The Austrian Mind: An Intellectual and Social History, 1848-1938

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University of California Press, 1983 - History - 515 pages
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Part One of this book shows how bureaucracy sustained the Habsburg Empire while inciting economists, legal theorists, and socialists to urge reform. Part Two examines how Vienna's coffeehouses, theaters, and concert halls stimulated creativity together with complacency. Part Three explores the fin-de-siecle world view known as Viennese Impressionism. Interacting with positivistic science, this reverence for the ephemeral inspired such pioneers ad Mach, Wittgenstein, Buber, and Freud. Part Four describes the vision of an ordered cosmos which flourished among Germans in Bohemia. Their philosophers cultivated a Leibnizian faith whose eventual collapse haunted Kafka and Mahler. Part Five explains how in Hungary wishful thinking reinforced a political activism rare elsewhere in Habsburg domains. Engage intellectuals like Lukacs and Mannheim systematized the sociology of knowledge, while two other Hungarians, Herzel and Nordau, initiated political Zionism. Part Six investigates certain attributes that have permeated Austrian thought, such as hostility to technology and delight in polar opposites.
 

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User Review  - kant1066 - LibraryThing

Johnston makes a concerted effort to leave absolutely no stone unturned. He begins with a brief adumbration of the history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, emphasizing its frivolity, decadence, and ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
PART ONE 1 From Baroque to Biedermeier
11
The Emperor and His Court
30
An Empire of Bureaucrats
45
Economists as Bureaucrats
76
r Legal Theorists
88
AustroMarxists
99
Musicians and Music Critics
128
part four 18 Marcionists at Prague
265
The Leibnizian Vision of Harmony
274
Franz Brentano and His Followers
290
Last Exponents of the Leibnizian
308
Aristocrats as Philanthropists
318
part five 24 Institutions and Intellectuals in Hungary
335
A Modernizing City in a Semifeudal Nation
342
Utopians from Hungary
357

Devotees of the Visual Arts
141
Critics of Aestheticism
156
part three Fascination with Death
165
Philosophers of Science
181
Philosophers of Language
196
Philosophers of Dialogue
214
Freud and Medicine
221
Freud and Vienna
238
Film Critics
380
Soothsayers
389
Modernity Duplicity Spurs Creativity
396
Notes
405
Bibliography 473
452
Index
497
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About the author (1983)

William M. Johnston is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Massachusettes, Amherst.

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