War and the Illiberal Conscience

War and the Illiberal Conscience

by Christopher Coker
     
 

War and the Illiberal Conscience focuses on two central themes. The first (and larger) section studies the revolt against liberalism: the challenge of German philosophical ideas between 1890 and 1945, namely antipositivism, which ended with the postwar occupation of Germany by the Allies, and the challenge of Marxism, an illiberal version of positivism

Overview

War and the Illiberal Conscience focuses on two central themes. The first (and larger) section studies the revolt against liberalism: the challenge of German philosophical ideas between 1890 and 1945, namely antipositivism, which ended with the postwar occupation of Germany by the Allies, and the challenge of Marxism, an illiberal version of positivism that also ended in defeat—the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.In the latter part of the study, the argument is extended to look at the end of the story, at the extent to which, in triumphing over its enemies, the liberal world—although still convinced of the truth of its own principles—no longer seems enthusiastic about acting on those principles. The liberal conscience no longer spurs it to action. In our postmodern world, the author argues, it makes cowards of us all.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Contends that two major challenges to liberalism and the role of intellectuals in promoting those challenges led to social conditions which in turn led to large wars on the European continent. The liberal conscience, he argues, has a faith in rationality for solving problems, but can accept a certain amount of ambiguity, whereas its modern challengers, German antipositivism and Marxism respectively suffer from either an extreme antirationality on the one hand or too strong a belief in knowable objective truth on the other. He also argues that in the postmodern world the liberal conscience, though triumphant, is now afraid to act upon itself. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813333694
Publisher:
Westview Press
Publication date:
05/07/1998
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.21(w) x 9.15(h) x 0.79(d)
Lexile:
1330L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Christopher Coker teaches at the London School of Economics.

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