The Republic of Letters and the Imperial Court in the Second Part of the 16th Century
The aim of the article is to clarify why Vienna and Prague became so important centers of the Republic of Letters in the second half of the sixteenth century. It is argued that the cultural flourishing of the Habsburg imperial court cannot be satisfyingly explained by pointing to the characters of Ferdinand I, Maximilian II and Rudolf II, or by stressing the propaganda and representational goals of their "cultural politics". Still it is admitted that the humanist education and the controversial but definitely not radical religious stance of these rulers was an important precondition of a cultural boom. However, analyzing some of the cultural fields to which humanists could directly contribute (collections, summer palaces, botany, imperial library, court feasts) it is demonstrated that Maximilian's cultural initiatives are much exaggerated by the literature whereas those of Ferdinand are sometimes undervalued. Humanist presence was less dependent on imperial initiative than on the pressure and insistence of humanists and on the vigor of humanist cultural practices. The author claims that humanist identity as expressed by the Republic of Letters was a natural component of the emperors' complex identity, hence it was rather the Republic of Letters that influenced and absorbed the emperors than vice versa. Finally, it is emphasized that the imperial court could not have become a center of the Republic of Letters without the participation and support of a great number of cultured courtiers and bureaucrats.
Time and Progress – Time As Progress.
An Enlightened Sermon by William Robertson
This article examines the thesis, advanced by Reinhart Koselleck in Futures Past, of the "temporalization of history" as interpreted in terms of the changing perception of the "compression" (or "acceleration") of time that supposedly precedes the onset of the "future", against a 1755 sermon by the eighteenth-century Scottish ecclesiastical leader and historian William Robertson. The framework of analysis is offered by a version of the model of the "multiplicity of enlightenments" and that of the "conservative Enlightenment" employed most forcefully by John Pocock, but also by other scholars. Looking at previous and contemporary schemes of historical time, it is demonstrated that Robertson, drawing on intellectual sources ranging from Arminian theology through philosophical history to stadial or conjectural history, worked with a synergetic view of historical agency in which human actions may be seen as expressions of divine providence, while at the same time God's providence may be conceived as offering so many opportunities for the exercise of human will. But it is also important to recognize that he was capable of doing so because he allowed the patterns of socio-cultural and economic progress, discovered in the eighteenth century, to play a dynamic role in advancing the cause of Christian salvation, especially by "compressing time" at critical junctures of history. In Koselleckian terms: true to his character as a protagonist in Pocock's "conservative Enlightenment", Robertson's notion of the acceleration of history was not quite divorced from the apocalyptic hope attached to the ever shortening periods preceding the last judgment, while at the same time clearly displaying aspects of a notion of historical hope.
The Republican Monarchy of the Marquis D'Argenson in the Context of the History of Ideas
The article describes the political philosophical views of a relatively neglected personality from the Enlightenment era, and makes an attempt to place these on the ideological spectrum of the age. The main focus is on the principles the marquis D'Argenson advocated during the debate about the origins of the French monarchy and on his opinion about the "best form of state". In addition to providing biographical facts (and the resulting political stance), the author points out that the marquis D'Argenson's involvement in the controversy about the origins of the French monarchy was only an excuse for the elaboration of the idea that the development of the human spirit and the strengthening of royal power are related phenomena. As a result, he regards those sovereigns as good who, sometimes governed by wrong motives, follow a policy of greater freedom and equality. A good king, as the holder of power, always serves public welfare. Still the marquis D'Argenson – who is considered to be one of the first proponents of the "laisser faire" theory, and who believed in the withdrawal of the state and analyzed various forms of polity – was not an adherent of citizen participation. He thinks that participation is viable on a local level only, and for the sole reason of supporting the central government.
The Origins of the Image of Hungary in 18th-century France
Using the myth of the "unremembered Hungary" formulated by János Batsányi at the beginning of the 19th century, the article makes an attempt to show how the image of Hungary and Hungarian history changed in modern France. First, the author systematizes the information base that was available for the contemporary French reader. It is established that the knowledge about Hungary in the century of the Enlightenment primarily stemmed from historical bibliographies, travel diaries and historical geographies often inherited from the 16–17th centuries. As a result, it teemed with the (still uncorrected) mistakes of the previous centuries and mainly used stereotypes.
While analyzing the various types of sources, the author lists particular works as well, so the paper can be read as an annotated bibliography of the Enlightenment image of Hungary. It is worth pointing out that this is the first article in Hungary to define the characteristic features of one of the most popular genres of the 17–19th centuries, the historicalgeographical dictionary and its place in the philosophical culture of the Enlightenment.
The scientific research program in József Eötvös's Dominant Ideas
The paper proposes a close reading of József Eötvös's Influence of the Dominant Ideas and Their Impact on the State (1851–1854) from the special point of view of the philosophy of science. The author argues that the main concern of Eötvös with his two-volume work on political philosophy was not only to find a new political equilibrium after the upheaval of 1848–1849 in France as well as in Central Europe, but he also felt the need to perform that social get-out across the renewal of mid-19th-century political science by a return to Francis Bacon and his rigorous inductive method of scientific investigation. While analyzing Eötvös's approaches to European history, however, it became clear that his way of reasoning on the basis of induction was filled up with analogic and rhetoric arguments as well.
In the second part of the paper, the author focuses on Eötvös's confrontation with the traditional conflicts in scientific debates of his age between the expansion of knowledge and the maintenance of truth in scientific explanation, between ruling trends and covering laws in history, and between understanding and the prediction about the social vocation of science.
Third, Eötvös's attachment to the Newtonian world concept is presented in a detailed manner. For him, the physical explanation of universal gravitation was not only a vocabulary of metaphors adapted for historical narrative, but also a method of understanding and managing social conflicts.
In another unit, the author revisits the problem of Eötvös' polemic, negative or hostile attitude toward philosophy. He argues that Eötvös's refutation does not concern philosophy as an overall pattern of understanding, but his usage of the term "philosophy" should be situated in the context of the discussions in Restoration France about an extreme rationalism of French philosophy which led to Robespierre's Jacobinism.
Gábor Gángó concludes that József Eötvös' main work on political philosophy can be regarded as an example of degenerating research programs in the sense of the term Imre Lakatos gave to it: besides his empirical investigations on politics and history, the author of the Dominant Ideas tried repeatedly to find his position in relation to contemporary research traditions in Europe.
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