Eric Voegelin


Born
in Cologne, Germany
January 03, 1901

Died
January 19, 1985


German-born American political philosopher. He taught political theory and sociology at the University of Vienna after his habilitation there in 1928. While in Austria Voegelin established the beginnings of his long lasting friendship with F. A. Hayek. In 1933 he published two books criticizing Nazi racism, and was forced to flee from Austria following the Anschluss in 1938. After a brief stay in Switzerland, he arrived in the United States and taught at a series of universities before joining Louisiana State University's Department of Government in 1942. His advisers on his dissertation were Hans Kelsen and Othmar Spann.

Voegelin remained in Baton Rouge until 1958 when he accepted an offer by Munich's Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität to fill
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Average rating: 4.37 · 844 ratings · 68 reviews · 60 distinct worksSimilar authors
The New Science of Politics...

4.18 avg rating — 181 ratings — published 1951 — 9 editions
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Science, Politics, and Gnos...

4.23 avg rating — 162 ratings — published 1968 — 10 editions
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Autobiographical Reflection...

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4.40 avg rating — 93 ratings — published 1989 — 9 editions
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Modernity without Restraint...

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4.20 avg rating — 41 ratings — published 1999 — 2 editions
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Israel and Revelation

4.33 avg rating — 43 ratings — published 1956 — 7 editions
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Plato and Aristotle

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4.54 avg rating — 35 ratings — published 1999 — 5 editions
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The World of the Polis

4.64 avg rating — 36 ratings — published 1957 — 8 editions
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Hitler and the Germans

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4.55 avg rating — 31 ratings — published 1999 — 4 editions
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Anamnesis: On the Theory of...

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4.27 avg rating — 33 ratings — published 1966 — 12 editions
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History of Political Ideas,...

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4.64 avg rating — 22 ratings — published 1997 — 2 editions
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More books by Eric Voegelin…
On the Form of the American... Race and State The History of the Race Ide... The Authoritarian State: An... Modernity without Restraint... Anamnesis: On the Theory of... Published Essays, 1922-1928
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Israel and Revelation The World of the Polis Plato and Aristotle The Ecumenic Age In Search of Order
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“The death of the spirit is the price of progress. Nietzsche revealed this mystery of the Western apocalypse when he announced that God was dead and that He had been murdered. This Gnostic murder is constantly committed by the men who sacrificed God to civilization. The more fervently all human energies are thrown into the great enterprise of salvation through world–immanent action, the farther the human beings who engage in this enterprise move away from the life of the spirit. And since the life the spirit is the source of order in man and society, the very success of a Gnostic civilization is the cause of its decline.
A civilization can, indeed, advance and decline at the same time—but not forever. There is a limit toward which this ambiguous process moves; the limit is reached when an activist sect which represents the Gnostic truth organizes the civilization into an empire under its rule. Totalitarianism, defined as the existential rule of Gnostic activists, is the end form of progressive civilization.”
Eric Voegelin, The New Science of Politics: An Introduction

“The course of history as a whole is no object of experience; history has no edios, because the course of history extends into the unknown future.”
Eric Voegelin

“The use of method as the criterion of science abolishes theoretical relevance. As a consequence, all propositions concerning facts will be promoted to the dignity of science, regardless of their relevance, as long as they result from a correct use of method. Since the ocean of facts is infinite, a prodigious expansion of science in the sociological sense becomes possible, giving employment to scientistic technicians and leading to the fantastic accumulation of irrelevant knowledge through huge “research projects” whose most interesting features is the quantifiable expense that has gone into their production.”
Eric Voegelin, The New Science of Politics: An Introduction