EXC 2060 C3-15 - Social order without God

in Process
Funding Source
DFG - Cluster of Excellence
Project Number
EXC 2060/1
  • Description

    The idea of an order of the social (but also of the natural) world secured by divine providence gradually lost its influence on philosophical, social-theoretical and political thought from the 17th century onwards. This gave rise to the question of other "natural" possibilities of explaining the emergence and existence of social order. This question was urgent not only for theoretical reasons, but also for reasons of legitimacy; for social order also included relations of inequality and subordination, which could no longer be justified by reference to the divine will. The project seeks to trace the corresponding debates, especially of the 18th century, and focuses on the following questions:

    1. Which factors have contributed to the delegitimization of the idea of social order as a product of divine providence? Which of these factors are explicitly mentioned by the historical protagonists?
    2. Which concepts of explanation and legitimation take the place of providence? And what reinterpretations of the concept of "social order" are taking place in this process?
    3. Which concepts of politics (=political action) are promoted by these reinterpretations?
  • Persons