By David West

ISBN-10: 0745611850

ISBN-13: 9780745611853

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But other critics could not be categorized or dismissed so straightforwardly. Although they rejected some of the central tenets ofEnlightenment thought, they also appreciated the value and force of its onslaught on superstition, dogma and arbitrary authority. They did not wish to return to the world that had existed before, but they also recognized one-sidedness and even dangers in the quickening tide of modernization. Their criticisms sought to divert rather than to reverse or halt this social and inteUectual movement.

Both the existing poUtical order and the prevailing philosophy and religion must be transformed or even aboUshed. Through radical social and intellec­ tual criticism, philosophers must bring about inteUectual and poUtical revolution. Of the Young Hegelians Ludwig Feuerbach, in particular, Feuerbach, Marx a n d Marxism 43 was to exert long-lasting influence, mainly through his influence on the thought of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. From these origins a series of important contributions to continental philosophy can be traced.

2 Whereas the 'wilful' impulses of the particular human organism bear no intrinsic relation to the interests of others, the socially constituted 'wiU' of the mature human individual reflects the demands of community though, of course, this does not mean that the wills of all members of society wiU necessarily be in complete harmony. The rational wUl, like Rous­ seau's general will, is not equivalent to the wiU of aU. At first sight Hegel's position, like that developed by Herder and the Romantics, seems to imply relativism.

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An Introduction to Continental Philosophy by David West


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