Frases de Eric Voegelin

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Eric Voegelin

Fecha de nacimiento: 3. Enero 1901
Fecha de muerte: 19. Enero 1985

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Erich Hermann Wilhelm Vögelin, conocido como Eric Voegelin, fue un politólogo y filósofo político de origen alemán asquenazí, refugiado desde 1938 en Estados Unidos, país del cual adoptó la nacionalidad en 1944. Fue profesor de Ciencia Política en las universidades de Viena, Luisiana, Múnich y Stanford.

Estudió Derecho en la Universidad de Viena, tuvo como directores de tesis doctoral a Hans Kelsen y Othmar Spann. Desde 1928 trabajó como profesor asociado de Ciencia Política en la Facultad de Derecho de su Universidad hasta que, con la anexión de Austria a la Alemania nazi en 1938, tuvo que huir con su familia, primero a Suiza y después a Estados Unidos, donde se establecería como ciudadano exiliado, al igual que otros alemanes coetáneos como Hannah Arendt, Albert Einstein, Vicki Baum, Bertolt Brecht, Leo Strauss o Thomas Mann.

Se establecería en Luisiana, donde impartió clases en la Universidad Estatal, hasta que en 1958 aceptó una oferta para ocupar una cátedra de Ciencias Políticas en la Universidad de Múnich que había estado vacía desde la muerte de Max Weber en 1920. Tras una década en Alemania, en 1969, desencantado con la situación política y social encontrada, regresó a Estados Unidos, esta vez a la Hoover Institution de la Universidad de Stanford, en California, donde continuaría con su trabajo hasta su muerte en 1985.

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Frases Eric Voegelin

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„It is impossible to understand the graveness of the Western crisis unless we realize that the cultivation of values beyond Littré's formula of civilization as the dominion of man over nature and himself by means of science is considered by broad sectors of Western society to be a kind of mental deficiency.“

—  Eric Voegelin
Context: The criterion of integral sanity [for Littré] is the acceptance of Positivism in its first stage. The criteria of decadence or decline are (1) a faith in transcendental reality, whether it expresses itself in the Christian form or in that of a substitute religion, (2) the assumption that all human faculties have a legitimate urge for public expression in a civilization, and (3) the assumption that love can be a legitimate guiding principle of action, taking precedence before reason. This diagnosis of mental deficiency is of an importance which can hardly be exaggerated. It is not the isolated diagnosis of Littré; it is rather the typical attitude toward the values of Western civilization which has continued among "intellectual positivists" from the time of Mill and Littré down to the neo-Positivistic schools of the Viennese type. Moreover, it has not remained confined to the schools but has found popular acceptance to such a degree that this variant of Positivism is today one of the most important mass movements. It is impossible to understand the graveness of the Western crisis unless we realize that the cultivation of values beyond Littré's formula of civilization as the dominion of man over nature and himself by means of science is considered by broad sectors of Western society to be a kind of mental deficiency. p. 139

„Enlightened utilitarianism is but the first in a series of totalitarian, sectarian movements to be followed later by Positivism, Communism and National Socialism.“

—  Eric Voegelin
Context: The tenacity of faith in this complex of ideas is certainly not caused by its merits as an adequate interpretation of man and society. The inadequacy of a pleasure-pain psychology, the poverty of utilitarian ethics, the impossibility of explaining moral phenomena by the pursuit of happiness, the uselessness of the greatest happiness of the greatest number as a principle of social ethics - all these have been demonstrated over and over again in a voluminous literature. Nevertheless, even today this complex of ideas holds a fascination for a not inconsiderable number of persons. This fascination will be more intelligible if we see the complex of sensualism and utilitarianism not as number of verifiable propositions but as the dogma of a religion of socially immanent salvation. Enlightened utilitarianism is but the first in a series of totalitarian, sectarian movements to be followed later by Positivism, Communism and National Socialism. p. 52

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„Philosophy springs from the love of being; it is man's loving endeavor to perceive the order of being and attune himself to it.“

—  Eric Voegelin
Context: Philosophy springs from the love of being; it is man's loving endeavor to perceive the order of being and attune himself to it. Gnosis desires dominion over being; in order to seize control of being the Gnostic constructs his system. The building of systems is a gnostic form of reasoning, not a philosophical one. Eric Voegelin (1999), Science, Politics, and Gnosticism in The Collected Works, Vol. 5: Modernity Without Restraint, edited by Manfred Henningsen, , p. 273.

„It is not the fear of a particular critical concept, like Hegel's Idea, it is rather the fear of critical analysis in general. Submission to critical argument at any point might lead to the recognition of an order of the logos, of a constitution of being, and the recognition of such an order might reveal the revolutionary idea of Marx, the idea of establishing a realm of freedom and of changing the nature of man through revolution, as the blasphemous and futile nonsense which it is.“

—  Eric Voegelin
Context: But it is useless to subject this hash of uncritical language to critical questioning. We can make no sense of these sentences of Engels unless we consider them as symptoms of a spiritual disease. As a disease, however, they make excellent sense for, with great intensity, they display the symptoms of logophobia, now quite outspokenly as a desperate fear and hatred of philosophy. We even find named the specific object of fear and hatred: it is "the total context of things and of knowledge of things." Engels, like Marx, is afraid that the recognition of critical conceptual analysis might lead to the recognition of a "total context," of an order of being and perhaps even of cosmic order, to which their particular existences would be subordinate. If we may use the language of Marx: a total context must not exist as an autonomous subject of which Marx and Engels are insignificant predicates; if it exists at all, it must exist only as a predicate of the autonomous subjects Marx and Engels. Our analysis has carried us closer to the deeper stratum of theory that we are analysing at present, the meaning of logophobia now comes more clearly into view. It is not the fear of a particular critical concept, like Hegel's Idea, it is rather the fear of critical analysis in general. Submission to critical argument at any point might lead to the recognition of an order of the logos, of a constitution of being, and the recognition of such an order might reveal the revolutionary idea of Marx, the idea of establishing a realm of freedom and of changing the nature of man through revolution, as the blasphemous and futile nonsense which it is. p. 260

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