By Ellen Meiksins Wood
During this groundbreaking paintings, Ellen Meiksins wooden rewrites the heritage of political conception. She lines the improvement of the Western culture from classical antiquity via to the center a while within the point of view of social history—a major departure not just from the traditional summary historical past of rules but additionally from different contextual methods.
Treating canonical thinkers as passionately engaged humans, wooden examines their principles no longer easily within the context of political languages yet as inventive responses to the social kinfolk and conflicts in their time and position. She identifies a particular relation among estate and country in Western background and indicates how the canon, whereas principally the paintings of participants or consumers of dominant periods, used to be formed through complicated interactions between vendors, labourers and states. Western political idea, wooden argues, owes a lot of its power, and likewise 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 deals a wealthy, dynamic exploration of thinkers and ideas that experience indelibly stamped our sleek world.
“Few historians of comparative political suggestion are within the related league as Ellen wooden, who surveys the full 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 thought with old adjustments. The readability of the writing makes her account effectively available to any reader able to have interaction a clean method of the background of political theory.” —Sheldon Wolin
“Meiksins wooden is an extraordinary breed—an educational with the soul of a storyteller. hugely recommended.” —Morning Star
“Immensely awesome, daring and erudite ... Meiksins Wood’s conclusions are undeniably nuanced, hard and significant ... This e-book must be obligatory studying 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
They have offered visions of transformed social relations, improved characters, more fulfilling work and more exciting art and culture, and they have done this without collapsing the distinction between the just society and the good society. Without pretending to argues this point, I think it would be a great loss if such visions disappeared from the landscape of justice-talk. For anyone who agrees, the Kantian approach to the basis of rights is preferable to the IB approach. Notes I would like to thank Richard Bellamy, Andy Mason, Matt Matravers, Sue Mendus and Onora O’Neill for their written comments.
Paton (London, Unwin Hyman, 1948), p. 85, 422/54–5. 5 Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, pp. 85–6, 423/55–7. 6 ‘Every action which by itself or by its maxim enables the freedom of each individual’s will to co-exist with the freedom of everyone else in accordance with a universal law is right’. I. Kant, ‘The Metaphysics of Morals’, in Kant’s Political Writings, ed. H. Reiss (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1970), p. 133. 7 An example of the former conception is R. Nozick’s conception of rights as ‘sideconstraints’; Anarchy, State, and Utopia (Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1974), pp.
143. As O’Neill puts it, ‘Nothing shows why indifference or self-centredness should not be life-projects for liberals, providing, of course, that others’ rights are respected’; Towards Justice and Virtue, p. 144. Waldron, ‘Liberal Rights: Two Sides of the Coin’, p. 17. It is not clear why Waldron feels the need to appeal to an imperfect duty of charity in order to generate rights to food. Why not argue that the interest people have in food is sufficiently important to hold all others to be under a perfect duty to promote this interest, and that the state acts as a clearing house for the discharge of this perfect duty?
Citizens to Lords: A Social History of Western Political Thought from Antiquity to the Late Middle Ages by Ellen Meiksins Wood