The Theory of Governance and Other Miscellaneous Papers, 1921-1938
This first of two volumes of Voegelin's miscellaneous papers brings together crucial writings, published for the first time, from the early, formative period of this scholar's thought. The book begins with Voegelin's dissertation on sociological method, completed under the direction of Othmar Spann and Hans Kelsen at the University of Vienna in 1922. It reveals an intimate knowledge of the writings of Georg Simmel and a skillful use of insights gained from Edmund Husserl's Logical Investigations and Ideas. The dissertation, and other smaller pieces written at this time, addresses problems that remained of great importance to Voegelin throughout his life: the relation of insight to language, the structure of the human being, and the human's spiritual center. They disclose both Voegelin's theoretical reference points during these early years, including the thought of Henri Bergson, Othmar Spann, Georg Simmel, and Edmund Husserl, as well the young scholar's remarkably independent approach to theoretical problems. Moreover, this volume includes a work that is fundamental to an understanding of Voegelin's theoretical development: his extended study on the "theory of governance," written between 1930 and 1932. It follows the issues that confront political society to their roots in the soul and in the soul's relationship to the ground of being. The Theory of Governance and Other Miscellaneous Papers presents a meditative-exegetic study of texts from Augustine, Descartes, and Husserl, early examples of the meditations that became central to Voegelin's later work. Other essays included in this volume such as "Theory of Law" and "Political Theory as Human Science" develop these theoretical insights and refine Voegelin's methodological tools. This volume will be of interest to all scholars of the work of Eric Voegelin and of the refoundation of political philosophy in the twentieth century in general.
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