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50th ANNIVERSARY ISSUE, PART I: Continental Perspective 1934–1984 / Vol. 51, No. 1 (Spring 1984)

Arien Mack, Editor

Editor Arien Mack introduces the difficulties and the pleasures in choosing articles for the 50th anniversary issue from the more than 2,000 articles that have appeared since the journal began.

This anniversary issue sums up a half century during which Social Research has been the voice of the Graduate Faculty of the New School. Few scholarly journals maintain their permanence for so long a period. Why Social Research? Fanton asserts its because of its loyalty to its founders.

On rare occasions in literary history a new publication appears, not as a result, of long conscious planning, not a product of particularist ambitions, but a spontaneous generation within a dominant circle of circumstances. Social Research is such a spontaneous growth.

The faculty of judging particulars, the ability to say, “this is wrong,” “this is beautiful,” etc. is not the same as the faculty of thinking. Thinking deals with invisibles, with representations of things that are absent; judging always concerns particulars and things close at hand. But the two are interrelated in a way similar to the consciousness and conscience are interconnected. [originally published in Vol. 38, No. 3 (Fall 1971)]

The expression “late capitalism” implicitly asserts that, even in state-regulated capitalism, social developments are still passing through “contradictions” or crises. Therefore the author begins by elucidating the concept of crisis as a suggestion of the notion of objective power depriving a subject of part of his normal sovereignty. [originally published in Vol. 40, No. 4 (Winter 1973)]

Aquinas and Bacon obviously speak of two different things. In assigning different ends to knowledge, they speak in fact of different kinds of knowledge, having also different kinds of things for their subject. [originally published in Vol. 26, No. 2 (Summer 1959)]

In the following section I shall take up the fundamental questions of growth in a capitalist economy or of an economic revival after a crisis, of a transition to a new period of intense activity. It is always important to know when in the course of a business cycle contraction ceases, ie when a crisis turns into a depression, and what the connecting links are to a new period of upward movement, increasing employment, rising prices and higher profits. [originally published in Vol. 1, No. 1 (February 1934)]

Certainly when we turn our attention to growth processes, such as the rise of the industrial system or the secular development of capitalism, systematic mutations in the metaeconomic conditions have to be taken into account as much as changes in the economic field proper. [originally published in Vol. 20, No. 2 (Summer 1954)]

Theoretical thinking and action as typical modes of human behavior are irremediably separated by way of their logical structure. Since politics is in its essence action, there exists with the same necessity as unbridgeable chasm, an eternal tension between politics and theoretical science of politics. [originally published in Vol. 38, No. 4 (Winter 1971)]

It is the aim of the essay to introduce American readers to more recent studies of children’s thinking and the development of intelligence. The essay suggests that the structure of propositional operations is a complex structure which comprises both lattices and groups. Such a structure has many possibilities and implications. These may remain potentialities only, or they may be realized when there arises a problem requiring propositional operations. This hypothesis is not just of psychological interest but also has physiological relevance. [originally published in Vol. 30, No. 3 (Fall 1963)]

In the first part of this article, the author describes the spirit in which French phenomenology has, in Merleau-Ponty’s phrase, “interrogated phenomenology” and why it is that it has found, in the problem of language, the pre-eminent method of crystallizing the interruption of Husserl. After this backward look, the author tries to take up Merleau-Ponty’s interrogation from the point at which he left it. The author is not repeating Husserl, but rather taking up the movement of his thought. This forward look cannot, of course, commit those compatriots who consider themselves part of the phenomenological movement. [originally published in Vol. 34, No. 1 (Spring 1967)]

But I have to forego the temptation to demonstrate how each generation has had to rediscover the man Mozart and his work and to reinterpret his position within the mainstream of music. My purpose is to examine in a very condensed form the images that three modern philosophers—Hermann Cohen, Soren Kierkegaard, and Wilhelm Dilthey—have formed of Mozart and his art; and these images, as will be shown, are restricted to Mozart’s operas. [originally published in Vol. 23, No 2 (Summer 1956)]

Considering the nature of treachery in contemporary conflict, one must realize that the modern systems of communication, transportation and supply are so organized that it is possible for a relatively small number of men to disrupt order by the seizure of key positions, a situation which increases the effects of coups de main. Today the danger of sabotage cannot be measured by the number of saboteurs. These considerations, however, should not veil the fact that a fifth column, that is, large-scale, organized treason, is primarily a sign of social crisis. [originally published in Vol. 7, No. 2 (September 1940)]

Originally, the questions concerning the first things and the right way are answered before they are raised. They are answered by authority. For authority as the right of human beings to be obeyed is essentially derivative from law, and law is originally nothing other than the way of life of the community. The first things and the right way cannot become questionable or the object of a quest, or philosophy cannot emerge, or nature cannot be discovered, as long as authority as such is accepted without doubt, or as long as any general statement of any being whatsoever is accepted on trust. [originally published Vol. 19, No. 1 (March 1952)]

In the following pages, Social Research publishes a speech that Max Wertheimer delivered at a meeting of the Kantgesellschaft in Berlin in 1924. The spoken lecture was taken down in shorthand, as Wertheimer had no manuscript, and only a few notes. The lecture so impressed his audience that he was urged to publish it, and to this he consented, making only minor changes. As Wertheimer’s only programmatic statement on gestalt theory in general, this is a unique document. It throws light on the inner impulse and leading ideas in the research already done and still to be done in Gestalt psychology. It shows the attitude, spirit and passion of Max Wertheimer better than has been done in any other written word of his, and better than can be done in any article in his memory. [originally published in Vol. 11, No. 1 (February 1944)]


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