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SPD2321 Chinese

Civilization and
Modern
Consciousness
from the West
Lecture 8 Western
Enlightenment II: Democracy
and Politics
Instructor: Dr. Terence Leung
“Origins” of Western Modern
Thought
 The concept of individual freedom—has been
the critical driving force of Western civilization.
 It is arguably what differentiates the West from
the civilizations of the East, some of which
were for an extended period technologically
and economically superior to the West.
 The history of individual freedom is one that
begins in the West with the Greek city-states
(polis) [城邦].
“Origins” of Western Modern
Thought
“Origins” of Western Modern
Thought
Myth of Continuity – The Origins of Greek Thought:
 According to Jean-Pierre Vernant, the advent of city-
state (polis) has changed the social life and human
relations in Greece and generates democratic
system民主制度 and self-governing body:
 1. the system of polis implies the significance of
speech over all other instruments of power
 - speech becomes the political tool, the key to all
authority and the means of commanding and
dominating others
 - city creates a public to which the politicians can
address and speech becomes open debate
 - the art of politics is the art of oratory, the technique
of persuasion, and it lays down the logic of verifiable
truth
“Origins” of Western Modern
Thought
 2. the polis helps create a public domain, an area of
common interest and open practices; and it leads to
democratization and disclosure
 - knowledge and values are brought to the public
view and submitted to public criticism
 - speech is the instrument of the city’s political life,
while writing becomes the medium of a common
culture
 - the writing down of the laws ensures their
permanence and stability and turns them into public
property
 - individuals make their knowledge public by means
of writing
 - Knowledge then becomes the common property of
the city, a standard that would be applicable to all
“Origins” of Western Modern
Thought
 3. polis creates a unity among the people
from different origins, ranks and functions
 - citizens are united in the same community,
replacing the hierarchical relations of
submission and dominance
 - the concept isonomia 自由-平等: equal
participation of all citizens in the exercise of
power
 - the power of individual must yield to the law
of the group – the egalitarian spirit 平均主義
and the supremacy of law and order
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
 The story of ‘origin’ is always a story of
myth, it is always from the present that we
look back at our origin.
 In other words, the origin is constructed by
our present perspective.
 The first important affirmation of the
historical present within the trajectory of
Western civilization is best exemplified in
the Enlightenment project.
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
 What Is Enlightenment 啟蒙運動?
 - name given to the flowering of Western
philosophical thought after 1700 (i.e. En-
lightenment)
 - translated Renaissance notions of ‘self’ into
coherent social and political philosophy
 - credited with creating dramatic political
transformations
 - Major Enlightenment thinkers: Rousseau 盧 梭 ,
Voltaire伏爾泰, Goethe歌德, Kant康德, Schiller席勒,
Montesquieu孟德斯鳩, Diderot狄德羅
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
The Enlightenment Ideals
 1. Human autonomy
 2. The importance of reason
 3. Progress
 4. Secularism
 5. The centrality of economy to politics
 6. The ideal of popular government
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
 啟 蒙 運 動 , 又 稱 啟 蒙 時代 與 理 性 時 代 ( Age of
Reason),是指在17世紀及18世紀歐洲地區發生
的一場哲學及文化運動,該運動相信理性發展知識
可以解決人類實存的基本問題。
 人類歷史從此展開在思潮、知識及媒體上的「啟
蒙」,開啟現代化和現代性的發展歴程。
 德意志哲學家康德(Kant)以「敢於求知」(dare
to know)的啟蒙精神來闡述人類的理性擔當。
 康德認為啟蒙運動是人類的最終解放時代,將人類
意識從不成熟的無知和錯誤狀態中解放。
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
 在一般歷史時代分期上,接續文藝復興的是啟蒙運
動時期。
 啟蒙時代不同於過往以神學權威為主作為知識權威
與傳統教條,而是相信理性並敢於求知,認為科學
和藝術的知識的理性發展可以改進人類生活。
 承接17世紀的科學宇宙觀及以理性尋找知識的方法,
啟蒙運動相信普世原則及普世價值可以在理性的基
礎上建立,對傳統存有的社會習俗和政治體制以理
性方法檢驗並改進,產生出啟蒙時代包含了自由與
平等概念的世界觀。
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
 14世紀之「文藝復興時期」
 歐洲邁向現代化的里程碑,即以中世紀(14-16 世
紀)所發生的文藝復興運動作為轉捩點。
 「 復 興 」 (Renaissance) 之 意 為 「 再 生 」
(Rebirth),其主要的內涵是希望能重生古希臘理
性主義氛圍之下的自由與求知精神,也就是對教
會無邊壟罩的解放與知識的創造。
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
 18 世紀之「啟蒙運動」
 18 世紀的法國,在經過了路易十四時期多年的戰爭
後,經濟大受打擊,因此人 們開始對君權神授說産生
質疑,並開始出現理性思考的思想家,也被稱為「理
性 時代」。
 當時的哲學家多以理性思考視為主要重點,並開始摒
棄宗教的迷信觀點。
 啟蒙運動的歷史地位及其對現代國際社會的影響:
啟蒙時代的思想家多提出創立民主、共和政體的思
想,例如孟德斯鳩主張的三權 分立、盧梭的「社會
契約論」、洛克的「政府論」。啟蒙時代的思想基
礎被之後的 美國獨立宣言與法國人權宣言所採用。
影響所及,造就當今民主國家的盛行。
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
 啟蒙運動的代表人物 孟德斯鳩(Montesquieu)提出三權
分立的理論影響了美國憲法、法國憲法、普魯士法典及
後來的現代各國憲法。
 伏爾泰(Voltaire)以理性主義和懷疑主義為基礎,強調寬
容和個人自由,並抨擊教 會限制人的思想言論自由。
 盧梭(Rousseau)質疑啟蒙運動的理性原則與進步觀念,
開啟了後來的浪漫運動,他排斥各種政治結構,認為人
民的普遍意志才是最優先的考慮。
 狄德羅(Diderot)將百科全書(Encyclopedia)作為啟蒙
運動的代言者,他要讓這套書作為當代知識的總集成,
象徵著高級知識分子對於啟蒙愚昧無知人們的工具,並
展現出人類在知識上的進步。
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
 約翰·洛克(John Locke)是英國的哲學家。在知識論上,
洛克與喬治·貝克萊、大衛·休謨三人被列為英國經驗主義的
代表人物,但他也在社會契約理論上做出重要貢獻。
 他發展出了一套與湯瑪斯·霍布斯的自然狀態不同的理論,
主張政府只有在取得被統治者的同意,並且保障人民擁有
生命、自由、和財產的自然權利時,其統治才有正當性。
洛克相信只有在取得被統治者的同意時,社會契約才會成
立,如果缺乏了這種同意,那麼人民便有推翻政府的權利。
 約翰·洛克將國家權力分為立法權、行政權和對外權,並主
張立法權與行政權的分立,行政權與對外權的統一;立法
權是國家最高權力。
 洛克的思想對於後代政治哲學的發展產生巨大影響,並且
被廣泛視為是啟蒙時代最具影響力的思想家和自由主義者。
他的著作也大為影響了伏爾泰和盧梭,以及許多蘇格蘭啟
蒙運動的思想家和美國開國元勳。他的理論被反映在美國
的獨立宣言上。
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
沙龍與公共領域的形成
 啟蒙運動與法國中產階級的興起息息相關。起初,願意在
沙龍(salon,原意為大廳)招待哲士的主要是法國的貴族,
特別是貴族的遺孀。她們擁有龐大的遺產,喜好知識,因
此願意花大筆的金錢,聘請哲士們成為她們的入幕之賓。
 包括伏爾泰、盧梭等,都曾接受她們的資助。隨著中產階
級的崛起,這些想要附庸風雅的中產階級也開始舉辦沙龍,
以便提高他們的社會地位以及名聲。
 在中產階級的贊助下,啟蒙哲士們逐漸形成了類似於今日
的學術團體,有學者將其命名為「文人共和國」,而這也
是二十世紀法蘭克福學派社會學家哈伯瑪斯所謂的「公共
領域」的雛形。
 這些哲士們在沙龍中發表自己對於政治、經濟,以及社會
的各種批判與論述,建立起歐洲最早的社會輿論。
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
 公共領域(public sphere)的形成,獲得中產階級的認同,中產
階級找到發聲的管道,讓他們的意見與言論有發表的空間。隨
著時間的發展,除了「偉大的」啟蒙哲士之外,又再形成了一
群被稱為「清寒文人」的團體。
 根據法國文化史學家侯杰.夏提葉(Roger Chartier)的研究,
清寒文人對於法國大革命的貢獻,可能高於啟蒙哲士,因為他
們所提供的不是難以理解的哲學理論,而是將這些哲學理論加
以消化,轉變成更貼近中產階級的知識架構,使他們能快速的
了解啟蒙哲士的政治哲學,並與之產生共鳴。
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
 Reason is the supreme principle至上的原則
 The universality of science (positivism)
against any kind of irrationalism; new
freedom – liberation from the old beliefs,
superstitions 迷 信 , fear (i.e. dis-
enchantment 去魅)
 New type of subject (autonomous, self-
determining 自 我 決 定 )  Man becomes
the new ruler of the world
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
The Enlightenment subject:
 Persons as unique unified agents
 Cartesian subject
 Descartes 笛卡爾 ‘I think, therefore I am’(
我思故我在)
 Rational, conscious individual subject
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
Kant’s essay “What Is Enlightenment?” (1784)
 “Dare to know!” – Have the courage to use your own
reason against any kind of imposed or external
authority
 A distinction between public and private, between
the realm of reason and that of obedience
 The use of reason belongs to the public realm, while
obedience is a private matter
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
A man of reason is a universal human
being and addresses a universal
audience, i.e. mankind
 The division (between public and private
uses of reason) is inherent in every
individual e.g. army officer obeys and
man of reason questions the military
The “Ruptures” of Western
Enlightenment
 Public use of reason: paying taxes while being
able to argue about how much to pay
 Private use of reason: not blind obedience 不
盲從, but following orders and making use of
your reason within established rules
 Political model is a contract of rational
despotism 理 性 的 專 制 主 義 : rulers can
guarantee our obedience by offering us
‘public and free use of autonomous reason’
Rethinking the Enlightenment
 Twenty-century French philosopher Michel
Foucault ( 福 柯 ) analyzes ‘What Is
Enlightenment?’ by the German philosopher
Immanuel Kant with the following conclusions
about Enlightenment as:

 1) an escape from social and political


‘immaturity’
 2) ‘modification of the preexisting relation
linking will, authority, and the use of reason;
 3) to achieve (1) we must distinguish between
a) obedience vs reason (and when to use
them) b) private and public uses of reason
Rethinking the Enlightenment
 Kant suggests modern society is
‘immature’ and needs rational despotism
to grow into an adult society
 Foucault suggests Kant’s idea is one of
the first that links individual actions and
beliefs to an overall historical process
Rethinking the Enlightenment
 Foucault calls modern history an ‘attitude’
 NOT simply a series of events but:
 ‘… a voluntary choice made by certain
people … a way of thinking and feeling; a
way, too, of acting and behaving that …
makes a relation of belonging and presents
itself as a task’
Rethinking the Enlightenment
 Modern history is an attitude that makes
the present ‘heroic’
 Foucault suggests that this heroization of
the present often appears at the level of
art
 Artworks in turn motivate the key process
within/after the Enlightenment in which
Foucault calls “permanent critique”
Rethinking the Enlightenment
 Permanent critique means ‘always criticizing’
the order of things in the present time
 Individuals make the present ‘heroic’ by
always fighting for a better version of the
present
 Permanent critique is the permanent
reactivation of the (modern) attitude, over
and over again
 Modern history is never resting, never waiting
for the future ‘to happen’
Rethinking the Enlightenment
 Foucault suggests that within certain
boundaries imposed by rulers, individuals
reach a ‘mature’ state when they hold a
‘limit-attitude’
 Modern history or civilization is the
consciousness which individuals have
about limits and rules:
 1) forced on them by rules of existing
society
 2) And when to break such rules/limits
Rethinking the Enlightenment
Probing questions:
 An internal contradiction of the
Enlightenment Reason: ‘use your reason freely
– provided that you obey!’ (i.e. conditional
freedom of reason only)
 Potentially Absolutist ( 專 制 ) implications
inherent in the Western Enlightenment project
(e.g. the French Bonapartism 法國波拿巴主義
and the Revolutionary Terror since 1789)
 Jurgen Habermas 哈貝馬斯: modernity as an
“unfinished project”