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Theoretical Obstacle - Theoretical obstacle to the development of ideologies - Contemporary attempt to understand our changing world -Manents foundation of science and liberty -

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York University
Political Science
POLS 1000
Martin Breaugh

Theoretical obstacle to the development of ideologies • For the first time in centuries it was seen that human knowledge and human thought is incapable of grasping the general movement of society despite incredible advances in scientific knowledge, we never knew so much, we had enough technological tools to process the information [our understanding of the society and social dynamics is weak]; oddly enough our ability to analyze particular issues remain strong while at the same time we have a difficult time articulating a general outlook on the world; our capacity to synthesis is to take a lot of information and analysis to put together and create a big picture has declined • It is seen that it is extremely difficult to articulate this big picture and to understand how fundamentally things work and in large scales • Philosophers believe that it is possible to get the big picture • At least 2 of the 3 ideologies has actually been contradicted by their practical application • Referring to the experience of Marxism in the Ussr; official document of the soviet union • Have an example of a contradiction of an ideology • More. Imp. For us liberalism is our horizon politically • Liberal ideology = state is a “necessary evil” – why is it necessary? The state is necessary to protect private property. – Why is it evil? The state has power and the states power can harm the individual • In practice the history of liberalism will contradict; the idea that the state is a necessary evil • In order to promote economic liberalism the state will have to use its powers to taxation in order to re-distribute wealth; it will allow for an extension of power and it will stimulate the economy • In addition, wealth re-distribution will take away one of the main reasons why people engage in revolutionary activity; it will make the poor less poor, it will fight poverty and by doing so it will remove the communist temptation in the early 20 centuryh • All of this is with liberal ideologies; despite its anti-state tradition liberalism will thrive thanks to state intervention • And liberalism will survive through strong state intervention • ‘neo-liberalism’ = is a variant or a sub-species of liberalism • People who believe we should return to the original thinking of the state • Oddly enough some neo-liberals will argue that we should eliminate state liberalism all together • And we know liberalism survives through the state and if we remove the state then were almost getting rid of liberalism • Liberals are playing a dangerous game by arguing the removal of state intervention. • The reading of liberalism is dog-matic [def. Arrogant assertion of unproved or improvable principles] • Liberalism rests upon a dog-matic effect of liberalism; in other words neo-liberals are ignorant and do not know the development of liberalism, or their stupid and they just ignore the history of liberalism Contemporary attempt to understand our changing world • Manent calls it an impartial world • By impartial reading he means that he wants to give all perspectives including those he disagrees with in fair and equal change of explanation of our situation • Manent will begin his book by starting off with poetry Manents foundation of science and liberty • He will ask what is it that holds authority for us [by us he’s referring to citizens to western liberty democracy] • Despite this fact what do we all consider as authorities and without Barings [a map] in the world what is it that holds authority for us • Key term = what is authority • *Etymology of authority [Latin]: Auctor [in Latin means founder and author] Augere [in Latin means to increase] • Contained within the term authority is the idea of something that is foundational and therefore important but there is also the idea that his foundational and important thing must be increased/augmented and this is the contribution of augere. • In other words something that holds authority for us is something that has to be perused and expanded; it has to be increased and re-enforced • Ex. Parents have authority in our lives. Because in our lives they are autors they are founders and authors and within this parental role their role must be increased [augere] because of society and in society parents and authority has to be increased and it must be in the rarest cases that authorities of parents are put into question by society and if the authority of parents are put into question it’s because parents have relinquished their authoritarian within the child’s life and so the state has a right to come and remove the authority • Authority defined= something that is foundational and needs to be increased or augmented. • • Our societies are organized for and by science and liberty • Both science and liberty will contain an “active principle” and Manent will attempt to identify the active principle • Both contained within them a principle that governs their actions [an active principle] • 2 GREAT AUTHORITIES 1. Science is the authority in the theoretical domain • Beyond the differences between the soft sciences and the hard sciences all sciences will partake in an “unprecedented project” in the history of humanity • At the heart of this unprecedented project is an attempt to understand the world as it is not as what it should be • Known as the Scientific project, which reveals the world and all of its secrets but nothing about how the world ought to be • [the world as an ought to be is a product of theological thinking; its thinking about the world as it should be] • Scientific project will concentrate on the world as it is and there's nothing to understand from thinking of the world as it should be and we can take it to understand of thinking about the world to as it is with science • EPISTEMOLOGICAL= the theory of knowledge • This idea of looking at the world as it is and not as what it should b it has consequences and on a moral level the scientific project suggests we must evacuate our understanding of things., our illusions and our desires • In this case it is Machiavelli that will give the earliest and the best articulation of this project. When he writes in a very important chapter of the prince, where he tells us we must concentrate on the effectual truth [ch.15] of things rather than the imaginary or our imagination of things • IMP. POINT*By the effectual trough he says we must forget about pure speculation, we must forget about theory and we must focus on the consequences of action as they appear in reality • We can also say that effectual truth means that the truth of an action will be decided of its effects. Effectual truth is also known as the realistic of modern science • Scientific project aims to understand everything (the totality of things the way they are in the world); project says that humans will know all the mysteries, nothing can be remained unsolved; however reality is intangible (humans can understand everything thanks to scientific project). • SUMARIZE: • science holds authority for us in the theoretical domain, • its active principle is to understand the world as it is and not as it ought to be (as it should be) • Re
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