The Italian Platform for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Kultur and Civilisation: the Tradition of Deutsche Wissenschaft and Weimar Cosmopolitism. A Review Essay on German Cosmopolitan Social Thought and the Idea of the West. Voices from Weimar, by Austin Harrington. Cambridge University Press, 2016, 439 pp.
Keywords: Social Theory; Political Theory; Weimar Republic; Cosmopolitanism; University; Science & Politics.
The article offers a critical reading of Austin Harrington's monumental book "German Cosmopolitan Thought and the Idea of the West: Voices from Weimar", praising it as one of the best, and methodologically sophisticated, reconstruction of German social and political thought within the first third of the Twentieth century, but also emphasizing the pitfalls of studying "voices", i.e. discourses without embedding them in historically specific institutional complexes - in this case the German academic system conceived and practiced as a crucial articulation of the political system.