Possibilists


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Possibilists

 

an opportunistic trend in the French workers’ movement from the 1880’s to the early 20th century that supported the idea of municipal socialism. At first the Possibilists, headed by P. Brousse and soon after by B. Malon, who later left the Possibilist group, constituted the reformist petit bourgeois wing of the Workers’ Party (Parti Ouvrier, founded 1879). They led the struggle against revolutionary Marxism and adhered to the “policy of possibilities” as formulated by Brousse (hence their name).

In 1882 the Possibilists succeeded in splitting the Workers’ Party between their own faction and the Guesdists. They then began to call themselves the Workers’ Party of Socialist Revolutionaries, and in 1883 they assumed the name of Federation of French Workers-Socialists. In the 1880’s the Possibilists attempted to gain leadership of the international workers’ movement, but most socialist organizations did not support them. As a result of this struggle, two parallel congresses were held in Paris in 1889: the International Socialist Congress of Marxists, which founded the Second International, and the Congress of Possibilists, who found themselves isolated. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Possibilists joined the French Socialist Party.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
And there, Lefebvre writes, a new figure appeared on the political chessboard: Beside the "archaic" tendency (i.e., the conservatives) and the "modernist" one (the part of the movement, from the "liberal center" to the French Communist Party, that was content with reforming and more efficiently planning society) was the "possibilist" tendency, those who "view the 'realm of possibilities' as still open ...
Thomasson gives possibilist semantics short shrift (17-18), and some of her arguments are misguided.
Moreover, since the revisionary view is a possibilist variation on the propositional-complex reduction, it is faced in addition with the issue of arbitrariness (see below) which confronts that view.(5)
It does not arise for the above possible-worlds version of the theory, which is explicitly possibilist. A special reason for discussing the phenomenon of transmodal quantification here is that it provides a particularly difficult problem for any anti-existentialist version of actualism.
Whatever is to be made of the debate between actualists and possibilists, this much seems plain: "The least onerous thing the dangerous person can do" is not (as Corrado says it is) "to refrain from harming anyone in the future."(40) Part of what it means to describe someone as dangerous (for purposes of preventive detention) is to describe him as someone for whom just refraining is not a live option.
More recently, neo-Meinongians have held that being and existence are different concepts, and that although nothing lacks being, there are things which do not exist; possibilists have held that there are mere possibilia, things which possibly exist but do not actually exist.
Strategical "ought" could be called a "possibilist" account of "oughts" concerning future actions.