Monday, August 22, 2011

Political philosophers/philosophy

"It is characteristic of political philosophers that they take a sombre view of the human situation: they deal in darkness. Human life in their writings appears, generally, not as a feast or even a journey, but as a predicament; and the link between politics and eternity is the contribution the political order is conceived as making to the deliverance of mankind....Man, so the vaied formula runs, is the dupe of error, the slave of sin, of passion, of fear, of care, the enemy of himself or others or of both, and the civil order appears as the whole or a part of the scheme of his salvation....

It will not then surprise us to find an apparent contingent element in the ground and inspiration of a political philosophy, a feeling for the exigencies, the cares, the passions of a particular time, a sensitiveness to the dominant folly of an epoch: for the human predicament is a universal appearing everywhere as a particular."

M. Oakeshott, Introduction to Leviathan

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