The History of Political and Social Concepts: A Critical Introduction

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Oxford University Press Oxford New York Athens Auckland Bangkok Bombay Calcutta Cape Town Dar es Salaam Delhi .Florence I-long Kong Istanbul Karachi Kuala Lumpur Madras Madrid Melbourne Mexic.o City Nairobi Paris Singapore Taipei Tokyo Toronto and associated companies in Berlin Ibadan

Copyright © 1995 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Published by Oxford University Press, Inc., 200 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016 Oxford is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of Oxford University Press. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Richter, Melvin, 1921The history of political and social concepts: a critical introduction / Melvin Richter. p, cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-19-508826-3 1. Political science—History. 2. Sociology—History. I. Title. JA81.R495 1995 320Y09—dc20 94-30031

Selections from Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, 1989. By permission of Oxford University Press. Melvin Richter, "Conceptual History (Bc$riffsgeschichte) and Political Theory,11 Political Theory, 14, pp. 604-37, copyright © 1986 by Sage Publications. Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications, Inc. melvin Richter, "Poccock, Skinner, and the Geschichtlicbe Grtondbegriffe." Copyright @ 1990 by Wesleyan University. First published in History and Theary, 29 (1990), pp. 38-70. Melvin Richter, " Regriffsgeschichte and the History of Ideas," originally published in Journal of the History of Ideas, 48 (1987), pp. 247-63. "Herrschaft," from Geschichtliche Gntndbcjyriffe: Historisches Lcxikon zur Politisch-Sozialer Sprache in Deutschtand, Klett-Cotta © J.G. CotraVhe Buchandlung, Nachfolgcr GmbH., Stuttgart, 1982.

1 3 5 7 9 8 6 4 2 Printyed in the United States of Americaa on acid free paper

Acknowledgments Some years ago I was fortunate enough to work at the great Herzog-AugustBibliothek in Wolfenbiittel, Germany. There I encountered for the first time a German genre, Begriffsgeschichte, the history of concepts, or conceptual history. Much impressed by my initial exposure to this mode of inquiry, I began to investigate its diverse forms. Above all, I sought to understand the general theories which generated its research programs, to identify the materials to which they were applied, and to assess findings. Many techniques also used in intellectual history were, of course, familiar to me, as were problems treated in my own discipline, the history of political thought. Nevertheless I concluded that Begriffsgeschichte had much to offer Englishspeaking scholars. Conceptual historians have developed new and valuable frameworks of inquiry to address significant issues, doing so by means of systematic inquiry into sources unidentified by their closest Anglophone analogues. In this book I seek to communicate what I have learned about the history of concepts; to put the case for it to my English-speaking colleagues; and to open a dialogue between them and German conceptual historians. I owe much to both. Formed by my teachers at Harvard and Oxford Universities—Perry Miller, F. O. Matthiessen, C. L. Barber, C. H. Mcllwain, Samuel H. Beer, and Sir Isaiah Berlin—I have long profited from comments by my colleagues in the Conference for the Study of Political Thought and on the editorial board of Political Theory. J. G. A. Pocock and Quentin Skinner—old friends whose contributions to the history of political thought and language I greatly admire—have taken the trouble to write me long and careful letters discussing my comparisons (in chapter 6) of their work to the German history of concepts. Peter Laslett has generously furnished information about the study of political philosophy and the history of political thought at Cambridge University. For their civility and candor I am most grateful. To study how the history of political and social concepts has evolved in postwar Germany has been a rewarding, if sobering, experience. My exposure to its practitioners has revealed any number of gaps in my own training and knowledge. Here I wish to acknowledge my many debts to those colleagues and friends who have tried to fill me in on what I did not but needed to know. Most of all I wish to thank Reinhart Koselleck and Rolf Reichard1^. I am also greatly indebted to Professors Horst Dreitzel, Karlfried Griinder, Hans-Ulrich Gumbrecht, Wilhelm Hennis, Lucian Holscher, Jiirgen Kocka, Christian Meier, the late Thomas Nipperdey, Manfred Ricdel, Wolfgang Schieder, Rudolf Vierhaus; Doctors Hans-Erich Bodcker, Horst Gimther,



Keith Tribe, and Gerd van den Heuvel. I owe particular thanks to Reinhart Kosellcck for reading and commenting on chapters 2 and 3; and to Rolf Rcichardt for his scrutiny of chapters 4 and 5. They are in no way responsible for any errors which remain. As with everything I write, I happily acknowledge the indispensable help of my wife, Michaela Wenninger Richter. Her skill as editor and critic, as well as her suggestive reflections and penetrating queries about conceptual history have contributed much to what I have written here. My two sons, Anthony and Giles, have consistently supported me in more ways than I can say. I also owe thanks and gratitude to those institutions which through their aid have made possible my research, interviews, and writing on Bejjriffsgeschickte: the PSC-CUNY Research Award Program of The City University of New York, the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst), and the Earhart Foundation. The Herzog-August-Bibliothek in Wolfenbiittel, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, as well as a Fulbright Professorship at the University of Munich supported related research into the history of the concept of despotism. The first version of this book was written during my tenure as Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1987-88, and then as Visiting Fellow, History of Ideas Unit, School of Social Sciences, the Australian National University. Final preparation of the manuscript was completed at the National Humanities Center, Research Triangle, N.C., where I was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, and at the Geschwister-Scholl-Institut, University of Munich. I am grateful for comments by colleagues on papers given at the Columbia University Faculty Seminar on Political and Social Philosophy; the international meeting on the Enlightenment of the Conference for the Study of Political Thought; the workshop on language and politics of the Finnish Political Science Association; the George Rude Seminar in Melbourne on the French Revolution; the History of Ideas Unit Seminar at the Australian National University; the Research Triangle French History Group; the University of Pennsylvania History Department Seminar; and a conference on conceptual history at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, as well as another on cultural history at the University of Amsterdam. For their contributions to this project I wish to thank Hans Aarsleff, Keith Michael Baker, Thomas Childers, Richard Flathman, the late Felix Gilbert, Knut Haakonnsen, Istvan Hont, the late Eugene Kamenka, Frank Kirkland, Donald Kelley, Willem Mclching, Karl Palonen, Guenther Roth, David Sanford, Jerrold Siegel, Kurt Sontheimer, Dale Van Klcy, Wyger Velema, and David Wallace. I have incurred many debts in the libraries I have used while working on this project. Thanks are due to the staffs of the the Herzog-AugustBibliothek, Wolfenbiittel; the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek; the Bibliothequc Nationale; the Gcschwistcr-SchollTnstitut-Bibliothek; the History of Ideas Unit Library and that of the Australian National University; the libraries of Hunter College and the Graduate School, The City University of New York;



the National Humanities Center; the New York Public Library; Columbia University; and the University of Pennsylvania. Portions of this book have appeared in the following sources: "Conceptual History (Begriffsgeschichte) and Political Theory," Political Theory 14 (1986): 604-37; "• Begriffsgeschichte and the History of Ideas," Journal of the History ofldea.s48 (1987): 247-63 (Finnish translation, with preface by Kari Palonen, Politiikka 31 [1989], 76-87); "Pocock, Skinner, and the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe" History and Theory 19 (1990): 38-70 (German version: "Zur Reconstruction der Geschichte der Politischen Sprachen: Pocock, Skinner, und die Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe," in Alteuropa oder frilhe Neuzeit? Problems und Methoden der Forschunjy, ed. Hans Erich Bodeker and Ernst Hinrichs [Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, 1990], 134-74); "Bej/friffsgeschichte in Theory and Practice: Reconstructing the History of Political Concepts and Language," in Main Trends in Cultural History, ed. Willem Melching and Wyger Velema (Amsterdam, 1994); "Appreciating a Contemporary Classic: the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe and Future Scholarship," in Begriffsgeschichte, occasional paper, German Historical Institute, Washington D.C. (New York, 1995).

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Contents Introduction


1. Charting the History of Political and Social Concepts


2. The Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe: Relating Political and Social Concepts to Structural Change


3. The History of the Concept of Herrschaft in the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe


4. The Place of Concepts in the History of Mentalites: The Handbuch of French Political and Social Concepts


5. Innovation and Critique in the Handbuch


6. Pocock, Skinner, and Begriffsgeschichte


7. "By the Sufferance of Wise Men": A Call for a History of Political and Social Concepts in English


Appendix A: Concepts Treated in the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe


Appendix B: Concepts Treated in the Handbuch






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Introduction This book is meant to provide English-speaking readers with a brief critical introduction to the history of concepts or conceptual history (Begriffsgeschichte), a genre developed since midcentury in the Federal Republic of Germany. Its theoretical goals, research programs, and actual performances differ significantly from the history of ideas, intellectual history, and the history of political thought as written by scholars working in English. Three major reference works have been applying this mode of inquiry: Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe: Historisches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialer Sprache in Deutschland (Basic Concepts in History: A Dictionary on Historical Principles of Political and Social Language in Germany), hereafter cited as GG; the Histonsches Worterbuch der Philosophie (A Dictionary of Philosophy on Historical Principles), hereafter cited as HWP; and the Handbuch politisch-sozialer Grundbegriffe in Frankreich, 1680-1820 (A Handbook of Basic Political and Social Concepts in France, 1680-1820), hereafter cited as the Handbuch.1 The first volume of the HWP appeared in 1971, followed in 1972 by that of the GG; the Handbuchwas not published until 1985. A number of questions about Begriffsgeschichte tend to be raised by those encountering it for the first time: What are its distinctive features as a genre? Does Begriffsgeschichte continue or break with the Hegelian method English-speaking readers tend to associate with any German theory that emphasizes concepts? And what is the relation of present-day conceptual history to the Geistesgeschichte of Dilthey and his followers (the set of practices used to write epochal or cultural history in terms of shared assumptions, presuppositions, or Zeitgeist)? Just how does German conceptual history differ from the history of ideas as practiced by A. O. Lovejoy and his school in the United States? Finally, how does Begriffsgeschichte compare to its nearest Anglophone analogues, the work of J. G. A. Pocock, Quentin Skinner, John Dunn, Richard Tuck, James Tully, Anthony Pagden, and Donald Winch, who emphasize the "strictly historical" investigation of political vocabularies, languages, ideologies, or discourses?2 Here I shall address briefly each of these queries. Chapter 1 will provide more detailed answers. The theoretical framework and research program of the GG will be discussed in chapter 2. This chapter presents the combination of conceptual with structural social history developed by the GG's editors. Chapter 3 will provide a detailed summary and analysis of a long article from the GG on Herrschaft ("dominion," "domination," "lordship," "rule," 3


The History of Political and Social Concepts

"command"). This concept is perhaps most familiar to English-speaking social scientists and historians through Max Weber's use of it in his classification of three types of legitimate Herrschafp. charismatic, traditional, and rational-legal. My discussion is meant to clarify two questions. First, what is it that we know when we know the history of a concept? Second, what difference does it make to know that history? The Handbucti's project is to combine the resources of Begriffsgeschichte with those of social history in the investigation of French mentalites (discussed in chapter 4) during the ancien regime, Revolution, and Restoration. But rather than the structural social history associated with the GG's editors, Otto Brunner and Werner Conze (discussed in chapter 2), the Handbuch\ model is that developed by the second generation of Annales historians such as Michel Vovelle. On the basis of detailed summaries of key articles from the Handbuch, chapters 4 and 5 assess the extent to which the Handbucti's program has been realized in practice, as well as its contributions to our knowledge of how the French political vocabulary has developed. Chapter 6, directed to English-speaking intellectual historians, seeks to place the GG and Handbuch on the same map as Pocock, Skinner, and others, thus enabling readers to compare and assess these German and Anglophone approaches to language. My concluding chapter puts the case for a history of political and social concepts in English-speaking societies. To return to the queries which opened this section, what sort of genre is the history of concepts? For the most part, this will be discussed through critical analysis of the three sets of practices developed by each of these three encyclopedic projects. Despite significant contributions made in books and articles by individual authors, most recent German work on the history of political and social concepts has appeared in these works. I shall be particularly concerned with the GG and Handbucb, which treat the principal historical shifts in the conceptual vocabularies and special languages of politics, government, and society in German- and French-speaking Europe. The third work, the HWP, is remarkably comprehensive. But it discusses political and social concepts only to the extent that they fall within the province of philosophy, broadly defined. Although conceptual shifts are charted, they are seldom treated in relation to their political or social contexts, as is done in the GG and Handbuch. I employ Eegriffsgeschichte as a generic term to designate all three of these scholarly practices used to study the history of concepts. It is thus the choice of concepts as units of analysis in the history of thought which distinguishes Begriffsgeschichte from alternative methods focussing on other topics: individual authors, texts, schools, traditions, persisting problems, forms of argument, styles of thought, discourses, ideologies. During the quarter century since the publication of the first volumes of the GG and HWP, German conceptual historians, whether in reference works or in individual contributions, have made impressive advances upon what had previously been known about the history and significance of concepts in political, social, and philosophical language. The practitioners of



Begriffsgeschichte have devised new techniques, as well as adapting wellestablished historical and philological methods to their respective purposes. Their work, in my view, now sets the standard for rigorous historical study of the specialized vocabularies of political and social theory, as well as of philosophy. As one English reviewer has written: "Future researchers will ignore these essays only at their peril, and certainly to their cost."3 Most of this work in Begriffsgeschicbte, however, goes beyond writing the histories of words or terms. Indeed, the principal theorist of the CrG, Reinhart Koselleck, holds that the investigation of a concept can never be limited to determining the meaning of words and their shifts in meaning.4 The central concerns of conceptual historians are far more theoretical and ambitious. They have nothing to do with the belief (held by some philosophers since classical antiquity) that the original, or prescientific, meaning of a word is its true or natural meaning. This obsession with etymologies as somehow fixing and permanently defining the meanings of words has been abandoned by conceptual historians, as by modern linguists. Etymologies play little or no part in Begriffsgeschichte.5 As yet, the research programs and findings of works in this genre are relatively little known in the world of English-speaking scholarship. What follows is meant to provide an account of such work for those concerned with the history of political and social thought and with their languages; with intellectual history and the history of ideas. This book may also interest social and cultural historians concerned with mentalites, "political culture," or what has been called the social history of ideas; those practicing the sociology of knowledge; and political and social philosophers concerned with the origins and past uses of concepts still central to their own subjects. Historians of philosophy in general, and of ethics and political philosophy in particular, as well as historians of law, language, and rhetoric, will find in Begriffigeschichte a body of work with significant implications for their own fields of study. Finally, I have written in the hope of encouraging a dialogue among English-speaking historians of "discourses" and "ideologies" of politics and society, on the one side, and German conceptual historians, on the other. Certainly there is much to be learned on both sides of this linguistic divide. Although I must limit myself largely to the German contributions, I refer briefly to work in E,nglish. I feel strongly, as I argue in my penultimate chapter, that the achievements in the past thirty years of analogous Anglophone work on the philosophy and history of political languages are compatible with Begriffsgeschichte as hitherto practiced and indeed offer means for coping with some of its inadequacies. On the other side, English-speaking scholars cannot but profit from the achievements of German conceptual history. For in their practice, even those Anglophone historians of political language most opposed methodologically to studying the history of concepts cannot and do not avoid generalizations about shifts in the meaning and use of the concepts central to the vocabularies they treat. From the beginning, readers should be warned against identifying


The History of Political and Social Concepts

Begriffsgeschichtewith any one form of the history of ideas or intellectual history; against assuming that the intellectual practices treated here conceal under this new name nothing more than well-known German methods and schools. English-speaking historians have long criticized Hegelian idealism, as well as the historicism of Dilthey and of Meinecke. In fact the forms of Begriffsgeschichte emphasized in this book came as explicit reactions against just these previous German schools. The new conceptual historians attacked their predecessors for their reification of such intellectual constructs as Geist and Idee. Earlier historians such as Dilthey, Meinecke, and Rothacker were accused of having separated ideas and concepts from their political and social contexts, and from their use as weapons in specific political disputes. Against such histories, which had treated theories and theorists as completely autonomous and free-floating, the founders of Begriffsgeschickte asserted the necessity of incorporating into their inquiries the methods and matter of social history and historical semantics. Both the problems addressed by Begriffsgeschichte and the methods developed to deal with them will be detailed in what follows. I shall argue that Begriffsgeschichte addresses many issues English-speaking readers identify with "the linguistic turn" and the study of meaning. More than any other alternatives now on offer, conceptual history is compatible with the best work done thus far by historians of political and social thought and practices.6 Begriffsgeschichte, I hope to demonstrate, adds a number of sophisticated theoretical and research programs to those already available to Englishspeaking students of political and social language. Throughout, my interest is not so much in examining questions of method, central and unavoidable as they may be in these discussions, but rather in assessing the actual performances and findings now available from the massive and unprecedented studies in the history of concepts.7 To examine the theory and practice of Bejjnffyeschichte is especially urgent at a time of increasing concern on the part of English-speaking historians and social scientists with the languages, discourses, and systems of meaning in the past. This growing concern with language results from dissatisfaction with earlier methods, such as those identified with A. O. Lovejoy, and used in intellectual history, the history of ideas, and the history of political and social thought.8 Despite the site of its development in the Federal Republic, Begriffsgeschichte, I argue here, is a discipline fully accessible and potentially useful to scholars everywhere. Nor has it been applied only to German thought, or been practiced exclusively by German scholars. Unlike the GG and HWP, which center upon political and social concepts in German-speaking Europe, the Handbuctfs focus is the social history of France from 1680 to 1820, studied through its political and social concepts, languages, and mentalites. At the end of this book, I shall make the case for an analogous work on the history of political and social concepts in English-speaking societies which would make possible a genuinely comparative study of the political and social vocabularies of European languages. 1'his would make it possible to contrast



the diverse forms in which major changes in politics and society were conceptualized from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries in different societies. For the ways in which concepts were formed in part directed, in part registered experiences such as the democratization of social structures and politics, as well as increasing access to participation in politics, changes from a predominantly agrarian to a commercial and then to an industrial economy. Thus there are many potential applications of Begriffsgeschichte to comparative inquiry. In a paper assessing twentieth-century historiography, a Dutch cultural historian, Professor Pim Den Boer, has characterized recent German conceptual history as among the most important developments in the writing of history during the second half of the twentieth century. He ranks the GG high among the greatest achievements during that period by historians anywhere. Nor is this praise purely formal.9 Dutch historians are launching a major new undertaking, a history of political, social, and cultural concepts in the Netherlands. The first of its kind outside Germany, this project acknowledges the need for comparative, transnational studies of the languages and conceptual schemes created by Europeans with such enormous consequences for the rest of the world as well. The prospective addition of these specialized Dutch vocabularies to those of German- and French-speaking Europe underlines the further need to fill what will be the greatest remaining lacuna in our knowledge of language and culture. This is the absence of any study in-depth of the distinctive forms, cultural and linguistic as well as political and social, of the principal conceptual categories developed in English-speaking societies. This Dutch initiative, then, is particularly important because it is being undertaken at just the time when, in order to prepare for its future, a newly united Europe will need to take stock of the ways each of its constituent parts has conceptualized its past. Are such attempts to chart the component parts of a culture in complex detail impossibly ambitious? In order to reply, we must realize that the Dutch project complements both the GG's charting of the political and social vocabularies of German-speaking Europe, and the Handbuch's equivalent work on French political and social language. Each of these projects contributes in different ways to a more detailed understanding of how Europeans have conceptualized their experiences of change since the early modern period. Once these studies are completed, their findings, when placed within a comparative perspective, will make possible a new field of study. As the three major German projects approach completion, there are signs that the value of conceptual history is being recognized as transcending the national boundaries of western Europe. A group of Hungarian scholars, supported by the Academy of Sciences in Budapest, have begun a work charting the careers of their country's principal political and social concepts.10 Similar projects in Scandinavian and Finnish conceptual history are also being considered. Still another collaborative work centering on political uses of language


The History of Political and Social Concepts

offers the prospect of a transcultural comparison of European and Chinese political concepts. *' This is a study of the key words used in the Chinese Revolution from 1911 to the present. The first papers in this series have already appeared. When completed and joined to work on European political and social vocabularies, they may make possible an altogether new subject of inquiry, the comparative history of modern political and social concepts, within and beyond Europe. For example, the concept of revolution figures prominently in all modern histories of the Chinese, Dutch, Hungarian, French, and German political vocabularies. When analyzed comparatively, what emerges is a broad and highly differentiated spectrum of definitions and applications. This increases the ability of both scholars and actors to make distinctions crucial to political action. A Chinese dissident has called attention to the consequences for political thought and action in his country of the fact that the concept of revolution has been applied uncritically by regime and opposition alike.12 As will be seen in chapters 4 and 5, comparable arguments about the "abuse of terms" played an important part in the political discourses of ancien regime and revolutionary France.

1 Charting the History of Political and Social Concepts Like English-speaking analytical philosophers, German conceptual historians distinguish concepts from words. A concept may be designated by more than one word or term. Sometimes several words must be tracked in order to chart the history of a concept such as "secularization." At any given point in time, the political vocabulary of a natural language may make relatively sharp distinctions among potentially synonymous concepts such as "tyranny" and "despotism"; "absolute" and "arbitrary" -ule. Or else it may be the case that boundary lines between such concepts may be relatively undifferentiated, failing to distinguish terms once or later regarded as mutually exclusive. Thus Christian Meier has argued that in classical Greek, a number of political concepts we tend to distinguish—"power"; "force" or "violence"; "rule"; "domination"—were used as approximate synonyms.1 Again, distinctions once observed may be abandoned, as was the case late in the eighteenth-century when "tyranny" and "despotism" were conflated. From that time on, these terms were used in European languages as synonyms, with one being denned in terms of the other. The presence or absence of such conceptual distinctions in the language of politics reveals much about the government of a society, as well as about the conceptual resources available to those participating in discussions of its arrangements. Yet an individual or group may possess a concept without having a word by which to express it. This sometimes but not always produces neologisms. Continuities in political and social language may persist despite changes in circumstances; shifts may occur in the words or expressions designating a concept in the same or different periods. Or else a concept may remain relatively fixed, while the terms regarded as its antonyms may alter. The concept of "despotism" means one thing when its opposite is thought to be "liberty"; another thing, when "despotism" is contrasted to "anarchy." A historical semantics which seeks to determine the meaning of single words 9


The History of Political and Social Concepts

often falls short of describing accurately what is entailed by a concept, understood as forming part of a larger structure of meaning, a semantic field, a network of concepts, or as an ideology, or a discourse. All these difficulties, familiar to English-speaking philosophers of language, have been identified by German conceptual historians, who have devised their own methods for dealing with them. One focus of Begriffsgeschichteis on continuities, shifts, and innovations in meaning of the principal concepts deployed in political and social thought. This is done in order to describe and, if possible, explain both general crises and persisting continuities in the meanings of those concepts most prominent in political and social vocabularies. Historians of concepts have now studied in detail how periods of crisis, of accelerated, radical, or revolutionary change, produce fundamental disagreements about the languages of politics and society. These tend to be contested by agents, whether individual theorists or representatives of collectivities. More often than not, these agents are aware of the high stakes involved in adopting one or another concept in legislation or public argument. Conceptual historians have devised means for investigating the extent to which historical agents have explicitly addressed questions of political and social language, ranging from the propriety of individual terms to metatheories governing rules of usage and grammar. Such historical treatment of the language in terms of agents with identifiable political and social affiliations contrasts with the absence of conscious subjects postulated by poststructuralist theorists, or genealogists of discourse such as Foucault. Begriffsgeschichte puts on the agenda of practicing historians questions about the significance of change and continuity, of contestation and consensus about meaning in political and social languages. Answers to such questions tell us much about the extent to which values, interests, and preferences are generally shared or else have become subjects of controversy and disagreement in periods of unrest and change. Some of the most influential English-speaking historians of political and social language have confined themselves to periods preceding the French Revolution. But with the exception of purely philosophical Begriffsgeschichte, its German practitioners have preferred to contrast periods when political languages have been relatively stable to other times when accelerated linguistic changes marked these vocabularies. Although the most significant uses of Begriffsgeschichte have occurred in the three projects already mentioned, conceptual history need not and has not been limited to this format. Reinhart Koselleck's essays, both in Futures Past Mid elsewhere, have made imaginative use of the history of concepts to explore problems of historical time, historiography, collective memory, and periodization. A multiauthored book has applied the techniques of Begriffsgeschichte to trace ihc concept of historical decline (Niederganjj). A number of individual authors have used the same methods in their own book-length studies. Lucian Holscher has written two such books, one on the history of how the domains of what is public and what is secret have been mapped in

Charting Political and Social Concepts


politics; another on contrasting visions of the future held by Lutheran and Marxist political organizations in Wilhelminian Germany. Other conceptual histories recently treated in books include an explanation of how "freedom" became a political concept in classical Athenian democracy; a work analyzing the meanings given to peace and war in documents concluding hostilities; another tracing the conceptual history of revolution in France as treated in books on societies classified as Oriental; a history of the concept of liberty during the French Revolution; a two-volume history of the concept of monarchy in Germany from the Reformation to 1848; and a study by a Finnish scholar of German concepts of politics and the political.2 The methods of historical analysis emphasized in Be0riffsgeschichte vary with the theoretical concerns of individuals or, more important, with the programs of different lexicons. Two of them, the GG and Handbuch, insist that the resources of Begriffsgeschichte be combined with those of social history, whether defined primarily in terms of structural analysis, or as the study of mentalites. Both works, by combining conceptual with social history, seek to identify continuities, alterations, and innovations in the use of political and social language. Second, all three lexicons incorporate methods and problems originally employed in philology, lexicography, historical semantics, theories of language, and structural linguistics. Included in the tools applied to identifying and tracing concepts are diachronic and synchronic analyses of language, semasiology (the study of all meanings of a term, word, or concept) and onomasiology (the study of all names or terms for the same thing or concept), and semantic field theory. Depending on the project, conceptual usages are established by systematic use of source materials unusually broad in range, and discrepant in origin and appeal. The HWP and GG were first announced in the ArMv fur Begriffsgeschichte in 1967; their first volumes appeared in 1971 and 1972. Both were meant to deal primarily with the careers and uses of concepts in their respective subjects within German-speaking Europe. The first volumes of the Hnndbuch were published in 1985. As its title states, this work focuses on French political and social concepts between 1680 to 1820. Although all entries are written or translated into German, most of their authors are almost evenly divided between French and German contributors; while those in the GGand HWPart German-speaking. Readers encountering these three lexicons for the first time may experience something approaching awe at the extent to which the number and length of entries have been determined by the criteria of scholarship rather than by the profit margin of publishers. The primary concern of the GGis to chart the careers of political and social concepts in German-speaking Europe between 1750 and 1850, the period its editors regard as crucial both for the transition to modern political and social thought and for structural changes in government, economy, and society. The GGis unprecedented in its scale. It treats 115 concepts in its seven substantive volumes. The eighth volume is a computerized index. Articles average more than 50 pages. Some entries are monograph-length, such as "Revolution, Rebellion, Aufruhr,


The History of Political and Social Concepts

Btirgerkrieg" ("Revolution, Rebellion, Uprising, Civil War"), which runs to 136 pages and 778 footnotes; "Stand und Klasse" ("Estate/Order and Class"); "Terror und Terrorismus" ("Terror and Terrorism"); and "Toleranz" ("Tolerance/Toleration"). As for the HWP, the eight volumes already printed (up to "Sc") include over 11,000 double-columned pages. Like the GG, the HWP contains no articles on individual thinkers, or on competing interpretations of them and their theories. In practice, the HWP's treatment of philosophy and its history is highly ecumenical. It covers philosophers who did not write in German, as well as many thinkers and subjects often considered to belong to other disciplines. This accounts in part for the large ntimber of entries in political, legal, and social philosophy, including recent work in English. Eight volumes were planned. Since that number has already been reached, the final figure remains to be determined. Among the longest articles are those on "Gott" ("God"), written by a team of scholars, and "philosophy." The latter extends to more than 175 double-columned pages, with approximately 3,000 footnotes and additional bibliographies, including one on medieval philosophy that covers 4 columns of minute print. The article closes with reliable accounts of "hermeneutic philosophy," every variety of Marxism, analytical philosophy, French structuralism, discourse analysis, and dcconstruction. Postmodernism has a separate article. Nor is philosophy restricted to its European varieties: East Asian, Indian, Arabic, and Jewish philosophies all receive careful treatments. These are supplemented with accounts of how the history of philosophy has been written, and of how the teaching of philosophy has been professionalized in schools and universities. Despite this exceptional largesse, the HWP's articles on political and social concepts are relatively brief compared to either the GG or Handbuch. With a repertoire of 150 political and social concepts, many of which also figure in the GG, the Handbuclfs length has been projected as about 3,000 pages. It remains to be seen whether the original limits on scale will be observed. Articles have ranged in length from the 76 pages and 268 footnotes of the entry on "Philosophe, Philosophie," to the 13 pages and 58 footnotes on "Critique." The concepts most familiar to political theorists— "Democratic," "Democrates," "Nation," "Citoyen-Sujet," "Civisme"— run between 30 and 40 pages, rather shorter than those focused on social history, such as "Honnete homme," "Honnetetc," "Honnetes gens" and "Bastille," which average over 60 pages.3 Although two of these lexicons are still in progress, all three of them already merit inclusion on the short list of reference works indispensable to anyone concerned with political and social theory and their histories, or with intellectual history and the history of ideas. Their publication marks the return of German scholarship to the first line of scholarly achievement in the history of political and social thought. The GG provides the most intensive history of political and social concepts ever attempted; the HWP, the most extensive treatment of philosophical terms (among which it includes con-

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cepts central to political, legal, and social philosophy); the Handbuch the most thorough analysis ever attempted of revolutionary change in the French political and social vocabulary. Although the GG and HWP claim to cover only uses of concepts in German-speaking Europe, in practice they range far more widely. For they provide considerable information, much of it available nowhere else, about the past and present meanings of concepts in other languages, classical, medieval, and modern. It is not too much to say that the Gffs articles must now be regarded as the source to be consulted first by scholars investigating historically political and social vocabularies. Because of its method, scale, and specialized techniques of investigating changes in the meaning of concepts, the GG has already become an indispensable work of reference which often establishes that conventional lexicographers have missed the first occurrences of political and social terms by as much as a century or more. All three lexicons deliver more than they promise. Henceforth any historical assertions about political, social, legal, and philosophical language, past and present, will have to be tested against the data presented in these lexicons. Although all these works make use of Begriffs^eschichte, each of them does so in ways that differ because of their respective programs and methods. Each of these works also justifies its own project by descriptions, redescriptions, and overt and tacit evaluations of the goals and relative success of conceptual history when executed in styles other than their own. The HWP is primarily concerned with philosophical terminology and its history; Bejjriffsjfeschichte, although important to this lexicon, is not its primary concern. The concepts treated in the HWP are philosophical terms and arguments, which include but are not limited to political and social concepts as in the GG and Handbuch. Nor does the HWP attempt, as they do, to specify the contexts for past uses of such concepts. The editors of the HWP, Joachim Ritter and Karlfried Griinder, have been philosophers focusing on the histories of the problems, arguments, and technical terms of their discipline. Such interests in no way negate the value of its articles, but limit their scope to the special history of philosophy. Insofar as Begriffsgeschichte is used, the form it takes in the HWP sometimes resembles older German practices criticized by the editors of the GGand Handbuch. As early as 1927, Erich Rothacker, an important exponent of Geistesgeschicbte and Lebensphilosophie in the tradition of Dilthey, had projected a dictionary of philosophy which would present its history by tracing the careers of those concepts and terms that had grown out of the major views of the world (Weltanschauun^en). Rothacker's historicist position on how the history of philosophy ought to be written was ultimately rejected by the editors of the HWP. In their view, the nature and variety of philosophy today preclude an exclusively conceptual dictionary of philosophy on historical principles. The HWP's editors also rejected the original proposal by the Swiss publishing house of Schwabe & Co. to revise what since the beginning of the twentieth century had served as the standard reference guide to


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German philosophy: Rudolf Eisler's Worterbuch der philosophischen Begriffe. This had first appeared in 1899. Its fourth and last edition was revised and published between 1927 and 1930. Eisler's purposes had been positivistic and neo-Kantian. He attributed the inconclusiveness of philosophy to deficiencies in its terminology; his standard was derived from his view of the reasons for advances in the natural sciences. Eisler sought to eliminate multiple or contested meanings of philosophical terms. He wished to replace those in use by precise definitions of terms and concepts, a uniform nomenclature to be used by all philosophers. The history of philosophy interested Eisler only to the extent that it had produced methods, concepts, and formulations of problems subsequentiy taken over by the "positive sciences." Every article in his dictionary began with a clear and concise prescriptive definition of the concept in question. Such a view of concepts, their formation, and scientific purpose is far from dead today. Although logical positivism no longer has many adherents among philosophers, this view of language and science still thrives among political scientists in Germany as well as in the United States. Joachim Ritter, who was to be the first editor of the HWP, concluded that Eisler's work could not and should not be updated. The conception of philosophy it embodied no longer held a privileged or even a respected position among philosophers. Indeed since Eisler's time there had been a proliferation of positions unknown to him, and incompatible with his procedures and standards of philosophical worth. In Germany important philosophical developments included phenomenology, existentialism, the revival of interest among philosophers in ontological and metaphysical questions, neoscholasticism, and above all, hermeneutics, Marxism, and critical theory. A number of philosophers had become specialists in modern logic. Still others had become concerned with analytical philosophy as practiced in the English-speaking world. Almost none of these interests were related to Eisler's concerns. Thus the theory of knowledge could no longer be philosophically limited, as in his method, to the exclusion of history and the natural languages. Nor could European thought any longer be considered as possessing a hegemonic superiority to that of the rest of the world. Non-European philosophies and religions merit inclusion in a modern dictionary of philosophy.4 Finding neither Rothacker's nor Eisler's schemes adequate models for a new philosophical dictionary, Ritter and his group chose a form not limited to a single method or position. In their view, philosophy today takes many incommensurable forms. Thus the most useful purpose that can be served by a modern reference work is to explain the concepts and terminology used by major philosophical movements throughout the world, as well as the principal interests of German philosophers today. Terms and concepts used by Niet/sche, Husserl, Heidegger, Gadamer, Hans Albert and Karl Popper, Habermas and other critical theorists; ordinary language philosophy; Marxism in its many variants- -all receive considerable attention. This makes the HWP very useful to anyone needing information about the terms of

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modern German philosophical discourse. In many, although not all, entries, the information supplied goes considerably beyond what is useful only to the uninitiated. As for Begriffigeschichte, the HWP uses its noncontextual version on those occasions judged appropriate by contributors and editors, that is, when knowledge of past usage is needed to clarify and understand a concept as employed by philosophers today. Thus in his introduction, Ritter wrote: "[I]t would be a mistake to consider the HWP as a dictionary of conceptual history (begriffyeschichtliches Wiirterbuch)."5 Neither in its form nor in its content may it be properly so described. In the HWP, much space is devoted to modern logic treated with full technical rigor and notation. No historical treatment is attempted. When the HWP includes terms and concepts drawn from disciplines now autonomous but still closely related to the concerns of philosophy today (psychology, linguistics, mathematics, biology), again there is no attempt to treat such notions historically. In the HWP, Begriffsgeschichte is applied only to those concepts that have either changed little over time, or changed enough so that they benefit from being viewed against contrasting horizons in the history of philosophy. Yet, as the editors have commented, the HWP has occasioned and included far more research into the history of concepts than could have been anticipated after its editors decided against Rothacker's proposals. It is for that reason that political and social theorists will find it worth consulting for the history of the uses of arguments, although they should not expect to find any reference to the political and social contexts in which concepts were used. In the final analysis, Bef/riffs/yeschichte, as practiced in the HWP, remains close to the history of philosophy as treated by German scholars since the eighteenth century.6 Although Ritter rejected Rothacker's proposal for a history of philosophical concepts along the lines of Diltheyan Geistesgeschichte, traces of Rothacker's project are discernible in many articles that treat Begriffsgescbichte as a combination of the histories of philosophical terms (Terminologieseschichte) and of persisting philosophical problems (Problevngeschichte). In the HWP the history of concepts is written as part of the internal history of philosophy and related disciplines, and thus excludes references to political, social, or economic history. The heritage of Geistesgeschichte is also evident in the HWP's lack of interest in the political and social affiliations of either thinkers or their audiences. The emphasis of the HWP falls principally upon the use of concepts by philosophers; theologians; political, social, and legal theorists; and such scientists as have affected philosophy. Seldom do contributors to the HWP attempt to relate conceptual changes either to the social position of philosophers and other thinkers, or to structural changes in state, society, or economy. Thus many articles are subject to the criticisms of Geistesgeschichte made by social historians and endorsed by Conze and Koselleck.7 To sum up: the HWP is an eclectic and remarkably inclusive work. Its treatment of philosophy could scarcely be more latitudinarian, focusing on the terminology and concepts used by philosophers today, whatever their


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schools, methods, or technical specialties. To the extent that disciplines other than philosophy affect present-day thought about human nature, the HWP includes them: theology (long inseparable from philosophy), law, psychology, sociology, ethnology, linguistics, and biology. To the extent that their concepts have meaning for political, moral, social, and legal philosophy, the HWP also finds room for the social and physical sciences, as well as legal studies. All this makes it likely that those seeking information about philosophical and political concepts and terms will find in the HWP at least a minimal treatment of what they are looking for. This is rather less the case for the GG and Handbuch, whose editors have elected to treat in detail relatively few concepts. It is in the HWP rather than in the GG that entries appear on "Autoritat" ("authority"), "Autonomie" ("autonomy"), "Entfremdung" ("alienation," "estrangement"), and "Ordnung" ("order"). Even relatively exotic-regime classifications flourish in the HWP: "Autokratie" ("autocracy"), "Ochlokratie" ("mob rule"), and a unique German antithesis to French physiocracy, "Nomokratie" ("rule of law"). As for the canonicalregime types, they too are treated in the HWP, although at nothing like the length of the GG's articles on monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy. Although most of my attention will be concentrated on the GG and Handbuch, nothing said here should obscure the fact that its comprehensiveness has made the HWP into an extraordinarily useful work. Despite the priority given to philosophical terms, it supplies the history of more political and social concepts than are available in any other work known to me. Because, unlike the other two works, the HWP's version of Begriffsgeschichte is seldom contextual, it may appear to be subject to the strictures of Quentin Skinner's attack on the history of concepts, the details of which are to be discussed in chapter 6. Despite my own preference for contextual treatments of political and social concepts, it nevertheless seems to be an exaggeration to claim that no significant information is conveyed by a noncontextual account, such as the history of a philosophical term as used by different schools, or by a list of the senses a concept has carried or carries. Most of us would acknowledge that we gain a good deal from even the bare semantic definitions of a word, term, or concept furnished by a dictionary on those occasions when we have little or no information about it. Certainly what we are told in typical dictionary formats is rather less than what scholars need. To such accounts, the HWP's reports of past meanings carried by a concept add much worth having. At the very least, the HWP's articles identify authors who have discussed the concept or term, summarize the uses made of it in philosophical argument, give relevant references to the best editions of texts, and cite secondary literature. It is a great service to provide such information on almost every conceivable abstract concept and philosophical rerm from metaphysics through political and ethical theory to formal logic. Very different qualities will recommend the GG to its potential readers. Like the HWP under Rirtcr's direction at Miinstcr, the GG originated in a relatively small working group under Werner Con/e in Heidelberg, which

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was united by common interests and assumptions. Both the Miinster and Heidelberg groups shared problems and concerns inseparable from recent German intellectual and political experience. Both published their respective statements of the guidelines and principles meant to guide their contributors in the same year (1967) and in the same journal, the Archiv fur Begriffsgeschichte, founded by Erich Rothacker in 1955. Since then its editors have been Hans-Georg Gadamer; Joachim Ritter, the first editor of the ffWP; and his successor, Karlfried Grander. Yet there are important differences separating these two lexicons. As has been remarked, when the history of concepts appears in the H WP, it does so as part of the internal history of philosophy and related disciplines. By contrast, systematic reference to social history and political contexts is built into the GG. For its editors aimed at profiting from what they perceived as a creative tension between their own view of Begriffsgeschichte on the one side, and structural social history on the other. This extended both to the indigenous variety of social history developed by German historians and to the more influential French version, which, originating in the Annales school, was welcomed by Conze. These differences between the HWP's concerns and those of the GG arose in part from the fact that all three of the GG's original editors—Otto Brunner, Werner Conze, and Reinhart Koselleck, the last surviving member of this trio—were innovative historians combining interests in intellectual, social, economic, legal, and administrative history. From their perspective, Rothacker's approach to the history of concepts was, like that of Geistesgeschichte generally, too disembodied and unconnected to conflicts among specific groups and interests. No more congenial to the editors of the GG was intellectual history of the sort written by Meinecke and his school, which along with Geistesgeschickte was being revived in the first phase of postwar West German historiography. Both styles of intellectual history, they declared, were altogether too remote from the discussion of those great qualitative changes in political, social, and economic structures crucial to modern history. But no less unacceptable were the reductive presuppositions of those social historians who assume that thought, like politics, is simply the product of structures and the formations affected by them, and thus that at most the history of concepts could provide indicators of more basic alterations. Instead the GG is meant to combine study of the interactions between the history of concepts and of structures. In this story, politics and institutionalized conflicts about how to conceptualize social change were to play a prominent part. The GG, as one contributor has commented, is among the few multiauthored reference works since the Encyclopedic to have been based upon a theoretical program.8 Beejriffsgeschichte in the GG is intended to test a hypothesis, namely, that the political and social language of German-speaking Furope was transformed during what Koselleck calls the Sattelzeit, the period of crisis and accelerated change that extended from approximately 1750 to 1850.9 During that time, changes in the meaning of concepts proceeded at an extremely rapid pace. Such conceptual transformations, it is postulated, both registered and directed irreversible alterations in political,


The History of Political and Social Concepts

social, and economic structures. How different groups and governments conceptualized these transformations could not but affect significantly the policies they adopted to deal with them. The GG's editors thus concerned themselves with the reciprocal relationships among conceptual continuities, changes, and innovations on the one side, and large-scale structural transformations on the other. Guided by this carefully articulated, although far from uncontroversial program, the GG brings together conceptual and social history through what its founders called historical semantics. This entails combining the study of the languages used to discuss government, society, and economy with identification of the groups, strata, orders, and classes that used or contested these languages. This program requires contributors (sometimes individual scholars, more often, teams) to look back as far as classical antiquity, and forward to the usages of our own time. Evidence is meant to be drawn from three main sources: (1) systematic theorists; (2) political, social, and legal materials; and (3) dictionaries (German, bilingual, and multilingual), encyclopedias, professional and vocational handbooks, and thesauri. Many articles in the GG specify the level of analysis within the internal organization of individual entries, that is, how dictionaries define a concept as contrasted to how it appears in the statute book. Despite their divergent emphases and concerns, the HWPand GG complement each other. It is instructive to compare entries that cover the same topic. On occasion, as in the articles on Herrschaft, they may present discrepant conclusions. This raises questions about how such disagreements may be resolved, about what counts for evidence in Be0riffs0eschichte. Since the GG seeks to combine social with conceptual history, and the HWP dots not, their respective treatments of the same concept may also clarify the advantages and disadvantages of their respective methods. On the other hand, it is illuminating to analyze the value of detailed treatments of concepts as compared to much shorter versions of them. At the very least, the GG's extensive citations provide its readers with sources otherwise not easily accessible. At its best, this lexicon demonstrates just how many uses to which a concept was put in argument. Not infrequently, the author of a long entry in the GG summarizes it briefly in the HWP. Among the most important articles in the GG are those by Manfred Riedel dealing with the contrast that came to be drawn by theorists between "the political," or "the state" on the one side and "the social," or "civil society" on the other. In the GG Riedel wrote eighty-two pages on "Gesellschaft, biirgerliche" ("Civil Society"), but only seven pages in the HWP. Such short outlines are useful to those requiring only a schematic indication of a concept's history. Yet this format does not allow authors to provide context or to analyze the full range of uses to which a concept has been put. Finally, those who wish to know the history of Begriffsjyeschichte as a scholarly practice, that is, the varied forms it has assumed both in the past and present, will find that the entry in the HWP is the best single account in

Charting Political and Social Concepts


any language. The HWP also contains entries, admirably cosmopolitan in their scope, which are indispensable for discriminating Begriffsjjeschichte from its predecessors, Geistesgeschichte and Ideen0eschichte, as well as from such trans-Atlantic studies as the "History of Ideas," and "Intellectual History" (among the few entries listed in English). The Handbuch is meant to cover French usage from 1680 to 1820. Its articles usually begin with the late seventeenth century and go on to treat basic political and social concepts used in France during the ancien regime. But the real focus of the work is on how previous conceptualizations of the political and social world were transformed or supplanted linguistically during the outbreak and course of the Revolution itself, the First Empire, and the Restoration up to 1820. The Handbuctfs principal theoretician, editor, and contributor is Rolf Reichardt, once a student and assistant of Reinhart Koselleck. Reichardt has increasingly moved towards using the history of concepts and language as a means of studying the social and cultural history of the French Revolution and the ancien regime. This practice leads in the Handbuch to an emphasis on political and cultural contexts which is much closer to the GG than to the HWP. But to the extent that the Handbuch still may be regarded as Begriffsgeschichte, its emphases diverge considerably from those of the GG. Rejecting the balance between the history of concepts and structural social history sought by the GG, the Handbuch subordinates the history of concepts to social history in general, and to that of mentalites in particular. Because its hypothesis is that the Revolution marks the decisive point in French intellectual development, the Handbuch contains few references to the GG's organizing hypothesis that concepts were altered decisively in the direction of modernity during the period called the Sattelzeit. Unlike the GG, the Handbuch seldom seeks to reconstruct previous uses of concepts in classical antiquity, in the Middle Ages, or in early modern Europe outside France. Analyses of diachronic changes in the use of concepts are used in the Handbuch to point up discontinuities in conceptual usage caused by the' Revolution. Nor does the Handbuch seek to demonstrate that its repertoire of 150 concepts (many of which also figure in the GG) share the characteristics attributed by Koselleck to modern political and social thought. The Handbuch is guided by its own program, which has been developed to provide for the first time linguistic and conceptual materials for the history of French Revolutionary mentalites. The history of concepts, derived from the GG, is redefined in the Handbuch, where it is meant to deal with popular mentalities, as well as collective representations and memory during and after the French Revolution. In the practice of the Handbuch, this means a shift away from the political thought of major theorists, publicists, and even governmental elites. That shift follows the diagnosis or prescription by Michel Vovelle that "the history of ideas . . . is currently, as part of a more general movement, dissolving itself into the history of mentalities. . . ."10 It is not altogether clear just what the "history of ideas" means to either Vovelle or Reichardt, both of whom tend to construct strawman versions of a term


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they wish to dismiss without attending to the full range of the very different disciplines and practices it has been used to designate. The GG's overriding concern is to establish the constitutive political and social concepts of modernity. The Handbuch treats language, including the language of politics, as a means of establishing what was happening to the consciousness of French society as a whole, particularly in those groups previously excluded from making decisions. This means that the Handbuch in its analyses of concepts stresses especially those generated by prerevolutionary and revolutionary practices. The Handbuclfs first volume began with an impressive manifesto written by Reichardt, who stated its program in terms already described. This program emphasizes social history and popular mentalities, rather than major thinkers; French quantitative lexical analysis and discourse analysis; and the sociology of knowledge as formulated by Berger and Luckmann, that is, treating language as primarily social and creating operative definitions of reality for those who use it.11 All contributors to the Handbuch cite as references a common set of dictionaries produced between 1780 and 1820, guides to usage, and a carefully selected corpus of materials, including those gathered during four years of prior research by Gerd van den Heuvel and Anette Hofer, then junior scholars supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the national research foundation. Yet the Handbuch deviates from or, in its editor's view, complements its French models in two respects. It approaches the social history of revolutionary France through research into the conceptual apparatus, political and social, in use prior to, during, and immediately succeeding the Revolution. Secondly, the Handbuch gives unprecedented attention to the special histories of French language theories, semantics, and lexicography, thus in part continuing, but also improving considerably upon, methods and sources first used systematically in the GG. Despite their differences, both the GG and Handbuch break new ground in their efforts to connect conceptual to social history. Both attempt highly contextualized analyses of concepts and their histories; both seek to relate thought, once social and political change had been conceptualized, to changes in the structures of government and society. Further innovations found in both lexicons are their efforts to identify and account for the accelerated rate of change in the meanings and applications of basic concepts, and to specify the degree and effects of contestation both in the use of individual concepts and in general linguistic conventions. Finally, such changes and conflicts in times of crisis and revolution are linked to determinate groups, strata, classes, or orders. In the different modes found in these two lexicons, Begriffsgeschichte prescribes the use of both synchronic and diachronic comparisons of conceptual usage and linguistic conventions. In the GG, what is contrasted to German politics and society after 1850 is early modern, prerevolutionary Europe (Alt Europe I'ancien regime), in the Handbuch, France before, during, and after the Revolution. Yet any account of these three German lexicons ought to note the distinct family resemblance among them. None of them have entries for in-

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dividual authors, nor do they discuss competing interpretations of texts, or general theories for their own sake. As has been noted, practitioners of Beffriffsjjeschichte distinguish themselves not only from Geistesgeschichte and Ideeengeschichtevd their earlier German forms, but also from Wortergeschichte (the history of individual words) and etymology. Only the HWP concerns itself with the special histories of what some philosophers consider to be the persisting problems of their discipline (Problemgeschichte), as well as the history of the technical terms of philosophy (Terminologiegfeschichte). Finally, in both their programs and practices, all three works diverge significantly from the history of ideas and intellectual history as written by English-speaking scholars, and from the reconstructions of political languages, ideologies, and language conventions of the "Cambridge School," to which Regriffsgeschichte will be compared in chapter 6. There is also a common level of achievement to be recognized. All three applications of Begriffsgeschichte have already set standards of excellence for the historical study of the concepts and semantic fields that constitute vocabularies: philosophical, political, social, legal, and economic. Thus their findings deserve attention not only from historians of ideas, but from philosophers of language, as well as from those concerned with language, discourses, and historiography. Indeed, Begriffsgeschichte has much to contribute to current concerns with the implications of language and discourses for the writing of intellectual history, the history of ideas, or, as William Bouswma has suggested, the history of meaning.12 All these terms tend to be used in overlapping senses, and by scholars from different national and cultural traditions of scholarship. Hence it may well be asked to what extent the practices of Be/jriffs^eschichte in its different modes resemble analogous work in English, such as the history of ideas in the style of A. O. Lovejoy. There is little point in attempting to proceed by stipulative definitions of "concept" and "idea." In both English and German philosophy, the two terms are often synonyms. The meaning of "concept" can be determined only within the context of a theory and cannot be satisfactorily defined in isolation. As one English-speaking philosopher has remarked, "concept" as a philosophical term remains useful precisely because of its ambiguity: A preliminary impression of these uses can most readily be gathered, not by premature attempts to discover or define the meaning of the term, but by considering what is implied in such expressions as "having a concept," "acquiring the concept of. . . ," and so on.13

Thus both Begriffsgeschichte and the "history of ideas" are best understood as sets of procedures used by scholars to study past thinkers and thought. These procedures are to be reconstructed both from the programs and from the actual performances of their founders and their disciples. It has often been pointed out that projects may be executed fully or only in part; that they may be better or worse than what is actually done by those who under-


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stand themselves to be carrying out a specific research program. Whatever the status of metatheoretical discussions of projects, here they will be used to contrast theoretical statements of historians with the actual work done by them or under their auspices. In what follows, the "history of ideas" will be identified with the movement in the United States begun by A. O. Lovejoy; with the work published in the Journal of the History of Ideas (JHI) over the past half-century; and with the repertoire of entries and methods applied in the Dictionary of the History of Ideas (DH7), whose principal editor, Philip Wiener, long directed the JHI. Probably the German genre closest to Lovejoy was Ideengeschichte, itself a set of practices usually identified with Friedrich Meinecke and his school.14 Ideengeschichte will be used in its German form despite the fact that its literal translation is "history of ideas." That same English term also is often and misleadingly used to translate Geistesgeschichte, which is so specifically a German form of discourse that it too ought to remain untranslated. Not much need be said here about that style of inquiry, except for the purpose of avoiding confusions between it and Begriffsgeschichte. Englishspeaking scholars are apt to conflate older German treatments of the history of thought and concepts with those new projects being discussed here. This can produce misunderstandings and, on occasion, condescension.15 Despite its prominence in German thought, Geistesgeschichte is known to scholars working in English either through the work of those, like Ernst Cassirer or Leo Spitzer, who were forced to leave Germany during the Nazi period, or else through translations from Dilthey or Curtius. In these forms, Geistes^escbichteis best understood as a specifically German mode of elucidating the geistliche (intellectual, cultural, spiritual) forces—the "inner formative forces" in Cassirer's phrase—said to unify a historical age. Originally formulated in the eighteenth century as a systematic method for writing the history of philosophy, Geistesgeschicbte was transformed by German idealist and romantic thinkers. Many others in addition to Hegel used the notion of an inner spirit (Geist) unifying philosophical systems with other aspects of their age, nation, or culture. An additional source for the method of Geistesgeschichte was the distinction often made by German thinkers between the Geisteswissenschaften, those human sciences whose studies are conducted through empathic knowledge of thought and feeling, and die Naturwissenschaften, or natural sciences, which from the outside study nonhuman aspects of the universe. Because of these distinctive emphases, Geistesgeschichte has often been translated as "the history of ideas" or "intellectual history." Such translations are misleading because those German-trained practitioners of Geistesgeschichte who came to the United States tended to reject as atomistic Lovejoy's mode of writing the history of ideas. For example, Leo Spitzer, philologist, critic, and practitioner of what he called "historical semantics," argued against Lovejoy's method by insisting upon the unity of assumptions, attitudes, and emotional atmosphere pervading every age and culture. Spitzer thus rejected Lovejoy's insistence that there are only a finite number of unit-ideas, as well as Lovejoy's rationalistic

Charting Political and Social Concepts


critique of the "complexes of thought" that combine unit-ideas in a distinctive mode of "metaphysical pathos." Spitzer, in short, criticized Lovejoy for disregarding the internal connections holding together those individual ideas which, combined in a given style, make up the thought of an age.16 This distinction between Geistesjjeschichte and Lovejoy's style has been well put by Paul Oskar Kristeller, a great historian of Renaissance philosophy and thought, who was trained in Germany just prior to the Second World War: It should be noted that the term "history of ideas" is not the equivalent of Geistesgeschickte, the main difference being the use of the plural "ideas," instead of the German "spirit." Whereas the German notion of "spirit," due to its Hegelian antecedents, suggests in each case a complex system of thought within which any particular idea or term is determined and definable with reference to all others and to their common source, the English term "ideas" suggests an indeterminate plurality of particular thoughts or notions that are not related to one another by any definable logical or historical connection. In other words, the American term is free from certain systematic premises of its German counterpart and hence more flexible, but in turn it is at least in danger of losing a precise philosophical and even historical context. . . ,17

As has been seen, significant differences both in their programs and actual practices distinguish the three lexicons discussed earlier from one another. Each offers its own style of Begriffsgcschickte. Nevertheless a pronounced emphasis upon concepts and their history is common to all three projects. They stand in conspicuous contrast to the heterogeneous contributions found in the Journal of the History of Ideas and The Dictionary of the History of Ideas. What, in Lovejoy's view of the history of ideas, led to such a marked fragmentation of interests? Which problems attracted his attention? Can he be said to have had a theory explaining why ideas change? Lovejoy's program for writing the history of ideas centers on tracing "unit-ideas." These he described as unchanging constants comparable to the elements of analytical chemistry. In his view, there are relatively few unitideas, just as there are a finite number of basic jokes. His own masterpiece, The Great Chain ofBeinjf, is a study of such a unit-idea, "a single specific proposition . . . together with some further propositions. . . supposed to be its corollary."18 Both philosophical systems and ideologies were viewed by Lovejoy as unstable compounds, complexes made up of unit-ideas for the most part logically incompatible. Lovejoy did not find such compounds worth studying: "The doctrines or tendencies . . . designated by familiar names ending in -ism or -ity . . . usually are not units of the sort the historian of ideas seeks to discriminate. . . ,"19 This position derives from Lovejoy's "passion for drawing distinctions in order to gain analytical clarity."20 He was led to the history of ideas by his interest in detecting intellectual fallacies. By identifying the unit-ideas combined illogically in idea complexes such as political ide-


The History of Political and Social Concepts

ologies or philosophical systems, he would reveal their inherent confusions. To this end Lovejoy also prescribed what he called philosophical semantics, a study of the sacred words and phrases of a period or movement, with a view to a clearing up of their ambiguities, a listing of their shades of meaning, and an examination of the way in which confused associations of ideas arising from these ambiguities have influenced the development of doctrines. . . .21

Thus for Lovejoy the history of ideas is meant to unmask ambiguities, as well as to reveal confusions. In both cases his theory of causation is undeveloped: ambiguities "influence" the development of ideologies and systems. "Influence," originally an astrological theory, until recently was the problem explored most frequently in the pages of the Journal of the History of Ideas. High on the agenda of the history of ideas is tracing the migration of unit-ideas from one intellectual domain to another. The interest of this enterprise derives in part from the assumption that there are so few unit-ideas that thinkers or writers must draw from a very small stock, which Lovejoy assumes to have a continuous existence. As a historical generalization, this is dubious. Many ideas recur after having lapsed in terms of usage. There is no need to assume the continuous presence of the same unit-ideas. Lovejoy's version of "philosophical semantics" indicates how little interest he had in linguistics and language. Nor does he seem to have been interested in the distinctive vocabularies or semantic fields within languages. In order to distinguish his subject from the history of philosophy, he defined the study of the history of ideas as especially concerned with the manifestation of specific unit-ideas in the collective thought of large numbers of persons, not merely in the doctrines of or opinions of a small number of profound thinkers or eminent writers. . . . It is, in short, most interested in ideas which attain a wide diffusion, which become a part of the stock of many minds.22

Finally, although Lovejoy placed great stress on changes in the general concepts used by an age, his method was primarily psychological and atomistic. Insofar as his purpose was to exercise a philosophical therapy, he sought to use the history of ideas to demonstrate ambiguities in the key definitions of intellectual systems or ideologies, and their further fallacies in reasoning from those definitions. Insofar as the history of ideas was meant to display its power to describe and explain large-scale cultural change, Lovejoy proposed that his analytical method should be applied in order to understand how new beliefs and intellectual fashions are introduced and diffused; in order to help elucidate the psychological character of the processes by

Charting Political and Social Concepts


which changes in the vogue and influence of ideas have come about; to make it clear how conceptions dominant, or extensively prevalent, in one generation lose their hold upon men's minds and give place to others. . . . For the process can hardly be made intelligible until the natures of the separate ideas which enter as factors in it are discriminated and separately observed. . . ,23

How do the three German works applying Begriffsgeschichte compare to Lovejoy's version of the history of ideas? Probably the history of philosophical concepts in the JfWPmost closely resembles Lovejoy's method. But because of the residual influence of Geistesgeschichte, the HWP's articles are more apt to emphasize the "inner formative forces" presented as unifying the thought, politics, art, and literature of an age or nation. By comparison, Lovejoy through analysis dissolves what he regards as unstable complexes into discrete unit-ideas. The GG stresses the degree to which in every period concepts were contested. This approach to conceptual change is at once more political and contextual in its efforts to identify parties, groups, and interests who are aware of the consequences for them of any fundamental redefinition of basic concepts. When the GG's and Handbuch'?, programs are compared to Lovejoy's, the history of ideas seems to lack both specific hypotheses to be investigated and any systematic method for identifying sources, or procedures for using such sources. Although Lovejoy himself was a strikingly learned and brilliant scholar, his subjects of inquiry were somewhat haphazardly chosen. The same holds true for many articles published in the Journal of the History of Ideas and the Dictionary of the History of Ideas. It is difficult to say what connects the discrepant topics treated in them. In retrospect Lovejoy's program does not seem to have produced any organized body of knowledge addressing the questions he defined as constituting the history of ideas. Much distinguished work was done by Lovejoy himself, as well as by others following his lines of investigation. Yet today he seems to have identified problems but not a coherent problematic. While many of his methods remain useful, the school he founded seems to be unsituated, much like the German styles of analysis criticized by the GG and Handbuch. By contrast, the GG and Handbuch have sought to connect concepts and mentalites to the political and social formations that have used and contested them. Using related but different formulations, both have asked how elite and nonelite groups, including theorists, have conceptualized the accelerated, sometimes revolutionary changes in the structures of political, economic, and social organization in modern societies. Yet despite these convergences, significant differences separate the programs and practices of these two German reference works. Although both emphasize the need to combine the histories of concepts with social history, the two projects diverge in their conceptions of social history, and their estimation of the part played in history by politics and the political.

2 The Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe: Relating Political and Social Concepts to Structural Change Before the GG can be fully understood and assessed, its origins must be contrasted to what it has become during the quarter of a century required for its completion. The GG's program, the scope of its theoretical concerns, its periodization, and its foci cannot be understood in isolation from its original setting both in German history and historiography. Yet, as I seek to establish in this chapter, there are good reasons for believing that the GG is most notable, not so much for the initial programmatic statements and metatheory of its editors, as for its substantive findings derived from the detailed analysis of a corpus of materials not previously put to such uses. Indeed the perspectives of the principal editors themselves changed during the strenuous process of completing this lexicon, as they applied to their own work the standards they were setting for other contributors. The project took on a life of its own as it grew from the original plan for short histories of concepts within a single book to its ultimate format of eight volumes, with more than seven thousand pages of text, as well as a separate index volume. Origins do not always determine the ultimate form of scholarly practices and methods. Once a program of research has been stated, declaring publicly the standards by which scholars ask to be judged, the practice of a new discipline such as Bep/riffsgeschichte shapes and changes not only those enlisted as contributors, but also its founding editors themselves. In the case of the GG's editors, their work developed along lines determined more by the standards evolved over a quarter of a century's work on their monumental project, than by their initial commitments. Thus there are a number of preliminary issues: What in the background of its creators prepared them for this project? How is the GG's program related to other developments since 1945 in history and historiography within the Federal Republic? What, if any, was the relationship between its founders' original political perspectives in the first two decades after 1945, when the GG was first conceived, and the 26

Relating Concepts to Structural Changes


articles written during the next two decades when the Federal Republic developed into a constitutional and pluralist democracy? By the early 1960s a significant evolution in German political theory and practice had occurred, not only in the major political parties, but also among historians trained between 1933-1945. The extent to which the original views of the editors have affected their own work, as well as those of other contributors, will be reassessed in chapter 3. This examines in detail the GG's article on Herrschaft, as well as other contributions casting light on the relationship between the original program and the actual form of this lexicon. In his book The German Conception of History, Georg Iggers identified three positions central to German historiography prior to 1945: (1) the concept of the state as an end in itself, the existence of which depends upon the successful use of power; (2) Antinormativittit, a position denying the right of historians to make any moral judgment of historical actors and actions; and (3) Anti-Begrifflichkeit, the rejection by historians of any systematic effort to study structural characteristics of human societies.1 Insofar as German historians dealt with political ideas during the Wilhelminian and Weimar periods, they did so as did Friedrich Meinecke, that is, without reference to the positions of political thinkers in the politics and society of their time.2 Which developments in the writing of history since 1945 in the Federal Republic of Germany have replaced this previous historiographical consensus about the irrelevance of contexts? How is the GG's program related to these trends? Jorn Riisen has sketched three phases of historiography during the first forty years of the Federal Republic.3 The first phase (from 1945 into the early 1960s) was dominated by a revised version of prewar historicism, with the emphasis upon history as a Geisteswissenschaft, the study of political and historical events by empathic understanding and hermeneutic method.4 History—political, military, and diplomatic—was interpreted through documents meant to reveal the intentions and self-understanding of its most prominent actors. The second phase (from the early 1960s to the mid-1970s) occurred at a time when a change in generation coincided with the expansion of German universities. During this transitional period of what Riisen sees as an "accelerated transformation," younger historians began to experiment with new concepts and methods. At the end of this decade, student protest movements, as part of a more general critique of universities, called into question the purposes and organization of the historical profession. The theoretical status of history as a Geisteswissenschaft was being challenged by other philosophical positions: analytical philosophy of science (Karl Popper and Hans Albert), critical theory, critical rationalism, and Marxist historiography. In the third phase (from the end of the 1970s up to the present), social history emerged as an integral, often central interest of younger German historians, who consequently shifted away from political and intellectual history in the older style. This new approach became rapidly institutionalized. New journals, such as Geschichte und Gesellschaft (History and Society) have both urged the need for applying the social sciences to historical research and


The History of Political and Social Concepts

sought a new synthesis bringing together some aspects of the older hermeneutic method with the uses of explanatory theories and the construction of ideal types and models. One manifesto described the proper subjects of historical research as "ft]he history of social, political, economic, cultural, and intellectual phenomena, all anchored in identifiable social formations."5 Thus understood, history is not limited to sets of events, but is placed within a framework of structures that condition human action. To some extent, such structures lie outside the intentions and purposes of actors, beyond the horizon of their self-understanding. Although social history still has formidable critics in the Federal Republic, it now plays a prominent part in the theory and practice of Germany's professional historians. Iggers has argued that in social history as now written by German historians, there is an emphasis on politics not originally present in the French Annales school. French social history had concentrated on long-term impersonal and structural processes.6 German social historians have redefined their task: questioning rather than celebrating (as had earlier German historians) the political organization of Germany since its nineteenth-century unification and relating political forms to social and economic processes. Although still concerned with the intentions and self-understanding of actors, German historians have shifted their focus from individuals to parties and groups involved in conflicts. Thus their aim is now "a social history of politics, or perhaps a political history of society."7 Where does the program of the GG fit into the schema provided by Riisen and Iggers? The metatheoretical answer is stated in the GG's introduction and in two other statements by Koselleck of the relationship between Be0riffs0eschichte and social history.8 Koselleck maintains that both these modes of history are indispensable to the work of the GG. Conceptual change registered and in part directed the extremely rapid but deep and irreversible transformations in political, social, and economic structures which have occurred in Europe since the eighteenth century. To argue thus is to reject two types of reductionism. The first is that of social historians who, focusing upon structural processes, either dismiss concepts and ideas as superstructures, derived from allegedly more basic forces, or else treat concepts only as indicators of structural change. The second type of reductionism found equally unacceptable by Koselleck is the study of concepts in the style of Geistespfeschichte as practiced before 1945 and revived in the first postwar phase of German historiography. In the programmatic statements of Conze and Koselleck, the GG is described as deriving from the creative tension between two historical disciplines, Begriffsgeschichte and social history, neither of which is reducible to the other. Perhaps the form of historical research closest to the GG's objectives had been a specialized branch of medieval history.9 Since the end of the nineteenth century, German medievalist historians had engaged in philological criticism of their textual sources.10 Their purpose was to recover for use in interpreting texts those meanings of medieval concepts subsequently lost or altered. Among those most prominent in this line of inquiry during the 1920s

Relating Concepts to Structural Changes


and 1930s was Otto Brunner, one of the three original editors of the GG. Brunner's writing may be treated both as historiography and as part of that radical antidemocratic and nationalist Weimar conservativism analyzed by Kurt Sontheimer's definitive study.11 Brunner's historiography attacked earlier work by medievalists as anachronistic. Central to Brunner's method was his emphasis upon the key concepts of "land" or "territory" (terra, Land) and "rule," "dominion," or "lordship" (dominium, Herrschaft) prominent in late medieval and early modern legal documents.12 In Brunner's view, previous studies of land tenure and authority relationships had been distorted by the use of categories which conformed neither to linguistic usage in the past, nor to those actual practices registered by the concepts then in use. Thus, he argued, the social reality of the past can be accurately described only after historians retrieve the meanings of concepts actually employed in documents during the period under investigation. Brunner held that the interposition of such modern terms as "feudalism," "society," and "the state" had distorted both the problems modern historians of the Middle Ages set themselves, and their empirical findings. Brunner dropped from his analyses all such categories, which he declared anachronistic. The distinction between "social" and "political," between res publica and societas civilis, he thought, although originating in early modern absolute states, had later been made the foundation of nineteenth-century liberal theory by legal and constitutional historians. They sought to "depoliticize" state power by restricting its sphere, and by checking the branches of government, setting them against one another. Instead of reading back into the past what Brunner called indefensible and unhistorical assumptions, he proposed to chart the meanings of medieval concepts found in texts dealing with members of the family, and its servants; with the relationship between lords, serfs, and bourgeoisie; and with operative systems of law, government, and defense. Changes of conceptual reference and meaning should be mapped. Then historians could establish the relationships among changes in the actual structures within which their historical subjects lived, and the concepts they used at different times to refer to their institutions, organizations, and practices. Arguing that late medieval jurists, clerics, and rulers had thought in terms of Aristotelean categories, Brunner emphasized how modern were the dichotomies which had dominated German historiography since the nineteenth century: between the concept of power (Macht) and the untranslatable concept of Geist (spirit, mind); between the concepts of Geist and society (Gesellschafi), between ideal and actually operative forces (Ideal- und Realfaktoreri). Ultimately, Brunner held, the German concept Geist, like its French equivalent idee, derived from Cartesian categories, which at once marked the rejection of older Aristotelian modes of conceiving reality and signaled the increasing secularization of European culture. Thus perceived, the German studies known as Geisteswissenschaften were themselves a terminal stage of this long term process of secularization and of radical separation of ideas from material reality. Brunner extended his analysis to materialist critiques of idealism as ideology. In his view, idealism and materialism shared


The History of Political and, Social Concepts

many epistemological and metaphysical assumptions, and were both onesided approaches to the relationship between concepts and social history.13 In one of his postwar papers, Brunner argued that this Cartesian turn had also made possible the creation of those ideologies later indispensable to totalitarian dictatorships.14 For all these ideologies claimed to encompass the whole of reality, social and historical. Indeed, concepts like "history," "society," "nature" and Geist were personified and made into pseudometaphysical entities, agents capable of action. Brunner's approach to both medieval and modern history was far from uncontroversial. Like many other radical, antidemocratic conservatives between the two world wars, Brunner, who taught in Austria, sought to demolish die key conceptual distinctions of liberal constitutional democracy, particularly that between civil society and the state. Like Carl Schmitt, whom he often cited, Brunner used his considerable powers to criticize root and branch the concepts of pluralism and representative government, as well as any institutional arrangements, such as the division of powers, which were meant to moderate and counterbalance state power.15 Brunner was among the most prominent historians to move from the nationalist antidemocratic positions of the "conservative revolution" he had shared with many other university professors to supporting the National Socialists. Recently Brunner's historical work has been attacked for allegedly adopting the National Socialist ideological categories of Fiihrung (the primacy of leadership) and Volksgemeinschaft (the total integration of state and society in the community of the German people). In the 1930s editions of his major works, he claimed to demonstrate historically that these notions of Fiihrung and Volksgemeinschaft derived from purely German institutions.16 Similarly, it has been pointed out that Brunner's later advocacy of structural social history (Strukturjjeschichte) in his influential writings during the 1950s had, in his earlier works, been more often phrased as Volksgeschichte (the history of the German Volk or people), another ideological category institutionalized in the official historical writing of the Third Reich.17 Yet, as has been remarked by Klaus Schreiner, who has mounted the single most cogent attack upon Brunner, to point out these aspects of Brunner's biography neither disproves Brunner's assertions about the anachronistic nature of the analytical categories used by earlier medieval historians, nor establishes that when he argued for structural social history in the 1950s, he did so in bad faith.18 Another hostile critic has conceded that more than any other German historian, Brunner freed the study of medieval constitutional and legal history from distortions generated by the terminology of nineteenth- and twentieth-century juristic theorists.19 The passage of time has not resolved the bitterly contested estimates of Brunner and Schmitt, both of whom continue to be defended in some quarters by the assertion that they were opportunists tempted by the victory of National Socialism, rather than true believers in its racial ideology. In a notable study, Winifred Schulze has carefully reconstructed the complex processes by which the West German historical profession was re-

Relating Concepts to Structural Changes


institutionalized after 1945.20 Making extensive use of previously unpublished materials, he has analyzed the conditions which made possible the postwar creation of social history in West Germany. On the one hand, Schulze argues, this was not so much a clean break with the past (despite the focus on new themes), as a continuation of research begun during the Nazi era. At that time history and sociology became more closely related than ever before, in part because of the totalizing tendencies of National Socialist ideology, which emphasized the purported organic unity of the Volksjjemeinschaft.21 But in postwar West Germany, social history could be legitimated only after the completion of what Schulze calls the "denazification of the concept of the Volk" that is, the creation of a nonideological theory of the relationship between society and the state.22 On the other hand, Schulze claims that the second generation of postwar social historians achieved a genuine breakthrough. Prior to 1933 the German historical profession had fought off all attempts to include social history in university teaching and research. The two aspects of this development Schulze treats in terms of the paradoxical process once described by Ralf Dahrendorf: the destruction of older structures by the Nazis, which had the unanticipated consequences of making possible after 1945 the creation of constitutional democracy, as well as a degree of social and economic modernization previously blocked in Wilhelminian and Weimar Germany.23 Postwar West Germany was thus rid of previously recalcitrant social formations and institutions. And because the concepts of Volksgemeinschaft and Volks0eschichte were unacceptable after 1945, historians sought and found alternatives to them, as well as to earlier forms of German historiography. Structural social history was the first form of this postwar development; Sozialgeschichte or Gesellschaftsgeschichte, the second. These developed their own methods and interests. Thus social history has become intellectually autonomous. Its practitioners, Schulze claims, have been incurious about, when not hostile to, earlier German versions of social history. For quite different reasons, social historians such as Werner Conze and Hans-Ulrich Wehler have paid little attention to continuities between these styles of social history and work begun in the period between 1933 and 1945.24 Although Brunner had done much to prepare the way for the GG, he played a relatively small role in its actual execution because of illness and age. The continuing group that translated the GG into reality originated in a workshop for modern social history organized at Heidelberg by another of the GG's editors, Werner Conze.25 Conze has been credited with the establishment of social history in the post-1945 German university. He was the first German historian to champion Braudel and other Annettes historians, who were emphasizing the slow degree of change in social and economic structures over long periods in the premodern world.26 But like Brunner, and unlike the Annalistes, Conze's view of social history gave a prominent place both to politics and the history of concepts. Such a merger of structural with conceptual history stemmed from still


The History of Political and Social Concepts

another set of antecedents and precedents. In addition to Brunner, Conze's teacher, Giinther Ipsen, had also moved in the direction of applying the analysis of conceptual language to history.27 While at Leipzig, Ipsen was a close collaborator of Hans Freyer who, after 1933, was made the official Fiihrer of German sociology.28 Ipsen sought to integrate both statistical and linguistic analyses into his own chief interest, the history and sociology of the German peasant. Ipsen's emphasis upon peasant history grew out of the conviction he shared with other viilkisch thinkers that it was the peasants who constituted the last remaining link to the historical German Volk, which was in danger of being destroyed by the forces of modernity. Another theme in Ipsen's work was likewise both political and ideological: his particular concern with isolated German-speaking communities (Sprachinseln) in Central and Eastern Europe, and his belief that the post-Versailles boundaries of existing nation-states should be replaced by a new Reich uniting all Germans. Hence Ipsen's leading role in the historical and sociological study of Germans living outside the Weimar republic (Auslanddeutscheri). This work did not go unrewarded. When the National Socialists took power, he was called first to a professorship at Konigsberg, and then, after the Anschluss, to a chair at Vienna. Like Brunner, he was forced by the Austrians to give up this position after the defeat. Werner Conze had been Ipsen's student and Assistent at Konigsberg. Conze's dissertation, published in 1934, and his Habilitationschrift of 1940 had fully acknowledged his indebtedness to Ipsen.29 Conze survived five years of combat as an officer in the Wehrmacht, but the war seems to have destroyed any sympathy he had for the regime he served. In 1963 Conze published one of the first West German textbooks covering the course of German history through the Nazi period to the creation of the Federal Republic.30 What he wrote showed that he had participated in what has been called the "deradicalization of German conservatism," that is, the development of a previously unknown type of German conservatism now reconciled with liberal democracy and the capitalist welfare state.31 For the first time in German history the political culture of the right came to be dominated by such commitments.32 The causes of this change have been diagnosed as disillusionment, often unvoiced, with the radical consequences of National Socialism; the threat of Soviet communism perceived in the Federal Republic; and, above all, the unprecedented and unanticipated economic and political success of liberal democratic capitalism.33 Although unmistakably conservative in domestic policy, and irredentist with regard to what constituted the boundaries of Germany, Conze's textbook condemned the Nazi regime. He made no attempt to excuse its acts, or to deny its deliberate annihilation of the Jews and other groups. In Conze's view, National Socialism and all other extreme right movements were irretrievably dead in the Federal Republic, a situation he applauded. Conze's formidable energies and skills as a founder of university scholarly enterprises were directed to creating an institutional basis for a type of history which, although focused on economic and social structural changes

Relating Concepts to Structural Changes


since the nineteenth century, nevertheless placed considerable emphasis upon the linguistic and conceptual aspects of that transformation. Conze's advocacy of what he called Strukturgeschichte has been acknowledged as crucial to the development of social history as a recognized part of the historical profession in Germany. A great organizer of collective enterprises in an university milieu hostile to them, Conze turned the Arbeitskreis fur Moderne Sozialgeschichte, the group he had founded, into the basis for two ostensibly discrete research projects: one, a series of books now numbering over sixty, Industrielle Welt (The World of Industry), which studies changes in society and economy during industrialization; the other, the GG, directed jointly by Conze and Koselleck after Brunner's death.34 Thus Koselleck's theoretical emphasis upon the need to combine without reductionism the resources both of social history and Eegriffsgeschichte could now be realized, thanks to Conze's previous creation of a group capable of applying this method in the GG. Together with Koselleck, Conze devised the innovation of creating teams of experts to carry through the diachronic analysis of political concepts over the extended time period to be covered by the GG. But it could not be presupposed that there already existed scholars willing to form such teams, who shared the project's goals and would subordinate their individual research interests to it. Thus Conze's creation of an organized and wellfinanced continuing group was crucial. Contributors to each of the forthcoming volumes of the GG met together annually. In this way, the editors of the GG sought to remind contributors of its overall theoretical objectives, as well as the different types of sources meant to be covered. How crucial this continuing group was to the lexicon may also be seen from the considerable number of contributors to the GG, who as members of the Arbeitskreis fur Moderne Sozialgeschichte also participated in its series on the passage to industrialization. Such continuities in group membership and common intellectual concerns were not limited to social historians. Christian Meier, an authority on both ancient Greek and Roman history, and among the few German classicists to specialize in political thought, also played an important part in the GG. From the beginning Meier participated actively in planning the lexicon. He coedited the fourth volume and has made distinguished contributions to many of the GG's articles dealing with concepts of ancient Greek or Roman provenience. Thus Meier's membership in this group added consistency to the many articles treating developments in concepts first coined in classical antiquity. Lacking comparable groups, other lexicons have fallen short of the GG's relative success in maintaining a set of common goals and methods. In an early statement (1966) Conze characterized the GG's objectives as seeking to integrate structural social history into its treatment of concepts and conceptual change.35 This need to combine social with conceptual history likewise dominates Reinhart Koselleck's introduction to the GG.36 Koselleck's own brilliant work in Eegriffsgeschichte has been developed in his contributions to the GG, some of which rank among its longest and best:


The History of Political and Social Concepts

"Revolution, Rebellion, Aufruhr, Biirgerkrieg" ("Revolution, Rebellion, Uprising, Civil War"); "Geschichte, Historie"; "Krise" ("Crisis"); "Bund, Biindnis, Foderalismus, Bundesrepublik" ("Union, Alliance, Federalism, Federal Republic"). A collection of other essays, some of which state and apply his theory of Begriffsgeschichte, is available in English translation.37 The history of concepts, long among the subjects of Geistesgeschichte, now was linked in the GG to changes in the political, social, and economic structures of German-speaking Europe. To maintain such a balance between concepts and structures required that the two remaining editors become genuine converts to each other's original concern: Conze to Eegriffsgeschichte, Koselleck to social history.38 They did so. Earlier Koselleck had written Kritik und Krise, a brilliant and controversial dissertation in intellectual history, which presented a critical interpretation of the Enlightenment drawn in part from Carl Schmitt's Leviathan, but modified by ideas on the origin of toleration developed by another of Koselleck's teachers, Johannes Kiihn.39 But Conze, who directed Koselleck's Habilitationschrift, insisted that Koselleck choose a subject combining social and administrative with conceptual history, already prominent in Kritik und Krise. The result was Preussen zwiscben Reform und Revolution (Prussia between Reform and Revolution), a ground-breaking book of over seven hundred pages dealing with the Prussian General Code as the embodiment of a social theory drawn up and applied by bureaucratic reformers. Bent on replacing the organization of Prussia on the basis of estates and other corporate groups, these administrators reconceptualized the legal and economic bases of citizenship. As the criteria for citizenship recognized by law, they replaced birth by property, and group membership by individual rights. This study in state administration, social change, and legal history provided Koselleck with rich materials for his version of Begriffsgescbichte.40 A classic of modern German social history, it demonstrates how the history of concepts can illuminate social, legal, and administrative history.41 Few works better illustrate the gains which could come from adding sources drawn from these disciplines to the more usual Anglophone repertoire of political theorists and problems. Twenty years after the end of the Second World War, the GG's program emerged as it put together elements from several already existing German historical styles: Conze's version of structural social history, as well as the replacement of Ideen- and Geistesgeschichte through the type of work done by Brunner on concepts in medieval texts, and Koselleck's influential new synthesis of conceptual and social history. Koselleck had been affected by another intellectual legacy as well. Hans Robert Jauss, a founder of Rezeptionstheorie (reception theory), has recalled the situation confronting students of history like himself and Koselleck at Heidelberg in the years just after 1945.42 Their intellectual world was defined by Hegel, Husscrl, and Heidegger. Any student beginning the study of history had to confront anew the formidable heritage of German Historismus and philosophy in the atmosphere now dominated by Nietzsche,

Relating Concepts to Structural Changes


Husserl, Heidegger, and Gadamer. The accepted view at Heidelberg dismissed what it called positivism in the writing of history. This was found to be as unacceptable philosophically as it was distasteful aesthetically. Interpretation and hermeneutics were held to be at the heart of history, no less than of philosophy. Crucial in the development both of Begriffs0eschichte and Rezeptionstheoriewns the Heidelberg seminar of Hans-Georg Gadamer, who together with Erich Rothacker and Joachim Ritter, was a founding editor of the Archivfur Begriffsgeschichte. Professor Koselleck, who as a student regularly attended Gadamer's seminar, recalls that Heidegger appeared there on a number of occasions either as its leader or participant. Koselleck later stressed the political consequences of a society's expectations, prognoses, and historical horizons. These concerns may be traced back to his earlier engagement with Heidegger and Gadamer. They also provided a central hypothesis which the GG investigates through the detailed analysis of political and social concepts, namely, that in modern European societies during the Sattelzeit, there occurred a crucial shift in the conception of time, along with a reorientation towards the future, that is, in terms of expecting not just progress, but the successful resolution of previously intractable political and social problems.43 Gadamer's influence is no less evident in Koselleck's insistence that Begriffsgeschichte must be carried on through the analysis of texts in terms of the author's self-understanding, as well as the spatial and temporal horizons bounding thought. Later, along with Jauss and a circle including many literary critics, Koselleck participated in a series of meetings and books which applied Kezeptionstheorie. This term, as Jauss remarked, seems strange to those who do not speak German. For them " 'reception' may seem more appropriate to hotel management than to literature."44 In fact Kezeptionstheorie shifted attention away from the author's intentions and own written work to the text as interpreted by readers, who may take very different views of its meaning and application. Thus the GG originated in a style of historical inquiry which stressed hermeneutics and hence the importance of the conceptual apparatus, horizons, and self-understanding of historical actors. However, as the result of incorporating social history into Begriffsgeschichte in the first two decades of the Bundesrepublik, Brunner and Conze helped shift conceptual history away from a philosophical and hermeneutic method towards another sort more acceptable to historians.45 Whereas Heidegger and Gadamer practiced a philosophical variety of Be/jriffstfeschichte, their concerns with language were primarily ontological. The GG's program specifically renounced any such intentions. This was to be a historical work. Heidegger and Gadamer, as Koselleck has written, never adapted their respective frameworks so as to enable them to provide adequate accounts of the work actually done by historians.46 By contrast, the concepts to be studied in the GG's version of historical semantics were to be related to structural continuities and changes in gov-


The History of Political and Social Concepts

ernment, society, and the economy. The methods, sources, and criteria for evidence were to be those accepted by historians, not philosophers. Thus in part the editors of the GG embraced rather than combatted the principal tendencies of historical studies in the Federal Republic, as the interests of the newer generation shifted away from their elders' hermeneutical emphases and preoccupations with political, diplomatic, and military history.47 After Koselleck left Heidelberg, he accepted a chair at Bielefeld, where as founding dean he organized what became the leading center for social history in the Federal Republic. Although not usually counted among the prime movers of this trend towards social history, Koselleck did much to promote it. Thus he has been active as an editor of Geschichu und Gesellschaft, which is published at Bielefeld. After Conze's death, Koselleck took over the direction of the Arbeitskreis fur Moderne Sozialgeschichte. He has long been at work on a subject usually identified with the interest of French social history in menta-lites, which he is exploring through a study of war memorials, but for purposes readily identifiable as consistent with his work in Betjriffsgescbicbte.48 For among his main points is the democratization of death in twentieth-century war memorials. Yet because of the GG's focus upon concepts, many German social historians regard it as part of an older historiographical style, historicist and hermeneutical.49 It is true that its editors have refused to treat concepts as nothing more than indicators of social change. They have insisted that Begriffsgeschickte ought to be distinguished from social history tout court. Concepts affect political and social change because it is through concepts that a horizon is constituted, against which structural changes are perceived, evaluated, and acted upon. The GG's project tests the hypothesis that the concepts central to the political and social language of German-speaking ^4/£ Europa ("Old Europe," before the French and industrial revolutions) were transformed during the period Koselleck calls the Sattelzeit, between approximately 1750 and 1850. Thus in the GG, Begriffsgeschichteis used to track the advent, perception, and effects of modernity in German-speaking Europe, where it is presumed to have taken on a distinctive form. The GG emphasizes the accelerated speed (BesMeunigung) of conceptual shifts in meaning during this period. The method assumes that concepts both registered and affected the transformations of governmental, social, and economic structures. These transformations were perceived, conceptualized, and placed within one or another historical horizon only after interested groups had fought to establish their respective interpretations and evaluations of structural changes. The GG's objective is to identify three types of political and social concepts, each defined in terms of German usage at the present day: (1) concepts long in use, such as "democracy," the meaning of which may still be retrieved and understood by a speaker of the language today; (2) concepts such as "civil society" and "the state," whose earlier meanings have been so effaced from usage since the Stzttdzeit that their use in texts of an earlier

Relating Concepts to Structural Changes


period can now be understood only after scholarly reconstruction of their prior meanings; (3) neologisms such as "Caesarism," "fascism," or "Marxism," coined in the course of revolutionary transformations they helped shape or interpret. What is specifically modern in such concepts? High on the agenda of the GG is testing a number of hypotheses about conceptual developments during the Sattelzeit. 1. Verzeitlichung, the practice of inserting modern political and social concepts within one or another philosophy or horizon of history set out teleologically in terms of periods, phases, or stages of development. The theory of progress is the best known case of a philosophy of history which places concepts within a temporal frame of movement towards a goal. Such impositions of temporal patterns upon political and social thought have produced discernable consequences, that is, tensions between perceptions of the present and some more desirable future. Thereby such historicized concepts greatly increased the emotional charge, intensity, and polarization of passions in political and social life. For such use of historical time helped create the "horizon" within which concepts functioned thereafter. Especially significant for such "horizons" are eschatological perspectives which make actors conceive of themselves as living either in a period unique in history, or else at times when everything will be transformed, when history will end, catastrophically or otherwise. Methodologically, Verzeitlichung suggests that conceptual history can make an unique contribution to locating historical discontinuities. For such breaks are reflected in language, which thus provides an indispensable context for identifying rupturesm events and institutions. Prominent among the key transformations constituting modernity was the acceleration of linguistic change. The rate of new coinages of modern political and social concepts indicates the increased acceptance of modes of thought premised upon the assumption that time, experience, and advances in knowledge are all speeding up. These accelerations are perceived as both good in themselves and as part of what ought to be built into all future developments. Hence the GG's hypothesis that concepts vary, not only according to their semantic field, but also according to the temporal assumptions built into them.50 2. Demokratisierun0, democratization of political and social vocabularies, which prior to the early modern period had been specialized and relatively restricted to elite strata. Prior to the Enlightenment, specialized political and social vocabularies were used by elite groups: the clergy, nobility, jurists, and other members of that relatively small part of the population which had received formal education. During the eighteenth century, profound changes occurred in the manner of reading, the content and format of what was read, the political messages delivered, and the size of the audiences to which they were directed. Previously the same texts had been intensively read and reread; now many texts became generally available and were scanned more rapidly. Political and social concepts could now be communicated through varied media such as newspapers rather than through


The History of Political and Social Concepts

books exclusively. In these ways the size of the reading public familiar with political concepts was greatly increased. As for nonreaders, many now become familiar with concepts used in political discussion because of their personal participation in large-scale political movements of a sort previously little known. 3. Ideologiesierbarkeit, the extent to which concepts could be incorporated into ideologies. Under the systems of estates and orders characteristic of Europe during the ancien regime, political and social concepts tended to be specific and particularistic, referring in the plural to well-defined social gradations and privileges such as the liberties of the Burner (citizens) of a city. But beginning in the eighteenth century, those older terms remaining in use began to become more general in their social reference, more abstract in meaning, and hence took the linguistic form of "isms" or singular nouns like "liberty," which replaced such prior usages in the plural as "liberties." These abstract concepts easily fitted into open-ended formulae which could be defined according to the interests of movements and groups competing for adherents. Changes in the grammatical form of concepts from plural to singular are one way in which this ideological tendency was manifested. Thus single collective concepts were created out of notions previously conceived as concrete rights, practices, or events: "liberties" became "liberty"; "histories" became "history." Neologisms were coined in great numbers to designate ideologies just created: liberalism, conservatism, anarchism, socialism, communism, fascism. 4. Politisierun/y, politicization of concepts. As revolution, war, and economic change destroyed the social groupings, regional units, and constitutional identifications of old-regime Europe, political and social concepts became increasingly used as weapons among antagonistic classes, strata, and movements. The publics addressed in such struggles became at once more diverse and much larger than before. These newcomers to politics became the targets of mobilization by competing movements and groups. The concepts used by them became incorporated into propaganda slogans and terms of abuse.51 The GG does not assert that during the periods under study, every political and social concept shared all four characteristics. Nor did all concepts undergo such changes simultaneously. The extent to which one or another stratum, class, or group was affected by concepts politicized in these ways must be established empirically. But overall, the editors argue, the histories of those concepts studied in the GG demonstrate that these four sorts of conceptual change did in fact occur in German-speaking Europe. To understand how modern political and social concepts came into existence, we need to know more about the diverse ways in which the vast transformations of political, social, and economic structures during the Sattelzeit were conceptualized by those experiencing them. And, the GG argues, we can also learn much about structural change from the concepts which helped shape it in the course of organized decision making and action. Such interactions can be traced only by using conjointly the resources of

Relating Concepts to Structural Changes


both Begriffsgesckichte and social history. Social history, as used in the GG, "investigates social formations; the construction of constitutional forms; the relations of groups, strata, and classes."52 As Braudel noted about Brunner, such an understanding of social history puts political organization on the same level of analysis and importance as the social and economic structures stressed by the generation of Annales historians most affected by Braudel's example.53 To test such wide-ranging generalizations, the editors of the GG insist upon three methodological principles: (1) The resources of Begriffsffeschichte and social history must be used conjointly. They hold that there is a dynamic interaction between conceptual and social changes. Only by using both types of history can continuities, modifications, and innovations be detected. (2) Since language is both an agent and an indicator of structural changes, research into the history of concepts must adapt to its own purposes a battery of methods derived from philology, historical semantics, and structural linguistics. When identifying and tracing concepts, Ee0riffs^eschichtem the GG alternates between diachronic and synchronic analyses of language; makes use of both semasiology (the study of all meanings of a term or concept) and onomasiology (the study of all names or terms in a language for the same thing or, here, concept); and analyses the semantic fields of the language's political and social vocabularies.54 (3) Conceptual usage and change are to be established by analyzing materials unusually broad in range, discrepant in origin and appeal, and extending to as many social formations as the sources permit. These include major thinkers in German philosophy; political, social, and economic theory; jurisprudence; theology; and, less often, literature. Information about usage of political and social terms by elite and other groups, strata, and classes is to be gathered from newspapers, journals, pamphlets, reports and speeches in assemblies; in documents originating in governmental, administrative, and legal bureaucracies; and in memoirs, correspondence, and diaries. Finally, it is requisite for contributors to survey systematically dictionaries (German, bilingual, and multilingual) in each period treated comparatively, as well as apposite entries in encyclopedias, handbooks, and thesauri. No previous work had so successfully utilized such materials as sources for establishing past political and social vocabularies. Thus a notable characteristic of the GGis its concern with language, and its application of methods originally employed in philology, structural linguistics, and historical semantics. Yet the GG's editors employ these methods in a pragmatic way, focusing on what they view as essential to understanding and recording the usage of political and social concepts. They do not regard their work as a contribution to linguistics. The purpose of this historical dictionary of concepts is to provide neither an inventory of philosophical terms such as the HWP, nor a purely semantic dictionary of individual words such as is done by lexicographers.55 A brief survey of the contents of the GG is worth attempting for the benefit of potential readers, although any classification of concepts must remain arbitrary. Of the 120 concepts originally scheduled, 115 have appeared


The History of Political and Social Concepts

in the seven substantive volumes. Disregarding the fact that some concepts appear in more than one category, my breakdown shows the following distribution: 1. Political concepts, 56. These include generic terms, such as "the state," "sovereignty," and "constitution"; regime types, such as "democracy," "monarchy," "tyranny," "despotism," and "dictatorship"; and abstract terms such as "power" (Macht), "equality" (Gleichheit), and "politics" or "policy" (Politik), as well as concepts meant to characterize actual arrangements, groups, or processes: "party," or "parliament, parliamentary regime, parliamentarianism." 2. Social concepts, 45. These include generic terms such as "civil society" (burjjerliche Gesellschaft); "estate"; "order" or "stratum" (Stand) and "class" (Klasse); "system" and "structure"; the contrast, made familiar by Tonnies, between Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft, middle class or stratum (Mittelstand); "calling" or "vocation" (Beruf); "family"; and "peasant" (Bauer). 3. "-Isms" or ideologies, 27. These include "anarchism," "conservatism," "liberalism," "traditionalism"; both "Marxism," and "communism"; "imperialism"; and "fascism." 4. Philosophical concepts, 21. These encompass "natural law, natural right" (Naturrecht); "nihilism"; and "materialismidealism"; as well as concepts that are also political and legal such as "liberty," "rights" (Grundrechte, Menschenrechte, Btirgerrechte, Volksrechte), and "toleration." 5. Historical concepts, 20. Although these include the generic notion of history (Geschichte, Historic), the overall emphasis is upon concepts from the philosophy of history: "progress," "crisis," "criticism," "revolution." 6. Economic concepts, 19. Among these are "work," "worker," "trade union," "need" (Bedurfnis), "interest" (Interesse), "capital," "capitalist," "entrepreneur," "capitalism," and "property" (Eigentum). 7. Legal concepts, 15. They include "basic law," "constitution," "law" or "statute" (Gesetz), "state of emergency" (Ausnahmezustand), and "contract." 8. Concepts used in international politics, 10. These include "war," "peace," "neutrality," "balance of power," and "internationalism." Ultimately the GG must be understood as having originated in the attempt to track the advent and perception of modernity in German-speaking Europe, where it is said by theorists of the Sonderweg( Germany's distinctive development) to have taken on its peculiar form. In ways that will be detailed below, the GG combines the study of the language used to discuss politics,

Relating Concepts to Structural Changes


society, and economics with the identification of radical and sudden transformations in structures. Its focus is the beginnings of the modern world which Germans now share with others inside and outside Europe. Through the rigorous application of the GG's combination of Begriffsgesckichte and social history, its contributors analyze how social and political concepts were used before, during, and after the Sattelzeit. Particular attention is given to fundamental changes in concepts which accompanied radical alterations in prerevolutionary and preindustrial aspects of the ancien regime.56 The historical contents of concepts are here treated as concentrates of meanings acquired over time in a variety of changing contexts. The GGuses two methods to discover the various meanings concepts have accumulated by their uses over time: by applying a number of linguistic techniques to the historical analysis of concepts, that is by placing them in their historical context, and by relating changes in their meaning to structural transformations. All entries follow the same general format. Each article is preceded by an outline of its contents and is divided into three main sections treating its usage. Section 1 focuses on usages from the classical to the early modern period. If a concept derives from classical or medieval terms, its meanings at each of these times is treated, as well as its relationship to other concepts then in use. Especially close attention is given to early modern usages, whether those of the Reformation, Counter Reformation, humanism, or absolutism. The editors have attempted to avoid reading back into the past any unexamined, arbitrary, or ideological assumptions such as those between ancients and modern, or idealized images of "Old Europe."57 In section 2, in principle always the longest, conceptual development and change is covered from approximately the middle of the eighteenth century as far into the nineteenth century as the special history of the concept requires. The main body of this section incorporates all those modes of analysis entailed in the GG's program. Usages are plotted and their durations recorded, as are changes in their political and social applications: Is the concept a neologism? Has it been long in use? Or does it represent a fundamental revision of meaning? What relationship do the conceptual forms have to structural change? Section 3 is meant not so much to summarize its findings, as to relate them to twentieth century and present-day usage. This Ausblick, or projection of a concept's uses into our own time, is meant to establish the extent to which former meanings have dropped out or still persist today. Often it is in this section that the terminology and concepts of National Socialism are noted. The conclusion of the article on "materialism-idealism," for example, analyzes Hitler's exploitation of this dichotomy in Mein Kampf. This concluding section may refer to the use of concepts in German, to twentieth-century theorists such as Carl Schmitt, or it may comment on present-day usage. As usually written, social history deals with texts only to the extent that they provide evidence about social stratification, the division of labor, demography, urban-rural relationships, and other problems treated quantitatively to the greatest possible extent. By contrast, Eegriffsgeschichte focuses on the words and concepts that constitute texts. The methods of conceptual



Fbe History of Political and Social Concepts

history derive in part from those used in the history of philosophy, but even more from historical philology and linguistics. The conclusions reached by practitioners of Begriffsgeschichte "can be continually evaluated through the exegesis of texts, and [are] based on such exegesis."58 Because of their different foci and concerns, Begriffsgeschichte and social history must be used together if we are to understand the dynamic interaction between conceptual and structural change. To the extent that social historians work with concepts, these serve as indicators of structural change. Yet, the editors of the GG argue, concepts also affect political and social change because it is through them that a horizon is constituted against which such changes are seen, projected into the future, or contrasted to the past. It is through Begriffsgeschichte that it becomes possible to identify continuities, alterations, and innovations in social and political concepts during times of crisis and conflict. Practitioners of the GG's form of Begriffsgeschichte hold that political language in situations of conflict is characterized by fundamental disagreements about usage and rules. In contrast to many present-day analysts of political discourse who assume that they are the first to perceive the interests served by political language in the past, the GG posits that political usages have always been contested. In periods of crisis, those groups, strata, and classes most affected by fundamental alterations in the language of law, politics, bureaucracy, or constitutions become highly sensitive to the consequences that follow from using the vocabulary and other linguistic practices of the old order, or else from deliberately redefining its terms and the rules governing their use. Just as any use of empirical evidence in political argument is apt to be disputed by political antagonists, so too are linguistic usages. As Koselleck has put the point: The semantic struggle to define political or social positions, and by means of such definition to defend or occupy these positions—such conflicts characterize all periods of crisis known to us through written sources. Since the French Revolution, this struggle has become sharper as its structure has changed. Concepts no longer serve merely to define given states of affairs; henceforth concepts are made to reach into the future. Increasingly this future was conceptualized. Before positions could be won, they had first to be linguistically formulated. Only then could these positions be seized and held.59

Koselleck's introduction to the GG's entry on "Revolution, Rebellion, Uprising, Civil War" indicates how the lexicon combines this view of how political concepts are contested with the GG's equivalent of onomasiology. For to place these four concepts together is to prepare the way for an exposition of their uses which indicates both what they share, and how they differ. Charting the boundaries separating related concepts is an indispensable part of conceptual history. Each of these concepts of revolution, Koselleck argues,

Relating Concepts to Structural Changes


falls into one of three groups. The first covers past experiences more or less similar to what we mean by these terms, but conceptualized in the past by a set of terms differing from those used by us: tumultus, turba, seditio, conjuratio, rebellio, Tumult, Aufruhr, Emporung, Verschvorung, Aufstand (analogous to classical Greek stasis), Rebellion. The Latin terms were originally derived from Roman history and, after having been assigned technical meanings within Roman law, were taken over in medieval Latin usage and then incorporated into the European vernacular languages. "Breaking the peace" (Landfriedensbructi) was coined during the Middle Ages, while "high treason" (Hochverrat) is an early modern usage, no longer focused on lese majeste (crimen laesae majesta-tis), defined in terms of the person of the prince, but on crimes against the sovereignty of the state as it was then developing. Both expressions still have enforceable legal meanings. What all the terms in this group share is their definition as political acts of violence, a definition formulated from above by those ruling to denote subversions originating from the ruled. The second group of terms are classifications from an ostensibly neutral perspective: discordia, Zwietracht, helium civile, conflicts among citizens, or—since the late eighteenth century—Burgerkrieg (civil war), motus, Bewegung, vicissitude, Wechsel. The third group classifies uprisings in terms of their respective claims to legitimacy, justified in terms of action taken from below by those ruled against those ruling. Such actions are claimed by those undertaking them to be directed against "tyranny" or "despotism" and, beginning only with the French Revolution, against "dictatorship." This broadly woven typology is not meant to exclude two possibilities: first, that there have been considerable differences in such conflicts from one time or from one situation to another; second, that the languages of legitimation and delegitimation, in which these terms have been phrased, have undergone major revisions. But, Koselleck argues, the historical semantics of these terms as used by Thucydides or Tacitus were neither so abstract, nor so variable that they could not be applied and understood in many subsequent situations. This semantic situation began to change only with that point in modern history when "revolution" began to be understood not in the sense of recurrence, astronomical or Polybian, but in terms of a new philosophy of history which postulated that in the future, improvements must necessarily come in all spheres of human experience. This altered the standing of uprisings, the terms for which had carried negative connotations. To call someone a rebel had been almost always part of a negative judgment; to be a revolutionary now could become a term of honor. The positive concept of revolution helped create a new set of expectations, which then became a historical force. When the GG applies this approach to understanding texts, its method is historical and critical. The following represent some of the questions asked about any text being studied by practitioners of Bep/riffsjjeschichte: To which public is this text addressed? How do the messages conveyed by the text affect the interests of those sending or receiving them? Docs the writer include


The History of Political and Social Concepts

or exclude himself from the concept's referent? For example, is a concept such as "peasant" (Bauer) used exclusively by those who regard themselves as belonging to a superior class, and who refer to themselves by other terms? Or did those classified as "peasants" use this term to refer to themselves? What is regarded as the opposite or contrary (the Gegenbejjriff) of any given concept prominent in the text? Which orders, estates, strata, classes, associations, churches, or sects are included in a concept's meanings or referents?60 The GG's combination of Eegriffsgeschichte with social history is meant to reveal the political and social meanings of words in a text, as well as the intentions, thrust, and force of the messages it conveys: "Words will be understood in their context, social and political; the relationship between word and content will be interpreted; the result of this inquiry will be defined in terms of the resulting concept."61 Thus conceptual history, as practiced in the GG, functions within specified contexts. Concepts are not to be treated as purely disembodied units functioning within some larger cultural whole, as in Geistesgesckickte; or as the purely technical deductions from logical operations internal to philosophical efforts to resolve a problem, as in Problemgeschichte. The attention paid in the GG to the position of a text's author and intended audience, to the interests affected by the acceptance or refusal of the message meant to be conveyed, to the polemical context and contemporary applications of political and social concepts—these emphases also distinguish Begriffsgeschichte from Lovejoy's version of the history of ideas. The GG's program seeks to specify conceptual changes, particularly in modern ideologies, and to explain the reasons for them. This is not the case for Lovejoy and his school. As will be seen, the GG, in contrast to Anglophone practices, uses methods explicitly derived from philology, historical semantics, and structural linguistics. Basic to its analysis of political and social language are four distinctions. The first two distinctions, derived from Saussure, are between: (1) language (langue, Spmche) and speech (parole, Rede) and (2) synchronic and diachronic analyses of language. The two remaining distinctions are between: (3) semasiological and onomasiological analyses and (4) semantics which seeks to determine "meaning" through analysis of single words ("lexical semantics") and semantics which studies "meaning" within that larger unit known as a semantic or linguistic field. Saussure, generally regarded by linguists as the founder of their discipline in its present form, drew a sharp line separating language (langue, Spmche) from speech (parole, Rede). Language, he held, cannot be affected by any individual. It is that system which provides the means of communication for a society. This function can be performed by language only if it is substantially the same for all its users. By contrast, speech is the use of language by a single person in a specific situation. Speech, then, may be determined by an individual's will, intelligence, and skill. While individuals may decide almost anything about their own speech, they can exert no such control over language, which, learned in early childhood, cannot be much affected by any individual linguistic practice, intention, or belief.62 For any-

Relating Concepts to Structural Changes


one drawing this Saussurian distinction between language and speech, problems arise about how much significance from a linguistic point of view ought to be assigned to the distinctively personal usages of any individual, however innovative and intellectually preeminent. This subject will be discussed further when evaluating the GG's practice of assembling very different types of sources, from which is then drawn evidence for the use of concepts in political and social language. These sources include both political philosophers writing at high levels of abstraction and publicists addressing audiences in more concrete language. It was also from Saussure that the editors of the GG drew the strict distinction between synchronic and diachronic analyses of language. Breaking with the virtually exclusive reliance upon historical study of language by the founders of philology in the nineteenth century, Saussure declared that there are two modes of describing and analyzing language which ought never to be confused and practiced together: A diachronic description of a language traces the historical development of a language and records the changes that have taken place in it between successive points in time: "diachronic" is equivalent, therefore, to "historical." A synchronic description of a language is non-historical: it presents an account of the language as it is at some point of time.63

Although these two modes of linguistic analysis may be regarded as complementary, linguists today practice synchronic analysis of language almost to the exclusion of diachronic analysis, which they tend to regard as belonging to the largely superseded past of their discipline. This ahistorical emphasis is no less true of the study of semantics by linguists today. Semantics, whether practiced by linguists, philosophers using such linguistic theories as Chomsky's generative grammar, or analytical philosophers, is almost exclusively conducted through synchronic analysis of the "meaning" of words, sentences, or discourses.64 In this regard, the GG disregards the practice of almost all present-day linguists, semanticists, and analysts of discourses and ideologies. Essential to the GG's method is its editors' insistence upon the benefits of alternating synchronic with diachronic analysis. To do so, they argue, is the only way to write Begriffsgeschichte in ways that enable them to carry out their theoretical program. Thus the GG is meant to transcend the limitations of nineteenth-century philology, which confined historical semantics to the survey of the meanings over time of single words. To compile such semantic dictionaries for the words in a natural language was the goal of philologists directing such national dictionaries as the Grimms' Wiirterbuch and Murray's Oxford English Dictionary. Although they depended too much upon literary sources to be reliable for their entries dealing with political and social language, these national dictionaries remain lasting achievements of lexicogra-


The History of Political and Social Concepts

phy conducted by diachronic analysis. However, the GG seeks to do more than write the history of single words. As one part of its effort to chart the changing meanings of concepts and relate them to changes in their structural context, the GG seeks to alternate synchronic with diachronic analysis. Contributors to the GG are meant to construct a row, that is, a series, of the successive and generally discrepant meanings carried by a single concept. In performing such a diachronic analysis, the references or meanings carried by a concept are deliberately severed from their historical contexts and placed in relationship to one another. In this way, Begriffsgeschichte enables us to assess persistence and change in the meaning of a concept over time, as well as the relationship of that concept to persisting or changing structures, whether political, social, or economic. In 1700 Burger denoted the citizen of a city (Stadtbujyer); in 1800, the citizen of a state (StiMttsbiirger); in 1900, someone who was not a proletarian (Nichtproletctrier).6^ The fact that the word Burger continued to be used conveys nothing about either the persistence or transformation of its meanings. Only by diachronic analysis can we learn when and how dislocations occurred among older and newer meanings of a concept. Sometimes shifts occur because an earlier meaning no longer has any application to a political or social order that has undergone revolutionary change. For example, the concepts of "honor" (Ehre), "dignity"( Wwnfe), and "nobility" (Add) had once been unambiguously reserved for groups with high ascribed status within die legal framework of the ancien regime's system of estates or orders. Once that system was abolished, these concepts lost their original location and significance. Later they came to be applied both to the qualities of individual persons and of collectivities, as distinct from values which could be attached only to those with high political and social status. Such shifts can be detected because of linguistic techniques put into the service of Begriffsgeschichte. By alternating synchronic with diachronic analysis, it becomes possible to determine whether a concept has ceased—or begun—to play a central part in the semantic fields of politics and society. The GG makes use of both modes of analysis, but without confusing them. In this way the analyst gains information that could not be acquired by using either one of them exclusively. Synchronic analysis addresses crucial questions: What could a theorist or publicist have intended to do by writing a text in a given situation and addressed to a given audience? Which conceptual vocabulary was used? What did it mean at that moment in the language and what was its illocutionary force? Further information may be gained from diachronic analysis. This makes it possible to identify not only shifts in a concept's meaning, but also the addition or omission of concepts in a semantic field. Thus Begriffsgesckichte calls attention to the extent to which past concepts do or do not persist in different modes of thought and communication. By alternating between these two types of analysis, it becomes possible to identify conceptual

Relating Concepts to Structural Changes


changes made possible or necessitated by the diminishing content or reference of a concept. Thus those meanings which correspond only to a vanished social order (as in the example of "honor") may be detected. Or else through concepts we may be made aware of new political or social realities previously unrecognized. Koselleck calls attention to the way that citizenship was reconceptualized in Prussian legal reforms at the time of the Napoleonic invasions.66 Another distinction applied in the GG to the analysis of concepts is that between semasiology and onomasiology.67 Semasiology is the study of all the meanings of a given word, term, or concept. The GG specifically abjures the attempt to provide such complete coverage. Instead it confines itself to uses within the political and social vocabulary. Onomasiology is the linguistic study of all names or terms in a language for the same thing, or in this case, concept. For the GG's editors, the possibility that different terms are simply synonyms for the same concept must be systematically examined. Onomasiology assists in this task. But again the editors make no attempt to achieve linguistic comprehensiveness. Only overlapping political and social concepts, synonyms or near synonyms, are treated in the GG. The systematic study of metaphor and metonomy are excluded on the ground that their inclusion would overload the capacities of the GG's contributors. Also omitted at the time of editorial decisions in the 1960s was the use of computer databases.68 The GG alternates between semasiological and onomasiological analyses. It does so for two reasons: (1) the distinction between words and concepts; (2) the need to treat concepts as parts of a semantic or linguistic field. As for the first reason, suffice it to say here that the GG treats the difference between word and concept as something that must be worked out pragmatically through the analysis of texts. Research is necessary to determine whether a historical phenomenon such as secularization was designated by just one concept, by several different concepts, or by a combination of concepts. If the investigator follows only one name for the concept, the results of such an inquiry may be incomplete or mistaken. The phenomenon of secularization may be understood in either a narrow or broad sense. Treated narrowly, it may be confined to the transfer of property from churches or church-connected orders to private individuals or to the state; or it may also refer to the abolition of such orders. Treated more generally, the term "secularization" may refer to the replacement of religious by secular motives, interests, or institutions. Research has demonstrated that at least in German-speaking Europe, it is not enough to follow the history of the one word, Sakularisierung (secularization), most often used to designate the phenomenon by present-day analysts; in addition, two other concepts must be tracked: Verweltlichung (the realization or embodiment of something in this world) and Verzeitlichung (temporalization, or placing something within a particular schema of secular time). 69 Thus Koselleck has written, "the investigation of a concept cannot be carried out purely semasiologically; it can never limit itself to the meanings


The History of Political and Social Concepts

of words and their shifts in meaning."70 That is, all the concepts that make up the semantic field at a given time must be identified and put together. Onomasiological analysis involves finding parallel or synonymous concepts; discovering, in each case, which concepts were regarded as opposites or contraries; and finally, collecting terms that overlap semantically with the concept under study. It is always possible that imprecise, overlapping concepts were used in a given semantic field. Such a finding may be important, for it would establish that there were no clearly established distinctions among certain terms in political language at a given time.71 The fourth aspect of linguistic theory incorporated into the GG's method is the distinction between lexical semantics and the semantic field within which concepts function at a given time, or synchronic state. Although frequent references are made to this notion of a semantic field, it is not treated by the GG's editors with anything like the care given to the three other linguistic distinctions just explicated. However, because such a distinction is crucial to the GG's rejection of lexical semantics, it merits discussion. For among the most conspicuous problems in the GG's actual practice is its failure to provide any means for integrating the concepts it treats separately in its alphabetical format. Jost Trier, one of the founders of this theory, which he preferred to call a linguistic field (sprachliches Feld) remarked that it may best be understood as a highly developed onomasiology.72 The notion of a semantic or linguistic field refers to a relatively unified part of a language's vocabulary at a given time. In that part of the vocabulary (in this instance, political and social language), its elements are so organized that each of them delimits and is delimited by the other in such a way that "everything will depend on the number and nature of concepts we have, and how we classify them."73 Research may reveal either that political and social concepts were precisely delimited, or else that they were not. Concepts in these domains may or may not be imprecise and overlapping. This theory has important implications. Applying it to different fields, such as kinship, morality, colors, military organization, and various types of knowledge or skill, investigators have established that in such fields, the vocabularies of different languages and at different periods of the same language may be nonisomorphic.74 That is, some distinctions very significant in one language may not exist at all in another. Distinctions once made in a given language may be dropped as former oppositions become conflated. And certain domains may be conceptualized in disparate ways by different languages. Although such studies have been particularly successful in relation to terms designating color in a range of languages, the pioneer work that launched the investigation of specialized domains of meaning was centered on intellectual concepts designating knowledge, skill, and understanding in Middle High German. 75 Trier explicated what he meant by a linguistic or semantic field by referring to three concepts designating knowledge that were current around the year 1200. A century later, there were still three terms, but a different three.

Relating Concepts to Structural Changes


Here, then, are the two linguistic domains: synchronic state 1, c. 1200: wisheit, kunst, list synchronic state 2, c. 1300: wisheit, kunst, wizzen About 1200, kunst designated higher, courtly forms of knowledge; list, lower, noncourtly, technical knowledge and skills; wisheit could serve as an alternative to either kunst or list, or as their synthesis: "viewing man as a whole and merging intellectual, moral, courtly, aesthetic, and religious elements into social standing."76 By 1300 the linguistic field had been transformed. Knowledge was now designated by terms meaning very different things from the three terms used a century before. First, the meaning of each separate term had altered; second, the relationship among them by now had shifted. Wisheit had taken on an exclusively religious, indeed mystical sense. Thus it could no longer be used either as an alternative to the other two or as a synthetic term joining them. By 1300 kunst had lost the courtly and social senses it had carried a century before, and list, having acquired the pejorative senses connected with magic and low cunning, dropped out of the sphere of intellectual terms. Wizzen now turned into a key term in a linguistic field that functioned within a society itself profoundly changed from that of 1200. A distinction was opening up between "knowledge" and "art." What is reflected in these changes is that neither feudal relationships nor the difference among courtly achievements were meaningful, as they had been in the previous century. (In modern German, Kunst means "art"; Weisheit, "wisdom"; List, "cunning," "craft"; Wissen, "knowledge," "learning.") This diachronic contrast of two synchronic linguistic fields revealed possibilities not previously available to historical semantics. This subject had originally been conceived in the nineteenth century as the diachronic study of shifts in meaning of single words ("lexical semantics"). Although such studies had provided much information about each separate word, they could not show how the whole structure of the semantic relationship among words had changed. In short, relationships among terms or concepts would not have been on the agenda of either research or theory. When limited to the diachronic study of individual words, nothing would have or could have been said about how the whole picture, appraisal, and interpretation of the universe of intellectual activity had come to be rearranged, regrouped, redefined so radically, how it had shifted its center of gravity on more than one plane (social-general, religious-mundane), how a new prism had been developed by a century of linguistic development, or to put it quite simply, how the whole structure had changed.77 Although this theory of a semantic or linguistic field seems implicit in many of the editors' remarks about language, particularly about the rela-


The History of Political and Social Concepts

tionship between words and concepts, there may be a simple explanation for the absence of further comment on their part. They may have been reluctant to stake their ultimately pragmatic method on any one linguistic or semantic theory. Their method for treating the history of concepts is closely tied, as has been seen, to what they regard as the characteristics of political and social language, rather than language in general. And like most historians, their practice is apt to be better than their theory. Koselleck's metatheoretical statements of the project continue to draw the fire of linguists. However, as a historical project, the GG ought to be considered in terms of its achievements and actual practices. Until substantive work superior to that of the GG is produced by the critics of its metatheory, judgment on their critiques ought to be suspended.78 Nevertheless, another point meriting more discussion than has been given it by the GG's editors is the question of how to weigh the significance of evidence for conceptual usage, when materials are drawn from sources which vary considerably in their level of abstraction and the audience to which they were originally directed. In short, how adequate have been the choice of materials and the uses made of them in the GG?79 Political theorists will find it both fitting and convenient that the notable German figures in the history of their subject comprise one important source for determining continuity, change, and innovation in the meaning of political concepts. In addition to German "classics" of political theory, the GG makes use of analogous works in philosophy, theology, economics, jurisprudence, and, less often, literature. Its editors have found works by leading writers to be indispensable sources of information about political and social language. That classic authors have been published in collected editions accompanied by indices or concordances is, of course, among the reasons for their prominence among sources of political and social vocabularies. But more to the point is the fact that the most distinguished authors may themselves be powerful agents of conceptual change, or else they may be highly sensitive to changes in usage by others. Major figures may defend older usages against attempted redefinitions, semantic shifts, or borrowings from other languages, or themselves either coin or challenge neologisms.80 But if the purpose of research in Begriffsfjeschichte is to map conceptual usage in past periods, problems arise about how to weigh evidence drawn from major writers against that originating in other sources. This issue recurs in a number of different historiographical treatments of ideas and concepts. As has been seen, A. O. Lovejoy held that the history of ideas is best studied through writers below the highest level of intellectual achievement. This is also the view of Reichardt in the Handbuch, and one of the central points made in the attacks mounted by John Pocock and Quentin Skinner against intellectual histories written on the basis of a few major authors who figure in the canon of one or another scheme of education or doctrinal school. However, the editors of the GG also opted for coverage of the political and social language used in newspapers, journals, pamphlets, and reports of parliamentary assemblies, as well as in documents originating in administra-

Relating Concepts to Structural Changes


tive, legal, and state hierarchies. Of course the sheer mass of such materials make them difficult to cover unless monographic studies have already been made of their vocabularies. Other sources are memoirs, letters, and diaries. But again it is not easy to determine how representative are the citations drawn from them. Not until gaps are rilled by further monographic research can the accuracy of reports about conceptual usage from such sources be determined. And in all probability, more nearly reliable work must await the time when computer data bases can be created, encompassing the vast quantities of materials recommended for inclusion by the GG's editors. Another type of source has been more successfully utilized by contributors to the GGthan in any previous work of its kind. This involves systematic coverage of dictionaries—German, bilingual, and multilingual—in each of the periods treated. Also included are apposite entries in encyclopedias, handbooks, and thesauri. This genre often provides indispensable linguistic clues to conceptual continuity or change. In its first volume, the GG printed a valuable list of sources that its contributors were meant to consult. Often the editors furnished contributors with relevant entries from such old reference works. As has been already remarked, there are important methodological problems that arise out of the incommensurability of these types of sources. As historians familiar with problems of assessing critically the nature and value of documentary evidence, the editors of the GG were scarcely unaware of such issues.81 Yet the discrepancy in the materials used by their team of contributors indicates that no adequate procedures have been established for determining just where, research ought to be conducted. In the nature of the case, the editors have had to accept most of the findings submitted to them. Their contributors could not but be more familiar with some sources rather than others. Legal historians turn to different materials from those chosen by a specialist in political philosophy, or by historians familiar with the parliamentary debates or pamphlet literature of a period. Thus the various balances sought by the editors in their program have turned out to be difficult to maintain in practice: between theoretical writing on the highest level of abstraction and more mundane uses of political, social, and legal language; between Begriffsgeschicbte and social history; between synchronic and diachronic analysis; between semasiological and onomasiological analyses. Not infrequently, therefore, despite their editors' injunctions, contributors to the GG have failed to situate a concept in relationship to the group, stratum, class, or profession which holds or transmits it. Again, the emphasis of a contributor more at home with social than conceptual history may be determined by whatever sources are most familiar and available. Thus a writer's professional training may distort the findings of a particular article. And this is not unrelated to differences in the sources used by different disciplines. That the general level of articles is so high must be attributed both to the unprecedented labors of the editors and to the erudition and research of their contributors. In addition to the numerous articles written in whole or in part by the editors, they have spent much time in determining whether


The History of Political and Social Concepts

reported uses of a concept were in fact representative. Sometimes an editor would read literally hundreds of pages in the original sources in order to check a single entry.82 The GG's readers owe much to such work, upon which subsequent research will be built. Nor can it have been an easy task to find contributors willing to track concepts far beyond their specialized applications in those fields most familiar to them. Although individual efforts were made less demanding by the GG's general use of teams of specialists, a majority of the contributors deserve praise for stretching themselves in the effort to meet the demands of the lexicon's program. That so many of them did so may be attributed to the policy of establishing an on-going group, sharing or at least understanding the theoretical bases of the lexicon. By way of summary and assessment, it may be useful to begin with what the GG's editors view as the three principal achievements of their lexicon. Here the question is the extent to which its editors' claims for Begriffsgeschichte have been vindicated. However, once this has been done, other criteria for assessing the GGmust be considered as well. The first claim made for the GGis perhaps the least controversial: that it supplies information in unprecedented depth about the meaning of political and social concepts, the words designating them, and the semantic fields within which they have functioned. Because almost all dictionaries provide unsatisfactory treatments of political and social vocabularies, and because many sources for past conceptual usage are relatively difficult to obtain, the GG includes extensive passages from texts, as well as references to primary and secondary sources. Contributors to it have discovered many first uses of terms, often in translations from Latin, Greek, French, and English. Such information makes the GG into a useful tool for the social sciences and for lexicographers. On this point too, there will be little disagreement. The GGis an indispensable source for anyone seeking to understand the meanings of concepts in political and social texts. Despite its ostensible limitation to German-speaking countries, the GGis superior to any other work tracing the history of political concepts in classical and modern European languages. The second claim deals with one of the GG's principal theoretical concerns: the application of its method to discovering in detail how the modern world came into existence. Here the emphasis falls upon the effort made in the GGto combine conceptual with social history in order to show both how structures changed and how such transformations were registered as concepts in the language used by those experiencing them. This comes to more than accumulating rich sources; it is an attempt to apply a theory. How successful is the GG in this regard? On this point, it must be said, the GG must be judged to be somewhat uneven. Not all its contributors have tried equally hard to understand and meet the GG's theoretical objectives. Not all of them have had the professional training which might have enabled them to do justice both to conceptual and to social history. What should have been a key article on the concept of Politik ("politics," "policy") by Volker Sellin is on the whole

Relating Concepts to Structural Changes


disappointing. It fails to chart and assess the significance of modern conceptualizations of politics and the political, as Manfred Riedel has done for civil society and for the evolution of categories for classifying phenomena as social. Nor do all the articles lend themselves to the treatment announced by the program for the lexicon. However, when an appropriate concept has been assigned to an individual or team of scholars suitably equipped and theoretically alert to the implications of the GG's program, the results are extraordinarily rewarding. A detailed analysis of such an article is the subject of chapter 3. Finally, its editors believe that the GG may provide a critical basis for comparison of past to present usage. For those studying past political thought, Befjriffsjjeschicbte may enable them to avoid anachronism in attempting to interpret texts written at a time when usage of key terms differed significantly from our own. Definitions need no longer be phrased in unhistorical terms or remain at a level of abstraction that makes understanding difficult or impossible. And the findings of conceptual history may clarify our understanding of the present by providing a clearer view of the concepts we ourselves use to think about politics and society. Thus Begriffsgeschichte may contribute to identifying and combating ideologies, as well as to studying them historically. As for the concepts of politics and sociology, Begriffsgeschichte may clarify the context in which they emerged and their implications. But as will be noted in the next chapter dealing with Herrschaft, conceptual history can in no way serve as a substitute for theory. Some of the achievements of the GG were not and could not have been prominent in the minds of those who conceived it. These additional benefits are most applicable to non-German specialists in political and social thought and its history, for the GG provides otherwise unobtainable aid to translators of political and social theory written in German. The GG indicates far more accurately than any other work previously available the political usage of terms at given points in the past. Thus questions about the language, terminology, and semantic field of German political theorists may now be answered far more fully than ever before. In the next chapter, I shall survey briefly the practices adopted by those who translated Max Weber's work into English. Although Weber's translators and commentators were fluent in German as well as being sophisticated theoreticians, they knew little about the history of the concepts he used. Had the GG been available to his translators, they might have made readers more aware of the extent to which Weber had redefined his terms to fit his political and sociological purposes. There is a second potential advantage of Begriffsfjeschichte to political philosophers writing in English who write in an analytical mode emphasizing conceptual analysis. The history of concepts is more closely fitted to their needs than any other historical treatment of their subject. Such a history of concepts may be useful in a number of ways. The analyst may be enabled to see the relationship between past uses of a concept and its present use, between practices in the past and those of the present. Again, a philosopher might, on the basis of contemporary associations of concepts, assume intu-


The History of Political and Social Concepts

itively that there is some connection or opposition among them that is logically given. Knowledge of past uses or uses elsewhere may reveal that such a connection is fortuitous. It may also be the case that a concept has previously been criticized on a number of grounds. To be aware of such objections would enable a political philosopher to assess their cogency, and possibly to design an argument in order to avoid or to reply in advance to earlier criticisms. The GGis full of extraordinary discoveries, insights, and generalizations about the language of politics and society. It is an indispensable resource for anyone dealing with political and social theories, as well as with the functions performed by their vocabularies, applied within specified institutional and societal contexts. The GG's theoretical program provides an unifying framework; the quality of its contributors' scholarship is unusually high. This is in no small measure due to the extensive use in its longest articles of collaborative work by teams of specialists who understand what the GG is meant to do. As must be expected from multiauthored works, articles vary considerably both in achievement and in their authors' adherence to the GG's program. However, it will long remain the measure of what can be achieved by scholarship in its field. Critics of individual articles characteristically overlook the importance of having in one work detailed treatments of what is known about the history of political and social concepts in German-speaking Europe. These conceptual histories now serve as points of reference and departure, from which others can continue revising, correcting, and adding to the findings of the GG. Be^riffsgreschichte, like any other scholarly discipline, must continue to revise and improve upon its earlier findings. Yet the very success of the GGas a work on political and social language has made apparent certain problems. Many of these difficulties derive from its lexicon format, which was adopted reluctantly, but for which there turned out to be no practical alternatives if the GG was to remain both a scholarly and publishing enterprise.83 Foremost among the unresolved problems is the question of how to proceed from an alphabetical inventory of individual concepts to the reconstruction of integrated political and social vocabularies at crucial points of development in political and social languages. If concepts are to be grouped synchronically as constituting the specialized vocabularies of such languages, at which periods or intervals ought concepts be brought together? What should serve as the basis for diachronic comparison of concepts, as another part of the GG's program proposes? It is clear that what is most needed after the GG's completion is a further analysis of its findings. This should inquire into the linkages and oppositions among concepts hitherto treated in isolation. Probably work already done will have to be supplemented by new research focused on problems left unresolved by the completion of the project. Before synthetic judgments can be made about the adequacy of the GG's program and method, a considerable amount of analysis will be required. More than seven thousand pages of findings, representing more than twenty years of research, are available to those seeking to answer the questions posed when this project was under-

Relating Concepts to Structural Changes


taken. Certainly the first order of priority is to make a systematic assessment of the extent to which the studies now available in the GG confirm, discon firm, or confirm in part the GG's hypotheses about the nature of conceptual change during the Sattelzeit. Another set of issues grows out of questions posed by Anglophone inquiries into the effects of different political languages upon the perceptions and consequent actions of those using one or another of the conceptualizations available. Which concepts were restricted to particular groups? Which were held more generally? What was the range of political languages? To what extent was communication facilitated or impeded by conflict over the concepts and conventions of political and social discourse? And in terms of the consequences for action—individual, group, governmental—what difference did it make how structural changes were conceptualized? Serious efforts to answer these questions could utilize the unparalleled materials gathered in the GG and fit them into into new patterns, including some adapted from programs developed by Pocock and Skinner. It remains to be seen to what extent their work is compatible with that done in Begriffsgeschichte. What would be the consequences of trying to combine the resources of these two bodies of work in German and English on the language of political thought? These questions will recur in chapter 7. Finally, to return to the questions raised at the beginning of this chapter: To what extent have the articles contributed to the GG over the past twenty-five years been affected by the founding editors' political perspectives as of the time they began the project? One way of measuring the developing professionalism is to compare the GG's article on Krise ("crisis") to the conceptual history of that term in Koselleck's early book, Kritik und Krise.M There the history of the concept is given in a relatively short series of footnotes, and "crisis" is interpreted in an unmistakably hostile fashion as subversive of the absolute state which had rescued Europe from confessional wars and religious fanaticism.85 In Kritik und Krise, Koselleck argued that the French Revolution was prepared by the new philosophy of history developed by Enlightenment critics of the ancien regime. Fitted into this framework, at once destructive and Utopian, the concepts of crisis and critique became formidable ideological weapons. The GG's article on Krise, written in its entirety by Koselleck, not only is much longer and detailed than the version first presented in the book, but also traces the history of the concept up to the present time. Although Koselleck does not substantially alter his original interpretation of the part played by the concept of crisis in the eighteenth century, in the GG he does make the reader realize that it was not only at that time that the concept was pressed into service. Any number of causes and political groups previously and subsequently made use of the concept of crisis. Sometimes this was done tactically and manipulativcly; sometimes on the basis of a carefully elaborated and documented theory, as by Karl Marx. Nor was the analysis of economic crises limited to Marxism. For it became a staple of economic analysis and prognosis. One section of the article is devoted to Marx and Engels; another


The History of Political and Social Concepts

to orthodox economists. There is also a section on how indispensable the concept of crisis has become to everyday usage. Indeed, Koselleck concludes, the concept is now so universally and indiscriminately employed that it has become virtually meaningless, a prime example of what Antoine Meillet called "semantic bleaching." In the course of his GG article, Koselleck discriminates between the uses of "crisis" in argument at different historical periods, and in different domains, such as medicine, theology, and domestic and international politics. The concept could be put to use in epistemology (Husseii's diagnosis in Krisis der Europaischen Wissenschaften); or phrased as an unprecedented crisis forcing a transvaluation of all that had been valued in European culture (Nietzsche in Ecce Homo). In his analysis of political uses of "crisis," Koselleck also points out its rhetorical function in argument. To diagnose a situation as a crisis is to postulate dramatic situations demanding that the principal actors take immediate decisions among radical and irreconcilable alternatives. Each of these is said to involve survival or destruction of the existing order. To use the concept of crisis is deliberately to narrow the options for action, to play down the possibilities of compromise and bargaining, and finally to make into the highest political virtue, not prudence or consensus, but the will to make unfaltering and rapid decisions among mutually exclusive existential choices. By clarifying this aspect of theories which insist upon the existence of one or another crisis, Koselleck has provided his readers with the means for understanding and possibly subverting both his diagnosis of the world situation as a crisis, with which he began Kritik und Krise; and his dependence in that book upon the analysis of the absolute state and the reasons given by Carl Schmitt in Der Leviathan for the destruction by the French Revolution of that type of regime and the international state system based upon it. Koselleck had begun his first book by postulating an international crisis which for the first time, because of atomic weapons, endangered human survival. It was urgent, he argued, to diagnose the elements which, joined together, had created this situation. To do so he went back to the eighteenth century in France, rather than to anything closer to his own time and place. His subtitle was A Pathogenesis of the Bourgeois World.86 As for Carl Schmitt, during the Weimar Republic he wrote a number of books diagnosing constitutional crises he declared could be resolved only by bestowing unlimited powers upon the executive and the state to make radical decisions among the choices confronting them. Tirelessly pointing up crises in parliamentarism, in democracy, in the legitimacy of the Weimar Republic, Schmitt made decisive action during such emergencies into his dominant value. But after reading Koselleck's article, it is not difficult to perceive the relationship between Schmitt's frequent use of "crisis" in his "decisionism," and his radical diagnosis that the Weimar constitution rested upon mere legality and needed to be replaced by some instrument embodying the legitimacy which could be conferred only by the Volk. Perhaps there is something further to be learned from the fact that

Relating Concepts to Structural Changes


"Toleranz" ("Tolerance/Toleration") is among the longest articles in the GG. One of its two authors is Klaus Schreiner, author of the most thoroughgoing attack on Otto Brunner yet made. That same article concludes with an equally hostile critique of Carl Schmitt as the most implacable intellectual enemy of the pluralism on which Schreiner believes political and religious toleration must be based. The political judgments underlying Schreiner's conclusion are based on the consensus which has emerged in the Federal Republic since about the time that the GG began to appear. Thus during the subsequent quarter-century of editing the GG, Koselleck has provided its readers not only with the diagnosis found in his first book, but with the means requisite to question it and the analysis he had derived from Carl Schmitt. Along with Conze, Koselleck has accepted the responsibility for providing readers of the GG with the materials and analyses they could then use for their own purposes. What has emerged, then, is a version of conceptual history directed by historians, who, despite the interpretative scheme which determined the principal hypotheses to be investigated, nevertheless did not actively promote this view of history in their lexicon either by omission or commission. Indeed, because they defined the period covered by the GG as in many but not all regards revolutionary, they did not believe that there was or could have been any consensus, any one set of concepts which could be designated as the spirit of the age or nation. What their approach presents are contested conceptualizations registering conflicting interests, opinions, and ideals among political groups and social formations about the basic arrangements of politics and society.

3 The History of

the Concept in the Geschichtliche Grnndbegriffe Begriffsgeschichte in the form given it by the GG will now be considered not as a set of programmatic statements but on the basis of actual performance. The qualities which recommend this lexicon are not easily conveyed to those who have not as yet used it. Yet without some knowledge of what the GG contains, it is impossible to form even a preliminary judgment about the value of either its method or findings. Rather than summarizing or describing a number of articles, I have chosen to present a detailed exposition of the long contribution on Herrscha-ft ("dominion," "domination," "lordship," "rule," "command") written by a team headed by Reinhart Koselleck. Because this concept has figured so prominently in the vocabularies of social scientists, historians, and political philosophers in the English-speaking world since 1945, readers will be in a position to judge for themselves just what the GG might add to what they already know. The structure of the article itself follows the GG's usual form, as will be seen from the schematic outline translated below. But my presentation focuses on the the work of Max Weber, and the problems presented to translators and readers by the need to render in English his celebrated three types of legitimate Herrschaft: charismatic, traditional, and rational-legal. The term itself is left untranslated so that readers, on the basis of summaries, may themselves decide how they would translate it. Alternatively, they may conclude that the German usages differ so much from those in English that the term is best left untranslated. Since the Second World War, the social sciences have been powerfully affected by Weber's theory and method, which prescribed neutralized, stipulative, and ostensibly value-free definitions. These have become virtually canonical. The concepts of Herrschaft, which is to be discussed here; "power" (Macbt), "violence" (Gewalt); and "legitimacy" (Lepfitimitiit)— have in the English-speaking world all become indispensable or unavoidable 58

The History of the Concept of Herrschaft


concepts of political and social theory in the second half of the twentieth century.1 This set of terms has come to be considered the standard version of social science to which theorists must refer, even when they reject or qualify the form Weber gave them.2 As Hilger has remarked in the GG's article, Weber's definitions of the three types oflegitime Herrschaft have been carried by generations of graduate students into their examinations in much the way soldiers take emergency rations into combat. As professors, many of them never forget and indeed remain faithful to the memory of those definitions and concepts that once served them so well in extremis. It is good, then, that the GG contains a hundred-page history of the concept of Herrschaft summarized below. By considering the findings of my condensed version, readers may assess the GG's method and contributions, although its article on Herrschaftis not focused on Weber, as is the discussion that follows. Nevertheless this may serve as an extended example of Begriffsgeschichte as practiced in the GG, and of the extent to which major articles have been affected by the editors' own views on concepts central to their convictions. What is it that we know after reading this article that we did not know before:1 And what difference does it make to possess such knowledge? Presumably the GG's style of Begriffsgeschichte would be vindicated, if after reading its article on Herrschaft we could specify usages of the concept prior to Weber, as well as those in use during his own time. Then we would be able to identify, as we could not before, what he was up to in conceptualizing Herrschaft as he did; to understand how Weber used the term in his texts; and to perceive and evaluate theoretical alternatives to his formulation of it. Such a historical account might also assist anyone evaluating Weber's theory to understand how and why Weber laid out his theory as he did. In this way, the GG's method might sharpen the perception of what is at stake theoretically. Finally, an adequate history of this concept in German would obviate misunderstandings by those who might otherwise accept as unproblematic the existing translations of Herrschaft as "authority" (Gerth and Mills, Parsons), "imperative coordination" (Parsons), or "domination" (Bendix, Rheinstein, and Shils; Roth and Wittich; Mommsen).3 Although the last equivalent is perhaps the least objectionable, it produces cognitive dissonance, at least for English-speaking political theorists, when combined with "legitimate" to form "legitimate domination" as the translation of Weber's leffitime Herrschaft. Is domination ever legitimate? The Herrschaft entry is among the most impressive in the GG. Probably no single person could have done it so well. The team of scholars who collaborated on it have worked brilliantly together, thus demonstrating that interdisciplinary cooperation is not impossible when based upon continuing association in a working group. The article begins with a long schematic outline, translated here in order to give the reader one sample of a long article's scope. Many topics and authors had to be omitted from my summary of this article.


The History of Political and Social Concepts HERRSCHAFT AS A POLITICAL AND SOCIAL CONCEPT

I. Introduction [author: Reinhart Koselleck] II. The concept of Herrschaft in the Middle Ages [author: Peter Moraw]: 1. Introduction. 2. Linguistics: (a) usage in German; (b) in Latin. 3. The early medieval period: (a) Germanic-German; (b) Latin. 4. The late medieval period. Ill. The concept of Herrschaft from the early modern age to the French Revolution [author: Horst Giinther]: 1. Concept, Meaning (Bedeutun0), and Usage. 2. Herrschaft in the 16th century: (a) Machiavelli; (b) concepts of Herrschaft in Reformation Germany; (c) Calvinist concept-formation and the influence of juristic thought; (d) on the dialectic of the process; (e) Bodin's answer to the crisis. 3. Herrschaft and contract theory: (a) Althusius and Grotius; (b) Hobbes and absolutism. 4. [author of III/4 only: K.-H. Ilting] Herrschaft in rationalist natural law or right (Naturrecbt), 17th and 18th centuries. 5. Three enduring themes of argument: (a) Imperititn and dominium; (b) the Herrschaft of the father (Hausvater) over the "house"; (c) liability to service, family servants (Gesinde) and bondage (Knechtschaff), lord (Herr), and bondsman (Knecht); (d) linguistic reflections of these relationships in dictionaries of the period. 6. The Enlightenment and the revolutionizing of Herrschaft. (a) "the Herrschaft of reason"; (b) how the concept was historicized and actualized; the critique of all Herrschaft^ "the Herrschaft. of terror."

The History of the Concept of Herrschaft





7. Herrschaft (lordship) and Knechtschaft (bondage)." [author of III/8-9: Koselleck] 8. The lexical relationship between Herr and Knecht. 9. How addressing all men as Herr became general. [author: Dietrich Hilger] The concept of Herrschaft in the age of revolution: the distinctive characteristics of its history. The concept on the threshold of the great revolution: 1. Direct democratic Herrschaft and rule by the citizens' agents (kommissarische Rej^ierunjf): (a) Herrschaft and equality; (b) autonomy and absolutism; (c) the separation of the concept of Herrschaft from that of government. 2. Republicanism, the Herrschaft of private individuals, and moral law: (a) "republicanism and despotism"; (b) the Herrschaft of fathers over their "house" and personal rights. How the concept of Herrschaft was applied to economics: 1. Its function within "commercial society." 2. The Herrschaft of the bourgeoisie and the dictatorship of die proletariat: (a) the Herrschaft of labor as it defines itself dialectically; (b) the last Herrschaft of some few humans over all others; (c) classless society and true democracy. 3. From the Herrschaft of the factory to rule by managers. Herrschaft and Genossenschaft (association, corporation): 1. Constitutional history (Verfassungsgeschichte) viewed as the replacement of tangible Herrschaft by intangible forms of it. 2. Constitutional history as the dialectic between Herrschaft and Genossenschaft. The immanent goal of this development. 3. Political language before and after the revolution. The democratization of usage. 4. Herrschaft and Genossenschaft as general terms in the social sciences. The replacement of Herrschaft by the concept of leadership (Fuhrunjj) Later usages of Herrschaft. an overview and assessment of its present status as a concept.



'The History of Political and Social Concepts

This entry on Herrschaft (103 pages, 464 footnotes) opens with Koselleck's provocative introduction. This includes a superb analysis of Herrschaft as treated in dictionaries during the Sattelzeit (the transitional period from about 1750 to 1850). Peter Moraw begins the historical analysis of Herrschaft by charting medieval usages both in German and in Latin. His illuminating discussion is followed by Horst Giinther. Utilizing careful, multilingual research, Giinther takes the story from Machiavelli (treated in both its Italian and Latin versions) through to Hegel's celebrated contrast between the relationships of Herrschaft and Knechtschaft, terms sometimes rendered as "lordship-bondage," sometimes as the "master-slave" relationship. The final section contains Dietrich Hilger's rich and incisive account of shifts in the meanings and uses of Herrschaft during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a period of revolutionary changes in German society, economy, and politics. Hilger concludes the article with a summary of its findings and their implications for present-day usage, with particular emphasis upon Max Weber. What seems to be missing in the Herrschaft entry is a section on classical Greek and Roman usage. In his introductory remarks to this article, Koselleck makes it clear that this omission was deliberate: it was based upon the analyses of classical Greek and Roman usage by Christian Meier, as well as those by Faber and Fenske in their respective contributions to the entries on Macht ("power"), Gewalt ("force'), and Gewaltenteilung ("division of powers"). Koselleck contends that neither the classical Greek concept of arche nor the Roman terms of dominium, imperium, or auctoritas can be equated with Herrschaft. This is because Herrschaft emerges as a general concept in German only in late medieval usage, and first acquires its full force as an abstract term in the early modern absolutist state. Thus its development must be traced not from the classical period but from the uses it had in Old High German during the early medieval period. At that point in time, Herrschaft denotes those concrete, specific personal or property relationships of a person known as Herr (lord) over determinate things, persons, or territorial jurisdictions. Herr was also used for the Lord God. All these relationships were assumed to derive from, and to conform to, law, whether divine, natural, or traditional. Thus Herrschaft did not and could not carry the meaning of sovereignty, or legally unlimited state power, which it was later given by early modern German theorists who followed Bodin or Hobbes. Furthermore, during the early Middle Ages, there were no actual centralized political powers in German-speaking Europe; but only competing claims to power made by both the secular rulers of the Empire and by the papacy. German practices led to patterns of thought and law very different from those derived from Roman or canon law. In other words, before 1400, Herrschaft hud not yet acquired any abstract meanings which went beyond the enumcraiion or addition of specific exercises of those legal powers claimed by or attributed to holders (lords) of their lands. Koselleck's arguments about medieval usages of Herrschaft are devel-

The History of the Concept of Herrschaft


oped more extensively by Peter Moraw in his section on the Middle Ages. Moraw treats both German and Latin usages, first separately, and then together. His analysis leads him to two important findings. In the first place, he notes that the Latin usage developed along lines different from the German. Thus in Roman and canon law, as well as in the political language used in conflicts between the papacy and secular rulers such as the Holy Roman Emperor or the king of France, there did occur extended uses of such Roman law concepts as imperium, dominium, a-uctoritas, and potestas. Towards the end of the fourteenth century, certain general senses of Herrschaft in German began to be abstracted from their previously limited reference to particular relationships. Then, for the first time, Herrschaft came to be treated as the German equivalent of one or another of these Latin terms. However, even after this occurred, Herrschaft, like other concepts in this semantic field, retained multiple and indeterminate senses. Such overlapping and imprecise meanings were to persist in early modern uses of Herrschaft. In his remarkably full but carefully differentiated section covering developments from the fifteenth century up to Hegel, Horst Giinther makes a number of original contributions based on lexicographical research, as well as on analysis of specific texts and what they meant to those who wrote and read them. Giinther demonstrates that throughout the period treated by him (from the beginning of the early modern age to the French Revolution) many, often discrepant, meanings were attributed to Herrschaft when used as a political, social, or legal concept. No single usage of Herrschaft could be correctly and unambiguously translated into another language or treated as the precise synonym of another word in German. Even the earliest bilingual or multilingual German dictionaries and translations provide many concepts then treated as equivalents of Herrschaft. The same holds true for monolingual German dictionaries and encyclopedias. Here are the synonyms or equivalents for Herrschaft found by Giinther: ENGLISH: "authority," "command," "dominion," "empire," "lordship," "manorial estate," "masterly rule," "reign," "rule," "sovereignty," "domination." FRENCH: "autorite," "domination," "empire," "jurisdiction," "maitrise," "pouvoir," "puissance," "seigneurie," "souverainete." LATIN: auctoritas, Aignitas, ditio, dominatus, dominium, imperium, jurisdictio, majestas, potestas, principatus, territorium. GERMAN: shares meaning of Herrschung, Beherrschung, Gevalt, Gebiet, Gerichtsbarkeit, Regiment, Obrigkeit, Magistrat. Sometimes needs further specification such as Grundherrschaft, Landesherrschaft, Oberherrschaft.4 Giinther holds that Herrschaft and its German linguistic field were



Fhe History of Political and Social Concepts

considerably less differentiated than in French, English, or Latin. Despite the complexity of Giinther's analysis, he does not content himself with refusing to generalize about what the concept of Herrschaft meant to those who used it. His account of its history is so rich that it is difficult to choose among its many findings. Especially significant for German developments of the concept, including Hegel's, were the theological and figurative interpretations of Herrschaft by Luther in his translation of the Bible. Jesus was there depicted as the bondsman (Knecht) of the Lord (Herr\ who came as the savior of mankind. In addition, Giinther makes the following points about shifts in the concept and developments in political and social structures during the period treated by him: (1) There was a continuous but never successful effort to resolve the problems raised by uses of Herrschaft as a political concept by referring to the distinction originally made in Republican Rome between dominium (the private law right to property, including ownership of slaves) and imperium (the exercise under public law of official powers and jurisdiction). (2) Among the most important applications of Herrschaft as a concept in early modern German-speaking Europe were the powers given to the patriarchal Hausvater, or head of the family (Haus), as property rights inherent in his position. There were obligations due him such as involuntary service (Dienstbarkeif) on the part of family servants (Gesinde). As for those others regarded as the family's property, their relationship to the Hausvater was defined as bondage (Knechtschaft)? Social history here illuminates Ee0riffsgeschicbte. Both early modern absolutist rulers and heads of households claimed their rights to rule on the same basis, they asserted that they held property rights over those they ruled. The ruler exercised Herrschaft over subjects (Untertanen) based on the same absolute power held by the Hausvater over his wife and, together with his wife, over their children; he also acted as Herr over their bondsmen (Knechte). Giinther continues his account of Herrschaft by discussing the effects of Enlightenment thought. This he treats as discrediting all older forms of personal dependence and obedience previously justified on the basis of property rights held by owners over persons. Because Enlightenment theorists rejected in principle any such property rights, they could and did go on to denounce the very concept of Herrschaft. "Emancipation" (itself the subject of an article in the GG) now became defined by some as the goal of history. This goal was conceptualized as the progress towards a state of society in which all would be equal in status, and no human being would be personally subject to any other. Herrschaft was thus declared to be wrong as such, the unjust and unjustifiable exercise offeree by those who mistakenly presume themselves superior to their fellows. In contrast to rule (Regicrung), which is a political relationship conforming to law and directed to legitimate purposes, Herrschaft came to be regarded as arbitrary and oppressive. Now Herrschaft was said to be incompatible with the rights of a body of citizens legally equal.

The History of the Concept of Herrschaft


It was this language that was used by Mirabeau in a debate in the National Assembly on the question of whether there ought to be an established state religion. Mirabeau went from attacking the very concept of a dominant state religion to denying the legitimacy of the concept of domination: "You are hearing again and again about a dominant church. Dominant! Gentlemen, this is a word I do not understand. I need a definition of it. Do those who use it mean an oppressive church? . . . 'To dominate.' This is a tyrannical word that ought to be excluded from our legislation."6 As Giinther remarks, dominer was at this time the equivalent of herrscken. Mirabeau was at once making a political argument and engaging in a critique of the concept (domination, Herrschaft), the linguistic usage he contested on political and theoretical grounds. Thus the revolutionary transformations of state and society in the French Revolution brought three fundamental changes in the older meanings of Herrschaft. Its previous applications under the old regime had been extensions to political and legal theory of the existing law of private property, which included persons in its definition of ownership and property rights. Now all such claims had to be abandoned. Giinther summarizes the consequent shifts in the use of the concept as follows: (1) Herrschaft could no longer be based on the originally feudal property rights of the few over the many; henceforth, if used at all, it would have to be justified as the exercise of public law in the general interest of all citizens. (2) Herrschaft could no longer be treated as the extension to rulers of acknowledged powers held by fathers over those considered incapable of making their own decisions (wives, children, bond servants). Instead Herrschaft would have to be reconceptualized as the supreme power emanating from the citizens as a body. (3) Those ruled could no longer be regarded as subjects with a status equivalent to bondship (Knechtschaft), but rather as citizens ruling themselves.7 As a concept, Giinther argues, Herrschaft has always been difficult to reconcile with the practices of democracy. This is an important point, which will emerge again when Weber's concept of Herrschaft is redescribed as itself part of a political theory. Hence, after the French Revolution, new uses of Herrschaft occurred, in which the notion of ruling became transferred to abstract entities, and away from previous usages associated with rights of individual lords over servants. The "reign of reason" (vernunftige Herrschaft) was one example of such new usage. Giinther's lexicographical research is supplemented by Koselleck's model demonstration of how to use the dictionaries and encyclopedias of an epoch to determine conceptual persistence, shifts, and neologisms. In the process Koselleck is able to make some striking contributions to social as well as to conceptual history. By contrasting the entries on Herrschaft in nineteenth-century German lexicons to those of the eighteenth century, he demonstrates that by 1800, the Herr-Knecht relationship was being treated as a matter of history, as a phenomenon that once existed but no longer was to be found. Again, by lexicographical treatment, Koselleck shows the disappearance of distinctions dating from the old regime. In the eighteenth and


The History of Political and Social Concepts

early nineteenth century, the use of Herr as a mode of address was reserved for males regarded as having political or social status superior to those who so saluted them; by the end of the nineteenth century, it had become the customary form of address for all males. But in the German working class, the term Genosse (comrade) was generally preferred to that of Herr. The contributions of two other authors complete this entry. K.-H. Ilting, a historian of legal philosophy, adds a section on the uses of Herrschaft by secular natural law theorists. However, in contrast to the carefully differentiated semantic studies of Giinther, Ilting simply defines Herrschaft as "the right to obedience." This reductive definition demonstrates that positivism, whether legal or philosophical, whenever used in what is ostensibly Begriffsgescbichte, in fact is incompatible with the work done by the inner working circle of the GG. The remaining sections of the Herrschaft entry, which deal with the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, are the work of Dietrich Hilger. In his concluding note, he also brings up to our own time the analysis of changes in this concept's usage and meaning. Thus Hilger's examination encompasses the position taken by Kant and other philosophers of his time, the meaning given to Herrschaft by Hegel and his successors, and the imprints on the concept left by German conservatives, liberals, historicists, romantics, and nationalists. Each of these developments in their specifically German setting and form ultimately produced novel applications not found outside German-speaking Europe. Hilger also traces those changes in usage and meaning caused by the commercial and industrial revolutions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As he points out, both bourgeois and socialist theorists found new uses for the concept of Herrschaft in characterizing traditional and modern forms of economic activity, property, family, class, social stratification, and personal relationships. Marx and Engels denounced capitalism as the Herrschaft of the bourgeoisie and the Knechtschaftofthe proletariat. In their vision of the future, they saw the first stage after the revolution as the Herrschaft of the working class until the point was reached when all Herrschaft of some humans over others could be abolished. Socialists were not alone in using Herrschaft in a pejorative sense. Bismarck, for example, accused his parliamentary critics of manipulating the slogan of freedom (of the press, of religion, of organizing trade unions) in order to achieve their real goal of acquiring domination (Herrschaft) over all others. In the Wilhelminian period, therefore, the concept of Herrschaft could not easily be used in either neutral or positive senses when describing social, economic, or political relationships. These pejorative connotations not withstanding, Herrschaft became a term of learned discourse in the late nineteenth century, and again in the twentieth. The first to give it prominence toward the end of the century was Otto von Gierke, who was among the most influential legal theorists of his age. Von Gierke rewrote German constitutional and legal history, which he described as a dialectical interaction between Herrschaft and Genossenschaft.

The History of the Concept of Herrschaft


By Herrschaft he meant the exercise of centralized control by the state over political and legal entities. Genossenschaft, by contrast, referred to what Gierke identified as the Germanic idea of free association in corporate groups with rights and prerogatives not subject to the control of the state. In a quasi-Hegelian fashion, Gierke charted the conflicts between these two political principles and found their ultimate reconciliation in the modern German state, at once monarchical and constitutional.8 After Gierke, the concept of Herrschaft came to be used for the most part in technical social science and legal discourses. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Herrschaft fell increasingly into disuse both in ordinary language and in scholarly writing. Particularly in psychology, sociology, and their political applications, Herrschaft came to be supplanted by the modish concept of leadership (Fuhrung). Thus, beginning in the late nineteenth century and continuing into the 1930s, modern mass societies were said to require leadership in order to meet the needs of their members, whose lives had once been managed by those older hierarchies destroyed by political and economic revolution. It was because Herrschaft had largely dropped out of ordinary and scholarly language that Max Weber felt free to appropriate and neutralize the concept, apply it to his comparative and historical political sociology, and link it with what he regarded as the related concepts of Macht ("power"), Gewalt ("force," "violence"), and Legitimitat ("legitimacy"). In his final section (Ausblick) on present-day German usage, Hilger seeks to place Max Weber's treatment of the three types of legitime (legitimate) Herrschaft within the history of the concept as given in the GG. By so doing, Hilger is able to identify the angle from which Weber defined his subject and laid out his theory. In the same way, Hilger can also show the consequences of Weber's positivistic approach to language, that is, his formal definitions, which were meant to be neutralized, value-free terms chosen for their scientific efficacy rather than for any connection to ordinary language usage or accepted practices, political, social, or constitutional. In the middle of the eighteenth century, Zedler's encyclopedia, the most important reference work of the century for German-speaking Europe, had explained that Herrschaft referred to legitimate rule.9 Thus the concept remained within the framework of classical regime types. The concept of tyranny and the right not to obey, or to resist wrongful rule, still provided means for dealing with governments that did not meet recognized standards. Thus the presumption persisted that until the contrary were proved, the relationship between ruler and ruled was to be presumed right. After approximately 1800, Hilger argues, the situation in Germanspeaking Europe was altered; the burden of proof, shifted. Henceforth, it was assumed, all Herrschaft derives from some original seizure of power by violence. Therefore any attempt to justify a regime as right was confronted by formidable difficulties. At the same time, the fear of anarchy and revolution spreading from France led to the assumption that order is so much a prerequisite of the public good that any resistance to the state is indefensible


The History of Political and Social Concepts

in principle. This combination of assumptions still persisted a century later, and can be identified in Weber's definition of the state and his lack of interest in claims to the right of disobedience or resistance, or in the consequences of political behavior based upon such claims. Also stressed by Hilger was the high degree of conceptual abstraction, the impersonal connotations of Herrschaft when used as a concept in Weber's time. Hilger also points out that "leadership" (Fiihrung) had replaced Herrschaft as the concept most generally accepted as central in the discussion of politics, social organization, and law. Thus Weber could appropriate the now relatively little used concept of Herrschaft for his scholarly discourse in Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (Economy and Society). Weber here defined Herrschaft as "the authoritarian power of command": Herrschaft will thus mean the situation in which the manifested will (command) of the ruler or rulers is meant to influence the conduct of one or more others (the ruled) and actually does influence it in such a way that their conduct to a socially relevant degree occurs as if the ruled had made the content of the command the maxim of their conduct for its very own sake. Looked upon from the other end, this situation will be called "obedience." "Power" (Mucht) is the probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance, regardless of the basis upon which this probability rests. Herrschaft is the probability that a command with a given specific content will be obeyed by a given group of persons.10 Hilger points out that Weber was not interested in moral or psychological grounds for obedience. Such reasons are excluded by his deliberately chosen formal method. Yet, Hilger argues, obedience may be and has been determined by very different criteria applied by actors. To contrast such an alternative to Weber's stress upon unquestioning obedience, Hilger cites a medieval Prankish maxim: "What is owed the King is not obedience, but loyalty (Treue)."11 Loyalty, argues Hilger, does not exclude obedience. More often than not, loyalty predisposes a subject to obey. But such conduct would not fall within the definition of obedience given by Weber: "Obedience" will be taken to mean that the action of the person obeying follows in such a course that the content of the command may be taken to have become the basis of action for its own sake (ledijjlich um desformakn Gehorsamverbaltnisses halber) . . . without regard to the value or lack of value of the command as such."12 What emerges from this application of Begriffsjjeschichte to the political sociology of Max Weber? Of course, the point of the GG's article is to present the history of Herrschaft as a concept, not to present a definitive interpretation of the political meaning of Weber's work. But by putting Weber's

The History of the Concept of Herrschaft


positions on Herrschaft into the context of the concept's history, Hilger demonstrates that Weber made the command-obedience relationship central to his political sociology. Thus Weber insisted upon instant and unquestioning obedience as the defining element of Herrschaft in any of its legitimate forms. This was one of the assumptions he shared with other Wilhelminian theorists; another was his obsession with the question of leadership. His acceptance of the political psychology and sociology emphasizing leadership and the masses was far from exceptional in the Germany of his time. Nationalists emphasized that Germany was a state surrounded by hostile rivals. Therefore its existence depended upon its capacity to extract complete obedience from its subjects, to make rapid but rational decisions through its leaders, and to compete successfully as an imperialist power. It must be said that Begriffsgeschichte cannot be used to refute Weber's political sociology. Nor is there any basis in the conceptual history of Herrschaft for rejecting without further argument Weber's method: his ahistorical stipulative definitions, Ms use of ideal types, his comparative political sociology. Bejjriffsgeschichte is neither a substitute for theory, nor an alternative to treating by comparative analysis those phenomena considered by Weber. What are the gains, if any, of knowing Weber's relationship to the conceptual history of Herrschaft? First, there is the additional clarity that comes from knowing the extent to which Weber's treatment of Herrschaft conformed to or deviated from professional usage in his own time. It makes a difference to know how Weber both methodologically and substantively treated the central concepts of his political sociology. Thus he defined his concepts in a style probably derived from the legal positivism of his Heidelberg colleague, Georg Jellinek.13 Weber treated Herrschaft on a highly abstract level; he defined it in terms of the power to exact and receive unquestioning obedience. Again, like many others of his generation, he saw power as the distinguishing aspect of politics. Nor did he regret this. For he saw the struggle for power as one of the few redeeming possibilities for action in a routinized and bureaucratic society. This did not keep him from strong criticism of his government's policies at home and abroad, any more than it deterred him from ultimately championing democracy in the form of plebiscitarian leadership. But he took both positions because of what he considered the inappropriate means used by his government to maximize national strength and use it effectively. It is striking that he does not seem to have considered the possibility of combating the routinization of society by resistance to the state. He had defined legitimate Herrschaft in such a way that resistance to constituted authority was neither a moral nor a political option. As a student of human action, Weber argued that belief in legitimacy significantly affects actual behavior. But he showed little interest in those historical cases where belief in the illegitimacy of governments produced important consequences.14 As for the value of Eegriffs^eschichte in aiding readers to understand and evaluate Weber's analyses of politics and society, the G'G's articles greatly


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facilitate those tasks. Because of the GG's account of the history of Herrschaft us a political concept, it can be seen that Weber's use of it derived from a position now easily identifiable in terms of political philosophy. For despite his espousal of a plebiscitarian Fiihrerdemokratie (democracy under a strong leader), Weber rejected any version of democratic theory based upon the sort of general participation envisaged in theories of the "general will." He also dismissed the possibility of a polity without Herrschaft. In 1908, Weber wrote to Roberto Michels: "Such concepts as 'the will of the people,' the genuine will of the people have long since ceased to exist for me; they are fictions. All ideas aimed at abolishing the Herrschaft of men over men are 'Utopian.' "15 The ideas criticized by Weber have been identified in Giinther's contribution as becoming prominent during the French Enlightenment and Revolution and, in Hilgcr's section, as being restated by Marx and Engels in terms of their own theory. Thus by proclaiming the inevitability of Herrschaft as he defined it in any political system, Weber was taking a position in political theory. In rejecting a priori the possibility of any real self-government, Weber was taking sides on an issue long disputed by political thinkers. Again, the GG's article had prepared its readers by pointing out the difficulty of applying the concept of Herrschaft to self-government of any kind. Thus by taking this and other positions on the nature of Herrschaft, Weber was led to his advocacy of "plebiscitarian leader-democracy" as preferable to what he called "leaderless democracies" (fuhrerlose Demokratien). Nothing said earlier is meant to prove that Weber held indefensible positions in political theory. However, not all his interpreters have been willing to concede that he was engaged in political theory in any traditional sense. The point of knowing the history of the concepts he consciously reshaped is that Weber's readers can in this way identify the choices he made in political and social theory. They may also ask whether his way of using language, and his philosophical position on the nature of values, made it more or less possible for him to provide justifications for the positions he took. Perhaps his political theory was preferable to those he criticized. But it is worth knowing that Weber was making important choices in political theory in disguised form when he presented his judgments in the form of stipulative definitions of such key concepts as Herrschaft. For these judgments on controverted theoretical issues were presented as value-free, purely scientific definitions. The GG's entry on Herrschaft raises some further issues that ought to be mentioned here: When may a concept be said to have been formulated and to be held and used in actual political discourse? Here it may be useful to contrast the treatment of the concept in the GG to that in the HWP, not only in terms of length, but also in relationship to other concepts in the political vocabulary. Another issue is the extent to which knowing the history of a concept in one language affects its translation into another. I shall survey the translations of Herrschaft mto English, comment on the knowledge of the history of this concept on the part of translators, and assess the effects of their respective renditions on English-speaking readers of Weber.

The History of the Concept of Herrschaft


In the Middle Ages, according to the GG, Herr ("master," "lord," "God") occurs in a series of concrete and particularized uses. The GG's team begins to treat Herrschaft as a concept only after it began to be identified with late medieval usages taken from Roman and canon law. In his introduction, Koselleck, as has been noted, insists that it would be a mistake to identify early medieval senses of Herrschaft with either the classical Greek concept of a-rche, or Roman senses of dominium, imperium, or auctoritas. Yet there is no classical section in this GG entry. Why is this so? The reasons are provided in other entries on concepts which also played a large part in Max Weber's theory: Macht( "power"), Gewalt( "force," "violence"). These articles, taken together, indicate how onomasiology is practiced in the GG, that is, how boundaries are drawn among concepts which are near synonyms within the same semantic field. These procedures and findings also indicate how the GG responds to questions about the conceptual resources of a given political vocabulary. Such issues figure prominently in the method of analytically trained English-speaking historians of language such as Quentin Skinner. In these articles, which ought to be read together with that on Herrschaft, Christian Meier and Karl-Georg Faber emphasize the need to survey the semantic fields that have existed in synchronic states of the same language, as well as to chart diachronic shifts in meaning of their constituent concepts. Faber holds that it is impossible to understand the meanings of such concepts as Macht and without analyzing their relationship to other related concepts such as Herrschaft, Autoritat ("authority"), Staat ("state"), and Gewaltenteilung ("division of powers"). Meier analyses their use within the semantic fields of political discourse in four synchronic states of various languages: classical Greek, the Latin of the Roman Republic, that of the Principate, and modern German. Only one of these analyses is relevant to the conflicting treatments of Herrschaft in the GG and HWP. Meier concludes that there were many terms used to designate "power" and "violence" in the political language of classical Greek. In the classical period there was a complex of expressions, which the Greeks used in a descriptive way, rather than as definitions of terms, which in modern German are conceptualized and distinguished from one another. These classical Greek terms included: arche, kratos, kyros, exousia, dynamis, ischys, and bin. The first three could mean Herrschaft just as well as Macht. Uses of these terms overlapped to an extent that makes it impossible to assign precise meaning to any one of them as a discrete concept distinguishable from all the others. In short, to the extent that distinctions were made at all, this semantic field of the political vocabulary was relatively undifferentiated. By contrast to this careful sorting out of concepts, the short article by J. C. Papelakas in the HWP identifies Herrschaft with the classical Greek arche, and translates Aristotle's classifications of regimes as Herrschaftsformen. Papelakas insists that the modern history of Herrschaft can be summed up by understanding that it has always been used as the opposite of "liberty." Papelakas states that the concept of Herrschaft today is usually, if


The History of Political and Social Concepts

mistakenly, identified with Macht or Autoritat. He simply asserts (without offering argument or evidence) that there are a number of precise synonyms in other languages for Herrschaft. Herrschaft (from old high German her-scaft, her= old, honorable, that which belongs to the rights and property of those who are older and dominant; Greek: arche, Latin: dominium, potestas, auctoritas; French: domination, pouvoir, autorite\ English: "dominion," "rule," "command."16

The GG, in its treatments ofHerrschaft'm relation to Macht and Gewalt, produced an account of the relevant semantic fields not only in classical antiquity, but in early modern vernacular languages. In both these areas, the authors did not hesitate to conclude that there were no precise analogues during these periods to differentiated usages made at certain other times. Thus a description of political language can report informatively that in given times and places, there were only imprecisely differentiated concepts available to those writing or speaking about politics and society. It is therefore anachronistic to assume, as Papelakas did, that precise definitions of the meaning of the concept of Herrschaft were in fact possessed by political writers and actors at all the times and in all the languages he cites. Another potential use of Begriffsgeschichte in the style of the GG is to provide an approximate test of the adequacy of translations of texts in political and social theory. I shall apply this test to several concepts that figure prominently in translations into English of Max Weber's Economy and Society. This text, when made available for the first time in English, produced some of the most important developments in the social sciences during the second half of the twentieth century. The English renditions of Weber's key concepts are crucial to discussions of his major works, particularly Economy and Society. None of his translators, except possibly Gerth and Mills, failed to recognize the significance of Weber's redefinition of legitime Herrschaft. Almost all of Weber's translators have noted that there is no precise English equivalent of Herrschaft. But from this present situation in English usage, discrepant conclusions have been drawn, based for the most part on the translators' respective interpretations of Weber's theory and intentions. Not infrequently these interpretations are supported by statements about language in general and German usage in particular. These assertions about the meanings carried by Weber's terms were for the most part impressionistic. Their amateurish quality when dealing with the history of concepts stands in a curious contrast to the theoretical sophistication of Weber's translators and interpreters. Every English-speaking student of Weber is in their debt. At issue here, however, is their sensitivity to problems of meaning, historical semantics, and the history of concepts. To what extent have their translations and commentaries been affected by their lack of accurate information about the history of Weber's key concepts, and the relationship of this history to his own use of terms, definitions,

The History of the Concept of Herrschaft


and concepts? They adopted translation practices, which, in crucial regards, have shaped the understanding of Weber in the English-speaking world. On the basis of the GG's history of Herrschaft (now available to us as it was not to them), it turns out that because of the way that Weber's concepts have been rendered into English, Weber's actual position has been frequently misunderstood. Although not the only reason for the celebrated Heidelberg conflict in 1964 between English- and German-speaking Weber scholars, the disparity between interpretations developed from texts in German and English may have contributed to this dispute.17 How has Herrschaft been translated into English, and with what consequences? Gerth and Mills, in the first important volume of selections from Weber, did not see much of a problem. They used "authority" without explanation or apology. Thus Weber's three types of Herrschaft were understood as classifications of legitimate authority. This impression was strengthened by Talcott Parsons, who in 1937 had offered what was to become the single most influential interpretation of Weber in the Englishspeaking world.18 In his later, partial translation of Economy and Society, Parsons observed that there is no satisfactory equivalent of Herrschaft in English.19 Thus he felt free to translate it in different ways depending upon his interpretation of its context. In its most general senses, he chose "imperative coordination," thus meaning to emphasize probable obedience to commands. Later he preferred "leadership" as the abstract term for the capacity to elicit such obedience. For most occurrences of Herrschaft, however, Parsons, like Gerth and Mills, used "authority." Thus a generation of American social scientists grew up in the belief that Weber was an unpolitical and objective theorist concerned only with describing in value-free terms the nature and consequences of a society's perception of legitimate authority. A further element in this first-generation understanding of Weber was contributed by the selective pattern of translations from his work. As Guenther Roth has noted, the Gerth and Mills selections (perhaps still the most frequently used textbook version of Weber) created the impression that Weber's treatment of Herrschaft is based on the systematic contrast between bureaucracy and charisma. Further confusion was created by the fact that the Parsons-Henderson partial translation of Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (Economy and Society) not only omitted the historical sections of that work but also led writers as influential as David Easton to conclude mistakenly that Weber had never applied his categories of analysis to actual societies.20 The translation of Herrschaft has varied with the interpretation of Weber's theoretical intentions. For Parsons, Weber, although not excluding force or the threat of force from his concept of Herrschaft, nevertheless placed "tremendous emphasis on the importance of legitimation." Yet when later criticized on this point by Reinhard Bendix, Parsons nevertheless reaffirmed the validity of his translation of legitime Herrschaft us "legitimate authority." Curiously enough, Bendix had also begun his discussion of Herrschaft by declaring, as had Parsons, that there is no precise English equivalent for this key term. But Bendix was among the first to render the


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term as "domination." The linguistic basis for Bendix's decision is somewhat obscure, for he thought (presumably on the basis of his intuition as a native speaker of German), that "the German term Herrschaft emphasizes equally the ruler's exercise of power and the follower's acceptance of that exercise as legitimate, a meaning which goes back to the relations between lord and vassal under feudalism." As for present English usage, Bendix argued, neither "domination" nor "authority" match the symmetry of power and consent present in Herrschaft. But because Weber was so much of a realist in his treatment of power, Bendix thought it best to resolve any potential misinterpretation by stressing the implied threat of force latent in the ruler's command. Thus Herrschaft should be translated as "domination" in what Bendix asserted was its normal English meaning: "the power of command whether or not consent is present." Whether this is an adequate characterization of the meanings carried by "domination" in English will be discussed below. Suffice it to say here that word-by-word translations of "legitimate" and "domination" do not convey their meaning when used together to designate the concept of "legitimate domination." Political theorists tend to treat this term as an oxymoron; others, particularly legal theorists and social scientists, seem to have less trouble with the expression. For them, in the words of Max Rheinstein, Weber's purpose was "to let us know what he means when he uses these terms so that we know what he was talking about."21 Since Weber understood himself to be using stipulative definitions to neutralize ordinary language, it is puzzling that both Parsons and Bendix invoke such common language usage in either German or English. As for Bendix's historical claim that the original meaning of Herrschaft fixed the balance he himself claimed to find at the time he was writing, this is surely an example of the "etymological fallacy" which attributes privileged status to the allegedly original meaning in the remote past. Nor is Bendix's assertion historically accurate in the light of research available at the time he wrote, and in fact utilized by Bendix's frequent collaborator, Guenther Roth, in his retranslation of Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. There Roth, although accepting Bendix's adoption of "domination" as the correct translation of Herrschaft, nevertheless followed Parsons' practice of using several different English words for it in the text.22 Roth did not follow Parsons in generally using "authority" for Herrschaft. Instead he prefers to use "domination" in passages where Weber seems to have been more concerned with force than legitimacy: Sociologically, a Herrschaft is a structure of supcrordination and subordination, of leaders and led, rulers and ruled; it is based on a variety of motives and of means of enforcement. . . . However, in Ch. X, he [Weber] deals with both faces of Herrschaft: legitimacy and force . . . both "domination" and "authority" are "correct," although each stresses a different component of Herrschaft. Moreover in Part II a Herrschaft'^ quite specifically the medieval seigneitrie or manor. . . . This is also the historical derivation of the term. . . . see Otto Brunner, Land und Herrschaft. . . , 23

The History of the Concept of Herrschaft


Since in his valuable explanatory note Roth had used Herrschaft in Ger man to explicate his interpretation of it as possessing the two components of "domination" and "authority," it is not clear why he could not have consistently used the term in German or indicated it within parentheses in his translations and commentaries so that the reader could know just where Weber had used Herrschaft in the text. Roth emphasizes the importance of what he calls Weber's "sociology of domination." This term, he claims, is obscured from Anglophone readers because of the translation practices used both by Gerth and Mills and by Parsons. Why did not Roth himself use the term "sociology of Herrschaft•," or "domination (Herrschaft)"* On Roth's own showing, not to do so was to destroy the semantic balance of the concept as formed and used by Weber. Wolfgang Mommsen has made some useful comments on the translation practices of Roth and his collaborator, Wittich. Mommsen, among the most important revisionist interpreters of Weber, has himself been criticized for his views of Weber's politics by Bendix and Roth. Mommsen dissents from the Roth and Wittich translations on two scores, one of which seems warranted; the other, on the basis of the GG, dubious. Mommsen writes: It is almost impossible to translate Herrschaft into English. Differing from Roth and Wittich, . . . we decided . . . to use the term "domination" throughout. . . . The compromise of Roth and Wittich, moreover, has the disadvantage that it obscures the almost rigid, as well as the meticulous symmetry of Weber's systematization. . . . There is unfortunately no proper English cognate of "domination" which is equivalent to the word Herrscher (ruler). On the other hand, the term "domination" comes closest to the somewhat authoritarian connotation which Herrschaft has in German, and it is a derivation from the Latin term dominus, which is a perfect equivalent to the German term Hemcher.24

Mommsen is right to insist upon the importance for the reader of knowing precisely when Weber used so significant a concept as Herrschaft. However, Mommsen's etymology for Herrschaftis seriously at variance with the account later given by the GG, as is his reference to the Latin dominus, which in any case has a complex and changing relationship to Herrschaft. As for Mommsen's own translation, his use of Herrschaft in parentheses is superior to the practices of other translators and commentators as a way of conveying consistently to the reader what Mommsen correcdy asserts both to be untranslatable by any one English word, and to constitute a key term in Weber's argument. All Weber's translators and commentators seem to have believed that they had professional knowledge of the history of political and social concepts in German. In fact, the GG provides information neither available to nor possessed by any of them. This indicates not only that there is room for the sort of research on political language conveyed in the GG, but that the


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understanding by English-speaking scholars of German texts could be greatly improved by the findings of such research in Begriffsgeschichte. Finally, sensitivity to problems of translation sharpens perception of the theoretical issues at stake. For none of those already cited have confronted the contradiction in terms that would be created if legitime Herrschaft were to be translated as "legitimate domination." Is domination ever legitimate? Can a theory of legitimacy be purely behavioral and value-free in that obedience to commands alone determines whether a regime is legitimate? Once these questions are posed, then readers may realize that Weber is in fact taldng a position in political and social theory that is far from being either self-evident or unpolitical. Those who have translated Weber into English have been incompletely aware of the conceptual history of Herrschaft. What difference would the knowledge now available in the GG have made to their translations and interpretations of Weber? Perhaps the greatest benefit would have been to enable them and their readers to identify more accurately the distinctive positions—linguistic, methodological, and substantive—taken by Weber. Almost all readers would gain in their understanding of him by knowing precisely in which ways Weber had self-consciously redefined "well-known historical, economic, legal and theological terms for his sociological purposes."25 Thus his conception of scientific discourse led Weber to seek to neutralize both ordinary and professional language, to cut it off from any moral or political evaluation other than sheer efficacy in attaining goals, whatever they may be. Although the merits of this way with language may be defended or attacked, it is well for Weber's readers to know that his formulations have nothing to do with ordinary usage in either German or English. The point of knowing the history of the concepts he sought to reshape is that his readers can then better understand the choices Weber himself, as a political and social theorist, made among alternatives he did not himself formulate for the first time. For example, by placing his theory in the previous conceptual history of Herrschaft, it becomes clear that he specifically repudiated as Utopian all previous critiques made of arrangements based upon Herrschaft. Such arguments against Herrschaft, we have seen, were made during the Enlightenment and French Revolution by many political liberals, and, within their own formulation, by Marx and Engels. Is it possible for human beings to rule themselves in some significant institutional sense of that term? Or is it inevitable or necessary that some few persons exact unquestioning obedience by force or other means from the many? Perhaps Weber's answers to these questions are preferable to those he criticized implicitly and explicitly. Yet it is surely worth knowing which issues he addressed when he defined Herrschaft and gave it so central a place in his sociology. Many of Weber's assumptions and explicit arguments emerge much more clearly when related to the history of his key concepts: Herrschaft, "legitimacy," "power," "force," and "discipline." Yet such information, which can be derived only by conceptual history, has not been avail-

The History of the Concept of Herrschaft


able to those reading him in English. The significance of Weber's use of these concepts has been obscured by his translators. Finally, what light does this article cast on questions raised earlier about the relationship between its founders' original political perspectives in the first two decades of the postwar era, and the articles written for the GG during the next two decades when the Federal Republic developed into a constitutional democracy? In the 1930s Otto Brunner had dismissed democratic institutions as fundamentally flawed. He claimed that his own historical accounts of late medieval thought provided a Germanic genealogy for the National Socialist ideological categories of Fuhrung (the primacy of leadership) and Volksgemeinschaft (the total integration of state and society in the community of the German people). In the 1950s Brunner for the most part advocated and practiced his revised version of Volksgeschichte, which he now renamed Strukturgeschichte. He helped prepare the way for Conze's two successful initiatives: to abandon the older historicist concentration on political, diplomatic, and military history, and to institute the serious study of social and economic history; and to forsake Geistesgeschichtem the unsituated older style for Begriffsgeschichte. Yet Brunner's perspective on modern history, especially on political ideas, did not change much. He followed such conservative nationalist historians as Gerhard Ritter in attributing National Socialism, not to any recent aspects of German history, but to the destruction of the prerevolutionary European order by the French Revolution, and to the creation of secular political religions replacing the Church. In Brunner's essay, "The Century of Ideologies," he had little to say about either National Socialism or its ideology. Instead he went back to 1789, which he blamed for the development of mass society (Vermassung). Communism and Nazism were treated by Brunner as being alike in that they were movements with views of the world that were at once total and secular.26 Other than this judgment, Brunner presented no explicit analysis, much less condemnation, of National Socialism. The introduction ("Einleitung") to the GG continues these conservative views of the modern world, views widely held by German historians after 1945. The four characteristics attributed by Koselleck to political and social concepts during the Sattelzeit are all consistent with the analyses of Brunner and Carl Schmitt. Koselleck himself has continued to argue that among the presuppositions which have to be made by any historian is that all human societies are characterized by one or another system of Herrschaft. This is the view expressed by Max Weber in his letter to Michels.27 Yet the GG's article on Herrschaft allows the reader to see how contested that concept has been and remains. In short, the actual practice of the GG has been to provide readers with sufficient information about the struggles to coin and control the concepts, and to identify the interests at stake in the political and social formations which have taken positions on the consequences of conceptual usages. That such completeness of coverage characterizes this key article on Herrschaft suggests that the Bejjriffsjjeschichte of the


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GGis both reliable and professionally thorough in executing its program. Of course complete neutrality on all points is unattainable, and possibly undesirable. Nevertheless the contributors and editors generally provide reliable statements of alternative positions on contested issues. The reader is provided with texts from original sources, which can then be investigated, supplemented, and reinterpreted. It is difficult to see how those consulting the GG are in any way hindered from making whatever uses may suggest themselves both of the generous citations, and the analysis of political movements and social formations. Although any one of the GG's articles may in time be successfully challenged and superseded, it is unlikely that within the predictable future the lexicon will cease to be indispensable. In this respect, it may come to be ranked with Pauly's Realencyclopadie der classiscken Altertumswissenschaft as the work that must first be consulted by anyone beginning research in the subjects it covers.

4 The Place of Concepts in the History of Mentalites: The Handbuch of French Political and Social Concepts The Handbuch, or Handbook of Political and Social Concepts in France, 1680-1820, is being edited by Rolf Reichardt, Reinhart Koselleck's former Assitentand still occasionally his collaborator.1 After describing the Handbuck's project, I shall compare its program and practice to those of the GG, and supply critical accounts of representative articles in the Handbuch. This will prepare the way for a chapter comparing both works in German to analogous treatments of political language by J. G. A. Pocock and Quentin Skinner. There methodological as well as substantive issues will be considered, for example: What is the nature and extent of the linguistic and semantic contexts requisite to any account of thought which, in Skinner's phrase, claims to be "strictly historical?" As has been seen, the GG seeks to place political and social concepts within the context of continuity or discontinuity of political, social, and economic structures. How those experiencing rapid changes understood and conceptualized them against available horizons is a theme central to the GG's project. In order to treat it, the GG has utilized both the history of concepts (Eegriffs^eschichte) and a certain type of social history. Its program is antireductionist, positing the mutual interdependence of both types of history, which it sees as being in a condition of fruitful tension. The Handbuclfs program differs from the GG in two ways. First, the Handbuch subordinates conceptual to social history. Second, its conception of social history is not that of the GG. The Handbuch's avowed goal is to provide materials for the history of mentalites as written by that generation of the Ann ales school which defined its subject by distinguishing it from the formal or abstract thought of theorists or philosophers. To the greatest extent possible, the study of mentalites is "based on the collection of massive 79


TTie History of Political and Social Concepts

amounts of homogenous, reiterated data treated in ways similar to the methods used for analyzing economic, demographic, or sociological serial data."2 Because of such differences separating the GG's structural conception of social history from the methods of its contemporary French practitioners, the Handbuclfs adoption of the Annalesmodd (as of the mid-1970s) makes it significantly different from the GGin theory and practice. This means that conceptual analysis of major political, philosophical, or legal theorists (who provide one part of the GG's sources) is largely omitted by the Handbuch, as is any attempt to track the classical, medieval, and early modern uses of political and social concepts prominent in prerevolutionary and revolutionary France. On the other hand, as the result of its emphasis on mentalites, the Handbuch has developed methods not found in the GG for making systematic use of less familiar and more popular forms of political writing, as well as graphic and nonverbal forms of expression and action. That said, it should be noted that far more than any of its Annales models, the Handbuch attends to political and social language, and is organized in terms of concepts. And while the methods of serial history still remain among the Handbuch's goals, in practice they are treated as an ideal not always or even usually attainable with the materials and data available to historians of political and social language. The Annales" method applies quantitative analysis to a series of documents covering long periods and persisting structures with slow rates of change. Let me turn now to the Handbuch's distinctive program, methods, and scope. Although all entries in the Handbuch are written in or translated into German, their authors are almost evenly divided among French and German contributors. Because the Handbuch is meant to cover the period from 1680 to 1820, its articles, except those on neologisms entering French after 1789, treat the basic political and social concepts used in France during the ancien regime. But the real focus of the work is on how previous conceptualizations of the political and social world were transformed, abandoned, or supplanted during the outbreak and course of the Revolution. Published in volumes of about two hundred pages, the Handbuch first appeared in 1985. Its emphasis is on social history, on popular mentalites rather than on major thinkers and on treating language as the principal way that a society creates and maintains operative definitions of reality for its members, including those acting on behalf of competing groups and those holding governmental power and making decisions.3 The Handbuch contains few references to the GG's organizing hypothesis, namely, that German and European political and social concepts were altered decisively in four respects during the period called the Sattelzeit (c. 1750-1850). While in the GGthe French Revolution is assigned a large but not determining part in the conceptual changes undergone by German thought during this century, in the Handbuch it is the Revolution which is treated as the crucial divide in French concepts and mentalites. Unlike the GG, the Handbuch seldom seeks to reconstruct previous uses of concepts in classical antiquity, the Middle Ages, or in early modern FAirope outside

The Place of Concepts in the History o/Mentalites


France. Although analyses of diachronic changes in the use of concepts are used in the Handbuch, its emphasis is upon continuities, or more often discontinuities, in linguistic usage of political and social concepts in prerevolutionary France and during the Revolution. Nor does the Handbuch seek to determine the extent to which its repertoire of approximately 150 concepts (many of which also figure in the GG) share the characteristics attributed by Koselleck to modern political and social thought. In practice, political language and concepts are treated in the Handbuch as a means of writing a social history of mentalites in France along the lines of such Annettes historians as Michel Vovelle.4 The Handbuctfs acceptance of this conception of social history largely, but not completely, overrides the GG's concern to establish the political and social concepts that constitute modernity. And the balance sought in the GG between the history of concepts and structural histories of states, societies, and economies has been replaced in the Hcmdbuch by the priority given to the social history of mentalites. The founders of the Ecole des Annales, Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre, had wished "to combat the fascination with unique, unrepeatable events, then the identification of history with an improved chronicle of the State, and finally . . . the absence of selection criteria, hence of a problematic, in elaborating what counts as a 'fact' in history."5 As will be seen, the Handbuch seeks to connect events to the development of linguistic terms symbolizing them within a given mentalite. The French term mentalite is vague, admittedly difficult to distinguish from "ideology," "sensibility," "collective representation," "historical psychology," or "collective unconsciousness," all notoriously imprecise terms.6 In one of the few attempts at conceptual clarification in this literature, Vovelle does little more than cite Althusser's definition of ideology: "the relationship between what individuals imagine and their real conditions of existence." Older members of the Annales school such as Lucien Febvre and Robert Mandrou preferred the term sensibilite to designate the object of their studies, as in Lucien Febvre's "Sensibility and History: How May the Affective Life of the Past Be Reconstituted?" Mandrou described his subject as "visions of the world" as well as "historical psychology." Philippe Aries has used "collective unconsciousness" (I'inconscient collectif); Georges Duby, "collective imagination" (I'imaginaire collectif), as well as I'histoire des mentalites.7 Robert Darnton is among those who have questioned whether social historians can meaningfully study mentalites? With the exception of "ideology," what all these terms share is the sharp distinction between what Lucien Febvre called the outillage mental (mental equipment) common to members of a society, or one of its groups; and scientific, academic, or learned discourse, what Vovelle calls "formalization or clear thought."9 This distinction derived both from the distinction between high culture and folk or popular culture, as well as from sympathy with the majority of the population excluded from the educated elites. Historical studies of mentalites thus conceived led to several major shifts


The History of Political and Social Concepts

in the writing of history. One change altered the subjects of inquiry. Social history was redefined to include states of mind and social practices: attitudes towards death, the family, sexuality, childhood, and the role of women; religious faith or loss of it; and the functions and meanings of festivals, carnivals, and holidays, religious, public, or traditional. Another change came from the attempt to retrieve the histories of the everyday experience of previously anonymous majorities, those ignored by political and narrative history: the illiterate; those classified in their time as holding low status; those most often ignored as socially insignificant or categorized as in some sense incompetent, such as women or children; those stigmatized as sexual deviants or ordinary criminals. Finally, there was the aspiration, perhaps strongest in the Annales generation trained in the 1960s and 1970s: to write history in terms of longterm structures and trends, measured and quantified to the greatest possible extent on the basis of serial statistics: a history that "counts, measures, and weighs."10 It is worth comparing the history of mentalites as written by Vovelle to the account given by Rolf Reichardt, who although considerably affected by the Annales style, nevertheless has retained certain aspects of the GG. Reichardt has become among the most stimulating social historians of the ancien regime and revolutionary France. He turned to the Handbuch and the lines of inquiry developed in it only after having written an impressive study of Condorcet which contains a good deal of Begriffsjjeschichte as conceived by Koselleck, who helped direct this study.1' Reichardt himself first assessed French research on mentalites in a magisterial essay-review written for German readers in 1978. Designed to clear the way for applying his own version of the method in the Handbuch, his overview has already been in part supplanted by his latest synthesis of work on revolutionary mentalites.12 This occurs in his introduction and contributions to the nearly seven hundred pages of published proceedings of a conference addressing the question of whether the French Revolution produced a permanent split in French political identity and awareness of the past.13 Reichardt's latest statement of his position will be considered in the next chapter. Just what does mentalite mean to Reichardt? Mentalites, in his view, express the cultural aspects of the social system. They are less reflective, more fluid and malleable, simpler and longer lasting than ideologies, from which they are not altogether distinguishable. Thus perceived mentalites and ideologies share certain functions: both are means of social control, exercising pressures to conform. Both impose deformed views of reality upon those populations subject to them. Yet through social integration and stability, to which they contribute, ideologies and mentalites help to provide shared sets of social meanings, including collective memories and images in the form of symbols, which give individuals a sense, more or less delusory, of personal purpose and control over life. This formulation registers the impact upon Annales historians of Durkheim's notion of representations collectives. What particularly distinguish mentalites are their collective, anonymous

The Place of Concepts in the History o/Mentalites


qualities, characteristic of a society as a whole or of one stratum. A developing, complex society tends to have a number of competing mentalites rather a single unchallenged one, as is the case with a traditional society. Mentalites are systems of collective representations. These tend to interact, and function together. Any change in a society's mentalites produces significant consequences for its organization and the behavior of its members. Mentalites tend to be relatively stable and long-lasting; they must be studied in the long term. How does this summary of French work compare to the work of Michel Vovelle, in many ways Reichardt's model for the social history of mentalites, both in prerevolutionary and revolutionary France?14 Vovelle succeeded Albert Soboul as the director of the Institute of the History of the French Revolution at the Sorbonne. Vovelle has characterized himself as at once a historian of mentalites, a quantitative social historian, and a Marxist like his predecessor. Mitterrand placed Vovelle in charge of organizing the vast number of historical meetings officially commemorating the bicentenary of 1789. Vovelle made his reputation in a huge study, Piete baroque et dechristianisation, which was at once quantitative and serial social history, and an impressive contribution to the much debated question of whether in fact there had been a general "dechristianization," or loss of religious faith, in France during the second half of the eighteenth century.15 Put otherwise, were the punitive measures taken during the Revolution against the Catholic Church ascribable to the philosophes of the Enlightenment, as had been argued in an earlier historiography? Were they the result of the fanaticism during the Revolution of a small revolutionary elite in a France still largely Christian? Or was the anticlerical policy of the Revolution prepared by trends already well under way throughout the population during the ancien regime? Vovelle approached his larger subject through the study of changing attitudes towards death, a subject in its own right, to which he has made distinguished contributions. His pioneer studies have increasingly emphasized the visual arts and iconography. Vovelle's massive work broke new ground and was hailed by Pierre Chaunu as completing the Annales program by adding a new means of studying mentalites, or culture, which he described as the third level of analysis, an extension of what had previously been regarded as the Annales school's primary concerns with economic and social history.16 Analyzing almost twenty thousand wills, and charting in terms of representative localities, the provisions made for memorial services and burial throughout Provence, Vovelle claimed to demonstrate profound changes in attitudes towards death across a variety of social groups. Beginning between 1720 and 1730, and continuing into the second half of the eighteenth century, Vovelle found in wills a trend towards providing fewer religious services and masses. There was a marked decline in testamentary provisions made for religious commemorations of one's own death. To such evidence Vovelle added other indices such as a falling off in the use of sculptures in the tombs


The History of Political and Social Concepts

of even those who could afford them, as well as a decline in those entering the priesthood. But do such data prove that the dominant trend was towards "secularization," or "dechristianization"? Vovelle himself concluded that by his rigorous methods of documenting the actions of making wills, he had demonstrated such a movement. A new mentatite had arisen, manifested in actual religious behavior and practices studied empirically in terms of their occurrence in time and space (more than a hundred maps, tables, and graphs play an important part in the analysis). While acknowledging that some such general shift had occurred in religious practice and attitudes towards the Church, historians of different schools had disagreed about how to characterize it. "Secularization," "laicization," "desacralization," and "dechristianization" were among the competing terms. In Vovelle's view, the decision about which concepts to use mattered less than the quantitative methods and choice of sources by which he had carefully established the nature and direction of the phenomenon in question. He claimed to have demonstrated empirically a change in mentalite manifested through acts recorded in thousands of documents similar in form. Vovelle thus distinguished general attitudes towards religion or death from "formalization or clear thought," that is, from scientific, academic, or learned discourses. Here he was reaffirming the tendency, long found in French Revolution studies by the two once-dominant and often interlocked Marxist and Annalesschools, to minimize, to treat as secondary phenomena, or to deny altogether the parts played in history by ideas, language, and politics.17 When Vovelle wrote in 1972 that "the history of ideas... is currently, as part of a more general movement, dissolving itself into the history of mentalites" he was expressing what was common to his type of social history and the views of Soboul, who both treated ideas as parts of a society's superstructure determined ultimately by its economic base and was hostile to applying structural linguistics to history.18 In his book on the fall of the monarchy, in which he presents this dismissal of the history of ideas, Vovelle somewhat reluctantly concludes that the Revolution was prepared and supported by the intellectual movements of the Enlightenment. But he says little about the ideas themselves, except to characterize them briefly in familiar and somewhat faded terms: faith in reason and progress, and a rationalism that wished to change the world by attacking past abuses. What the Enlightenment called for was a system of new values with liberty at its center: Whether or not it was the creation of an elite which could appear—from the social point of view—extremely traditional, the message of the Enlightenment was to become the weapon of the bourgeoisie. There could be no homogeneous elite where there was no true community of inerests.19

The Place of Concepts in the History o/Mentalites


Thus Vovelle's perfunctory treatment of the philosophies' ideas is based on neither new evidence nor analysis, but instead is reductive, treating political concepts as part of the history of mentalites, and ultimately accepting the a priori schematism used by French Marxists in their class analysis of the Revolution as the triumph of the bourgeoisie. His preferred terrain, Vovelle declares, is "the culture of the popular classes"; his methods, those he had helped develop in his works on dechristianization and changes in attitudes towards death. Attempting to demonstrate an implicit unstated analogy between that decline in religious faith and the development of a distinctively revolutionary mentalite, Vovelle uses a number of techniques to penetrate the belief systems of the illiterate, to study again popular religious practices and the evidence taken from criminal records for delinquency in "this still uncivilized world."20 Another way he proposes of studying this otherwise inaccessible part of the population is through analyses of collective action, whether food riots or widespread smuggling. What Vovelle calls "high culture" is evidently of relatively little interest to him. He presents himself as both rejecting the earlier Marxist view of the Revolution, "the oversimplified schema of a bourgeois Revolution opposed by the aristocracy"; and as accepting the revisionary finding that there was "a culturally united elite including not only the nobility but also the educated faction of the Third Estate, the educated haute bourgeoisie." Yet he shrinks from the two putative conclusions he posits: that either the Revolution was an accident, or else that it stemmed from disagreements among two factions of the elite. Ultimately Vovelle reinstates the Marxist interpretation through another reductive procedure: analyzing elite culture by "distinguishing the 'producer' and the 'consumer,' in other words someone who can read and has access (however limited) to high culture."21 What interests him most on the level of "high culture" are the questions: How and to what extent did the key ideas of the Enlightenment penetrate society? Here his preferred method is to study book production and to follow the changing tastes and interests of "consumers." Vovelle concludes that even before the Revolution there had been a decisive turn in the "collective semiunconsciousness" (behavior, practice, and taste) towards secularization, greater interest in politics, small families, the rediscovery of childhood, and the abandonment of the traditional ideal of the nobility, I'honnete homme.22 After writing his brief work of synthesis on the fall of the monarchy, it was not clear what form Vovelle's interests and methods would take when applied to the French Revolution. For many years the Annales trademark had been its emphasis on the serial method. This method had seemed inapplicable to the unprecedented rapid and profound transformations produced by revolutionary developments in France after 1789. But recently Vovelle has turned to the study of revolutionary mentalites created during the French Revolution. He has explicitly addressed the ostensible paradox of applying to radical transformations of political consciousness the Annales notions of mentalite, developed and applied over the long term (the famous


The History of Political and Social Concepts

• duree of Fernand Braudel) to societies changing slowly in the their basic structures.23 Vovelle's book on revolutionary mentalites, although less strictly quantitative than his earlier work, continues his practice of a social history which he perceives as being compatible with Marxist analysis. This is evident in Vovelle's barely concealed impatience with concepts, language, politics, and qualitative interpretations. Vovelle stays well clear of abstract thought, or even discourse analysis of political and legal language in the Marxisant style of Robin or Guilhaumou.24 After a formal concession that decisive advances in knowledge of popular mentalites during the Revolution might be made by analyzing discourses of that time, Vovelle turns with evident relief to other topics more congenial to him. Discourse analysis, he writes, ought to include not only printed words, but also images, the symphony of gestures as organized in the forms of festivals, where they exploded on the days of revolution.25 But in his own book on revolutionary mentalites, he did not treat the languages of politics. It is instructive to compare to Vovelle's work that of contributors to the Handbuch and of Reichardt. From Vovelle, Reichardt has taken many of his subjects and techniques. These include a shift away from major thinkers, formal thought and discourses, that is, high culture. Increasingly Reichardt's own work has emphasized popular modes of political expression: not only pamphlets, newspapers, and fliers, but also nonverbal sources such as images, prints, pictures, and games. On the level of method he has exploited serial sources when possible. Reichardt has adapted this technique to pamphlets, treatises, and handbooks dealing with the same subject over long periods of time. Nothing resembling the Handbuch's emphasis on concepts, on political languages, and on discussions of semantic and lexicographical theory occurs in Vovelle. Yet much of his style persists in the Handbuch^ stress upon popular mentalites, rather than major thinkers or formal thought; upon analyzing series of documents rather than individual texts; upon quantifying whenever possible; and upon the use of nonverbal sources as a means of determining what the illiterate and semiliterate were thinking. Despite such continuities, the Handbuch rejects theories which reduce social and political concepts to nothing more than the ideology of the ruling class, or part of the superstructure, or a function of the material base, or the relationship between producers and consumers of cultural products. The Handbuctfs editor also argues against the unexamined assumption once made by many historians of the French Revolution: that thought and language are relatively unimportant fields of study as compared to economic formations and social structures over the long term. Thus the Handbuch treats language as creating operative definitions of reality as perceived by historical actors. This leads Reichardt to argue in his opening methodological statements that mentalites can and should be studied by attending to the languages and concepts in use before, during, and after revolutions. Nor is Annales social history the only French influence acknowledged in the Handbuch. Its editor originally denned the Handbuch'''-, project as

The Place of Concepts in the History o/Mentalites


situated between French lexicometrie and German Begriffsgeschicbte, that is, between the quantitative, computer-aided methods developed at SaintCloud for studying the political vocabularies and discourses of the French Revolution; and the less precise but more theoretical, qualitative, and interpretative approach of the GG. Neither of these alternative models for dealing with political and social language turn out to satisfy Reichardt in his highly informative, lucid, and well-argued critical introduction to the Handbuch. Just what is lexicometriel Reichardt's own description of his project requires that something be said about this French alternative method, some of whose practitioners have described the Handbuch as a complement to their own work.26 In 1967 R. L. Wagner and M. Tournier established a "laboratory of political lexicology" at the Ecole Normale Superieure of SaintCloud. A working group on the eighteenth century and the Revolution (Equipe "18eme et Revolution") has been searching out texts of speeches by Robespierre, Saint-Just, and Marat, as well as newspapers published by Hebert, J. Roux, Leclerc, and Gorsas. These texts are then entered into computer files under a standard protocol. The working group's efforts have produced studies of word frequencies, concordances, correlations of words or "co-occurrences," as well as lists of the semantic oppositions to key words. Thus one emphasis was upon compiling the histories of single words. Another component of the program was discourse analysis of texts (analyse automatique du discours) by computer programs specially written for that purpose. The method sought to combine the theories of Zelig Harris, Michel Pecheux, and Louis Althusser. A recent analysis concludes that it introduced subjective or hermeneutic elements into what had been presented as an objective, scientifically formalist method, and thus must be assessed as a failed structuralist dream.27 This body of work, when reviewed by Reichardt in his introduction to the Handbuch, was severely judged. He found it to have yielded relatively little to illuminate the history of French revolutionary ideologies, when considered in what was claimed to be the new light provided by study of their respective political languages. Statistical exactitude, Reichardt remarked, had been purchased at the cost of restrictive self-limitation of the questions posed, and by the absence of meaningful analysis.28 As for the computer analysis of discourses, this emphasized formal linguistic issues such as the functioning and internal structures of texts, rather than treating the political meanings of those concepts which gave texts their distinctive significance in the circumstances under which they were written. As Michel Vovelle also remarked, both forms of political lexicometry or lexicology had been inaccessible to historians who were not specialists in quantitative linguistics.29 The extent to which Vovelle and Reichardt would now alter their severe judgments is a question that cannot be considered here.30 In Reichardt's view, what had to be done was to bring to the study of political language in French the battery of questions and methods so much more fruitfully employed in the GG to trace the development of political


The History of Political and. Social Concepts

and social language in German-speaking Europe. Reichardt generously acknowledges that the Handbuch would have been inconceivable without the GG's theoretical formulations, without its exciting hypotheses about the accelerated pace, patterns, and significance of conceptual changes and their relation to social history. Reichardt gives full credit to Koselleck for his hypotheses about the patterns followed by political and social concepts during the SattelzeiP. historicization, their insertion into ideologies, democratization, and politicization. Yet Begriffs0eschichte in the GG, as Reichardt sees it, has not been altogether successful in its efforts to show how German-speaking Europe conceptualized the great series of structural changes connected with the advent of modernity. The GG's brilliantly formulated program has not been realized in practice, particularly in the domain of the social history it postulated as requisite to the writing of its distinctive form of conceptual history. Where, then, did the GG go wrong? And how should its defects be obviated in Reichardt's own projected study of French political and social languages through their key concepts? Reichardt and his colleagues had been convinced by the negative judgments of the GG made by social historians, as well as by some linguists and literary critics.31 Such criticisms find the GG's sources excessively biased in the direction of elite culture, particularly in the weight given to those canonized as the greatest abstract thinkers and writers.32 To write the history of concepts exclusively, or even principally, in terms of major authors is for the HandbucWs editors unacceptable as empirical description of what profoundly different strata of society in fact thought or said. The actual practice of the GG is described in the Handbuch as Gipfelwanderungen, proceeding from one intellectual peak to another. Too many contributors to the GG are said to have engaged in a discredited type of Geistesgeschichte, which assumes rather than proves unity of thought in a complex society undergoing conflict and crisis. Nor, in this view, were the editors of the GG able to enforce their injunctions to contributors to consult their prescribed archive of sources, which went beyond major theorists. Such errors in the theory and practice of the GG, Reichardt claims, have produced unacceptable distortions. These should not be repeated by historians concerned with the mentalites of the classes, orders, and strata which played important parts in the French Revolution. Another criticism stems from the broad range over time in the GG's treatment of concepts. Because its purpose was to identify shifts from classical and medieval meanings of concepts to the new senses they took on in early modern and modern German thought, the GG's teams devoted considerable attention to these older concepts, as well as neologisms. In Reichardt's view, it is too difficult to trace a series of shifts in the meaning of concepts from classical antiquity to modern times, and at the same time to specify precisely how these concepts were used by all relevant social formations in each period. Thus, Reichardt concludes, in order to treat adequately the great changes in the French language during the Revolution, it is

The Place of Concepts in the History o/Mentalites


necessary to limit the Handbuch^ chronological span. It goes no further back than 1680 and runs to about 1820. The Handbuch's name is meant to indicate its sharply delimited subject. It disclaims any pretension to being a definitive lexicon of French political and social language. In his introduction to the Handbuch, Reichardt stresses the extraordinary rapidity of changes in the French language during the Revolution. Then he analyzes the significance of controversies about the use and abuse of language. He also presents his view of the new information that emerges from that work's diachronically and synchronically ordered analyses of the French political and social vocabulary. The approximately 150 terms to be treated in the Handbuch will, in his view, provide new indications of how actors in the Revolution conceptualized their understanding of what was happening to themselves and their language, political order, social structure, as well as general beliefs, including religion, whether that of churches or secular equivalents. More than any previous work on its scale, the Handbuch emphasizes the importance of disputes about language and concepts during the Revolution. In the rapidly changing circumstances of revolutionary developments, it was impossible at that period for lexicographers and others concerned with what was happening to French to hold that language was being shaped by impersonal forces and unidentifiable agents (as has been posited by modern Saussurean linguists or poststructuralists like Foucault). Sources newly discovered or systematically taken into account for the first time in the Handbuch require a political understanding of language, and of concepts. Meanings and definitions were more often than not contested by groups concerned with the effects of such concepts on their interests and programs. Revolutionary governments had to develop forms of civic education and political controls which both supported republican government and countered the hostile conceptualizations of the Revolution's theory and practices put forward by those opposed to it and its projects. More generally, Reichardt raises important issues about the crisis within French society and politics caused by the highly accelerated rate of change in the meaning of terms used in the vocabulary between 1680 and 1820. This phenomenon of rapid obsolescence and conceptual innovation in political, legal, and social terminology was perceived and much discussed by those experiencing it. As one prorevolutionary lexicographer wrote in his article on the word abus( abuse): No other word during the course of the Revolution has undergone so strange a metamorphosis. What the French, now free, call "abuse," the ancien regime called "right" [droit]. What the new regime calls "abuse of power," the ancien regime called "the use of power" [I'usage du pouvoir].33

Throughout the Revolution, a bitter struggle raged about the use and


The History of Political and Social Concepts

abuse of language. These polemical eighteenth-century theories about the political functions of language anticipated what sometimes are described as discoveries by Gramsci and Orwell in the twentieth. Reformers during the ancien regime and revolutionaries after its fall charged that church and state used language as an instrument of hegemonic domination and oppression. Later French liberal and counterrevolutionary groups charged revolutionary regimes, particularly during die Terror, with creating altogether misleading new terms, with systematic and deadly inversions of the ordinary established usage of words and their relationships to things. An emigre dictionary noted the dread power exerted by the word suspect: a little word of two syllables, with a well-known meaning. For some years it has been given an appalling extension. . . . This little word, dropped in passing about a citizen, even the most respectable, will suddenly paralyze his entire physical and moral existence.34

Reichardt raises important questions about the implications of this struggle to control the meaning of political and social language. How deep and permanent were the radicalization of the political vocabulary and the semantic polarizations produced in the course of the French Revolution? After 1815, how persistent were the fundamental disagreements which existed during the Revolution about how to interpret the meanings of basic concepts? Did the French Revolution produce long-term shifts in the basic meanings of language for the society as a whole? Was not this protracted debate about the meaning of words a specific form of deep crisis in social selfawareness, a growing uncertainty about the nature of political and social realities and possibilities? To answer these questions, the Handbuch introduces a battery of valuable methods and sources. Notably prominent among these sources are the revolutionary dictionaries which recorded new words, listed those oldregime terms no longer in use, and took positions for and against revolutionary changes in meanings. These dictionaries are critically evaluated and carefully placed in the context of eighteenth-century lexicography and semantic theory by Brigette Schlieben-Lange.35 In a forty-page article, she furnishes an invaluable and previously nonexistent guide to theories of meaning and to modes of writing dictionaries before and during the Revolution. The Handbuch also contains a fifteen-page list of original and secondary sources dealing with political and social language and concepts. This is no mere bibliography. All these sources were systematically reviewed and excerpted during four years of work by two researchers, Gerd van den Heuvel and Anette Hofer. Every contributor to the Handbuch received copies of texts from these sources relevant to their articles. Need it be said that such systematic work is preferable to intuitions about meanings on the part of a researcher, however distinguished? In addition Reichardt himself provides an invaluable annotated evalua-

The Place of Concepts in the History o/Mentalites


tion of the actual resources brought to bear for the purposes of this project: 1. Dictionaries: divided further into common language dictionaries and encyclopedia, professional or trade dictionaries, e.g., for those engaged in commerce; political and pamphlet dictionaries 2. Periodicals: divided into memoires-jour naux, newspapers, and magazines 3. Fliers, tracts, reports of meetings, and general collections of sources 4. Sources indicating the media that reached the uneducated or partially educated: catechisms and almanacs, satires and songs, and pictorial symbols and widely distributed graphic materials36 Such a list may seem to be dry and to provide little indication of why such materials should be studied by social historians, but this impression is misleading. Let me give an example from a prorevolutionary dictionary which often used dialogues to illustrate the conflict between the old and new languages: family, birth (naissance). A good sansculotte decided one day to tutoyer a grand aristocrat. A (aristocrat): How dare you address me in that way? s (sansculotte): Equality permits me to do so. A: What equality? You ought always to respect my naissance, you have none. S: What! If I had no naissance, I wouldn't exist, I wouldn't be talking to you. A: Do you dare compare your naissance to mine? S: What right does it give you to consider yours superior to mine? You were born naked and in tears just like me. A: But my family has high status [haute naissance], and yours does not. s: You couldn't be more grossly wrong. I know you were born down on the plain, while my birth took place high on a mountain. A: Believe me, if you don't change the way you think [vos sentiments], you'll come to a bad end. S: I couldn't care less about your predictions. My mother has often told me that when an astrologist reviewed my birth [ma naissance], he said I would have good luck. But when I look at you, I can see from your face that you'll end up by being guillotined.37


The History of Political and Social Concepts

This example shows how revolutionary dictionaries recorded the conflict about reconceptualizing naissance ("family" or "birth"), a concept at once political and social, and central to the old regime, in which noble birth had been an institutionalized legal category bestowing privileges, as well as a marker of socially recognized status. This ostensible disagreement about the meaning of a word was the symptom of a revolutionary crisis, which in the eyes of at least the sansculottes could be resolved only by terror and violence. Such a semantic shift indicated a fundamental and contested alteration in the structure of legitimacy. "Equality," it was claimed, now overrode the principle of ascribed status or birth which had formerly determined political power and social status. It has already been remarked how often in works on Begriffsgeschichte, as in other subjects, actual practice may diverge from the announced programs and carefully articulated methods of their editors. This is no less true of the Handbuch than of the GG. Yet for readers seeking to understand and judge these works, it is not unreasonable to ask for examples of articles which, in the eyes of their editor, exemplify the program at its best. One such performance is Reichardt's own sixty-four page entry on "Bastille," which both demonstrates the Handbuclfs novel method in use and allows the reader to judge just what sort of gains in historical knowledge are attributable to that method. This article is meant to show how decisive shifts in the meaning and use of concepts can be correlated with shifting mentalites, basic alterations in political and social structures, and the political struggles that accompanied them. Among Reichardt's purposes is to treat the ways in which events may be so conceptualized as to serve as historical symbols in a nation's memory of itself as a collectivity. As Reichardt remarks, the Bastille has long held a prominent place in the symbolism of both French republican and leftist political movements. No one in France during 1989 could fail to see how much President Mitterrand had invested in the Bastille as the political symbol of the Revolution. After his earlier victory in 1981, his supporters had spontaneously gathered in the Place de la Bastille to celebrate their triumph. In so doing, they were reenacting, more or less consciously, what had occurred on analogous occasions in 1871, 1848, and 1830, when political movements asserted their solidarity with the events of July 14, 1789. In 1880, when the Third Republic was being consolidated, Bastille Day once again was made a national holiday. At that time prints dating from 1789 were reprinted and sold. Such phenomena clearly call for analysis and explanation by the historian. But what sort of phenomena are in question, and how ought they be investigated? As preserved in popular memory, the taking of the Bastille was among those relatively few occasions in modern history which can be regarded as a "total event."38 What is the meaning of this term for the Handbuclfs editors? And what light does it cast upon their purposes in studying mentalites, as compared to Annales work such as Vovelle's? The status of historical events had been among the principal targets of

The Place of Concepts in the History o/Mentalites


the Annales school, which arose in protest against a political, diplomatic, and military form of narrative history centering on prominent persons, treaties, and battles. But this longstanding opposition between events and the social history of mentalites has been called into question by Reichardt and HansJiirgen Liisebrink, his frequent collaborator and now coeditor of the Handbuch. They distinguish four types of events: (1) the sensational event (I'evenement-sensatiori), such as the attempted assassination of Louis XV by Damiens; (2) events politically created but propagated by existing media for communication (I'evenementalite politique), such as the war bulletins of Louis XIV or Napoleon's proclamations; (3) the key catalyst event (I'evenement-cle catalyseur)^ such as the Dreyfus Affair, which, itself the result of long operative forces and tensions, produces general consequences transcending by far those generally attributable to a single event; (4) the symbolic event (I'evenement-symbole), which, by legitimating a political order, creates a distinctive national identity, serves as the focus of subsequent rituals, and becomes the central symbol in the collective memory of a society, or important sectors of it. The storming of the Bastille was unusual in combining all four types of historical events, particularly the last and most significant. In the case of France, the celebration commemorating one symbolic event, the taking of the Bastille, replaced another, the canonization of Louis IX as St. Louis. From 1298 until 1789, that date had been the monarchy's national holiday. By making this point, Reichardt and his collaborators have pointed up the significance of the Bastille as a symbol with powerful integrating and legitimating functions in France's subsequent national life. Their treatment goes beyond two other ways of telling the story. One deals only with the rupture of continuity and tradition produced by the Revolution, with what was lost but not with what replaced it. Much was heard of this antirevolurionary narrative during 1989. The other is an account of the Bastille and the discrepancy between the litany of horrors alleged to have occurred within its walls and the ascertainable facts. While Reichardt's article details this gap, he does so not to scoff at it, or dismiss as mass folly a phenomenon meriting careful analysis because of its functions in the long term. To define the characteristics of the Bastille as a symbolic event is also to underline the fact that it was appealed to by those who defended the Revolution in its first and reformist phase rather than by those who radicalized it from the execution of Louis XVI through the Terror. During these times, the execution of Louis XVI was for a time commemorated and made a public holiday. By contrasting that symbolic event to the celebration of July 14, the Handbuch's article establishes that the taking of the Bastille later functioned as a relatively moderate foundation myth. Of course to cut off the story at 1820, the point specified by the Hantibuch, leads to an omission of the divisive functions of the Bastille symbolism. Probably it was not until after the Second World War and the discrediting of conservative antirepublicanism during Vichy that the divisions caused by the Revolution mav be said to have ended.


The History of Political and Social Concepts

Although the "Bastille" entry may seem to follow the framework used by the GG to chart diachronic changes in the meaning and application of concepts, the Hcmdbuch's article is designed for other ends. It is this merger of the GG with the study of mentalites which constitutes the uniqueness of the Handbuch. Adapting the method of serial history to his inquiry, Reichardt has reconstructed and analyzed a set of anti-Bastille pamphlets written between 1730 and 1789. Not the least of Reichardt's innovations has been the use of diagrams and graphs to chart an increasing radicalization of discourse. The principal shifts in the meaning of the term "Bastille" occurred as follows: Originally the word referred to castles built as fortifications during the Hundred Years War. Eventually the eight-towered castle of Paris ceased to be a military installation. By the time of Richelieu it had become a prison used to punish spies and traitors. The public associated the Bastille with the terrifying severity of royal justice. But a fateful shift occurred when the Bastille was used by Louis XIV to imprison Huguenots, and by Louis XV to punish Jansenists. For the first time the Bastille became the focus of polemical attacks by these highly articulate minorities against the absolutist quality of the regime. The name of what had been a fortification now became permanently fixed as a political catchword which defined the government in terms of its arbitrary denial of the basic rights and political liberties of its subjects. This tendency intensified during the eighteenth century, as the Bastille became a prison where not only the religiously heterodox were incarcerated, but also writers judged by the censorship to be too openly critical of the state. Thus, between 1730 and 1770 there developed a critical view of the Bastille as a symbol of the regime's violations of freedom of thought and expression. Despite other differences among Enlightenment theorists, they agreed that to criticize freely both church and state was both their right and a public benefit. During this phase, the Bastille was attacked as a symbol of barbaric repression by writers who had themselves been imprisoned. The Bastille came to be viewed as foremost among the brutal weapons used by those who derived their power from the feudal past offeree and superstition to suppress Enlightenment. Between 1774 and 1789, writings specifically directed against the Bastille not only increased in number but became more radical. The Bastille came to be seen as more than a prison; indeed it was depicted as the spring of a despotism which ruled by force and fear, by the arbitrary will of the king exercised through sealed letters ordering imprisonment of individuals without legal process. To those who assailed the Bastille, it does not seem to have mattered that in fact it often served the purposes of aristocratic families who wished their unmanageable children imprisoned in the Bastille by royal lettres de cachet. Such was the case of the Marquis de Sadc. During the period when criticism turned into denunciation, actual conditions in the Bastille were considerably improved, though this did not much affect the Bastille's public image. The quality of medical care rose

The Place of Concepts in the History o/Mentalites


considerably, solitary confinement in dungeons (cachots) was abolished, and torture had long since ceased to be used. In fact the number of those imprisoned fell to the point where those charged with its administration questioned the utility of keeping the Bastille open. From within the Royal administration came proposals to raze the Bastille. One such plan published in 1784 would have turned the Place de la Bastille into the Place de Louis XVI. A committee of the Royal Academy of Architecture proposed that the Bastille be replaced by a statue of liberty higher than the original casde towers. Reichardt comments that the Bastille not only was virtually empty when it was taken by storm in 1789, but had already been destroyed in the minds of royal administrators. With the taking of the Bastille, it was turned from a symbol of oppression to one of liberty. After the hated casde was torn down, a flood of popular prints, commemorative medals, and coins depicted the victory of the people over "the bulwark of despotism." In a catechism of the sansculottes, the question, "What was the Bastille?" received the response, "An atrocious prison, where the tyrant had buried alive all those who had dared raise their voices against tyranny."39 Pallet, who had been in charge of tearing down the Bastille, successfully sold revolutionary souvenirs made by engraving the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen on stones taken from the erstwhile dungeons. Other bastilles in the provinces outside Paris were also torn down. Radical catechisms repeated throughout France took the form of swearing solemn oaths that as long as the people held power, "no Bastille would remain on earth, no tyrant would sit on his throne, no people would be in chains "40 Between 1789 and 1794 the concept of the Bastille acquired still another dimension: it now became oriented towards securing a republican future by emphasizing civic duties. Those who had taken the Bastille became the model of citizens ready to die for liberty, a republican vanguard to be mobilized against the return of despotism sought by both the internal and foreign enemies of the Revolution. Thus the sansculottes described themselves in terms that included this potent symbol: "we, heads of families, citizens, soldiers, conquerors of the Bastille."41 At the same time, this symbol was associated with the moral duty to fight not only against the Revolution's external enemies, but against those supporting the Church, against enemies of the republican order, against profiteering "monopolists." Yet it was the most radical urban groups who used Bastille symbolism rather than the moderates and the Jacobins, both of whom had their own reasons for fearing the undisciplined mass action they identified with the taking of the Bastille. Still another development was the retention of former pejorative associations of bastilles (now used in the plural), and neologisms such as embastiller (to imprison tyrannically) and embastilleur (the tyrant abusing the police power) as ways of stigmatizing domestic political enemies. So potent was the negative charge of the term that it was used in this sense by all groups, including conservative enemies of the Revolution: "Formerly we knew only one Bastille to be feared; now many of them exist in all the cities


The History of Political and Social Concepts

of France." During the Terror the Enrages used the term against the Jacobins: "It is not by making France into one vast Bastille that our Revolution will conquer the world." Similarly, moderates and conservatives accused the Jacobins of creating "new Bastilles, a thousand times more cruel and tyrannical than the old." After Thermidor both Jacobins and other revolutionaries complained that every day saw the Bastilles swallow up the sincere friends of the republican constitution.42 Curiously enough these negatively charged connotations of the Bastille did not affect other and more positive associations of the events of July 14, 1789. The taking of the Bastille came to be perceived and symbolized as a caesura, a permanent break with the despotic past, and the beginning of a new age. Frequently it was asserted that before the great event, the people of France had been slaves; after it, they became for the first time free. During the Revolution, festivals commemorated this historical turn, plays and operas were commissioned, and prints and images were sold. Bastille symbolism was suppressed by the Terror, but was actively promoted by the Directory, which wished to distinguish itself from the Jacobins on the one side, and the counterrevolutionaries on the other. After Thermidor, the Bastille could serve as a symbol of the moderate Revolution in 1789, to which the Directory wished to return after the excesses of the Terror. This positive image of the Bastille was reversed by Napoleon, who perceived it as dangerous because it celebrated a popular uprising against authority. For the last ten years of the Empire, he did not allow July 14 to be celebrated, and denied pensions to those who had participated in storming the Bastille. A proposal to erect a monument to liberty at the Place de la Bastille led only to a large statue of an elephant. After Waterloo, Bastille symbolism was once again suppressed by the Bourbon Restoration, which viewed with horror everything connected with the events of 1789. Yet the Bastille lived on as a symbol in those strata of the population which remained attached to republicanism. Beranger, a popular chansonnier during the Restoration, made powerful use of the storming of the Bastille as a reminder of lost liberty. Indeed the Revolution of 1830 was greeted as a new taking of the Bastille. The Orleanist house installed as the July Monarchy sought both to represent itself as the legitimate heir of the moderate Revolution of 1789 and to disassociate itself from the "despotism and feudalism" many associated with the older branch of the Bourbons. To that end it erected a column of liberty in the Place de la Bastille and awarded pensions to those who had participated so many years before in the taking of the Bastille. What has been the contribution of Reichardt's long article on the Bastille to our understanding of the ways events and basic structural changes are conceptualized by large groups and transmitted over time, preserved in the collective memory of groups by language and other means? How do concepts and symbols act as historical forces? As has been observed, Reichardt has at the same time rejected the notion that events are irrelevant to social history, while continuing to seek new methods for depicting the

The Place of Concepts in the History w/Mentalites


creation and functions of mentalites during a period of revolution and counterrevolution. Indeed in stressing not an abstract concept, but the symbolization of an event, Reichardt has sought to show how social meanings come to be developed, persist in the face of contestations, are altered or preserved in part, or are altogether replaced by other meanings. But the Handbuch's preferred subject is not the type of abstract concept found in the GG. Nor are its sources the texts of political and social theorists. The Handbuch^ choice of popular mentalites as the focus of inquiry illustrates how it applies the sociology of knowledge proposed by Berger and Luckmann to questions about how political identity and legitimation are created in a revolutionary age. Qua method, what Reichardt and some of his collaborators have added is a systematic approach to sources by seeking and analyzing an important symbolic theme in a series of pamphlets, to which have been added materials such as prints, coins, medals, and songs. Finally, Reichardt has sought to demonstrate through structuralist semantics how during a revolutionary period, concepts and symbols were linked in the minds or mentalites of large social and political groups. With regard to the development of the Bastille as concept/symbol, Reichardt concludes that there were three phases: singularization, politicization, and repluralization on a new level. Beginning as a general technical term designating medieval fortresses with towers in late medieval cities, the use in the plural of bastilles disappeared. The term Bastille came to be identified with a single place, the castle in Paris. Because Louis XIV and Louis XV imprisoned there Huguenots, Jansenists, and writers critical of the government, Bastille became a political term, a prominent attribute of royal "despotism" as described by Enlightenment critics of the ancien regime. But because this was a pejorative judgment of the French government, it was generalized, referring to other royal prisons elsewhere, and so again came to be used but in the plural form, bastilles. With the taking of the Bastille, the negative associations linked to the ancien regime were replaced by the positive popular image of July 14, 1789, as the day when there occurred a decisive historical break with the past. The symbolism associated with this event affirmed its necessity, legitimacy, and historical significance. Also the Bastille came to symbolize a militant patriotism associated with the founding of the nation, a new concord built upon republicanism. In his "Bastille" article, Reichardt presents a single diagram illustrating changes and continuities in semantic usages of that term in two pamphlets written before and after the Revolution. The analytical framework underlying that diagram is discussed both in the introduction to the Handbuch, and in a number of articles, where supplementary graphs and diagrams are presented as well. In even more recent work, Reichardt has sought to develop a more comprehensive scheme that includes the patterned relationships among the principal political and social concepts and symbols.43 In moving in these directions, he has made his own way, gradually distancing himself from the Begriffsgeschichte of the GG, from the lexicometry of the SaintCloud group, and from Vovelle's method, although not from his objective


The History of Political and Social Concepts

of writing a history of mentalites. Reichardt's persisting preoccupation with language and concepts continues to distinguish his work from Vovelle's. Reichardt, while judging that the mathematical correlations of the Saint-Cloud group have yielded little of interest to historians, has nevertheless remained faithful to the quantitative aspirations of the Annales school. The Handbuch is meant to be as precise as is permitted by its subject and the state of historical semantics and linguistics. Thus the question is how to develop a method that eliminates, to the greatest possible extent, impressionistic judgments, and puts in their place a uniform set of quantitative procedures drawn from a corpus of sources on the same subjects. That is, articles are meant to be based on a series of texts drawn from pamphlets, tracts, books of instruction, and other publications on such themes as I'honnete homme and Bastille. Evidence from them is then arranged in terms of a linguistic scheme that will be applied to the results of analyzing the series. The aspiration to write a quantitative serial history remains, although chastened by a sober estimate of what can be done with the existing materials. The adequacy of this and other aspects of the Handbuch''& program will be examined in the next chapter.

5 Innovation and Critique in the Handbuch The Handbuclfs original program proposed that methods developed in the GG's mapping of concepts be combined with two further types of investigation associated with French historiography: mentalites va the Annales style exemplified by Vovelle and the quantitative treatment of political vocabularies exemplified by French lexicologists. As has been seen, Reichardt concluded that upon closer examination, quantitative lexicology had not contributed much to research on political language, and even less to that on revolutionary mentalites. If the study of political concepts and language was to inform knowledge of the mentalites developed during the French Revolution, the Handbuclfs findings would have to be synthesized by other means. Reichardt has now attempted to do so. Thus my assessment of the Handbuch will include its editor's latest contributions. But there is a prior set of issues which must be considered. For the Handbucb^ project needs to be reexamined in the light of the powerful critiques recently mounted by such French social historians as Roger Chartier, and directed against the previous generation of Annales historians who have provided much of Reichardt's research program. Taken together, Chartier's views call into question some of the elements by which Reichardt has distinguished the Hemdbuclfs method from that of the GG: the rejection of conclusions about concept formation and use which are taken from evidence drawn from high culture and prominent abstract or formal thinkers; the insistence upon as much quantification as the sources permit; and the emphasis upon reconstructing mentalites from concepts applied in popular culture, including graphic and other nonverbal materials, festivals and carnivals, religious and quasireligious practices, and collective actions. Written for the Handbuch, Chartier's own mapping of the concept of dvilite over three centuries merits examination. For it illustrates how his revised view of social history in part challenges, in part disregards the method 99


The History of Political and Social Concepts

developed by Reichardt in his critical reaction to the practice of the GG. What follows, then, is a comparison of Chartier's method and performance in the Handbuch to Reichardt's original project and his own contributions to it. Next comes a discussion of Reichardt's subsequent development of a much-needed method for dealing with a central problem for Begriffsgeschichte'm all its forms: How can a political language be reconstructed from the histories of individual concepts? The chapter concludes with a critical assessment of the Handbuclfs contributions to conceptual history. This is meant both to prepare the ground for comparison to the ways in which analogous issues have been treated in English, and to begin the discussion of what ought to be included in a history of political and social concepts in English-speaking countries. Chartier has been challenging die characteristic merger of Annales and Marxist assumptions by social historians of Vovelle's generation. A number of the premises central to this earlier Annales version of the history of mentalites have been attacked by Chartier in his Lectures et lecteurs dans la France d'ancien regime. If Chartier is right on any or all of these points, this would make it necessary to reexarnine Reichardt's assumptions in his introduction to the Handbuch. This partial disagreement between Reichardt and Chartier in metatheory and actual practice is all the more worth considering because Chartier's essay on the history of the concept of civilite, although printed in Lectures et lecteurs, was commissioned for and appeared in the Handbuch.1 Chartier begins Lectures et lecteurs by rejecting the distinction between popular and learned culture. This dichotomy treats cultural cleavages as invariably based upon social distinctions. Its applicability to France before the Revolution has been assumed (by Annales and other social historians), whereas it is precisely what needs to be demonstrated. To what extent were there important points of similarity as well as of difference among social and political formations in prerevolutionary France? For example, Chartier asks, was it always the case that what social historians have assumed to be "popular religion" was effectively insulated from official dogma, which through the Church's agencies for teaching, propagation, and discipline was imposed and enforced by the hierarchy upon lower levels of the clergy? Chartier's findings indicate that what has been called "popular religion" was at once acculturated and acculturatiiig; neither radically distinct from the teachings of the Church, nor totally modelled by it.2 From Chartier's reexamination of the BMiotheque bleue, a series of books pedlars sold with great success, he concludes that much of Annales social history, such as Robert Mandrou's influential study of the BMiotheque bleue as "popular culture," was based upon the unexamined premise that this literature was completely separated from those who were formally educated and regarded as socially preeminent.3 Another cardinal point of the method practiced by Vovellc, although never adopted in the Handbuch's theory or practice, was the assumption that extensive use of statistical analysis is the best way of writing cultural history. Against this earlier emphasis on quantification, which he himself had once

Innovation and Critique in the Handbuch


accepted, Chartier now asserts the need to chart qualitatively in all its complexity the range of forms of expression and modes of social communication in a society which contained so many regional variations and different formations, each with its own mixture of distinctiveness and repetitiveness in the themes of its culture. Those who had taken a statistical approach to the study of culture had assumed that the single most important aspect of French society was its unequal distribution of objects, discourses, and actions. Each of these, they held, should be studied in quantifiable series of documents. Chartier's alternative is to center analysis upon differentiated usages and appropriations by different groups in the society of the many common goods, gestures, and practices they shared. Chartier decries the use of statistical methods to treat cultural traits and behavior, such as the preparations for death in the form of wills, collected and analyzed by Vovelle. In Chartier's view, such statistical analyses of culture are reductionist, presupposing correlations between social positions and cultural horizons; and thus treat ideas and behavior primarily through their most repetitive and imdifferentiated aspects. Elsewhere Chartier has attacked an assumption he finds equally undifferentiated: that the culture of France before the Revolution can be analyzed by referring to a single system of symbols allegedly common to all its members.4 In his article on civilite, Chartier does not follow in every regard the prescribed emphasis and method of the Handbuch. He devotes much less space to its focal point, that is, developments in political language during the Revolution and its sequels, than to the concept's history during the ancien regime. Indeed, the key to his analysis are the terms used in the tide of this essay in Lectures et lecteurs: "Distinction et divulgation: la civilite et ses livres." For the most part, Chartier treats civilite as a social concept, the key to which he finds in the attitudes, composition, and needs of its varied audiences. As Chartier's method would suggest, the ways in which these audiences received the concept were often directly affected by the ways in which other groups were treating civilite. As long as civilite was a concept to be understood and practiced by the few, it worked effectively as a mode of social distinction and was well-regarded by those embracing the new norms established in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries for courtiers and nobles. But when civilite began to be "divulgated," that is, taught in charity schools and popularized in books with relatively high circulations, the concept was criticized and deprecated in literature written by or directed to members of more exclusive social formations.5 Chartier maps this conceptual history of civilite as a social concept by calling attention to the changing semantic relationships between civilite and politesse (politeness), terms which along with honnetete (honor) and bienseance (decorum) were central to this part of the vocabulary.6 Still another line of development for the concept of civilite had been inaugurated earlier by Erasmus, who wrote an extraordinarily successful book on how to bring up children according to a moral standard which was


The History of Political and. Social Concepts

universal, rather than based on class distinctions. There were more than eighty Latin editions in the sixteenth century alone, as well as translations into the vernacular languages, and reformulations as extracts, digests, and catechisms. Erasmus's Latin title, De civilitate morum puerilum (1530), when translated into French created a previously unknown meaning for civilite: it became the equivalent of civilitas. Thus civilite became a crucial term in defining civilized behavior, and in creating the contrast between civilization on the one side, and "barbarism" and "despotism" on the other. Erasmus also brought into existence a semantic field for civilite, now focused for the first time on a type of education and code of behavior for children meant to prepare them for adult life. The French translation was entitled la, Civilite puerile (1559). Soon the reformed churches issued their own versions. Nor was the education of children left to Protestants and humanist laymen. In 1703 Jeaii-Baptiste de la Salle published les regies de la bienseance et de la civilite chretienne divise en deux parties a I'usage lies ecoles chretiennes, a book meant for nonaristocratic members of the classes attending Roman Catholic schools. Thus civilite chretienne joined civilite puerile as terms designating a field of action which during the Revolution would again flourish. For it was then that the education or indoctrination of children was taken over by the state from the churches. Chartier attributes important social functions to the movements inaugurated by Erasmus and La Salle. He sees them as providing codes of behavior and discipline for increasingly large groups in the evolving early modern societies of Europe. Such new styles were designed to replace outmoded medieval models. Although much of his article classifies and analyzes books, treatises, and manuals by now forgotten or anonymous writers who dealt with civilite, Chartier does not omit eminent authors. Often he supplements the Handbuch\ corpus by orienting his readers through short but telling references to Aristotle, Erasmus, Pascal, Corneille, Molierc, Montesquieu, and Rousseau. While not relying exclusively or even mainly upon these canonical writers, Chartier does not omit such landmarks from his map. Much is gained and little lost by this strategy. As will be seen, Chartier's brief reference to Aristotle and the classical concept of civility provides an indispensable comparative perspective, demonstrating how unpolitical or antipolitical attitudes dominated early modern concepts of civilite, whether in the courts of absolutist rulers, the Bibliotheque bleue, or humanist and Christian treatises on how to bring up children. By contrasting these views to Aristotle's, Chartier prepares the way for his discussion of still another shift in the concept's use, emphasizing citizenship for the first time. Crucial to this development was the close link established by Montesquieu and Rousseau between the concepts of civilite and citizenship. This connection was to prove decisive after 1789 for the ccntrality of civilite in popular republican and revolutionary discourses. Another telling citation of a major author occurs in Chartier's use of Pascal's radical diagnosis of the human condition. This helps explain why in

Innovation and Critique in the Handbuch


the seventeenth century writers could so successfully deprecate civilite, which by then they perceived as nothing more than the superficial code of appearances being taught to and accepted by the many and undiscriminating. Civilite in this form had already been discussed by Chartier in the terms of social history, as the literature of "divulgation," a genre teaching those seeking to rise in society how to act. To cite Pascal, however, is to add other dimensions to the literature attacking civilite. Rather than attributing such hostility to social snobbery alone, Chartier takes into account the power of Pascal's theological, intellectual, and moral arguments. Hence the success of Pascal's dismissal of the worldly version of the concept of civilite. Curiously enough, Chartier never refers explicitly to the Handbuch^ statement of its project; to its carefully selected and researched corpus of sources, from which he was provided with much documentation; or to Schlieben-Lange's long essay on the dictionaries and theories of language developed during the French Revolution. Nor does Chartier cite and compare treatments of civilite in revolutionary dictionaries, or treat hostile reactions by enemies of the Revolution to the new usages he does discuss in his abbreviated section on the Revolution. When Chartier refers to the use of civilite in political catechisms, his reliance upon older secondary works indicates that he was unacquainted with Reichardt's own collection and analysis in serial form of this genre. Whatever Chartier may know about the theory and practice of German Begriffsgeschichte, he makes only passing references to it, including the program of the Handbuch, for which his essay was commissioned. His critique in this book of an earlier style of writing the history of mentalitesK directed primarily against work in French. Thus he makes no direct comments on the Handbuch^ version of such histories of mentalites. No doubt these aspects of Chartier's article can be explained by Reichardt's difficulties in establishing and maintaining communication with his many French contributors, not all of whom seem to have understood or accepted the Handbuch's, program when they agreed to write articles for it. There is no working group for the Handbuch analogous to the Arbeitskreis fur moderne Sozialgeschichte, which, since its well-financed foundation in 1957 by Conze, has cooperated in providing sympathetic and informed contributors to both the GG and the series Industrielle Welt. Chartier, it should be noted, states at the beginning of his essay what in his view are the necessary limits for the history of a single concept. He does not reject conceptual history as such.7 Rather, he carefully qualifies what can be legitimately inferred from the materials systematically collected for him by the Handbuclfs team, and from his own research. Chartier's statement merits consideration as the carefully reflected and reflexive views on conceptual history held by a distinguished social historian of France and its culture. His statement is valuable because it was based on his own experience with tracing the career of civilite. It could have contributed even more had Chartier dealt explicitly with the programs and actual practice of Begriffsgeschichte in the Handbuch or GG. Chartier defined his task as determining what had been meant by civilite


The History of Political and Social Concepts

in France from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. To do this involves entering an old society, often opaque to us, in which social forms were often coded representations of rank and condition. Following Norbert Elias, Chartier begins his story at a time when once permissible types of conduct were being prohibited, even in private life. As contrasted to the functions of carnivals and festivals, the concept of civilite came into existence as part of an effort to suppress spontaneity and disorder, to provide a clear scheme of the existing political and social hierarchies, and to uproot the violence which was threatening the continued existence of the social order, and the space it provided for its members.8 From the middle of the seventeenth century until 1789, civilite was used in a number of different semantic contexts often with little or no relationship to one another. The first field was suggested, not only by etymology, but by the proximity in dictionaries of civilite to civilisation (civilization), as opposed to "barbarism," and, because of the heritage of Greek thought, to the concept of despotism as well.9 The second semantic chain defined civilite in relation to adjectives designating those persons with worldly virtues: honnete (honorable), courtois(courteous),jjracieux(gracious), affable (affable), bien eleve (well bred), and poll (polished, polite). Dictionaries often gave rustique as the antonym of civil, the adjectival form of civilite. This second context stressed exterior rather than interior characteristics, thus designating civilite more as a matter of appearance than as a moral or political virtue. A third set of linguistic relationships was created by the abstract terms most often compared to or distinguished from civilite: honnetete, bienseance, politesse. All three, particularly politesse, stood in unstable semantic relationships to civilite, to which these other terms were in some periods regarded as superior, and in others as inferior. Another source of difficulty is to determine the various senses of civilite. One part of the corpus of sources for usage is made up by such written works as dictionaries, works on synonyms, or even texts subverting received definitions. All of these contain normative utterances about what civilite is or ought to be. Another part of the corpus is made up of treatises prescribing detailed codes of conduct, whether humanist, as in Erasmus, or Christian, as in La Salle. To determine how civilite was understood, the intention of the author as known from the written word must be placed within the social framework of the audiences receiving and interpreting these messages. But this is to presuppose that the analyst in fact possesses the power to determine, without resorting to inappropriate schematism, the social positions both of those writing and their audiences. Here Chartier queries the ability of social historians, particularly those from the previous Annales generation, to elude this question by taking refuge in the ready-made class categories of Marxism. Chartier treats civilite as a social concept from the sixteenth to approximately the first half of the eighteenth century. Thereafter, he maintains, it became politicized, particularly after 1789. During the First Empire and Restoration, civilite was, again depoliticizcd, and returned to its earlier set of social and ethical meanings. At various points in its three-hundred-year

Innovation and Critique in the Handbuch


career, civilite, like honnetete, was applied to the moral qualities meant to be exhibited by aristocrats, or, in a different sense, by virtuous persons, regardless of rank. At other times, civilite was understood in relation to politesse (politeness), that is, as a code of behavior, specifying worldly virtues, such as knowing how to converse, how to be pleasant in society, how to address one's superiors and inferiors. The relationship between civilite and politesse was often reversed. Sometimes the first of these concepts was ranked as superior to the second; sometimes as inferior. Finally, civilite could also be used as one part of the distinction between "public" and "private." This distinction derived from the classical meaning first associated with Aristotle's definition of humans as political beings, by their nature created to live in a foils or, in Latin, a civitas. The first translation of Aristotle (from Latin) into Old French by Nicole Oresme rendered this notion of civilite as "the manner, order, or government of a city or community."10 Although still used in the sixteenth century to denote citizenship (droit de cite, qualite du citoyen), civilite did not regain its full political and public sense until the second half of the eighteenth century. Then Jaucourt in the Encyclopedic popularized Montesquieu's theory that civilite was essential to society as a whole, whereas politesse only flatters the members of a given social class. Montesquieu associated civilite with moeurs, or the selfimposed rules by which human vices are restrained, thus preventing the corruption of society. Although Montesquieu did not consider civilite to be a moral virtue, he thought its indirect and unintended consequences would be beneficial in modern European societies where humans were becoming more interdependent, and social functions increasingly specialized. Chartier describes Montesquieu's formulation of civilite as the topos which still dominated French use of this term at the end of the eighteenth century. To this rehabilitation of civilite as a political virtue, particularly in republics, Rousseau made two further contributions: first by his unconventional personal behavior and by his contempt, expressed in Emile, for the worldly virtues of politesse, second, by his assertion that civic virtue could alone create a legitimate state, that is, a republic.11 During the French Revolution, the notion of a republican civilite was created and associated first with liberte and then egalite. In his Principles of Republican Civility for the Benefit of Children and the Young under the Auspices ofJ.-J. Rousseau, L. M. Henriquez stated his theory of republican civility as creating the basis of liberty. Written in the form of conversations among Ariste, a father; his son, Prosper; and his daughter, Adele, the book clearly states its point in terms of the opposition between the liberty created by the republican civilite of the revolutionary order, and the despotism of the old regime: ARISTE: Civilite, which seeks to establish reciprocal respect among all, like the natural law, prescribes that we not do to others what we would not wish them to do to us. Civilite leads man to will and maintain his liberty.


The History of Political and Social Concepts

PROSPER: Papa, did those who lived before [the creation of] liberty, have no notion of civilite'. ARISTH: I can reply without fear of error. In a despotic regime, civilite is prohibited; virtues, rare. Nevertheless, some individuals help to compensate for the lamentable condition into which their fellows have fallen.12 In 1796 another book called la. Civilite republicaine asserted that civilite prescribed equality no less than liberty. Its author contrasted the inequality which had marked the artificial etiquette of politeness in the prerevolutionary society of orders to the natural morality created by the new age of equality: In those times when men defined themselves and were defined by others only in terms of their power, rank, or wealth, much effort was needed to learn all the nuances of polite behavior in society. Today there is only one rule to follow in relationships with others: be free, unassuming, firm, and faithful to one's word.13

During the first years of the French Revolution, civilite was thus reconceptualized as a major virtue, reinforcing the suggestions made by Montesquieu and Rousseau that if republican government is to endure, it requires the support not just of any majority, but of citizens with a political education which convinces them to subordinate their own interests to the common good. This reformulation of civilite as the virtue central to republicanism is stated in catechism form by Henriquez: ADELE: Papa, tell us what civilite is. ARISTE: My children, it is a virtue which establishes human relationships which are gentle, honest (honnete), which introduces manners at once polite, without duplicity or affectation. Civilite docs more than establish how citizens appear from the outside. For civilite guides the soul of the citizen, whom it makes into a social being.14 And, Henriquez added, only the virtues of republican civilite can create a nation which "recognizes no chief other than itself, no power other than that of the people, and where all institutions work for the common interest."15 In 1792 the concept of incivilite was coined to designate the aggregate of ceremonies, manners, and etiquette that still survived from the ancien regime, and, in the eyes of republicans, was incompatible with the new order. In Revolutions de Paris an article appeared, entitled "Incivilite du pouvoir execurif." Its author criticized Louis XVI for treating a delegation from the National Assembly in the old peremptory way prescribed by court etiquette, rather than as the representatives of the sovereign people. The new civilite

Innovation and Critique in the Handbuch


demanded that kings abandon the idea that the people are in any way dependent upon them.16 Chartier reports that just eight years later, at the beginning of the new century, little remained of the concept of republican civilite. Under Napoleon, older definitions of civilite returned, as its republican versions were rejected, while concepts of order and Christianity were rehabilitated in such works as Nouveau Traite lie la- civilite franfaise pour ^instruction de la jeunesse chretienne.17 Editions of books on civilite dating back to 1714 were now reprinted. Once again, the relationship between civilite and politessewas reversed. In his book on synonyms, Morin found three reasons for placing civilite far below politesse: social, cultural, and moral. Considered socially a man of the people, even a simple peasant may display civilite, while politesse is limited to men of the world. Culturally, civilite is compatible with a bad upbringing, while politesse presupposes an excellent one. Morally, civilite is inferior because it comes to nothing more than following convention, while politesse requires the refined feelings and delicate spirit of the genuinely polite person.18

It is scarcely surprising, Chartier remarks, that civilite subsequently lost not only its moral and religious associations, but also its strong republican sense, originally the work of Montesquieu, Jaucourt, and Rousseau, and never stronger than during the first years of the French Revolution. Henceforth civilite was to mean nothing more than the minimum of reciprocal courtesies required for all to live together. Its present meaning represents its devaluation from a number of earlier meanings: as a measure of knowledge and practice of the norms of upper class behavior, as the moral or religious values by which children should be brought up; and finally, as the key to the new ethos perceived as requisite to the maintenance of republican government. Chartier's article, despite its omissions, is a major contribution to the history of civilite. What he tells us about it as a political concept is enough to whet our appetite for a good deal more. Although his references to Aristotle and other classical treatments of civilitas are enough to put the modern concept in perspective, the reader misses the sections on classical and medieval usage which would have been found in the GG. There are too many gaps in Chartier's abbreviated treatments of civilite from 1789 to 1820. We are not told how the concept was used by the sansculottes and Jacobins, or whether shifts in meaning occurred after the end of the Terror, and with the advent of the Directory. Nor does Chartier do more than state his striking conclusion that the republican meaning of civilite disappeared within less than a decade. He does not consider political explanations: the censorship and propaganda deriving from Napoleon's systematic repression of the republican heritage of the Revolution, and the similar antagonism of the Bourbon Restoration. Chartier's neglect of the Handbucb\ program leads to some further


The History of Political and Social Concepts

gaps in his coverage. Although he begins his article with an analysis of how civilite was treated in the three major dictionaries of late seventeenth-century France, there are few further reports about usage in later editions of the French Academy's Dictionnaire, or about other dictionaries, and only occasional treatments of civilite in encyclopedias. Above all Chartier fails to refer to any of the dictionaries published during the Revolution, or to explicit discussions of the nature of political language by revolutionaries and counterrevolutionaries and by moderates and extremists at different stages of revolutionary development. Nothing is said about the linguistic discussions by the Ideologues, or the projects to resume the publication of the French Academy's Dictionnaire. On the other hand, Chartier's revised method for writing social history produces several compensating advantages for his conceptual history of civilite. By his treatment of Erasmus Chartier demonstrates in his conceptual history the point he made in his critique of the distinction between popular and learned culture. For Erasmus, although writing in the sixteenth century, remained a potent force in the continuing history of civilite, including its republican form. Again Chartier shows the dominating role of Montesquieu and Rousseau in formulations of civilite in its conceptual development during the second half of the eighteenth century, and in the Revolution up to 1791. Chartier, by refusing to segregate high and popular culture, provides an explanation of why, in the seventeenth century, civilite came to be deprecated by those who lamented the uses made of it in the literature of "divulgation." Finally, by refusing to phrase his conceptual history in schematic and teleological terms, as might a historian using class categories such as "the rise of the bourgeoisie," Chartier is able to chart the significant sets of reversals in the relationship between civilite and politesse. Chartier had begun his article with several pages of caveats about writing the history of a single concept in general, and that of civilite in particular. The researcher, Chartier points out, is confronted with many difficulties created by the need to deal with individual concepts such as civilite through the works which discussed it. To collect the texts containing the most frequent references to civilite (dictionaries, newspapers, memoirs, manuals, treatises) still falls short of creating a corpus of sources sufficiently reliable as a basis for generalizations about linguistic usage. For civilite also had a set of meanings associated with prescriptions for following an explicit code of conduct involving regular and habitual practices, actual conformity with which cannot be determined by reference to printed works. That is, written collections of normative rules cannot inform us about the extent to which they were followed. Even more serious a problem is the fact that civilite is but one part of a semantic field, at once extended, variable, and in motion. From the middle of the seventeenth century until 1789, civilite was used in a number of different semantic contexts often with little or no relationship to one another. Much to Reichardt's credit, he has confronted the difficulties pointed out by Chartier in regard to the history of single concepts. These are problems ere-

Innovation and Critique in the Handbuch


ated by the lexicon format of the GGand, for that matter, of the Handbuch: how can the political languages of the Sattelzeit, or those of the French Revolution, be reconstructed from the histories of the individual concepts that constitute their vocabularies?19 Arguing from his own research into the linguistic consequences of the French Revolution, as well as his experience with the Handbuch, Reichardt argues that there are distinct limits to what can be achieved by the study of individual concepts. His hypothesis is that key political concepts long in use rarely change without simultaneously producing new complementary or opposed concepts. Neologisms once coined also generate new relationships to concepts already existing or recently created. Particularly in a revolutionary age, there are chain reactions to the creation of new key concepts, or to fundamental alterations in the meaning of older ones. From such interrelated changes are created novel networks or sets of concepts inextricably related in their meanings to those which come to be used as their opposites, complements, or synonyms. This hypothesis is particularly important for anyone trying to determine, as does Reichardt, just how deep and permanent were the changes in the structures of political and social language and menta-lites due to the process of revolution in France, an issue touched upon by Chartier. What Reichardt proposes is a scheme for reconstructing the networks of political and social concepts developed during the period between 1789 and 1820, and comparing them to those in place prior to the Revolution. He wishes to establish two negative methodological principles: first, that the corpus of concepts to be ordered and compared ought not to be drawn exclusively from the abstract thought of individual authors, however distinguished; and, second, that concepts drawn from diverse genres and types of materials do not constitute reliable evidence about general usage.20 These maxims are meant to clear the way for positive principles of investigation which Reichardt wishes to establish and demonstrate. For in his view, creations and shifts of meaning in political and social vocabularies ought to be studied serially within a single genre, that is, in a series of texts written on the same subject addressed to an identifiable audience and, ideally, covering a time period that permits comparisons among texts in terms of their relationships to other concepts. In this way, it becomes possible by diachronic analysis to identify which concepts dropped out of the political vocabulary at specified times, or became peripheral to it, and which concepts replaced them as focal points. Clearly this is an adaptation of Annales serial analysis to the types of materials used in the historical analysis of concepts. This procedure is used in the Handbuch, not only for analyzing political pamphlets, but also for the purposes of social history as in Roger Chartier's article on civilite, as well as in the contribution by Anette Hofer and Reichardt on the fortunes in prerevolutionary and revolutionary France of I'honnete homme, honnetete, and honnetes gens, originally concepts that were understood by the nobility to inform the principles by which their conduct was meant to be governed. Over its long history, this genre of writings on honnetete ranged from normative formulations of the noble ideal to works telling aspirants how to look and act the part. In the Revolution,


The History of Political and Social Concepts

when used in the plural as honnetes gens the term was transformed into a deadly term of abuse applied by the sansculottes to designate all those of noble birth, who should be denied the rights of citizens because they were presumably the class enemies of the Revolution. Even when concepts are studied by this adaptation of the serial method, formidable difficulties confront anyone seeking to perform a structural analysis of persistence and change in the meanings of political and social concepts. Reichardt concludes that under these circumstances, it is impossible to construct at a single stroke a scheme that could compare not only the meaning of single terms before, during, and after the Revolution, but also the relationships among these terms at various points during its course. This attack is directed against the quantitative procedures used by the lexicologists of the Saint-Cloud team. What, then, can be done? For his part, Reichardt has developed a method for reconstructing the networks of concepts developed in the political vocabulary of the French Revolution. Another potential strategy might be provided by Pocock's mode of writing the histories of political languages. This will be examined in a subsequent chapter. In a strikingly original paper, Reichardt has attempted two diachronic reconstructions of the structures of meaning during the French Revolution. The first genre he treats is itself a notable discovery, a game, le Jeu de POie, which dates back to 1640 and was frequently revised both in its subjects and rules for two centuries thereafter.21 Prior to the Revolution, the game did not make much use of concepts, and perhaps because of the censorship, was unpolitical in its themes. But a revolutionary version, which appeared in 1791, broke decisively with its predecessors.22 In this politicized and abstract reformulation, concepts and some individual historical actors, thinkers, and writers were linked and opposed to one another in patterned relationships clearly identified as positive or negative from the revolutionary point of view that now unified the game. The structure of meaning was new, and the game now made sense because of its uniformly partisan evaluations. In 1792 another version appeared, published anonymously.23 On one side appeared the rules of the game; on the other, a didactic text entitled Sens moral, which summed up the new revolutionary morality and provided an optic for reevaluating the history of France. Referring favorably to only one ruler, Henri IV, the game provided a ideological historiography, which made the "new constitution" (of 1791) into the goal of French history. The rules rewarded players who landed on spaces with positive classifications such as liberty, equality, toleration, the public good, and patriotism, as well as on those denoted by the names of esteemed individuals, such as Henri IV, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Voltaire, and Mirabeau. Conversely, the rules punished players who landed on such evil contraries as despotism (Bastille, lettres de cachet), slavery, superstition, bankruptcy, the national debt, taxes, and treason. Certain groupings were awarded the highest status: the body of citizens, the people, the defenders of the rights of man. Other groups were stigmatized as exploitative counterrevolutionaries: the clergy, monks, and

Innovation and Critique in the Handbuch


nuns; the aristocracy, nobility, princes, ministers, farmer-generals, or tax collectors. All in these last groups were linked to despotism, ignorance, discord, inconstancy, anarchy, the spirit of conquest, and cruelty. The game, printed in graphic symbols, contrasted dichotomized networks of visual representations and abstract concepts. Taken together, Reichardt contends, this game constitutes a conceptual matrix, from which can be reconstructed semantic oppositions, equivalences, and complementary relationships. Also present is a scheme of historical classifications based on a definition of the Revolution as a decisive break with the past, an irreversible breach of continuity. Thus the 1792 version of the game presents something close to a model of the historical structural semantics proposed by Reichardt as a way of overcoming the problems of dealing with individual concepts. This conceptual matrix was created during the revolutionary period itself rather than being the interpretation imposed by a later analyst. Reichardt has here demonstrated how interpretation of texts and meanings of concepts can be deter mined by "strictly historical" principles. For unlike many present-day practitioners of "interpretation," Reichardt has not insisted on the superiority of his own judgments over those who lived in the past. He has neither abandoned the search for new types of evidence in the period being investigated, nor claimed to possess new techniques for reading historical texts which privilege the late twentieth-century interpreter. Reichardt then analyzes a second network of political concepts, based on a series of political catechisms, a relatively new genre. These catechisms began to appear in the middle of the eighteenth century, multiplied throughout the Revolution and the First Empire, and later became a staple genre of political education during the Third Republic. Reichardt's emphasis upon this form of political indoctrination illustrates one way of making effective use of concepts as the unit of investigation in social and political history. On this level, there is nothing "elitist" nor excessively intellectual about such conceptual history. Indeed, by consciously adapting to the needs of secular politics a form of instruction long and successfully used by the Church, those who commissioned and wrote political catechisms took an important step towards creating a medium essential to building support for new regimes claiming to be democratic and legitimated by popular support. To find and emphasize this medium is to show how conceptual analysis may be applied to the development of a style of politics previously unknown. Although begun by individual writers, this form of political education was taken over and used by regimes of all lands. Political catechisms explain how abstract concepts could be taught on a level which made them accessible to children, as well as to adults without formal intellectual training, and to the illiterate or barely literate. Investigated serially, political catechisms as a genre provide invaluable information about continuing changes in the political and social vocabularies and the conceptual networks developed at different phases of the Revolution. Because of their distinctive dialogical form, political catechisms require concise expression and emphasize relatively simple definitions. They stress


The History of Political and Social Concepts

concepts and elastic maxims applicable to political life in general rather than to simply one narrow sector or class, and for that reason were often used in elementary schools. When directed to adults, political catechisms were addressed not to the most but to the least educated classes. Following the model long and effectively used by the churches to instruct believers, political catechisms employed what philosophers have called "persuasive definitions" in their indoctrination at schools and elsewhere. Let me cite one example, drawn from Reichardt's work, of a definition used in a political catechism: "What is the patrie> It is the nation, its citizenszs a whole."24 This concept of the patrie was, of course, the creation of the Revolution when the nation at arms defended the new order against the European sovereigns determined to destroy it. The specific tonality evoked by such works emerges even more clearly from a longer excerpt. What follows is taken from a political catechism written, printed, and sold by a Paris bookseller in 1791: DEMANDE: What is despotism? REPONSE: Despotism is a state of affairs, in which the governing individual or group exercises all powers without having any laws limiting their wills, caprices, or special interests. . . . D: Does the Nation alone have the right to make laws? R: Yes, because sovereignty is vested in the nation, which alone can delegate those powers which make up its sovereignty. . . . D: What is, then, the best Constitution? R: That which is based on the rights of man and the citizen. D: What do you mean by that? R: These are the natural and inalienable rights with which one is born, which cannot be renounced, and of which, whatever the pretext, no one may be deprived. D: Has man always enjoyed these rights? R: Unfortunately, for all too long man has been deprived of them. D: How and when did this deprivation occur? R: By the division into three orders: the clergy, nobility, and third estate. The first two, always the most powerful in periods of barbarism and ignorance, held the third estate in bondage by the yoke of their tyrannical domination. D: What finally opened our eyes?

Innovation and Critique in the Handbuch


R: Philosophy enlightened the nation, which once assembled, took back its proper place. . . . D: What will be the form (I'Etat) of a society, in which all citizens obey the laws? R: An earthly paradise. Everyone will be happy because free, just, and rich from their property or labor.25 Reichardt admits that there are limits to what may be expected from analyses of political catechisms. Created in the 1760s, this genre has no antecedents that would provide a long-term series to which revolutionary catechisms could be compared. Nor was there much of a break between oldregime and revolutionary catechisms. In both periods concepts were emphasized such as society, honor, happiness, reason, rights, duties, and interests. A second difficulty is that as yet not enough research has been done on this genre prior to the Revolution, as compared to, say, political almanacs.26 After 1789 political catechisms appeared in bewildering numbers. From them Reichardt has chosen six. Each was demonstrably successful when published; took the political position of one or another major party; and was written at a period distinguishable from the others. What do they have in common that merits comparing them? All of them followed the same scheme for clarifying those concepts, which, in the respective views of their authors, ought to govern the reconstruction of state and society. All set out views of the rights and duties of social groups to one another; all had versions of what constituted political and social virtues and vices. Yet, Reichardt admits, none of these rubrics are found in all six texts. And in terms of their dates of publication, they do not constitute an altogether satisfactory series. Despite these limitations, Reichardt has devised a procedure for determining which concepts occur within each of the catechisms. He then compares the networks of concepts within individual catechisms. From this comparison he constructs a conceptual analysis of the six political catechisms presented in his paper. All the texts are analyzed by the same procedure. What can be learned from these procedures? Do they make possible analyses which would otherwise be unavailable to an informed historian? Reichardt argues that this is indeed the case. Using the technique he has developed to determine which concepts were employed by the authors of the six political catechisms selected from this series, he then goes on to demonstrate the significance of the relationships among these concepts. Thus it is important to list the concepts in order of the frequency of use, and then to chart their interrelationships.27 The first catechism, written by Saige, a Bordeaux lawyer, in 1775, was printed at least four times before 1789.28 In this text, two modes of thought are combined and transformed: the ideal of the Parlements, that of an ancient constitution based on estates and orders (societe des ordres, Standestaat) and legitimated by tradition; the newer appeal, ostensibly to the precepts of


The History of Political and Social Concepts

an abstract reason, that would create a popular state governed by the general will and in which representation would be based on the nation as a whole, rather than estates or orders. Saige's catechism used older concepts: Roi, Parlement, Nation ("King," "Parliament," "Nation"). These had originally been phrased within a language which assumed that both liberty and the general interest would be served by promoting the interests of individuals and groups through securing their privileges, property, and security (privileges, propriety surete). But when Saige inserted them into a new network, he altered decisively the meaning of these concepts. The leading concept (Leitbejjriff) of this semantic network was societe politique, an abstract notion found in the theory of natural law. To it were connected the concepts of contract, liberty, die individual, citizens, rights, and law. Saige's catechism was phrased in terms of that part of the secular enlightenment which sought to maximize happiness (bonheur) and the interests of humanity (humanite) as a whole. Emphasizing the securing of individual rights (civil liberties, property, liberty), this line of thought also insisted that when citizens are in fact protected by basic laws, they have the duty to obey their magistrates. Thus the conceptual network constructed by Saige did not connect "society" directly to other key concepts. Rather these were mediated by relationships among "society" and the concepts of nation, liberty, and laws. In this unstable new compound, there were two elements not yet perceived as potentially contradictory: on the one side, the concept of national sovereignty in the form of Rousseau's general will (volonte generate); on the other, the views of the Pa-rlements which equated political liberty with a basic constitution limiting and decentralizing power. Each view generated its own set of triadic relationships: the first, concepts of societe-magistra.ts-citoyens(s,odcty-ma.gistriLtcs-citizcns)^ the second, those of liberte-loix-citoyens (liberty-laws-citizens). When this 1775 network of concepts is charted and compared to those of later revolutionary catechisms, it turns out that Saige's version makes virtually no use of the concepts of patrie-feuple-vertu (fatherland-people-virtue), which were to be so emphasized during later phases of the Revolution. On the other hand, there is a striking continuity in the concepts used pejoratively as the contraries of political liberty in both prerevolutionary and revolutionary catechisms. Negatively weighted as antonyms of liberty were "feudal government" and above all "despotism," which also served as the polar opposite of "political society" (societe politique) and of "citizenship," (civisme], both of which were regarded as incompatible with despotism.29 These usages of "despotism" were to be continued and intensified with the onset of the Revolution, when the Bastille, as has been seen, came to symbolize the negative aspects of the old regime, which continued to be called despotic. Of the other five catechisms plotted by Reichardt, three deserve particular notice: the work of Le Vasscur (1791); that of Desgrouas (June, July 1793), embodying the concepts of the Revolution's most radical phase; and the relatively moderate text produced by Poisson de la Chabeaussiere (1795) during the depolitid/ation brought by Thcrmidor. 30 The value of

Innovation and Critique in the Handbuch


using a number of comparable texts emerges cumulatively from the successive analyses. New concepts and emphases emerge in identifiable form; and no less important for purposes of comparison, the method makes it possible to determine which concepts have been dropped or have been made peripheral to the emerging new structures. This is an advantage of diachronic analysis, as well as of the serial method. The 1791 catechism of Le Vasseur, by its sharp contrast between the virtues of the new government and the iniquities of the old, illustrated how radical the Constituent Assembly had become. Prominent in Le Vasseur was a set of powerfully pejorative terms appealing to an audience he assumed would share his hatred of aristocrats allegedly conspiring to recreate "the reign of despotism." Le Vasseur blamed the evils of the prerevolutionary regime upon four classes: aristocrats, priests, judges, and financiers. The positive concepts he most emphasized in addition to "liberty" were those referring to the French nation, the fatherland in arms: nation, Franfais, patrie. On the periphery of Le Vasseur's network were concepts once prominent in Saige's catechism—constitution, lois, representation—which were associated with the constitutional principles dear both to the Parlements and to the Girondins, such as the supremacy of basic law and indirect rule through representation. Saige's moderate ideal of a societe politique had almost disappeared from Le Vasseur, who nevertheless still made much of the human rights incorporated into the Constitution of 1791. Desgrouas' catechism, directed to the sansculottes, went beyond Le Vasseur in putting aside notions of a constitution that limited national sovereignty and hence the power of the state. In his only reference to forms of government, Desgrouas insisted upon a "pure democracy." Other positive concepts were weighted with an intensity not previously displayed. "Liberty" acquired multiple connections not only to "equality" but also to "revolution." "Virtue" joined "liberty" and "the people" among the most prominent concepts used by Desgrouas. But instead of being associated as before with the virtues of the good citizen, "virtue" in the singular now was identified with the sansculottes, with the interpretation of liberty and equality, which, they insisted, alone constituted the true republic. And "equality," which previously in these catechisms had been a political and social concept, for the first time was applied to the economy. Without achieving equality in the income of its citizens, it was held, the Revolution could not be secured. Although in 1791 Le Vasseur had already engaged in class analysis, he had confined his use of this powerful instrument to diagnosing the past evils of the prerevolutionary regime. Desgrouas raised the stakes by applying the theory of class struggle to the parties then competing in the revolutionary politics of 1793-94. To the concepts of peuple and patrie, Desgrouas set as antonyms: "anarchy," "aristocrats," "moderates" (that is, believers in moderantisme), "traitors." When this conceptual constellation is analyzed in terms of social identifications, there emerges a far more explicit vocabulary incorporating ominous attributions of class guilt. Those groups to whom this catechism was addressed knew that their enemies called them "anar-


The History of Political and Social Concepts

chists," "brigands," "populace." But in their own minds they identified themselves as virtuous men, patriots, the people, the sansculottes. Their goals were equality, fraternity, a purely democratic government, the republic, the Revolution. Standing in the way were their class enemies who sought to stop or slow the revolutionary movement. The groups which represented the counterrevolution were charged with seeking to put the people back in chains. Thus they were guilty of treason against the nation (lese-natiori). Who were these enemies of the people? A variety of answers are given, many in terms of class: the aristocracy, the bourgeoisie, the high burgeoisie, the brigands of the Vendee, the Brissotins, the egoists, those who seek to disorganize the new society created by the Revolution (les desorganisateurs), the moderates (les hommes tie marais), those who call themselves honnetesgens, the dandies (les muscadins), the criminals, and the traitors.31 The radicalism and social polarization of Desgrouas' catechism reflected the views of the sansculottes. With the coming of Thermidor and the end of the Terror, a new statement was needed to express the more moderate yet still revolutionary position of the new regime. It was provided by Poisson de La Chabeaussiere, who won a prize for the best elementary schoolbook (first edition, 1795). It was reprinted nine times during the Directory, and in at least thirty different editions from 1825 to 1885.32 Despite its moralistic framework and its avoidance of political issues at the time it was written, this Catechisme franfais was a thoroughly political text closely resembling Delacroix' catechism of 1789. Because the concepts of the people and the nation in arms had been central to the radical movements replaced by the Directory, peuple was dropped altogether, as were all the pejorative social designations drawn from the vocabulary of class warfare. The more abstract nation gave way to an attenuated association of "liberty" with France as the pa-trie. "Virtue" now became the single most used concept, but in the sense of individual moral, as well as civic, virtues. Liberal constitutionalist concepts such as "political society" (societe politique) reappeared, as did "laws" and "justice." The center of this new conceptual network was the individual citizen, replacing the collective concept of the people found in Desgrouas. Thus ends the first attempt by Reichardt to present a structural semantics, an overview of the conceptual networks of the Revolution from 1789 to 1795. Characteristically, his paper ends with still another set of diagrams designed to point up how the makeup and emphases of these catechisms shifted. I have attempted to summarize verbally the points made in the diagram by Reichardt. He says little about the long-range effects of these different formulations of revolutionary catechisms, except to point out that none of them ever conclusively destroyed the others. Although Poisson's version was to survive the Restoration and the First and Second Empires, the radical semantic revolution of 1793-94 was also to exert a lasting effect upon the history of French handworkers, workers' movements, and the set of attitudes towards the French Revolution, the self-understanding described by Francois Furet as the "Revolutionary Catechism." 33

Innovation and Critique in the Handbuch


Although only a small part of the Handbuch has appeared, it is already clear how much it has contributed to a new understanding of the ways in which the French language both registered and steered epoch-making changes before, during, and after the Revolution. This work has done so in a number of ways. It has enlarged the definition of historical context by including discussions (both prior to and during the Revolution) of the nature of language, of semantics, grammar, and the part played by vocabulary and by definitions of correct usage in maintaining or subverting the existing order. And more carefully and critically than any previous work, the Handbucb has established a corpus of diverse sources relevant to conceptual history, and furnished contributors with findings derived from systematic coverage of this corpus. Its best articles are based on a novel and informative method for investigating the history of conceptual usage through a series of publications, as well as nonverbal genres, dealing with a given notion. Finally, on the basis of the Handbuch's findings, Reichardt has proposed a scheme for mapping and comparing the semantic fields in which political and social concepts have functioned. This method combines synchronic and diachronic analysis, not of individual concepts, but within constellations of those which have been used together at significant junctures. The Handbuch is especially significant for English-speaking historians of political thought who have learned from J. G. A. Pocock and Quentin Skinner to treat political thought in connection with language. The Handbuch adds to the historical study of the relationship between political thought and language a number of subjects curiously ignored by Skinner, despite his emphasis upon linguistic conventions. These include the history of semantics, that is, theories of meanings and signs self-consciously held by those thinking, forming concepts, and making use of them in past contexts. Political thinkers, as Skinner describes them, are historical actors, whose linguistic conventions permit or limit types of political legitimations. It follows that if it is possible to learn what they thought and wrote about the rules of the language games being played by themselves and their adversaries, we ought to do so. Also established by the Handbuch as additional subjects of inquiry indispensable to histories of thought, discourse, or ideology are theories about the nature of language, including the origins of language; and lexicography, that is the actual recording, codification, and not infrequent judgment of the usage of words (including those designating concepts) through dictionaries, vocabularies, glossaries, works on synonyms, and treatises on correct usage, as well as books in the genre of Voltaire's Dictionnaire philosophique. Perhaps most surprising of all the sources emphasized in the Handbuch are the explicit discussions during the French Revolution of the use and abuse of language, as well as of its political and social functions. These intense controversies raged on throughout the Revolution, the Consulate, the Empire, and Restoration. This is one more reminder that historians of political and social thought and language must neither condescend to those who are the objects of their


The History of Political and Social Concepts

inquiries, nor assume that only twentieth-century philosophies of language can clarify the history of political thought. Much that has been presented as novel in present-day theories about political language, discourses, and rhetoric, as well as in earlier studies of propaganda and manipulation, would have neither surprised nor much impressed those who lived in France before and during the Revolution. Was it only after 1789 that there occurred such explicit and contested discussions about the political functions of language? Or, as much evidence indicates, had this polemical approach already become a topic in the second half of the eighteenth century?34 To what extent have such contestations about the nature of political and social language been repeated? Only specialized research can provide adequate answers. In any case, as the GG and Handbuch have shown, important methodological issues are posed for historians of political thought concerned with language, "discourses," and "ideologies" when their analyses of relationships between political theory and language are extended from early modern history into the two centuries after 1789. Those influenced by Pocock and Skinner have not as yet investigated political language as it developed during the French Revolution and after. Many of the Handbuclfs contributions come in precisely this period. This gain in knowledge about controversies which connected political to linguistic issues is particularly important for English-speaking scholars. For too long Edmund Burke's partisan view of the part played by language in the Revolution has been accepted without criticism. In the course of reviewing a number of books on this subject, one of the best-informed political theorists writing in English has commented on one such work that its author "begins, as we all begin, with Burke": Attacking Brissot, Burke observed that "the whole compass of language is tried to find synonyms and circumlocutions for massacre and murder. Massacre is sometimes agitation, sometimes effervescence, sometimes exercise, sometimes too continued an exercise of revolutionary power.'"35

But those concerned with the political language of the French Revolution ought to know that Burke's views should be placed within the framework provided by the Handbuch, as well as by other French and German research on political language in eighteenth-century and revolutionary France. After reading Reichardt's introduction to the Handbuch, and Schlieben-Lange's essay on the history of French lexicography before and during the Revolution, it becomes clear that by the middle of the eighteenth century, many of those critical of the ancien regime regarded its officially sponsored language as a weapon used to maintain the state, aristocracy, and church. Readers of Burke often accept his implied message: that prior to the Revolution, the French language was unbiased and uncontroversial, containing only common sense terms, the meanings of which were politically and socially neutral. 36 Solid evidence to the contrary is available to anyone

Innovation and Critique in the Handbuch


consulting the Handbuch or, to cite one of its sources, any prerevolutioriary edition of the Dictionnaire tie I'Academie franfaise.37 In addition, we now know that once the Revolution began, Burke's contemporaries especially, although not exclusively in France, were making powerful rejoinders to his argument that the French revolutionaries were irresponsibly and murderously reversing the plain meanings of the terms of political discourse. This is not to deny that any such linguistic distortions took place. Indeed as the Revolution became more radical, such abuses of language multiplied, as did the executions they justified. But such alterations of language did not go unnoticed by the moderates, clerics, aristocrats, and royalists who were the targets of revolutionary abuse. Works such as La Harpe's Du fanatisme dans la lanejue revolutionnaire did not spare those who ardently advocated and practiced massive transformations of the French political vocabulary.38 For there were "patriotic grammarians" (grammairien patriote), such as Francois-Urbain Domergue, as well as partisans of "militant linguistics" (linguistique militante), such as the Jacobin Antoine Tournon. Both were celebrated during the bicentennial of the Revolution by an unabashed defender of Robespierre and the Terror.39 Thus changes in the French language during the Revolution were very differently described and evaluated by conflicting groups and parties, just as they continue to be by linguists and historians of our own time. It matters a great deal that such controversies about the nature of language first occurred as part of the agenda of political action on all sides. Such self-conscious awareness of the importance of controlling or neutralizing language was to become part of the political culture created by the friends and enemies of the Revolution. In this context, demands for freedom of speech were seldom treated as self-evident rights. To have placed such controversies about political language at the center of its conceptual history is among the Handbuch's greatest achievements. Despite many such contributions, some aspects of the Handbuch raise serious issues for conceptual historians planning future works on an analogous scale. Reichardt's critique of the GG, as well as the Handbuch\ turn towards subordinating Begriffsgeschichte to the social history of mentalites, provokes counterarguments. It is possible to disagree wholly or in part with Reichardt's method, without minimizing the Handbuch''& solid achievements. For example, Reichardt's cautions against basing the history of concepts exclusively upon texts by major theorists can be accepted without abandoning reference to them altogether. Other aspects of the project have more to do with pragmatic hard choices imposed by lack of resources than with methodological principles. Such was the decision to limit the scope of the Handbuch to the period 1680-1820, thus omitting classical, medieval, and much early modern thought. The judgments that follow derive not from the perspective of social history, but rather from that of a historian of political and social thought who tries to take seriously those contexts within which concepts are created, received, interpreted, and acted upon. Despite Reichardt's criticisms, the GG's


The History of Political and Social Concepts

procedures for charting diachronic changes in the meaning of concepts offer great rewards for historians of political and social theory, historians of philosophy, and intellectual historians. Although major thinkers alone do not comprise a sufficient basis for generalizations about conceptual persistence and change, any analysis that omits them is itself unsatisfactory. The GG attempts to combine the work of theorists with other sources, and on the whole provides more satisfactory results than had been attained elsewhere. Certainly many problems concerning the selection and use of discrepant types of sources have not been resolved in the GG. But it is too gross a reaction to eliminate major thinkers as potential agents in conceptual changes. Why prejudge any given case? As Chartier's article on civilite has demonstrated, to exclude the major thinkers he uses to orient his reader would lead to the omission of important sources for conceptual development, such as Erasmus. And to ignore all major thinkers would obscure the significance of changes in the uses of civilite, the meanings of which Chartier clarifies by contrasting them to treatments of that concept by Aristotle, Pascal, Montesquieu, and Rousseau. The relationship between the thought of abstract theorists and conceptual usage is an empirical question best decided from one instance to another, and without prejudging the extent to which the use of political language is determined by membership in one or another political and social formation. For historians cannot always justify their claims to be able to perform such sociolinguistic analyses. Chartier's challenge with regard to the distinction between popular and learned culture should reopen debate on this assumption, often made by social historians, although not by Reichardt. In every case it remains to be determined whether conceptual usage among groups considered popular or nonliterate was radically distinct from that of political theorists, whether conceptual usage was modelled in part by them, or was a simplified popularization of their ideas. In general, it is a mistake to present as intellectual history, as the history of political thought, or as that of political language, any account based only upon major thinkers, or upon those thinkers who have been bundled together to comprise a canon for the purposes of teaching, examinations, or edification. On this point there is little disagreement among Lovejoy, Koselleck, Reichardt, Pocock, and Skinner. As for the extent to which histories of political languages should include major thinkers, surely nothing meaningful can be said without specifying which questions are at issue. On the one hand, political and social vocabularies are specialized domains, the semantic or linguistic fields of natural languages. As such, they presumably are subject to the Saussurian distinction between langue, which is little affected by individual novelties of style, and pa-role, in which there can be any number of distinctive personal usages. Since langue as a system changes slowly, we are told not to expect that any individual could much affect it. Yet. historians of political thought often assert that some exceptional individual theorists have modified or even revolutionized the linguistic and conceptual practices of their own or a later time. Is this assumption always

Innovation and Critique in the Handbuch


wrong? Certainly Plato, Hobbes, Bentham, and Marx all wished to alter radically the political language of their time. But although individuals may have proposed an altogether novel political vocabulary, it remains an empirical question whether or not they produced the wholesale changes they hoped to produce, and for the reasons they gave. There can be little doubt that in many parts of the world, the vocabularies of politics, society, and economics were transformed by innovations introduced by Marx and Lenin. The substitution of their concepts for those that had preceded them produced real effects. Thus much depends on whether we are discussing a linguistic problem, that is, whether the thoughts, actions, or practices of individuals affect Ian guage as a system; or historical questions such as how Montesquieu contributed to eighteenth-century political discourse, or how Rousseau affected the political language of the French Revolution. Sometimes individual thinkers matter a great deal in concept formation and general use. Their impact may be due either to the intellectual quality of their arguments, or to the fact that their contemporaries and successors found it difficult to specify alternatives to them. Aristotle and Descartes are among the thinkers whose conceptual frameworks long dominated the categories of thought used even by those who were not intellectuals.40 Another issue raised by Reichardt's program for the Handbuch is his rejection of the GG's scheme of tracing diachronic changes in concepts through the periods of their use. As indicated earlier, Reichardt has reduced the chronological span covered in the Handbuch to the period 1680-1820. He did so because he thought that his team could not repeat in terms of French thought the commitments to review the past history of concepts en tailed by the GG's project. Any attempt to do so would make it impossible to provide adequate coverage of conceptual development during those periods of French history covered by the Handbuch. To chart the concepts, Ian guage, and mentalites of the Revolution is already a sufficiently daunting task. For this reason Reichardt refused to call his project a "lexicon," and instead settled for the more modest title of "handbook." Secondly, he defined this work as a contribution to the social history of mentalites, which along with Vovelle he regarded as having superseded the history of ideas, including the history of political thought. Given the limits imposed by resources and personnel considerably less generous than those available to the GG, Reichardt's decisions are com prehensible. Yet the consequent limitations on coverage of conceptual usage to so short a span will disappoint many who will go to the Handbuch in order to consult what is the only major reference work on French conceptual history. And the amount of space allotted to the social history of mentalites will not be greeted with equal enthusiasm by all readers. The diachronic charting of major shifts in the meaning of concepts treated in the GGfrom classical antiquity to the present has made it possible to perceive just how modern German uses of political and social concepts diverge from those that preceded them. Such understandings are not easy to come by. It is regret-


The History of Political and Social Concepts

table that the Handbuch has not provided us with the means for achieving an equivalent knowledge of French conceptual history. For a reference work on this scale is not apt to be redone soon. In deciding which sources ought to be included in historical treatments of concepts, no single type of inquiry ought to have overriding priority. There will always be considerable divergence in the interests of both those who learn from reference works, and those who are in a position to contribute to, or improve upon them. The abstract thought of a society should not be dismissed a priori as insignificant for its history.41 There is no more reason for this attitude than for the haughty dismissal by some past philosophers and intellectual historians of all social groups other than those in the ruling or literate strata. The complex issues raised by Reichardt cannot be satisfactorily resolved by dismissing as "old-fashioned intellectual history" all contributions to the history of concepts other than those made by social historians of mentalites, or by discourse analysts. Yet we should welcome what the Handbuch can teach us about the political and social concepts used by those social groups who have left few traces of their thought in the written materials from this period. For it follows from the revisions of Annales social history proposed by Chartier that historians should be equally interested in a period's abstract or formal thought, and in what can be learned about the concepts and political language of all social formations which helped make revolutionary history. As yet, little has been definitively established about the effects of highly educated thinkers upon other strata, or the extent to which the mentalites of nonintellectuals affect intellectuals. There are good reasons for testing Chartier's hypothesis that the relationship may work in a number of ways, including the intellectualization of beliefs and values which originated in circles that were not highly trained intellectually. This view, applied to Christianity at a number of different periods, was central to the historical sociology of Ernst Troeltsch, and his typology of churches and sects.42 The critiques made of the GG in a number of reviews written by social historians, and accepted by the Handbuch's managing team, disregard the part played in modern history by ideas and ideologies, and play down the importance to historians of knowing how, on varying levels of theory, change was being conceptualized and understood. For action even in revolutionary situations cannot be understood in isolation from the definitions of the situation actually held and put into service by those responsible for making decisions. Although not myself a social historian, I find the work of the Handbuch most rewarding. For it takes language seriously, examining the self-understanding and behavior of historical actors by the ways in which they conceptualized the great political and social transformations that occurred during the Revolution's various phases. And the Handbuch extends greatly the range of materials and subjects which ought to be taken into account in studying the context of revolutionary thought, language, and action. But like Chartier, I should like to avoid a priori assumptions that the printed

Innovation and Critique in the Handbuch


works of theorists had no effect upon those who popularized and distributed the ideas of the Revolution. It is precisely the interaction between abstract: thought and the ways in which experience was conceptualized on different levels that needs to be studied. After all, in the revolutionary game so usefully analyzed by Reichardt, among the most positively valued positions were those which carry the names of Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Rousseau. On Reichardt's own showing, there would be little explanatory power to any account of revolutionary France which failed to refer to those thinkers who directly or indirectly provided many of its concepts, its categories of analysis, and the horizons which shaped its views of the past, present, and future.

6 Pocock, Skinner, and Begriffsgeschichte This chapter compares the programs and findings of recent German conceptual history to the work of J. G. A. Pocock and Quentin Skinner. Within the English-speaking world, they have become the most admired and imitated historians of what others call political thought, but which they designate as "discourses" and "ideologies" respectively. Often treated together because their methods were developed at Cambridge University, Pocock and Skinner offer instructive objections and alternatives to Bejjriffsgeschichte. Yet they share with German historians of concepts a common concern with political language treated historically, and the insistence on both sides that political thought and behavior, now and in the past, cannot be understood without reference to the distinctive vocabularies used by agents in given contexts. As historians, Pocock and Skinner have focused their attention on the complex interactions among political language, thought, and action, as well as seeking to develop a historiography adequate to these subjects. Initially, their emphasis was on dispelling error. They concurred in dismissing as demonstrably unhistorical all conclusions derived from a widely accepted version of intellectual history, still found among historians of philosophy as well as certain schools of interpretation. These tend to assume that the major figures in the canon of political thought addressed the same unchanging questions and were always engaged in dialogue with one another, rather than attending to issues immediately connected to the politics of their own contemporary settings.1 Both Pocock and Skinner have shifted from polemics about methodology to substantive studies, informed but not dominated by their mctatheoretical positions. Although they work independently of one another, and not infrequently disagree, they share enough in their methods and matter to justify comparing them to the two contextual versions of Regriffsgeschichte developed in the GG and Handbuch. 124

Pocock, Skinner, and Bcgriffsgeschichte


Much about these German- and English-speaking historians may be clarified by comparing how their projects came into being, what their respective theoretical and research programs have been, and what each rejected in previous modes of writing the histories of political and social thought and language. To compare these German and Anglophone groups may clarify what is distinctive about each way of approaching history through the study of language, as well as to determine the effects upon their ceuvres of defining their chronological scope as they do. Because the GGand Handbuch carry their inquiries into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, they must treat the very great changes from early modern thought through the ages of the French and industrial revolutions into our own time. Beginning with late medieval and early modern history, Pocock and Skinner have seldom ventured beyond the late eighteenth century. The question of modernity, its nature, causes, and costs, is an almost obsessive concern for the German historians. That subject scarcely appears on the agendas of their Anglophone counterparts. That there would be great contrasts between these two bodies of work in English and German might be expected from the fact that they originated in discrepant national political experiences and practices, as well as in significantly different traditions of writing history, philosophy, the history of philosophy, and the philosophy of history. Yet there are a surprising number of common historiographical and substantive concerns shared by these two sets of scholars. The title of Pocock's collection, Politics, Language, and Time, could have served as the title for the English translation of Reinhart Koselleck's Vergangene Zukunft.2 The attacks made by the editors of the GG upon previous German treatments of political and social thought in the styles of Geistes- or Ideengeschichte resemble those made by these Cambridgetrained historians against unhistorical treatments in English of the same subjects.3 The interests of the Handbuch in theories of language, semantics, and the political functions of the vocabulary during the ancien regime and the Revolution supplement and provide the means for making more nearly historical the emphasis upon general conventions of language and the theory of speech acts found in Skinner and those most affected by him. Thus it may be that these German- and English-speaking historians of thought and language can learn from one another about research methods, or how to take into account previously neglected types of materials. But the most exciting gains would come if it turned out that the organizing principles of one group's scholarly practices could help expand or unify the work of the other. Of course it should not be expected that one set of interests can be easily substituted for another. The Handbucti's concern with mentalites will not recommend itself to those English-speaking historians of political thought who either have been uninterested in social history, or else have denied in principle that it has any relevance to political thought. The same resistance occurs when Anglophone historians are confronted by the GG. For its project is to connect concepts to the social and political formations


The History of Political and Social Concepts

that used them; to ask how theorists have conceptualized the accelerated, often revolutionary changes in the structures of political, economic, and social organization in modern societies. Yet both German works contain much that should interest Englishspeaking scholars. The Handbuch has broken new ground by including in its consideration of political and social concepts those symbolic forms found in festivals, in pamphlet literature, and in graphic depictions. It has enlarged the definition of linguistic context by adding the systematic consideration of philosophical and political controversies which took place in the past regarding theories of language. Often such discussions were occasioned by contested usages in political discourse. The Handbuch has identified controversies among contending historical actors about alleged abuses of language before and during the French Revolution. Analogous inquiries could add dimensions now missing to the more restricted definitions of linguistic and political contexts and conventions by Pocock and Skinner. On the other hand, German scholars should know more about Pocock's achievements in identifying and charting the many different political languages available to theorists in early modern Europe. His analysis points up the implications for theorists of their using any one or a combination of these languages. Skinner, while adding additional political idioms such as early modern Stoicism to Pocock's repertoire of available languages, has more often stressed that theorizing occurs as linguistic action within historically defined contexts. These, he argues, constrain considerably the types of political legitimations available to theorists. This is a linguistic limitation upon political power, a possibility not acknowledged by those who see language as always creating power, or as the instrument of power holders. Thus these contributions of Pocock and Skinner, carefully elaborated both in terms of method and in detailed substantive studies, could be used to unify the G(7s treatment of German political language (the subtitle, it should be remembered, of the CrG), as well as the Handbuch''& account of the concepts comprising French political and social vocabularies during the periods of its greatest changes. Although it is no easy matter to place these German- and English-speaking types of histories on the same map, the potential advantages of doing so make the task worth attempting. Pocock and Skinner will first be treated separately, and then contrasted to the GG and Handbuch. Since this discussion is meant to open discussion among German- and English-speaking students of political and social language, the work of Pocock and Skinner will be discussed in some detail, although analysis of their common Cambridge background will be omitted here.4 Pocock no longer describes himself as a historian of political thought, but rather as a historian of "discourse," meaning by that not the concerns or methods of Foucault, Reginc Robin, or Jacques Guilhaumou, but "speech," "literature," and p u b l i c u t t e r a n c e in general, involving an

element of theory and carried on in a variety of contexts with which it can

Pocock, Skinner, and Begriffsgeschichte


be connected in a variety of ways. The advantage of this approach is that it enables one to write the history of an intellectual activity as a history of actions which have affected other human beings, and have affected the circumstances in which they have been informed.5

Pocock assumes that humans communicate by language systems which help constitute both their conceptual worlds and authority structures or social worlds. These conceptual and social worlds act as contexts to each other. An individual's thought is both "a social event, an act of communica tion and response . . . and a historical event, a moment in a process of transformation of the system."6 Thus Pocock would have the history of ideas give way to a history of the languages in which thinkers have written. To establish the meaning of a political text, to discover what its writer actually said, intended, or conveyed, is to establish the discourse or discourses in which the text was written. From this general statement, Pocock has gone on to identify a number of theoretical languages available to early modern British political theorists. At various times he has also called them "paradigms," "vocabularies," "rhetorics," and most recently, "discourses." Each entails a set of linguistic conventions placing constraints on how politics might be conceptualized, and on the ways in which its institutions and practices might be legitimated. In his now classic first book, Pocock dealt with the language of the "ancient constitution," which attributed the liberties associated with English political and, above all, legal institutions to customs of a continuous, uninterrupted antiquity.7 When, in the seventeenth century, the feudal period became identified as a time when no such liberties existed, political disagreements were transposed into further competing languages, each based on its distinctive historical account of the English legal system and political institutions. As late as the eighteenth century, political judgments could still be phrased in common law terms of precedents. Pocock has argued that this language provided Edmund Burke with many, although not all, of his arguments against the French Revolution.8 Another language prominent during the English Revolution was that of apocalyptic prophecy, which, Pocock argues, Hobbes had to confront in die neglected third and fourth books of Leviathan. Pocock's second major book, The Machiavellian Moment, has made a lasting impression upon present-day political theory by identifying still another early modern political language, "civic humanism" or "classical republicanism."9 Pocock argues that, originating in republican Florence in the fifteenth century, this political language migrated to England in the seventeenth century via James Harrington.10 During the eighteenth century, "civic humanism" became the preferred discourse of opposition groups both in Great Britain and its American colonies. It played a large part, Pocock holds, in preparing the American Revolution. This language of politics de fined liberty as participation in civic life, including voluntary military service by self-sufficient citizens rather than by mercenaries or a standing army. Such


The History of Political and Social Concepts

a vision of the good life was conceived as devotion to the public good by versatile citizens, rather than as pursuit of private enrichment by taking up a specialized occupation. Thus as barriers to corruption, the theory required arms-bearing citizens with virtu and economic independence, preferably as small landowners. Politically, the theory called for a balanced constitution. Pocock's book is a masterly narrative that weaves together the themes of this language or discourse in their various settings: Renaissance Italy, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England, colonial and revolutionary America. The purpose of his analysis is to show how this conceptual language led to action of a sort that would otherwise not have been meaningful to its adherents, or comprehensible to us. It also identifies the problems understood by the respective theorists as most urgently requiring answers. As Pocock came to the end of his chosen periods of study in British political thought and action, he discovered in the Scottish Enlightenment an unresolved conflict between the languages of civic humanism and the natural jurisprudence of Grotius and Pufendorf. The latter, in his view, is still another language, that of property and rights, which derive ultimately from the legal tradition of Roman law, not common law. Pocock sees this language as providing the Scottish Enlightenment with new defenses against civic humanism. The Scots thus could vindicate commercial society, as well as commerce (which to classical republicans appeared as corruption) and the division of labor (perceived by republicans as incompatible with civic independence). In their four-stage theory of historical development, Scottish writers postulated a new level of civilization combining liberty, enlightenment, and commercial wealth. But under pressure from the advocates of civic humanism, even the most optimistic defenders of the new order conceded that it might endanger those qualities crucial to active citizenship. Pocock is now engaged in writing a detailed commentary on Gibbon, not as a British equivalent of Voltaire, but rather as the representative of a previously unidentified variety of Enlightenment which is conservative, Northern European, and compatible with a Protestant theology found in Holland, Germany, and England.11 Thus, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries many and varied languages were available to those theorizing about politics. To what extent were these political languages mutually exclusive? Pocock holds that more than one discourse, vocabulary, or idiom may be found in a single text. As for the natural language in which it is written, this may contain many types of political discourses. Despite their variations, they do not preclude communication, although they may make it difficult. Of course, there are connections to be made among languages and those groups, parties, or audiences who have adopted them. While Pocock makes such connections in telling his story and sorting out his languages, he has not devoted much systematic attention to his units of political and social analysis: to parties, groups, elites, movements, or audiences; or to political, social, or economic structures at the time his theorists were writing. Pocock's histories are for the most part linguistic, detailing how the field of political action has been defined for theorists and actors alike by what he now prefers to call discourses.

Pocock, Skinner, and Begriffsgeschichte


Yet it is worth noticing that Pocock, although emphasizing the relationship between language and political theory, has never been willing to stake his historical findings upon any one theory of language. Indeed "language" most often serves in his work as a metaphor rather than indicating any determinate form of linguistics, semantics, historical philology, or philosophy of language, much less continental specialties such as hermeneutics, semiotics, the "archaeology" of Foucault, or the deconstruction associated with Derrida. In his writings on method, Pocock is playful, describing what he is doing by translating earlier terms into more current ones: the "vocabularies," "idioms," and "languages" of linguistics are now Saussure's langue and parole, and in philosophy the earlier language games and speech acts of the English analytical mode are now "discourses," although without explicit reference to French discussions such as those of Foucault or Robin. Pocock also refers to Annales history, moyenne and. tongue duree, menta-lites; he even uses his earliest metaphor, Kuhn's paradigm, the use of which he has regretted, but never enough to abandon.12 Hexter has called attention to "the conceptual apparatus that Pocock uses to provide markers of continuity and changes in men's perceptions of politics and time," "the recurrent use of the same words in similar though modified senses . . . for about . . . 275 years."13 This concern was perhaps more prominent in Pocock's earlier methodological work.14 Although his treatment of conceptual language often displays great scholarship and imaginative insight, readers familiar with the carefully articulated methods of the GG and Handbuch for dealing with just those conceptual and semantic issues singled out by Hexter may find Pocock's procedures relatively eclectic, unsystematic, and not always consistently applied. On such points, the method of tracing concepts developed in German Begriffsgeschichte could add greater precision to Pocock's project of writing the history of political discourses. A disciplined history of concepts might greatly help an analyst seeking to follow Pocock in distinguishing the component parts of different discourses in the same text, or in demonstrating how the concepts that constitute a given discourse may migrate to another. The GG's mode of diachronic analysis could help establish exactly which one among competing conceptual usages is being used in a text. But it is also the case that Pocock's successful mapping of political discourses in the early modern English-speaking world might serve as a model for those seeking to reconstitute historically German political and social language (Sprache) by treating synchronically the semantic field within which concepts function. Here it is worth stressing not only that the techniques used in the GG are compatible with Pocock's goals, but also that this lexicon's findings and method, if applied to the history of political concepts in English, could facilitate the execution of Pocock's projects and those analogous to them. No one should conclude from this account that Pocock as a historian is uninterested in the history of political vocabularies from the Renaissance through the eighteenth century. His work has called attention to those concepts most prominent in each of the political languages he has identified and contrasted. In addition to his own prodigious research, he has organized


The History of Political and Social Concepts

and profited greatly from the set of specialized historical seminars at the Center for British Political Thought, which he founded at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. As Keith Thomas has written, no other scholar in his field over the past thirty years has been more "fertile, eloquent, and ingenious."15 In the course of putting together "an osuvre of formidable consistency," Pocock has also "provided an exemplary model of how historical study is the indispensable condition of interpreting the political texts of the past."16 Few, even among his critics, would accuse him of subordinating his historical practice to methodological discussion. Pocock's performances, it would be generally agreed, exemplify, for better or worse, his program of distinguishing sharply between the work of the philosopher of language and that of its historian.17 Not everyone would make the same judgment about Quentin Skinner, whose critics not infrequently accuse him of imposing his philosophical theory of language and action upon a subject for which it is inappropriate and unhelpful. Such critics describe Skinner as obsessed with legislating his own methodological prescriptions, which are so Procrustean as to be useless to the historian of political thought. They charge that because of his emphasis upon correct method, he believes himself to be the first to write a genuinely historical account of political thought.18 But in fact Skinner does not claim to be the first either to formulate or to practice the method he champions. Minimizing his own originality, he acknowledges his indebtednesses to others whose practices he describes himself as articulating. In a recent reply to his critics, Skinner has written: "[O]ne way of describing my original essays would be to say that I merely tried to identify and restate in more abstract terms the assumptions on which Pocock's and especially Laslett's scholarship seemed to me to be based."19 In fact Skinner is far more individual and original than he admits here. Few historians of political thought can match his philosophical competence. He writes with extraordinary precision and clarity, both as philosopher and historian. As a historian of political thought or "ideologies," as he for somewhat mysterious reasons prefers to call them, Skinner is a careful and thorough researcher, concerned both to work with primary materials, especially in Latin, Italian, and French, and to reassess the state of the secondary works interpreting them. Yet not a few reviewers of his Foundations of Modern Political Thought were dubious about the relationship between the methodological precepts Skinner has declared and defended adamantly, and the findings yielded by his own performance as a historian, impressive as it is.20 Skinner himself credits J. L. Austin's theory of speech acts with having provided him with the key elements of his developed theory. But it was R. G. Collingwood, a lonely Diltheyan and Crocean voice amidst an earlier generation of ahistorical philosophers, whose books first suggested to Skinner how the history of political thought ought to be written. Collingwood argued that the history of thought should be written "not as a scries of attempts to answer a canonical set of questions, but as a sequence of episodes in which the questions as well as the answers have frequently changed." 21

Pocock, Skinner, and Begriffsgeschichte


Collingwood also attacked no-nonsense empiricist and positivist British historians who were skeptical of any theory of understanding and tended, like Sir Lewis Namier, to dismiss political thought as "cant," mere rationalizations of interest or political position. Skinner also found in Collingwood grounds for rejecting all those who assumed the meaning of a text written in another age could be retrieved simply by reading it carefully. In the analytical theory of speech acts developed out of Wittgenstein, Austin, Searle, and Grice, Skinner found the framework for his own philosophical theory. Linguistic conventions and language games are the key to recovering what it was an author could have been up to in writing what he did rather than something else. The meaning of every utterance, spoken or written, must be understood as an action performed in order to achieve the agent's intentions. This technique of analysis allows the historian to determine the extent to which authors accept, reject, or ignore prevailing linguistic and political conventions. Such explanations of the meaning of a text by the author's action within a set of conventions produce three advantages over other modes of interpreting texts: (1) they provide the author's intentions within historical context; (2) they are noncausal in the sense that they redescribe the linguistic action in terms of its ideological point, rather than as caused directly by any force from outside such as class interest; (3) they enable historians to understand how original or conventional a linguistic action is in ways not open either to those who study texts in isolation from their context, or else to those who study context without taking into account linguistic conventions.22 To engage in studies of "ideologies," the historian must establish their conventions by studying the minor figures, rather than relying exclusively upon the major or canonical writers, a position he shares with Lovejoy and Reichardt.23 "Ideology" as used by Skinner is meant to be a neutral term, referring to any set of linguistic practices shared by many writers: vocabularies, principles, assumptions, criteria for testing claims to knowledge, problems, conceptual distinctions.24 In practice Skinner tends to subordinate the historical investigation of vocabularies and conceptual distinctions to an emphasis upon the general conventions and, most recently, the rhetorics of "ideologies."25 Yet his analysis of such rules and problems might be furthered rather than impeded by more detailed investigation of the history and uses of concepts. Such inquiries, meant to further Skinner's own program of inquiry, seek to answer the following queries: Which were the most significant terms actually used to express conceptual distinctions? When and why did shifts occur in the meanings of these terms, the concepts they designated, and the arguments in which they were used? To what extent did theorists seek to prompt shifts in meaning of concepts? How successful were they in persuading their audiences to accept the changes they recommended? When and why were neologisms introduced? To what extent were they incorporated into the linguistic practices of theorists, queried, or rejected by them? To answer such questions, both the GG and Hundbuch have developed


The History of Political and Social Concepts

strategies of inquiry, research programs for the systematic historical investigation of vocabularies and the boundaries of concepts. This is done by using dictionaries, handbooks, thesauri, books of synonyms, encyclopedias, and general works on language of the period being investigated.26 Such research could add much to assertions made by Skinner and others about the historical uses of abstract terms, as well as helping to identify the first uses and reasons for new conceptualizations. As for strict historical treatment of the general conventions governing "ideologies," the Handbuch has called attention to the special histories of theories about the nature of language and semantics. For all Skinner's emphasis upon historical context, when he deals with "ideologies"—with the exception of rhetoric—his categories are phrased in the terms of present-day analytical philosophy of language rather than those theories of language held by past thinkers. The Handbuch has treated language by calling attention to the polemical uses of competing linguistic and semantic theories. If similar materials were sought and found for authors writing in English, they could add much to our knowledge of how thinkers in different periods have viewed the rules of discourse they observed or challenged. Skinner has been primarily interested in applying to the history of political thought a philosophical point deriving from the analytical philosophy of language: the rule-governed character of language games, or general conventions. In Skinner's imaginative application of this philosophical theory to the history of political thought, he emphasizes two positions not usually made together: theorists may manipulate the conventions of their ideology in order to legitimate arrangements; however, once a set of conventions has been used in this way, it sets distinct limits on the types of legitimating arguments open to theorists. This second position, which Skinner originally developed in his analysis of Bolingbroke, deserves greater emphasis. He has subsequently developed the argument and drawn out its implications:27 Thus the problem facing an agent who wishes to legitimate what he is doing at the same time as gaining what he wants cannot simply be the instrumental problem of tailoring his normative language in order to fit his projects. It must in part be the problem of tailoring his projects in order to fit the available normative language.28

Skinner's principal historical work to date is The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, a two-volume study of European political thought from about the end of the thirteenth through the sixteenth century. This work is meant to provide an example of his method in action, thus showing how to write "a history of political theory with a genuinely historical character."29 To do so, Skinner argues, involves not only avoiding the errors he had identified earlier, but also composing a history centered less on the classic texts and more on the history of "ideologies." The best-known theorists can be

Pocock, Skinner, and Begriftsgeschichte


situated, and the point of their arguments understood, only after establishing the framework of conventional linguistic assumptions within their societies. Skinner identifies his principal substantive concern as indicating "the process by which the modern concept of the State [capitalized by Skinner] came to be formed." He understands "the modern concept of the State" to be that provided by Max Weber. Because in fact the basis of government shifted from the power of the ruler to that of the State, the State could "be conceptualised in distinctively modern terms—as the sole source of law and legitimate force within its own territory, and as the sole appropriate object of its subjects' allegiances."30 Skinner charts carefully, and with considerable originality, the diverse modes of thought that converged in this concept. The centrality of this theme is further underlined in Skinner's conclusion to his second volume, where he turns from the institutional developments prompting this conceptual change from the concept of the State ("history") to the word "State" ("historical semantics"). Thus the use of the words "State" and I'Etatm the sixteenth century confirms the central thesis of The Foundations: "The clearest sign that a society has entered into the selfconscious possession of a new concept is, I take it, that a new vocabulary comes to be generated, in terms of which the concept is then articulated and discussed."31 It might appear that this is the point where Skinner's method most closely approximates that deployed in the GG, in short, a contextual history of concepts. In that case, he would have defined his task at least in part as retrieving the concepts constituting the vocabulary in which the concept of the state came to be articulated and discussed. Yet in his methodological writings, Skinner's maxims would seem to stand in the way of investigating in genuinely historical terms the concepts of a newly acquired vocabulary. In an earlier dismissal of the history of ideas as formulated by A. O. Lovejoy, Skinner stated baldly that it is always a mistake to attempt writing the history of an idea.32 Literally understood, this assertion would make Begriffsgeschichte in all its forms appear to be fatally flawed. It would add to the difficulty of understanding Skinner's own explanation in The Foundations of how and why the modern State came to be conceptualized. In 1989 he himself published a thirty-six page chapter on "The State" in a volume dealing with conceptual change.33 Skinner's original point was Wittgensteinian: concepts are tools. To understand a concept, it is necessary to know the full range of things that can be done with it. This is why there can be no histories of concepts; there can only be histories of their uses in argument. Skinner insists upon "the deep truth that concepts must not be viewed simply as propositions with meanings attached to them; they must also be thought of as weapons (Heidegger's suggestion) or as tools (Wittgenstein's term)." 34 It is not immediately apparent how a historian could write the history of the uses of a concept in argument without having taken a position on the


The History of Political and Social Concepts

identity of the concept, without having charted continuities and shifts in the meanings carried by the concept (as distinguished from names or terms for it). Here it does not help to repeat that meaning is identical with use. For how could the historian distinguish any concept deployed in an argument from other concepts nearly synonymous or easily confused with it? Nor is it clear how any experience or belief can be "conceptualised," a term so frequently used by Skinner, without creating concepts, the history of which then can and ought to be charted.35 As has been noted, he has himself written just such a history, preceded by a repetition of his statement that "if we wish to grasp how someone sees the world—what distinctions he draws, what classifications he accepts—what we need to know is ... what concepts he possesses."36 However, Skinner has clarified his position: "Since I believe that to understand a concept requires us to understand (1) what can be done with it as well as understanding (2) the terms used to express it, my only doubt is whether there can be histories of (2) that exclude (1 )."37 Here Skinner seems to acknowledge the difference between writing a history of terms designating concepts but with no reference to their contexts (as in the Historisches Worterbuch der Philosophic), and a history specifically designed to provide both the contexts of concepts and their uses in argument, as well as to identify the different terms designating these concepts (as in the GG). It would seem that he would now modify what earlier could have been taken as condemnation of any and all histories of concepts. Thus he may be understood to have dismissed only those conceptual histories that did not attend to the uses of concepts. Skinner's previous position apparently derived from his objections to the methods of two authors: Lovejoy's use of "unit ideas" and Raymond Williams' Keywords.3*1 On the basis of failures by Lovejoy and Williams to make such distinctions between uses of terms and understanding the terms, Skinner formulated a set of methodological maxims. They were very general in their scope, interdicting histories of concepts. In Skinner's earlier view, unacceptable consequences follow from Lovejoy's project: [T]his kind of history of ideas . . . tends to leave us with a history almost bereft of recognisable agents, a history in which we find Reason itself overcoming Custom, Progress confronting the Great Chain of Being. . . . [T]he main doubt about the method has been that in focusing on ideas rather than their uses in argument, it has seemed insensitive to the strongly contrasting ways in which a given concept can be put to work by different writers in different historical periods.39

Is this set of errors inherent in every attempt to write a history of concepts? Would it rule out Begriffsgeschicktc in all its forms? In an embattled rejoinder to his critics in 1988, Skinner appears to have repeated rather than retracted what he had said before:

Pocock, Skinner, and Begriffsgeschichte


I can best restate my objection by observing, in Wittgenstein's phrase, that concepts are tools. To understand a concept, it is necessary to grasp not merely the meanings of the terms used to express it, but also the range of things that can be done with it. This is why in spite of the long continuities that have undoubtedly marked our inherent patterns of thought, I remain unrepentant in my belief that there can be no histories of concepts; there can only be histories of their uses in argument.40 Despite the ostensible thrust of this recent statement, Skinner has not explicitly extended his objections to either the GC?s or Handbuclfs ways of writing the history of concepts. What he in fact continues to attack "is that type of history which assumes that we can treat the morphology of concepts in isolation from questions about agency and explanation."41 In some unprinted comments on Begriffsgeschichte, Skinner does not identify the history of concepts as practiced in the GG and Handbuch with Lovejoy's history of ideas. He seems to acknowledge that in defining the method to be used in their lexicons, Koselleck and Reichardt deplored the absence of context in previous German histories of ideas, and that Koselleck insisted on identifying changes in language with human agents. The GG disclaims ontological assumptions (that concepts have some enduring, essential quality), as well as epistemological assertions (that all thinking must be done through concepts). In his own 1989 history of the concept of "The State," Skinner's treatment of his subject is thoroughly documented by references drawn from The Foundations. Again, his conclusions and method are rather more conventional than those that might have been expected by readers of his metatheoretical papers. Despite some telling statements drawn from less familiar figures, Skinner's emphasis falls upon major theorists such as Marsilius, Machiavelli, Bodin, Hobbes, Locke, and Bossuet, and upon standard characterizations of contending traditions such as republicanism and absolutism. To what extent is Skinner's account a history of the uses in argument of the concept of the state? For the most part he supplies the context of argument by placing individual theorists either in the republican or absolutist category, rather than tracing uses of the concept in the language of struggles among contending groups, movements, or power-holders.42 And there is a strongly teleological or Whig assumption of a historical development towards the absolutist state justified by Hobbes, or towards Max Weber's definition of the modern state. Yet this extended essay in conceptual history displays once again the high level of achievement displayed in The Foundations. For Skinner is an unusually accomplished and thorough historian with the virtues and (to his credit, many of the views) of his distinguished predecessors in the history of late medieval and early modern political thought. These fields do not often recruit scholars as brilliant and as analytical as Skinner. Yet his metatheoretical projects seem to stand in an uncertain relationship to his actual


The History of Political and Social Concepts

performances, which, along with those of Pocock, will now be contrasted to analogous work in Begriffsgeschichte. Despite Skinner's program, which includes study of political vocabularies and conceptual distinctions, he has tended in practice to emphasize the general conventions of political language, while passing over its conceptual vocabulary. Perhaps, as in his study of the state, he will now shift to his own version of conceptual history. As for strict historical treatment of the general conventions governing "ideologies," the Handbuch, as has been remarked, calls attention to the special histories of theories about the nature of language and semantics.43 These could add much to the analysis of the selfunderstanding of thinkers in the past regarding their own relationship to the rules of discourse observed or challenged by the audiences they were addressing. As for Pocock's analyses of political languages, he often treats changes and continuities in their conceptual repertoires. Yet he has not developed a systematic method for studying the history of those concepts which, taken together, distinguish each of the "discourses" he has so profitably identified. Nor do either of these historians regularly treat disagreements arising in times of conflict among historical actors about the vocabulary, semantic theories, and theories of language appropriate to politics. Yet such linguistic contestations are especially apt to arise among those representing competing social and political groups.44 To omit the history of linguistic controversies from those contextual analyses emphasized by Pocock and Skinner makes it difficult to treat adequately political ideologies (in the more usual sense). Both historians have been properly sensitive to the dangers of simply reducing texts to exemplifications of schematic, a priori, social, political, or economic categories. Yet they ought to consider the cases made by Koselleck and Reichardt for including nonreductionist types of social history in the definition of intellectual context.45 Such a social history makes it possible to answer questions indispensable to determining historical context and reception. How else can the message intended by the writer of a politically significant text be understood if not by identifying its audience, reconstructed with at least as much historical care as has gone into determining the intentions of both the author and other writers? How can the uptake of a message by an audience be explained without examining its composition and interests? The issue of bringing in institutional and social history begins to emerge when Skinner's treatment of how the state was conceptualized is compared to Koselleck's in Prussia Between Reform and Revolution. Among the most striking differences between Skinner and Koselleck are those in the materials they judge to be relevant to such histories. In The Foundations, Skinner's work, although broad in its coverage of theorists, has little to say about their institutional and legal contexts. Koselleck's monograph, done at far greater length on a more delimited period, identifies the individuals and groups contending for the power to define such crucial terms as "citizen," "property," "status," and "the state" itself. That concept in its Prussian form is treated by Koselleck as itself presupposing the prior exis-

Pocock, Skinner, and Begriffsgeschichte


tence of many other concepts: "Consider what must enter into the word 'State' for it to become a concept: 'rule,' 'domination' (Herrschaft); 'jurisdiction;' 'the body of citizens' (Burgerturn); 'legislation' (Gesetzgebunjj); 'the judicial power' (Recbtsprechung); 'administration;' 'taxation;' and 'the army.' "46 Thus concepts taken from a number of technical languages had to be merged to produce the concept of the state, which crystallized and registered specific historical experiences and institutional patterns. By using the broad range of sources prescribed by the GG's method, Koselleck demonstrated that even in Prussia the concept of the state was neither unambiguous nor uncontroverted. Indeed the principal protagonists were not only themselves self-conscious about language, but called the attention of their publics to the serious practical consequences of ostensibly legal and administrative disputes about how to define key political and social terms. Analogous matters are treated by Skinner, but from a present-day analytical perspective rather than in terms of actual perceptions by historical actors of the political consequences of conceptualizing in one rather than another contested form. Koselleck's deployment of conceptual combined with social history, therefore, avoids the errors diagnosed by Skinner in his critique of Williams and Lovejoy. By demonstrating that it was the representatives of identifiable groups who perceived the consequences of redefining crucial legal concepts in existing law, Koselleck both demonstrated "the strongly contrasting ways in which a given concept can be put to work by different writers. . . ," and explained why such differences were perceived, espoused, or rejected.47 This procedure meets Skinner's demand for explanation by human agency rather than by vague social forces or indeterminate intellectual influences. Another lacuna in the treatment of political thought by Pocock and Skinner, who prefer to deal with individual theorists, is their lack of interest in the way groups, movements, or parties perceive and evaluate structural changes. In periods of rapid change, the history of the language used to characterize transformations of structures merits inclusion in the context to be analyzed by historians of political and social language. Pocock himself has provided one such notable study, which deals with the conflicting ways in which English and Scottish theorists registered the advent of commercial society in the eighteenth century.48 But such analysis of the linguistic aspects of large-scale structural changes is for the most part lacking in his work, as in that of Skinner. Thus Pocock and Skinner, using different techniques, have approached the history of political language by identifying the principal early modern idioms used in English, as well as by making imaginative use of the philosophical theory of speech acts. In their writings on method both have sought to identify and interdict modes of analyzing texts that produce anachronisms or historically unjustifiable readings. On the positive side, both have sought to make intelligible what theorists in the past understood themselves to be doing when they wrote their texts as they did and argued against ways other than their own of legitimating politics.


The History of Political and Social Concepts

Pocock's achievement has been to identify more fully than anyone before him the range of alternative and competing political discourses available to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century writers in the English-speaking world. Such integrated modes of analysis and belief as the "ancient constitution," classical republicanism, or the various modalities of Whiggism defined for their adherents what was meaningful in thought and action. With the close detail that presupposes great erudition, Pocock has mapped and traversed a complex field full of difficulties. Quentin Skinner has put on an altogether new footing two types of historical inquiry not systematically pursued before him: (1) treating political theories in terms of those historical contexts, linguistic conventions, and rhetorics which both facilitate and circumscribe legitimations of political arrangements; (2) describing and making intelligible such theories or "ideologies" as intentional speech acts. Up to now, because of his emphasis upon a Wittgensteinian semantic identification of meaning with use, Skinner's metatheoretical writings have led most of those impressed by his argument to regard with suspicion any history of concepts. Although Skinner himself may now be ready to reopen this question, the historical and linguistic accounts of political argument produced by him differ considerably from the projects of the GG and Handbuch to reconstruct political and social languages by charting the histories of the concepts that have constituted their vocabularies. An analogous lack of attention to the history of concepts is to be found in Pocock's actual work. And so, in conclusion, the question with which this chapter began must be raised once again: How compatible are these German and Anglophone modes of treating political language by rigorously historical methods? In my view, there are no major obstacles to bringing them together. Rather it is the case that substantial advantages would accrue from closer understanding and greater knowledge of these two ways of writing the history of political and social language. They share considerably more with each other than with some alternatives, which dismiss the very notion of historical reconstruction.49 Certainly the Begriffsgeschichte of the GG and Handbuch could profit much from the methods of Pocock and Skinner. After twenty-five years of working within the format of an alphabetical lexicon treating single concepts, the GG's contributors and readers need both to return to its original problematic, and to reconsider other major ways of understanding the point of writing histories of political language. As for the Handbuch, Reichardt has suggested his own ways of discussing synchronically the concepts treated in it. His program deserves careful attention in any future consideration of how to conduct inquiry into the salience of particular concepts in the political vocabulary at any given time. Yet, as was mentioned in reference to the treatment of Saige and French political catechisms by Reichardt and Keith Michael Baker, Pocock and Skinner offer significant alternative ways of treating concepts as part of political discourses and ideologies. The GG's underlying assumption is that it is possible to map synchron-

Pucock, Skinner, and Begriffsgeschichte


ically the key concepts that comprise a complex society's political and social vocabularies at a time of rapid changes in its structures. From analyses of these concepts, whether continued relatively unaltered, significantly changed, or coined for the first time, conclusions may be drawn about the overall characteristics of these specialized domains of the language. The GG's individual histories of concepts, placed carefully within their contexts, as well as its project of characterizing, comparing, and contrasting the entire vocabulary at significant points of time, add much to the sources, methods, and questions investigated by Pocock and Skinner. On the level of sources, the GG and Handbuch have demonstrated how much can be contributed to the historical study of political language by the systematic use of such sources as contemporary dictionaries, books on synonyms, and encyclopedias, as well as works by those already functioning as lexicographers, theorists of language, and semanticists. Other examples of how those working in the Anglophone mode might profit from considering German methods are the Hcmdbuclfs investigation of the concepts found in pamphlets and visual, nonverbal materials, and the nonreductive use of social history by the GG and the Handbuch. In comparison, Pocock and Skinner seem relatively insensitive to units of analysis larger than the individual theorist or school of thought. This may be due to earlier Cambridge antipathies to the social history and unhistorical sociology of the 1950s and 1960s, or to their own well-taken objections to crude Marxist uses of a priori class categories. But it may be the case that both have relied upon a philosophical theory of linguistic action which has limited the scope of inquiry to individual actors in speech situations. It may also be that Pocock's and Skinner's assessments of the relationships between politics and language have been affected by their specializations in late medieval and early modern history. Even Pocock's current work on Edmund Gibbon ends before the French Revolution. The GG and Handbuch must consider massive structural changes conceptualized in the political and social vocabularies developed during the French and industrial revolutions. One of the GG's longest articles, that on revolution, treats earlier forms but goes on to trace the concept's history and functions through the nineteenth century up to our own time. Nevertheless, there is much in both the metatheories and practices of Pocock and Skinner that should be applied to analyses of die GG and Handbuch. Pocock's identification of the political languages used in early modern and eighteenth-century Britain is a particularly valuable technique of analysis and comparison. With it as a model, the data in the GG could serve as a base for mapping the principal political and social languages used in German-speaking Europe. The same mode of analysis, applied to the French political languages operative in the Handbuch, could provide the basis for meaningful comparisons to German practices during the periods shared by the two German works. Thus the GG's findings could be reanalyzed synchronically in terms of the political languages employed during the Sattelzeit at intervals selected in terms of their significance in German history. Pocock's


The History of Political and Social Concepts

admirably nuanced treatment of the varieties of Whiggism could serve as a guide to comparable histories of German political languages put together from data taken from the concepts treated separately in the GG.50 Conflicts about the meaning and proper usage of concepts among the proponents of the various languages would also emerge from such a procedure. Social and economic languages present in the GG might or might not turn out to diverge significantly from those used to discuss politics and government. One of the questions common to Pocock and Koselleck could also be treated: how did the temporal categories imbedded in these languages affect the theories and concepts of those using them? The reanalysis of the GG could also be greatly facilitated by taking into account Skinner's views of political thought and theorizing as forms of linguistic action. The high degree of contextual analysis demanded by the GG's method is compatible with answering those questions so carefully posed by Skinner: Which linguistic conventions in given contexts were used to define the legitimations offered for political and social actions? Which legitimations were excluded by the continuing use of just these vocabularies and linguistic frameworks? By utilizing the information provided in depth by the studies of concepts in the GG, these queries, emanating from Skinner's framework of inquiry, could be answered with great specificity. It would be particularly interesting to carry questions drawn from Skinner's method into that period from about 1750 to 1900, when, according to Koselleck, there was a proliferation of ideologies (in his own and different sense of the term). Skinner has also raised questions about the effect of general linguistic conventions upon available modes of legitimating political arrangements. His treatment could be complemented by a method frequently used in the GG: the identification and analysis of the functions of illegitimation in political discourse. This is the technique of bringing the Gegenbegriffe (polar opposites) of concepts into the analysis of how the concepts themselves were used. Often these Gegenbejjriffe will be found to be performing important negative or delegitimizing functions vis-a-vis competing concepts used by other groups defined as adversaries. Thus negative concepts often do important work in political and social argument.51 Finally, three questions must be addressed briefly: (1) Are concepts the unit of analysis best fitted for writing the history of political thought? (2) Should Begriffsgeschichte be added to the already large repertoire of competing conceptions of such history being argued by those writing it in English? (3) What are the advantages and disadvantages of treating the special histories of political and social thought within the format of a lexicon or handbook? As for the first question, Terence Ball has argued persuasively for developing and applying what he calls "critical conceptual history" to political theory.52 But in Germany the first book-length work on political semantics in many years has launched a root and branch attack on the GG's choice of concepts as the unit of analysis. b3 This author, Dietrich Busse, a linguist, offers a set of proposals perhaps most closely approximating Foucault's theory

Pocock, Skinner, and Begriffsgcschichte


of discursive practices. Busse's work has remained programmatic and critical, as have earlier criticisms in principle of the GG other than those found in the Handbuch. Assessments of these hostile judgments may perhaps be reserved for the day when critics demonstrate the superiority of their metatheory by applying it in detail to actual historical cases. This is not to deny that by presenting their findings in terms of individual concepts, both the GG and Handbuch leave unresolved the question of how to characterize the patterned relationships among these concepts. Pocock and Skinner have understandably preferred to work with "discourses" or "ideologies" rather than with individual concepts. But as I have argued, their own work is not incompatible with the situated Begriffsgeschichte of the GG and Handbuch. In important respects, the impressive achievements of Pocock and Skinner could be improved upon by incorporating some aspects of the programs, methods, and findings of German Begriffsgeschichte, There is no incompatibility between German conceptual history and the precision developed by English-speaking analytical philosophers concerned with applying their philosophy of language to the history of political thought. Indeed the work of each gains from attending to achievements on the other side of the German-Anglophone divide. Certainly there is every reason to welcome distinctions which clarify conceptual change such as those drawn by Quentin Skinner in his introduction to Political Innovation and Conceptual Change. There Skinner distinguishes between changes in a term's reference, changes in its criteria of application, and changes in its use as an indicator of approval or disapproval. He concludes that in the history of any given term any or all three types of change may occur. Thus when it is asserted that conceptual change has occurred, the precise character of the alteration must be specified.54 Among the assumptions made by Skinner is that in order to make sense of political argument in any time or place, we must first establish what conceptual resources are available to participants. Yet, as David Miller has pointed out, it may be misleading to think in terms of there being a fixed stock of concepts.55 For one thing, concepts may be redefined or redescribed by political actors seeking to reconcile contradictions in their own thought, or to knock out or neutralize concepts used by their adversaries.56 Another consideration derives from the body of evidence provided by the GG and Handbuch, which have identified certain periods of accelerating conceptual change. At these times, conceptual neologisms proliferated. Many of them were attempts to name and characterize unprecedented conjunctures of events and structural changes; others represented efforts to predict the future forms and directions of political and social change. However helpful for periods prior to the eighteenth century, the notion of a fixed stock of conceptual resources obscures the unprecedented expansion of political and social concepts since that time. Because there is no adequate history of political and social concepts in English, it would be difficult to determine whether and when anything like


The History of Political and Social Concepts

the explosive changes in vocabularies documented for German-speaking Europe by the GG, and for France by the Handbuch occurred in Anglophone societies. Thus a strong case remains for at least some historians of political and social thought in English to turn their attention to a conceptual history during the periods treated by the GG and Handbuch. To do so would make it possible to attempt a comparative analysis of political and social concepts in English, French, German, and Dutch, as well as in other languages scheduled for study. As yet English-speaking scholars have not begun to study systematically the history of concepts. Until they do, all students of the history of political and social thought, of the relationship between political language and action, will be the poorer. The next and concluding chapter sets out in greater detail the case for such a project in English.

7 "By the Sufferance of Wise Men": A Call for a History of Political and Social Concepts in English . . . whiche terme, beinge sewiblctbly before this time unknowen in OUT tonge, may be by the sufferaunce of wise men nowe received by custom, whereby the term shall be made familiare. That lyke the Romanes translated the wisedome ofGraecia in to their citie, we may, if we liste, bring the lernyges and vpisedomes of them both in to this realms ofEnglanAe. . . . sens lyke enterprise hath ben taken byfrenche men, Italians, and Germanes, to our no litle reprochefor our negligence

and slouth Sir John Elyot, The Boke named, the Gouernour (1531)

In this concluding chapter, I state the case for a project comparable to the GG, Ha-ndbuch, and HWP, but focused upon the history of political and social concepts in English-speaking societies. Admittedly, there already exist many competing conceptions of how to write intellectual history in general, and the histories of political and social thought in particular. But as has been remarked earlier, the issue is not whether conceptual history ought to supersede all other methods in these subjects. Here pluralism is desirable and necessary. The interest of political and social thought is heightened when considered from different angles of vision. My case for conceptual history is that it is a unique form of knowledge, providing detailed information about key shifts in the vocabularies of politics, government, and society. The GG, Handbuch, and HWP have all demonstrated their value as indispensable resources for specialized researchers and for general readers. There is every reason to believe that an analogous lexicon based on one or more of these models would soon 143


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establish itself as no less invaluable wherever English is used, that is, throughout the world. Against such a project for charting the histories of political and social concepts used in English-speaking societies, three objections may be made: (1) that any such enterprise is fatally flawed by its covert attempt to revive a version of German idealism long since discredited by English-speaking linguistic or analytical philosophers; (2) that equivalent conceptual histories are available in reference works written in English; (3) that in addition to such reference works, those concerned with the history of words, terms, and concepts in the English language have long possessed a great work, the Oxford English Dictionary, recently improved by a much-hailed second edition. This, it may be claimed, now incorporates all the linguistic information which might be reasonably required. Indeed the OED has been described by C. H. Mcllwain, a great historian of political thought, as "the best single textbook of the history of our peculiar institutions and ideas."1 Many others who have been relying upon the OED and its supplements see no pressing need to improve upon it. Let me address briefly each of these potential objections. Upon first encountering German works on die history of concepts, many, although certainly not all, historians of political and social thought, intellectual historians, and historians of philosophy working in English tend to react in terms of stereotyped or anachronistic images of German thought and scholarship.2 For in Anglophone discussions of German political philosophy, philosophy, and culture generally, there exists an established mode of what Paul Ricoeur calls the "hermeneutic of suspicion." This was created in part by root-and-branch German attacks upon Anglo-American thought and culture during the two world wars. These were met in kind by Santayana's Egotism in German Philosophy, Dewey's German Philosophy and Politics, and such later works as Peter Viereck's Metapolitics and McGovern's From Luther to Hitler. It is a short step from this type of polemical history to the assumption that interest in the history of concepts derives from peculiarly German failings, which combine the philosophical tendency to reify abstractions with the political inability to deal pragmatically with political issues. And such dangerous German oversimplifications are said to stem from endemic national arrogance and the will to power. Although there is no single canonical version in English of the history of German political thought, certain outiines of it figure in a readily available vulgate.3 One such form still current among those trained in analytical philosophy supports the suspicion that any attempt to write the history of concepts must necessarily repeat long-established German errors. These include ascribing to German conceptual historians the mistaken assumption that concepts are unchanging forms or essences. Another fallacy attributed to German historians of concepts is the erroneous presupposition that linguistic terms refer to "real" entities, thus illegitimately conferring ontological status upon them. Still another line of criticism, grounded on historicist and

For a History of Political and Social Concepts in English


contextual arguments examined in the previous chapter, has been directed against present-day German historians of concepts by their English-speaking colleagues: namely, that even for analytical purposes, it is impossible to trace meaningfully the history of any one concept. For to do so, it is said, is to pretend that the concept has an identity independent of its uses in separate historical contexts and arguments. Hence there is nothing which can be treated as having a history. This criticism is curious. Because "historicism" or "historism" dominated the study of history in Germany prior to the Second World War, postwar German historians were forced to confront its principal theses to a far greater extent than their English-speaking colleagues. There can be little question that the historiographical positions charted and defended by Meinecke in the 1930s represented a longstanding orthodoxy among German professional historians. In the words of Sir Isaiah Berlin: The transformation of the writing of history in the nineteenth century is to a large degree the work of the great German masters from Niebuhr and Boeckh to Momrnsen and Burckhardt, from Savigny and Ranke to Max Weber and Troeltsch. . . . Its beginnings can be traced to many lands, but it first found systematic expression among German thinkers. . .. Individual thinkers, and after them, wider groups began to conceive of all human activities as elements in unified, "organic" social wholes. . . . [T]hey could not be taken to pieces and reassembled, even, in thought, like a mechanism compounded of isolable parts. . . .4

The principal tenets of this school of historiography were central to Geistesgeschichte and Ideengeschichte, the forms of intellectual history which had dominated the German approach to history and which were attacked after the Second World War by the founders of conceptual history. Thus, Conze and Koselleck were fully aware of both the contextual and the philosophical criticisms made of their methods as excessively atomistic, and insufficiently contextual. Present-day practitioners of Begriffsgeschicbte are as familiar with these linguistic versions of "historicism" or "historism" as they are with the no less contested notion of a specifically German mode of development and thought (Sonderweg). Anglophone suspicions about Begriffsgeschichte derive more from stereotypes about the allegedly unchanging characteristics of German thought than from first-hand knowledge of the recent practice within the Federal Republic of conceptual history in the diverse forms described above. As Lewis White Beck has remarked: Philosophers of other countries have . . . found the explanation of what they do not like about German political life in the philosophical proclivities of the German mind. A great deal of dangerous nonsense has been written on all sides of this question. . . . Such efforts . . . have been quite


The History of Political and Social Concepts unconvincing in their results, and have usually followed contemporary stereotypes and served as propaganda. 5

For all these reasons, talk about the histories of concepts tends to create discomfort among English-speaking historians and political philosophers. Yet as we have seen, German practitioners of Begriffsgeschickte have in fact addressed many of these Anglophone objections. In some cases, as in the GG's program, the need for its merger of Begriffsgeschichte with structural social history was justified by an explicit rejection of the unsituated general assumptions made by Hegelians, and by practitioners of prewar styles in German writing of intellectual history. And even a casual inspection of the HWP indicates that philosophical work since 1945 in English on problems of language and historical knowledge is well known to German philosophers and historians. It is also the case that over the past forty years historians in the Bundesrcpublik have developed close ties to their English- and Frenchspeaking colleagues. In both philosophy and history, intellectual life in the Federal Republic has changed so much since 1945 that older images almost entirely misrepresent the actual situation. The second objection which may be made to undertaking a project on the history of concepts in English-speaking societies is that existing reference works already provide all needed information. In fact, the major German lexicons surveying the history of political and social concepts in German- and French-speaking Europe have no real equivalents in English. There are some histories of concepts in reference works like the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the Dictionary of the History of Ideas, the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, and more often, although in brief compass, the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought. But almost all such conceptual histories have been done without reference to any theoretical agenda or research program. When compared to German work in conceptual history, their nearest equivalents in English lack the carefully considered definition of theoretical goals, as well as the detailed documentation and attention to sources which can come only from purposeful heuristic inquiry. A promising exception is a volume entitled Political Innovation and Conceptual Change, which is among the first attempts to present a number of histories of political concepts as used in English, as well as to provide a rationale for doing so.6 This work has received well-deserved commendation. But as its editors point out, their work marks only a beginning. They made no attempt to rival the detailed research of the German lexicons, to have contributors address an explicitly stated set of problems, or to follow uniform research procedures applied to an adequate corpus of sources. But in principle there are no reasons why such procedures ought not to be applied to the history of political and social concepts written in English. Comparative analysis might suggest another set of questions. Were there any periods in British history, or in other English-speaking societies, when creation of political and social neologisms, as well as contestation of older

For a History of Political and Social Concepts in English


usages, occurred to the same extent as during the French Revolution? If so, did such linguistic phenomena occur during the seventeenth-century revolution in England, or in subsequent periods such as the early Industrial Revolution? Extended answers to these inquiries could most usefully be made from merging Anglophone and German contributions to charting the history of political and social concepts in English-speaking societies. Such a conceptual history would address questions now neglected, and offer a research program differing significantly in method and matter from what is already on offer. The third objection to a rnultiauthored lexicon on a large scale tracing the history of political and social concepts in English might be made by many historians working on intellectual history or the history of political thought. For them the OED is the long-established standard work which has done all that is possible or necessary. Is it indeed plausible that any individuals or groups today could much improve upon the compilations of historical meanings of words, terms, and concepts so recently united in the OED's second edition?7 Its editor claims much for it: "So wide is its scope and so intensive is its treatment that it has served . . . as a lexicon of many languages, and though it deals primarily with words, it is virtually an encyclopedic treasury of information about things."8 Taken together with the previous two potential objections, this view of the OED, if accepted without qualification, would not leave much room for a lexicon of conceptual history on any of the German models.9 No regular user of the OED would wish to call into question its indubitably great contributions to historical lexicography. It has some claim to being the best of the national dictionaries. But it is no criticism to point out that it was meant to be a history of words, although some of them designate terms and concepts. Nor is the OED a history of the English language. As James Murray wrote at a time when the work's very name remained to be decided, "A Dictionary can only show a history of words, not language. . . ."10 Although most users are grateful for those examples which provide contexts for past usages of words, Murray, his staff, and successors all felt that the Oxford University Press had placed excessive limitations upon the number of quotations permitted the editors. Other difficulties make the OED a great but deeply flawed resource for the history of political and social concepts. It does not, as will be seen, regularly provide antonyms, or contrary, opposite, and converse words, as do many other dictionaries. It may be worth recalling that both the GG and Handbuch concur in two criticisms mentioned earlier of the great national dictionaries such as the OED, the Grimms' Wiirterbuch, and the French dictionaries by the Academic francaise, Littre, Roger, and the Tresor de la langue franfaise (in progress). The first defect is their drastic inadequacies in treatments of political, social, and economic language; the second, their bias in the sources surveyed. The second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary incorporates supplements covering periods after those treated in the first edition, but it did not revise the original thirteen volumes. Several years later the Oxford



Fhe History of Political and Social Concepts

University Press has announced that it is planning a complete revision of the OED.11 This will incorporate information accumulated since the first edition. Full-time researchers will analyze such data and contribute further findings of their own. It remains to be seen whether lexicographers can do justice to the vocabularies of what are now called the social sciences, and their earlier manifestations. In many cases, the histories of these subjects remain contested or uncharted. While it is to be hoped that the revised OED will surmount these difficulties, past experience raises doubts about the efficacy of lexicographers in these domains. Nor are they solely responsible for such lacunae. The coeditors of the projected revision have now appealed for cooperation by scholars working on historical texts. However, the relative absence of conceptual history written by English-speaking university teachers makes it unlikely that this task of revising the histories of political, social, and legal vocabularies can be carried through satisfactorily without organizing a special project along the lines recommended in this chapter. Like other general dictionaries, the sources hitherto used in the OED have been biased in favor of purely literary works. When Ferdinand Brunot was writing his history of the French language, he complained that he had received little or no help from French historians about special usages in the domains of political, social, and economic language. In the absence of organized research by English-speaking historians and social scientists on conceptual usage in their fields, it is scarcely surprising that the OED's information about first uses of words and concepts is often inaccurate. And the examples of usage provided by the OED only occasionally illustrate the functions of words and concepts in political argument. Even rarer are systematic diachronic treatments of changes in meaning of political and social concepts. If, for example, anyone sought to determine the political and social senses in English of "domination" (one proposed translation of the German concept of Herrschaft treated in chapter 3), the OED would provide inadequate information.12 What does not emerge from the OED's treatments of "domination" are those senses of the concept (as legally enforceable claims to treat humans as property of owners) emphasized in the GG's article on Herrschaft. The primary sense given by the OED is "the exercise of ruling power, lordly rule, sway, or control; ascendancy." But what does "ruling power," or lordly rule" mean in these political and social contexts? The entry gives as potentially applicable meanings: "of or pertaining to a lord; consisting of, or administered by, lords." Further explanations and cross references point the reader to "absolute, absolutism," "lord," "rule," "sway," "control," and "dominion." Under "absolute," there appears: III. Absolute or detached in position or relation; independent. . . . 1533. . . . 8. Hence, having absolute power, governing absolutely; unlimited by a constitution or the concurrent authority of a parliament; arbitrary, despotic. 1612. . . .

For a. History of Political and Social Concepts in English


Relevant illustrative passages provided by the OED are: 1533 "God's absolute power." Tindale 1625 Bacon, Essays, xix. "To depress them (nobles) may make a King more Absolute, but less safe." 1735-38 Dissertation on Parties, Ld. Bolingbroke. "Absolute Monarchy is Tyranny; but absolute Democracy is Tyranny and Anarchy both." 1756 Burke, Vindication of Natural Society. "Republicks have many things in the spirit of absolute monarchy."

As for the "ism" form of concepts stressed by the GG in its claim that ideologies multiplied after 1750, there are entries for "absolutism" and "despotism": Absolutism. . . . 2. Political. The practice of absolute government; despotism; an absolute state. First used together with "absolutist" by General Peronnet Thompson. Exerc. (1842), I, 295. "The experiment of trying to have an agent of the foreigner upon the throne, with leave to bring back the old absolutism." Despot. 2. After ancient Greek usage. An absolute ruler of a country; hence by extension, any ruler who governs absolutely or tyrannically; any person who exercises tyrannical authority; a tyrant or an oppressor. (The modern use, which is usually hostile, according to Mason, quoted by Todd, came into prominence at the time of the period of the French Revolution: "the French revolutionists have been very liberal in bestowing this title.")

The OED's entries for "absolute" contain some useful indications for the conceptual historian. The first passage cited by Tindale points to a political meaning borrowed from or analogous to a theological usage, thus recalling the explicit analogies to the powers of God and kings in early modern divine right and patriarchical theories of monarchy. The citations from Bacon, Burke, and Bolingbroke contain references to relevant passages from important political theorists. However, this data from the OED does not come close to an accurate diachronic series of political senses of "absolute," "absolutist," or "absolutism." Nor does it provide any synchronic treatment of the usages contested at any given time, as does the exemplary but highly exceptional treatment of these concepts by the late J. Daly. Among Anglophone historians, his work stands out by its careful investigation of the uses of "absolute" and "absolute monarchy" in the political vocabulary of early modern England.13 In this instance, the OED furnishes some materials potentially useful for a diachronic history of the concepts of "domination," "absolutism," and "despotism" in English. But the record furnished is seriously defective. In the article on "lord," it is stated that this word as a noun is "Taken as


The History of Political and Social Concepts

the customary rendering of Latin dominus, whence in part the sense development": I. obsolete. 1. A master, ruler; the male head of a household- 1611.2. One who has dominion over others as his subjects, or to whom service and obedience are due; a master, chief, prince, sovereign. Now only rhetorical. 7. As a title of Jesus Christ. Commonly "Our Lord." also "The Lord." Middle English.

The only relevant illustrative passages are references to Matt. 24:26, which contrasts "lord" to '"servant"; and to Milton, "Man over Man, he made not Lord." The article on "lord" as a verb brings out more political and social implications, such as tyrannical rule (which, as in the entry on "despotism," conflates "despotic," "tyrannical," and "absolute"). 1. intransitive, obsolete. To exercise lordship-1489. b. To play the lord . . . ; to assume airs of grandeur; to rule tyrannically, domineer Middle English. 2. transitive. To be or act as lord of; to control, manage, rule (rare) 1586.

References to the article on "rule" as a noun reveals little more: "14. a. Control, government, sway, dominion. Middle English." The entry on "rule" as a verb contains: 4. To govern, exercise sovereign power over, to control with authority, late Middle English. 5. absol. To exercise sovereignty, to govern; to hold complete command or sway 1509.

The article on "sway" as a noun contains only: "6. Power of rule or command; sovereign power or authority; dominion, rule 1586." Additional information about past usages is available to exceptionally careful researchers who go beyond the words "domination," "absolute," "despot," to search for other terms defining their semantic field: Dominion. The power or right of governing and controlling sovereign authority; lordship, sovereignty; rule, sway; control, influence. Dominical. Of or pertaining to an absolute lord despotic. 1644. H. Parker Jus pop 37. "That dominicall-power is unnatural: the very definition of it leaves the slave utterly disinherited of himself, and subject to his master's sole ends." Thus the information contained in the OED about "domination" as a political and social concept is at best fragmentary, and often inaccurate,

For a History of Political an A Social Concepts in English


although these and related entries contain some minimal indications useful to an otherwise uninformed reader. There are no references to the crucial early modern translations into English from Aristotle or Bodin. From the OED, a reader could not learn that Richard Knolles, in his influential 1606 translation (conflating the French and Latin texts) of Bodin's Six Books of the Republic had rendered monarchic seigneurctle and dominatus as "lordly monarchy," thus distinguishing "despotic" rule from its "royal" and "tyrannical" varieties. Bodin's conceptualization of sovereignty was, of course, a turning point in the theory of absolute power claimed by English and other monarchs. As for the claim made that "despotism" first appeared during the French Revolution, this is simply wrong, whether applied to French or English usage, as would be revealed by Nugent's translation of Montesquieu, or for that matter, by reference to Hobbes, Locke, Gibbon, Hume, Ferguson, Blackstone, or Paine. Nor does the OED contain British radical usages affected by French debates about the meaning of despotism and slavery, or at a later date, Marxist concepts applying the notion of "domination" to capitalist relationships, The purposes of historical lexicography and Begriffsgeschichte differ in many respects.14 Yet when it comes to determining historical accuracy, both lexicography and conceptual history must be judged by the same criteria. These include the nature of the sources consulted to supply evidence on usage; the thoroughness and accuracy with which these sources were read; and finally, the way in which the editors used the evidence provided by the source studies. When the accuracy of the OED has been assessed by lexicographers, they have posed a number of questions: How did the OED's editors decide which sources should be read? Was there a policy of balancing literary with nonliterary sources such as those registering political and social usages? How efficient and accurate were the readers assigned to the sources, and how can their accuracy be assessed?15 The original version of the OED used volunteer readers who worked through titles provided by the editors, and recorded on slips of paper those words and senses (along with the original contexts) judged by readers to merit inclusion. The editors then used these approximately five million slips as the basis for deciding the senses of words, and for the citations illustrating their past uses. The second edition has added a number of supplementary volumes, the contents of which were compiled by more professional and reliable means. But no changes have been made in the original thirteen volumes of the OED. The original decision not to revise these volumes was sharply criticized by Marghanita Laski, one of the readers for the OED Supplementwho contributed most to it: "[Mjany of OED's original readers were inept. I cannot speak for the earliest material, but I know that all literature after, say, 1600 needs to be read again. The amount that has been missed in even the most famous works never ceases to astound."16 How accurate were the entries as first compiled, edited, and printed? I. A. Richards remarked:


The History of Political and Social Concepts This business, the descriptive account of how the word has been used is, of course, a matter of extreme difficulty and delicacy. Anyone looking carefully at the Oxford Dictionary will see that the quality of the work differs enormously from article to article: different people have been assigned different letters, have had different interests in different parts. . . . It is very patchy and reflects frequently the date at which the article was written.17

Neologisms are particularly important in the study of political and social language. Among the centerpieces of accelerated change in political concepts studied in the GG and Handbuch are the vastly higher rates of neologisms appearing in political and social language. Although this acceleration in new coinages began in the early modern period, it has greatly increased since approximately the middle of the eighteenth century and has continued to do so through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries into our own time. Such neologisms range from "aristocrat," "Pancien regime," "French Revolution," to "Caesarism," "Marxism," "Leninism," "fascism," and "totalitarianism." All were coined in the course of transformations they helped create, shape, or interpret. How accurate is the OED in identifying neologisms? Marghanita Laski commented that all too many people, who should know better, assume that the first instance of a word or usage provided by the OED in fact establishes the first appearance of that word or usage in English. But the dictionary could have been no more accurate than the information available to its editors at the time beginning more than a century ago when the published section first went to press: "An enormous number of'first examples' in OED can now be antedated, of important as well as trivial words and usages, and often by centuries."18 Laski's impressionistic assessment has been confirmed by a quantified study which examined the accuracy of dates given for the first use of words in the OED. After rereading selected sources originally included in the OED's corpus, the investigator found that at least one-third of the potential first citations examined for the OED had been overlooked by readers. Corrections of this third would alter first dates of usage given in the OED by fifty years in thirty percent of cases, and by over one hundred years in seven percent.19 Among the reasons for such inaccuracy in the OED was the volunteer readers' preference for Shakespeare and Milton over all other authors. This led to overcrediting their favorites with linguistic innovations. The OED's excessive reliance upon such sources created many lacunae and inaccuracies in its treatment of political and social concepts. Still another cause of distortion was the emphasis by the O£D's editors on some periods at the cost of others. And, as though to illustrate the part played by chance even in lexicography, the O£D's treatment of eighteenth-century words was adversely affected by the loss of slips compiled by American readers, to whom this period had been assigned. Nor was even this most scholarly of dictionaries exempt from the enduring tendency to omit the terms and usages of groups or regions which were defeated or subordinated linguistically, as in other ways,

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by the victors. All these aspects of lexicography may be paralleled in the history of political and social concepts. What of the contributions to conceptual change made by individual theorists? We know that some political and social theorists have sought to alter thought and practice by coining or radically redefining concepts, or redescribing practices, as did Plato, Hobbes, Bentham, and Marx. It requires detailed inquiry to determine whether or not, in their own or subsequent times, they succeeded in producing changes in the language of politics as great as they intended. Properly done, the history of concepts provides such evidence as is needed to determine the effects upon conceptual usage produced by individual theorists. Success is relative. Even the most prolific authors of neologisms have often failed to gain enough adherents to ensure their use in the political vocabulary. Another situation has been studied by historians of language, but with few references to the problems of conceptual history as here treated. In some periods a language may have remained relatively simple and vernacular. Because it had been little used as a learned language, it thus lacked concepts needed for political, social, and philosophical argument. Then suddenly a relatively small number, or even a single individual, may, by translations and other intellectual and linguistic contributions, introduce into the vocabulary a surprising number of words and concepts. Such was the case with Nicole Oresme in French. His translations of Aristotle at the end of the fourteenth century contributed more than five hundred words to French. Comparable contributions to English were made by Sir Thomas Elyot and Milton.20 Elyot is a particularly striking case, for he is said by historians of English to have been the first to use a number of words and terms of extraordinary importance to the political and social vocabularies of his and our own times: "beneficence," "clemency," "democracy," "education," "encyclopedia," "liberty of speech," "loyalty," "magistrate," "sincerity," and "society" itself!21 The passages in which Elyot understood himself to be introducing "democracy" and "magistrate" into English merit examination both in their own right, and as examples of evidence given in the OED for the first use of words in English, and thus for their introduction as concepts. It turns out that even a writer as self-conscious about usage as Elyot was not a reliable guide to the first uses of words in the language prior to his own period. Nevertheless his reports about usage provide otherwise unavailable information about the presence or absence in the Tudor vocabulary of certain political concepts. Elyot's arguments for introducing the concepts of "democracy" and "magistrate" into the English political vocabulary also demonstrate how coining neologisms may support or make possible given political arguments. The same is true of translation and such uses of philology as offering and interpreting etymologies. The fact that Elyot went on to compile the first serious Latin-English dictionary indicates why German conceptual historians make it a practice to seek out and include bi- and multilingual dictionaries among the sources for determining the availability of concepts at determinate times in the past.


The History of Political and Social Concepts

Elyot, making a case for monarchy as the best regime, begins by defining the "common weal," which he refuses to equate with democracy: An other publique weak was among the Atheniensis, where equalitie was of astate amonge the people, and by theyr nolle consent theyr citie and dominions were gouerned. . . . This maner of gouernance was called in greke Democratia, . . . in englisshe, the rule of the comminaltie.22 Elyot's book (1531) is listed in the corpus read for the QED, and in its complete edition, his definition of "democracy" is provided. Regarded as a word, Elyot's passage does not use "democracy" but the original Greek transcribed into English. Yet he clearly possessed the concept, although in a pejorative form. This he presented in the course of making ostensibly philological and linguistic arguments. Both were used to support his advocacy of monarchy as the best regime, while derogating "democracy," and denying that it could be properly called a respublica ("commune weal," or a regime serving the public interest). Elyot's text reads: " Tublyke' is derived from 'populusS which word means 'all the inhabitantes of a realme or citie, of what astate or condition so euer they be.'" Properly translated, Elyot argues, democracy is not a "res publica" but rather a " res plebeia": A publike weale is a body lyuyng, compacte or made of sondry astates and degrees of men, which is disposed by the order of equite and governed by the rule and moderation of reason. In the latin tonge it is called Respublica. . . ,23 Plebs in englisshe is called the communaltie, which signifieth only the multitude, wherin be contayned the base and vulgare inhabitants not auanced to any honor or dignite. . . ,24

Hence the first use of the concept of democracy in English came in Elyot's definition of it as rule by the base and vulgar. Nevertheless, the first examples given by the OED for the usage of "magistrate" go back as far as Wyclif (1382) and Higden (1432). Either Elyot did not know of them, or thought that the concept had not been preserved in the political vocabulary of his own time:

. . . there can be no perfect publike weale without one capital and soueraigne gouernour, whiche may long endure or continue. But sens one mortall man can nat haue knowledge of all thynges done in a realme or large dominion, and at one tyme, discuss all controuersies, refourme all transgressions, and exploite al consultations . . . for outwarde as well as inwardc affaires: it is expedient and needful that under the eapitall

For a History of Political and Social Concepts in English


gouernour be sondry meane authorities, as it were aydyng hym in the distribution of Justice in sondry partes of a huge multitude. . . . They whiche have such authorities . . . be named in latine Magistratus. And herafter 1 intend to call them Magistratis, lackynge an other more conuient worde in englisshe. . . , 25 Although in fact committed to defending the form of government under which he lived and served, Elyot presented himself as engaged in a purely disinterested activity, that is, adding to the vocabulary not only new abstract words but concepts so that "men shulde . . . expresse more abundantly the thynge that they conceyued in their hartis . . . hauyinge wordes apte for the pourpose. . . ,"26 In this way, he thought, his contemporaries might be enabled to express what they meant to say, as well as becoming better fitted to learn from the classics, and works written in other modern European languages. Elyot thus represented himself as a humanist, attempting to remedy the inadequacies of early Tudor English as a vehicle for philosophical, political, legal, and scientific discourses. Yet his milieu was scarcely unaffected by politics. For among his readers was Henry VIII, who, Elyot reports, approved his efforts.27 Trained in the law, Elyot used lexicography and translation as means of creating a political vocabulary which could serve the purposes of his royal master. In addition to general, as well as bi- and multilingual dictionaries, an adequately constructed corpus of works to be covered for the history of political and social concepts ought to include a number of technical works specifying the meanings of terms used in related subjects, such as the law, public and private. G. E. Aylmer has provided an enlightening example of how a systematic survey of law dictionaries may contribute to conceptual history. In this case he uses legal sources to determine the meanings and definitions given to "property" in the centuries after Elyot.28 Among Aylmer's findings was the fact that despite the importance of property within the institutionalized framework of English society, it was not defined in legal terms until remarkably late. This occurred in John CowelPs law dictionary, The Interpreter, first published in 1607. By following entries in subsequent law dictionaries and reports, Aylmer charted continuities and changes, including the early eighteenth-century incorporation of Lockean political theory into the language of the law. How the conceptual history of property should be interpreted and evaluated is not at issue here. Rather this discussion is meant to indicate that a full historical account of property in political and social theories should include its career as a legal concept.29 Just as technical reference works such as law dictionaries help to map the history of a concept, so do works on synonyms and antonyms prove useful in conceptual history.30 This genre was invented by the French and became almost a craze there and elsewhere in Europe during the eighteenth century. Catering to the tastes of an audience sufficiently large to be commercially attractive, French booksellers repeatedly issued new editions of the original


The History of Political and Social Concepts

work published in 1718 by the Abbé Gabriel Girard: La Justesse de la langue

francoise ou les differentes significations pour les mots qui passent pour etre synonyms (The precision of the French language. The different meanings of words presumed to be synonyms). Enterprising English publishers soon attempted to mine this vein by similar works in English. The very first book distinguishing among alleged synonyms was The Difference Between Words Esteemed Synonymous (1766) by the Reverend John Trusler (1735-1820). Although an ordained priest in the Church of England, Trusler became wealthy through his entrepreneurial activities as author, bookseller, and printer. The first edition of Trusler's book, he wrote, translated Girard's work "to the extent that English usage coincides with French." This extraordinary effort to disregard the differences between French and English usage was much altered by Trusler in his second edition of 1783. In this version, he introduced many distinctive British terms, while at the same time retaining a large number of unacknowledged passages from Girard. In his 1794 edition, Trusler added new entries registering the extent to which his own political views had been radicalized by the French Revolution. Thus the history of the successive editions of this book shows how a linguistic genre first created in France could be brought to eighteenth-century Britain, where it contributed to linguistic practices and provided important indications of how the political vocabulary was presented and contested. The attention paid to dictionaries by the GG and Handbuch points to the importance of including in the sources requisite for conceptual history this important genre of works on synonyms and antonyms. For this genre recorded not only "the delicate differences between words reputed synonymous" but also what the authors took to be the distinctive meaning of each word, "which constitutes its proper and particular character." Works on synonyms thus help clarify how concepts, in our view ostensibly similar, were earlier distinguished from one another. Systematic identification and classification in English of what the Germans call Gegenbegriffe ("opposites," "counterterms") was not attempted until 1867 when Rev. C. J. Smith introduced the term "antonym."31 Since then the genre has become an established lexicographical speciality, often incorporated into modern unabridged dictionaries, although not the OED. In conclusion, then, the OED is a great but flawed resource for the histories of political and social concepts in English. Although the OED conveys semantic information about the meanings of concepts and terms, as well as providing the dates of their putative first uses, and occasional illustrative textual contexts, many such items have not been definitively established. When regarded as sources, the OJSD's entries ought to be treated as tentative hypotheses about past senses of political and social concepts in English. Yet the OED offers advantages as a starting point for conceptual history in English. For computer techniques not available to the German lexicons can now be applied to the OED. Its second edition is available on CD-Rom, and scanner technology makes it possible to add further printed works to this data base. By supplementing it with additional information drawn from an

For a History of Political and Social Concepts in English


enlarged corpus of political and social sources, the OED could be made to meet the needs of political and social conceptual history. Were such an enlarged corpus to be established, much could be learned from the procedures used to decide upon the Handbuch's carefully chosen sources. The first step in creating an English lexicon would involve considerable research on the sources from which would be chosen the works to be covered systematically before beginning the writing of any entry. The Handbuck inaugurated an admirable scheme of searching for and applying material from the corpus to the concepts chosen for coverage by the editor. Two advanced students were assigned the task of going through the varied types of materials to be surveyed. After four years of research, everyone writing the history of a concept for the Handbuchwas given the researchers' findings on that topic. These sources included journals, occasional writings such as pamphlets, autobiographical documents, and genres analogous to the catechisms, almanacs, and prints produced during the French Revolution. To such information about conceptual usage was added dictionaries, encyclopedias, works on synonyms and correct usage, and books on the specialized terms used by professions and occupations in such fields as pure or applied science, business, or international trade. Books on the meaning of legal or theological terms, terms used in pastoral care, concepts found in the reports of representative assemblies—all these were surveyed and put to use in determining the meanings of political and social concepts. Coverage of the requisite corpus was thus complete, and to that extent, all contributors shared access to the substantial set of designated sources, many of which would almost certainly have been omitted by individuals writing articles. Thus materials hitherto under-utilized in Anglophone work on political language could supplement whatever is already available from the works of major theoretical writers and other individuals whose works have been investigated to determine conceptual usage. Those constructing a history of political and social concepts in Englishspeaking societies by drawing upon the findings and research programs of the GG, Handbuch, and HWPcould hope to equal or surpass these models. An earlier chapter showed how the GG greatly facilitates translation from German texts in political and social theory. A similar lexicon of English concepts would enable translators throughout the world to convey more precisely the meanings of English-speaking theorists when rendered into other languages. But the case for a conceptual history of Anglophone societies goes far beyond this. Other and more telling reasons exist for proceeding with this project. For one thing, a work of this kind would greatly ease the difficulties of dealing with concepts encountered in texts written in vocabularies no longer accessible to us. There are few reliable guides to the history of political and social concepts in English. In addition, the creation of such a work would remind us that many terms we use in our political and social language once


The History of Political and Social Concepts

carried significantly different meanings, and have been put to use in arguments and contexts far removed from those of our own time. Nor is such a work of interest only to those concerned with political and social thought in the past. To know the histories of the concepts they use greatly assists present-day theorists in identifying potential difficulties with, or applications of, arguments. Still another use of a conceptual history in English would be to aid investigations of the extent to which language has on the one hand shaped, and, on the other, registered structural continuities and revolutionary changes in political and social life. To produce such a lexicon would sharpen our awareness of just how we now use political and social language. Were there such a resource in English, it would become possible to contrast present usages not only to those of previous periods in our own language, but also to the histories of comparable concepts in French- and German-speaking Europe, as well as in other countries, once histories of their political and social concepts are completed. To conceive and execute an analogous project on the history and use of concepts in English could then prepare the way for still another work, international in its scope, synthesizing the separate national or linguistic conceptual histories already completed. Much has been written, not all of it free from self-congratulation, about the benefits English-speaking political theorists have derived from their stock of concepts and the practices they register, as compared to works written in other languages. Yet we have no comprehensive, reliable inventory of the concepts which over time have constituted the political and social vocabularies of English-speaking societies. Were such a historical project to be conceived and executed, it would serve a number of purposes. Such a lexicon would be of great value both to those working on political and social thought in English, and to those concerned to compare this work to the treatment of analogous subjects in other languages. Upon the completion of a lexicon dealing with the history of political and social concepts as employed by English-speaking societies, it might turn out that as the result of having shared the experience of early modern absolutist states, on the European continent political and social life was conceptualized in ways different from those of British, American, and other English-speaking societies. Or alternatively, we might come to realize how potentially defective are analyses based exclusively upon national categories. In this way, the focus of conceptual inquiry could be shifted to tracking and assessing movements of concepts across political boundaries. In early modern Europe, such movement occurred in Calvinism, the Huguenot diaspora, and the republic of letters; in the Catholic counterreformation, freemasonry, and the highly varied forms of what is called the Enlightenment; later among those who supported or combatted the French Revolution; in nineteenth-century liberal-democratic, socialist, anarchist, and racial theories; and in the international movements of our own century, such as fascism and MarxismLeninism. Similarly, conceptualizations of commercial, industrial, and postindustrial society in any one country could be more accurately assessed and evaluated after comparing them to alternative concepts drawn from

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other national settings. Finally, to trace the history of such concepts in English would be a major step towards a genuinely comparative history of how Europe and those parts of the world affected by it have, by their political and social vocabularies, helped construct their respective views of politics, society, and economics. There would be many potential applications of a work charting in detail the history of political and social concepts written in English. We might then be in a better position to perceive blind spots and distortions in our own and others' political and social thought, or to identify alternatives to what now appear as self-evident formulations of it. Charles Taylor has demonstrated how useful it is to present-day philosophers and political theorists to have as alternatives to Cartesianism such views as Aristotelianism, once persuasive and widely held. For such conceptual reconstruction may be the only way to make available once again modes of perception and evaluation which have been lost or disregarded: "We may be driven to historical retrieval not only by the need to escape from a given social form, but also because we want to recover or restore one which is under pressure and in danger of being lost."32 We might come to see as contingent many conceptual relationships, which left unexamined, appear as necessary; we could be alerted to potentially dangerous consequences of certain concepts, when used in conjunction with others, or separately. One sort of conceptual history might attempt to tell its story in terms of the complex mechanisms of communication, by which different components of a society contribute to its often conflicting conceptualizations, legitimations, and memories of how its arrangements came into existence and have been maintained. Still another sort of conceptual history might contribute to an understanding of what writers thought they were up to when they put their cases as they did, as well as help to determine what their audiences did with these statements, in short, the history of their reception. Another form of conceptual history might inquire into the extent to which in the past, political and social thought has been significantly affected by compilation of, reflection upon, and polemical analysis of words, linguistic conventions, rhetorics, terminologies, and forms of argument. The origins of dictionaries have often been linked to political objectives on the part of their authors or the groups supporting them. Among projects thus interpreted have been some of the most important lexicographical works in English. Samuel Johnson's Dictionary has been subjected to this type of political analysis.33 The criticism made of Johnson's political conservatism by the English radical, Home Tooke, led to another significant work explicitly designed to revise Johnson, Charles Richardson's New Dictionary of the English Language.^ Another case is the considerable influence of such counterrevolutionary theorists as Joseph de Maistre and Louis de Bonald upon the founders of the Philological Society, which sponsored the Oxford English Dictionary.^ The extent to which political positions affected lexicographical practices in these works has yet to be assessed. A history of political and social concepts could contribute much to such an assessment. In all these ways, the project of writing the history of political and social


The History of Political and Social Concepts

concepts in English-speaking societies promises rewards far beyond those of more conventional reference works. This project would also provide a more genuinely historical approach to the relationships among politics, society, and language than the accounts provided by discourse analysis, "archaeology," and deconstruction. Although such a history of political and social concepts would offer formidable challenges to those organizing and executing it, the consequent gains to scholarship would well justify the effort. At last there would be a scholarly reference work on concepts in English comparable to the comprehensive accounts now existing, in progress, or planned for German, French, Dutch, Hungarian, and northern European languages, including the Scandinavian and Finnish.

Appendix A Concepts Treated in the Geschichtliche Grnndbegriffe N.B.: The minimal English equivalents provided are, needless to say, semantically insufficient. They are given for the benefit of readers who may wish to have an impression of the GG's range.

Volume 1 (A-D) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

Adel, Aristokratie (nobility, aristocracy) Anarchic, Anctrchismus, Anarchist (anarchy, anarchism, anarchist) Angestellter (employee) Antisemitismus (antisemitism) Arbeit (work) Arbeiter (worker) Aufklarunjj (Enlightenment) Ausnahmezustand, necessities publica, Belagerunjjszustand, Kriegszustand, Staatsnotstand, Staatsnotrecbt (state of emergency, state of siege, state of war, etc.) Bauer, Bauernstand, Bauerntum (farmer, peasant; peasant estate, peasantry) Bedurfnis (need) fier«/(calling, occupation) Bildung (education, culture, upbringing) Briiderlichkeit, Bruderschaft, Bruderschaft, VerbruAung, Bruderliebe (fraternity, comradeship, brotherliness) Bund, Biindnis, Foderalismus, Bundesstaat (league, union, federalism, federal state) Burger, Staatsbiirger, Biirgertum (townsman, citizen, citizenry) Casarismus, Napoleonismtts, Bonapartismus, Fuhrer, Chef, Imperialismus (Caesarism, Napoleonism, Bonapartism, leauer, chief, imperialism) Christentum (Christianity) Exkurs: christlich-sozial (by extension: Christian-socialist) Demokratie (democracy) Diktatur (dictatorship)



Appendix A

Volume 2 (E-G) 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40.

Ehre, Reputation (honor, reputation) Eigentum (property) Einheit (unity) Emanzipation (emancipation) Entwicklung, Evolution (development, evolution) Fabrik, Fabrikant (factory, factory-owner) Familie (family) Fanatismus (fanaticism) Faschismus (fascism) Feudalismus, feudal (feudalism, feudal) Fortschritt(progress) Freiheit (freedom, liberty) Friede (peace) Geschichte, Historic (history) Gesellschaft, burgerliche (civil society) Gesellschaft, Gemeinschaft (society, community) Gesetz (law) Gewaltenteilung (separation of powers) GhicbgeTvicbt, Balance (balance of power) Gleiehbeit (equality) Grundrechte, Menschen- und Burg errecbte, Volksrecbte (basic rights, human rights and rights of the citizen, rights of the German people [1848])

Volume 3 (H-Me) 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 5 5. 56. 5 7. 5 8. 59. 60.

Herrschaft (dominion, domination, lordship, rule, command) Hierarchic (hierarchy) Ideologic (ideology) Imperialismus (imperialism) Industrie, Gewerbe (industry, business, trade) Interesse (interest) Internationale, International, Internationalismus (the International, international, internationalism) Kapital, Kapitalist, Kapitalismus (capital, capitalist, capitalism) Kommunismus (communism) Konservativ, Konservatismus (conservative, conservatism) Krieg (war) Krise (crisis) Kritik (critique) Legitimitat, Legalitat (legitimacy, legality) Liberalismus (liberalism) Exkurs: Wirtschaftlicber Liberalism (by extension: economic liberalism) Macht, Gewalt (power, violence) Marxismus (Marxism) Materialismus-Idealismus (materialism-idealism) Mehrheit, Minderheit, Majoritat, Minoritdt (majority rule, minority rule, majority, minority) Menschheit, Humanitat, Humanismus(mankind, humanity, humanism)

Concepts Treated in the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe


Volume 4 (Mi-Pre) 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78.

Militarismus (militarism) Mittelstand (middle class) Modern, Modernit&t, Modernismus (modern, modernity, modernism) Monarchic (monarchy) Natur (nature) Neutrality (neutrality) Nihilismus (nihilism) Offentlicbkeit ([public] opinion) Opposition (opposition) organ, Organismus, Organisation, politischer Korper (organ, organism, organisation, political body) Padogogik (pedagogy) Parlement, parlamentariscbe Regierun^, Parlamentarismus (parliament, parliamentary government, parliamentarism) Partei, Faktion (party, faction) Partikularismus (particularism) Pazifismus (pacifism) Politik (politics, policy) Polizei (police) Presse, Pressefreiheit, Zensur (the press, freedom of the press, censorship)

Volume 5 (Pro-So) 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96.

Produktion, Produktivitat (production, productivity) Proletariat, Pobel, Pauperismus (proletariat, rabble, pauperism) Propaganda (propaganda) Radikalismus (radicalism) Rasse (race) Reaktion, Restauration (reaction, restoration) Recbt, Gerechtigkeit (right, law; justice) Reform, Reformation (reform, reformation) Rejyierung, regime, Obrijykeit (government, regime, obedience) Reich (Empire) Reprasantation (representation) Republik, Gemeinwohl (republic, general welfare) Revolution, Rebellion, Aufruhr, Burgerkrieg (revolution, rebellion, uprising, civil war) Sakularisation, Sakularisierunj;! (secularization) Sicherheit, Schutz (security, protection) Situ, Sittlichkeit, Moral (custom, morality, ethics) Sozialismus (socialism) Soziologie, Gesellschaftwissenschaften (sociology, sciences of society)

Volume 6 (St-Vert) 97. Staat und Souveranitat (state and sovereignty) 98. Stand, Klasse (stratum, estate; class) 99. System, Struktur (system, structure)


Appendix A

100. 101. 102. 103. 104. 105. 106.

Terror, Terrorismus(terror, terrorism) Toleranz (toleration, tolerance) Tradition, Traditionalisms (tradition, traditionalism) Tyrannis, Despotic (tyranny, despotism) Unternehmer (entrepreneur, employer) Utopie (utopia) Verein, Gesellschaft, Gebeimgesellschaft, Assoziation, Genossenschaft, Gewerkschaft (club, society, secret society, association, cooperative society, trade union) 107. Verfassung [I] Konstitution, Status, Lex fundamentalis ([I] constitution, regime, fundamental law) Verfassung [II] Konstitution, Grundgesetze ([II] constitution, basic laws) 108. Vertrag, Gesellschaftsvertrag, Herrschaftsvertrag (contract, social contract, pact of government)

Volume 7 (Verw-Z) 109. 110. 111. 112. 113. 114. 115.

Verwaltung (Amt, Beamte) (administration [office, official]) Vb'lkerrecht (international law, law of nations) Volk, Nation, Nationalisms, Masse (people, nation, nationalism, masses) Welt (world) Wirtschaft (economy) Wtirde (dignity) Zivilisation, Kultur (civilization, culture)

Appendix B Concepts Treated in the Handbnch N.B.: The Heft, or volume number, followed by the number of the first page is given for articles on those concepts already published. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29.

Abus(abuse) Administration, Bureaucratic (administration, bureaucracy) Agiotage, agioteur (speculation, speculator) Amerique-An^leterre (America-England) Anarchic, Anarchistc (anarchy, anarchist) Analyse, Experience (analysis, experiment, experience), 6:7 Ancien Regime, Nouveau Regime (prerevolutionary regime, postrevolutionary regime) Antiquite (antiquity) Aristocratic, aristocrate (aristocracy, aristocrat) Art, Arts et Sciences (arts, arts and sciences) Artisan, artiste (artisan, artist) Atheisme, Athee (atheism, atheist) Autorite, pouvoir, puissance (authority, power, force) Avocat (lawyer) Barbarie, Civilisation, Vandalisme (barbarism, civilization, vandalism), 8:7 Bastille (the Bastille), 9:7 Bien commun, Esprit public (common good, public spirit) Bonheur, Eelicite publique (happiness, public felicity) Bourgeois, bourgeoisie (citizen, middle-class person, citizenry, bourgeoisie) Canaille, Populace (rabble, mob) Capitaliste, Banquier, Financier (capitalist, banker, financier), 5:27 Caste, Classe (caste, class) Charite, Bienfaisance (charity, good works) Citoyen-Sujet, Civisme (citizen-subject, good citizenship), 9:75 Civilite (civility), 4:7 CUrge (clergy) Club, cerde, sociabilite (club, circle, sociability) Commune(s) (municipality, unit[s] of local government) Complot, Saint-Barthelemy (conspiracy, a plot like the attack upon the Huguenots on St. Bartholomew's eve)



Appendix B

30. Concorde, Division, Fraternite, Union, Unite (concord, division, fraternity, union, unity) 31. Condition, Etat, Naissance, Qualite, Rang (condition, status, birth, quality, rank) 32. Conservateur (conservative) 33. Constitution, Constitutionnel (constitution, supporter of the constitution) 34. Convention (the National Convention, 1792-1795) 35. Conversation, Demagogue, Orateur (conversation, demagogue, orator) 36. Corps, Etats, Ordres (constituted bodies, estates, orders) 37. Corruption, Decadence (corruption, decline) 38. Cosmopolitisme, Cosmopolite (cosmopolitanism, cosmopolite) 39. Cour, Courtisan (court, courtier) 40. Crime (crime) 41. Crise (crisis) 42. Critique (criticism), 5:7 43. Cure, Pretre (priest) 44. Debauche, Libertinage, Libertin (debauchery, libertinism, libertine) 45. Deisme (deism) 46. Democratic, Democrates, Democratique (democracy, democrats, democratic), 6:57 47. Despotisme, Tyrannic (despotism, tyranny) 48. Devotion, Devots (religious faith, practicing believers) 49. Doctrine, Principes (doctrine, principles) 50. Domestique, Maitre, Valet (servant, master, lackey) 51. Droit (law, right) 52. Droit-Gauche (politically left-right) 53. Economicpolitique (political economy, economics) 54. Egalite, Egalitaire (equality, egalitarian) 55. Elite, les meilleurs (elite, superiors) 56. Emeute, Emotion, Desordres, Troubles (uprising, unrest, disorders, revolts) 57. Enthousiasme (enthusiasm) 58. Esclavage, Noirs (slavery, blacks) 59. Etat, Chose Publique (the state, public good) 60. Etre supreme (supreme being) 61. Faction, Parti (Girondins, Jacobins) (faction, party [e.g., Girondins, Jacobins]) 62. Famille, Maison (family, house) 63. Fanatisme, Fanatique (fanaticism, fanatic), 4:51 64. Feodalite, Feodal (feudalism, feudal), 10:7 65. Femme (woman) 66. Fermier, Gabelle, Maltotier, Traitant (farmer, salt tax, tax-gouger, trader) 67. Fermentation (ferment) 68. Financier, Banquier, Capitaliste (financier, banker, capitalist) 69. France, Francais (France; French, Frenchman) 70. Gens de lettres, Auteur (men of letters, author) 71. Gouvernement (government) 72. Guerre civile (civil war) 73. Guillotine, Supphce (guillotine, torture) 74. Histoire (history) 75. Honnete homme, Honnetete, Honnetes Gens (man of honor or gentleman, virtue, "nobles" [self-described])

Concepts Treated in the Handbuch 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100. 101. 102. 103. 104. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109. 110. 111. 112. 113. 114. 115. 116. 117. 118. 119. 120. 121. 122.


Honneur, Merite (honor, merit) Humanite (humanity) Ideologic, Ideologues (ideology, ideologues) Idiomes, Dialectes, Langue (idioms, dialects, language) Individu, Individualisme (individual, individualism) Industrie (industry) Instruction, Education (instruction, education) Insurrection, Revolts, Sedition (insurrection, revolt, sedition) Interet, Interet publique (interest, public interest) Jansenisme, Jesuitisme (Jansenism, Jesuistry) Justice (justice) Liberal, Liberalite (liberal, liberality) Liberte (liberty) Liberte-Egalite-Fraternite (liberty-equality-fraternity) Librepensee, Librepenseur (free thought, free thinker) Loi, Legislateur (law, legislator) Lumieres-Tenebres (enlightenment-ignorance) Luxe (luxury) Magistral, Majjistrature (magistrate, magistracy) Majorite-Minorite (majority, minority) Manufacture, Fabrique (manufacture, factory) Marchand, Commerfant, Negotiant (merchant, retailer, wholesaler) Materialisme, Materialiste (materialism, materialist), 5:61 Moderation, Modere (moderation, moderate) Moderne, Anciens et Modernes (modern, ancients and moderns) Moeurs (mores) Monopoleur, Accaparement (monopolist, monopolization) Morale (morality) Moyen-age (middle ages) Nation (nation), 7:75 Nature, Nature! (nature, natural) Noblesse, Nobles (nobility, nobles) Notables (notables) Office, Officiers, Venalite (office, officers, venality of office) Opinion publique (public opinion) Ordre-Desordre (order-disorder) Ouvrier, Proletaire (worker, proletarian) Parlements (parliaments), 10:55 Patrie, Patriotisme, Patriote (fatherland, patriotism, patriot) Pauvres, Pauverete (the poor, poverty) Paysan, Laboureur (peasant, cultivator) Petits-maitres, Muscadins, Incroyables, Merveilleuses (dandies, excessively elegant royalists [Revolution], those extravagant in dress and conduct [Directory]) Peuple, Sansculottes (the people, a Parisian revolutionary group) Philosophe, pbilosophie (an Enlightenment philosopher or theorist, the doctrine shared by pbilosophes), 3:7 Police (police, administration) Politique, Machiavelisme (politics or policy, Machiavellianism) Prive-publique (private-public)

168 123. 124. 125. 126. 127. 128. 129. 130. 131. 132. 133. 134. 135. 136. 137. 138. 139. 140. 141. 142. 143. 144. 145. 146. 147. 148. 149. 150. 151. 152. 153. 154. 155. 156.

Appendix B Privilege, Privilegies (privilege, the privileged) Prat/res, Perfectibilite (progress, perfectability) Proprietaire (properly owner) Propriete (property) Province (province) Public, Publicite (public, open rather than secret) Raison, Verite (reason, truth) Reaction, Reactionnaire (reaction, reactionary) Reforme, Reformateur (reform, reformer) Religion (religion) Rente, Rentier (return [on investment, property], person who receives such income) Representation politique (political representation) Republique, Republicaine, Republicanisme (republic, republican, republicanism) Revolution, Revolutionnaire (revolution, revolutionary) Riches-Pauvres, Patriciens-Plebeiens (the rich-the poor, aristocrats-the people) Robe, Robin (legal nobility, magistrate) Royaute (royalty, royal power or regime) Sens, Sensibilite, Sentiment (meaning, sensibility, sentiment) Siecle (century) Societe, Social, Art Social (society, social) Souverain, Souverainete (sovereign, sovereignty) Subsistences, Pain (sustenance, nourishment) Superstition (superstition) Systeme (system) Terreur, Terrorisme, Terroriste (terror, terrorism, terrorist), 3:89 Tiers Etat (the third estate) Tolerance, Tolerantisme (tolerance, excessive leniency) Travail, Travailleur (work, worker) Tribun, Orateur (voice of the people, orator) Utilite (utility) Utopie, Utopiste (utopia, Utopian), 11 Vertu (virtue) FJ//e(city) Volontegenerate (general will)

Notes Introduction 1. Gesckichtliche Grundbegriffe: Historisches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialer Sprache in Deutschland, ed. Otto Brunner, Werner Conze, Reinhart Koselleck, 7 vols. to date (Stuttgart, 1972-). Historisches Wdrterbuch der Philosophie, ed. Joachim Ritter and Karlfried Grander, 8 vols. to date (Basel and Stuttgart, 1971-). Handbuch politisch-sozialer Grundbegriffe in Frankreicb, 1680-1820, ed. Rolf Reichardt and Eberhard Schmitt, in collaboration with Gerd van den Heuvel and Anette Heifer, 11 vols. to date (Munich, 1985-). Henceforth the editors are to be Reichardt and Hans-Jiirgen Liisebrink. Reichardt has disclaimed the term "Lexicon" and instead preferred to use Handbuch in his title. This is because of the relatively limited chronological coverage of this work as compared to the GG and HWP, which trace classical and medieval usages of concepts. The GG is published by Klett-Cotta, the HWP by Schwabe & Co., and the Handbuch by R. Oldenbourg Verlag. 2. "Strictly historical" is Quentin Skinner's phrase. See his Foundations of Modern Political Thought, 2 vols. (Cambridge, 1978), l:xi. Bibliographical references to the work of these authors will be found in chapter 6, as well as in The Languages of Political Theory in Early Modern Europe, ed. Anthony Pagden (Cambridge, 1987). 3. Sidney Pollard, in his review of the GG, Social History 4 (1979): 371. 4. Reinhart Koselleck, "'Begriffsgesckickte and Social History," in Futures Past, trans. Keith Tribe (Cambridge, Mass., 1985), 420. 5. Sir John Lyons has described the "etymological fallacy" as the assumption that the original form or meaning of a word is, necessarily and by virtue of that very fact, its correct form or meaning. How often do we meet the argument that because such and such a word comes from Greek, Latin, Arabic . . . , the correct meaning of the word must be what it was in the language of the original? The argument is fallacious because the tacit assumption of an original and true or appropriate correspondence between form or meaning, upon which the argument rests, cannot be substantiated. . . . [M]ost words in the vocabulary of any language cannot be traced back to their origin. . . . All the etymologist can tell us, depending upon evidence, is that such and such is the form or meaning of a particular word's earliest known or hypothetical ancestor. (Language and Linguistics [Cambridge, 1981], 55) See also Jost Trier, "Etymologic," in HWP, 2:816-18.



Notes to pages 6-7

6. This is argued in my "Regriffsgeschichte in Theory and Practice: Reconstructing the History of Political Concepts and Language," in Main Trends in Cultural History, ed. Willem Melching and Wyger Velema (Amsterdam, 1994). 7. Since relatively few German- or English-speaking historians of concepts, and of political and social languages, know the others' work, this book is rather more expository than its author would have wished. But any other strategy would make what is said here even less intelligible to those it is meant to address. 8. There arc no precise and uncontroversial definitions of "history of ideas" and "intellectual history," either as treated in isolation, or distinguished from each other. But attempts, more or less satisfactory, have been made. These include: Maurice Mandelbaum, "The History of Ideas, Intellectual History, and the History of Philosophy," History and Theory, Beiheft 5 (1965): 33-66; a discussion by a distinguished set of Anglo-American scholars, including J. G. A. Pocock and Quentin Skinner: "What Is Intellectual History?" History Today 35 (1985): 46-54; Felix Gilbert, "Intellectual History: Its Aims and Methods," Daedalus 100 (1971): 80-97. Interesting for their treatments of German equivalents are the HWP's brief entries on "History of Ideas," 3:1147; and "Intellectual History," 4:431-32. Other recent work includes: William J. Bouswma, "Intellectual History in the 1980s: From History of Ideas to History of Meaning," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 12 (1981): 279-91; and Bousma "Review Essay of LaCapra and Kaplan, Modern Intellectual History," History and Tbeory23 (1984): 232-33; Keith Michael Baker, "Enlightenment and Revolution in France," Journal of Modern History 53 (1981): 281-303; John E. Toews, "Intellectual History after the Linguistic Turn," American Historical Review (1987): 879-907; Michael Ermath, "Mindful Matters," Journal of Modern History 57 (1985): 506-27; Roger Chartier, "Intellectual History or Sociocultural History? The French Trajectories," in Modern Intellectual History, ed. Dominick LaCapra and Steven L. Kaplan (Ithaca, N.Y., 1982), 13^16. A 1989 article led to a discussion by a number of American historians: David Harlan, "Intellectual History and the Return of Literature," American Historical Review 94 (1989): 581-609, with comments on these and related issues by Joan Scott, John Toews, James Kloppenberg et al.; Peter Schottler, "Historians and Discourse Analysis," History Workshop 27 (1989): 37-65; Gabrielle M. Spiegel, "History, Historicism, and the Social Logic of the Text in the Middle Ages," Speculum 65 (1990): 59-86; J. G. A. Pocock, "The Concept of a Language and the Metier d'historien: Some Considerations on Practice," in The Languages of Political Theory in Early Modern Europe, ed. Anthony Pagden (Cambridge, 1987). Among many relevant books are: Keith Michael Baker, Inventing the French Revolution (Cambridge, 1990); Conceptual Change and the Constitution, ed. Terence Ball and J. G. A. Pocock (Lawrence, Kansas, 1988); Political Innovation and Conceptual Change, ed. Terence Ball, James Farr, and Russell L. Hanson (Cambridge, 1988); and Terence Ball, Transforming Political Discourse (Oxford, 1988). 9. Melching and Velema, Main Trends in Cultural History, 248. This paper opened the International Summer School on "Main Trends in Cultural History" sponsored by the Dutch Graduate School for Cultural History in Amsterdam, June 18-27, 1991. 10. The project is directed by Professor Gyorgy Bence, Department of Philosophy, University of Budapest. 11. The keywords project is led by a team of five scholars: Timothy Cheek, Joshua Fogel, Elizabeth Perry, Michael Schocnhals, and the project director, Jeffrey Was.serstrom. An example of the type of work likely to be generated by the project

Notes to pages 7-17


is Michael Schoenhals, Doing Things with Words in Chinese Politics (Berkeley Calif., 1992). The first publications have appeared in Indiana, East Asian Working Paper Series on Language and Politics in Modern China, ed. Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Sue Tuohy (Bloomington, Ind., 1993-). Three papers are in print at the time of writing. 12. Liu Xiaobo, "Defeated by Our Self-Righteousness: That Holy Word, 'Revolution,'" in Popular Protest and Political Culture in Modern China, ed. Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom and Elizabeth J. Perry, 2d ed. (Boulder, Colo., 1994), 309-24.

Chapter 1 1. The relevant Greek concepts were: arche, kratos, kyros, exousia, dynamis, ischys, and bid. See the discussion in chapter 3 of the disagreement between the GG"s and HWP's accounts of the history of Herrschaft. The question at issue is whether there was a classical Greek equivalent for Herrschaft. 2. Kurt Raaflaub, Die Entdeckung der Freiheit: Zur Historisches Semantik und Gesellschaftsgeschichte eines politischen Grundbegriffs der Griechen (Munich, 1985); Lucian Holscher, Offentlichkeit und Geheimnis (Stuttgart, 1979) and Weltgericht oder Revolution: Protestantische und sozialistische Zukunftsvorstellungen im deutschen Kaisemich (Stuttgart, 1989); Jorg Fisch, Krie^g und Prieden im Friedensvertrag (Stuttgart, 1979); Karl-Heinz Bender, Revolutionen (Munich, 1977); Gerd van den Heuvel, Der Freiheitsbejjriff der Franzb'sischen Revolution. Studien zur Revolutionsideologie (Gottingen, 1988); Horst Dreitzel, Monarchiebegriffe in der Furstengesellschaft. Semantik und Theorie der Einherrschaft in Deutschland von der Reformation bis zum Vormarz, 2 vols. (Cologne, Weimar, Vienna, 1991); Kari Palonen, Politik als Handlungsbegriff. Horizontwandel des Politiksbegriffs in Deutschland, 1890-1933 (Helsinki, 1985). 3. The political articles are in order of appearance by Horst Dippel, Elizabeth Fehrenbach, and Pierre Retat; those on social history by Reichardt and Anette Hofer together with Reichardt. 4. Joachim Ritter, "Vorwort," HWP, l:v-xi. 5. Ibid., viii. 6. H. G. Meier, "Begriffsgeschichte," in HWP, 1:791-92. 7. Jorn Riisen, "Theory of History in the Development of West German Historical Studies," Germanic Studies Review 7 (1984): 11-25. 8. Horst Gunther, "Begriffe in der Geschichte," Archiv fur Begriffsgeschichte 2,3 (1979): 100. 9. Much criticism of the GG has centered on the alleged impossibility of dating precisely this watershed period. Not everything changed at the same rate of speed in all domains. Nor did change occur at precisely the same time everywhere. This is to miss the point of this heuristic device. It is meant to make it possible to classify concepts in terms of whether their meanings remained sufficently consistent to be understood by readers today, whether their meanings altered so as to require present-day reconstruction of their former uses, or whether they are neologisms. Koselleck has remarked that he placed no particular value on the term Sattelzeit, having coined it as part of a grant application. See his paper on the occasion of being awarded the prize for lifetime achievement by the Historisches Kollcg in Munich in November, 1989: "Vortrag des Preistragers: Wie neu is die Neuzeit?" in Dritte Verleihung des Preises des Historischen Rollers (Munich, 1991), 37. 10. Michel Vovelle, La Chute de la monarchic (Paris, 1972); The Fall of the

jf 72

Notes to pages 19-27

French monarchy, 1787-1792, trans. Susan Burke (Cambridge, 1984), 59. 11. Peter I,. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality (New York, 1966; Frankfurt am Main, 1980). 12. William J. Bouswma, "Intellectual History in the 1980s: From History of Ideas to History of Meaning," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 12 (1981): 279-91; John E. Toews, "Intellectual History after the Linguistic Turn," American Historical Review (1987): 879-907. 13. "To have a concept 'x' is, we may say (with some exceptions), (a) to know the meaning of the word 'x'; (b) to be able to pick out or recognize a presented 'x' . . . or again be able to think of (have images or ideas of) x (or non-x's) when they are not present; (c) to know the nature of x, to have apprehended the properties . . . which characterize x's and make them what they are." P. L. Heath, Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2:177. 14. Felix Gilbert, review of Historism by Friedrich Meinecke, History and Theory 13 (1974): 59-64; Isaiah Berlin and Carl Hinrichs, "Foreword" and "Introduction" to Historism, by Friedrich Meinecke, trans, by J. E. Anderson from Die Entstehung des Historismus (London and New York, 1972), ix-liii. 15. For an example of sympathetic but inaccurate use, see Richard Rorty, "The Historiography of Philosophy: Four Genres," in Philosophy in History, ed. R. Rorty, J. B. Schneewind, and Q. Skinner (Cambridge, 1984), 57; for an example of unsympathetic and deprecating use, see Stefan Collini's contribution to "What is Intellectual History?" History Today 35 (1985): 47. 16. Leo Spitzer, "Geistesgeschichte vs. History of Ideas as Applied to Hitlerism," Journal of the History of Ideas 5 (1944): 194, 198-200, 202-3. 17. Paul Oskar Kristeller, "History of Philosophy and History of Ideas," Journal of the History of Philosophy I (1963): 12. 18. ArthurO. Lovejoy, The Great Chain of Being (Cambridge, Mass. ,1948), 14.

19. Ibid, 5. 20. Maurice Mandelbaum, "The History of Ideas, Intellectual History, and the History of Philosophy," History and Theory, Beiheft suppl. 5 (1965): 41. 21. Lovejoy, Great Chain of Being, 14. 22. Ibid, 19. 23. Ibid, 20.

Chapter 2 1. Georg Iggers, The German Conception of History, 2d ed. (Middletown, Conn, 1983). 2. Felix Gilbert, review of Historism by Friedrich Meinecke, History and Theory IS (1974): 64. 3. Jorn Riisen, "Theory of History in the Development of West German Historical Studies: A Reconstruction and Outlook," Germanic Studies Review 7 (1984): 11-25. This provides references to the literature on this subject in German. Later and more complete bibliographies are now available in Winfried Schulze, Deutsche Geschichtswissenschaft nach 1945 (Munich, 1989), and in Ernst Schulin, ed, Deutsche Geschichtswissenschaft nach dem Ztveiten Weltkrieg (1945-1965) (Munich, 1989). 4. This point has been called into question by Winfried Schulze on two grounds. He disagrees that historicism is an accurate characterization of German historiography prior to 1945, particularly during the Third Reich; and he sees more

Notes to pages 27-30


continuity than radical rupture in subsequent historical writing in the Federal Republic. See his Deutsche Geschichtswissenschaft nach 1945, 281-311; and more briefly, "Der Neubeginn der deutschen Geschichtwissenschaft nach 1945," in Schulin, Deutsche Geschichtwissenschaft nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg, 1-37, esp. 34-37. 5. Riisen, "Theory of History," 18. Cited by Riisen from Geschichte und Gesellschaft 1 (1975): 5. Translation by Melvin Richter. 6. Iggers, German Conception of History, "Epilogue." 7. Schulze again emphasizes the continuity with earlier historiography such as Otto Brunner's politische Volksgeschichte. Schulin, Deutsche Geschichtswissenschaft nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg, 35. 8. "Begriffsgeschichte und Sozialgeschichte," was reprinted in Koselleck's collection of essays, Vergangene Zukunft: Zur Semantik geschichtlicher Zeiten (Frankfurt, 1979), 107-129. This has been translated as "Begriffsgeschichte and Social History," in Futures Past, trans. Keith Tribe (Cambridge, Mass., 1985), 73-91. A more recent paper is "Sozialgeschichte und Begriffsgeschichte," in Sozialgeschichte in Deutschland, ed. Wolfgang Schieder and Volker Sellin, 2 vols. (Gottingen, 1987), 1:89-109. 9. Gerd van den Heuvel, "Begriffsgeschichte, Historische Semantik" in Handbuch der Geschichtsdidatik, ed. Werner Boldt and F. Baumgart (Dusseldorf, 1985), 194. 10. H. K. Schulze, "Mediavistik und Begriffsgeschichte" in Historische Semantik und Begriffsgeschichte, ed. R. Koselleck (Stuttgart, 1979), 242-61. 11. Kurt Sontheimer, Antidemokratisches Denken in der Weimarer Republik. Die politischen Ideen des deutschen Nationalisms zwischen 1918 und 1933 (Munich, 1968, 1978). 12. Although Brunner was known to English-speaking medieval historians, the relationship between his scholarly and political positions did not receive much attention. This lacuna has been well filled by James Van Horn Melton. See "Translators' Introduction," in Otto Brunner, Land and Lordship: Structures of Governance in Medieval Austria, translation and introduction by Howard Kaminsky and James Van Horn Melton (Philadelphia, 1992), xiv-lxi; James Van Horn Melton, "From Folk History to Structural History: Otto Brunner and the RadicalConservative Roots of German Social History," in Paths of Continuity: German Historical Scholarship, 1933-1960, ed. James Van Horn Melton and Hartmut Lehmann (Cambridge, Eng.), forthcoming; James Van Horn Melton, "Otto Brunner and Begriffsgeschichte," in Begriffsgeschichte, ed. Hartmut Lehmann, occasional paper, German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C. (New York), forthcoming. 13. O. Brunner, "Das Problem einer europaischen Sozialgeschichte" in Neue Wege der Verfassungs- und Sozialgeschichte, 2d. ed. (Gottingen, 1968), 82-83. 14. "Das Zeitalter der Ideologien," in Brunner, Neue Wege, 45-63. 15. Among the best discussions of the relationship between Brunner and Schmitt is Otto Gerhard Oexle, "Sozialgeschichte-Begriffsgeschichte-Wissenchaftgeschichte. Anmerkungen zum Werk Otto Brunners," Vierteljahrschrift fur Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 71 (1984): 319-20. Brunner and Schmitt referred often to each other's work, which they then cited as independent confirmations of their own positions from another scholarly domain. 16. Klaus Schreiner, "Wissenschaft von der Geschichte des Mittelalters nach 1945," in Schulin, Deutsche Geschichtswissenschaft nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg, 136^4.


Notes to pages 30-33

17. Koselleck has made these points in two papers: "Sozialgeschichte und Begriffsgeschichte," and "Begriffsgeschichtliche Probleme der Verfassungsgeschichtsschreibung," Der Staat. Beiheft 6 (1983). 18. Schreiner, "Wissenschaft von der Geschichte," 140, 142. 19. Robert Jiitte, "Zwischen Standestaat und Austrofaschismus. Der Beitrag Otto Brunners zur Geschichtschreibung," Jahrbuch des Instituts fur Deutsche Geschichte 13 (1984): 237. 20. Schulze, Deutsche Geschichtswissenschaft nach 1945, 281-311; and more briefly, "Der Neubeginn," 1-37, esp. 34-37. 21. Schulze also calls attention to the revival in West German postwar social history of attention to problems and methods treated during the Weimar Republic, but then suppressed during the Nazi era. 22. Schulze, Deutsche Geschichtswissenschaft nach 1945, 306. 23. Ralf Dahrendorf, Society and Democracy in Germany (New York, 1979), esp. chap. 25. 24. Schulze, "Der Neubeginn," 36. For Wehler, see his contribution to the volume he edited, Moderne Deutsche Sozialgeschichte (Cologne, Berlin, 1968). 25. W. Conze, "Zur Grundung des Arbeitskreis fur moderne Sozialgeschichte," Hamburger Jahrbuch fur Wirtschafts- und Gesellschaftspolitik 24 (1979): 23-32. 26. Wolfgang Schieder, "Sozialgeschichte zwischen Soziologie und Geschichte," Geschichte und GesellschaftlZ (1987): 244-66. Jurgen Kocka, "Werner Conze und die Sozialgeschichte in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland," Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 37 (1986): 595-602; R. Koselleck, "Werner Conze, Tradition und Innovation," Historische Zeitschrift 245 (1988): 529-43. 27. Giinther Ipsen, Programm einer Soziologie des deutschen Volkstum (Berlin, 1933); idem, Das Landvolk. Ein soziologischer Versuch (Hamburg, 1933). 28. Jerry Z. Muller, The Other God That Failed. Hans Freyer and the Deradicalization of German Conservatism (Princeton, 1987), 144-49. My treatment of Ipsen, Freyer, and much else derives from Professor Muller's highly informative and objective analysis of periods and intellectual movements not usually so treated. 29. Werner Conze, Hirschenhof: Die Geschichte einer deutschen Sprachinsel in Livland (Berlin, 1934); Agrarverfassung und Bevolkerung in Litauen und Weissrussland (Leipzig, 1940). 30. Werner Conze, Die Deutsche Nation: Ergebnis der Geschichte (Gottingen, 1963). 31. The phrase is the subtitle of Jerry Muller, The Other God; the explication of his analysis begins at page 317. 32. Karl Dietrich Bracher, Die Zeit der Ideologen (Stuttgart, 1982), 288; Richard Lowenthal, "Cultural Change and Generational Change in Postwar Western Europe," in The Federal Republic of Germany and the United States, ed. J. Cooney et al. (Boulder, Colo., 1984), 35-39. Cited by Muller, The Other God, 317. 33. Muller, The Other God, 317. 34. Koselleck has identified fourteen collective enterprises organized or founded in part by Conze. See the memorial of Conze's life and work in Historische Zeitschrift245 (1987): 529-43. 35. W. Conze, "Histoire des notions dans le domaine socio-politiquc," Problemes de la, stratification sociale, ed. Roland Mousnier (Paris, 1968), 34. 36. Reinhart Koselleck, "Richtlinienen fur das Lexikon politisch-sozialer Begriffe der Neuzeit," Archiv fur Begriffsgeschichte 11 (1967): 91.

Notes to pages 33-35


37. Koselleck, Futures Past. Only two articles, neither by Koselleck, from the GGhave been translated into English: "Polizei" ("Police," "Policy"), trans. FranzLudwig Knemeyer, Economy and Society 9 (1980): 172-96; and "Economic Liberalism," Economy and Society 13 (1984): 178-207. I owe these references to Keith Tribe, "The Geschichtliche Grundbejjriffe Project," Comparative Studies in Society and History 31 (1989): 180-84. 38. I owe this point to the late Thomas Nipperdey. 39. Reinhart Koselleck, Kritik und Krise: Eine Studie zur Patbogenese der burgerlichen Welt, 1st ed. (Freiburg and Munich, 1959); Critique and Crisis (Cambridge, Mass., 1988); Carl Schmitt, Der Leviathan in der Staatslebre des Thomas Hobbes (Hamburg, 1938); Johannes Kiihn, Toleranz und Offenbarung (Leipzig, 1923). 40. Reinhart Koselleck, Preussen zwischen Reform und Revolution: Allgemeines Landrecht, Verwaltung, und soziale Bewegung von 1791-1848, 2d ed. (Stuttgart, 1975). 41. When Koselleck's book appeared, Mack Walker called it "one of the halfdozen most important historical studies to appear in Germany since 1945. . . ." See Journal of Social History 3 (1969): 184. Walker treated the book purely as social history. Thus he made few of the connections later established between conceptual and social history in Koselleck's essays and in the GG. Koselleck's 732-page book is the source of many telling concrete illustrations of points made methodologically in his essays "Begriffsgeschichte and Social History" and "Sozialgeschichte und Begriffsgeschichte." 42. Hans Robert Jauss, "Antrittsrede," Heidelberger Akademie, May 30, 1981. Cited in a review by H. U. Gumbrecht of Vergangene Zukunft by R. Koselleck, in Poetica 13 (1981), 349: n. 2. For an admirably clear assessment of Jauss's contribution to Rezeptionstheorie (a mode of interpretation that turns attention away from the authors' intentions to what the text means to audiences and readers), as well as Jauss's indebtedness to Gadamer, see Robert C. Holub, Reception Theory: A Critical Introduction (London, 1984), esp. 36-45, 53-82 passim. Another important contribution has been made by Martyn P. Thompson, "Reception Theory and the Interpretation of Historical Meaning," History and Theory 32 (1993): 248-72. 43. David Carr, review-essay on Futures Past (Vergangene Zukunft), History and Theory 26 (1987): 198-204. 44. Holub, Reception Theory, xi-xii. Koselleck regularly took part in meetings of those associated with Jauss and Iser at the University of Constance. These papers were published in the series Poetik und Hermeneutik, biennial volumes of studies in Rezeptionstheorie. Koselleck was the co-editor with Wolf-Dieter Stempel of the volume, Geschichte: Ereignis und Erzdhlung (Munich: Fink, 1973). Two of his own contributions have been translated in Futures Past, 91-104, 105-15. 45. Prior to the 1950s Brunner had not always stressed empirical considerations. As Oexle has remarked, in the 1939 and 1943 editions of Land und Herrschaft, Brunner had justified his attack upon positivist legal history by explicit appeal to the National Socialist totalizing Weltanschauung, which rejected the distinction between society and state. Oexle, "Sozialgeschichte," 317-19. 46. See the talk given at Heidelberg by Koselleck on the occasion of Gadamer's 85th birthday, along with Gadamer's rejoinder: "Hermeneutik und Historik," in Sitzungsberichte der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften. Philosophisch-bistorische Klasse, 1987, Bericht 1.


Notes to pages 36-47

47. For a brief summary, see the beginning of this chapter. 48. R. Koselleck, "Kriegerdenkmale als Identitatsstiftungen der iiberlebenden," in Identitat, ed. Odo Marquardt and Karlheinz Stierle (Munich, 1979), 255-76. This is a volume in the series, Poetik und Hermenutik, which is associated with Rezeptionstheorie. See Holub's previously cited book. 49. See Wolfgang Mommsen's remark deprecating Begriffsgeschichte in the midst of a generally favorable verdict on Conze's contributions to social history. Schulin, Deutsche Gescbicbtswissenschaft nach Aem Zweiten Weltkrieg, 266-67. 50. This paragraph derives in large part from Gabriel Motzkin, "On Koselleck's Intuition of Time in History," in Begriffsgeschichte, ed. Hartmut Lehmann, occasional paper, German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C. (New York), forthcoming. 51. Koselleck, "Einleitung," GG, 1:16-18. 52. Koselleck, "'Begriffsgeschichte and Social History," 73; Vergangene Zukunft, 108. 53. Fernand Braudel, "Sur une conception de PHistoire sociale," Annales 14 (1959): 317. 54. These terms are explained in my "Conceptual History and Political Theory," Political Theory 14 (1986): 621-27. 55. Conze, "Histoire des notions," 32. 56. This and what follows summarizes Koselleck's "Einleitung," GG, 1:16-18; "Begriffsgeschichte and Social History," 73-91; and "Begriffsgeschichte und Sozialgeschichte," 89-109. 57. The concept of "Old Europe" (Alteuropa*) was taken over by Brunner from Jacob Burckhardt. See Oexle, "Sozialgeschichte," 307, n. 10. 58. Koselleck, "Begriffsgeschichte and Social History," 74; Vergangene Zukunft, 108. 59. Koselleck, "•Begriffsgeschichte and Social History," 78; Vergangene Zukunft, 114. I have modified Tribe's translation. 60. Koselleck, "Einleitung," 20. 61. Ibid. 62. Stephen Ullmann, The Principles of Semantics, 2d ed. (Oxford, 1957), 27-29, 98-100; Stephen Ullmann, Semantics (Oxford, 1962); John Lyons, Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics (Cambridge, 1969), 51-52; John Lyons, Language and Linguistics (Cambridge, 1981), 8-17. 63. Lyons, Language and Linguistics, 35. 64. For a clear introduction to semantics from the point of view of those philosophers and linguists who approach theories of meaning through generative grammar, see Janet Dean Fodor, Semantics (Cambridge, Mass., 1980). Her comments on Wittgenstein ("meaning and use") and Austin ("meaning and speech acts") merit attention from those assessing Quentin Skinner's argument. 65. Koselleck, "Einleitung," 20. 66. Koselleck, "Begriffsgeschichte and Social History," 75-77; Vergangene Zukunft, 122. 67. Koselleck, "Einleitung," 21. 68. These may be used to determine the incidence of concepts, or to establish their relationships to concepts in the same semantic field. Another potential use is to obtain quantified evidence for continuity or change in the use of concepts. Computer data bases in classical Greek and Latin, as well as in French, have now made possible such work. At the time of writing, no such data base yet exists for German.

Notes to pages 47-54


In English, the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary has been made available in computerized form. 69. Koselleck, "Begriffsgeschichte and Social History," 86; Vergangene Zukunft, 122. 70. Koselleck, "Begriffsgeschicbte and Social History," 85; Vergangene Zukunft, 122. 71. See Christian Meier's findings for classical Greek and Roman usage in his contribution to the GG's article on "Macht, Gewalt," 4:820-35. Here his conclusion is negative: "power" and "force" were not consistently distinguished in these languages. 72. Jost Trier, "Feld, sprachliches," HWP, 2:934. 73. Ullmann, Semantics, 248. 74. Lyons, Theoretical Linguistics, 429. 75. The pioneer work was Jost Trier, Der Deutsche Wortschatz im Bezirk des Verstandes. Die Gescbichte eines sprachlichen Feld (Heidelberg, 1931). An analogous analysis of terms designating knowledge in Plato has been performed by a leading English linguist concerned with semantics: John Lyons, Structural Semantics: An Analysis of Part of the Vocabulary of Plato (Oxford, 1963). See his synopsis in English of his findings in Language, Meaning, and Style, ed. T. H. Hope et al., (Leeds, 1981), 73-90. 76. Ullmann, The Principles of Semantics, 166. 77. Ullmann, Semantics, 248-49. I owe my analysis of linguistic or semantic fields to the accounts provided by Ullmann in his two works cited above, and to Trier's own article "Feld, sprachliches," in HWP, 2:930-34. 78. In a volume edited by Koselleck, several contributors attack his views on language, to which they offer a number of alternative methods. This volume is Historische Semantik und Begriffs0eschichte, ed. R. Koselleck (Stuttgart, 1969). See the papers by Schultz, Gumbrecht, and Stierle. The latest work in this genre is Dietrich Busse, Historische Semantik (Stuttgart, 1987). It appears as part of the same series edited by Koselleck, who thus has published the works most critical of his own metatheory. For older criticisms of linguistic field theory, see Ullmann, Semantics, 249-250. The criticisms of the GG made by Reichardt in his introduction to the Handbuch must be viewed in a different light from those of the linguists and literary critics, some of whose views Reichardt shares. As will appear in chapters 4 and 5, Reichardt has in both his own contributions to the Handbuch, and in his papers, made positive efforts to improve upon the GG's practices. Nevertheless his move towards using his form of Begriffsgeschichte to study mentalites leads him to a position that will be criticized in chapter 5. 79. Koselleck, "Einleitung," 24-25. 80. See M. Richter, "Montesquieu, the Politics of Language, and the Language of Politics," History of Political Thought 10 (1989): 71-88. 81. See Conze's remarks on this topic in "Histoire des notions," 34. 82. Reinhart Koselleck, "Vorwort," GG 3:v. 83. Koselleck's original proposal was for a single volume dictionary from classical antiquity to the present. This was to be organized in terms of connected subjects rather than alphabetical articles. But as the project expanded from one to eight volumes, it became clear that in order to make progress on the project as a whole, the concepts would have to be published in individual volumes ordered alphabetically. However, once the lexicon is completed, there may be a publication


Notes to pages 55-62

in paperback of articles grouped by subject rather than alphabetically. Given the prohibitively high price of the hardcover format, such a step would make the GG much more accessible to scholars. See Keith Tribe, "The Gescbichtlicbe Grundbejjriffe Project: From History of Ideas to Conceptual History," Comparative Studies in Society and History 31 (1989): 180-84; and "Introduction," in Futures Past. 84. Much of the analysis which follows I owe to an unpublished manuscript by Michaela W. Richter. 85. The history of Krise as a concept is given in nn. 124-43, Kritique und Krise, 224-27. 86. Professor Koselleck has told me that its original form was "An Investigation of the Political Function of Dualistic World Views in the Eighteenth Century."

Chapter 3 1. The standard complete English translation of Max Weber, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, ed. J. Winckelmann, 5th ed., 2 vols. (Tubingen, 1976) is Economy and Society, ed. and trans. Guenther Roth and Glaus Wittich, 3 vols. (New York, 1968). This revises a number of previous partial translations and adds some new ones. The details are given in Roth and Wittich, 1: xxv-xxvi; ci-civ. The text used as the basis of the English translation (for the most part J. Winckelmann's fifth edition) is described in Economy and Society, l:cii. Roth's account of the relationship between Winckelmann and his own edition has been questioned by Keith Tribe in his introduction to Wilhelm Hennis, Max Weber: Essays in Reconstruction, trans. K. Tribe (London, 1988), 17, n. 27. Except for those sections on law, there are no surviving manuscripts for Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, which has been called a torso, or "a mixture of several torsos," reconstructed first by Marianne Weber and then Winckelmann. The authenticity of these have been attacked in turn by a number of critics from F. H. Tenbruck to Hennis. The situation remains embattled and murky. Some have hoped that Winckelmann (and the translation by Roth and Wittich) might be improved upon in the course of the new critical German edition in thirty-three volumes: Max Weber, Gesamtausgabe, ed. Horst Baier, M. Rainer Lepsius, Wolfgang J. Mommsen, Wolfgang Schluchter, and Johannes Winckelmann (Tubingen, 1984-). Hennis thinks this unlikely. 2. In a provocative series of essays, Wilhelm Hennis has sought to destroy this standard social science version of Weber's work, which he regards as anachronistic. Hennis, Max Weber. 3. On this point, the summary remarks by a number of Weber's translators and commentators on the history of the concept of Herrschaft should be compared to the information contained in the GG's articles on this concept, as well as on Lejjitimitiit, Macht, Gewalt, and Gewalteinteilung. This will be done in my own analysis, which follows upon the summary account of the GG's entry on Herrschaft, and of Max Weber's version of it. The most influential English translations of Weber have been the selections in H. Gerth and C. W. Mills, From Max Weber (New York, 1946). Talcott Parsons' remarks come in his partial translation (with A. M. Henderson) of Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft as The Theory of Social and Economic Organization (New York, 1947). Other parts of Weber's work were translated in Max Rheinstcin and Edward Shils, Max Weber on Law in Economy and Society (Cambridge, Mass., 1954). For Roth's

Notes to pages 63-74


remarks on the principles of translation followed by him and Wittich in the complete translation see Economy and Society, 1 :ci-civ. See Reinhard Bendix, Max Weber: An Intellectual Biography (London, 1960), 296, n. 16 for his explanation of why he preferred "domination" to Parsons' renditions. Wolfgang Momnisen's remarks on translating Herrschaft occur in The Age of Bureaucracy (Oxford, 1974). His major work, Max Weber und die Deutsche Politik 2d ed. (Tubingen, 1974) was once regarded as revisionist, because of its emphasis on the nationalism of Weber's politics. It has now become orthodox: Mommsen has edited two volumes of Weber's political and journalistic articles and speeches in the new critical edition of Weber. 4. "Herrschaft," GG, 3:14. 5. Ibid., 39-48. 6. "On vous parle sans cesse d'un culte dominant. Dominant! Messieurs, je n'entends pas ce mot, et j'ai besoin qu'on me definisse. Est-ce un culte oppresseur quel'on veut dire? . . . dominer. C'est un mot tyrannique qui doit etre banni de notre legislation." Cited by Giinther, ibid., 51-52. 7. Ibid, 53. 8. Ibid, 86-94. 9. Johann Heinrich Zedler, Grosses vollstandiges Universal-Lexicon aller Wissenschaftlichen und Kiinste, 64 vols. and 4 suppl. vols. (Halle and Leipzig, 1732-54; reprint, Graz, 1961-64). See article on "Knecht." Cited in "Herrschaft," GG,4:51,65. For a treatment of German theories of tyranny, and rights to resist, see Hella Mandt, Tyrannislehre und Widerstandsrecht (Darmstadt and Neuwied, 1974), esp. her chapter on Weber, 243-303. She is the author of the GG's article on "Tyrannis, Despotismus" (tyranny, despotism). Other important contributions are Wilhelm Hennis, "Zum Problem der deutschen Staatsanschauung," in Politik als praktische Wissenschaft (Munich, 1968), 11-36; and Otto Brunner, "Bemerkungen zu den Begriffen 'Herrschaft' und 'Legitimitat,'" in Neue Wege der Verfassungs- und Sozialgeschichte, 2d ed. (Gottingen, 1968), 64-79. 10. Weber, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, 2:7; Economy and Society, 3:946. For definitions ofMacht (power) and Herrschaft, see Weber, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, 1:28; Economy and Society, 1:53. 11. "Herrschaft," 100, n. 458. 12. Weber, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, 1:213; 2:544; Economy and Society, 1:215; 3:946. 13. Mandt, Tyrannislehre, 279. 14. So far as I know, Weber's own treatment of cases he regarded as involving illegitimate Herrschaft came in his chapter on the city in Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. There he treated "illegitimate" as synonymous with "revolutionary." 15. Cited in Mommsen, The Age of Bureaucracy, 87. 16. "Herrschaft," HWP, 3:1084. 17. Otto Stammer, ed. Max Weber und die Soziolqgie Heute (Tubingen, 1965). 18. T. Parsons, The Structure of Social Action (New York, 1937). 19. Max Weber, Theory of Social and Economic Organization, ed. Talcott Parsons, trans. A. M. Henderson and T. Parsons (New York, 1947). 20. See G. Roth, "Introduction," in Economy and Society, l:ciii, n. 127. 21. Rheinstein and Shils, Max Weber, xxix. Wilhelm Hennis has called into question the assumption that Weber thought himself to be writing sociology. Wilhelm Hennis, Max Weber's Frqgestellung (Tubingen, 1987), 117—66.


Notes to pages 74-81

22. See Roth's critique of Parsons' use of "authority" for Herrschaft, as well as the choice by Bendix, Rheinstein, and Shils of "domination." Reinhard Bendix and Guenther Roth, Scholarship and Partisanship, (Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London, 1971), 157. 23. Roth in Weber, Economy and Society, 1:62, n. 31. 24. Mommsen, The Age of Bureaucracy, 72, n. 1. 25. Roth, "Introduction," xciv. 26. For Ritter's position, see Schulze, Deutsche Geschichtswissenschaft nach 1945, (Munich, 1989), 46-76; and for Ritter's view that the creation of mass society is the key to understanding twentieth-century history, 77-80. 27. Koselleck, Futures Past, 269; Vergangene Zukunft, 351. See also his "Hermeneutik und Historik," and in a modified version, "Linguistic Change and the History of Events," Journal of Modern History 61 (1989): 649-50. For Weber's letter to Michels, see the citation in Mommsen, The Age of Bureaucracy, 87.

Chapter 4 1. Handbuch polititisch-sozialer Grundbegriffe in Frankreich, 1680-1820 (A Handbook of Political and Social Concepts in France, 1680-1820), ed. Rolf Reichardt and E,berhard Schmitt, 11 vols. to date (Munich, 1985-). Hereafter cited as the Handbuch. The proceedings of a notable conference at Bielefeld have been edited, along with their own contributions and comments by both Koselleck and Reichardt: Die Franzosische Revolution als Bruch desgesellschaftlichen Bewusstseins, ed. Reinhart Koselleck and Rolf Reichardt (Munich, 1987). In 1990 Reichardt was joined by Hans-Jiirgen Liisebrink, who became co-editor of the Handbuch. After helping to establish the project, Schmitt took no further part in it. 2. Roger Chartier, "Text, Symbols, and Frenchness," Journal of Modern History 57 (1985): 682. 3. Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality (New York, 1966; Frankfurt am Main, 1980). 4. Francois Furet, who like Vovelle began as both a Marxist and a quantifying social historian, has questioned the assumption that there was, in fact, an Annales school. See "Beyond the Annales," Journal of Modern History 55 (1983): 391-92. 5. Paul Ricoeur, "The Contributions of French Historiography to the Theory of History," The Zaharoff Lecture for 1978-79 (Oxford, 1980), 23. 6. "Ideologies et mentalites: Une clarification necessaire" ("A Necessary Clarification: Ideologies and Mentalities") is the title of the introduction to Michel Vovelle, Ideologies et Mentalites (Paris, 1982). What is said there does not go very far towards resolving the very real problems posed by over-lapping categories taken from modes of analysis certainly discrepant and possibly irreconcilable: Marxism, orthodox and Althusserian; social history in the Annales style; the concept of collective representations prominent in Durkheimean sociology; and psychohistory. 7. For references see Vovelle's Ideologies et Mentalites, 5-15, and Traian Stoianovich, French Historical Method. The Annales Paradigm (Ithaca, N.Y., 1976), 160-61, n. 19. 8. "Despite a spate of prologomena and discourses on method, however, the French have not developed a coherent conception of mentalites as a field of study. . . . Whether mentalite will bear the load remains to be seen." Robert

Notes to pages 81-87


Darnton, in The Past before Us: Contemporary Historical Writing in the United States, ed. Michael Kammen (Ithaca, N.Y., 1980), 346. 9. Vovelle, Ideologies et Mentalites, 11. 10. The phrase is that of E. Labrousse. Cited in the personal testimony of Vovelle, Ideologies et Mentalites, 16. For a comment on changes in French methods of studying mentalites, see Chartier, "Texts, Symbols, and Frenchness," 683. 11. Rolf Reichardt, Reform und Revolution bei Condorcet (Bonn, 1973). 12. Rolf Reichardt, "Histoire des Mentalites," Internationales Archiv der Deutschen Literatur 3 (1978): 130-66; "Revolutionare Mentalitaten und Netze politischer Grundbegriffe in Frankreich 1789-1795," in Koselleck and Reichardt, Die Franzb'sische Revolution, 185-215. 13. Koselleck and Reichardt, Die Franzosische Revolution, 15-19, 662-63. 14. For an excellent critical discussion of Vovelle, see the review-essay by Daniel Gordon in History and Theory 32 (1993): 196-213. My own evaluation was written prior to this critique, with which I in large part agree. 15. Michel Vovelle, Piete baroque et dechristianisation en Provence au XVIIIe siecle: Les Attitudes devant la mart d'apres les clauses des testaments (Paris, 1973). 16. Pierre Chaunu, "Un nouveau champ pour 1'histoire serielle: Le quantitatif au troisieme niveau," in Melanges en I'honneur de Fernand Braudel, 2 vols. (Toulouse, 1973), 1:105-25. 17. Vovelle, Piete baroque (Pans, 1973). 18. Michel Vovelle, The Fall of the French Monarchy, 1787-1792, trans. Susan Burke (Cambridge, 1984), 59; originally published as La Chute de la monarchic (Paris, 1972). On Soboul's views on language, see Equipe "18eme et Revolution," "Avant-propos," Dictionnaire des usages socio-politiques (1770-1815), 3 fascicules to date (Paris, 1985, 1987, 1988), fasc. 1 (1985): 5. 19. Vovelle, Fall of the French Monarchy, 71-72. 20. Vovelle, Fall of the French Monarchy, 64. 21. Vovelle, Fall of the French Monarchy, 67. 22. This elusive term, sometimes rendered as "gentleman" or "man of honor" in eighteenth-century French-English dictionaries, receives an extended discussion in the Handbuch's article on that subject. 23. M. Vovelle, La Mentalite revolutionnaire: Societe et mentalites sous la Revolution francaise (Paris, 1985). 24. Regine Robin, Histoire et linguistique (Paris, 1973); Jacques Guilhaumou, La- Langue politique et la Revolution franfaise. De I'evenement a la raison linguistique (Paris, 1989). Both books provide extensive bibliographies of their authors' work, as well as of other adherents to approximately the same views. 25. Vovelle, "Avant-propos," in La Mentalite revolutionnaire, 7-8. 26. Equipe "ISeme et Revolution," "Avant-propos," fasc. 1(1985): 8. 27. For a concise but highly critical account, see Ekkehard Eggs and Friederike Spitzl, "Analyse Automatique du Discours," Lendemains 59 (1990): 103-14. 28. Handbuch, "Einleitung," Heft 1/2:23. 29. Ibid., n. 80. 30. It should be noted that their verdicts were rendered before the publication of the three volumes of the Dictionnaire des usages socio-politiques (1770-1815), and that of a book which presents a synthesis and interpretation of the work done by the Equipe: Guilhaumou, La languepolitique. Reichardt and Brigette Schliebcn-Lange have written an introduction to the German translation: Sprache und Politik in der Franzb'sischen Revolution (Frankfurt am Main, 1989).


Notes to pages 88-100

31. These are listed in the Handbuch, "Einleitung," Heft 1/2, 26, n. 86. To them Reichardt would now add the critique made by Dietrich Busse, Historische Semantik (Stuttgart, 1987), chap. 2-3. 32. Curiously enough Lovejoy, the least sociological of intellectual historians, also argued against writing the history of ideas in terms of major authors. He used the same mountaineering metaphors of peaks and valleys as Reichardt. More recently an analogous point about the ahistorical quality of a story based upon a canon of the great thinkers has been made with great force by Pocock and Skinner. Their views, as well as Lovejoy's, will be considered in the final chapter of this book. 33. Pierre-Nicolas Chantreau, Dictionnaire national ou anecdotique pour servir a I'intelligence Aes mots dont notre lanjjue s'enrichie Aepuis la, Revolution, et d la nouvelle significance qu'ont recue quelques mots anciens. . . (Politicopolis, 1790). Cited by Brigitte Schlieben-Lange, "Die Worterbiicher in der Franzosischen Revolution (1789-1804)," Handbuch, Heft 1/2:175. 34. Charles-Frederic Reinhard, Le Neologiste francais (Niirnberg, 1796), 333. Cited in Handbuch, "Einleitung," Heft 1/2:32. 35. Schlieben-Lange, "Die Worterbiicher," Handbuch, Heft 1/2:149-89. For further information about this subject, see her paper and response to comments, "Gregoire neujjelesen," in Koselleck and Reichardt, Die Franzosische Revolution, 561-75. 36. The list of dictionaries provided in the Handbuch by Reichardt and Schlieben-Lange already needs to be supplemented by a later bibliography: Annie Geffroy, "Les dictionnaires socio-politiques 1770-1815: une bibliographic" in Equipe "18eme et Revolution," Dictionnaire Aes usages socio-politiques, fasc. 3 (1988): 7-46. For a new collaborative study of Revolutionary engravings and other visual media, see Klaus Herding and Rolf Reichardt, Die Bildpublizistik der Franzosischen Revolution (Frankfurt, 1989). 37. J. Rodoni, Dictionnaire republicain et revolutionnaire, ed. Brigitte Schlieben-Lange (Tubingen, 1985). 38. Rolf Reichardt and Hans-Jiirgen Liisebrink, "La Prise de la Bastille comme 'evenement total': Jalons pour une theorie historique de 1'evenement a 1'epoque moderne," in L'Evenement: Actes du colloque de Aix-en-Provence (1983), ed. M. Vovelle (Aix-en-Marseille, 1986), 77-102. 39. Cited from Alphabet Aes sans-culottes (Paris, 1793-94) in Handbuch, Heft 9:39, n. 137. 40. Cited from Bias-Parent, Catechisme Francais Republicain (Paris, An II), 50, in Handbuch, Heft 9:49, n. 180. 41. From a 1792 address by Gonchon, Handbuch, Heft 9:46, n. 46. 42. The citations in this paragraph are to be found in Handbuch 9: nn. 183, 189, 194. 43. Reichardt, "Revolutionare Mentalitaten," 185-215.

Chapter 5 1. Roger Chartier, Lectures et lecteurs dans la France d'ancien Regime (Paris, 1987), 7-19, 353-59. Chartier's article on civilite was translated into German by Thomas Schleich; see Handbuch, Heft 4:7-50. Only the first paragraph in the Handbuch differs from the French version. 2. Chartier, Lectures et lecteurs, 8-9.

Notes to pages 100-109


3. Robert Mandrou, De la culture populaire aux XVIIeme etXVIIIeme siecles: La Bibliotheque bleue de Troyes (Paris, 1975). 4. Chartier, "Text, Symbols, and Frenchness," Journal of Modern History 57 (1985): 682. 5. For charity schools, see R. Chartier, M.-M. Compere, D. Julia, L'Education en France du XVIe au XVIIIe siecle (Paris, 1976), 77-84. 6. As has been noted the Handbuch contains an entry on Honnete homme, Honnetete, Honnetes gens. For a discussion of many of these terms, see M. Richter, "Montesquieu, the Politics of Language, and the Language of Politics," History of Political Thought 10 (1989): 71-88. 7. Again, Chartier does not seem to know that Reichardt shares his own doubts about the efficacy of studying single concepts. See my discussion of Reichardt earlier in this chapter. 8. Chartier's footnotes suggest the powerful influence upon him of Norbert Elias' The Process of Civilization, cited in its German edition, Uber den Prozess der Zivilisation, 2 vols. (Frankfurt, 1978; 1st ed., 1939); and in the French translations of the first volume, La Civilisation des mceurs (Paris, 1973); and of the second, La Dynamique de ('Occident (Paris, 1975). Both Elias and Chartier are subjected to a powerful critique by Daniel Gordon, Citizens Without Sovereignty (Princeton, N.J., 1994), 88-93. 9. See my entry on "despotism" in the Black-well Encyclopedia of Political Thought, ed. David Miller (Oxford, 1987), and M. Richter, "Aristotle and the Classical Greek Concept of Despotism," History of European Ideas 12 (1990): 175-87. 10. "la maniere, ordenance et gouvernement d'une cite ou communite." Cited by Chartier from Edmond Huguet, Dictionnaire de la langue fran^aise du XVIe siecle (Paris, 1932). Incivil (uncivil) was defined by Oresme as the quality (defined by Aristotle as being worse than animals) which made it impossible for a person to live in a human community. 11. The first point is made by Chartier, Lectures et lecteurs, 73; the second he omitted, perhaps because he thought it so obvious. 12. Cited by Chartier in Lectures et lecteurs, 76, from J. Morange and J.-F. Chasaing, Le Mouvement de reforme de I'enseignement en France, 1760-1798 (Paris, 1974), 121-27. Translated by Melvin Richter. 13. Chemin, La Civilite republicaine, cited by Chartier, Lectures et lecteurs, 85, n. 38, from C. Nisard, Histoire des livrespopulaires, 2d ed. (Paris, 1864), 394-95. Translated by Melvin Richter. 14. Cited by Chartier, lectures et lecteurs, 77, from Morange and Chasaing, Le Mouvement de reforme, 7-8. Translated by Melvin Richter. 15. Cited by Chartier, Lectures et lecteurs, 77. 16. Ibid., 78-79. 17. Ibid., 79. 18. Chartier, Lectures et lecteurs, 80, citing B. Morin, Dictionnaire universel dessynonymes de la langue franfaise, 2d ed. (Paris, 1802), 290-94. 19. Reichardt, "Revolutionare Mentalitaten und Netze politischer Grundbegriffe in Frankreich 1789-1795," in Die Franzb'sische Revolution als Bruch des gesellschaftlichen Bewusstseins, ed. Reinhart Koselleck and Rolf Reichardt (Munich, 1987), 185-215. 20. It is interesting to note that Ferdinand Brunot in his great work on the history of the French language reports that when writing his volume on the eighteenth century, his colleagues advised him to avoid the usages and particularly the


Notes to pages 109-16

innovations of individual authors. He rejected this advice, arguing that it is often the case that an individual such as Mirabeau may have a disproportionate effect upon general usage. Ferdinand Brunot, Histoire de la langue franfaise, 12 vols. (Paris, 1966), vol. 6:vii. 21. For a history of this game, see Alain Girard and Claude Quetel, UHistoire de France racontee par le Jeu de I'Oie (Paris, 1982), and Henry-Rene d'Allemagne, Le Noble Jeu de I'Oie en France, de 1640 a 1950 (Paris, 1950). 22. Jeu national instructif, ou lemons exemplaires et amusantes donnees aux bans citoyenspar Henri IV et le pere Gerard (Paris, 1791). For a full citation of the work and identification of its author, see Reichardt, "Revolutionare Mentalitaten," 189, n. 11. A working version of the game was reprinted with an introduction by Reichardt, Das Revolutions-spiel von 1791 (Frankfurt am Main, 1989). 23. Les Delassements du pere Gerard ou la poule de Henri IV. Mis au pot 1792. Jeu national. Bibliotheque Nationale, Cabinet des Estampes, Collection de Vinck, tome 25, numero 4292. Reproduced in Reichardt, "Revolutionare Mentalitaten," 191. 24. "Qu'est-ce que la Patrie?—C'est la Nation, c'est la generalite des citoyens." 25. Nyon le jeune, Catechisme de la Constitution Fran$aise (Paris, 1791). Cited by Reichardt, Das Revolutions-spiel, 39, n. 91. 26. Some eighty-one political almanacs published between 1790 and 1795 are discussed in G. Gobel and A. Soboul, "Audience et pragmatisme du rousseauisme. Les almanacs de la Revolution, (1788-1795)," Annaleshistoriques de la Revolution fmncciise, no. 234 (1978): 600-40. 27. Reichardt, "Revolutionare Mentalitaten," 200-15. 28. See the excellent essay on Saige by Keith Michael Baker, "A Classical Republican in Eighteenth-Century Bordeaux: Guillaume-Joseph Saige" in Inventing the French Revolution (Cambridge, 1990), 128-52. Baker's emphasis is upon Saige as a classical republican theorist, that is, as using the political language identified by J. G. A. Pocock and Franco Venturi. Baker holds, as does Reichardt, that Saige did not abandon the historical arguments from precedent used by the Parlements. But Baker argues that in Saige's view, such past practices were legitimate and binding only to the extent that they registered the exercise of the general will (as defined by Rousseau). The treatments of Saige's pamphlet by Baker and Reichardt are complementary, rather than conflicting. 29. Reichardt, "Revolutionare Mentalitaten," 203-7. On this point see also Pierre Retat, "Citoyen-Sujet, Civisme," Handbttch9:75-105. 30. Le Vasseur, Catechisme de la- Liberte (Paris, 1791); Charles-FrancoisGregoire-Michel-Etienne Desgrouas, Catechisme republicain, pour servir d'instruction a I'aristocratie bourgeoise (Mortagne, Marre, 1793); Auguste-Etienne-Xavier Poisson de la Chabeaussiere, Catechisme franfais, ou Principes de philosophic, de morale et de politique republicaine a I'usage des ecoles primaires (Sarraguemines, 1797/98). The first edition of de la Chabeaussiere's work was published in 1795, and it was reprinted nine times during the Directory, and in at least thirty different editions from 1825 to 1885. For identifications of authors and analyses of their works, see Reichardt, "Revolutionare Mentalitaten," 206-15, which my account summarizes. 31. Lese-nation is, of course, a revolutionary variant of the older crime punishing any action presumed to offend the dignity of the King: lese-majeste. The vocabulary of abuse referred to in this paragraph is still preserved in the modern Petit Robert, or Paul Robert, Dictionnaire alpbabetique & analojjique de la langue

Notes to pages 116-25


fran$aise (Paris, 1970). Muscadins, for example, is defined as "the name given during the Revolution to those royalists who sought to distinguish themselves by their elegance carried to an extreme." Honnetesgem is itself a revolutionary coinage, which is treated in one of the Handbuctfs notable articles. In it is traced the extraordinary trajectory of meanings from the use of I'honnete homme as the term designating the aristocratic ideal in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to the derogatory and stigmatizing uses by the sansculottes to designate their class enemies. See "Honnete homme, Honnetete, Honnetes gens," by Anette Hofer, Handbuch, 7:2-67. A more general and less linguistic treatment of this theme is Patrice L. R. Higonnet, Class, Ideology, and the Rights of Nobles during the French Revolution (Oxford, 1981). 32. For the full citation, see n. 14 above. My account summarizes Reichardt, "Revolutionare Mentalitaten," 206-15. 33. Fran£ois Furet, "Le catechisme revolutionnaire," Annales 26 (1971): 255-89. 34. See Ulrich Ricken, "L'Abus des mots, theme des Lumieres," Sitzunysberichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR, 5 (1978): 157-63; and "Reflexions du XVIIIe siecle sur Tabus des mots,' " Mots 4 (1982): 29-43. 35. Alan Ryan in London Review of Books, November 9, 1989, 10-11. 36. See the chapter on Burke in James Boyd White, When Words Lose Their Meaning (Chicago, 1984). 37. See the entries on "Basesse," "1'Honnete Homme," and "Meconnoitre." These are translated and discussed in Richter, "Montesquieu," 75-80. 38. A convenient brief account of this debate about the nature of political language is given by Reichardt, Handbuch, 1:40-51. 39. Jacques Guilhaumou, La Langue politique et la Revolution francaise (Paris, 1989). His argument is summarized on pp. 195-201. 40. Charles Taylor has described in detail how even now Cartesian categories continue to appear so self-evident to his students that they cannot imagine any alternative to them. Charles Taylor, "Philosophy and Its History," in Philosophy in History, ed. Richard Rorty, J. B. Schneewind, and Quentin Skinner (Cambridge, 1984), 21. 41. For a subtle discussion of "Why the History of Thought," see Benjamin I. Schwartz, The World of Thought in Ancient China (Cambridge, Mass., 1985), 1-7. 42. Ernst Troeltsch, The Social Teachings of the Christian Churches, 2 vols. (Glencoe, 111., 1949). I have argued that the development and important effects of British Idealism in the nineteenth-century cannot be explained without reference to the crisis of conscience in those social strata most affected by Methodism and Evangelicalism. M. Richter, The Politics of Conscience: T. H. Green and His Age (London and Cambridge, Mass., 1964).

Chapter 6 1. As has been noted earlier, Skinner has described the purpose of his own work as that of writing a "strictly historical" account of political thought: The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, 2 vols. (Cambridge, 1978), l:xi. 2. J. G. A. Pocock, Politics, Language and Time (New York., 1971); Rcinhart Koselleck, Vergangene Zukunft: Zur Semantik Geschichtlicher Zeiten (Frankfurt, 1979), translated as Futures Past by Keith Tribe (Cambridge, Mass., 1985). 3. For attacks by the editors of the GG upon Geistes- and Ideengeschichte, see


Notes to pages 126-29

Richter, "Begriffsgeschichte and the History of Ideas," Journal of the History of Ideas 48 (1987): 248-49. 4. A longer account of how the study of the history of political thought developed at Cambridge after the Second World War may be found in my "Zur Rekonstruction der Geschichte der Politischen Sprachen: Pocock, Skinner, und die Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe," in Alteuropa oder friihe Neuzeit? Probleme und Methoden der Forschung, ed. Hans Erich Bodeker and Ernst Hinrichs (StuttgartBad Cannstatt, 1990); and in a revised version, "Pocock, Skinner, and the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe," History and Theory 19 (1990): 38-70. 5. This is included among a valuable set of short statements by J. G. A. Pocock, Quentin Skinner, Stefan Collini et al. in "What Is Intellectual History?" in History Today 35 (1985): 52. I owe this reference to Dr. Istvan Hont. Pocock's use of "discourse" differs from that found in Diane Macdonell, Theories of Discourse: An Introduction (Oxford, 1986), 27. Macdonell treats "discourse analysis" as derived from Foucault, Derrida, Althusser, and Lacan. Macdonell follows such authors as Regine Robin and Michel Pecheux in adopting Althusser's "breakthrough in the wider understanding of theory of ideologies" as an integral part of "discourse analysis." Robin had also attempted to wed Foucault and Althusser. Her Histoire et linguistique (Paris, 1973) has often been cited by French Marxist historians and linguists as the single most detailed and significant historical application of discourse analysis. A more recent version of the theory is applied in Jacques Guilhaumou, La Langue politique et la, revolution franfaise (Paris, 1989). See the bibliographies there, and in Mots 16 (1988). 6. Pocock, Politics, Language and Time, 14-15. 7. Pocock, The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law. A Study of English Historical Thought in the Seventeenth Century. A Reissue with a Retrospect (Cambridge, 1987; Isted., 1957). 8. Pocock, Politics, Language, and Time, 202-33; "Introduction," in Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, ed. J. G. A. Pocock (Indianapolis, Ind., 1987). 9. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1975). For replies to critics, see "The Machiavellian Moment Revisited," in Journal of Modern History 53 (1981): 49-72; and "Republicanism and Ideologia Americana," Journal of'the History of 'Ideas 48 (1987): 325-^16. 10. Among Pocock's most complex and rich readings of any author is his "Historical Introduction" in The Political Writings of James Harrington, ed. J. G. A. Pocock (Cambridge, 1977), xi-xviii, 1-152. For an interesting analysis of the space devoted to individual thinkers in The Machiavellian Moment, see J. H. Hexter, review of The Machiavellian Moment by J. G. A. Pocock, History and Theory 16 (1977): 306-37, esp. 311-12. 11. Pocock's most powerful statement to date is his "Conservative Enlightenment and Democratic Revolution: The American and French Cases in British Perspective," Government and Opposition 24 (1989): 81-105. 12. All of these terms recur (as synonyms?) in his most recent writing on method: "Introduction: The State of the Art," in Virtue, Commerce, and History (Cambridge, 1985), 1-34; "The Concept of a Language and the Metier d'Historien: Some Considerations on Practice," in The Languages of Political Theory in EarlyModern Europe, ed. Anthony Pagdcn (Cambridge, 1987), 19-38. 13. Hexter, review of The Machiavellian Moment, 312, 314. 14. In 1964 Pocock wrote:

Notes to pages 129-31


Any stable and articulate society possesses concepts with which to discuss its political affairs, and associates these to form groups or languages. There is no reason to suppose that a society will have only one such language; we may rather expect to find several. . . . Some originate in the technical vocabulary of one of society's institutionalized modes of regulating public affairs. . . . Others originate in the vocabulary of some social process which has become relevant to politics. . . . A society's political thought is built up ... by the adoption of technical vocabularies from different aspects of its social and cultural traditions, and by the development of specialized languages in which to explain and defend the former as means of discussing politics. Pocock, "The History of Political Thought," in Philosophy, Politics and Society, ed. Peter Laslett and W. G. Runciman, 2d ser. (Oxford, 1964), 195-96. 15. Keith Thomas, New York Review of Books, February 27, 1986, 36. 16. Ibid. 17. Pocock, "Political Ideas as Historical Events: Political Philosophers as Historical Actors," in M. Richter, ed., Political Theory and. Political Education (Princeton, 1980). 18. Kenneth Minogue, "Method in Intellectual History: Quentin Skinner's Foundations," Philosophy 56 (1981): 533-52, reprinted in James Tully, ed., Meaning and Context: Quentin Skinner and His Critics (Princeton, 1988), 176-93. To this, Skinner has replied: "This position strikes me as self-defeatingly incoherent.. . . it remains a jolting non sequitur to suppose that we can hope to remain in a state of pre-theoretical innocence simply by treating philosophical ignorance as bliss. . . ." Skinner, "Reply to My Critics," in Tully, Meaning and Context, 233. 19. Skinner refers to the scholarship of Peter Laslett, especially Two Treatises of Government by John Locke, ed. Peter Laslett (Cambridge, 1960) and Patriarchia and Other Political Works by Sir Robert Filmer, ed. Peter Laslett (Oxford, 1949). After playing an important part in reviving both political philosophy and the history of political thought, including the organization of the series, Philosophy, Politics and Society, 6 vols. to date (Oxford, 1956-), Laslett lost interest in both subjects, and became a distinguished social historian and demographer. 20. Quentin Skinner, The Foundations of Modern Political Thought 2 vols. (Cambridge, 1978). This is a point made even in the otherwise admiring review by Keith Thomas, New Tork Review of Books, May 17, 1979. 21. Skinner in his "Reply to My Critics," 224. 22. I here follow the account given by James Tully in his introduction to Meaning and Context, a revised version of "The Pen is a Mighty Sword: Quentin Skinner's Analysis of Politics," British Journal of Political Science 13 (1983): 489-509. For a discussion of claim (3) made by Skinner and Tully, see Richter, "Conceptual History (Begriffsjjeschichte) and Political Theory," Political Theory 14 (1986): 620-23. 23. For an analogous discussion in the German literature of the place that ought to be given major authors, see Richter, "'Begriffsjjeschichte and the History of Ideas," 256-67. 24. Tully, Meaning and Context, 9-16. 25. In his chapter, "Rhetoric and Liberty," in Foundations, Skinner makes important points about the study of language in the tradition of humanist rhetoric, which he carefully distinguishes from that of scholasticism. He points out that both


Notes to pages 132-34

traditions made it posssible for protagonists of Republican liberty in Italian city republics "to conceptualise and defend the special value of their political experience" (Foundations, 1:27). But no explicit attention is given to the concepts, to continuities and shifts in their meanings and uses. Skinner's latest work continues this emphasis upon rhetoric as the most important convention governing speech. He has demonstrated in detail how Hobbes' moral theory was shaped by his concern with the rhetorical figure of pctradiastole (redescribing as a vice what has been considered a virtue). See Quentin Skinner, "Thomas Hobbes: Rhetoric and the Construction of History," Dawes Hicks Lecture on Philosophy, Proceedings of the British Academy 76 (1991): 1-61. Skinner is writing "a non-anachronistic" book about the effects on Hobbes' civil philosophy of his literary and rhetorical strategies. Skinner, "Scientia. Civilis in Classical Rhetoric and in the Early Hobbes," in Political Discourse in Early Modern Britain, ed. N. Phillipson and Q. Skinner (Cambridge, 1993), 79, n. 77. 26. See the notable bibliographies of such sources in GG, 1:930—48, and the Handbuch, 1:13-27. 27. The second point is to be found, using virtually the same words, in "Language and Social Change," in Tully, Meaning and Context, 120. So far as I know, the only thorough analysis and application of this point by Skinner occurs in "The Principles and Practice of Opposition: The Case of Bolingbroke versus Walpole," in Historical Perspectives: Studies in English Thought and Society in Honor of J. H. Plumb (London, 1974), 93-128. 28. Skinner, Foundations, l:xii-xiii. 29. Ibid., l:xi. 30. Ibid., l:x. 31. Ibid., l:xi. 32. Skinner's critiques of Lovejoy occur in "Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas," History and Theory 8 (1969): 35-39, and more cogently, in "What Is Intellectural History?" History Today 35 (1985): 51. 33. See Political Innovation and Conceptual Change, ed. Terence Ball, James Farr, and Russell L. Hanson (Cambridge, 1988), 90-131. 34. For the assertion that there can only be histories of the uses in argument of concepts, see Skinner, "Reply to My Critics," 283. For his description of concepts as weapons and tools, see his contribution to "What is Intellectual History?" 51. 35. See Foundations, 1:27 for a statement that makes conceptualisation of political experience central to Skinner's analysis. 36. This phrasing occurs in both the 1988 and 1989 versions of "Language and Political Change," Tully, Meaning and Context, 120; Ball, Farr, and Hanson, Political Innovation, 7. 37. Letter from Professor Skinner to Melvin Richter. 38. "What Is Intellectual History?" 51. In the same symposium, Stefan Collini, who identifies himself with Skinner's position, nevertheless writes: "Lovejoy's own practice was, as is so often the case, better either than his preaching or than the imitative practice of his disciples, and his most famous work, The Great Chain of Being, remains an extremely impressive tour tie force." "What Is Intellectual History?" 47. The same point has been made more vigorously by Francis Oakley in his defenses of Lovejoy against Skinner in Omnipotence, Covenant, and Order (Ithaca, N.Y., 1984), 15-40; and Journalof the History of Ideas 48 (1987): 242-45. See also Raymond Williams, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society (London, 1976). The first title Skinner gave his treatment of Williams was "The Idea of a Cultural

Notes to pages 134-40


Lexicon," Essays in Criticism 29 (1980): 205-24. It has undergone two revisions, the first as "Language and Social Change," in The State of the Language, ed. L. Michaels and C. Ricks (Berkeley, 1980), 562-78; the second, with the same title, in Tully, Meaning and Context. 39. Skinner, in "What Is Intellectual History?" 51. 40. Skinner, "Reply to My Critics," 283. 41. Skinner's comment on M. Richter, "Conceptual History (Begriffsjjeschichte) and Political Theory." Personal communication, a letter postmarked June 4, 1985. 42. For a review of reviews of Foundations, see J. H. M. Salmon, "Theory in Historical Context," History of European Ideas 4 (1983): 331-35. Salmon agrees with the conclusion, similar to my own, of L. Mulligan, J. Richards, and J. Graham, in "Inventions and Conventions: A Critique of Quentin Skinner's Method for the Study of the History of Ideas," Political Studies 27 (1979): 95-113. 43. See for example, the connection between Locke's theory of language and his political theory as stated by Hans Aarsleff, From Locke to Saussure: Essays on the Study of Language and Intellectual History (Minneapolis, 1982), 79-80. Also indispensable for considerations of such relationships in English is Hans Aarsleff, The Study of Language in England, 1780-1860 (Princeton, 1967). As has been noted earlier, Reichardt, in his introduction to the Handbuch (1:86-148), supplies a notable list of primary sources for the actual uses of political language, sources exclusive of political theory. In the same volume of the Handbuch (1:149-89), Professor Brigette Schlieben-Lange has written a remarkable introduction to lexicographical and semantic practices in the intense development of dictionaries during the French Revolution. 44. Koselleck, "Regriffsgeschichte and Social History," 78. 45. See Koselleck's "Einleitung," GG, vol. 1; and the two essays by Koselleck. One has been translated in Futures Past, 73-91, from Vergangene Zukunft, 107-29. The most recent is "Sozialgeschichte und Begriffsgeschichte," in Sozialjjeschichte in Deutschland, ed. Wolfgang Schieder and Volker Sellin, 2 vols. (Gottingen, 1987), 1:89-109. Reichardt's most pertinent statement is in Handbuch, "Einleitung," Heft 1/2:23-31. 46. Koselleck, Ver0an0ene Zukunft, 119-20; Futures Past, 84.1 have provided my own translation of this passage. 47. See Skinner's criticism of Williams and Lovejoy, cited above, from "What Is Intellectual History?" 51. 48. J. G. A. Pocock, Virtue, Commerce, and History (Cambridge, 1985), esp. pt. 2. 49. See the conclusion to my "Begriffsgeschichte in Theory and Practice: Reconstructing the History of Political Concepts and Language," in Main Trends in Cultural History, ed. Willem Melching and Wyger Velema (Amsterdam, 1994). 50. Pocock, Virtue, Commerce, and History, 215-310. This model study goes beyond the American Revolution into the British reaction to the French Revolution, and as far as Macaulay in the nineteenth century. 51. For a semantic analysis of three significant sets of polar opposites, see Reinhart Koselleck, "Zur historisch-politischen Semantik asymmetrischer Gegenbcgriffe" in Vergangene Zukunft, 21 1-59, trans, as "The Historical-Political Semantics of Asymmetric Counterconcepts," in Futures Past, 159-97. F.xamples of the proposed procedure may be found in Melvin Richter, "Towards a Concept of Political Illegitimacy," Political Theory 10 (1982): 185-214; and "Aristotles und der


Notes to pages 140-48

klassische grieschische Begriff der Despotic," in Festschrift fur Wilhelm Hennis, ed. U. Matz, H. Meier, K. Sonthcimer, P.-L. Weinacht (Stuttgart, 1988), 21-37. 52. Terence Ball, Transforming Political Discourse: Political Theory and Critical Conceptual History (Oxford, 1988). See also the editors' introduction and James Farr's essay in Ball, Farr, and Hanson's Political Innovation. 53. Dietrich Busse, Historische Semantik (Stuttgart, 1987). 54. Quentin Skinner, in Ball, Farr, and Hanson, Political Innovation. Much of my paragraph profits from the perceptive review of this work by David Miller, Times Literary Supplement, September 8-14, 1989, 980. 55. Miller, review of Political Innovation and Conceptual Change, 980. 56. See the essays by Terence Ball and James Farr in Political Innovation; in Conceptual Change and the Constitution, ed. Terence Ball and J. G. A. Pocock (Lawrence, Kans., 1988), and Ball's Transforming Political Discourse: Political Theory and Critical Conceptual History (Oxford, 1988).

Chapter 7 1. C. H. Mcllwain, Constitutionalism: Ancient and Modern (Ithaca, N.Y., 1966), 23. 2. I refer here to criticisms of Begriffsgeschichte made in personal communications by colleagues who do not happen to work in German. Although such antipathies may very well be due to defects in my accounts of the subject, it has occurred to me that I may be dealing with types of resistance I had not previously encountered when dealing with British or French materials. 3. This paragraph and the next recapitulate the discussion of trends in West German postwar historiography in chapter 2 of Friedrich Meinecke, Historism: The Rise of a New Historical Outlook, trans. J. E.Anderson (New York, 1972). This work contains a notable foreword by Sir Isaiah Berlin and a valuable introduction by Carl Hinrichs. 4. Sir Isaiah Berlin, "Foreword," in Meineicke, Historism, ix. 5. Lewis White Beck, "German Philosophy," in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy 8 vols. (New York, 1967), 3:306. 6. Terence Ball, James Farr, and Russell L. Hanson, eds., Political Innovation and Conceptual Change (Cambridge, 1989) 7. Any work on the political and social vocabularies of English-speaking societies would have to supplement the OED with such additional sources as The Dictionary of American English, The Dictionary of Canadian English, and The Scottish National Dictionary. I choose to take up the OED in detail because it is at once more extensive and prestigious than any other national dictionary in English. 8. "Preface," The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 20 vols. (Oxford, 1989), xl. 9. C. H. Mcllwain, Constitutionalism, 23. 10. Cited in K. M. Elisabeth Murray, Caught in the Web of Words (New Haven, 1977), 225. 11. See the letter headed The OED Revised, signed by John Simpson and Edward Weiner, Co-Fkiitors, Oxford English Dictionary, New fork Review of Books, March 3, 1994,49. 12. This situation has been left unrcmedied in the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought. The influence of English translations of Weber is perhaps to be perceived from the fact that this work, although usually comprehensive, contains no entry on "domination." In its article on Max Weber, the three types of legitimate

Notes to pages 149-55


Herrschaft are treated only in terms of "legitimacy," thus bypassing altogether the question of what was being conceptualized as legitimate. 13. J. Daly, "The Idea of Absolute Monarchy in Seventeenth-Century England," Historical Journal 21 (1978): 227-50. 14. See the discussion in chapter 1. 15. These points derive in large part from the impressive analysis by Charlotte Brewer, "Thoughts on the Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary" London Review of Books, August 31, 1989, 16. 16. Marghanita Laski, Letter to the Times Literary Supplement, October 13, 1972, 1226. 17. I. A. Richards, in Style in Language, ed. Thomas A. Sebeok (Cambridge, Mass., 1960), 432. 18. Laski, Letter to the Times Literary Supplement. 19. Jiirgen Schafer, Documentation in the OED (Oxford, 1980). 20. See the introduction to Maistre Nicole Oresme. Le Livre de politiques d'Aristote, ed. Albert Douglas Menut (Philadelphia, 1970); Milton is said to have contributed more than 600 words to English. 21. John Butt, "A Plea for More English Dictionaries," Durham University Journal 12 (1951): 96-102. 22. Sir Thomas Elyot, The Boke Named the Gouernour, ed. H. W. C. Croft, 2 vols. (London, 1883), 1:10. 23. "Publyke," as defined by Elyot, is described by the OED as late Middle English usage. This passage refers to Elyot, The Boke, 1:1. 24. Elyot, The Boke, 1:2. 25. Elyot, The Boke, 1:24-25. 26. From Elyot's preface to his Of the Knowledge Which Maketh a Wise Man, cited by Butt, "A Plea," 97-98 The passage is given at greater length in the next note. 27. "His highness benignely receyuynge my boke, which I named the Gouernor, in the redynge thereof sone perceyued that I intended to augment our Englyshe tongue, wherby men shulde as well express more abundantly the thynge that they conceyued in theyr hartis . . . hauynge wordes apte for the pourpose; as also interprete out of greke, latyn, or any other tongue into Englysshe, as suffi ciently, as out of any one of the saide tongues into an other." From Elyot's preface to his Of the Knowledge Which Maketh a Wise Man, cited by Butt, "A Plea," 97-98. 28. G. E. Aylmer, "The Meaning and Definition of'Property' in SeventeenthCentury England," Past and Present 86 (1980): 87-97. I owe this reference to Christopher Brooks. A list of law dictionaries in the seventeenth and eighteenth cen turies is provided by John D. Cowley, ed., A Bibliography of Abridgements, Digests, Dictionaries, and Indexes of English Law to the Tear 1800 (London, 1932). 29. This procedure of searching law dictionaries is used by James Tully to report contending and irreconcilable concepts of property prior to the publication of Locke's Two Treatises: A Discourse on Property (Cambridge, 1980), 174. Professor Tully has revised his analysis of seventeenth-century theories of property in a number of essays reprinted in his An Approach to Political Philosophy: Locke in Contexts (Cambridge, 1993), 71-179. 30. Rose F. Egan has written an excellent introduction to the history of works in English on "discriminated synonyms, antonyms, and analogous and contrasted words," as the "Introductory Matter" in Webster's New Dictionary of Synonyms (Springfield, 1973), 5a-31a. For a linguistic and logical treatment of "synonymy,"


Notes to pages 156-60

"antonymy," "complementarity," and "converseness," as part of "Semantic Structure," see Sir John Lyons, Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics (Cambridge, 1969), 443-172. 31. Rev. Charles }. Smith, A Complete Collection of Synonyms and Antonyms (London?, 1867). See the discussion in Egan, "Introductory Matter," 15a-16a, 26a-30a. 32. Charles Taylor, "Philosophy and Its History," in Philosophy in History, ed. R. Rorty, J. B. Schneewind, and Q. Skinner (Cambridge, 1984). For other justifications of the uses of history to philosophers, see also the contributions of Alasdair Macintyre, Richard Rorty, and Lorenz Kriiger to this same volume. 33. Olivia Smith, The Politics of Language (Oxford, 1984), 14-17; 125, 138; Robert DeMaria, "The Politics of Johnson's Dictionary," PMLA 104 (1989): 64-74; Donald Greene, The Politics of Samuel Johnson (New Haven, 1960). 34. Charles Richardson, New Dictionary of the English Language 2 vols. (London, 1836-37). This grew out of Coleridge's uncompleted Encyclopedia Metropolitana. See Hans Aarsleff, The Study of Language in England, 1780-1860 (Minneapolis, 1983), 249-52. 35. Aarsleff, The Study of Language, 227-63.

Index Absolutism and continental vs. English-speaking political life, 158 and GG, 41 and OED, 148-49 Abas (abuse), concept of, 89 "Abuse of terms," and France of ancien regime and revolution, 8, 89-90, 117, 118-19,126 Accelerating change in political concepts, 36-38 and Anglophone societies, 141-42 and disagreements about language, 10 and German practitioners, 10 and linguistic change, 37 and mentalite method, 85-86 and neologisms, 141, 152 Agents, historical. See Historical agents Albert, Hans, 14, 27 Alt Europa ("Old Europe" of the ancien regime), 36, 38,41 Althusius, 60 Althusser, Louis, 81, 87 American Revolution, and civic humanism, 127 Analytical philosophy, 12, 14, 53 and German conceptual history, 141 and German errors, 144 and Skinner, 130, 131, 132 Anarchism, concept of in GG, 40 as neologism, 38 Anarchy, 9 fear of from France, 67 in political catechism, 115 in revolutionary game, 111 "Ancient constitution," 127, 138 Annales school of historians and Bloch, 81

and Brunner, 31 and Chartier, 100, 122 and Febvre, 81 and German social historians, 17, 28 and GG, 17 and Handbuch, 4, 86 and history of ideas, 84 and mentalites, 79-80, 81, 82, 84, 99 and Pocock, 129 and popular vs. learned culture, 100 and Reichardt, 98 and serial method, 85, 109 and status of historical events, 92-93 Anti-Begrtfflichkeit, 27 AntinormativitAt, 27 Antonyms (Gejjenbe^riffe),9, 140, 156 and OED, 147 works on, 155-56 Apocalyptic prophecy, 127 Arbeitskreis fur Moderne Sozialgeschichte, 33, 36, 103 Archiv fur Begriffsgeschicbte, 17, 35 Aries, Philippe, 81 Aristode and Aristotelian thought as alternative to Cartesianism, 159 and Brunner, 29 and Chartier, 102, 107, 120 and Herrsckaft, 71 as preeminent, 121 translation of, 105, 151, 153 Athenian democracy, 11 Atomic weapons, Koselleck on crisis of, 56 Austin,;. L., 130, 131 Authors major (eminent, classic), 50, 88, 102, 119, 120. See also Intcllcctualsnonintellectuals relation no entries for, 20-21 Aylmer, G. E., 155




Bacon, Francis, 149 Baker, Keith Michael, 138 Balance of power, concept of in GG, 40 Ball, Terence, 140 Basic law, concept of in GG, 40 Bastille and "despotic," 114 Httndbuch article on, 12, 92-97 in Revolutionary game, 110 Beck, Lewis White, 145-46 Begriffsgesckichte, 3, 4-6, 21 alternatives to, 4 anachronism avoidance through, 53 and Anglophones, 3, 145-46 and Chartier, 103 and comparative inquiry, 6-7 for English-speaking societies, 141-42, 143-47,157-60 and OED, 147-57 focus on continuities and shifts in meanings of, 10 in GG, 17, 44. See also Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe and Handb-uch, 86-87, 119. See also Handbuch politisch-sozialer Grundbegriffe in Frankreich, 1680-1820 and historical lexicography, 151 and history of ideas, 5-6, 21-22, 25 and HWP, 15, 16, 17, 18-19 and HWP vs. GGvs. Hnndbucb, 13 and ideologies, 53 and Koselleck, 33-34, 35 methods in, 11, 42 and Pocock, 129 practice vs. aims in, 92 questions on, 3, 4 Skinner on, 135 and social history, 11, 28, 39, 41, 44, 64 Bendix, Reinhard, 59, 73-74 Bentham, Jeremy, 121, 153 Berger, Peter, 20, 97 Berlin, Sir Isaiah, 145 Beruf, concept of in GG, 40 Bibliotheque bleue, La 100, 102 Bielefeld, University of, 36 Bismarck, Otto von, 66 Blackstone, Sir William, 151 Blackwell Encyclopedia of Political Thought, 146 Bloch, Marc, 81 Bodin, Jean, 60, 62, 135, 151 Boeckh, August, 145 Boer, Pirn Den, 7 Bolingbroke, Viscount (Henry St. John), 149 Bonald, T,ouis de, 159 Bonaparte. See Napoleon Bonaparte Bossuct, J.-B., 135 Bouswma, William, 21 Braudel, Fernand, 31, 39, 85-86

Brunei, Ferdinand, 148 Brunncr, Otto, 4, 17, 28-30, 31, 32, 35 Braudel on, 39 and democracy, 30, 77 Schreiner attack on, 57 Burckhardt, Jakob, 145 Biirger, concept of, 46 and liberties, 38 Biirgerliche Gesellschaft (civil society), 18, 36-37,40 Burke, Edmund, 118, 127, 149 Bussc, Dietrich, 140-41 "Caesarism," 37, 152 Calling, concept of in GG, 40 Cambridge School, 21. See also Pocock, J. G. A.; Skinner, Quentin Capitalism, concept of in GG, 40 Cartesian thought alternatives to, 159 Brunncr on, 29, 30 dominance of, 121 Cassirer, Ernst, 22 Catechisms, political, 103, 106, 111-16 Center for British Political Thought, 130 Chartier, Roger, 99 and Handbuch, 99-108, 109, 120 and intellectuals-nonintellectuals relation, 122-23 and social history revisions, 122 Chaunu, Pierre, 83 Chinese Revolution, study of key words used in, 8 Chomsky, Noam, 45 Citizenship, concept of. See Koselleck, Reinhart: on concept of citizenship Civic humanism, 127-28 Civilite, Chartier on concept of, 99, 101-8, 120 Civil society (societas civilis), concept of, 36-37 in Brunner's analysis, 29 in GG, 18,40 in HWP, 18 and state (Brunner), 30 Civil war, Koselleck on concept of, 42^3 Class (Klasse) in GG, 40 Class analysis by French Marxists, 8 5 and political catechisms, 115 Classical republicanism, 127-28, 138 Classic authors, 50 Collingwood, R. G., 130-31 Command. Sec Hemchaft, concept of Communism in GG, 40 as neologism, 38 Comparative inquiry, and Bejjriffsjjesckichte, 6-8 Computer analysis of discourses, 87 Computer databases, omission of for GG, 47

Index Concept(s), 36 accelerating change in. See Accelerating change in political concepts expansive stock of, 141-42 Gegenbegriffe (polar opposites) of, 140, 156 and GG, 11-12, 20, 39-40, 52, 77, 161-64 Herrschaft, 58-78, 148. See also Herrschaft Krise, 55-56 and political and social change, 42 Reichardt on, 88 Revolution, 42-43 and Snttelzeit, 36-38, 41, 88, 109. See also Sattelzeit and semantic field, 48-50 and semasiology vs. onomasiology, 47-48 and sources, 51 and structures, 34 and synchronic/diachronic analysis, 45-47 and Weber translation, 53 in Handbuch, 12, 165-68 Bastille, 92-97 civilite, 99, 101-8, 120 and intellectuals-nonintcllectuals relation, 122-23 meaning of, 21 in political catechisms, 111-16 in Revolutionary game, 110-11, 123 "semantic bleaching" of, 56 single, 108-10 "State" as cluster of, 137 as tools (Skinner), 133-35 as units of analysis, 140-41, 145 vs. words, 9, 47, 49-50 Conceptual distinctions, 9, 48, 131. See also Semantic field Conceptual history. See BegriffsjjesMcbte Conceptual movement, 158 Conceptual transformations, 17-18 Conservatism German (deradicalization of), 32 in GG, 40 as neologism, 38 Constitution, "ancient," 127, 138 Constitution, concept of in GG, 40 in political catechism, 112 Contexts, of concepts, 145 Contextual treatments, 16 Contract, concept of in GG, 40 Conze, Werner, 4, 16, 17, 32-33, 57 and Arbeitskreis fur moderne Socialgeschichtc, 33, 103 and Brunncr, 77 criticisms of, 145 and GeistesgesMchte, 15 on GG origin, 28


and Koselleck, 34 and social history, 31, 33, 35 Corneille, Pierre, 102 Counter Reformation, 41, 158 Cowell, John, 155 Crisis (Krise), concept of, 55-56 in GG, 40 Critical conceptual history, 140 Critical theorists, and HWP, 14 Critical theory, 14 Criticism, concept of in GG, 40 Cultural history, and Vovelle, 100 Culture, popular vs. learned, 100, 108, 120 Curtius, Ernst, 22 Dahrendorf, Ralf, 31 Daly, J., 149 Darnton, Robert, 81 Death attitudes toward, 83-84 democratization of, 36 Dechristianization, 83, 84, 85 Deconstruction, 12, 129, 160 Delacroix, catechism by, 116 Democracy, concept of, 36 Athenian, 11 Brunner on, 77 Elyot's first use of, 153, 154 in GG, 40 and Herrschaft, 61, 65 in political catechisms, 115 and Weber, 69-70 Demokratisierung (democratization) of political and social vocabularies, 37-38 and death, 36 and Herrschnft, 61 Derrida, Jacques, 129 Desgrouas, C.-F., catechism by, 114, 115-16 Despotism, concept of, 9, 43 antonyms of, 9 and civilite, 102 in GG, 40 in OED, 149 political catechisms on, 112-13, 114, 115 in revolutionary game, 111 Dewey, John, 144 Diachronic analysis of language, 11, 45-47, 49,109,115 in GG, 119-20, 121, 129 in Handbucti, 19,81 and OED, 148, 149 and semantic fields, 71, 117 Dichotomies, in German historiography, 29 Dictatorship, concept of, 43 in GG, 40 Dictionaries bi~ and multilingual, 18, 39, 153, 155



Dictionaries (continued) and Charticr on civilite, 108 French, 147 national, 45-46 OED, 45, 144, 147-57 origins of, 159 revolutionary, 90, 92 as sources, 18, 39, 51, 91, 132, 139,155 Dictionary of the History of Ideas (DHI),

Etymologies and etymological fallacy, 5, 74, 169n.5 Europe of ancien regime (Alt Europa), 36, 38, 41 and conceptualization of past, 7 European political concepts, Chinese compared with, 7-8 Events, historical, 92-93 Existentialism, 14

Dignity (Wiirde), concept of, 46 Dilthey, Wilhelm, 3, 6, 13, 15, 22 Discourse analysis, 122, 160, 186n.5 by computer programs, 87 and Handbuch, 20 and Vovclle, 86 Discourses in Pocock's work, 124, 126, 127, 128, 129, 136, 141 and Skinner, 141 Discursive practices, Foucault's theory of, 140-41 Distinctions, 9, 48, 131. See also Semantic field Domergue, Francois- Urbain, 119 Domination, concept of, 9, 148, 150-51. See also Herrschaft Dominium, concept of and Brunner, 29 in GG, 60, 62, 63, 64, 71 Dreyfus Affair, 93 Duby, Georges, 81 Dunn, John, 3 Durkheim, Emile, 82

Faber, Karl-Georg, 62, 71 Family, concept of in GG, 40 "Fascism," 37 and conceptual movement, 158 in GG, 40 as neologism, 38, 152 Febvrc, Lucien, 81 Fenske, Hans, 62 Ferguson, Adam, 151 Feudalism Brunner on, 29 in political catechism, 114 Finnish conceptual history, 7 Force (Gewalt), concept of, 9, 67, 71 Foucault, Michel, 10, 89, 126, 129, 140-41 France. See also French Revolution ancien-regime, 8, 19, 46, 55, 80, 101, 118 Restoration, 19, 117 revolutionary, 8, 11 social history in, 28 Freedom, and Athenian democracy, 11 Freedom of speech, and French Revolution, 119 French Revolution and abuse of language, 8, 89-90, 117, 118-19, 126 and Bastille, 92-97 and Brunner on National Socialism, 77 and Burke, 118, 127 and civilite, 105, 106, 107 conceptual movement in, 158 and "dictatorship," 43 English analogue to, 146-47 and GGvs. Handbuch, 80 znA Handbuch, 19, 157 and Herrschaft, 65, 70, 76 and individual concepts, 109 language change during, 89-90 Marxist view of, 85 and mentalites, 84 as neologism, 152 and OED on "despotism," 149 political catechisms in, 111-16 Reichardt's study of, 19 and role of thought and language, 86 and Sainl-Cloud group studies, 87 and Truslcr, 156 and Vichy regime, 93 and Vovelle, 85 Frcycr, Hans, 32

22,23,25, 146

Easton, David, 73 Ecole Normale Supericure of Saint-Cloud, 87, 110 Economic crises, 55-56 Eisler, Rudolf, 13-14 Elias, Norbert, 104 Elyot, Sir John, 153-55 quoted, 143 Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 146 Engcls, Friedrich, 55, 66, 76 Enlightenment and anti-Catholic measures during Revolution, 83 conceptual movement in, 158 and freedom of criticism, 94 and Herrschaft, 64, 70, 76 Koselleck on, 34 Scottish, 128 Vovelle on, 84, 85 Entrepreneur, concept of in GG, 40 Equality, concept of in GG, 40 Equipc "18eme et Revolution," 87 Erasmus, 101-2, 104, 108, 120 Eschatological perspectives, 37 Estate, concept of in GG, 40

Index Fuhrung

Brunner on, 30, 77 in 66,61,67,68 Furet, Francois, 116 Gadamer, Hans-Georg, 14, 17, 35 Game, revolutionary, 110-11, 123 Geist, 6, 22, 29 as entity (Brunner), 30 Geistesjjesckichte, 22, 44, 145 and Begriffsgeschichte, 21 and Conze, 77 and criticism of GG, 88 GG editors on, 17 and history of concepts, 34 and "history of ideas," 22, 22-23 and HWP, 15, 19 and reductionism, 28 Geisteswissenschaft, 22, 27 and Brunner, 29 Gemeinschaft, concept of in GG, 40 Genealogists of discourse, 10 General will in political catechisms, 114 and Weber on democracy, 70 Genossenschaft, and Herrschaft, 61, 66-67 German Conception of History, The (Iggers), 27 German culture, Anglophone discussions of, 144 German historians of concepts, criticisms of, 144^t6 German historiography, 27-28 German social history and Annettes school, 28 and GG, 17 Germany National Socialist, 30, 31, 32, 41, 77 postwar (Federal Republic), 17, 30-31, 32 recent intellectual life in, 27, 146 special development of (Sonderwejj), 40, 145 and Weber on leadership, 69 Weimar, 29, 31 Wilhelminian, 31 Gerth, Hans, 59, 72, 73, 75 Geschichte und Gesellschaft (History and Society), 27, 36 Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe: Historisches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialer Sprache in Deutschland (Basic Concepts in History: A Dictionary on Historical Principles of Political and Social Language in Germany) (GG), 3, 4, 11-12, 16, 17,20,26 and accelerating conceptual change, 36-38, 141-^2, 152 achievement of, 51-54, 57, 77-78 and Anglophones (Pocock and Skinner), 124-26, 138-40


Bi&riffgfeschichte in, 17, 44 Boer on, 7 concepts in, 11-12, 20, 34, 39-40, 44, 45^-7, 52, 77, 161-64. See also under individual concepts contents of, 39-40 continuing groups as contributors to, 33, 52 critiques of, 122 and diachronic analysis, 119-20, 121, 129 and dictionaries, 147, 156 and Dutch project, 7 focus on concepts of, 36 format of entries in, 41, 54 and German historiography, 28 and Handbuch, 6, 19, 20, 25, 79-80, 87, 94,99, 122 Herrschaft contribution in, 58-77 and OEDon "domination," 148 and HWP, 18, 39 and ideologies, 149 Koselleck's contributions to, 33-34, 42-43, 57 language as concern of, 39, 44, 45, 118 and Lovejoy's method, 25 and medieval history, 28-29, 30 and methodology, 11, 39, 40-41, 43-48, 138-39 as model for English-speaking scholars, 143,157 origination of, 16-17, 26-27, 31, 34, 35 and Pocock, 129 political perspectives of founding editors of, 26-27, 55-57, 77 problems of and issues for, 54-55 publication of, 11 range of, 13 Reichardt on, 87-88, 119, 121, 177n.78 and Sattelzeit, 17, 19, 35, 36-38, 41, 55, 77,88 and Skinner, 133, 135, 138 and social history, 17, 20, 28, 38-39, 87-88,139 sources for, 18, 45, 50-51, 120, 137, 139 strategies of inquiry developed by, 131-32 Gesellschaft, concept of, 29 Gesellschaftgeschichte, 31 Gesetz (statute), in GG, 40 Gewalt (force, violence), 9, 58, 67, 71 GG. See Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe Gibbon, Edmund, 128, 139, 151 Gierke, Otto von, 66 Girard, Abbe Gabriel, 156 Gramsci, Anlonio, 90 Grice, H.P.H. Paul, 131 Grimm, Jakob and Wilhclm, Deutsches Worterbuchof,45, 147 Grotius, Hugo, 60, 128



Grander, Karlfricd, 13, 17 Guilhaumou, Jacques, 86, 126 Gunther, Horst, 60, 62, 63-65, 66 Habcrmas, Jurgen, 14 Handbuch politisch-sozialer Grundbegriffe in Fmnknich, 1680-1820 (A Handbook of Basic Political and Social Concepts in France, 1680-1820), 3,4, 11, 19,20, 79-81,86-87, 89-91,98 and accelerating conceptual change, 141-42,152 achievement of, 117, 122, 126 and Anglophone scholars (Poeock and Skinner), 124-26, 138-40 "Bastille" article in, 92-97 and Chartier, 99-108 concepts treated in, 13, 16, 165-68 and dictionaries, 147, 156 and Dutch project, 7 focus of, 6 and GG, 6, 19, 20, 25, 79-80, 87, 94, 99, 122 issues raised by, 119 and language,'86, 89, 117, 118, 126, 132 length of, 12 and Lovejoy's method, 25 and mentalites, 6, 11, 19, 20, 25, 79-81, 92,97,99, 119, 121 and methodology, 11 as model for English-speaking scholars,

143, 157

naissance example from, 91-92 and Poeock, 129 publication of, 11 Reichardt's efforts for, 79, 87, 87-89, 99, 117, 118, 121, 138 and "Bastille" article, 92-97 research procedure of, 157 and serial method, 109 and Skinner, 125, 135, 138 and social history, 20, 79, 80, 81, 109, 139 sources of, 91,97, 139, 157 strategics of inquiry developed by, 131-32 and Vovelle, 86 Harrington, James, 127 Harris, Zelig, 87 Hegel, G. W. F. and Geistesgeschichte, 22 and Heidelberg environment, 34 and Herrschaft, 62, 64, 66 Hegelian philosophy, and Bejyriffsgeschichte, 3,6 Heidegger, Martin, 14, 34-35, 35, 133-35 Henrique/., L. M., 105-6 Henry VII1 (king of England), 155 Hcrmcncurics, 14, 27, 35

in HWP, 12 in Saint-Cloud program, 87 Herrschaft, concept of, 3-4 as arbitrary and oppressive, 64-65 and Brunner, 29 and "domination" in OED, 148 in GG, 58-61 distinguished from related concepts, 71-72 and founders' political perspectives, 77 historical survey, 62-68 and translation, 72-76 and Weber's analysis, 58, 67, 68-70, 72-77 HWP vs. GGon, 18 as legitimate, 4, 58, 59, 67, 72, 73-74, 76 and "State," 137 Heuvel, Gcrd van den, 20 Hextcr, J. H., 129 Higden, Ranulf, 154 High culture. See also Authors; Intcllectuals-nonintellectuals relation and Chartier, 108 and Reichardt, 86, 99 and Vovelle, 85 Hilger, Dietrich, 59, 61, 62, 66, 67-69 Historical agents and GG, 35 and questions of political and social language, 10 in Skinner's analysis, 131, 137 and criticism of Lovejoy, 134 Historical decline, 10 Historical events, 92-93 Historical lexicography, 151 Historical semantics, 9-10, 18, 35-36, 43, 45, 133 Historicism, 145 Historiography German, 27-28 Marxist, 27 Historisches Wb'rterbuch der Philosophic (A Dictionary of Philosophy on Historical Principles) (HWP), 3, 4, 12,12-13 and Begriffsgeschichte, 15, 16, 17, 18-19 and Geistesgeschichte, 15-16 and GG, 18,39 and Handbuch, 6 and Herrscbaft, 70, 71 and Lovejoy's method, 25 as model for English-speaking scholars, 143, 157 origination of, 13-14, 16-17 publication of, 11 range of, 13, 14-15, 15-16 History. See also Social history Annales school of. Sec Annales school of historians cultural, 100

Index early modern, 118 as Geisteswissenschaft, 27 in GG, 40 intellectual, 17, 22, 50. See also History of ideas or thought medieval, 28-29, 30 philosophy of, 43 positivist, 35 History of concepts. Sec Begriffsgtschicbte History of ideas or thought, 22, 50 and Begriffsgeschichte, 5-6, 21-22, 25 Collingwood on, 130 and Geistesgescbichte, 22-23 Lovejoy's program in, 22-25, 50 Pocock on, 127 and Reichardt, 19-20 Skinner on, 133 Vovelle on, 19-20, 84 History of language and neologisms, 153 vs. philosophy of language (Pocock), 130 History of philosophy, 5, 12 History of political languages, 110 History of political and social thought, 5, 117-18 and lexicon or handbook, 140 and major thinkers, 50, 120-21 History of semantics, 117 Hitler, Adolf, 41. See also National Socialism Hobbes, Thomas, 60, 62, 121, 127, 135, 151, 153 Hofer, Anette, 20, 90, 109 Holscher, Lucian, 10-11 Honnete (honorable), 12, 104 Honnetegms, 12, 110, 116 Honnete homme, 85 Honnetete (honor), concept of, 12, 101, 105, 106, 109-10 in political catechisms, 113 Honor (Ekre), concept of, 46 Horizons, in historical time, 37 Huguenot diaspora, 158 Humanism, 41 civic, 127-28 Hume, David, 151 Hungary, conceptual history project in, 7 Husserl, Edmund, 14, 34-35, 56 HWP. See Historiscbes Wb'rterbuch der Philosophie Idea(s) vs. concept, 21 vs. "spirit," 23 Idealism, concept of Brunner on, 29-30 in GG, 40, 41 Idee, 6, 29 Ideengeschichte, 22, 145 Ideologies Althusser's definition of, 81


and Bejjriffsgeschichte, 53 and Handbuch, 132 Lovejoy on, 23 and mentalites, 81, 82 multiplication of after 1750, 149 and Skinner, 124, 131, 132, 136, 138 Ideolqgisierbarkeit, 38 Iggers, Georg, 27, 28 Ilting, K.-H., 66 Imperialism, concept of in GG, 40 Imfcrium, 60, 62, 63, 64, 71 IndustrielU Welt (The World of Industry), 33 Intellectual history, 17, 22, 50. See also History of ideas or thought Intellectuals-nonintellectuals relation, 122-23. See also Authors; High culture Intentions of agent, and language, 131 Interest, concept of in GG, 40 International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 146 Interpretation, and author's intentions, 131 Ipsen, Gunther, 32 Jacobins, 95-96 Jaucourt, Chevalier Louis de, 105, 107 Jauss, Hans Robert, 34, 35 Jellinek, Georg, 69 Johnson, Samuel, 159 Journal of the History of Ideas (JHI), 22, 23,24,25 Jurisprudence, 39 Kant, Immanuel, 66 Knolles, Richard, 151 Knowledge, and investigation of semantic field, 48^19 Koselleck, Reinhart, 5, 10, 17, 28, 33-34, 42-43, 57 at Bielefeld, 36 on concept of citizenship, 47 on concept of rebellion, 42-43 on concept of revolution, 42^13 on concept of uprising, 48 and Condorcet, 82 on crisis of nuclear weapons, 55-56 criticisms against, 145 and Geistesgeschichte, 15 and Handbuch, 81 and Herrschaft article, 58, 60, 62, 65, 71 and ideologies, 140 and major thinkers, 120 metatheoretical statements of, 28, 50 and Pocock, 125 and Reichardt, 19, 88 and Sattelzeit, 77 on semantic struggle, 42 on semasiological investigation, 47-48 and Skinner, 136-37 and social history, 136 as student, 34



Krise (crisis), concept of, 55-56 in GG, 40 Kristeller, Paul Oskar, 23 Kuhn, Johannes, 34 Kuhn's paradigm, 129 La Harpe, Jean-Francois, 119 Land, concept of, 29 Language abuse of, 8, 89-90, 117, 118-19, 126 and agent's intentions (Skinner), 131, 132 GG concern with, 39, 44, 45, 118 and Handbuch, 86, 89, 117, 118, 126, 132 history of, 130, 153 of legitimation and delegitimation, 43 opposites or contraries (Gegenbegriffe), 140, 156 philosophy of, 118, 130, 131, 132, 139, 141 Pocockon, 127, 129, 139 Skinner on, 139 vs. speech (parole, Rede), 44-4, 120 synchronic and diachronic analyses of, 11, 44, 45-47, 49. See also Diachronic analysis of language; Synchronic analysis of language La Salle, Jean-Baptistc de, 102, 104 Laski, Marghanita, 151, 152 Law, concept of in GG, 40 in HWP, 16 in political catechism, 116 Law dictionaries, 155 Legitimacy (Legitimit&t), 58 and conventions of ideology, 132 and Handbuch on mentalites, 97 and language, 43 and legitimate Herrsckaft, 4, 58, 59, 67, 72, 73-74,76 and political catechisms, 111 and semantic shift, 92 and Skinner, 140 and Weber, 67 Lenin, 121 "Leninism," 152 Le Vasseur, catechism by, 114, 115 Lexical semantics, 48, 49 Lexicographers, conventional, 13 Lexicography, 151 Lexicometrie, 87 Liberalism, concept of, 38, 40 Liberal theory, and Brunner, 29, 30 Liberty, concept of, 9 as abstract (vs. "liberties"), 38 and civic humanism, 127-28 and French Revolution, 11 in GG, 40 in political catechisms, 114, 115, 116 "Liberty of speech," FJyot's first use of,


Linguistic change, 37

Linguistic (semantic) field, 48-50 Linguistic turn, 6 Locke, John, 135, 151, 155 Logical positivism, 14 "Lord," O£Don, 149-50 Lordship. See Herrschaft, concept of Lovejoy, A. O., 3, 21, 22-25, 44, 50, 120 dissatisfaction with methods of, 6 and major authors, 182n,32 and minor figures, 131 and Skinner, 133, 134, 137 Luckmann, Thomas, 20, 97 Liisebrink, Hans-Jiirgen, 93 Luther, Martin, 64 McGovern, William Montgomery, 144 Machiavelli, Niccolo and Herrschaft, 60, 62 and Skinner, 135 Macht. See Power (Macht), concept of Mcllwain, C. H., 144 "Magistrate," Elyot's first use of, 153, 154-55 Maistre, Joseph dc, 159 Mandrou, Robert, 81, 100 Marsilius, 135 Marx, Karl concepts redefined by, 153 and Herrschaft, 66, 76 Marxism and a priori class categories, 139 and Charticr, 100, 104 and "crisis" article, 55 and "domination," 151 in GG, 40 and history of ideas, 84 and HWP, 14 innovations in, 121 as neologism, 37, 152 revival of interest in, 14 and Vovelle, 85, 86 Marxism-Leninism, and conceptual movement, 158 Marxist historiography, 27 Materialism, concept of Brunner on, 29-30 in GG, 40, 41 Meaning, and etymologies, 5 Medieval history, 28-29, 30. See also Middle Ages and Brunner on Nazi ideology, 77 models of behavior, 102 Meier, Christian, 9, 33, 62, 71 Meillet, Antoine, 56 Meineckc, Friedrich, 6, 17, 22, 27, 145 Mentalites,?,, 81, 122 and Charticr, 103 and English-speaking historians, 125 as field of study, 180n.8 and GG, 11,25 and Handbuch, 6, 11, 19, 20, 25, 79-81, 97,99, 119, 121

Index and "Bastille" article, 92, 97 historical studies of, 81-82 and intellectuals-nonintellectuals relation, 122-23 and Koselleck, 36 Reichardt's view of, 82-83, 86, 97-98 Vovelle's study of, 83-86 Michels, Roberto, 70, 77 Middle Ages. See also Medieval history and Herrscbaft, 62-63, 71 and "Revolution" terminology, 43 Middle class, concept of in GG, 40 Miller, David, 141 Mills, C. Wright, 59, 72, 73, 75 Milton, John English enriched by, 153 as OED favorite, 152 Mirabeau, Marquis de (Honore Gabriel Victor Riquetti), 65, 110 Mitterrand, Francois, 83, 92 Modernity, 19, 36-38, 40 and German historians, 125 and German Volk, 32 Modern world, and GG concerns, 52 Moliere, (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin), 102 Mommsen, Wolfgang, 59, 75, 145 Monarchy, concept of in GG, 40 Montesquieu, Baron de La Brede et dc (Charles-Louis de Secondat), 102, 105, 106, 107, 108, 110, 120, 121, 123, 151 Moraw, Peter, 60, 62, 62-63 Murray, James, 45, 147 Naissance (family, birth), example of dialogue on, 91-92 Namier, Sir Lewis, 131 Napoleon Bonaparte and Bastille, 96 and civilite, 107 National Socialism and Brunner, 30, 77 and Conze, 32 and GG, 41 and Ipsen, 32 and social history, 31 Natural law or natural right (Na-tumcht), concept of in GG, 40 and Herrschaft, 60 Naturwissenschaften (natural sciences), 22 Need, concept of in GG, 40 Neologisms, 152 and accelerating conceptual change, 141 from "bastille," 95 and Elyot, 153 and English-speaking analogue to French Revolution, 146-47 and GG, 37, 88, 152 and Hnndbuch,80, 152 for ideologies, 38 by major authors, 50


Reichardt on, 109 Skinner on, 131 Netherlands, conceptual history project in,7 Neutrality, concept of in GG, 40 Niebuhr/Barthold, 145 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 14, 34, 56 Nihilism, concept of in GG, 40 Nobility (Adel), concept of, 46 Nuclear weapons, crisis of. See Koselleck, Reinhart: on crisis of nuclear weapons Nugent, Thomas, 151 "Old Europe" (Alt Europa, of ancien regime), 36, 38,41 Onomasiology, 11, 39, 42, 44, 47^18, 71 Order, concept of, in GG, 40 Ordinary language philosophy, and HWP, 14 Oresme, Nicole, 105, 153 Orwell, George, 90 Oxford English Dictionary (OED), 45, 144, 147-57 Pagden, Anthony, 3 Paine, Thomas, 151 Papelakas, J. C., 71-72 Parliament (Parlement), concept of in GG, 40 in political catechism, 113, 114 Parsons, Talcott, 59, 73, 74, 75 Party, concept of in GG, 40 Pascal, Blaise, 102, 120 Patriotic grammarians, 119 Patriotism, and Bastille, 97 Pauly's Realemyelopadie der classisscben Altertnmswissenschaft, 78 Peace, concept of in GG, 40 Peasant (Bauer), concept of in GG, 40 Pecheux, Michel, 87 Peuple, in political catechisms, 114, 115, 116 Phenomenology, 14 Philology, 45 Philosophers, and history of concepts, 53-54 Philosophical semantics, 24 Philosophical systems, Lovejoy on, 23 Philosophy analytic, 12, 14, 53, 130, 131, 132, 141, 144 and GG methodology, 39 hermeneutic, 12. See also Hermeneutics historians of, 5 of history, 43 in HWP, 12, 15-16 of language, 118, 130, 131, 132, 139, 141 in political catechism, 113 Ritter group on, 14



Piete baroque et dechristianisation (Vovellc), 83-86 Plato, 121, 153 Pocock, J. G. A., 3, 4, 124-30, 137-38, 139-40, 141 and evaluation of structural change, 137 and GG, 55, 141 and Handbuch, 79, 117, 141 and histories of political languages, 110, 118, 124, 126, 127-30, 136 vs. intellectual histories, 50 and major thinkers, 120 Poisson de la Chabcaussiere, catechism by, 114, 116 Policy, concept of in GG, 40 Political catechisms, 103, 106, 111-16 Political culture, 5 of French Revolution, 119 Political Innovation and Conceptual Change, 146 Political languages contesting of, 42, 89, 118-19, 136 and "crisis," 56 German and Anglophone treatment of, 5, 124-26, 138-40 and GG, 50 and Herrschaft, 61 history of, 110 lexicon as reminder of, 157-58 and major thinkers, 120-21 and Pocock, 110, 118, 124, 126, 127-30, 136 and Skinner, 118, 124, 126, 136 stability vs. accelerated changes in, 10. See also Accelerating change in political concepts Political society, concept of in political catechisms, 114, 115 Politics (Politik), concept of in GG, 40, 52-53 Politisierung (politicization) of concepts, 38 Popper, Karl, 14,27 Popular culture. See also Demokratisierung (democratization) of political and social vocabularies vs. learned, 99, 100, 108, 120 andVovclle, 85 Popular religion, 100 Positivism, in history, 35 Poststructuralist theorists, 10 Power (Macht), concept of, 9, 29 in GG, 40, 68,71 and Hemchaft, 58 and Weber, 67 Pnussen zwischen Reform und Revolution (Prussia between Reform and Revolution), 34 Problemjjeschichte, 21, 44 Progress, concept or theory of", 37 and evaluation of revolution, 43 in GG, 40 and Sattelzeit, 35

Property, concept of first definition of, 155 in GG, 40 Prussia and concept of state, 136-37 legal reform in, 34 Pufcndorf, Samuel von, 128 Quantification andChartier, 100-101 and Handbuck, 20 Reichardt on, 99 and Saint-Cloud group, 87, 110 Ranke, Leopold von, 145 Rebellion, concept of. See Koselleck, Rcinhart: on concept of rebellion Reductionism, 28 and Chartier on statistical analysis, 101 in Vovelle's analysis, 85 Reformation, Protestant, 41 Reichardt, Rolf, 19, 50, 79, 97-98, 111 and Chartier's article, 103, 108-9 and GG, 87-88, 119, 121, 177n.78 and Handbuch, 79, 87, 87-89, 99, 117, 118,121,138 and "Bastille" article, 92-97 and history of ideas, 19-20 and major thinkers, 120 and mentalites, 82-83, 86, 97-98 on political catechisms, 111-16, 138 and popular vs. learned culture, 120 on Revolutionary game, 110-11, 123 on Saint-Cloud program, 87, 98, 99 and single concepts, 108-10 and social history, 136 and study of ideologies, 131 Reifkation, Germans accused of, 144 Religion, popular, 100 Republicanism and Bastille, 97 classical, 127-28, 138 and Herrschaft, 61 Resfublica, 29 Rcvolution(s) fear of from France, 67 and Reichardt on mentalites, 86 Revolution, concept of comparative analysis of, 8 in GG, 40, 139 Koselleck on. See Koselleck, Reinhart: on concept of revolution Revolutionary game, 110-11, 123 Rezeptionstheorie (reception theory), 34, 35 Rheinstein, Max, 59, 74 Richards, I. A., 151-52 Richardson, Charles, 159 Ricoeur, Paul, 144 Riedcl, Manfred, 18, 53 Rights, concept of in GG, 40 in political catechism, 112, 113, 114, 115

Index and Scottish Enlightenment, 128 Ritter, Joachim, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 35, 77 Robin, Regine, 86, 126, 129 Roth, Guenther, 59, 73, 74-75 Rothacker, Erich, 6, 13, 15, 17, 35 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 102, 105, 106, 107, 108, 110, 114, 120, 121, 123 Rule (Regierung), concept of, 9, 137, 150. See also Herrschaft, concept of Riisen, Jorn, 27 Sade, Marquis de, 94 Saige, Guillaume-Joseph, catechism by, 113-14, 138 Saint-Cloud, Ecole Normale Superieure of, 87, 110 Sansculotte, 91, 116 Santayana, George, 144 Sattelzeit and GG, 17, 19, 35, 36-38,41, 55, 77, 139 and Hcmdbucb, 80 and Herrschaft, 62 and individual concepts, 109 and Koselleck, 88 Saussure, Ferdinand, 44-45, 89, 120, 129 Savigny, Friedrich Karl von, 145 Scandinavian conceptual history, 7 Schlieben-Lange, Brigitte, 90, 103, 118 Schmitt, Carl, 30, 34, 41, 56, 57, 77 Schreiner, Klaus, 30, 57 Schulze, Winifred, 30-31 Schwabe & Co., 13 Scottish Enlightenment, 128 Searle, John, 131 Secularization, 9, 29, 47, 84, 85 Sellin, Volker, 52-53 "Semantic bleaching," 56 Semantic field, 11, 48-50, 71-72 and civilite, 108 and OED, 150 Semantic revolution (1793-94), 116 Semantics, 45 in GG, 44 historical, 9-10, 18, 35-36, 43, 45, 133 history of, 117 philosophical, 24 structural, 97 Semantic shift, and revolutionary crisis, 92 Semasiology, 11, 39, 44, 47-48' Serial history (analysis, method), 109-10, 115 and Annales school, 85 and Handbuch, 98 Shakespeare, William, as OED favorite, 152 Shils, Edward, 59 Skinner, Qucntin, 3, 4, 124-26, 130-36, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141 and evaluation of structural change, 137 and GG, 55, 140, 141 and Handbuch, 79, 117, 141 and HWP, 16


vs. intellectual histories, 50 issues for, 71 and Koselleck, 136-37 and political language, 118, 124, 126, 136 and major thinkers, 120 Smith, C. J., 156 Soboul, Albert, 83, 84 Social history, 27-28, 41 and Betfriffsgeschichte, 11, 28, 39, 41, 44, 64 Chartier's view of, 99-100, 104 and Conze, 33 and GG, 17, 20, 28, 38-39, 87-88, 139 and Hcmdbucb, 20, 79, 80, 81, 109, 139 of ideas, 5 and intellectual context, 136 and Koselleck, 34, 36 and mentalites, 81, 122 and popular vs. learned culture, 120 structural (Brunner), 30, 31, 77 in West Germany, 31 Societas civilis, 29. See also Civil society (societas civilis), concept of Societe politique, in political catechisms, 114,115 Society Brunner on, 29 Elyot's first use of, 153 as entity (Brunner), 30 in political catechisms, 113 Sociology of knowledge, 5 Sonderweg, 40, 145 Sontheimer, Kurt, 29 Sovereignty Bodin's conceptualization of, 151 in GG, 40 in political catechism, 112, 114 Sozialgeschichte, 31. See also Social history Spitzer, Leo, 22 Stand, in GG, 40 State, concept of, 36-37 Brunner on, 29 and civil society, 30 and German historiography, 27 in GG, 40 and Prussia, 136-37 Skinner on, 133, 135 Weber on, 133, 135 State of emergency, concept of in GG, 40 Statistical analysis. See Quantification Statute (Gesetz), concept of, in GG, 40 Stratum (Stand), concept of in GG, 40 Structure, concept of in GG, 40 Strukturjjescbichte, 30, 33, 77 Suspect, and French Revolution, 90 Symbolic events, 93 Synchronic analysis of language, 11, 49, 71, 117, 129, 149 Synonyms, 9 for Herrschaft, 63 works on, 155-56 System, concept of in GG, 40



Tacitus, 43 Taylor, Charles, 159 Teaching of philosophy, in HWP article, 12 'I'ermitiolofiiejjeschichte, 21 Territory, concept of, 29 Terror (French Revolution), 96, 116 Terror, Herrschaftof, 60 Texts computer analysis of, 87 interpretation of, 131 Theology, 16, 39 Theory concept defined in, 21 vs. conceptual history, 53 Third estate, 112 Thomas, Keith, 130 Thompson, Peronnct, 149 Thucydides, 43 Tindale, William, 149 "Tolcranz" ("Tolerance/Toleration"), concept of in GG, 40, 56-57 Tonnics, Ferdinand, 40 Tooke, Home, 159 Totalitarian dictatorships, and Brunncr on Cartesian turn, 30 "Totalitarianism," 152 Tournier, M., 87 Tournon, Antoine, 119 Trade union, concept of in GG, 40 Traditionalism, concept of in GG, 40 Trier, Jost, 48 Trocltsch, Ernst, 122, 145 Trusler, John, 156 Tuck, Richard, 3 Tully, James, 3 Tyranny, concept of, 9, 43 in GG, 40

Verzeitlicbung, 37, 47 Vichy regime, and French Revolution, 93 Viereck, Peter, 144 Violence (Gewftlt), concept of, 9, 58, 67, 71 Virtue, in political catechisms, 115 Vocation, concept of in GG, 40 Volksgemeinschuft, 30, 31, 77 VolksgesMchte, 30, 31, 77 Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet), 110, 117, 123 Vovcllc, Michel, 83-86 on Enlightenment, 84, 85 and Hundbuch, 4, 81,99 and "Bastille" article, 92 on history of ideas, 19-20 and mentalites, 121 and quantitative methods, 87, 100, 101 Rcichardt compared with, 82, 98

Unit-ideas, 23, 24, 25, 134 Uprising, concept of. See Koselleck, Rcinhart: on concept of uprising

Wagner, R. L., 87 War, concept of in GG, 40 Weber, Max, 4, 53 and Berlin on German historians, 145 on concept of state, 133, 135 and Herrschoft, 58, 67, 68-70 and translation, 72-77 Wchler, Hans-Ulrich, 31 Weimar Germany conservatism of, 29 and modernization, 31 Wiener, Philip, 22 Williams, Raymond, 134, 137 Winch, Donald, 3 Wittgenstein, Uidwig, 131, 133, 135, 138 Wittich, Klaus, 59, 75 Words, vs. concepts, 9, 47, 49-50 Work, concept of in GG, 40 Worker, concept of in GG, 40 Worterbuch der philosophischen Begriffe, 13-14 Wyclif, John, 154

van den Heuvel, Gerd, 90 Verweltlickung, 47

Zedler, Johann Heinrich, encyclopedia of, 67