State Typohumanism and its role in the rise of völkisch-racism: Paideía and humanitas at issue in Jaeger’s and Krieck’s ‘political Plato’

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The aim of this article is to provide a philosophical conceptual framework to understand the theoretical roots and political implications of the interpretations of Plato’s work in Jaeger’s Third Humanism and Krieck’s völkisch-racist pedagogy and anthropology. This article will seek to characterize, as figures of localitas, their conceptions of the individual, community, corporeality, identity, and the State that both authors developed departing from Platonic political philosophy. My main hypothesis is that Jaeger’s and Krieck’s interpretations of Platonic paideía shared several core-elements based on a modern conception of State sovereignty and human will, whose fundamental ground is the subjectivist-technical metaphysics. The “production” of a human type (spiritual and/or racial) and a unitary State political community appears in both authors mediated by a theory of political education, that I define as «State typohumanism», that sought its sustenance in Plato’s political philosophy, mainly by means of a distorted understanding of the notions of týpos and ē̂thos, and that, I argue, played a key role in the intellectual legitimization of völkisch-racism. This would be broadly translated into a programmatic and literal understanding of the Platonic Republic which assumes that the inherent function of any State is to produce subjectivities based on national identities grounded on homogeneous characteristics. In these varied characterizations similar appropriations of humanitas have been expressed both in Jaeger and in Krieck.
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Archival date: 2020-10-16
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