By Robert Byron Thigpen (auth.)
This research of the political philosophy of William Ernest Hocking be gan as a doctoral dissertation at Tulane college. Hocking (1873- 1966) used to be for a few years Alford Professor of usual faith, ethical Philosophy, and Civil Polity at Harvard collage. even though he's really recognized between American philosophers, quite by means of scholars of metaphysics and the philosophy of faith, little or no atten tion has been given to his political philosophy. a few normal experiences of his concept summarize his political writings in a really cursory model, yet they don't talk about his contributions intimately or relate them to major concerns in political philosophy. most vital common works on sleek political philosophy or American political notion don't even point out Hocking; a couple of notice his identify in passing. simply because he's nearly thoroughly unknown within the social sciences, the unique goal of this examine was once to discover, systematize, and current his large writings in political philosophy. It then grew to become obvious that his complete political philosophy is orientated round the recommendations of liberty and group. whilst his inspiration is analyzed by way of those topics, its cohesion and coherence are extra noticeable. in addition, his writings turn into extra major after they are regarding liberty and group, for those are focal options for vital difficulties in smooth political philosophy. This learn of Hocking's political philosophy will, it really is was hoping, aid us to work out how liberty and group will be extra comprehensible, possible, and suitable with one another.
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Additional resources for Liberty and Community: The Political Philosophy of William Ernest Hocking
The terms "absolutism" and "relativism" are generally used in relation to the degree of certainty assumed for knowledge. Absolutism, the conviction that one's knowledge is certain, is recognized by Hocking as the great bugbear ofpragmatism and instrumentalism. , p. Q84. , p. Q85. "Dewey s Concepts of Experience and Nature," pp. Q35-38. PERSPECTIVES ON THE STUDY OF MAN 27 by others. The problem with absolutism is that it is dogmatic and closed to other approaches to truth. 70 The relativist also rejects thought, but he often does so because he thinks his opinion is determined.
46 Hocking's discussion of the individual in terms of his increasing sense of potentiality is supported by recent writing in social science. M. Brewster Smith reviews extensively the large body ofliterature that utilizes "competence" as an orienting concept for human development. "47 Some of the research Smith reviews shows how even lower mammals resist imposed change in their environmental conditions and exhibit a predisposition to determine these conditions for themselves. Rollo May, the respected 43 44 SBF, p.
SOCIALITY The nature of freedom, personal unity, and the will have been discussed in rather individual terms. But if Hocking's philosophy is to be a foundation for community, his theory of the self must have social dimensions. Indeed, sociality must be integrally related to the development of the individual will. " That term has competitive connotations. He therefore prefaces his discussion of sociality with comments on this problem. He realizes that the concept has a savage history, largely because of its association with Frederich Nietzsche.