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【讲座预告】“经典与解释”系列讲座(十八)| 现代政治哲学的反神学运动

发布时间:2018/5/14
标签: 经典与解释

“经典与解释”系列讲座(十八)

现代政治哲学的反神学运动

The anti-theological Movement of Modern Political Philosophy

主讲人:Timothy W. Burns(美国贝勒大学政治科学系教授)

主持人:彭磊 / 娄林 (中国人民大学古典文明研究中心)

第一讲 马基雅维利的圣经批判

时间:5月17日(周四)18:00-20:30

地点:国学馆525

第二讲 培根的马基雅维利式方案

时间:5月18日(周五)18:00-20:30

地点:国学馆525

第三讲 霍布斯、洛克与孟德斯鸠:自然权利说的兴起

时间:5月19日(周六)18:00-20:30

地点:国学馆525

第四讲 卢梭与马克思:公民取代宗教

时间:5月21日(周一)18:00-20:30

地点:国学馆525

第五讲 托克维尔、尼采与施特劳斯:危机与回返

时间:5月22日(周二)18:00-20:30

地点:国学馆525

主办 中国人民大学古典文明研究中心

协办 华夏出版社

主讲人介绍:Timothy W. Burns,美国贝勒大学政治科学系教授,研究生项目部主任,《解释:政治哲学学刊》(Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy)现任主编,研究领域涵盖古典政治哲学与现代政治哲学,涉及修昔底德、色诺芬、莎士比亚、马基雅维利、霍布斯、尼采、施特劳斯等,先后主编After History? Francis Fukuyama and His Critics(1994),The Future of Liberal Education(2014),The Key Texts of Political Philosophy: An Introduction(2014),Brill’s Companion to Leo Strauss’ Writings on Classical Political Thought(2015),Philosophy, History, and Tyranny: Re-examining the Debate Between Leo Strauss and Alexandre Kojève(2016),著有Shakespeare’s Political Wisdom(2013)。

The anti-theological Movement of Modern Political Philosophy

This five-part lecture series will examine the seminal texts of early and late modern political philosophy––of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Marx, Tocqueville, Nietzsche, and Strauss—in order to uncover the philosophical origins of the secularization that we find preceding around us. We will uncover the astounding planning and anticipated execution of the secularization of humanity by modern philosophers, of an attempted correction of the course of that secularization, and of the impoverishing results of that secularization.

Lecture 1: Machiavelli’s Attack on the Bible.

After a brief overview of the anti-theological thrust of modern political philosophy, we will examine the seminal attack on religion contained in Machiavelli’s The Prince, especially its critique of Moses and David, and the call for the conquest of Fortuna.

Lecture 2: Francis Bacon’s Machiavellian Project to Transform Human Consciousness: The New Atlantis.

We will consider the anti-theological thought of Francis Bacon, in its debt to Machiavelli, especially Bacon’s understanding of the virtue of humanity and the crucial need to conquer, through a new kind of science, the purposeless and hostile nature that confronts us, not simply to make our lives easier but especially in order to bring about a change in human consciousness. That change is most visible in the movement, disclosed in Bacon’s New Atlantis, from a concern for the reform of one’s soul in order to achieve eternal life, to the acceptance of human mastery of nature and imperial control over it, an acceptance that includes the abandonment of any hope in a grand or cosmic purposefulness.

Lecture 3: Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, and the Planned Atrophy of Religious Faith.

After considering Hobbes’ plan to destroy the “seeds of religion” through a vast civilizational project, including and especially the transformation of the political realm through the introduction of the doctrine of individual natural rights, we turn to Locke’s attack on the Bible in the First Treatise and his attempt, in the Second Treatise, to introduce the commercial republic, grounded in private property, as a means of overcoming natural scarcity and creating a bountiful world in which the increase of “the common stock of mankind” satisfies human longings. We conclude with an examination of Montesquieu’s claim, in the Spirit of the Laws, that the spirit of commerce and the “reasonableness” that it promotes can quietly but steadily overcomes devotion to moral and religious virtue and incline men toward the this-worldly virtue of “humanity.”

Lecture 4: Rousseau, Marx, and the Rise of the Left:  Replacing Religion with Citizenship.

The first indication that modernity’s attempt to transform human life into a cosmopolitan, urban, commercial existence is misguided comes in Rousseau’s First and Second Treatises. We will examine Rousseau’s critique of modernity and his attempt to re-direct the political-philosophic movement that was sweeping Europe.  This re-direction was toward a rationalism that paid greater attention to the difference—which had been stressed by the ancients—between the rational or philosophic life and political or moral life. While not at all abandoning the final rationalist goal of modernity, Rousseau called for renewed attention to the moral life of man, understood as the product of amour-propre and hence not natural but historically given to man, and the need for its cultivation in a new, egalitarian civic and nationalist politics. We will conclude with reflections on Marx’s use of Rousseau, especially in On the Jewish Question, in his critique of the doctrine of individual rights, a critique made in the name of a new, firmly atheistic consciousness emerging from the historically determined end of alienation from labor and hence end of alienation from other human beings and of all injustice.

Lecture 5: Tocqueville, Nietzsche, Strauss, and the Crisis of Modernity: Failure and Return.

While Rousseau and Marx led an attack on Modernity with the hope of a transformation of humanity that could lead to an egalitarian and strife-free future, the final thinkers that we will examine—Tocqueville, Nietzsche, and Strauss—offer critiques of modernity and modern liberal democracy as depriving human beings of the opportunity for, and cultivation of the means to achieve, the kinds of noble and great deeds that have hitherto resulted from our deepest longings. We will examine Tocqueville’s account of the impoverishment of both politics and the fine arts in liberal democracy, owing to a disenchantment or flight from religion. We will then examine Nietzsche’s account of the enervation of the Will arising out of the peculiar, atheism-inducing path that the Will to Power eventually took through both Christianity and “Platonism” in the West. Finally, we will examine Leo Strauss’ return from the thought of Nietzsche to the thought of the ancients, in his effort to recover the truly rational life but also the richness found in the two alternative ways of life, that of religious faith and that of unassisted reason.