Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Dr. Andrew Altman

Second Advisor

Dr. Sandra Dwyer

Third Advisor

Dr. Sebastian Rand

Abstract

The jurist Carl Schmitt’s views on the total state and race need further clarification as long as the English language edition of his Concept of the Political presents an apologist commentary. The questions are to which degree Schmitt’s works written during the Weimar Republic are tainted with totalitarian and racist ideas and whether Schmitt gave up fundamental principles during Nationalist Socialism. This thesis examines writings by Schmitt between 1913 and 1940 to reconstruct a coherent anti-individualistic legal viewpoint and its arguments. The first part finds that Schmitt undermines the individual rights of the Weimar Constitution. The second part discusses Schmitt’s role as a theorist of totalitarianism. The third part considers Schmitt’s anti-Semitism as underlying motivation for his political theory and analyzes his racism in light of his anti-individualism. Schmitt frequently argues by invoking necessity of history and by justifying some political action as necessary. These arguments should be rejected.

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