The Politics of Rationality
Reason Through History
To Be Published February 1st 2014 by Routledge – 240 pages
What are reason and rationality? How significant are recent postmodernist and neuroscientific challenges to these longheld notions? Should we abandon a belief in reason and an adherence to rationality? Or can reason and rationality be reformulated and reframed? And what does politics have to do with how we think about reason and why we act more or less rationally?
The Politics of Rationality differs from other books with "reason" or “rationality” due to its historical, political, depth-psychological, and multidisciplinary approach to understanding Reason through History.
Charles P. Webel eloquently clarifies the links among ideas, their creators, the relevant mental processes, and the political cultures within which such important concepts as reasons and rationality take hold. He demonstrates how reason and rationality/irrationality have become what they mean for us today and proposes a way to rethink reason and rationality in light of the withering critiques leveled against them. In doing so, he presents a "history of reason and rationality" by examining the intellectual and political contexts of five representative theorists of reason and rationality-- Plato, Machiavelli, Kant, Weber, and Habermas—and by addressing contemporary challenges posed by postmodernism, depth psychology, and neurophiloshy
Introduction: Reason within History 1. The Platonic Unity 2. From the State of Reason to Raison d'Etat: Machiavelli and the Historicity of all Ideals 3. Kant: The Primacy of Practical Reason 4. Max Weber: The Disenchantment of Reason 5. The Cunning of Dialectical Reason: Habermas and the Transformation of Substantive Rationality 6. The Deconstructions and Embodiments of Reason: From Postmodernism to a Neuroscience of Consciousness? Conclusion: History within Reason
Charles P. Webel has taught philosophy, psychology, intellectual history, and politics at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of South Florida, California State University at Chico, Saybrook University, the University of New York in Prague, and Harvard University. He was also Director of the Centre for Peace Studies at the University of Tromso, Norway, and he graduated from the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California.