Exploring the World of Human Practice

Readings in and about the Philosophy of Aurel Kolnai
$30.95 / €26.95 / £22.95
Publication date: 
354 pages

Aurel Kolnai was born in Budapest, in 1900 and died in London, in 1973. He was, according to Karl Popper and the late Bernard Williams, one of the most original, provocative, and sensitive philosophers of the twentieth century. Kolnai's moral philosophy is best described in his own words as intrinsicalist, non-naturalist, non-reductionist", which took its original impetus from Scheler's value ethics, and was developed by using a natural phenomenologist method.
The unique combination of linguistic analysis and phenomenology yields highly original ideas on classical fields of moral theory, such as responsibility and free will, the meaning of right and wrong, the universalisability of ethical norms, the role of moral emotions, internalism vs externalism, to mention a few.
The volume presents a selection of essays by Kolnai, including his main political theoretical work, "What is Politics About", available in English here for the first time. The second half of the book Kolnai's work is analyzed in a series of essays by eminent scholars.

About the Contents of This Volume

I. Papers by Kolnai

What Is Politics About?
A Note on the Meaning of Right and Wrong
Erroneous Conscience
Are There Degrees of Ethical Universality?
The Concept of Practical Error
Actions and Inactions
Agency and Freedom
The Indispensability of Philosophy

II. Papers about Kolnai’s Work

1. Introductory
The Ethical Theories of Aurel Kolnai, John Beach
Kolnai’s Mature Political Philosophy, Lee Congdon

2. Politics and Utopia
The Democratic Subversion of Political Liberty and Participation, John P. Hittinger
Liberty, Equality, Nobility: Aurel Kolnai and the Moral Foundations of Democracy, Daniel J. Mahoney
Aurel Kolnai: A Political Philosopher Confronts the Scourge of Our Epoch, Pierre Manent
Aurel Kolnai and Utopia, David Wiggins

3. Ethics
Aims in Games and Moral Purposes, Loránd Ambrus-Lakatos
Kolnai and Kant on (Human) Dignity, Zoltán Balázs
Kolnai’s Dissertation “Der ethische Wert und die Wirklichkeit”: A “Completion” of Scheler’s Value-Ethics, Francis Dunlop
The Nature and Scope of Ordinary Morality: Some Reflections in the Spirit of Aurel Kolnai, M. W. F. Stone

4. Feeling and Emotion
Is Love Intertwined with Hatred? Andreas Dorschel
Kolnai’s Idea of Emotional Presentation, Thomas Norgaard
Aurel Kolnai’s “Disgust”: A Source in the Art and Writing of Salvador Dalí, Robert Radford

About the Contributors to This Volume