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Social Change and Human Values: A Study of the Thought of Bertrand De Jouvenel

Social Change and Human Values: A Study of the Thought of Bertrand De Jouvenel SOCIAL CHANGE AND HUMAN VALUES: A STUDY OF THE THOUGHT OF BERTRAND DE JOUVENEL CARL SLEVIN University of Warwick BERTRAND DE JOUVENEL is an enigmatic figure in ‘Anglo-Saxon’ political science. More often than not he is seen as a gifted amateur whose admitted freshness of approach to ‘age old’ problems is hardly to be distinguished from an inventive and inconsistent eccentricity ; and whose great subtlety in argument and beauty of expression (both in English and French) arouses the suspicion of thoroughly confusing the empirical and the logical. But I wish to sketch a fuller study of his thought which will show its essential continuity and unity and to suggest why it is important. Jouvenel has been attacked for basic conceptual mistakes and for producing God, ‘even as a conjurer produces a white rabbit out of a hat’,’ to fill the gaps left by his lack of expertise. It has been suggested that he fails to provide a reason- able degree of evidence for his basic hypotheses, without which, the interpretation of political theory becomes literary criticism.* While some professional political scientists do take Jouvenel’s work very seriously indeed and, for what it is worth, his books have been http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Science SAGE

Social Change and Human Values: A Study of the Thought of Bertrand De Jouvenel

Political Science , Volume 19 (1): 14 – Mar 1, 1971

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 1971 Political Studies Association
ISSN
0032-3187
eISSN
2041-0611
DOI
10.1111/j.1467-9248.1971.tb01921.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

SOCIAL CHANGE AND HUMAN VALUES: A STUDY OF THE THOUGHT OF BERTRAND DE JOUVENEL CARL SLEVIN University of Warwick BERTRAND DE JOUVENEL is an enigmatic figure in ‘Anglo-Saxon’ political science. More often than not he is seen as a gifted amateur whose admitted freshness of approach to ‘age old’ problems is hardly to be distinguished from an inventive and inconsistent eccentricity ; and whose great subtlety in argument and beauty of expression (both in English and French) arouses the suspicion of thoroughly confusing the empirical and the logical. But I wish to sketch a fuller study of his thought which will show its essential continuity and unity and to suggest why it is important. Jouvenel has been attacked for basic conceptual mistakes and for producing God, ‘even as a conjurer produces a white rabbit out of a hat’,’ to fill the gaps left by his lack of expertise. It has been suggested that he fails to provide a reason- able degree of evidence for his basic hypotheses, without which, the interpretation of political theory becomes literary criticism.* While some professional political scientists do take Jouvenel’s work very seriously indeed and, for what it is worth, his books have been

Journal

Political ScienceSAGE

Published: Mar 1, 1971

There are no references for this article.