Sciences of Politics around 1800

OrtLudwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany

It is often argued that the discourses of politics, like other human
sciences, were decisively transformed around the end of the eighteenth
century. In place of older political vocabularies and typologies,
thinkers across Europe sought to ground the study of mankind, societies
and states on new intellectual foundations. In particular, it was
frequently claimed that the human and political sciences needed to be
rooted more firmly in the empirical disciplines and the natural
sciences. The "sciences of politics" that resulted from this shift were
to be boldly empiricist, naturalistic, and utility-oriented. In this
context, it was claimed that the human sciences might ultimately attain
to the regularity, predictability and certainty of the natural sciences.
The aim of this conference is to discuss, understand and clarify this
intellectual reorientation in the history of political thought from a
broad temporal, geographical and cross-disciplinary perspective.
Focusing on the interaction between the natural sciences and the
sciences of politics in the period of the late Enlightenment and early
nineteenth century, the conference seeks to examine a number of
innovative thinkers and groups who drew from the natural sciences in
order to push the study of morality, economics, and politics in new
directions. At the same time, the conference aims to reflect more
generally on the relationship between the natural sciences, the history
of disciplines, and wider intellectual and political struggles during a
period of constitutional change and state-building. The outcome, we
intend, will be to construct an original intellectual history of this
shift in the "sciences of politics" across Europe between c. 1760 and c.

More information: <http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/termine/id=16566>