Thinking Utopia: Steps Into Other Worlds

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Jörn Rüsen, Michael Fehr, Thomas Rieger
Berghahn Books, 2005 - History - 312 pages
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After the breakdown of socialist and communist systems in the East, it had become fashionable to declare the so-called "end of utopia" ("end of history," "end of narratives"). The authors of this volume do not share this view but think that it is time to rehabilitate utopian thought. The political concept of Utopia that has given its name to these transcendental projections onto the world has been too narrow to describe and analyze the moving forces of the mind perceiving human existence beyond reality. By broadening the perspectives of utopian studies, these essays enable the reader to reconstruct scholarly paradigms and strategies of utopian, complex and holistic thinking in modern cosmology, philosophy, sociology, in literary, historical and political sciences, and to compare traditions and ways of Western utopian thought to the practice in the East.

 

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Contents

A CrossNational
1
Politics Construction and Functions of Utopian Thinking
15
Visions of the Future
32
Utopia Contractualism Human Rights
53
Technology and Economy
67
Bodies in Utopia and Utopian Bodies in Imperial China
89
Perspectives of a Computer
104
Natural Utopianism in Everyday Life Practice
136
Utopiary
190
The Utopian Vision East and West
207
A Dystopia of the Spirit
230
From Revolutionary to Catastrophic Utopia
247
On the
263
A Plea for a Culture of Inspiration a
276
Notes on Contributors
283
Index
293

Utopias and Their Consequences
151
Five Themes on an Epistemological
169

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About the author (2005)

Jörn Rüsen was Professor of Modern History at Universities Bochum and Bielefeld for many years. From 1994 to 1997 he was Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF) at Bielefeld. Since 1997 he has been President of the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities Essen (Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut). He specialises in theory and methodology of historical sciences, the history of historiography, intercultural aspects of historical thinking, theory of historical learning, and the history of human rights.

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