Advertisement

The World Vision of Revolutionary Independency

  • Andrew Milner
Chapter

Abstract

We have already noted that Goldmann’s sociology of literature has, as one of its main aims, the establishment of an ideal typology of possible world visions, and we have rejected the formalistic implications of such a typology. Nonetheless, it remains possible to retain Goldmann’s central categories, on the condition that we understand the world vision as a concrete form of consciousness, rather than as a formal maximum possible consciousness. Goldmann points to the existence of five main world visions which have dominated human thought since the break-up of feudalism: dogmatic rationalism, sceptical empiricism, the tragic vision, dialectical idealism, and dialectical materialism.1 What primarily concerns us here are the two main world visions of classical bourgeois thought, the rationalist and the empiricist. In a sense both rationalism and empiricism form part of a wider world vision, that of bourgeois individualism, in that they each posit as their central category the isolated individual; this is as true of Locke and Hume as it is of Descartes and Leibniz. But whereas rationalism constructed a system of universal mathematics, of logical necessities, empiricism based itself, much more pragmatically, on the observed contingencies of the sensible world.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    L. Goldmann, The Hidden God, London, 1964, p. 23.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    D. Hume, ‘An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding’, Section vii, Enquiries concerning Human Understanding and concerning the Principles of Morals, Oxford, 1975, pp. 60–79.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    L. Goldmann, Immanuel Kant, London, 1971, pp. 37–8.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    P. Anderson, ‘Components of the National Culture’, in A. Cockburn and R. Blackburn, (ed.), Student Power, Harmondsworth, 1970, p. 226.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    K. Marx and F. Engels, Selected Works, Moscow, 1970, pp. 375–93.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    M. Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, London, 1930.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    J. Milton, ‘Areopagatica’, Prose Works, Bohn Edition, London, 1848, II, pp. 48–101.Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    On the significance of this issue cf. G. Yule, The Independents in the English Civil War, Cambridge, 1958, pp. 42–3.Google Scholar
  9. 15.
    On the agrarian policy of the revolutionary governments cf. C. Hill, Puritanism and Revolution, London, 1968, ch. 5.Google Scholar
  10. 20.
    Cromwell’s Letters, ed. Carlyle, 1, p. 265, quoted in H. A. Taine, History of English Literature, London, 1907, II, p. 212.Google Scholar
  11. 24.
    A. Cole, ‘The Quakers and the English Revolution’, Past and Present, no. 10, November 1956, p. 42.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Andrew Milner 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Milner

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations