Skip to main content

Publication Details

On Philosophical-Economic Starting Points of Social Hu- man Rights in Karl Polanyi and Ernst Tugendhat

(Original title: K filozoficko-ekonomickým východiskám sociálnych ľudských práv u Karla Polanyiho a Ernsta Tugendhata)
Filozofia, 75 (2020), 7, 569 - 583.
Type of work: Articles
Publication language: Slovak

The key theses of the study emphasizes the finiteness of meaning in contrast to economic determinism as normative starting point of K. Polanyi’s and E. Tugendhat’s vision of democratic society, controlled by its citizens. This egalitarian point of departure of defence of social human rights is at the same time the answer to their common dilemma, hidden in conflicting relationship of primacy of right to own to right to life. Taking into account Tugendhat’s critique of libertarian concept of “free” social contract as the will to power in connection with Polanyi’s unmasking of automaton of libertarian spontaneous equilibrium as political construct and self-destructing illusion, the study shows that the drop out of social rights in this concept is based on the nominalistic grasp of reality, in relation to which any form of collective self-determination seems to be the enemy of freedom. The second presupossition of this drop out is to be found in the libertarian idea of the natural order of free market connected with the ideal of negative freedom and trickle down economy, based on the illusion of reality consisting of unlimited resources and the cooperation of already self-sufficient, healthy and adult owners of the sources of subsistance.


Collective self-determination, Finiteness of meaning, Illusion of natural marked order, Nominalism, Right to work

File to download: PDF