Public Realm, The

Essays on Discursive Types in Political Philosophy

Edited by Reiner Schurmann

Series: SUNY series in Philosophy
Paperback : 9780887067181, 309 pages, December 1988
Hardcover : 9780887067174, 309 pages, December 1988

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Table of contents


Introduction: On Judging and Its Issue

Reiner Schürmann

Part I. A Transcendental Philosophy of Politics

Chapter 1. Transcendental Politics? Political Legitimacy and the Concept of Civil Society in Kant

Manfred Riedel

Chapter 2. Man's Hope

Stanley Rosen

Chapter 3. Kant's Theory of Revolution

Thomas Seebohm

Chapter 4. Person and Law in Kant and Hegel

Ludwig Siep

Part II. A Normative Philosophy of Politics

Chapter 5. Normative Ethics and Strategical Rationality:The Philosophical Problem of a Political Ethics

Karl-Otto Apel

Chapter 6. Notes for a Materialist Analysis of the Public and the Private Realms

Robert Paul Wolff

Chapter 7. Remarks on the Ontology of "Right" and "Left"

Robert Spaemann

Chapter 8. Ontological Grounding of a Political Ethics: On the Metaphysics of Commitment to the Future of Man

Hans Jonas

Chapter 9. Notes on Legitimation

Jean-Fançois Lyotard

Part III. A Descriptive Philosophy of Politics

Chapter 10. The Ruled and the Unruly: Functions and Limits of lnstitutional Regulations

Bernhard Waldenfels

Chapter 11. The Question of Life and Culture from the Perspective of a Radical Phenomenology

Michel Henry

Chapter 12. Contemplation in Action

William J. Richardson

Chapter 13. Collective Symbolism in Political Discourse and its Share in Underlying Totalitarian Trends

Jürgen Link

Chapter 14. The Socialization of Human Action

Vincent Descombes

Part IV. An Institutional Philosophy of Politics

Chapter 15. An Imaginary Preface to the 1984 Edition of Hannah Arendt's "The Origins of Totalitarianism"

Agnes Heller

Chapter 16. Social Movements, Revolution and Democracy

Alain Touraine

Chapter 17. Toward a New Economic Style in Our Society?

Bertram Schelfold

Chapter 18. Time and Revolutionary Language

Reinhart Koselleck

Notes on Contributors


This book offers a collection of essays in contemporary political philosophy from a wide range of Continental viewpoints. The authors include some of the most prominent European and European-oriented philosophers and political thinkers of our day.

Two sections out of four focus on the debate between prescriptive and descriptive types of political thinking. On the prescriptive or normative side, Karl-Otto Apel, Robert Paul Wolff, Robert Spaemann, Hans Jonas, and Jean-Francois Lyotard discuss current forms of legitimating political life via some ultimate grounding. On the descriptive or phenomenological side, Bernhard Waldenfels, Michel Henry, William J. Richardson, Jürgen Link, and Vincent Descombes argue that an understanding of praxis is always implied as one reaches insights into the life-world; there is no need to either construe or set normative standards for action.

The remaining two sections deal with transcendental and institutional types of political philosophy, respectively. Manfred Riedel, Stanley Rosen, Thomas Seebohm, and Ludwig Siep develop Kant's search for "a priori" conditions in the public realm; explicitly or implicitly, they confront the ancient Greek with the modern Enlightenment conceptions of life in public. Lastly, Agnes Heller, Alain Touraine, Reinhart Koselleck, and Bertram Schefold put to work many ways of looking at the life of our institutions.