The Problem of Nationalities in József Eötvös’s Dominant Ideas Cover Image

A nemzetiségi kérdés Eötvös József Uralkodó eszméiben
The Problem of Nationalities in József Eötvös’s Dominant Ideas

Author(s): Attila Demeter M.
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Erdélyi Múzeum-Egyesület
Keywords: József Eötvös; nationality problem; nationalism; local self–government; self–determination

Summary/Abstract: The present paper is a synopsis of József Eötvös’s views on the nationality problem, as treated in his seminal work in two volumes entitled The Dominant Ideas. In this treatise Eötvös rejects the claims of nationalities for territorial autonomy, yet, at the same time, he emphasizes the importance of local self/government. This reasoning can only be understood by taking into consideration Eötvös’s long/term objective, namely the reinterpretation of the dominant ideas of his age. In his view national ambitions are rooted in the new interpretation that the concept the concept of self–determination acquired after the French Revolution, that is, in nationalism. As a consequence, both the dominant nationality’s and the minorities’ aspirations gravitate towards achieving supremacy and sovereignty. Furthermore, he argues that the nationality problem can only be settled successfully by turning against its trigger cause, against nationalism. Local self–government is not only a model for a possible solution of the nationality problem. Along with Tocqueville, Eötvös hopes that self–government will contribute to an upsurge of patriotism among nationalities, which can be regarded as a political form of collective loyalty.

  • Issue Year: LXXVI/2014
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 40-49
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Hungarian