Principle and prudence in Western political thought

Albany: State University of New York Press (2016)
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Abstract

Reflections on principle and prudence in the thoughts and actions of great thinkers and statesmen. Discussions of the place of moral principle in political practice are haunted by the abstract and misleading distinction between realism and its various principled or “idealist” alternatives. This volume argues that such discussions must be recast in terms of the relationship between principle and prudence: as Nathan Tarcov maintains, that relationship is “not dichotomous but complementary.” In a substantive introduction, the editors investigate Leo Strauss’s attack on contemporary political thought for its failure to account for both principle and prudence in politics. Leading commentators then reflect on principle and prudence in the writings of great thinkers such as Homer, Machiavelli, and Hegel, and in the thoughts and actions of great statesmen such as Pericles, Jefferson, and Lincoln. In a concluding section, contributors reassess Strauss’s own approach to principle and prudence in the history of political philosophy. “Principle and Prudence in Western Political Thought contains a series of first-rate essays on a—if not the—central problem of political thought: how should and can abstract and general principles inform contingent, particularistic political life.” — Catherine H. Zuckert, coauthor of Leo Strauss and the Problem of Political Philosophy.

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References found in this work

The social contract.Jean-Jacques Rousseau - 1905 - Harmondsworth,: Penguin Books. Edited by Charles Frankel.
Perpetual Peace.IMMANUEL KANT - 1940 - Philosophical Review 49:380.
Political Theory, Political Science, and Politics.Ruth W. Grant - 2002 - Political Theory 30 (4):577-595.
Political theory, political science, and politics.Ruth W. Grant - 2004 - In Stephen K. White & J. Donald Moon (eds.), What is political theory? Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

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