Arien Mack, Editor
“Time Goes By,” and here we are in our seventieth year—better, we think, than ever. Our quarterly issues, which for many years have been largely thematic, continue to address serious concerns in the life of the mind and the state of the world in which we live in. To celebrate this milestone, we have collected some of the best papers that have appeared in the journal since the 50th anniversary issue in 1984.
A Note on the Seventieth Anniversary of Social Research
For six decades Social Research has carried the voices of men and women who have explored fundamental human issues such as hate, love, violence, and altruism in ways that have forced the authors, and enabled their readers, to think beyond their disciplines. Such thinking is the essence of what the Graduate Faculty and The New School strive to promote.
Philosophy and Politics
The article discusses the conflict between philosophy and politics, which has started during the trial and condemnation of Socrates. It also discusses the opposition of truth and opinion, the difference between the good and the beautiful, and the political element in friendship. The despair of polis life that Plato has experienced in the death of Socrates, has started the tradition of political thought. Plato has described the relationship between philosophy and politics according to the attitude of the philosopher toward the polis. [originally published in Vol. 57, No. 1 (Spring 1990)]
E. J. Hobsbawm
The Making of a "Bourgeois Revolution"
The article discusses the history and the historical consequences of the French Revolution of 1789. Nineteenth-century historians believe that the French Revolution is the most terrible and momentous series of events in all history, and is the real starting point for the history of the nineteenth century. However, late twentieth-century historians view the revolution as a catastrophe, and the greatest calamity to befall the human race. The arguments of F. A. Mignet, who published the book "History of the French Revolution," are also discussed. [originally published in Vol. 56, No. 1 (Spring 1989)]
M. Ranier Lepsius and Jean A. Campbell
The Nation and Nationalism in Germany
The article discusses the link between the idea of nation and nationalism in Germany. It also discusses the formation of a national state by Prussia, the expansion of the German national state into a continental empire by Adolf Hitler, and the division of the German national state by the Allied powers in the second world war. Examples of how historical plasticity and cultural-political manipulability can be ascertained, and the explanations on folk nation and cultural nation, are also provided. [originally published in Vol. 52, No. 1 (Spring 1985)]
Claus Offe and Pierre Adler
Capitalism by Democratic Design? Democratic Theory Facing the Triple Transition in East Central Europe
The article reports on capitalism by democratic design and offers observation on the democratic theory facing the triple transition in the East Central Europe. It discusses the unique and unprecedented nature of the East Central European process of transformation, and the challenges to democratic theory emerging from it. The core problem of the political and economic modernization of the former socialist societies, and the steps involved in the constitutional and economic reforms, are also discussed. [originally published in Vol. 58, No. 4 (Winter 1991)]
Avishai Margalit and Moshe Halbertal
Liberalism and the Right to Culture
The article reports on the issues concerning liberalism and the right to culture of human beings. The right to culture, which involves giving groups a status that contradicts the status of the individual, has many implications in the liberal conception of the state. The article also discusses the central problem for the liberal society's protection of the right to culture especially if the culture involved is not liberal, and provides information on the Ultra-Orthodox culture. Explanation on the Israeli national anthem is also provided. [originally published in Vol. 61, No. 3 (Fall 1994)]
The Seductiveness of Moral Disgust
The author reflects on the idea of imperialism. He discusses the work of Joseph Conrad titled "Heart of Darkness," and says that the work is a fable about late-nineteenth-century imperialism, paralyzed by futility and sapped by the temptations of an all destroying nihilism. He also discusses the reasons it is difficult to reconcile commitment and responsibility in relation to international rescue, the key question posed by the United Nation's experience in Bosnia, and the chief threat to international security in the post-Cold War. [originally published in Vol. 62, No. 1 (Spring 1995)]
Ethics and Biogenetic Art
The article discusses the observations regarding the issues of ethics and biogenetic art. It provides explanation on the genetic remodeling of bacteria, wherein the animal or human genes responsible for the production of particular hormones are transplanted in the bacteria and impart the same capability to the host organism as a hereditary property. It also provides information on the two ways of eliminating chance in the creation of the homunculus, and on the difference between somatic and genetic surgery. [originally published in Vol. 52, No. 3 (Fall 1985)]
Economic Methodology: Heterogeneity and Relevance
The article reports on the heterogeneity and relevance in economic methodology. It proposes a broad-based critique of contemporary economic methodology starting off from the recognition of the deep-seated heterogeneity of the subject matter of economics. It also discusses the diverse and interrelated exercises included in the subject of economics, and the importance of counterfactual propositions in economics. Information on equilibrium economics, and explanation on the formalization of economics are also provided. [originally published in Vol. 56, No. 2 (Summer 1989)]
Economics as Universal Science
The article presents an examination of economics as a universal science. Economics is the only branch of social inquiry that enjoys a Nobel prize, considered as the imperial social science, and has earned the flattery of imitation by its sister social sciences. The article also discusses the role of economics in the social formations that have organized the affairs of humankind for the greatest part of its history. Explanation on market societies, and information on capitalism, are also provided. [originally published in Vol. 58, No. 2 (Summer 1991)]
What Does It Mean to Be an “American”?
The author reflects on the meaning of being an American. He says that the title "American" provides no reliable information about the origins, histories, connections, or cultures of those whom it designates. He also provides explanation on the term "native Americans," and information on Americanization. Observations on the Know-Nothings political party, and the reasons by which the symbols and ceremonies of American citizenship could not be drawn from the political culture or history of British-Americans, are also provided. [originally published in Vol. 57, No. 3 (Fall 1990)]
Squaring the Hermeneutic Circle
The article reports on the implications of hermeneutics, as the art of interpreting the messages of the gods. It discusses the contributions of the "hermeneutic circle," an image that turns up in the writings of the new interpreters, to the sociological understanding, and the place it occupies in the comprehensive theory of the "sciences of man." The advantages of the notion of history as the interpretation of a tradition or an ethos, and the analogy between reading a poem and writing social history, according to Paul Ricoeur, are also provided. [originally published in Vol. 53, No. 3 (Fall 1986)]
Orhan Pamuk and Mary Isin
A Private Reading of André Gide’s Public Journal
The article discusses the public journal of André Gide, one of the first persons to keep a diary for publication. During Gide's time, keeping diaries is not a common practice in Islamic culture, and Eurocentric historian sees it as an inadequacy and sometimes relates it to concepts like private sphere. Gide has been awarded with the Nobel Prize for Literature after the second world war, and has gained a large number of admirers. One of his most notable admirers is Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar, a poet, essayist, and novelist. [originally published in Vol. 70, No. 3 (Fall 2004)]
Life as Narrative
The article discusses the author's observation on life as a narrative. The author discusses the nature of thought, and says that "word making" is the principal function of the mind. He argues that there is no other way of describing "lived time" save in the form of a narrative, and that the mimesis between life and narrative is a two way affair. He relates the ideas about narrative to the analysis of autobiographies, and provides information on culture and autobiography. Explanation on psychic geography is also presented. [originally published in Vol. 54, No. 1 (Spring 1987)]
The Methodology of Masquerading Animals, or, Bestial Myths: Religious Constructions of Relationships Between Humans and Animals
The article provides an analysis of the mythology of masquerading animals or bestiality. It discusses the arguments of Gerard Kornelis van het Reve on the image of donkey that has special meaning in Christian mythology. The image of the donkey incorporates the wounded foot of the equine. It also discusses the most basic classificatory system of human experience. An analysis of the comments made by Stuart Blackburn, regarding the psychosexual meanings of the transformation from night to day is also presented. [originally published in Vol. 62, No. 3 (Fall 1995)]
The article reports on the issues concerning professional liars. Professional liars are defined as those who tell lies for a living, and those who tells lies well, with conviction and with aplomb. The article explores the thought that there is such a thing as the well-told professional lie to explore a very small part of the obligation to tell the truth, and to lie as required by professional roles. It also discusses the aspect of the dealings of the medical community with the public, and the view on democratic politics. [originally published in Vol. 63, No. 3 (Fall 1996)]
Literature and Technology: Nature's "Lawful Offspring in Man's Art"
The article provides an analysis of the concept of literature and technology. It focuses on the technologies contributing to and shaping the formation of the activities and institutions of literature throughout history, and technology as represented in or by literature. A discussion on whether literature is itself a technology, and the observation on landscape gardening during the late seventeenth and eighteenth century, are also provided. It also explains the Utopian fictions, and the significance of the imaginative ambiance about the certainty of machinery and the uncertainty of human and other organisms. [originally published in Vol. 64, No. 3 (Fall 1997)]