Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 3

Voegelin's Theory of Consciousness

Anamnesis by Eric Voegelin; Gerhart Niemeyer

Review by: Ellis Sandoz
The Review of Politics, Vol. 41, No. 2 (Apr., 1979), pp. 305-306
Published by: Cambridge University Press for the University of Notre Dame du lac on behalf of
Review of Politics
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1406930 .
Accessed: 09/03/2014 23:36

Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of
content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms
of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

Cambridge University Press and University of Notre Dame du lac on behalf of Review of Politics are
collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to The Review of Politics.


This content downloaded from on Sun, 9 Mar 2014 23:36:27 PM

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions


Eric Voegelin: Anamnesis.Translatedand edited by GerhartNiemeyer.
(NotreDame: Universityof NotreDame Press,1978. Pp. 217. $11.95.)

At its 1978annualmeeting in New YorktheAmerican Political

LippincottAwardforhisbooks,The NewScienceofPolitics:AnIntro-
duction(1952) and Orderand History, whosefourthvolumeap-
volumeyetto come. The bridgebetween
pearedin 1974,witha fifth
the former and laterpublishing of essays
eventswas the collection
publishedby R. Piper & Co. Verlag in Munich in 1966 entitled
Anamnesis: Zur Theorie der Geschichte und Politik. The volume
beforeus is a translatedand editedversionof thisimportantcollection
which,while omittingsubstantialportionsof the German original,
will nonethelessbe welcomedby the Englishreader as supplyinga
major hiatusin Voegelin'snew scienceof politics.
The hiatussuppliedby Anamnesisis the expositionof the theory
of consciousnesspresupposedin The New Science of Politics and
further developedin The EcumenicAge, as volumefourof Orderand
Historyis entitled.For, as Voegelinsaysin the new firstchapterwrit-
ten forthisedition,by 1943 his analysisof modernideologiesand mass
movements"had made it clear beyonda doubt that the centerof a
philosophyof politicshad to be a theoryof consciousness."Attention
to theproblemalreadyhad absorbedhimin the 1920's,as is shownby
the comparativestudiesof perceptionand consciousness in Hodgson,
Brentano,Husserl,Peirce,and especiallyin WilliamJamesand George
Santayanagivenin Voegelin'sfirstbook, The Form of the American
Mind (1928). A breakthrough he and
came in responseto deficiencies
his friendAlfredSchuetz found in the "apodictic horizon"of phi-
losophyproclaimedin Husserl'slaterwork,the CartesianMeditations
(1931) and, especially,the Crisisof European Science (1936). For
the phenomenological in consciousness,
analysisof intentionality while
valuablein itself,was onlythe explorationof a substructure withinthe
comprehensive consciousness of a realitywhichbecomesluminousfor
its truthin the consciousness of a man. "Reality,it is true,can move
into the positionof an object-of-thought intendedby a subject-of-
cognition,but beforethiscan happen theremustbe a realityin which
human beingswith a consciousnessoccur." In short,Voegelin dis-
covered the "historicaldimension"of consciousnesswhich Husserl
had excluded;and he foundthisdimensionto be the processof reality
which is permanentlypresentas that in which men participatein
The task then set was not only to show the deficienciesof
phenomenology but also to providea viable alternativeto thattheory.
Voegelin'sinitialformulation was completedin the summerof 1943
as is exhibitedin the essay"On theTheoryof Consciousness"and in
the charmingaccountsof anamneticexperiments whichhe thencon-

This content downloaded from on Sun, 9 Mar 2014 23:36:27 PM

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ducted into the formationof his own consciousness through the recol-
lection of childhood experiences down to the age of ten. Its full fru-
ition is displayed in the other major essays from the original German
edition of the book, "Eternal Being in Time" and the revolutionary
analysis "What Is Political Reality?" and in "Reason: The Classic
Experience," here reprinted from the spring 1974 number of the
Southern Review. The cumulative result,which can only be hinted in
a brief review, is nothing short of startling.For what emerges is no
less than a new ontology and a new epistemologyto ground the claim
to a new science of politics in continuity with Aristotle's science of
human affairs. Not merely an alternative to Husserl's theory of con-
sciousness has been provided by Voegelin, but a coherent alternative
to the whole of positivist social science-the still-dominantmode of
thinking about man's political existence. Voegelin's differentiation
of the noetic science of man as the exploration of the In-Between
reality tensionally experienced in the several modes of participation,
as here elaborated, constitutesanother Copernican revolution,this one
in the sphere of the science of human existence.
Any translatorof Voegelin's work must face formidable problems
of accurately rendering concise and technical language, even if the
translationis only fromthe English works to the parlance of American
undergraduate students. ProfessorNiemeyer as editor and translator
is to be congratulated for his judgment and craftsmanshipand for a
generally reliable if not always elegant rendering of the masterful
German of the original. The achievement is a commendable one, even
if in detail it is not flawless either because of the translator's slip or
the publisher's carelessness. It is, for instance, unsettlingto have such
misprintsas "unwordly world" (p. 79) and "wordly time" (p. 133)
for unweltlichen Welt and Weltzeit, and more distressing to find
"present" for Zukunft (p. 20), "corollary" for Gegenstiick (p. 143),
"scientist claims" for szientistischenAnspriiche (p. 146), and "com-
pact-oblique" for kompakt-undurchsichtig(p. 169). But such lapses
are infrequent and virtually inevitable. Less inevitable, however, is
the rudimentaryindex which lists only persons mentioned in the text,
particularly by comparison with the German edition and its invalu-
able inventoryof concepts set in an analytical format.


Douglas Yates: The UngovernableCity: The Politicsof Urban Problems

and Policy Making (Cambridge,Mass.: and MIT Press, 1977. Pp. 219.

A decade ago American cities erupted violently and the force of

those events produced the massive overflowof books we conventionally
call urban studies. In this slim volume, Douglas Yates weaves the

This content downloaded from on Sun, 9 Mar 2014 23:36:27 PM

All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions