. In contrast, classical moral ‘theories’ and their advocates in the human sciences are reluctant to apply moral judgements to item...

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