Freedom and Responsibility in the Thought of Robert Musil and His Contemporaries: Critical Views of Art and Culture, Politics, and Ethics in Austria


This colloquium on Robert Musil and his contemporaries centered on the challenges that the ideas of freedom, autonomy, and responsibility faced in the first half of the twentieth century in Austria and Germany, which at the time were struggling in a complex and socially mobile world incompatible with traditional outlooks and with the German—and arguably more collectivist—idea of freedom.


Conference Readings

Gilman, Sander L. and Wolf Von Eckardt. Bertolt Brecht’s Berlin: A Scrapbook of the Twenties. Lincoln: Nebraska University Press, 1993.

Kelsen, Hans. The Essence and Value of Democracy. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2013.

Kessler, Harry. Walther Rathenau: His Life and Work. Whitefish: Kessinger Publishing LLC, 2010.

Musil, Robert. Precision and Soul: Essays and Addresses. Edited by Burton Pike and David S. Luft. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.

Musil, Robert. The Man Without Qualities: A Sort of Introduction, Pseudo Reality, Prevails Into the Millennium. Translated by Burton Pike. New York: Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc., 1995.

Schmitt, Carl. The Concept of the Political. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Schmitt, Carl. Political Romanticism. Translated by Guy Oakes. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology University, 1986.

Schmitt, Carl, “State Ethics and the Pluralist State.” In Weimar: A Jurisprudence of Crisis, edited by Arthur Jacobson and Bernhard Schlink, 300-312. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.

Schorske, Carl E. Thinking with History: Explorations in the Passage to Modernism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998.

Spengler, Oswald. The Decline of the West: An Abridged Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991.

Stern, Fritz. The Politics of Cultural Despair: A Study in the Rise of Germanic Ideology. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1974.

Stern, Fritz. The Failure of Illiberalism: Essays on the Political Culture of Modern Germany. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.