Wallstein Verlag

Gangolf Hübinger

Committed Observers of Modernity

From Max Weber to Ralf Dahrendorf

277 pages, 14,0 x 22,2
ISBN: 978-3-8353-1797-0 (2016)


German Version

Great historical diagnosticians as critical observers.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a new intellectual type became established, focussing on the critical analysis of the relationship between history and politics. The French philosopher Raymond Aron coined a new phrase for these experts of historical diagnostics: »committed observers«.
Gangolf Hübinger’s studies on the phenomenon of the historical diagnostician begin with the cultural threshold around 1900 and the battles of ideas surrounding the scientific description and political moulding of modernity.

This is followed by exemplary portraits on Max Weber, Ernst Troeltsch, the analyst of the great upheavals after 1918, Fritz Stern, the mediator between Europe and America, and Ralf Dahrendorf in his critical dialogue with Jürgen Habermas on the subject of 1989 and its consequences.
The concluding critical evaluation is concerned with the historians’ intellectual claim of consciously living in two worlds, in the present and in the past.

Gangolf Hübinger, born in 1950, is a professor of comparative modern cultural history at the University of Frankfurt (Oder). Numerous publications on the history of ideas, intellect and the history of science, as well as religious cultures and political movements in the 19th and 20th centuries. Co-editor of the complete editions on Max Weber and Ernst Troeltsch.
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