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NONTHEMATIC / Vol. 53, No. 1 (Spring 1986)

April 2, 1986

Arien Mack, Editor  

Table of Contents

 

Lawrence Birken 

The Sexual Counterrevolution: A Critique of Cultural Conservatism 

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.

 

Serge Moscovici

The Dreyfus Affair, Proust, and Social Psychology

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.

 

Hubert L. Dreyfus and Stuart E. Dreyfus

Putting Computers in Their Place

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.

 

Dmitri N. Shalin

Romanticism and the Rise of Sociological Hermeneutics

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.

 

Max Weber

The Reich President

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.

 

E. J. Hundert

A Cognitive Ideal and Its Myth: Knowledge as Power in the Lexicon of the Enlightenment

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.”

 

Charles Tilly

European Violence and Collective Action since 1700

Documents collective violence and radical protest in France and England from 1700 to the present, noting the revival of "explosive radicalism" since the 1970s.

 

Giovanni Arrighi, Terence K. Hopkins, and Immanuel Wallerstein

Dilemmas of Antisystemic Movements

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.

 

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