Helmut Lethen

Helmut LethenIn hmolscience, Helmut Lethen (1939-) is German philosophical anthropologist noted for his 1994 Codes of Cold Conduct: Attempts at Life Between the Wars, the original German title, or Cool Conduct: the Culture of Distance in Weimar Germany, the 2002 English translation title, where, in parlay on Arthur Schopenhauer’s so-called “parable of the freezing porcupines”, employs a realism-aiming thermal words soaked account to explain, via seeming cultural and emotional temperatures, and interpersonal distances (personal space) or social spaces or "adequate distance", as he terms it, the 1914 to 1945 social mechanisms of Germany, which gave rise to the very heated hot war (as opposed to cold war) period WWII.

In 1994, Lethen, in his Cool Conduct: the Culture of Distance in Weimar Germany, attempts to explain the history of German, between 1914 to 1945, via seeming a thermal word theory conceptualized type of social physics (or human thermodynamics); the following being a seeming abstract:

“The book depicts the traumatic situation after the capitulation of 1918. The familiar horizons of the Wilhelmian empire are gone. After the loss of the authoritative system, people experience the immediate confrontation with modernity as a freezing shock. In counterreaction, the idea of a glowing community displaces the coldness of industrialized civil society.”

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Schopenhauer's Porcupines (1963)
Deborah Luepnitz’s 1963 Schopenhauer’s Porcupines, illustrating Arthur Schopenhauer’s “parable of the freezing porcupines”, on the balance between social closeness (too warm), social distance (too cold), and social death (freezing). [2]

Parable of the freezing porcupines
In the 19th century, Arthur Schopenhauer introduced his famous “parable of the freezing porcupines”, on the paradox between the uncomfortable or irritable hotness social closeness and coldness of social distance; the gist of which is as follows:

“On a cold winter’s day an assortment of porcupines needs to set an adequate distance among its members. Being too close, the risk mutual injury from their quills; being too far apart, they are bound to die of exposure. The porcupines, as Schopenhauer writes, are torn between closeness and distance until the settle on a moderate temperature at which they can tolerate their situation.”

Shown adjacent, is Deborah Luepnitz’s 1963 Schopenhauer’s Porcupines: Intimacy and Its Dilemmas, illustrating, somewhat, Schopenhauer’s parable. [2]

Electromagnetic force
Lethen was found via the keys: "social force", "electromagnetic force". In this direction, Lethen discusses the “electromagnetic force fields” theories of Ernst Junger, who supposedly uses an electric circuit model of social analysis, admixture with iron filing movement theory; the following being an example Junger quote:

“The arrangement of atoms thus takes on the sort of nonambiguity that prevails in the electromagnetic force field.”

Users in an administrative state, according to Junger, gets connected and integrated via current into an “energy association”, according to which the individual automatically becomes an “organic construction”.

Lethen also, supposedly, gives commentary on the “electromagnetic force field” metaphor, in social terms, ideas or discussions of Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, and Joseph Roth.

1. Lethen, Helmut. (1994). Cool Conduct: the Culture of Distance in Weimar Germany (Verhaltenslehren der Kälte. Lebensversuche zwischen den Kriegen) (translator: Don Reneau) (parable of the freezing porcupines, pg. ix; electromagnetic, 4+ pgs). University of California Press, 2002.
2. Luepnitz, Deborah. (1963). Schopenhauer’s Porcupines: Intimacy and Its Dilemmas. Basic Books, 2003.

External links
‚óŹ Helmut Lethen (GermanEnglish) – Wikipedia.

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