Citizens to Lords: A Social History of Western Political by Ellen Meiksins Wood

By Ellen Meiksins Wood

During this groundbreaking paintings, Ellen Meiksins wooden rewrites the background of political thought. She lines the improvement of the Western culture from classical antiquity via to the center a while within the standpoint of social history—a major departure not just from the traditional summary historical past of principles but in addition from different contextual methods.

Treating canonical thinkers as passionately engaged humans, wooden examines their rules now not easily within the context of political languages yet as inventive responses to the social kin and conflicts in their time and position. She identifies a particular relation among estate and nation in Western heritage and indicates how the canon, whereas principally the paintings of participants or consumers of dominant sessions, was once formed by means of complicated interactions between vendors, labourers and states. Western political concept, wooden argues, owes a lot of its power, and in addition many ambiguities, to those advanced and sometimes contradictory relations.

From the traditional Greek polis of Plato, Aristotle, Aeschylus and Sophocles, in the course of the Roman Republic of Cicero and the Empire of St. Paul and St. Augustine, to the medieval global of Averroes, Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham, Citizens to Lords bargains a wealthy, dynamic exploration of thinkers and ideas that experience indelibly stamped our smooth world.

“Few historians of comparative political inspiration are within the related league as Ellen wooden, who surveys the total sweep of old and medieval thinkers with equivalent magisterial brilliance of insight.” —Professor Paul Cartledge, collage of Cambridge

“A not easy research, which effectively integrates conception with ancient alterations. The readability of the writing makes her account quite simply available to any reader able to interact a clean method of the background of political theory.” —Sheldon Wolin

“Meiksins wooden is a unprecedented breed—an educational with the soul of a storyteller. hugely recommended.” —Morning Star

“Immensely outstanding, daring and erudite ... Meiksins Wood’s conclusions are undeniably nuanced, not easy and critical ... This e-book must be obligatory interpreting for us all.” —Times greater schooling Supplement

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Additional resources for Citizens to Lords: A Social History of Western Political Thought from Antiquity to the Late Middle Ages

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Political Noninterference. The state is justified in obstructing an individual in his pursuit of his conception of the good only in cases where his action interferes with another’s legitimate pursuit of the good. 5. Political Neutrality. State action and policy must be neutral among the various conceptions of the good that citizens may rightfully adopt. Drawing on these commitments, we can roughly define liberalism. It is the view according to which the political order is legitimate when the individual is taken to be both analytically and normatively primary.

Disputes among libertarians, socialists, and moderates of various stripes seldom concern the validity of the basic principles of liberalism, but rather how these principles are to be understood and prioritized. As liberalism tends to contain the various positions which constitute the spectrum of most popular political discussion, we may think of liberalism as an “inertial frame” (Barber 1984, 26) of political analysis; that is to say, liberalism provides the framework within which political discussion is typically conducted.

To the charge that civic republican political philosophy is insufficiently suggestive of specific policies, civic republicans may reply that once the conditions requisite for a flourishing and self-governing polity are in place, the policy decisions should be left to democratic processes. Such a response certainly affirms the envisioned relationship between political theory and practice; however, it also leaves open the question of whether civic republican politics can, in practice, avoid the troubling policy implications associated with communitarianism.

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