Hero in History
Hook opposed all forms of determinism and argued (as William James did) that humans play a creative role in constructing social world and transforming the natural environment. Neither humanity nor its universe is determined, or finished. For Hook this conviction was crucial. He argues that when a society is at the crossroads choosing the direction of further development then an individual can turn to play a dramatic role and even become an independent power on whom depends the choice of the historical pathway.
In his book Hook gives a great number of examples of the influence of great people and these examples are mostly associated with some crucial moments in history (revolutions, crises). This makes some scholars criticize him because
he does not take into account that an individual's greatest influence can be revealed not so much in the period of old regime's collapse, but in the formation period of a new one (according to our model it is the fourth phase – see below). Besides, he does not make clear the situation when alternatives appear either as the result of a crisis or as the result of Great Man's plan or intention without manifested crisis.
Hook introduced a division of historic personalities and especially leaders into eventful man and event-making man depending on their influence on the historical process. For example, he considers Lenin as an event-making man as in certain important respects he had changed the development direction not only of Russia but of the whole world in the 20th century.
Hook attaches great importance to accidents and contingencies in history thus opposing, amongst others, Herbert Fisher who made attempts to present history as ‘waves’ of emergencies following after another
|Sidney Hook on pragmatism, democracy, and freedom : the essential essays / edited by Robert B. Talisse and Robert Tempio ; foreword by Alan Ryan|
|Amherst, NY : Prometheus Books, 2002|
|Sidney Hook : philosopher of democracy and humanism / edited by Paul Kurtz|
|Buffalo, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 1983|
1939年10月: "說帖"/ 匹茲堡大學/Liberalism and social action /Sidney Hook
胡適日記全集 7: 1934-1939
參觀Mellon Institute of Industrial Research - Wikipedia, the free ...Mellon Institute of Industrial Research, founded in 1913 by Andrew W. Mellon and Richard B. Mellon, merged with the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1967 ...
16日給羅斯福總統的"說帖"---外國介入Far Eastern Conflict 之調停之不成(功)
17日讀Liberalism and social action / John Dewey 認為是最好的政治作 第一章特別好
John Dewey: An Intellectual Portrait (1939) by Sidney Hook的書評是胡說八道