Can societies fall ill? Can institutions die, or social practices degenerate? Must social norms be embodied? To what extent is social action habitual? Is social life part of nature or does it transcend it? This book explores the meaning and many facets of naturalism in social philosophy. It investigates the consequences of concepts such as 'second nature' and 'forms of life' for social philosophy. It analyses the ways in which social action, gender, work and morality are embodied. It surveys the conceptions of nature at play in social criticism. It provides students and experts of social philosophy with both an overview and critical analyses of the many facets of naturalism in social philosophy from Hegel to contemporary critical theory.
Contributors: Louis Carré, Fabian Freyenhagen, Martin Hartmann, Axel Honneth, Thomas Khurana, Steven Levine, Sabina Lovibond, Arvi Särkelä, Barbara Stiegler, Mariana Teixeira, Italo Testa
Martin Hartmann is professor of philosophy at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland. He focuses on political philosophy, social philosophy, philosophy of trust, Critical Theory, and the philosophy of emotions. He has published books on trust, John Dewey, the philosophy of emotions and articles on Critical Theory, pragmatism, trust, David Hume, Adam Smith, and the philosophy of emotions.
Arvi Särkelä is a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zürich, Switzerland. He focuses on social philosophy, philosophy of culture, philosophy of nature, and the history of philosophy. He has published many articles on Adorno, Dewey, Hegel, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein. He is the author of the book Immanente Kritik und soziales Leben: Selbsttransformative Praxis nach Hegel und Dewey and co-editor of John Dewey, Sozialphilosophie (with Axel Honneth), John Dewey and Social Criticism (with Federica Gregoratto and Just Serrano) and Pathologies of Recognition (with Arto Laitinen).
Chapter 1: Naturalism and Social Philosophy: An Introduction, Martin Hartmann and Arvi Särkelä
PART I: Second Nature and Forms of Life: Naturalistic Key Concepts in Social Philosophy
Chapter 2: Second Nature: The Profound Depths of a Philosophical Key Term, Axel Honneth
Chapter 3: The Stage of Difference: On the Second Nature of Civil Society in Kant and Hegel, Thomas Khurana
Chapter 4: 1880: First Philosophical Critique of Adaptationism: Nietzsche, Reader of Herbert Spencer, Barbara Stiegler
Chapter 5: Experimentalism, Naturalism, and the Grounds of Social Critique, Steven Levine
Chapter 6: From Naturalism to Social Vitalism: Revisiting the Durkheim-Bergson Debate on Moral Obligations, Louis Carré
PART II: Embodiment and Social Life: Action, Gender, and Work
Chapter 7: The Dual Mode of Social Interaction: Habit, Embodied Cognition, and Social Action, Italo Testa
Chapter 8: Sex, Gender, and Ambiguity: Beauvoir on the Dilaceration of Lived Experience, Mariana Teixeira
Chapter 9: The Naturalist Presuppositions of the focus on work and economy in Dewey's Social Philosophy, Emmanuel Renault
PART III: Naturalism and Social Criticism: Social Pathology and Philosophical Therapy
Chapter 10: The (Meta)Physician of Culture: Early Nietzsche’s Disclosing Critique of Forms of Life, Arvi Särkelä
Chapter 11: ‘The Sickness of a Time’: Social Pathology and Therapeutic Philosophy, Sabina Lovibond
Chapter 12: Objective reason, ethical naturalism, and social pathology: The case of Horkheimer and Adorno, Fabian Freyenhagen
About the Editors and Contributors
If often denied and repressed, the Anthropocene has returned naturalism to the center of the possibility of social philosophy. In this splendid and timely series of essays, the classical defenders of naturalism in social theory—from Hegel and Nietzsche through to Dewey, Beauvoir, Wittgenstein, Adorno and Horkheimer—are provided with emphatic elaboration and defense. Singularly and collectively, these essays demonstrate the defining characteristics of the kind of naturalism necessary for a Critical Theory of society today.
A timely and insightful collection of essays. Naturalist positions in ethics and philosophy of science are commonplace, it is high time that social philosophy starts making explicit its opposition to and reliance on naturalistic ideas. With this collection, the debate is on!