By Bernard Bolzano
Celebrated this day for his groundbreaking paintings in good judgment and the principles of arithmetic, Bernard Bolzano (1781-1848) used to be most sensible identified in his personal time as a pacesetter of the reform move in his place of origin (Bohemia, then a part of the Austrian Empire). As professor of non secular technology on the Charles college in Prague from 1805 to 1819, Bolzano used to be a hugely noticeable public highbrow, a brave and decided critic of abuses in Church and country. established largely on a gently argued utilitarian sensible philosophy, he constructed a non-violent software for the reform of the authoritarian associations of the Empire, which he himself set in movement via his educating and different actions. hardly ever has a thinker had this kind of nice influence at the political tradition of his fatherland. This quantity includes a monstrous number of Bolzano's writings on ethics and politics, translated into English for the 1st time. It contains a whole translation of the treatise 'On the simplest State', his central writings on ethics, an essay at the modern state of affairs in eire, and a range of his Exhortations, facing such subject matters as enlightenment, civil disobedience, the prestige of girls, anti-Semitism and Czech-German kin in Bohemia. will probably be of specific curiosity to scholars of primary eu philosophy and heritage, and extra ordinarily to philosophers and historians of principles.
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When they are thus set back, must this not be bitterly felt? But still more: Is it not the case that the great and high-ranking in the country, the rich and propertied, are all of them either German born or perhaps even foreigners, or else persons who, having long since abandoned the Czech language and customs, are counted among the Germans? Does not the entire Czech speaking part of the population live in a deplorable state of poverty and oppression? And—the most scandalous of all—have not their superiors always been either Germans, or persons who associate with them?
Worse still, the most common pleasures of the time were of the sort that tended to bring more pain in their wake. Second, the scope of Bolzano’s moral law is not restricted to humans, but extends to all sentient beings, a point that he uses to contest Kant’s “end-in-itself” formulation of the categorical imperative. For if the highest moral law only governed those of our acts that have impact on other rational beings, any impacts on non-rational animals would be morally indifferent in and of themselves.
36 bodied citizens are to be trained for military service, so that in cases of emergency, almost the entire population can be put under arms. Internal rebellion is to be avoided in his view especially by taking care to avoid dangerous inequalities of power and wealth. In Bolzano’s view, the best state will be a republic with no head of state. There shall be no distinctions of rank, especially not hereditary ones. Government ofﬁces shall be, as a rule, elective. Proposed legislation will be decided by direct democracy, subject to certain constraints.
Selected Writings on Ethics and Politics (Studien zur oesterreichischen Philosophie 40) by Bernard Bolzano