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German Ideology From France to Germany and Back cover
  • ISBN: 9780226169521
  • ISBN10: 0226169529

German Ideology From France to Germany and Back

by Louis Dumont

  • List Price: $64.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 01/01/1995
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Description
With this volume, Louis Dumont's decades-long research into modern ideology reaches a new level. Following his chronological study of the development of individualism, what Dumont calls "the individualist configuration" (see Essays on Individualism, and his book devoted especially to the economic ideology, From Mandeville to Marx), Dumont now turns to comparing different national forms of modern ideology. By means of precise studies of chosen German texts by Troeltsch, Thomas Mann, Goethe, and others, against the background of previously gathered evidence and of French common notions, he pinpoints the differences - otherwise frequently but vaguely alluded to - between French and German cultures. While the basic social ideology of France was largely fashioned by the Enlightenment and the Revolution, the main formative influences in Germany were the Reformation and Pietism. While for the French a universalist view of mankind comes first, what is paramount for the Germans is German culture. In Dumont's words, the Frenchman sees himself "as being a man by nature, and a Frenchman by accident" while the German feels he is "a German in the first place, and a man through his being a German". Furthermore, while individualism in the French fashion stresses equality and centers in the sociopolitical domain, in Germany it focuses on the uniqueness, the irreplaceability of the individual subject and the duty to cultivate it by self-education (Bildung). As opposed to the French, German notions of individualism are entirely a matter of culture having little or nothing to do with politics.
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