NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 53, No. 1 (Spring 1986)
Arien Mack, Editor
One of the most salient features of contemporary intellectual life in the United States is the convergence of criticism, from the Left as well as the Right, from feminists as well as anti feminists, directed against the homogenization of the sexes that appears to be implicit in our consumerist culture. The so-called sexual revolution has apparently provoked an intellectual (if not actual) sexual counterrevolution, not only among extremists and Sunbelt fundamentalists but among the rarified strata of the critical elite.
Analyzes the Dreyfus Affair, in which a French military officer was unjustly convicted of selling military secrets to the Germans. Uses comparisons with Marcel Proust's novels to analyze the psychological and social factors relevant to the affair, such as anti-Semitism, persecution, and relations between minorities and the mainstream of society.
The year Artificial Intelligence is celebrating its thirtieth birthday. This is obviously an appropriate occasion for a retrospective evaluation. Looking back over these 30 years, the field of AI appears more and more to be a perfect example of what Imre Lakatos has called a degenerating research program.
Although biblical exegesis and rhetoric, from which modern hermeneutics derived its first principles, are ancient arts, an effort to establish hermeneutics as a universal science, and especially to extend its principals to the science of society, is of a decidedly recent origin.
Toward the end of the First World War, Max Weber gave much thought to what form Germany’s future constitution should take when the war was over. One of Weber’s main proposals was for a strong president, directly elected by plebiscite, equipped with suspensory veto and the power of dissolving parliament.
While the philosophies believed that the wars of the 18th century exemplified an irrational age, their own language remained unusually belligerent, and the Encyclopedie, its primary vehicle, they dubbed a machine de guerre. Verbal aggression became the signature of enlightenment intellectuals, whose century “was above all inscribed in words.”
Documents collective violence and radical protest in France and England from 1700 to the present, noting the revival of "explosive radicalism" since the 1970s.
Opposition to oppression is coterminous with the existence of hierarchical social systems. Opposition is permanent, but for the most part latent. The oppressed are too weak -politically, economically, and ideologically- to manifest their opposition constantly. However, as we know when oppression becomes particularly acute, or expectations particularly deceived, or the power of ruling stratum falters, people have risen up in almost spontaneous manner to cry fault.