Spirit, Intellect and Violence

Spirit, Intellect and Violence

Ulrich Sieg

Kaiser Wilhelm the First narrowly evaded two assassination attempts within a few weeks in 1878. The nation was horrified, but large sections of the middle classes saw this as conformation that Darwinism and social democracy – in fact the whole spirit of modernism – had eroded long-held traditional values. The consequence was a paradigm shift in the metaphysical philosophy of values at university level which soon found a complimentary resonance within the wider public. In Ulrich Sieg’s view this marked the genesis of an ominous liaison between philosophy and the empowerment of an authoritarian state, leading to the intellectual justification of the First World War, spawning the anti-democratic outlook that informed the politics of the Weimar Republic, and ultimately facilitating the rise of National Socialism. Ulrich Sieg examines this widely-accepted mindset embodied by names such as Windelband, Eucken and Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche in its historical context, providing significant and timely insights for the upcoming centenary of the First World War.

Spirit, Intellect and Violence

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