Glenn Negley

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Glenn Robert Negley (Nov. 5 1907 - May 15, 1981) was an American political scientist and Professor of Philosophy at the Philosophy Department of Duke University since 1946. He received his A.B. in 1930, his M.A. in 1934, both from Butler, and in 1939 his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He was a visiting professor at Henley Business School in 190 and 1966.


The Organization of Knowledge, 1942[edit]

Glenn Negley. The Organization of Knowledge: an introduction to philosophical analysis, Prentice·Hall, Inc. Copyright, 1942

  • The excess of presumption which is implied in so grandiose a project as the "organization of knowledge" will, it is hoped, be tempered by a word of explanation. It is an explanation with admission, first, of limited aim; second, of minimum anticipation of achievement. Such an apologetic implies, however, no plea of pardon for sins of omission and commission; on these let the axe hew and the quips fall where they may.
    • p. vii; Preface, lead paragraph
  • MAN, the thinking animal, seeks the revealing light which discloses to his curious eyes the nature of things. The ages of his history in which he learned he calls enlightened; the ages of intellectual sterility are dark. It is in the daylight that man moves and has his active being; yet there is beauty in the night, when the concealing cloak of darkness shrouds the harsh and sordid realities which appear in the penetrating light of day. Why should man not prefer to live in a world of night? Why does he not go to bed with the dawn, pull the covers over his head, and shut out the stark disillusion of a world revealed nakedly in the light?
    • p. 3; Lead paragraph Chapter 1: Thinking as Analysis
  • ANALYSIS is the recognition and description of points-of-view which can be taken in the process of thinking about a problematic situation. To discuss the analysis of action is to make at the outset some kind of distinction between analysis and action. That we normally make some such distinction is patent; we admit that "thinking doesn't make it so." Problems are not solved merely by analysis; the active implementation of analytic solutions is what is meant by control, the direction of activity by thought. Many quibbling problems might be suggested by the distinction of analysis, control, and action; but we shall proceed upon the commonsense assumption that there is a distinguishable difference between the analysis of a problem and the effort to realize a solution of that problem in activity.
    • p. 17

"The Organization of Knowledge," 1949[edit]

Glenn Negley (1949), "The Organization of Knowledge," in: Albert Lepawsky (1949), Administration, p. 664-7; Text by Negley is based on Negley (1942) but seems to be rewritten.

  • Administration is an activity which demands correct analysis and accurate orientation with relation to other sciences. To analyze and through analysis to understand and through understanding to make possible the final fruition of rational and creative action-this is the highest end which man can conceive for himself. The primary problem of rational activity is one of method, of organization. If society is to be ordered intelligently, the intelligence which is to serve as the ground of order cannot itself be without organization. Our knowledge must have some order, some method, or its application in ordering activity will be haphazard. It is often said that "man's reach exceeds his grasp"; but in regard to the knowledge contributed by research and analysis, it seems at present rather more appropriate to say that man's grasp greatly exceeds his reach. The pressing problem for most of us is not so much the acquisition of more knowledge as the more adequate employment and organization of the knowledge we already have.
    • p. 664-5
  • Any pattern of analysis or any system of categories for the classification of knowledge is simply a suggestion for the arrangement of the data of experience. An analysis of this experience can be made in terms of certain points-of-view, categories and sciences (including Administration).
A pattern of analysis requires, first of all, a determination of the point-of-view which will be fruitful in making the analysis. The possible points-of-view seem to be three:
(1) the individual who is facing the problem being solved or analyzed,
(2) the material world in which the individual is functioning, and
(3) the methods or the formal system of tools and procedures available in working with the material world.
Another element of analysis is the category under each point-of-view; not the traditional category like quantity and quality but categories that can be utilized under each point of view in the effort to exert control over experience and action. Under the first or individual point-of-view, there are (1) the physical man, (2) the social group, and (3) the social personality or person. Under the second or material point-of-view, there are (1) the objects of nature, (2) the institution of property, and (3) the State. And third, among the procedural methods or formal tools available are (1) mathematics or logic, (2.) language, and (3) law. A final element of analysis in addition to the point-of-view and the category, is the scientific framework in which we decide to organize our experience and data.
  • p. 665-6
  • It seems that the best method of utilizing the sciences for purposes of analysis-and this would include the science of Administration - is to conceive of them as concentrating upon the relations existing between categories rather than as describing particular categories themselves. The various sciences or fields of investigation are not distinguished because they investigate different kinds of facts or subject matter; they differ because they have developed a specialized technique for observing different aspects of the same subject matter. A rock is an adequate subject of observation for any science whatsoever. What geology does, for example, is to restrict its observations to certain aspects of the rock; economics may look at the rock from another point-of-view, chemistry from still another, and so on through the entire range of science, Geology cannot break from the rock a fragment which is of geological interest only; the sciences are distinguished according to the viewpoint taken by each in observing the rock, not by a specific difference in content in the rock.
    • p. 666

The Quest for Utopia, (1952)[edit]

Glenn Robert Negley and John Max Patrick. The quest for utopia: An Anthology of Imaginary Societies. Henry Schuman, 1952; Arno Press, 1971.

  • What can properly be called a utopia?
    • p. 3
  • In the first place, utopia literally means "no place", and the use of the fiction of an imagined or mythical state is indeed a characteristic mark of utopian writing. This primary and necessary discrimination eliminates from utopian literature all speculation the form of which indicates that it should properly be designated political philosophy or political theory.
    • p. 3
  • Utopias are expressions of political philosophy and theory, to be sure, but they are descriptions of fictional states in which the philosophy and theory are already implemented in the institutions and procedures of the social structure.
    • p. 3-4

"Philosophical views on the value of privacy", 1966[edit]

Glenn Negley, "Philosophical views on the value of privacy." Law and Contemporary Problems 31.2 (1966): 319-325.

  • Philosophical literature has given scant attention to the problem of privacy as such; the framework of reference within which privacy has so recently and widely become a matter of controversy is a distinctly contemporary one. What has not been discussed, or at least made clear, is why privacy is commonly considered a right or a value to be protected by the law. There is no historical consensus, in philosophy, politics, or law, that it is such a right. Few philosophers would argue that privacy is a "natural" right or that the intrinsic nature of privacy establishes it as a legal right.
    • p. 319; Lead paragraph
  • It seems apparent that the circumstances of existence in modern society are in many ways more restrictive of privacy than conditions in the past; we seem haunted by specters of the organization man, Big Brother, and the omnipresent state. Yet the facts of a changing social and political structure do not themselves attest the badness of that change.
    • p. 319
  • Perhaps the last philosopher who gave any significant attention to the privacy of the individual was Jeremy Bentham; his strongly expressed view that law was an invasion of privacy that must be justified on the ground of necessary utility was somewhat, but not profoundly, modified by John Stuart Mill.
    • p. 321

Quotes about Glenn Negley[edit]

  • Administration may possess scientific qualities, but does it have a sufficiently coherent body of knowledge to justify recognition as an independent discipline which may stand side by side with the major sciences? This issue constitutes in itself a technical problem in epistemology. However, the student of administration who wishes to establish his field of study as a scientific discipline or as a recognized profession will soon wish to inquire into this question. The broad answer seems to be that few epistemologists or philosophers consider administration as worthy of recognition as a separate science.
Professor Glenn Negley of Duke University is an exception. Regarding all of the sciences not as airtight compartments or subject-matter categories but rather as methods and techniques to help integrate the knowledge and experience of the world around us, Professor Negley considers administration a legitimate science of ranking importance in the total organization of knowledge.
  • The authors purport to delineate sharply those essential factors which are the special attributes of "what can properly be called a utopia". (p. 3). According to their definition utopia is, first of all, fictional; secondly, it is a description or plan of a particular state or community; and, finally, its theme must be the political structure of that fictional state or community. Dr. Negley and Mr. Patrick offer an astonishing variety of "proper" utopias, all of which meet the requirements of their definition. Notable, amongst others, are Campanella's "City of the Sun" (in a new and superior translation by. William J. Gilstrap), Francis Bacon's "New Atlantis," and James Harrington's. "The Rota."...
    • Sylvia T. Wargon. "Reviewed Work: The Quest for Utopia: An Anthology of Imaginary Societies by Glenn Negley, J. Max Patrick," in: The Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science Vol. 20, No. 2 (May, 1954), pp. 262-264

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