CPS Notes Lecture 4

CPS Notes Lecture 4 - CPS Notes Lecture 4 I Areas of CPS a...

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CPS Notes Lecture 4 – September 18, 2006 I. Areas of CPS a) Ideas b) Institutions c) Interests II. Ideas a) How do we think about thinking, what are political ideas, and how do they affect how we behave politically? b) Seems obvious—people either love politics, or hate it, and think someone should be elected, other shouldn’t, and then act on their beliefs c) But we all know that people talk a big talk, don’t act d) Actual instance of beliefs you act on is smaller than the set of beliefs you hold yourself i) Why don’t the number of ethnic conflict in the world equal the total amount of ethnic hatreds? (1) This is because there isn’t a one to one relationship to political beliefs and political actions ii) So question becomes under what conditions to people act on these beliefs??? This is the topic for today III. Karl Marx a) Friedrich Engels is wealthy patron and comrade, they were a team b) First of a parade of thinkers on the political left—Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin— essential to how Soviet state was structured IV. Marxism a) Historical materialism : the basis of Marxist thought i) Marx begins with the idea that the basis of social reality is the material world ii) Was responding with this idea to an entire history of social thought, particularly from the 18 th C. in the German land to idealism (particularly Hagel) (1) Idealism: the ultimate reality or set of ideas out there (like Platonic forms as the ultimate reality, as the material world is somehow connected to these ideas or forms in a complicated way, but reality itself is a set of ideas) (a) History is the working out of the idea of human freedom according to Hagel, as humans become more and more free, trying to realize freedom in the world (b) This is an idealist conception of the world iii) Marx takes this and says the “ultimate reality” is not these philosophical ideas out in the world: human flourishing freedom, etc.—but the ultimate reality is what is actually able to be sensed in the world, tangible material (1) Think about it: you’re living in London where you’re senses are bombarded every day with sights, smells of industrialization (2) He thinks the ultimate way history works is by changes in material production, in technology, discovery of new forms of agriculture, rise of industry and modern finance
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(3) i.e. historical change is accomplished through change in the material world (4) what’s actually tangibly in front of us is in fact all there is, this is reality iv) but he didn’t deny that there were ideas out in the world (1) but he said that those ideas are simply emanations of the material world— they are epiphenomenonal—it’s is dependent on some more basic
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CPS Notes Lecture 4 - CPS Notes Lecture 4 I Areas of CPS a...

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