Swarr Prize Lecture: Libby Barringer
DateApril 21, 2014
Time12:15pm to 1:45pm
UCLA Department of Political Scienceinvites you to the Speaker SeriespresentingLibby BarringerUCLA Political Science, Ph.D. Candidatewho is the 2011 recipient ofThe Swarr Prize”A Vocation Unto Death: Mortality and Politics in Max Weber’s Thought” Monday, April 21, 201412:15 – 1:45 PM 4357 Bunche Hall ABSTRACT:In this paper I take up Max Weber’s familiar interpretation of disenchanted modernity and the problem it poses for meaningful life—and in particular Weber’s depiction of political life—from the less familiar perspective of the meaningfulness of death. By modeling meaningful, modern death on the idealized soldier who serves on the field of battle, Weber has attempted to push back the effects of a totally rationalized, progressive understanding of life and death. Yet when contrasted to older models of soldierly death, as seen in the model of the dying hero in Homer or the soldiers eulogized by Pericles, reliance on this model in disenchanted modernity is revealed to have a price. This model of meaning, which so heavily emphasizes individual conviction in the meaningfulness of service unto death, exacerbates the tendency for political rivalry to become political war. Aside from a slim moment of the choice of which cause one is willing to die for, it is not apparent that the meaningful life lived with soldierly devotion promotes any responsible accounting for the political—therefore potentially violent—consequences of one’s actions.Click here to download the paper. NOTE: the paper is password-protected, please email Belinda Sunnu at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain the password.
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