By Thomas L. Akehurst
The Cultural Politics of Analytic Philosophy examines 3 generations of analytic philosophers, who among them based the trendy self-discipline of analytic philosophy in Britain. The publication explores how philosophers comparable to Bertrand Russell, A.J. Ayer, Gilbert Ryle and Isaiah Berlin believed in a hyperlink among German aggression within the 20th century and the nineteenth-century philosophy of Hegel and Nietzsche. Thomas L. Akehurst therefore identifies during this political critique of continental philosophy the origins of the highly major faultline among analytic and continental idea, a facet of twentieth-century philosophy that continues to be poorly understood. The publication additionally uncovers a tripartite alliance in British analytic philosophy, among kingdom, political advantage and philosophical strategy. In revealing this constitution at the back of the assumptions of sure analytical thinkers, Akehurst demanding situations the normal knowledge that sees analytic philosophy as a semi-detached narrowly educational pursuit. to the contrary, this crucial booklet means that the analytic philosophers have been espousing a countrywide philosophy, one they believed operated in concord with British considering and the British values of liberty and tolerance.
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Extra info for The Cultural Politics of Analytic Philosophy: Britishness and the Spectre of Europe
It is possible that the ‘doctrine’ to which Russell refers is Kant’s reintroduction of a standard beyond truth and reason in philosophy – a move which, as we will see in Chapter 3, Russell links to the romantic revolt, and to fascism. Berlin is similarly equivocal about Kant, remarking: ‘it is odd to reflect that there is a direct line, and a very curious one, between the extreme liberalism of Kant, with his respect for human nature and its sacred rights, and Fichte’s identification of freedom with self assertion, with the imposition of your will upon others .
We must first establish the kind of picture Russell and Berlin offer of the historical relationship between fascism and the anti-canon. In ‘The Ancestry of Fascism’ Russell complained that too often ideas are overlooked in the explanation of events. 142 Ideas do not necessarily become politically active at the time of their inception but when the times call for them, when the political and economic circumstances make them relevant. The language of this explanation is rather vague; political events ‘take their colour’ from past speculations.
On top of their youth Ayer, Austin and Berlin inhabited a world preoccupied with immediate concrete political concerns, which may have distracted them from the theoretical background to the rise of fascism. 48 As Spain retreated as an issue, there was the famous ‘Munich by-election’ of October 1938. The Master of Balliol, A. D. Lindsay, challenged the Tory Quinton Hogg as an anti-appeasement candidate. 50 For reasons that we will discuss in subsequent chapters, their days of study were not filled by reading of the work of Nietzsche, Hegel and other condemned thinkers.