The Political and Man by Panagiotis Kondylis


Chapter I (and all subsequent chapters) in two versions:

a) the "plain English" version: 

 and b) the "alternative words and phrases" version with some German text:


Title pages and table of contents (updated upon the completion of the translation of every further (sub-)section. For chapter and (sub-)section summaries, scroll down this page):


Chapter II:





Chapter IIΙ:




 

For The Political and Man's bibliography or list of (around 1000) references, a German edition of Das Politische und der Mensch by Panajotis Kondylis can be purchased in hard copy book form at:

http://www.amazon.de

or in pdf form at:

http://www.degruyter.com


 

Some citations from Chapter I and Chapter ((sub-)section) summaries


.... "Thus, so-called cultural anthropology, as it was popularised for instance by Ruth Benedict or Margaret Mead, aimed originally at breaking up everything which gave the impression of an anthropologically inherited constant, into cultural influences. In this way, many unilateralities (or one-sidednesses) or coarsenesses of the conventional (or traditional) anthropology of drives, of Reason and of races, were of course shown in their true light. Yet in the process, the mark was widely overshot, and that which was now called anthropology was hardly to be distinguished anymore from vulgar sociologism, which by the way is also a genuinely mass-democratic ideological phenomenon: just as the old notion of social hierarchy was frequently justified by means of anthropological fictions, so mass-democratic egalitarianism sought backing in respect of the assumption that humans constitute the resultants of their social conditions, that is, equality amongst humans could already be guaranteed through the equality of conditions."...

... "Now, as soon as the exclusion of anthropological formulations of a question (or examinations of problems) at the level of the social-theoretical construct has seen to the dispelling of the imponderabilities of human behaviour, only a single step remains to be taken for the safeguarding of ponderability at the level of complex society: the (direct or expected) identification of the construct with social reality. Where humans behave for instance in the sense of “system rationality” or according to the communicative logic of language, as these are described in the social-theoretical construct, there a particular knowledge about man is actually unnecessary (or superfluous)."...

..."First of all, it is obvious that the aforementioned paradigm shift, which put an end to bourgeois anthropocentrism, is of an ideological character; it therefore may not serve as the starting point of a scientific argumentation. That means: an argumentation, which, with reference to the end of anthropocentrism, would demand the putting aside of anthropology, would a limine be false. Because anthropocentrism, anthropology and man as a historically-socially acting being constitute three different magnitudes; the elimination of the first does not have to mean the elimination of the second, and the elimination of the first two (at the level of ideology or of social theory) can in no case mean that man in actual fact ceases to exist. Formulated differently: the beginning and the end of anthropocentrism do not coincide with the beginning and the end of anthropology, and the end of anthropology, i.e. talk of man, cannot be the end of man, just as man has not taken his beginning from anthropology. There were, and in fact are, always only humans, who pursue (or are involved in) or abolish anthropocentrism or anthropology – and a scientific theory, which wants to take into account this fundamental fact, must argue anthropolgically in a comprehensive (or broad) sense, that is, thematise man (i.e. make man a subject of discussion) in respect of his action and his motivation (also in his quality (i.e. characteristic) as author (or originator) of theories about the value (or merit) and anti-value (or demerit) of anthropocentrism and anthropology). The necessary social-ontological depth is therefore reached when the perceptions of humans on the value (and status) of man and his objective doing (i.e. acts) are distinguished very thoroughly and it is ascertained that the latter [objective doing (i.e. acts) of man] are more stable and more homogenous than those convictions are; the base (or terrain) of practical or theoretical doing (i.e. acts) accordingly constitutes the base (or terrain) of the scientifically indispensable talk of man, that is, the base (or terrain) of an anthropology which can also account for all the respective represented (supported or justified) anthropologies or negations of anthropology."...

... "Aversion to the insight that humans and their acts lie at a deeper level than their anthropological or anti-anthropological perceptions, is actually much more frequent and much more widespread than the postmodern uprising (or rebellion) against anthropocentrism and against anthropology as science. It takes root in the ideological-polemical need to anchor normative positions, which in the final analysis can have meaning only in relation to humans, in higher and more comprehensive authorities, whose objective constitution (or composition) sets as narrow as possible limits on (or boundaries around) human imponderability, while the ponderability of the world and of society correspondingly rises. The polemical component consists in that these normative positions, and the “objective” authorities bearing these normative positions, come into being as counter concepts and often as downright conceptual reversals of earlier concepts. The age of theocentrism defined God as the authority before which the imponderability of concrete man had to stop – either through his conscious subjection to divine commandments or, by contrast, through the absolute prospectlessness (or futility) of an uprising (or rebellion). But also the epoch of bourgeois anthropocentrism typically avoided as far as possible leaving concrete man to his own uncontrollable preferences (or predilections); bourgeois anthropocentrism therefore demanded him to live in accordance with the commands of supra-human hypostases, namely Nature or History. Bidding farewell to anthropocentrism and at the same time to anthropology gave rise to new authorities inside of mass-democratic social theory. The said new authorities functioned, as it were, as stream (or river) beds that could channel human action all the more easily as this time they did not have to go into the reasons and depths of the same human action; “system rationality”, frictionless communication laid out on the structure of language, reasonable (or prudent) economic calculus (i.e. calculation) or the behaviouristic symmetry of stimulus and response, were now supposed to ensure ponderability in the same sense as formerly god-willed or nature-conforming behaviour did.

Behind the facade of all these past and present constructions, however, concrete humans stir in their endless variety of form, in the imponderability (or incalculability) of their action and the uncertainty of their action’s consequences. These irreducible facts of the matter can of course be largely discarded through rationalisation (i.e. as explanation or justification), but every social theory some time or other has to stumble over these irreducible facts’ effects, and then the question is directly or indirectly posed as to what then might these beings be, which have persistently disregarded the numerous representations of, and proposals for, harmony, in history until now. Anthropologising (or talking about man) remains inevitable, even if anthropology is forced into abdicating [its power and pre-eminence in (social-scientific) theory]. The age of anthropocentrism, when Pope opined, “the proper study of mankind is man”, understandably provided anthropology as a discipline certain opportunities. An anthropology, though, had already developed in the womb of ancient ontology (we remind ourselves for instance of the Platonic parallel between the strata of being (Is) and the strata of the soul), whereas the theology which came later had to likewise acquire an anthropology with the intention of making understandable what drives humans to the violation of the harmony of the Good. But mass-democratic social theory too does not in actual fact make do, despite its in principle repudiation of anthropology, without (tacit) anthropological premises and assumptions. Between the inevitability of these latter (tacit) anthropological premises and assumptions and the adhering to that repudiation of anthropology, an internal guerilla war takes place, which can never end in peace. One often believes in having already disposed of anthropology because one can, without major losses and complications, do without the old anthropology of drives (urges) and of Reason; already in regard to calculating or ethical rationality, however, things become much more difficult, since this calculating or ethical rationality, without sufficient anthropological underpinning, hovers in the air."...

..."One basic component of the mass-democratic thought figure in Foucault consists therefore in the declaration of war against bourgeois anthropocentrism and its anthropology. The other basic component appears above all in his later work and consists in the demand for self-realisation, which, as we know, even formulated in code, ends up in a certain image of man or presupposes the same such an image of man. In declared agreement with “present-day struggles” against the ruling forms of power (or power forms), Foucault typically enough wants to raise the same question as the supposed originator of anthropology, Kant: “who are we?”; with that question, he connects the aim of “bringing about new forms of subjectivity, while we reject the kind of subjectivity which was imposed on us for centuries”. Foucault of course does not pose that question as a diachronically thinking anthropologist, rather he wants to know how it relates to the present-day historical moment. All the same: no reason and also no possibility exist in respect of shaking off a centuries-long ruling – and obviously harmful and dispensable – subjectivity, if no, until now, suppressed forces in man as genus (i.e. species or race) (“we”) conflict with the said harmful and dispensable subjectivity. What is, therefore, in man treated like a child (or led by the nose) and held down (or oppressed), what justifies the highly evaluative (value-bearing or judgemental) statement that we have become “captives (or prisoners) of our own history”? Foucault would have to go into (or take on) this aporia (i.e. doubt, contradiction or paradox) because he requires a new subjectivity not simply as a functionalistic sociologist and social engineer, who ascertains a gulf between conventional (or traditional) modes of behaviour and new social conditions (relations or circumstances), that is, between “psychical” and “social systems”, and wants to remove this gulf, no matter with what signs (i.e. symbolism). On the contrary, he thinks in normative categories, and from the new subjectivity he expects emancipatory effects (consequences or results)."...

..."“Human dignity” and “human rights” constitute just as little truths which the social subsystem (or part system) of science discovered and then put at the disposal of society, as for instance the doctrine (or teaching) of man as image and likeness of God, whose place the said “human dignity” and “human rights” took. The positivisation of the law (and justice) takes place at a logically subordinate level (or stage), at which the ultimate questions of the polity as regards meaning and identity are not posed, because at the level of premises they are held to be solved; essentially things are not different in respect of the Code of Hammurabi or in respect of Roman law (and justice). That area (or realm) of the law (and justice), which is seemingly or really indifferent to those ultimate questions, can be called postive law (and justice), its existence however proves nothing about the power and lack of power of politics, but only that a more or less greater part of the law (and justice), under conditions of social stability, can be seen as politically irrelevant. Moreover, this part of the law (and justice) can never incorporate in itself (or assimilate within itself) the entire area (or realm) of the law (and justice); as much as it may expand (or extend itself), it must remain outside of the ideologically sacrosanct place in which the articles of faith mentioned above linger undisturbed. And if positive law (and justice) in its indifference vis-à-vis ultimate questions seems relativistic and arbitrarily manageable, then this relativism only constitutes one side of the dualistic complex “relativism-universalism”, which, as we know, characterises the ruling ideology in mass democracy. The consequence of the relativism of the content pertaining to positive law (and justice) should, in any case, be the formalism of a legitimation, which would be based on the mere following of (or compliance with) certain procedures. However, the formal (i.e. form-related or form-adhering) procedure and the modes of acting connected with such formal procedure in themselves keep intellects(-spirits) (or minds) busy only when the essential content-related questions have found an acceptable solution for the socially decisive forces, when, that is, the material foundations of the social system appear so solid that a reference to the said material foundations of the social system could serve as direct confirmation of ruling ideological topoi (e.g. affluence as proof of the superiority of democracy). Should these foundations crackle, then the procedure itself becomes a content-related question, or else the content-related questions bluntly disregard all questions of procedure."...

..."Contemporary history therefore does enough for its part in order to heighten awareness of the examination of problems of a social theory centred on man and the political – provided of course that one is in a position to put in order (or classify) contemporary history in terms of universal (or world) history, and to recognise deeper continuities, without being put off by the evolutionistically underpinned arrogant self-assessments of modern society. Our main concern here, however, is not the status pertaining to universal (or world) history of contemporary history, but that dimension of depth of social theory, which is called social ontology. As our preceding arguments (or discussions) have hopefully shown, no large-scale social theory can manage without an – even reluctant or tacit – recourse to basic anthropological and political categories. The political and man were and are the most comprehensive and most flexible theoretical framework for the putting in order (or classification) and the understanding of social-theoretically relevant phenomena. This priority of the theoretical, that is, of the descriptive standpoint implies, on the other hand, that for us our concern cannot be to protect “man” against the inhuman anonymity of “systems” or to save his ethical personality from its supposed degradation by materialistic economism etc.. Those, who project onto man’s nature an ethical-normative ideal so that the lack of realisation of the same ethical-normative ideal amounts to a degeneration or devastation of man, complain and worry about “man”. Man is, however, indestructible and is in complete existential fullness here, and the only presupposition (or precondition) with regard to his indestructibility and complete existential fullness lies in the fact of his mere existence, not in a certain way of life. That is why both the functionalistic dissolution of the human [sphere or element], as well as the human [sphere or element]’s ethical-normative interpretation, which directly or indirectly pays homage to a substantialism against which functionalism then turns, are to be rejected. A third, social-ontologically and historically sound way of looking at things has to start from the banal ascertainment that since the times of the primeval (or primordial) horde there is no period of history in which we would not recognise specifiable (namable or assignable) basic given facts of our own behaviour. Similar considerations enable insight into the social-ontological importance (status or value) of the political, of which we likewise expect exclusively theoretical and not ethical-normative explanations (insights or information). Indeed, the theoretical fertility of this insight can be proved in several and important part questions (i.e. secondary (incidental or minor) questions), thus e.g. during a methodical (i.e. methodological) clarification of the relations between social theory and the science of history, or in the attempt at an overcoming of the artificial alternative in “individualism vs. holism”.                                                     

The programmatic putting first of the political and of the anthropological allows, finally, the constant, positive or negative continuing (or picking up the thread) of a thousands of years old social-theoretical tradition – and indeed not only of the West and not only of the (Western) modern era. The frequently mentioned smug self-confidence of mass-democratic social theory, the conviction in respect of a radical break with the “pre-modern age” etc. is often articulated in the form of an ignorance or ignoring of older theoretical positions. The translation (or transmission) of age-old questions into an ever-changing and all the more complicated vocabulary gives rise to the impression of constant theoretical progress, in relation to which the claim to originality is based not seldom on the lack of sufficient knowledge of sources and of the literature; what for the obscure doctoral candidate is prohibited, brings others fame (or glory). The reminding of the age of central methodical (i.e. methodological) and content-related questions seems to cause uneasiness because the said reminding eo ipso refreshes the memory in respect of the age of the (social) world and of man."...



In Chapter I, post-World War 2 (mass-democratic) ideology in social theory (e.g. as represented by Parsons, cybernetics or cybernetic systems theory, the open system, Luhmann and functionalistic systems theory, Habermas and the theory of communicative action, "intersubjectivity", an evolutionistic philosophy of history, the evolutionism of differentiation, Foucault; rational choice theory, economism, economistic anthropology and economistic social theory; G. Homans and behaviourism etc.) is pulled apart and exposed in order to set the scene for Kondylis's own comprehensive theory of the social relation or social-ontological perspective in Chapters II-V, which draws and builds on aspects of formal sociology and interactionistic points of view, whilst having a non-substantialistic and non-normative understanding of the political (or political factors) and man (or anthropology). Chapter I includes mention of: the difference between anthropocentrism, anthropology and man as a historically-socially acting being, the spectrum and (intersubjective) mechanism of the social relation, (historical) changes in values, the inseparable co-existence of man and the social, how various aspects or activities of society (political, aesthetic, religious, scientific, economic etc.) interrelate at a general level; the centrality of, and inevitable tension between, both relativism and universalism in the ruling mass-democratic ideology; a distinction between politics and the political against a common backdrop of the (social-ontological question of the) cohesion of society and the maintenance of social order, the conceptual construction of "world society", as well as telling references to Herbert Spencer, Piaget, the Is-Ought and "community-society" distinctions, Tönnies, Durkheim, Gehlen; the (bourgeois) modern era's philosophy of the subject, anthropology and ideals of Reason; the confusion of anthropocentrism and anthropology, Weber, Giddens et al..

    

 

Chapter II


Chapter II (Section 1) begins with the very important contrasting of Dilthey and Husserl as to the (social)ontic roots or foundations of philosophy, and it is pointed out how Western philosophy reached the threshold of social ontology in the 20th century, whilst also indicating the polemical origins, in the history of ideas, of the emergence of the (ideological) critique of culture associated with "instrumental thought", "thoughtlessness of technology (technique)" etc.. Kierkegaard appears within the boundaries of the discussion, only to leave in search of the ideology of "genuine" existence rather than stay in the exploration of the constitution of the social (or society). Preliminary comment is made about the social relation between individuals (and aspects of anthropology) as being part of social ontology's research area, but not exhaustive of such a research area, since logically the social-ontic or society as a whole must exist prior to, and be broader than, the examination of the social relation between individuals. As regards philosophical analysis of the social relation, inter alia, Heidegger's supposed non-ethicism is exposed in the struggle between the so-called actual (real, true or genuine) and the unactual (unreal, untrue or ungenuine), and Sartre at best only touches upon the fundamental issues (e.g. the spectrum of the social relation) while remaing beholden to his own rather impressionistic, literary or theatrical style. Significant points are made about Schütz and the social relation, as well as about the ethicism and normativisim of Buber and the dialogicians [in fact, the I-Thou interrelation(ship) can be seen as a "philosophical" precursor of the ideology of "tolerance" and "diversity" in Western mass democracies] - the dialogicians' precursor, so to speak, Feuerbach then leads us to a high point, if not the highest point, in the development of the social sciences. Karl Marx is seen now, for the first time in the exposition of the history of ideas, in the light of his true and colossal theoretical value: as theorist of the social relation as regards man's existence vis-à-vis man in society, i.e. on the basis of the pre-existence of society and from the point of view of society, and as regards man's ((human) society's) existence in and vis-à-vis nature (as well as the (changing) reciprocal effect of both human society (man) and nature on each other to the extent there is such an effect); furthermore, Marx's theory of ideology is highlighted as a first-rate social-scientific achievement in how it at least touches upon the fact that every ontology or theory must be preceded by a social-ontically determined state of mind and that every ideology regarding social and extra-social being contains elements found in all such ideologies (power-claims and the drive of self-preservation (as anthropological constants), belief in and attribution of meaning, separation of the world into "good" and "bad", identity (the familiar) and anti-identity (the Other), etc. (as social-ontological constants encompassing the anthropological constants)), notwithstanding that Marx's (recurrent) economism and (at times full-on) ethicism do not allow him to develop a social ontology worthy of value-free (i.e. descriptive, non-normative (and explanatory)) science [οf course man's evolution is totally beyond the scope of Das Politische und der Mensch and is therefore not addressed, i.e. it is not of concern here to draw a distinction between e.g. the various types of hominidae (great apes), nor to draw attention to evolution up to and throughout homo sapiens sapiens etc. - the distinction between man and animal as can be observed by the layman suffices here]. The discussion of philosophers in the realm of the social ends with Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, whose anti-intellectualistic epistemological and anthropological, existential views exist in a sociological and historical vaccum.  


Section 2A of Chapter II surveys the two major kinds of founding of sociology (as represented by Weber and Durkheim respectively), having first hinted at the (structural or formal) points of commonality and difference between social ontology, sociology and historical science. The discussion in respect of Max Weber shows how the great sociologist did not theorise the social relation or social action as part of a fully developed social-ontological analysis of what is a constitutive part of all societies, but rather at best mixed (or confused) the social-ontological level of analysis with sociological(-historical) analyses or in trying to differentiate between historical science and sociology. The intractable problem of deriving averages and regularities from the different subjectively meant meaning of a variety of actors exposes Weber's (and Schütz's) analytical weaknesses when the heterogony of ends brings about social facts. Weber's use of "meaning" and "understanding" also does not serve to adequately found sociology as a scientific discipline with its own specific differences and traits (vis-à-vis history and social ontology) - since such use would more likely apply to the distinction between the humanities and the natural sciences at a much broader level - but rather, inter alia, polemically sought to rebut Comte or Marx's (natural law-related, and highly unscientific) sociological philosophy of history. Apart from dealing with the discrepancy between Parsons's (social-ontologically relevant) theory of action and Parsons's (normative) sociological analysis, Kondylis highlights Weber's epistemological failings in combatting the philosophy of history with methodological individualism, while in practice employing ideal types corresponding to social facts (cf. Durkheim's theory) in basing his often brilliant sociological-historical analyses on the difference between conceptual constructs and reality. Seemingly paradoxically, the other great sociologist, Durkheim, notwithstanding the normativism and relative lack of historical depth in his sociological analyses, was able to go one major step further than Weber (in terms of the clarity of his methodological stance, if not in practice) in founding sociology as a scientific discipline. Psychologism and the individual psychologies of humans are not irrelevant to the observer of human affairs (e.g. in scientific historiography), but social facts and the study of such social facts in sociology arise from an epistemological decision based on social facts' existence through human action. Such social facts, which as facts are ontically obviously more than just tangible things or objects (since they result from human action), are what can be apprehended beyond mere introspection, i.e., they incorporate, apart from the humans acting in relation to the social fact, the socially held (by the said humans) notion and or ideology of (belief in) "the navy", "the government", "the economy", "the law", morality, religions, movements, fads, languages, social groups, etc.. Furthermore, the heterogony of ends also plays its part in requiring sociology to examine social facts beyond individual psychologies, goals etc.. We are again reminded that in practice Weber's view regarding representations (or notions) of collective constructs in humans' minds, amounted more or less to Durkeim's view of the existence of social facts. Reference is also made to Comte's and Spencer's functionalism and the limits and inflexibility of social facts when compared with historical reality, particularly when social facts are imbued with normativism. Accordingly, Durkheim's ethical-normative tendencies come into conflict with his own understanding of the social fact and his (explicit and implicit) acknowledgement of the heterogony of ends, as well as of the full spectrum of human action, i.e. not only order, agreement or concord etc., but also, anomie, disagreement or conflict etc..              



Section 2B commences with a discussion of how the epistemological clarification of the difference between sociology and history is confused with research practice in regard to social-historical reality, whose existence cannot be simply confined to the necessary epistemological distinction, since social-historical reality exists as a constant becoming or continuum which both sociology and history (as well as all other disciplines in the social sciences and humanities) deal with. The discussion specifically turns to Durkheim's treatment of social facts and his failure to not include diachrony sufficiently and (logically) consistently in his research practice. The importance of comparisons and research into causes, inter alia, make the boundaries of historical science in practice fluid with regard to those of sociology, and vice versa. Historical science and sociology are both a science of man's social action, but only sociology of the two must be defined as the science of social action in social facts, whereas the science of history can also deal with facts other than social facts (e.g. specific acts as between specific individuals). In any event, Weber as a historian, and his use of the ideal type, ensured that his historical research would not be confined to psychologism as an (extreme) idiography. The benefit of Weber's approach was a heightened ability to isolate the laziness or ideology behind viewing individual cases as reflections of general situations from having a clear notion of the epistemological-fictive character of types, classes and generalities. Kondylis then goes into the very fine distinction between the uniqueness and singularity of a historical event, as well as into the status of a historical event as a cause or effect in a causal interrelation; the avoidance of psychologism in focusing on observable action rather than personal psychology is particularly noted, as well as the almost automatic extending of historical individuality into the sociological realm. A strict concept of individuality cannot be consistently employed either in historicism or any research practice; the use of abstractions is unavoidable if one wants to generalise in regard to what will be more than one concrete case, or in the illumination of just one concrete case, including as regards causes. The close interrelation between, or unavoidable intersecting of, history and sociology is looked at in detail from the perspective of the practice of these disciplines. The social fact is by no means sociology's exclusive object of study, and the historian cannot but come to grips with clashes (of interests, ends (goals), (individual and collective) subjects etc.), and the heterogony of ends, if he wants to achieve scientific insight into human affairs; Durkheim's understanding of the social fact remains attached to its static-institutional aspect, and his evolutionistic philosophy of history constitutes anything but a strict historical science, notwithstanding that evolutionistic philosophy of history played a pivotal role in the development of modern sociology and historical science. A scientifically and methodologically valid functional way of looking at historical-sociological matters is distinguished from functionalism as such, as well as from eschatology and evolutionism. The predominant mass-democratic thought-figure, however, offered functionalism fertile ground to take root in sociology while rejecting not only a philosophy of history, but historical method or consideration in general (e.g. Parsons). On the other hand, the scientific explanation of social phenomena that seeks theoretical explanation beyond a narrow horizon necessitates that the sociologist also deals with historical matters (see the noteworthy or remarkable work of: Weber, Marc Bloch, Tilly, Eisenstadt, B. Moore et al.). Content is historical, or has a decisive historical component, and without an analytical flexibility to explain the relations between factors in regard to every specific situation, sociology will inevitably be trapped in e.g. funtions, (sub)systems, normative preferences, ideology. C. W. Mills has pointed to the necessarily limited scope of the scientifically valid use of many concepts in sociology, particularly when their use claims validity in regard to world history and social formations beyond the West European world. A sharp distinction between historical and unhistorical sociology can therefore only have (a very) limited scientific (theoretical-descriptive-explanatory) applicaton in the investigation of social phenomena; whether e.g. individual action or structure has primacy can only be a matter of the specific analysis of a specific situation in sociological and historical research. A fixed hierarchy of causal factors in the form of a
(scientifically) universally valid table of categories is thus an impossibility, as is a (scientifically) universally applicable method which depends on a categorial hierarchy or established conceptually. Research interests since the 1960s with regard to once unimportant or irrelevant matters (such as the everyday life of the common man, sexuality, deviance, difference etc.) reflect the (then new) ruling mass-democratic ideology.                 


In Section 2C(a), the modern origins of methodological individualism are noted as developing in liberal ((social-)economic) polemics (e.g. Menger) against both the holistic and organicistic foe (with roots in Catholic Aristotelian scholasticism), which had Adam Müller as its major proponent after the French Revolution, and the historical school of economics in general. Politics or ethics have no necessary correlation with methodology (Schumpeter); Weber did not, however, share Schumpeter's perspicacity in rejecting the individualistic point of view as a methodological approach to be used in sociology (notwithstanding its use in economics). Thereafter, Hayek and Popper achieved fame in the climate of the Cold War as theorists (i.e. polemicists) of methodological individualism without contributing anything of substance to social science - their only substantial "scientific" value being in the use of their respective positions as objects of criticism, which Kondylis easily picks apart as, inter alia, lacking in logical coherence, and being overly prone to a one-sided ideological representation of their foes' position(s), and of course, of empirical reality. Röpke, along with Hayek, and their "neoliberalism", are referred to, as are (logical) issues pertaining to utility maximisation, psychologism, homo oeconomicus, behaviourism, Popper, Homans, Coleman, and the ethicising-normativistic and fundamental empirical errors of both methodological individualism as well as a holistically meant ontological independence of a supposedly indestructible society.


Hayek and Popper feature in Section 2C(b). Their methodological individualism falters in their own acknowledgement of the heterogony of ends - and they do not even realise it. There is discussion of psychologism, Weber and Hegel, as well as Hayek's and Popper's zealous, contradictory and fatuous polemics (they are e.g. in favour of methodological individualism but inadvertently make arguments against it when they support the notion of the unintended consequences of action (in a one-sided fashion), as well as, in Hayek's case, the ideology (myth) of the "invisible hand"). Of course, Hayek and Popper use the heterogony of ends selectively, and not logically consistently vis-à-vis their own avowed methodological individualism, or supposed opposition to "historicism" or philosophies of history, as well as vis-à-vis historical reality and argumentation in general. Reference is also made to von Mises, Menger, Mandeville, Adam Smith, Vico, Marx, Engels and Durkheim.


Section 2C(c) delves into the social-theoretical implications of the unintended consequences of action. Durkheim may have erred as to these consequences' supposedly necessarily benefical effects, however his use of the social fact ensured he did not fall into the logical-epistemological trap of methodological individualism. The social whole, never frozen in time, is something (notionally and actually) more than the mere sum of its (always moving, dynamic) parts (individuals and their acts); not of course as the existence of a metaphysical being or other entity other than individuals and their acts, but as a social fact or social facts in which the ontological autonomy of the social is condensed: it is one thing for A not to attack B because A fears B's strength, and it is quite another thing if A does not attack B because A has contemplated the likely or certain legal consequences, or the "scandal", which such an attack will provoke. Society materially consists only of individuals, but the individuals as individuals do not consitute indispensable constituent elements of society such that if one individual e.g. is removed from society, that society becomes another society or ceases to exist as a society; society is not reducible merely to individuals as individual people (in a particular space in time) without the effects of other individuals' acts, groupings, thoughts, etc. (taking place in spaces and or times other than where we are at any given moment). Kondylis employs a distinction between quantity and quality to assist in understanding the existence of various ontological (including invisible and intangible) levels (of society and social facts in general, apart from individuals as separate individuals) without at any moment suggesting, in terms of matter, anything other than the existence of individuals in making up society. Only those who have a metaphysical belief (e.g. in ethically-normatively meant individualism and an individualistic monism) insist there is one being (Is) and its strata are homogenous. Society (i.e. human society, as human culture to the extext it distinguishes itself from the animal kingdom, and from the groupings or societies in the animal kingdom) not only pre-exists every (human) individual, but also provides a framework of social facts (obviously not larger in scope than society): rules, norms, customs, traditions, laws, ideologies, myths, religions, etc., with which every individual (at least potentially) interacts, and very often restrict individuals in acting upon their wishes or desires (whether shaped (in part) by society or not, and regardless of whether individuals do act contrary to the said mechanisms of social disciplining). Every social fact has a social-historical(-structural) background, i.e. (often innumerable and over time unknowable separate) interactions of individuals without which the social fact could not exist, and in relation to which present-day individuals act. Social facts (which apart from institutional constructs include the imponderable effects of the heterogony of ends, the (often) unforeseeable outcomes of collective action) reside in and come from an ontological zone of supra-individual factors both necessary for the comprehension of individual behaviour as well as being beyond directly observable individual behaviour (since e.g. the said ontological zone of social facts/supra-individual factors resulted from historical individual and group behaviour beyond what is directly observable by any given individual at any given time and in any given space); however, this ontological zone is always materially identical with individual humans' acts. Subjective individual sympathies and antipathies cannot and do not consistently or absolutely dominate the relations between people since the said ontological zone is a zone of some kind of normative social disciplining. Reference is made to other attempts by methodological individualists to get around social facts (e.g. Homans, Watkins, Danto), but of course their efforts are (scientifically) to no avail. Moreover, in respect of methodology, concepts pertaining to the collective cannot be (fully and adequately) conveyed with concepts pertaining to the individual, otherwise there is only one ontological level or zone and no society. No matter what methodological individualists do, say or write, they cannot ever get around the fact of society; ex post facto observations (common to all methodologies) of a fact as a result of individual actions is related to the fact of society, otherwise the heterogony of ends would not be a recurrent social phenomenon and individuals would be able to predict the future. Mention is made of Hayek's misunderstanding of Weber's ideal type, particularly as regards empirical reality's role in ideal-typical construction, and the sub-section ends with instructive exemplification by way of two of the greatest (macro-)sociological historians: Tocqueville and Marx - Hayek and Popper had more in common with Durkheim than what they thought. Every society and every institution consists of individuals and the relations between individuals, including in the (historical) background and in view of the heterogony of ends.          



Methodological individualism's wrong equating of social facts with a teleological view of history (as in Marxism) is discussed at the beginning of Section 2C(d), before attention turns to Popper and his unsuccessful attempts at unifying methodologically both the natural sciences and the humanities, while, inter alia, trying to avoid monism, induction, "historicism", "holism" or "fatalistic determinism" - all to the displeasure of methodolgical individualists such as Hayek (cf. I. Berlin). The discussion then examines in detail both Popper's failings as regards "societal (or generally scientific) laws" and under what circumstances such "laws" may have valid scientific application. The vital distinction between law and causality then arises - law is causality; not every causality is a law. In rejecting the possibility of teleological law bindedness in history and pure nomology, it does not follow there is no causality in history, that there can be a pure idiography (with reference to chance in the name of human "freedom"), that regularities signify the existence of laws in regard to (historical) human action, or that the natural sciences necessarily only find and examine laws in the strict sense. However laws, strictly speaking, can only exist in nature; laws and causalities are only ever necessarily methodological and ontological points of orientation - where they actually apply is a matter of case by case examination. There is mention of I. Berlin's (partly correct, partly skewed) view of two "determinisms" which supposedly abolish "free will", and his ideological individualism is exposed in trying to argue for meaning and purpose at the level of the individual, but not at the level of history and the human race, whilst leaving open the possibility of free will leading to "evil" (something most ethicists-polemicists don't want to be accused of doing). The equating of all kinds of causality with law ultimately serves an ideological - not scientific (strictly descriptive and explanatory in terms of logical consistency and empirical reality; never normative) - purpose. Thereafter follows an enthralling discussion of how the notion of free will is irrelevant for sociological and historical research practice, including definitions, in passing, of what sociology and history are, and references to Herodotus, Thucydides, E. H. Carr, M. Weber et. al.. Berlin had doubts about Popper's epistemological monism, notwithstanding their common methodological individualism; the latter thinker's "Covering Law Model" and its inherent flaws (e.g. in supposedly unifying the ontological levels of nature and human existence formally-epistemologically while supporting that personality and free will at the human ontological level do not and cannot exist at the ontological level of nature) give at least some credence to Berlin's doubts. The difference between the natural-scientific and sociological-historical way of explanation is highlighted with reference to phenomena, classification, causality and law bindedness, and Popper and Hempel's confusing of epistemology and ontological levels is further dissected, including Popper's misconstrual of the burning of Giordano Bruno, of situational logic in the light of his own Covering Law Model, and of course Popper's preference for ideology and polemics over strict scientific and logical coherence. The sub-section ends with Homan's methodologically individualistic anti-Popperian psychologism, which, however, cannot explain why, on the basis of nomological presuppositions and since Homans ignores the social relation and the primeval (or original) social dimension generally, universal psychological laws have in different times and places produced different value content(s).           


Section 2C(e) gives an overview of methodological individualism's various encounters with Parsons and "holism", the "(norm) system" e.g. in regard to the question of social order and disorder, and in particular of the varied confrontations or even reconciliations between proponents of microstructures and macrostructures, including "corporate groups", "networks", the restoration of the individual to the centre of theory, the discussions surrounding ethnomethodology, microsociology, macrosociology, (communicative) interaction etc. in the 1960s and 1970s (Homans, R. Collins, R. Emerson, J. Alexander, J. Coleman, G. Ritzer, et al.). In turn, the theoretical inadequacy of such approaches is highlighted (especially in respect of the transition or influence between microstructures and macrostructures), and the subsection makes a preliminary reference to the anthropological and, more tellingly, the social-ontological dimension, whose existence for the purpose of logically and empirically consistent sociological or social-scientific investigation has not hitherto been fully or adequately fleshed out.

Social-ontological factors or forces in the case of specific societies are consequently connected with the most different of historical and social phenomena, in many different ways, and constitute a spectrum whose parts and aspects can come into conflict, and often do, as regards content. No sociological concept in a strict sense can be applied to all societies without exception. Sociological research (ultimately) cannot but have a historical character. History (historical reality) shows us the relativity of content and values.While social facts as crystallisations of (collective and or individual) social action are the main concern of sociology and can never last permanently, social ontology has as its central object the fact of society - social facts can only ever occupy a part or aspect of the social-ontologically ascertained overall spectrum of the fact of "society", and "society", which can only exist as social facts and under the pressure of the overall social spectrum, is always prone to, and must (eventually), change.

Chapter II, Section 3 is in many ways the theoretical high point of Das Politische und der Mensch, and of social theory in general. In Section 3A, social phenomena are seen in relation to the social-ontic forces or factors of the social-ontic field upon which social phenomena temporarily and precariously crystallise. It then becomes clear that social ontology is the study of those forces or factors which are constitutive of society (social being) as "order" and "disorder", whereas the other social sciences deal with the social phenomena which exist always and only against the backround of pre-existing society, i.e. social-ontic forces or factors (spread out in the form of a spectrum). Social ontology is strictly non-normative without ever formulating regularities, causalities, laws, or without ever stating what will specifically happen in terms of collective or individual social action, apart from outlining in an ideal (or abstract) formalised fashion the framework within which social action takes place and what exists in general. The other social sciences investigate specific causalities and regularities, and without an adequate appreciation of the social-ontological background against which all social action takes place, they will invariably have difficulty in their investigations and explanations. In the case of social ontology, because all the social-ontic factors or forces are ubiquitous, because such factors or forces always exist at least as possibilities, they are never examined as causes of specific phenomena or events; the variety of form of the social world (throughout history) can only be accounted for descriptively-empirically because of the said ubiquitousness and potentiality of all social-ontic factors of forces. Social ontology investigates the necessary but not the sufficient conditions of socially living humans' behaviour and action - the social sciences trace causal relations, i.e. the sufficient conditions. For instance, from the point of view of social ontology, the chances of war and peace are equal, but from the social-scientific standpoint, the said equal chances are distributed unequally in accordance with the situation and period in time. Social ontology examines the social-ontic common denominator in order to shed light on the individual social sciences and their respective limits, whereas the boundaries between between e.g. sociology and history are of a thematic and methodological kind, determined by these disciplines' logic of founding and their respective power claims in the realm of knowledge. A lack of social-ontological insight ensures confusion and quarrelsomeness in the social sciences generally. Social ontology, which treats the factors or forces of the social-ontic becoming without going into the specific outcome of human action on each and every occasion, is a strictly nomological science, whose generality is broader than, and superior to, the social sciences. Regularities described by sociology and the (probable) outcomes of human action are of no concern to social ontology, which is always multi-dimensional and whose various dimensions manifest themselves in the content of the individual social sciences. While the boundaries between historical, sociological, political and anthropological studies, i.e. the social sciences in general, remain fluid, social ontology in its examination of the spectrum and mechanism of the social relation, the internal dynamics of the political, identity formation, power etc., offers the individual social sciences a point of orientation and a refining of social scientists' powers of judgement in light of a general notion of humans and human behaviour - without of course, as social ontology, going into the sufficient reasons of the phenomena being explained. With the assistance of social ontology, and in the knowledge of the openness and flexibility of the social-ontic field, an always wide-awake observer of history does not permit sociology to lapse into ideological and superficial generalisations. While social facts as crystallisations of (collective and or individual) social action are the main concern of sociology and can never last permanently, social ontology has as its central object the fact of society - social facts can only ever occupy a part or aspect of the social-ontologically ascertained overall spectrum of the fact "society", and a society, which can only exist as social facts and under the pressure of the rest of the parts or aspects of the overall spectrum of the fact "society", is always prone to, and must (eventually), change. The fact of society is therefore broader and more fluid and more open than every individual social fact, and this fact of society produces the social facts which gnaw away at or destroy other social facts; social-ontological viewpoints bring to light only necessary, never sufficient reasons and conditions. Social ontology is the examination of how social facts interrelate with the fact of society. Social-ontological factors or forces in the case of specific societies are consequently connected with the most different of historical and social phenomena, in many different ways, and constitute a spectrum whose parts and aspects can come into conflict, and often do, as regards content. No sociological concept in a strict sense can be applied to all societies without exception. Sociological research (ultimately) cannot but have a historical character. History (historical reality) shows us the relativity of content and values. Formal sociology and symbolic interactionism or micro sociology confuse the social-ontological and the sociological, though are of use in contemplating the spectrum and the mechanism of the social relation. Next, the discussion leads us to the two great sociologists, Weber and Simmel, and how each of them, for different reasons, operated within both the realms of sociology and social ontology, without ever clearly separating the disciplines and producing analyses fully consistent with both empirical reality and the conceptual-logical founding of these disciplines. Such lack of epistemological separation between sociology and social ontology has further worsened after decades of the phenomenology of the lifeworld and symbolic interactionism. Social ontology is the study of the original and always present and active (complementarily and or antithetically) aspects of the social-ontic, which ensure the openness and endless productivity of history; social ontolgy deals with the slowest time flow regarding human affairs given that the spectrum of the social-ontic forces and factors has remained stable since the beginnings of mankind's history.  Change in historical and sociological phenomena is qualitative, and such phenomena struggle, ultimately in vain, to prolong themselves in time (even if the period of time in question lasts for millenia). The spectrum of the social relation, its diachronic stability and the synchrony of its original aspects, constitutes an age-old knowledge found in all cultures, particularly in relation to human social behaviour and motivations. However, a scientific pre-education is necessary to understand the subject matter of historical and sociological research: customs and institutions, world theories (i.e. world views) and rituals. The social-ontic as a deeper stratum of existence found in all social formations (notwithstanding that different aspects of the social-ontic may feature more intensely or more broadly than other aspects in different times and places) means that social ontology does not examine the history of ideas or ideologies as history and sociology do. Social ontology recognises the terrain on which ideas, which are necessarily connected with concrete humans, flourish, and explains why social-ontic factors can only unfold through ideas. The necessity of the ideational mediation of everything social is a social-ontic fact and must be explained social-ontologically. But ideas as specific content do not possess any social-ontic necessity - in this sense, there are no ideas, there are only humans living in society and culture, whose social-ontically determined and explainable action must be connected with what one commonly calls ideas. Sociologically-historically and culturally different societies are able to be understood (at least in part) by outsiders because the social-ontic field is common across all societies, notwithstanding actors' different self-perceptions and the (sociological-historical) reality of cultural relativism. Understanding is thus revealed as the fundamental mechanism of the social relation. Social ontology is the study of the social-ontic field and constitutes the social-ontic field's conceptual reconstruction. Social ontology is an empirical discipline, it is always tested against empirical reality, but it is not positivistic in terms of using only the inductive method, nor does it proceed nomologically like the physical sciences. The factors or forces it conceptualises are never necessarily uniformly active; they are spread across a spectrum whose aspects also in part come into conflict as to their content. 


Section 3B of Chapter II begins with a discussion of what is relevant as society (i.e. society as the social) for social ontology. Why cybernetic systems theory (lack of insight into the necessary preconditions of historical and sociological phenomena), sociology (cannot comprehend even the sufficient preconditions of historical and sociological phenomena), and functionalistic systems theory (the biological and anthropological constants expounded as basic human needs do not pre-exist human societies, since humans only exist in (relation to) societies, but intersect with the institutions humans create for the socially regulated satisfaction of needs), cannot constitute a social ontology, is explained. Social-ontological description deals with the social-ontic factors or forces which are indispensable and equiprimordial in all societies. There is nothing else beyond such factors or forces for the purpose of understanding society with reference only to ascertainable empirical reality. Researching nothingness may be of interest to certain "philosophers" or "great thinkers", but we have neither the being nor the time for such inquiries. Social ontology, in its study of social-ontic forces and factors and the spectrum of the social relation, should always allow free two-way transition to sociology and history in order to be of use to the latter two content-specific disciplines, and in turn, to itself be reaffirmed as empirically valid. Kondylis then turns to the crucial concept of social "order" (and "disorder", which is an impossibility in the social-ontological sense given that the fact of society as order is always taken for granted). Such social-ontological order as the fact of society, free of content and hierarchies of factors, however, is contrasted with historical-sociological order, which is always ultimately subject to change since it is always connected with content and a hierarchy of factors, and whose relative "order" or "disorder" is always dependent on, and sociologically-historically examinable in relation to, a concrete situation. It is not surprising, however, that sociologists have confused the "socialisation" of individuals with normative preferences. From a non-normative and strictly descriptive point of view, there is no conflict between the social and the individual. The individual does not exist separately along with society, but always inside of, or in relation to, a society (or collective) of individuals and their culture and institutions. In other words, social-ontologically, the social, the collective, and the individual always overlap in one way or another with one another and can never be fully separated. It follows that the personal, narrowly defined, is what uniquely belongs to every individual (even though much of the personal - emotions, opinions, behaviours - is the product of collective influence), but social-ontologically the (human) social is made up of humans who are all individuals. The social is therefore not merely collective, nor are the individual and the social opposite notions, but the individual and the collective are manifestations of the social against the background of the fact of society. The action of an individual is not collective, but is necessarily, just like collective action, social. Social ontology is therefore the field of aspects or constituent elements of the fact of society (e.g. the individual and socially living peoples' individual action, groups, group action, ideas, ideologies, culture, etc.). Society cannot be reduced to isolated (plain, ontically autonomous) individuals because all individuals exist with social attributes, i.e. the fact of society is primary (or: everything to do with humans occurs against the background of the fact of society). Kondylis then makes reference to various thinkers' positions which imply a (possible) conceptual demarcation of sociology from what would potentially amount to a social ontology (Geiger, Pareto, Weber (the examination of important social facts such as the economy and religion, and their correlation, constitute Weber's indirect dealing with social-ontological questions regarding the being and coherence of society), Durkheim (correctly saw that social facts as interactions are the object of sociology, but did not grasp that the fact of society itself cannot be a mere social fact, nor can the fact of society be understood by using customary sociological (theoretical-conceptual) tools; social facts only exist against the background of a pre-existing society, and Durkheim's talk of "collective ideas" amounted to a normative mysticism rather than to an insight of social ontology), Simmel (did not realise that society as a complex of socialised individuals is a tautology; hence, society includes interaction which is constitutive of society, but is not just the mere interaction of previously isolated individuals), Vierkandt (saw that apart from mutual interaction, a joining together (union or amalgamation) was also needed to effect a society; Kondylis further points out that whilst interaction per se cannot constitute the differentia specifica of society, the factor or element which is the differentia specifica of society is necessarily a certain interaction - giving unfolding space to, and setting limits for, other interactions - with specific features which give society its specifc characteristic), Parsons (his examination of institutions and society's need for union, delimitation and self-sufficiency, which can never exist permanently since all societies (eventually) change, leads us to questions of the social-ontic dimension of the political and the political's ubiquitous presence in the social; social ontology as teaching of society's being has at its core the relationship between the social-ontic dimension of the political and other social-ontic dimensions)). Just as the social-ontic field, compared to historical and sociological crystallisations, is more fluid and more open (all social institutions are eventually destroyed (transformed or created anew) by the tensions inside of the spectrum of social-ontic factors or forces in the social-ontic field), likewise the social-ontological concept of society is always more fluid and more open than every sociological concept of society. Whether there are state institutions in the modern-era sense, or no need for state limits and political government as in the case of a hypothetical world society or the primitive horde, the political in its interaction with the other aspects of the social-ontic remains decisive in any talk of (social cohesion and) the being of society in the context of the social-ontological concept of society applying to all societies both theoretically and empirically.          

Chapter II, Section 3C reiterates that social ontology is not an unambiguous and one-dimensional study of the social which leaves real social phenomena unexplained, but must deal with the multi-dimensional nature of the social-ontic existing in a spectrum full of tensions in order to adequately describe human phenomena (relations, behaviour or action). Three factors or forces are from the outset found in such a spectrum: the social relation, the political and man. The social relation, as a constituent of society, represents the being of society. The spectrum and mechanism of the social relation can only be fully developed in society or against the background of society. Society is not merely relations between separately observed individuals or the sum of such relations. However, society contains interactions which do not necessarily relate to all individuals, yet seek to create a binding framework of interactions for all other interactions. Such (potentially) binding interactions, like all relations, have a spectrum and mechanism, but also have the character of the political which refers to society as a whole acquiring order and cohesion. The political is the interaction of all interactions. Wherever society is fundamentally a binding correlation of interactions, the political exists. The anthropological, i.e. man, is obviously a necessary part of all relations (since we are not for instance talking about ants or bees), more so in the case of the mechanism than the spectrum of the social relation. Man's involvement in the creation of the political is of particular interest, especially since man's nature is culture. The being of human society is the being of culture. Social ontology and social-ontologically oriented anthropology do not deal with cultural content and the sufficient conditions of this or that culture, but only with the necessary conditions of culture as human nature. The social relation, the political and anthropology (the study of man) are in no way ever hierarchised or prioritised, they are always equiprimordial and mutually dependent aspects of the social-ontic. Neither sociological "holism" or historical methodological individualism will do. Next, the social relation's examination is distinguished as between sociology and social ontology. Permanent movement within the social relation's spectrum between the extremes of friendship and enmity helps ensure that individual and collective social phenomena are never subject to nomological explanation. The social relation's mechanism, which never changes and permanently operates throughout the social relation's spectrum, applies to social action, understanding, rationality and language - also ensuring there is never any permanency (or permanent ubiquity) of concrete historical social phenomena, no matter how such phenomena are defined or how much they are taken for granted in any given historical period (e.g. from nomadism, feudalism and racism, to feminism, deconstruction and post-racialism). The political is, of course, a social relation, and the spectrum and mechanism of the social relation fully apply to the political (so that everything social has the potential to become political); however, not all social relations are political. That is why the friend-foe criterion cannot be the differentia specifica of the political as C. Schmitt purported (since such a criterion applies to the very being of society). Both Schmitt and his critics, who hope to efface or minimise the "foe" in the said criterion, overlook that the existence of both "friend" and "foe" (even if only as potentiality) is something which is a necessary feature, empirically observable, of society as society, and not because "philosophers" think, talk and write about friendship and enmity. The political is a particular social relation which gives (and seeks to give) society, order and cohesion. In society, everything is interaction, however not all all interaction is political. Kondylis next draws a distinction between "the political" and "politics", the latter being the different (institutional and non-institutional, changing) historical concretisations of the former - the political is always constitutively existent in society as social cohesion and social order. Both the political and politics are therefore to be found in every society, and any imagining of society without them is precisely that: imagination (always with concomitant normative-political preferences and power claims). [In fact, the constitutive nature of the political means that e.g. two great philosophical-political strands in Western thought (that of Hobbes and that of Rousseau) and the debates surrounding them, have existed and burdened thousands of thinkers without having a sound conceptual-factual (i.e. scientific) basis: in short, there is no pure "state of nature" for humans; society and the political must always be presumed when talking about humans, and the spectrum of human action from extreme friendship to extreme enmity is always at least potentially omnipresent in toto]). In recent decades, contractualistic liberalism, individualism and economism have been used in polemics against the state and politics to promote an ideological understanding of society (or supposed lack thereof). The quantitative extension of crystallisations arising from relations between individuals cannot explain how social cohesion and social order remain in place notwithstanding the chasm which may exist between social rules, laws etc. and their real-world operation - the theoretical inadequacy arising from a lack of understanding of the political, the pre-existence of society and the stricter or more flexible binding interpretability of rules at the social level rather than the arbitrariness at the personal level, is what follows from the positions of R. Nozick, J. Elster et al.. The political exists because society exists, and human-social activities and institutions develop from the political not instrumentally but within the context of society with its inherent or necessary social cohesion and order (i.e. its political), irrespective of how such cohesion and order is defined or operates on each and every respective occasion. The political is interwoven with human society from the beginning of human society, whereas politics, as the political from the perspective of subjective bearers, constitutes that human activity through which various individuals and groups seek to impose (support etc.) their understanding of society's cohesion and order and or of how society's cohesion and order should be. Society is then defined as a certain interaction (or mutual influence) of individuals which attains such an expanse and density that in society the question of cohesion and of order in the form of a specifically political question as to the common good is posed, in relation to which the thereby outlined field of tension of the political is set in motion as soon as it is a matter of bindingly defining the common good, that is, of the political, by invoking the political’s specific point of view to be put in the service of a concrete politics (in contrast to another politics). And since politics exists on a particularistic basis, interpretation of the common good is multi-faceted as well as ideological, and hence the struggle for the bindedness of interpretation of the common good becomes inevitable. Every current governmental state of affairs in all societies, from the primitive horde to modern mass democracies, seems to be ongoing because particularistic politics must always draw from aspects of the particularisable generality of the political, i.e. from cohesion and order. Society can now be defined as a collective of humans, every one of whom can raise a claim to bindingly define the common good, so that the social-ontologically necessary rules of living together (i.e. co-existence) make up the object of an incessant activity in respect of definition and of interpretation, and consequently represent both bearers of social cohesion and of social order as well as vehicles for the attainment of particularistic ends (goals). Common, at their face value, meanings and notions, such as the common good, thus turn into a battlefield for their binding interpretation, as a specific aspect of the political commands. In regard to the third ontic aspect of the social, a social-ontologically oriented anthropology, which is concerned with human nature as culture in its interaction with the social relation and the political and with the openness and plasticity of the social-ontic field, is not the same as anthropology in general and associated disciplines, which often deal with cultural content. Kondylis then briefly touches upon the mechanism of the social relation and the role it plays with the social relation's spectrum in shaping what is specifically human. The need for identity and meaning, and associated power, in the context of culture, merges with the drive (urge or impulse) of self-preservation, or such need even takes the drive of self-preservation's place (self-sacrifice as the command of identity). On the basis of understanding, rationality and language, which make up the mechanism of the social relation, an "intellect(mind)-spirit" is developed and branches out. And finally, identity, power and intellect(mind)-spirit are channeled into the political, which in turn crystallises in one or another kind of politics while trying to bindingly define social cohesion and social order. Hence, the anthropological, the political and the social relation are intertwined with one another in constituting a unity, which is the being of society as the object of social ontology. Neither the anthropology of Reason, nor the anthropology of drives (urges, impulses), neither substantialism (as concrete qualitative metaphysics), nor functionalism (as abstract quantitative metaphysics), suffice for a social-ontologically oriented anthropology. What counts, based on the empirical evidence of human action throughout known history, is "humani nihil alienum". And even though human nature might be culture, man can never be totally free of the determinations of nature, nor can man be formed purely on the basis of cultural criteria. The openness and malleability of culture, which has produced so many different cultures, does not exist beyond the causal determinations of nature and history, nor is what is called freedom something ethical-normative, particularly if one considers that all actions commonly known as atrocities and are attributed to "blind or bestial" nature, occur in culture with culture's means. Culture can be a normatively charged concept only in the language of ethics, not of social ontology. Man has always been, and will always be, in culture and nature. The latter two cannot be separated as far as man is concerned - neither can they be separated from society. The social relation and the political mediate between man and culture. Man develops as a cultured being and has the capacity to historicise his own nature, and even external (to him) nature (at least to some degree). The structure of social cohesion and of social conditions is determined not least of all by the outcome, on each and every respective occasion, of the struggle of mankind against external nature. Marx's great truth is even more telling today when the surpassing of the shortage of goods due to rapid technical progress (Industrial and Technological Revolutions etc.) has put in place societal changes of a planetary magnitude. Yet culture remains embedded in nature. Kondylis ends what is for the translator the greatest chapter in the history of macro or general social theory by reiterating that the social-ontological analysis of the social relation and of the political, just like social-ontologically oriented anthropology, only deals with the necessary, not the sufficient conditions of human action. Since the anthropological factor only exists in society and never before society, and is consequently omnipresent, and since the historical record identifies a plethora of cultures, not only can future human cultures not be predicted, but neither can human culture be limited ethically-normatively. The truly great Thucydides, an incomparable milestone in the history of the social sciences, saw that man's stable nature meant that either in war or in peace, in cooperation or in conflict, man's "good" and "bad" side are simply facets of the same man who seeks self-preservation and the extention of his own power either through physical and or intellectual(-spiritual) means. Something similar applies to the great La Rochefoucauld. The point is, that for anthropology to be of scientific (i.e. non-normative, descriptive, explanatory (theoretical) and empirically valid) use, it must be social-ontologically oriented, that is, it must accompany the other two social-ontic aspects: the social relation and the political. Empirical research can then deal with historical, sociological and psychological expositions. Kondylis's general theory can only be falsified by empirical findings of human relations and situations which burst open the Kondylisian conceptual framework. The translator wishes anyone who wants to find such empirical data, good luck. 



Chapter III



Chapter III, 1A commences by outlining from the history of ideas the transition from a content-laden view of History as Progress, accompanied by Man as a participant in such History, to the functionalism of formal sociology in which there is no longer any substance or essence in History and Man, but society as a functional ensemble with humans functioning in different ways according to the functional requirements of the social(-functional) ensemble. In contributing to the paradigm shift from the (bourgeois) synthetic-harmonising thought figure to the (mass-democratic) analytical-combinatory thought figure, formal sociology separated history and historiography from society and sociology; whereas Comte and Marx had a philosophy of history which catered for both history and sociology. Interestingly, formal sociology's emphasis on forms and rejection of any philosophy of history led to a supra-historical founding of sociology, which has implications for social ontology, something the formal sociologists did not even consider. From Lazarus to Dilthey, Vierkandt and hermeneutics, Kondylis then traces notions of society as involving relations, interaction (mutual influence), while shedding the last vestiges of the philsophy of history and even individuals as stable subjective bearers and objective meaning contexts, to end up in function, force and movement (rather than the fixed, [in] itself same, and substantial) in the thought of the young Simmel. However, Simmel, who never let go of the community-society (ultimately false) dichotomy, failed to see the political which makes a society out of interactions, nor did he understand that functionalism (in his thought, and moreover in later systems theory supporting the supposed "rationality of the system") amounted to an ideological metaphysics in need of an explanation like substantialism. Functionalism in Simmel's immediate successors such as Vierkandt (as it were, a precursor of cybernetic systems theory), not only turned its back fully on the philosophy of history, but also referred to natural science, which had replaced the (fixed) object of knowledge with the relation and relativity. The "popular way of thinking" had overestimated the "unity of the personality", and with the dissolution of substances into functions, everything became interchangeable in space, and time was displaced as the main form of understanding the social (see also L. von Wiese). Nonetheless, Simmel and von Wiese's conceptual and epistemological confusion surrounding formal sociology's notions of "pure", "general", "special" sociology, including the empirical inability of associating much disparate content with specific forms (e.g. forms of socialisation), as well as the fact that sociology, to the extent that it is not history, is per se a matter of formalisation in any event, mean that Simmel's distinction between pure and general sociology (or general and special sociology according to v. Weise) is ulitmately of ad hoc (e.g. micro-sociological) use, and cannot provide the scientifically-descriptively more useful conceptual tools found in Kondylis's epistemological distinction between social ontology and sociology. The problems surrounding pure forms as an omnipresent criterion (e.g. "union and disunion" or "nearness and distance"), and law bindedness (determinism or law-based necessity) as the recurrence of phenomena and correlations to which the criterion is applicable, given that such law bindedness does not actually exist (only causality exists in the human world of interaction), as well as the confusing of pure forms as formal criterion with pure forms as a steady constellation or correlation of relations which acts constitutively in every social construct (e.g. "primus inter pares"), plagues Simmel's and v. Wiese's efforts. Morever, the very criterion of "nearness and distance" is not a form but a pair of concepts representing, in part a datum or force under whose influence forms come into being, and in part an analytical criterion which can be applied to forms, which came into being in such a manner. V. Wiese inadvertently arrives at the fact that the separation of form and content can only happen at a level where the main matter is the spectrum of the social relation in general. However, he did not draw the necessary conclusions which would have led him to a social ontology distinct from formal sociology referring to historical content as a stable constellation or crystallisation of relations (i.e. as formalised content) - nor did formal sociology ever accept the existence of anthropological factors (absolutely necessary for a social ontology, along with the political, a philosophy of culture (the nature of man (human nature) is culture, and culture is man's nature, i.e. man is always also a part of nature, as well as being a cultural being), and the mechanism of the social relation which lead to the manifold historically attested social and cultural forms), since formal sociology always functionalistically deemed such anthropological factors to be "substances (or essences)". Interestingly, Max Weber's social action or social relation, which identified the importance of meaning, did not place social action or the social relation against a background of anthropology and the philosophy of culture; he too, including in his lack of investigation of the mechanism of the social relation, fell short of formulating a social ontology. Finally, Simmel did not manage to ever fully accept the pre-existence of society, because formal sociology sought a purity, even though Simmel realised that individuals could not be, free from such a pre-existence; but social science cannot be a zoology of animals living alone, and Simmel erred in asking about the possibility of society in relation to society's genesis rather than its cohesion.      

Section 1B explores formal sociology's (v. Wiese's) notion of the formal criterion of "nearness (proximity)" and "distance", and how it touches upon, and points to, Kondylis's spectrum of the social relation (for Kondylis sociology deals with matters of content as they pertain to the social relation; for v. Wiese, the individual social sciences concern themselves with such matters, whereas sociology deals with the aforementioned formal criterion). The relationship between the said formal criterion and psychological factors, as well as the misunderstandings Simmel and v. Wiese lapse into, become the subject of a discussion, which in turn leads to a clarification of the concepts of "nearness" and "distance". The crucial difference between spatial-physical and social nearness and distance (two lovers embracing each other and two enemies fighting each other bare-handed; A might be embracing B passionately while secretly, however, wanting to kill B, etc.), is highlighted, because exactly therein do social-ontological-anthropological categories (forces and factors) of identity and power (in the broadest sense) assume their multifarious ((historical-)sociological) content in the juxtaposition between one's own identity and power and another's identity and power. Thus, "pure sociology's" formal criterion of nearness and distance is transformed into a component of a social ontology. Nearness (proximity) and distance are then also looked at from the point of view of supra-ordination or subordination, as well as from the point of view of for (with) and against. Nearness (proximity) and distance are then also looked at from the point of view of supra-ordination and subordination, as well as from the point of view of For (With) and Against. Kondylis explains how For (With) and Against (or "association - dissociation", "friendship - enmity") as representative of a genus, whose species is supra-ordination and subordination, constitutes a form of a relation containing all the polarity in the entire spectrum of the social relation.

L. v. Wiese is at the centre of attention at the commmencement of Section 2A. In particular, it is highlighted that v. Wiese, in contemplating notions relating to association and dissociation (nearness and distance), eventually held that (formal) sociology drew its teaching regarding "fellow man" and "anti-man" from "anthropology", i.e. there are always "elementary forces" in man, notwithstanding all the variation in the "historical form of a phenomenon". The result was that v. Wiese breached his own prohibition in respect of connecting forms with content(s): the polarity in the anthropology of drives (e.g. "love" and "hate") now explained the polarity in the spectrum of the social relation. Consequently, the psychological could no longer be clearly separated from the sociological. A social ontology is now one step closer. Kondylis then explains that there are many forms and degrees of nearness and distance, which create the spectrum of the social relation, whose outer limits are extreme nearness and extreme distance. Between the said two extremes (or poles of the social relation's spectrum), however, there is a great variety of forms and degrees of the social relation, which in any event cannot escape from certain anthropological factors or content(s) such as life and death, the most basic, fundamental and protogenic factors of all. Life takes place always at least potentially in view of death, which is irreversible. Life cannot be the criterion of death, since the dead do not know what life means, but death becomes a criterion of life, because the living can imagine (one's own and others') death at any moment. As far as the spectrum of the social relation is concerned, without the anthropological basic fact of death, the spectrum's two poles, i.e. extreme friendship (sacrificing one's life for another or others) and extreme enmity (killing another or others) would cease to exist, and human immortality would have led to vastly different societies. That, however, is not the case. The role of death in defining both extreme enmity and extreme friendship was something acknowledged since ancient and early Christian times, and all polities (and war), as well as action as between citizens without state involvement, have always been characterised by the presence of death at the extremes of the polarity of the social relation. It must be reiterated emphatically that the social relation's polarity does not define the political, as it is part of the social which encompasses the political. Nor does the said polarity have anything to do with any kind of value judgement regarding man. All of historical and social experience attests that humans are all capable of "altruistic" and "egotistical", "friendly" and "inimical" acts. There is no absolute, extra-human measure of "good" and "bad (evil)". Everything humans do is solely within the compass of human action and part of the human condition. Someone who kills is not necessarily "bad (evil)", and someone who loves or dies for another is not necessarily "good". The anthropological fact of death, i.e. man's mortality, and the polarity of the social relation cannot be reduced to psychological factors. The human condition cannot be "improved" in the sense of the (total) effacement of the inimical or "bad (evil)" pole of the social relation. [On the other hand, social disciplining, in the sense of the ideological (and the attempt at the real) effacement of what is deemed "bad (evil)" necessitates a continual struggle against "evil", regardless of whether a particular content of "evil" has (largely) been or can be overcome in practice, because a new content of "evil" always arises to fill the void, so to speak]. Next, Heidegger’s social-ontologically irrelevant, and philosophically-linguistically bloated and ultimately scientifically useless (narcissistically ethicising) ruminations in Being and Time regarding, inter alia, death, “authenticity” and “somebody (people or the They)” (German: “Man”) are exposed by Kondylis for the “hot air” they constitute, and in the process the so-called “greatest philosopher of the twentieth century” now seems somewhat deflated (there is also a telling reference to one of the truly great Tolstoy’s masterpieces: The death of Ivan Ilyich). The 20th century saw a number of "marriages" of radicalised theology and antibourgeois cultural critique, and Heidegger added nothing of non-normative, descriptive (empirically and logically consistent) explanatory (i.e. scientific) value (why should "guilt", for instance, belong to the constitution of existence?). The great English thinker, Thomas Hobbes, whilst correctly identifying the drive (urge, impulse or "instinct") of self-preservation and the all-encompassing category of power as non-detachable elements of human existence, could not get past a social-ontologically inadequate naturalistic anthropology to see that symbolic-ideological mechanisms in human societies mean that the ideational need for identity not infrequently leads to action which negates personal physical self-preservation in the name of the common good, collective identity, etc.. The fact and inevitability of death, as well as the possibility of violent death, means that a number of perspectives open up with regard to the founding of the state other than mere Hobbesian fear of other individuals. Social ontology, in order to constitute a science, must apprehend these other perspectives.        

 
Make a Free Website with Yola.