POL330 Midterm Study Notes

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Political Science
Melissa Williams

POL330 – Mid-term Summary Study Notes  Weber: father of modern social science – systemic dynamics & causation of outcomes  Necessary presuppositions (can’t actually prove conditions of our knowledge)  Influences: Kant: critique (reason on itself); Nietzsche: progress socially, technologically, etc. through an understanding of happiness (max happiness, min pain)  Growing relative autonomy of social spheres, religion, economics, politics, art/literature, etc.  Beruf – calling – something in us, some voice, calling us to dedicate life to certain end  Inner voice: eudaemonia – well-being of inner spirit o Kinds of callings available to us structured by larger society we live in  Modernity is an iron cage, institutions increasingly rationalized, defined; oppressive to self-understanding, people become increasingly specialized {limit the space of our freedom} o Science & meaning, rationalization / disenchantment  Rationalization of our daily experiences/institutions/practices – no mysterious incalculable forces, master all things by calculation (politics, economics, bureaucratic decision-making, etc.) – world is disenchanted*  Disenchantment strips our lives of meaning  Death is meaningless in the march of history, just part of process that’s progressive over grand scale, individual man’s life plays into progress, not significant o Science can’t tell us how to live/what to do  Modernization yields generation of multiple views, hierarchy – but reason can’t order those plural values  Utilitarian view of science – tools for thinking – means/calculative reason that gives us clarity; if-then rationality; causation, logic, reflect critically on means & ends & consequences o Equips us with capacity to take responsibility for our actions  Most important virtue of scientist is courage in holding to the truth; intellectual integrity  Dirty hands dilemma – if get involved in politics, can’t keep hands clean  Specialization – rationalization, modernization – development of modernity, internal structure of bureaucracy – co-dependent relationship with capitalism (tied to productive economy [bureaucratic state]) – rational principles of efficiency  Scientific rationality, scientific method as way to draw out causal inferences & internal logic of progress, empiricism, self-destruction of knowledge produced by science  Separation of value systems/spheres; standards of rationality  Capitalist society – maximizing efficiency, accumulation of wealth – system of reinvestment & production, technical division of labour, breaking down of productive tasks, allocation of different roles, specialization o Emergence of class structure, capital class against proletariat  Alienation of the worker from the means of production  Process of modern state formation, control over state apparatus, means of political production – control over means of violence – increasingly centralized  *Rationalization & Disenchantment – all else is self-delusion o Freedom of choice understood as marketplace; an illusion (don’t have control)  No rational process by which we can establish fundamental moral equality of human beings; capacity to pursue goods limited by structural conditions of society  Ability to make policy = requires leadership; politics = independent leadership in action  Polis = human community that successfully claims monopoly over legitimate use of force within a territory (distinctive means = violence, force, etc.)  Political struggles = for control over apparatus of state, right to use force; politics = about rule, domination, Herrschaft (mastership)  3 types of legitimacy: tradition, charisma, legality  For politics, rather than from politics o Passion, sense of responsibility & proportion 1) Conviction/absolutist (ultimate ends) 2) Ethic of responsibility  Consequentialist vs. utilitarian o Accept that immorality = price we pay for entering life of politics  Render what is strange familiar (modernization as rationalization)  Ethics of conviction  Weber: Modernity = rationalization & disenchantment; Power = violence, ultimately; an ability to achieve one’s ends through instrumental actions which @ some point will include violence  Weber’s ethics = radically individualistic (‘here I stand, I can do no other’)  Capitalist quality of political competition, turned into a kind of industry  Arendt: capacity to destroy conditions of our existence; modern condition is world alienation; intentional conscious, thoughtless human activity; need inside human perspective  Violence = antithesis of politics ^  Morality politics: Weber: find only in inner cons
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