Towards a Radical Humanism

  • Ron Perrin


When we assess Scheler’s ethic in light of its expressed purpose to surpass Kant we must conclude that the effort is only a qualified success. What it accomplishes is much more akin to one of those modifications of Kant’s ethic, to which Scheler refers in the first preface to the Formalismus, than it is to the intended breakthrough towards an ethic that is universal (insofar as it would articulate a priori categories and concepts) and objective (insofar as it would establish a transcendental foundation for the sensible content of our experience of values). In support of his appraisal I would cite three crucial areas in which Scheler is unable significantly to transcend Kant.


Human Nature Ethical Judgement Moral Discourse Moral Experience Transcendental Idealism 
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  1. 1.
    See Jürgen Habermas, ‘The Entwinement of Myth and Enlightenment: Horkheimer and Adorno’, in Habermas, The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity, tr. Frederick Lawrence (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1987) and ‘Some Consequences of the Failure of the Project’, in Maclntyre, After Virtue.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Herbert Marcuse, Negations (Boston: Beacon Press, 1968), pp. 123–4.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Jose M. R. Delgado, ‘ESB’, Psychology Today vol. 3, no. 12 (May 1970), pp. 51, 53.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jean Piaget, The Psychology of Intelligence (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1947), pp. 6–7. Piaget’s is no crude behaviourism. In fact, his claim that ‘intelligence appears only with acts of insight’ is much closer to the spirit of Scheler’s thought than it is to any current behavioural representations of the cognitive process.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method (Cambridge, Mass.: Bentley, 1967), pp. 215–16.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    R. C. Orem, ed., A Montessori Handbook. ‘Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook’ (New York: G. P. Putnam, 1965), p. 160.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    Robert Ardrey, The Territorial Imperative (New York: Athenium, 1967), p. 302.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    Konrad Lorenz, On Aggression (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1966), p. 113.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ron Perrin 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ron Perrin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MontanaMissoulaUSA

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