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Which clippings match 'Moral' keyword pg.1 of 2
05 OCTOBER 2008

Searchlights on Health: The Science of Eugenics

The rules of social morality and etiquette in Europe in the early part of the 20th century. (pg.97)



Simon Perkins
20 JANUARY 2004

Freemason: Emergence Of Autonomous Realm Of Individuals

Kevin Hetherington
In Habermas' account the puritan household provided modern society with its moral order, a moral order which was to shape male individuals into both accumulators of capital and moral agents within this public sphere. In the private sphere, in the patriarchal space of the home, men learned to relate reasoning skills to their economic interests, but at this point in time they were unable to develop those interests effectively because institutional power was still largely in the hands of the monarch and the landed aristocracy. By creating a public sphere outside of the household and autonomous from the already existing public authorities centred around the monarch and the court, civil society, Habermas suggests, emerged as an autonomous realm of individuals. Habermas argues that the main arenas for this public sphere were the seventeenth–century coffee–houses in London, the eighteenth–century salons prominent in France and the table societies in Germany. While the court retained some influence in terms of public displays of civility, the formal, status–bound types of interaction associated with it gave way to a more informal atmosphere that had less regard for status and rank. These new institutions were to be found in the towns, and became counter–sites to the court.



coffee-houses • freemasonheterotopiaJurgen HabermasKevin Hetherington • monarch • moralorder • puritan • salons • society
20 JANUARY 2004

Freemason: Secular Architect Shaping The World

"Freemasonry was founded around the image of the secular architect shaping the world and himself within it so as to provide both with a sense of moral order. Stonemasons, forerunners of modern architects, not only provided the symbolic tools :this reshaping process, but because of their past, particularly their association with the building of the great cathedrals in Europe, supplied the link with religious certainty and order. But it was the building of Solomon's Temple which was the central myth of freemasonry. It embodied spatially a utopic of moral order in which individuals might lead a virtuous life and come to create the social conditions of trust required in the contractual society that was emerging around them. Freemasons devoted considerable energy to seeking out their origins of their craft in the ancient world, notably associated with the great feats of architecture down the ages. Freemasons were imputed to have been involved in almost every architectural feat in history, right back to Noah and his ark and including on the way the construction of Solomon's Temple and the Tower of Babel."

(Kevin Hetherington, 1997, p.87)

Hetherington, K. (1997). "The Badlands Of Modernity: Heterotopia And Social Ordering". London: Routledge.

20 JANUARY 2004

Utopic Representations of an Orderly Society

"Freemasonry during this period [early eighteenth century] was tolerant, enlightened, generally secular yet morally aware, and concerned with issues to do with scientific discovery. This science was used to legitimate a vision of social order as based in natural order. Freemasonry provided not only a vehicle for the scientists to lecture and socialize; it also offered the means through which these economic and political interests might find common support. It played a part in the civilizing of civil society. Newtonian science not only provided legitimacy through the symbolism of masonry for a higher, morally regulated, perfectible society, but also the means through which perfection might be achieved. The lodges were utopic representations of an orderly society by which self–interested bourgeois individuals might be shaped into moral subjects not only through their veneration of the symbolic order found in both nature and architecture, and their acceptance of rank and hierarchy, but also through their own freedom as moral subject sand as part of a group that perceived itself as a moral elect. Through such means the unhewn stranger could be shaped into a trustworthy brother. Such a process could not but help promote the development of the shared political and economic interests that we have all come to associate with freemasonry in more recent times."

(Kevin Hetherington, 1997, p.88)

Hetherington, K. (1997). "The Badlands Of Modernity: Heterotopia And Social Ordering". London: Routledge.

08 JANUARY 2004

Contingent Product Of Contingently Existing Forces

Richard Rorty
The attempt to break down the distinction between the private and the public sphere is characteristic of a long–standing tradition in social philosophy. This is the tradition which, with Plato, sees society as man writ large. Most philosophers in this tradition try to isolate some central, ahistorical, noncontingent core (e.g., "reason" or "a specifically moral motivation") within us, and to use the presence of this element within us as a justification for certain political arrangements, certain social institutions. Foucault inverts this attempt. Since he sees human subjectivity as a contingent product of contingently existing forces, he does not believe that there is any such ahistorical noncontingent core. So he concludes, at least in his anarchist moments, that every social institution is equally unjustifiable, that all of them are on a par. All of them exert "normalizing power." From the failure of the Platonic attempt to find something deep within us which will let us answer Thrasymachus, he comes close to concluding that there is no interesting difference between Pericles and Critias.


anarchist • contingentinstitutionMichel Foucaultmoral • normalising • PlatoprivatepublicRichard Rortysociety

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