Elementary Principles of Philosophy by Georges Politzer

By Georges Politzer

Georges Politzer used to be born in Nagyvarad, Hungary (currently Oradea, Romania) on might three, 1903. He left his native land after the defeat of Bela Kun’s abortive Soviet Republic, settling in France in 1921. during his travels he had met Freud and Sandor Ferenczi in Vienna, and his curiosity in psychology was once to bring about the book in 1928 of his “Critique des fondements de l. a. psychologie” (Critique of the rules of Psychology). This paintings used to be the 1st define of a materialist concept of social psychology, and used to be one of many impacts on Vygotsky within the Twenties. In France he taught within the towns of Moulins, Evreux and at Saint-Maur, the entire whereas lively within the lecturers’ union. someday among 1929-31 (Party assets point out his being authorized on his moment test at becoming a member of) he joined the French Communist social gathering, the place he was once in command of the industrial fee of the valuable Committee. He taught at either the staff’ college and the PCF’s significant university, and was once one of the founding team of the revue l. a. Pensée. In September 1940, with France occupied, he entered the struggle opposed to the Nazis and introduced clandestine journals: L’Université Libre and l. a. Pensée Libre, which he wrote for less than the pen identify Rameau. It was once for the latter that he wrote his well-known assault on Alfred Rosenberg: “L’Obscurantisme au XXe siecle” (Obscurantism within the twentieth Century) together with his spouse Mai, additionally a Communist and Resistance fighter, he used to be arrested in February 1942 for violation of the legislations banning the Communist get together. whereas imprisoned at Santé felony in Paris he used to be in a cellphone subsequent to that of the distinguished Communist and Resistance member Marie-Claude Vaillant-Couturier. In her testimony on the Nuremberg battle Crimes trial Vaillant-Couturier said Politzer’s legal adventure: “Georges Politzer instructed me that in his interrogation, after having overwhelmed him, he was once requested if he didn’t are looking to write theoretical pamphlets for National-Socialism. while he refused they instructed him he will be wear the 1st teach of hostages to be executed.” On March 20, 1942 he used to be grew to become over to the Nazis and, as threatened, he used to be done with a bunch of hostages on may perhaps 23,1942. His spouse used to be transported to Auschwitz, the place she died in March 1943. His 1935-36 classes on the Worker’s college have been posthumously released as Principes élémentaires de philosophie (Elementary ideas of Philosophy). Politzer can be remembered for having prefigured the massive Bang concept of the Universe.

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Being, the one which gives life to society, is economic life. The secondary factor, thought which is created by being and which can live only through it, is political life. The materialist will say then that economic life explains political life, since political life is a product of economic life. This declaration, made here only summarily, is at the root of what is called historical materialism and was made for the first time by Marx and Engels. Here is another more delicate example: the poet.

We can say then that being in general is something abstract, whereas being in particular is something concrete; the same for thought in general and thought in particular. A materialist is someone who can recognize in every situation, who can concretize where being is and where thought is. Example: The brain and our ideas. We have to know how to transform the abstract general formula into a concrete formula. Thus, a materialist will identify the brain as being and our ideas as thought. " This is a simple example, but let us take the more complex example of human society and see how a material­ ist will reason.

But this universal and primary opinion of all men is soon destroyed by the slightest philosophy, which teaches us, that nothing can ever be present to the mind but an image or perception, and that the senses are only the inlets, through which these images are conveyed, without being able to produce any immediate inter­ course between the mind and the object. The table, which we see, seems to diminish, as we remove farther from it: But the real table, which exists independent of us, suffers no alteration: It was therefore, nothing but its image, which was present to the mind.

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