James Harrington (1611-77) was a pioneer in applying the methods of Machiavelli and other civic humanists to English political society and its landed structure. In the century after his death, his ideas were adapted to become an important ingredient in the vocabulary of both English and American political opposition to the methods of Hanoverian parliamentary monarchy. There has been no complete edition of Harrington's writings since 1771, or of Oceana, his best-known work, since 1924. This is a modernised (...) edition, and includes all of his prose works on political subjects. The critical introduction attempts to revalue the evidence concerning Harrington's life and writings, to locate them in the context of Civil War, Commonwealth and Puritan thinking and to trace the development of Harringtonian and neo-Harringtonian ideology during subsequent generations. (shrink)
James VI and I united the crowns of England and Scotland. His books are fundamental sources of the principles which underlay the union. In particular, his Basilikon Doron was a best-seller in England and circulated widely on the Continent. Among the most important and influential British writings of their period, the king's works shed light on the political climate of Shakespeare's England and the intellectual background to the civil wars which afflicted Britain in the mid-seventeenth century. James' (...) class='Hi'>political philosophy was a moderated absolutism, with an emphasis on the monarch's duty to rule according to law and the public good. Locke quoted his speech to parliament of 1610 approvingly, and Hobbes likewise praised 'our most wise king'. This edition is the first to draw on all the early texts of James' books, with an introduction setting them in their historical context. (shrink)
This book aims to provide an introduction to Aristotle's Politics, highlighting the major themes and arguments offered in the scholar's work. It begins with a discussion on what Aristotle perceives as human good, which he had described as the ethical purpose of politicalscience, and how he views the political community, or the polis, as a community of persons formed with a view to some good purpose and a supreme entity in the sense that it is not (...) just one aspect of city-state society but is the whole of that society. The book also discusses Aristotle's arguments against the abolition of the household for the ruling class and the communism of families and property, which Plato advocates, and highlights certain inconsistencies and vulnerabilities in his arguments supporting natural slavery and on how the husband should rule over his wife and children. The book presents Aristotle's account of the relative merits of six different types of constitution and his views on the best possible constitution that will help in the realization of the polis' true purpose of achieving the good life. It ends with a discussion on Aristotle's view of politicalscience in relation to the protection of particular constitutions against constitutional change and political disorder. (shrink)
Patriarcha -- The freeholder's grand inquest touching the king and his parliament -- Observations upon Aristotle's politiques touching forms of government -- Directions for obedience to government in dangerous or doubtful times -- Observations concerning the originall of government -- The anarchy of a limited or mixed monarchy -- The necessity of the absolute power of all kings.
For the first time in three centuries, this book brings back into print three discourses now confirmed to have been written by the young Thomas Hobbes. Their contents may well lead to a resolution of the long-standing controversy surrounding Hobbes's early influences and the subsequent development of his thought. The volume begins with the recent history of the discourses, first published as part of the anonymous seventeenth-century work, Horae Subsecivae . Drawing upon both internal evidence and external confirmation afforded (...) by new statistical "wordprinting" techniques, the editors present a compelling case for Hobbes's authorship. Saxonhouse and Reynolds present the complete texts of the discourse with full annotations and modernized spellings. These are followed by a lengthy essay analyzing the pieces' significance for Hobbes's intellectual development and modern political thought more generally. The discourses provide the strongest evidence to date for the profound influences of Bacon and Machiavelli on the young Hobbes, and they add a new dimension to the much-debated impact of the scientific method on his thought. The book also contains both introductory and in-depth explanations of statistical "wordprinting.". (shrink)
David Hume is commonly known as one of the greatest philosophers to write in English. He was also one of the foremost political and economic theorists and one of the finest historians of the eighteenth century. His political essays reflect the entire range of his intellectual engagement with politics - as political philosophy, political observation and political history - and function as an extension of and supplement to works such as his Treatise of Human (...) Nature and his History of England. The twenty-seven most important essays are presented in this fully annotated edition, together with excerpts from the History of England which illuminate their context. This major addition to the Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought will be of interest to students and scholars of politics, philosophy and the history of ideas. (shrink)
This is the first collection of the writings of Edmund Burke which precede Reflections on the Revolution in France, and the first to do justice to the connections and breadth of Burke's thought. A thinker whose range transcends formal boundaries, Burke has been highly prized by both conservatives and liberals, and this new edition charts the development of Burke's thought and its importance as a response to the events of his day. Burke's mind spanned theology, aesthetics, moral philosophy and history, (...) as well as the political affairs of Ireland, England, America, India and France, and he united these concerns in his view of inequality. In the writings in this edition Burke indicated how societies embodying revealed religion and social hierarchy could sustain civilisation and political liberty. These thoughts reached their apogee in Reflections on the Revolution in France. This edition provides the student with all the necessary information for an understanding of the complexities of Burke's thought. Each text is prefaced by a summary and notes to the texts elucidate the literary and historical references. An introduction and biographical and bibliographical essays help place these works in the context of Burke's thought as a whole. (shrink)
The first modern treatise of political philosophy, The Prince remains one of the world’s most influential and widely read books. Machiavelli, whose name has become synonymous with expedient exercises of will, reveals nothing less than the secrets of power: how to gain it, how to wield it, and how to keep it. But curiously, this work of outspoken clarity has, for centuries, inspired myriad interpretations as to its author’s true message. The Introduction by noted Italian Renaissance scholar Albert Russell (...) Ascoli provides a perfect opening to Peter Constantine’s illuminating new translation of this seminal work. "Constantine elegantly captures in English the pith of Machiavelli’s brilliant Italian prose." –Edward Muir, Clarence L. Ver Steeg Professor in the Arts and Sciences, Northwestern University “Peter Constantine’s excellent translation belongs in everyone’s library. Perhaps now more than ever we have much to learn from this Renaissance thinker, present at the birth of the modern world.” –John Jeffries Martin, professor of history, Duke University. (shrink)
This remarkable expression of radical republican thought has never before been published. Algernon Sidney was among the most unrelenting partisans of the parliamentary party during the Commonwealth, and died on the scaffold in 1683 for his opposition to Charles II. Sidney's voluminous Discourses Concerning Government was published after his death, but the earlier and more vivid Court Maxims was only recently rediscovered in a manuscript in Warwick Castle. Written during Sidney's continental exile, Court Maxims reveals the international character of republican (...) thought. Its dialogue structure presents a lively discussion about the principles of government and the practice of politics, articulating a vital tradition of republicanism in an age of absolutism. These characteristics make Court Maxims a unique text, essential reading for anyone interested in republicanism or Early Modern political thought. (shrink)
Pierre Bayle was one of the most important sceptical thinkers of the seventeenth century. His work was a major influence on the development of the ideas of Voltaire (who acclaimed it for its candour on such subjects as atheism, obscenity and sexual conduct), Hume, Montesquieu and Rousseau. Banned in France on first publication in 1697, Bayle's Dictionnaire Historique et Critique became a bestseller and ran into several editions and translations. Sally L. Jenkinson's masterly new edition presents the reader with a (...) coherent path through Bayle's monumental work (which ran to seven million words). This is the first volume in English to select political writings from Bayle's work and to present its author as a specifically political thinker. Sally L. Jenkinson's authoritative translation, careful selection of texts, and lucid introduction will be welcomed by scholars and students of the history of ideas, political theory, cultural history and French studies. (shrink)
The work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau is presented in two volumes, together forming the most comprehensive anthology of Rousseau's political writings in English. This second volume contains the earlier writings such as the First and Second Discourses, the publication of which signalled the power and challenge of Rousseau's thinking. Rousseau's influence was wide reaching and has continued to grow since his death: major landmarks in world history, such as the American and French Revolutions, were profoundly affected by Rousseau's writing, as (...) were cultural and intellectual movements such as Romanticism and Idealism. This volume, like its successor, contains a comprehensive introduction, chronology and guide to further reading and will enable students to obtain a full understanding of the writings of one of the world's greatest thinkers. (shrink)
The original edition of Kant: Political Writings was first published in 1970, and has long been established as the principal English-language edition of this important body of writing. In this new, expanded edition two important texts illustrating Kant's view of history are included for the first time, his reviews of Herder's Ideas on the Philosophy of the History of Mankind and Conjectures on the Beginning of Human History, as well as the essay What is Orientation in Thinking?. In addition (...) to a general introduction assessing Kant's political thought in terms of his fundamental principles of politics, this edition also contains such useful student aids as notes on the texts, a comprehensive bibliogaphy and a new postscript, looking at some of the principal issues in Kantian scholarship that have arisen since the first edition. (shrink)
John Milton was not only the greatest English Renaissance poet but also devoted twenty years to prose writing in the advancement of religious, civil and political liberties. The height of his public career was as chief propagandist to the Commonwealth regime which came into being following the execution of King Charles I in 1649. The first of the two complete texts in this volume, The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, was easily the most radical justification of the regicide at (...) the time. In the second, A Defence of the People of England, Milton undertook to vindicate the Commonwealth's cause to Europe as a whole. They are central to an understanding both of the development of Milton's political thought and the climax of the English Revolution itself. This is the first time that fully annotated versions have been published together in one volume, and incorporates a wholly new translation of the Defence. The introduction outlines the complexity of the ideological landscape which Milton had to negotiate, and in particular the points at which he departed radically from his sixteenth-century predecessors. Further aids to students include a full chronology of Milton's life and important contemporary events, a select bibliography and biographies of persons mentioned in the text. (shrink)
Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) was arguably the most important English theorist to focus on the issue of political liberty during the English Enlightenment. His concept of freedom is of crucial importance to two of the major issues of his day: the right of dissenters to religious toleration, and the right of the American colonists to self-government. Priestley's writings lack a modern edition and this new collection will be the first to render accessible his Essay on First Principles, The Present State (...) of Liberty and the Letter of Advice. An introduction and notes, and guides to further reading and key figures in the text provide the student with all the material necessary for approaching Priestley. (shrink)
The Statesman is Plato's neglected political work, but it is crucial for an understanding of the development of his political thinking. In its presentation of the statesman's expertise, The Statesman modifies, as well as defending in original ways, this central theme of the Republic. This new translation makes the dialogue accessible to students of political thought and the introduction outlines the philosophical and historical background necessary for a political theory readership.
This volume contains the political writings of Sir Robert Filmer (1588-1653), an acute defender of absolute monarchy and perhaps the most important patriarchal political theorist of the seventeenth century. The recent explosion of interest in women's history and the history of the family has greatly enhanced the audience for Filmer's work, and in this new edition Johann Sommerville provides accurate and accessible texts of his principal writings, accompanied by all the standard series features, including a concise introduction, chronology, (...) guide to further reading and notes on Filmer's own text. (shrink)
Books V and VI of Aristotle's Politics constitute a manual on practical politics. David Keyt presents a clear and accurate new translation of these books, together with a commentary which also supplies a key to Aristotle's many historical references. It is intended to guide readers towards a proper understanding of this classic text in the history of political thought.
De Cive (On the Citizen) is the first full exposition of the political thought of Thomas Hobbes, the greatest English political philosopher of all time. Professors Tuck and Silverthorne have undertaken the first complete translation since 1651, a rendition long thought (in error) to be at least sanctioned by Hobbes himself. On the Citizen is written in a clear, straightforward, expository style, and in many ways offers students a more digestible account of Hobbes's political thought than the (...) Leviathan itself. This new translation is both accurate and accessible, and is itself a significant scholarly event: it is accompanied by a full glossary of Latin terms, a chronology, bibliography, and an expository introduction. Throughout the editors have emphasised consistency in the translation and usage of Hobbes's basic conceptual vocabulary, respecting Hobbes's own concern for accurate definition of terms. (shrink)
Toward the end of the astonishing period of Athenian creativity that furnished Western civilization with the greater part of its intellectual, artistic, and political wealth, Plato wrote The Republic , his discussion of the nature and meaning of justice and of the ideal state and its ruler. All subsequent European thinking about these subjects owes its character, directly or indirectly, to this most famous (and most accessible) of the Platonic dialogues. Although he describes a society that looks to some (...) like the ideal human community and to others like a totalitarian nightmare, in the course of his description Plato raises enduringly relevant questions about politics, art, education, and the general conduct of life. Translated by A. D. Lindsay From the Hardcover edition. (shrink)
This is the first ever English rendition of the classic statement of divine right absolutism, published in 1707. Jacques-Benigne Bossuet argues in the Politics that a general society of the entire human race, governed by Christian charity, has given way (after the Fall) to the necessity of politcs, law, and absolute hereditary monarchy. That monarchy - seen as natural, universal and divinely ordained (beginning with David and Solomon) is defended in the first half of the book. The last part, added (...) soon before Bossuet's death, goes on to take up the rights of the Church, the distinction between absolutism and arbitrariness, and causes of just war. Patrick Riley has provided full supporting materials including a chronology, guide to further reading, and a lucid introduction placing Bossuet in his historical and intellectual context. (shrink)
In his introduction to this new translation by Russell Price, Professor Skinner presents a lucid analysis of Machiavelli's text as a response both to the world of Florentine politics, and as an attack on the advice-books for princes published by a number of his contemporaries. This new edition includes notes on the principal events in Machiavelli's life, and on the vocabulary of The Prince, as well as biographical notes on characters in the text.
This is a new revised version of Dr. Laslett's standard edition of Two Treatises. First published in 1960, and based on an analysis of the whole body of Locke's publications, writings, and papers. The Introduction and text have been revised to incorporate references to recent scholarship since the second edition and the bibliography has been updated.
The struggle which Plato has Socrates recommend to his interlocutors in Gorgias - and to his readers - is the struggle to overcome the temptations of worldly success and to concentrate on genuine morality. Ostensibly an enquiry into the value of rhetoric, the dialogue soon becomes an investigation into the value of these two contrasting ways of life. In a series of dazzling and bold arguments, Plato attempts to establish that only morality can bring a person true happiness, and to (...) demolish alternative viewpoints. It is not suprising that Gorgias is one of Plato's most widely read dialogues. Philosophers read it for its coverage of central moral issues; others enjoy its vividness, clarity and occasional bitter humour. This new translation is accompanied by explanatory notes and an informative introduction. (shrink)