Political Thinkers: From Socrates to the Present

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Political Thinkers: From Socrates to the Present

Political Thinkers FroITl Socrates to the Present Edited by David Boucher and Paul Kelly OXEORD LTNIVERSITY PRESS OX

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Political Thinkers FroITl Socrates to the Present

Edited by David Boucher and Paul Kelly



Great Clarendon Street, Oxford




Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide in Oxford New York Auckland Cape Town Dar es Salaam Hong Kong Karachi Kuala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Nairobi New Delhi Shanghai Taipei Toronto



Introduction David Boucher and Paul Kelly

With offices in Argentina Austria Brazil Chile Czech Republic France Greece Guatemala Hungaty Italy Japan Poland Portugal Singapore South Korea Switzerland Thailand Turkey Ukraine Viemam Oxford is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries Published in the United States by Oxford University Press Inc .. New York



The Polis The Sophists Peter Nicholson


3 Socrates Fred Rosen


4 Plato C.D.C. Reeve


Aristotle Tony Bums

© Oxford University Press 2003


The moral rights of the author have been asserted Database right Oxford University Press (maker) First published 2003 Reprinted 2003, 2004, 2005 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly pernlitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this book in any other binding or cover and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer British Libraty Cataloguing in Publication Data


The two kingdoms


St Augustine Jean Bethke [Ishtain


Aquinas Joseph Canning



Marsiglio of Padua Cary J. Nederman



Machiavelli Joseph



v. Femia


The rationalist Enlightenment Hobbes Deborah Baumgold

16 3 181

Data available


Locke Jeremy Woldron

Libraty of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data


Hume Paul Kelly

Data available



Montesquieu Yoshie Kawade

ISBN-13: 978-0-19-878194-3 ISBN-10: 0-19-878194-6

21 7


Rousseau David Boucher


10 9 8 7 6 5


The Federalist Papers Terence Ball


Typeset by SNP Best-set Typesetter Ltd .. Hong Kong Printed in Great Britain by Antony Rowe Ltd Chippenham, Wilts


Wollstonecraft Carole Pateman



Tocqueville Cheryl Welch



Bentham Paul Kelly


J. S, Millon liberty


J. S. Mill on the Subjection of Women

30 7 Paul Kelly

32 4 Jennifer Ring





The counter-Enlightenment

Detailed contents 21

Burke David Boucher


Hegel Alan Patten


The early Marx Lawrence Wilde


Marx and Engels Paul Thomas


Nietzsche Nathan Widder


Introduction Introduction The study of political thought Political thinkers: an overview Perennial problems What is a classic text?

PAR T V The twentieth century: four approaches 26

Oakeshott David Boucher



Habermas Kenneth Baynes



Rawls Rex Martin

49 6


Foucault Paul Patton





14 16

PAR T I The Polis


The Sophists


Introduction: the Sophists and their significance Protagoras and the politics of the community: the indispensability of justice Thrasymachus and the politics of the individual: the disadvantage of justice Antiphon and further doubts about justice Conclusion: the Sophists and Plato

24 26

3 Socrates Who is Socrates? Socratic paradoxes and the elenchus The trial of Socrates Reconciliation and political philosophy Socrates and Athenian democracy

4 Plato

30 33 36 40

41 44 46 49 51


An overview of the Republic Forms and the good-itself The structure of the kallipolis Specialization The lies of the rulers Private life and private property Invalids, infants, slaves Censorship of the arts Freedom and autonomy

56 58 61 62 63 65 66 68


73 76

Aristotle's view of human nature The Nicomachean Ethics The Politics Aristotle and contemporary political theory


77 81



Detailed Contents








Detailed Contents

The two kingdoms

St Augustine


Introduction: Augustine and political theory The self Social life War and peace Conclusion

97 98 101 104 106



Introduction The natural and supernatural orders Theory of law Theory of government The case of tyranny Temporal and spiritual power Just war theory Conclusion

110 112 115 119 120 121 122

Marsiglio of Padua


Introduction The Defender of Peace Principles of secular theory Ecclesiology Later writings on empire and church

12 5 126



The many faces of Machiavelli Setting the context Hostility to metaphysics Empirical method Political realism Conclusion





12 9 133 134 14

153 157




Introduction Three treatises Solipsism and egoism Contractarianism Agency and authorization The non-resistance compact between subjects De facto authority

164 167 170 172 173 174 176



Introduction: Locke as a liberal theorist Locke's use of the social contract idea

183 184

190 19 2 196





Introduction Experience and knowledge Facts and values Moral judgement Natural and artificial virtues Justice and conventions Property and justice Government Was Hume a utilitarian? Hume's enduring legacy

200 20 3 20 4 20 5 206 207



Introduction: Montesquieu as a critic of despotism Early writings The separation of powers Law and the concept of general spirits The theory of the three forms of government Politics and history

21 9 221 222 224 226 228

Political liberty: 'the liberty of the citizen' Conclusion

230 23 2



Introduction Totalitarian, liberal, or republican? Rousseau's state of nature Rousseau's criticisms of Hobbes Natural law and natural rights The problem of freedom Freedom and dependence

144 147 150

The rationalist Enlightenment

Foundations: equality and natural law Property, economy, and disagreement Limited government, toleration, and the rule of law Conclusion: Locke's legacy


20 9 213 214

238 239 240 240 244 246 249

The Federalist Papers


Introduction: context and background Arguments about 'republican' government Arguments about size and extent 'Republic' redefined Competing conceptions of representation Virtue versus corruption Standing army versus citizen militia Missing: a bill of rights Conclusion

255 257 258 260 260 264 26 5 266 267



Introduction Nature, sentiment, and reason





Detailed Contents

Detailed Contents Men's rights and women's freedom Private virtue and public order Lovers, parents, and citizens Wollstonecraft and democracy

17 TocqueviUe The appeal of Tocqueville Sustaining civic cultures: American lessons Creating freedom in history's shadow: French lessons Democracy's need for stabilizing beliefs

18 Bentham Psychological hedonism Obligations and rules Sovereignty and law Representative democracy Bentham and liberalism

19 J. S. Mill on liberty The philosophy of swine Utilitarian liberalism The illiberal liberal Conclusion

20 J. S. Mill on the Subjection of Women Introduction Intellectual and political context

The Subjection of Women Mill's significance to contemporary feminists Concluding thoughts

Human essence and its alienation

276 279 281 283

The critique of the modern state The communist alternative Conclusion


24 Marx and Engels

290 290 297 301


307 309 312 315 318 321 324 327 33 0 334 34 1 343 345 34 6 348 355 357

The Manifesto of the Communist Party Ideology The critique of political economy 'Use value' and 'exchange value' The 'fetishism of commodities' 'Forces' and 'relations' of production History Revolutionary politics and the state Engels's contribution to Marxism


Nietzsche Introduction: God is dead and we have killed him The genealogical approach Good and bad; good and evil The victory of slave morality: bad conscience The ascetic ideal and the Nihilism of modern secularism The revaluation of values and the politics of difference: the friend and the enemy

26 Oakeshott Philosophical idealism as the background theory

The counter-Enlightenment

Interpretations of Oakeshott Theory and practice

21 Burke Interpretations of Burke Sovereignty and constitutionalism Political obligation The community of states Colonialism


Hegel Introduction Freedom Spirit and dialectic From property to state Hegel's significance

23 The early Marx Introduction

363 365 372 375 37 6 379 383 386 387 391 395 401 404 405

419 421 422 423 424 426 427 428 430 43 2 433 436 43 8 441 443 445 448 451

PART V The twentieth century: four approaches

Introduction PA RT IV

407 411 414 416

The rationalist in politics Modes of association Politics and law Conclusion

27 Habermas Early writings (prior to The Theory of Communicative Action)

The Theory of Communicative Action Between Facts and Norms and later political essays

28 Rawls Introduction The first principle: equal basic liberties The second principle: distributive economic justice The original position Some problems in A Theory of Justice

459 461 461 463 466 467 470 476 478 480 482 483 485 49 6 499 500 501 503 506



Detailed Contents


Rawls's new theory Overlapping consensus The law of peoples

50 7



Introduction: critique of the present History of systems of thought Power and freedom Governmentality Subjectivity and ethics Conclusion


508 511

Notes on the Contributors


520 52 4 5 26

52 9 53 1


Terence Ball is Professor of Political Science and the Public Ethics Scholar at the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics at Arizona State University. He has held appointments at the University of Minnesota, the University of California, and Oxford University. He is the author of Transforming Political Discourse (Oxford University Press, 1988). Reappraising Political Theory (Oxford University Press, 1995), and a political theory mystery novel, Rousseau's Ghost (State University of New York Press, 1998), as well as co-editor of Political Innovation and Conceptual Change (Cambridge University Press, 1989), Conceptual Change and the Constitution (University of Kansas, 1988), Thomas Jefferson: Political Writings (Cambridge University Press, 1999), and The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century Political Thought (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). Deborah Baumgold is Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Oregon, where she teaches political theory. She is the author of Hobbes's Political Theory (Cambridge University Press, 1988) and other writings on seventeenth-century political thought. Kenneth Baynes is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is the author of The Normative Grounds of Social Criticism: Kant, Rawls, and Habermas (State University of New York Press, 1992), and co-editor of Discourse and Democracy: Essays on Habermas's 'Between Facts and Norms' (State Cniversity of New York Press, 2002) and After Philosophy: End or Transformation (MIT Press, 1987).

David Boucher is Professorial Fellow in the School of European Studies, Cardiff University, and Adjunct Professor of International Relations at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. He is also Director of the Collingwood and British Idealism Centre, Cardiff University. He was formerly Professor of Political Theory and Government at the University of Wales, Swansea. His publications include Texts in Context (Martinus Nijhoff, 1985), Social and Political Thought of R. G. Collingwood (Cambridge University Press, 1989), A Radical Hegelian (with Andrew Vincent; St Martin's Press, 1993), Political Theories of International Relations (Oxford University Press, 1998), and British Idealism and Political Theory (with Andrew Vincent; Edinburgh Cniversity Press, 2000). David Boucher has previously edited two books with Paul Kelly, The Social Contract from Hobbes to Rawls (Routledge, 1995) and Social Justice from Hume to Walzer (Routledge, 1998). He is currently working on varieties of human rights theory, and politics, poetry, and protest in the writings of Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan to be published by Continuum (2003). Tony Burns is Reader in Politics at Nottingham Trent University. He is convenor of the Hegel Panels of the annual conference of the Political Studies Association of Great Britain. He is the author of Natural Law and Political Ideology in the Philosophy of Hegel (Avebury, 1996), and co-editor of The Hegel and lvfarx Connection (Palgrave, 2000). He is currently working on The Aristotelian NaturalLaw Tradition. Joseph Canning is Reader in History at University of Wales, Bangor. His major publications include The Political Thought of Baldus de Ubaldis (Cambridge University Press, 1987; repr. 1989 and 2002); A History of Medieval Political Thought, 300--1450 (Routledge, 1996; repr. 1998); and contributions to J. H. Burns (ed.), The Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought, C.350--1450 (Cambridge University Press, 1988); also (ed. with Otto Gerhard Oexle) Political Thought and the Realities of Power in the Middle AgeslPolitisches Denken und die Wirklichkeit der ldacht im Mittelalter (G6ttingen, 1998). He is currently writing a book entitled Ideas of Power in the Late Middle Ages, C.1290--['1420. Jean Bethke Elsht.in is the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago. The author of many books, her most recent is Jane Addams and the Dream of American Democracy (Basic Books, 2002). Her 1995 book Democracy on Trial was a New York Times notable book for that year. 1996'S Augustine and the Limits of Politics was named one of the top five books on religion for that year by Christian Century. Other of her books have been named by Choice as top academic books in the year of their publication. Professor Elshtain was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996.


Notes on the Contributors

She is co-chair of the PEW Forum on Religion and Public Life in America and serves on many boards. She writes regularly for academic publications and journals of civic opinion. Joseph V. Femia is Reader in Political Theory at Liverpool University. He has been a British Academy Visiting Professor at the European University Institute in Florence, and a Visiting Fellow at Princeton and Yale Universities. He is the author of Gramsci's Political Thought (Oxford University Press, 1981), Marxism and Democracy (Oxford University Press, 1993), and The Machiavellian Legacy (Oxford University Press, 1998). He is currently writing books on Machiavelli and varieties of anti-democratic thought. Yoshie Kawade is associate professor of Tokyo Metropolitan University in Japan. A specialist in modern French political thought, she is the author of kizoku no toku, shogyo no seisin, which examines the ambivalent attitude of Montesquieu toward aristocratic virtue and the spirit of commerce. Her writings include La LibertI! civile contre la theorie reformiste de l'etat souverain and Will and Politics: The Theory of Sovereignty in

Bodin and Rousseau. Paul Kelly is Senior Lecturer in Political Theory at the London School of Economics, and editor of Political Studies. He has written on the history of political ideas and modern political philosophy and his books include Utilitarianism and Distrib.,tive Justice (Clarendon Press, 1990), and, as editor, The Social Contract from Hobbes to Rawls (Routledge, 1994), Impartiality, Neutrality and Justice (Edinburgh University Press, 1998), Social Justice (Routledge, 1998), and jV[,,zticulturalism Reconsidered (Polity Press, 2002). Rex Martin has held university appointments in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Currently he is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kansas and Honorary Professorial Fellow at Cardiff University. His most recent books are A System of Rights (Oxford University Press, 1997) and a revised edition, with introduction, of R. G. Collingwood's An Essay on Metaphysics (Oxford University Press, 1998). Martin continues to work on Rawls's political thought and is currently working on two long-term projects as well: the nature and justification of human rights and the problem of providing a moral justification for a democratic system of rights. Cary J. Nederman is Professor of Political Science, University of Arizona. He is the author of Community and Consent (Rowman & Littlefield, 1994) and Worlds of Difference (Penn State University Press, 2000). He is the editor of John of Salisbury, Policraticus (Cambridge University Press, 1991), and co-editor of "'Iedieval Political Theory (Routledge, 1993), IVfarsiglio of Padua, Defensor }dinor (Cambridge University Press, 1993), Three Tracts on Empire (Thoemmes Press, 2000), Readings in Medieval Political Philosophy (Hackett, 2000), and Marsilius of Padua, Defensor Pacis (Columbia University Press, 2000). He is currently completing an edition of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century European texts on empire (Thoemmes Press, forthcoming); and revising a monograph study of the medieval roots of religious toleration, for Cambridge University Press. Peter Nicholson studied at the University of Exeter, and lectured at the University of Wales, Swansea, and the University of York, including a range of courses in the history of political thought; he retired as Reader in the Department of Politics in 2001. He has published papers on Protagoras, Plato, and Aristotle, and is the editor of Polis, the journal of the Society for the Study of Greek Political Thought. He is the author of The Political Philosophy of the British Idealists: Selected Studies (Cambridge University Press, 1990), and editor of an expanded edition ofT. H. Green's Works (Thoemmes Press, 1997). Carole Pateman was formerly a Reader at the University of Sydney and is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has held numerous visiting fellowships in Australia and Europe and was President of the International Political Science Association in 1991-4. Her publications include Participation and Democratic Theory (Cambridge University Press, 1970), The Problem of Political Obligation (John Wiley, 1985), The Sexual Contract (Polity Press, 1988), and The Disorder of Women (Polity Press, 1989). She is the co-editor of Feminist Interpretatiol1S and Political Theory (Polity Press, 1991). Alan Patten is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, McGill University, Montreal. His research interests include contemporary Anglo-American political philosophy and the history of political thought, especially from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. His book Hegel's Idea of Freedom (Oxford University Press, 1998) was awarded the Macpherson Prize of the Canadian Political Science Association in 2000. He is currently working on a book on language rights. Paul Patton is Professor of Philosophy and Head of School at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Paul Patton has published widely on aspects of twentieth-century French philosophy, political

Notes on the Contributors

philosophy, and social and cultural theory. He is author of Deleuze and the Political (Routledge, 2000), and co-editor of Political Theory and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Cambridge University Press, 2000). His current research includes comparative work on the philosophies of Deleuze and Derrida and an Australian Research Council collaborative project funded by the ARC and directed at a naturalistic approach to rights and norms. He is currently a co-editor of Theory & Event. He has translated Difference and Repetition by Gilles Deleuze (Columbia University Press, 1995). David C.D.C. Reeve is Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has published widely in the field of Greek philosophy and ethics and translated a number of classical Greek philosophical texts. His most recent books include Philosopher Kings (Hackett, 1998), Substantial Knowledge: Aristotle's Metaphysics (Hackett, 2000), and Women in the Academy: Dialogues on Themes from Plato's 'Republic' (Hackett, 2001). Jennifer Ring is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Women's Studies Program, University of Nevada, Reno. She has published in the fields of women and politics, gender, and race. Her books include Modem Political Theory and Contemporary Feminism: A Dialectical Approach (State University of New York Press, 1991) and The Political Consequences of Thinking: Gender and Judaism ill the Work of Hannah Arendt (State University of New York Press, 1997). Fred Rosen is Professor of the History of Political Thought at University College London. He has written widely in ancient Greek political thought and particularly on the Socratic dialogues of Plato, was a founder of the Society for Greek Political Thought, and serves on the editorial board of Polis. He was for many years Director of the Bentham Project at University College London, and is joint general editor of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. Among his books are Jeremy Bentham and Representative Democracy (Oxford University Press, 1983) and Bentham, Byron alld Greece (Oxford University Press, 1992). He is currently completing a book entitled Classical Utilitarianism from Hume to }vfill. Paul Thomas is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His publications include Karllvlarx and the Anarchists (Routledge, 1985); Alien Politics: J'vlarxist State Theory Retrieved (with Terrell Carver; Routledge, 1994); Rational Choice IVlarxism (with David Lloyd; Macmillan, 1995); and Culture and the State (Routledge, 1998). Jeremy Waldron is Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor at Columbia Law School and Director of Columbia's Center for Law and Philosophy. He has published numerous books, including most recently The Dignity of Legislation (Cambridge l.:niversity Press, 1999), Law and Disagreement (Oxford University Press, 1999), and God, Locke and Equality (Cambridge University Press, 2002). Cheryl Welch received her MA and Ph.D. from Columbia University in political theory. She taught at Harvard University for nine years as an Assistant and Associate Professor, and has also taught at Columbia, Rutgers, and Tufts. Professor Welch has received research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mellon Foundation, and has been a fellow at the Bunting Institute and at the Harvard Law School. She is currently a Professor at Simmons College, where she chairs the Department of Political Science and International Relations. During the academic year 2001-2 she was a fellow in residence at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard l.:niversity. Cheryl Welch is the author of Liberty and Utility: The French Ideologues and the Transformation of Liberalism (Columbia University Press, 1984), Critical Issues in Social Theory (with Murray Milgate; Vanderbilt University Press, 1989), and De Tocquevil/e (Oxford University Press, 2001), as well as numerous articles on French and British political thought, liberalism, and democracy. Her current work focuses on cosmopolitanism and the challenge to traditional ideas of citizenship. Nathan Widder is Lecturer in Political Theory at the University of Exeter, having previously taught at the London School of Economics. His research interests span the history of Western political thought, contemporary continental philosophy, and feminist political theory. He is the author of Genealogies of Difference (University of Illinois Press, 2002), and is currently working on a book on Gilles Deleuze. Lawrence Wilde is Professor of Politics at Nottingham Trent University. He is the author of Marx and Contradiction (Avebury, 1989), Modern European Socialism (Dartmouth, 1994), and Ethicallvlarxism and its Radical Critics (~lacmillan, 1998). He is the joint editor of Approaches to Ivlarx (with Mark Cowling; Open University 1989) and Ivlarxism's Ethical Thinkers (Palgrave, 2001). He is currently completing a book on Erich Fromm.



Introduction David Boucher and Paul Kelly

Contents Introduction The study of political thought Philosophical considerations 3 Political thought as history 4 Political thought and the claims of science 5 Political thought and practice 7 Political thinkers: an overview


Perennial problems


What is a classic text?


Introduction Thinking about politics or political thought, which is an activity almost as old as politics itself, comprises a huge variety of styles and approaches. Political thinkers have sought to explain institutions and practices, advise rulers, defend values and principles, or criticize the world in which they found themselves. They have focused narrowly on institutions of government, law-making, and the exercise of coercive power, or more broadly on the character of a society or people. At its most general, political thought converges with what we now describe as ethics and moral philosophy, sociology and anthropology, as well as theology and metaphysics. Some political thinkers have sought to explain the nature of man as a political animal and the role of politics in an account of human flourishing and well-being, and thus assert the dignity of political activity in fully human life. Others have sought to explain why politics, though necessary, is secondary to more important human goals such as seeking salvation and eternal life. More recently other thinkers have sought to subsume political activity beneath realms of human activit v such as 'society' or 'the economy'. This variety or plurality of styles, approaches, and presuppositions has made political thought an exciting intellectual activity for students and scholars alike, as well as making general surveys of the character of political thought a matter of deep and persistent conflict among them. As approaches to theorizing about politics differ, so do accounts of how and why we should continue to study political thought. It is therefore incumbent upon us, in presenting a new overview of some of the main Western political thinkers from ancient Greece to the present, to say something, by way of


David Boucher ond Paul Kelly

introduction, both about the activity and point of political thinking and about those thinkers we have included in this book. This volume presents a canon of major political thinkers who in various ways have shaped the intellectual architecture of our modem conceptions of the scope of politics. Yet the very idea of a canon, which we have received and inevitably transformed in constructing this book, is itself deeply contested. What makes one thinker 'canonical' and another not? Clearly in constructing this volume we have had to be selective. But what are our criteria of selection? Does the canon of Western political thought embody a single progressive narrative that explains the emergence of'naturallaw' or the triumph of some variety of liberal constitutional democracy as the ideal form of government? Or could we have provided a completely different canon of thinkers which would represent a very different account of the origin and nature of our contemporary conception of politics? All of these questions relate to the 'how' question facing the study of political thought. In this introductory chapter we will address some of these questions; in particular we will look at the emergence of the idea of a 'canon' of political thought. We will also address some of the 'why' questions that inevitably attach to the study of political thinkers from the past. Given the development of ever more theoretically sophisticated methods for the study of government and bureaucracy, why do we need to study what dead, white, and almost exclusively male thinkers had to say about politics in the past? \Aiby does a politics major in the United States, or an advanced British or Canadian undergraduate student, need to know about Plato, 5t Augustine, Thomas Hobbes, or Karl Marx if he or she is interested in the study of politics itself and not merely the history of philosophy? In presenting an account of the emergence and character of political thought as an object of inquiry, we hope to provide an answer to this 'why' question as well as provide an interesting overview of the considerations underlying how one should study the canon of political thinkers. This chapter begins with an account of the origins of the study of political thought as a distinct activity. We start with the emergence of political thought in order to show how the subject emerged in British and American universities to serve a variety of purposes, many of which are still of central concern to students and scholars of political thought. This variety explains the difficulty and undesirability of imposing a single common narrative structure and set of concerns on Western political thought, but it also undermines the point of constructing a single authoritative methodology for the study of political thought. Instead we offer four sets of considerations which shape approaches to the study of political thought and which contribute answers to why we should study it. Building on these pluralist considerations we provide an outline of the book and an account of our criteria of inclusion. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the problem of perennial questions and the attempt to explain and defend what it is that makes a book a 'classic' text. In this way we provide students with a companion and guide to the most important political thinkers of the Western tradition, but also with an advanced introduction into some of the issues that surround the activity of studying political thought.

The study of political thought The traditional canon of texts which comprise the subject matter for the study of political thought arose not in the use of one philosopher by another in the ideological exploitation of

Chapter 1: Introductian

a text, although no doubt such use contributed to the canon, but in a quite different context. That context was the emergence of the academic discipline of politics in the United States and Great Britain, and in response to the demand for textbooks to teach a broadening curriculum meant to educate citizens and prepare them for public service. l There are a variety of factors that came to shape the character of the discipline of politics, and the study of political philosophy in particular. It is indeed a hybrid discipline accommodating the demands of philosophy, history, science, and practical political considerations. The tradition of political theory, composed of texts, is what John Gunnell calls the 'regulative paradigm in the study of politics', and it is largely the creation of historians of political thought themselves. 2

Philosophical considerations Discussions of political philosophy first began to emerge in histories of philosophy and general literature. Literature then had a much broader meaning encompassing most forms of knowledge imparted through books. Multiple-volume studies generally included sections on political literature, as for example, in the general surveys of Henry Hallum (1838), and F. D. Maurice (1840S). The honour of producing the first history of political thought, a foretaste of which he supplied in The Temporal Bel1efits of Christianity (1849), is often attributed to Robert Blakey. His History of Political Literature from the Earliest Times (1855) is not obviously a forerunner of the genre because it lacks recognizable criteria of selection and principles of value. He is concerned to display the vast array of political discussion evident at all levels of discourse, and therefore included political ballads, plays, satires, popular songs, and poetry, as well as the more standard writings that have subsequently come to constitute the canon. As the discipline began to take form at the end of the nineteenth century, philosophical idealism was the predominant fashion in philosophy with its emphasis upon the coherence theory of truth, according to which the truth of a statement did not rely on its correspondence with an external reality independent of mind, but instead upon its place in a world of ideas whose consistency and coherence were the criteria of the truth of the statement. Studying the history of political thought, on this view, was largely seen as a prelude to formulating one's own philosophy. It was not denied that the history of political philosophy had certain merits in its own right, but it was maintained that the only proper attitude to adopt in studying the great philosophers of the past was to use them to formulate one's own philosophical theories. This was an attitude that many British idealists displayed in their considerations of political philosophers. 1. H. Green in his Lectures 011 the Pril1ciples of Political Obligatiol1 (1919) and Bernard Bosanquet in The Philosophical Theory of the State (1899) both examined tlte political theories of other philosophers before going on to develop their own philosophical positions.' Michael Oakeshott, a great believer in the autonomy of history, maintained that the philosopher in studying past political philosophy should do so with a view to bringing about a 'genuine renaissance'." R. G. Collingwood attempted to bring about such a renaissance when his reading of Hobbes stimulated him 'to bring Leviathal1 up to date'.s Viewing the history of political thought as a stimulus to philosophy was by no means confined to idealists. Two of the most distinguished and recent exponents were Leo Strauss and Eric Voegelin. 6



David Boucher and Paul Kelly

Political thought as history The second set of considerations that came to shape the study of political thought concerned the issue of what properly constituted a historical study. The term 'history' often appeared in the title of studies of political thought more as a courtesy than as an indication of the method. The study of both politics and political philosophy took place under the auspices of history departments in the universities. There was much serious scholarship produced in the early years that attempted to arrest tendencies that detracted from the historical character of the discipline. Many historians did not subscribe to the idea that canonical texts defined the discipline, and did not hesitate to pursue antiquarian and esoteric interests, while at the same time criticizing the tendency to produce textbooks that, for them, distorted historical scholarship. J. N. Figgis, one of the pioneers of political thought at Cambridge University, made no apology for the breadth of specialized literature with which he dealt, which was, he claimed, 'without charm or brilliance or overmuch eloquence, voluminous, arid, scholastic. ... Yet it was once living and effectuaJ:7 J. W. Allen despaired of much of the work carrying the title 'history of political thought'. He contended that 'The study of the history of political thought seems to me to exhibit still some of the characteristics of extreme youthfulness; its crudity, its haste, its readiness to jump to conclusions. A good deal of current generalisation would seem to represent guess-work or impressions derived one knows not how." The six volumes of the history of political philosophy produced by A. J. and R. W. Carlyle attempted to deal with medieval thought in a disinterested manner, and in which the present is not a constant reference point of the past.' One may with plausibility claim that the Cambridge School of the 1960s and after, whose principal exponent in America was J. G. A. Pocock and in England, Quentin Skinner, was in a direct line of descent from the likes of Figgis, Allen, and the Carlyles in arguing for the disciplinary integrity of the historical study of political thought. What they all have in common, to use Skinner's words, 'might be summarised as a desire to stress the historicity of the history of political theory and of intellectual history more generally'.w Principally they had two aims. First they wanted to unravel the competing claims of philosophy and history. In Pocock's view the philosophical use of the past was perfectly legitimate, but it had no business in intruding on the historical. For him, it was the historian, and not the philosopher, who was the guardian of the truth, and protected society against the manipulation of the past for present ideological purposes. There has been a tendency in criticism of the Cambridge School, or the New Historians as they are sometimes known, to take part of what they recommend for the whole. Although Pocock and Skinner were invariably lumped together in criticism of the Cambridge School, they do in fact have quite different arguments and therefore do not constitute a single target. For example, there are those who object to the retrieval of authorial intentions as the sole legitimate focus of historical inquiry on the grounds that the texts themselves have produced serious and sometimes catastrophic unintended consequences unthought of by their authors. In other words, it is the consequences rather than the intentions that matter. I I Pocock's argument gives priority to languages, particularly paradigmatic languages within which authors work, and which may comprise concepts and vocabularies drawn from a range of activities, carrying with them their authoritative import, as, for example, from the field of law. Pocock makes it quite clear that the historian chooses the level of abstraction at which to

Chapter 1: Introduction

trace an idea, and this need not be at the level of intentions. Writers, in his view, cannot avoid performing linguistic acts in excess of their intentions. Skinner gives priority, not exclusivity, to the retrieval of the intentions of the author in determining the meaning of an argument. From Pocock's point of view, it is the language itself and the constraints it imposes that provides the focus; for Skinner, it is the individual utterance as an intentional communication in relation to a context of conventions. 12 Gradually this took the form of concentrating upon the concepts that we use to describe and appraise morality and politics. In particular, evaluative descriptive concepts such as democracy and liberty which have both descriptive referents that change over time, and evaluative connotations that may remain the same or similarly change. 'Democracy: for example, during the early and late modern period changes from being a pejorative evaluative term to being one of commendation. Skinner's concern, then, was to show what could be done with concepts in argument. 13 \Alhat Pocock and Skinner have in common is positing a linguistic context as the appropriate unit of analysis that elicit the types of meaning that the historian makes intelligible.

Political thought and the claims of science A third set of pressures that the nascent discipline of the history of political thought had to accommodate was the demand to conform to scientific modes of explanation. After the publication of Charles Darwin's Origin ofSpecies in 1859 evolution became a concept that captured the public imagination and held out great hope of becoming the unifying scientific theory, so much so that almost all modes of discourse were converging upon it, including not only the biological sciences, but also poetry, politics, and philosophy. History for its own sake in some quarters was viewed as little more than the collection of facts, and in order to raise its academic credibility needed to subject those facts to scientific consideration. The great nineteenth-century historian J. B. Bury, at Cambridge, presented physics and biology as exemplars that historical explanation should emulate. 14 Robert Blakey unsuccessfully took great pains to avoid producing something that would be only of antiquarian or historical curiosity' in order to advance 'our reasonings on political science' to reveal the 'progressive character' of the discipline. ls J. R. Seeley succeeded in 1885 in changing the name of the political philosophy trip os at Cambridge to 'political science', and Sheldon Amos argued that in history observation served as a substitute for experimentation and had achieved some degree of success in the formulation of universal propositions about the human condition. Amos examined the now familiar canon of thinkers in the history of political thought in order to determine the contribution of each to the development of a true science of politics. 16 Finally, Frederick Pollock, in his History of the Science of Politics (1890), argued that a true sign of scientific analysis is 'patient analysis and unbiased research'; on this basis Aristotle made a much greater contribution than Plato, and Machiavelli greater than either, to the dispassionate scientific study of politics. 17 This tendency towards scientific explanation as the only valid form of knowledge found its most forceful expression in behaviouralism in the United States and logical positivism in Britain. Here we need to remind ourselves of the distinction between the first -order activity of political philosophizing and the second-order activity of studying what political philosophers write. David Easton, the doyen of behaviouralism, launched an attack that was mainly, but not exclusively, directed at the second-order activity. He regretted the decline of political



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theory into historicism in the work of such American historians as W. A. Dunning and C. H. McIlwain. Instead of analysing and producing new value theory Easton convicted them of simply reiterating and retailing the meanings, logical consistency, and historical development of political ideas. 18 He criticized historians of political thought for being preoccupied with the narration of the intellectual events of the past, and suggested that the modern political theorist should use the history of values in order to discover the variety of moral outlooks 'with the hope that this would aid him in the construction of his own political synthesis or image of a good political life'. 19 The first-order activity of political theory was dealt a severe blow by logical positivism, the most well-known exponent of which in the English-speaking world was A. J. Ayer, who had gone to Vienna in the early 1930S to learn about the group of philosophers gathered around Moritz Schlick, who were influenced by the early Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell. Ayer published Language, Truth and Logic in 1936, which was a devastating attack on traditional philosophy, rendering much of it meaningless, including metaphysics, and most of ethics and political philosophy. Philosophy seemed to many to be a series of interminable disputes with no agreement on the right answers. What exactly was preventing philosophy from arriving at truths that were generally acceptable? Was there some flaw in the whole enterprise? Ayer's bold claim was that philosophy was indeed seriously flawed, and identifying that flaw meant that philosophy could at last be transformed into an altogether more productive activity. This involved a clear account of what the legitimate purpose and method of philosophy was to be. Like Hume, Ayer made a distinction between analytic statements that are true by definition, and therefore tautologies that do not depend upon sense-experience or empirical evidence for their truth, and synthetic statements that are propositions about reality and in principle subject to verification. Ayer goes on to contend that metaphysical statements are neither analytic nor synthetic and are in fact nonsense statements. The book has been seen principally as an attack on metaphysics, but it was generally an attempt to diminish the epistemic authority of philosophy in general by demarcating its legitimate aims and objectives. Philosophy had no special insights to offer into the non-empirical world, nor could it offer any guidance to moral conduct. Politically, the book had a certain significance given the context of the rise of Fascism, Nazism, and authoritarianism on the Continent. It was, after all, in Germany during the rise of Nazism that Ayer formulated his position. Ayer was denying special authority to any claims about absolute knowledge, especially in the realms of metaphysics and morals. As the author of the introduction to Language, Truth and Logic suggests, 'A lot of anger and revolutionary zeal went into its writing and its arguments had very radical implications. If they were accepted, religion would wither away, ideology would perish, social hierarchies would collapse. Truth and, Ayer hoped, tolerance would flourish in their place.'20 The book has to be seen as a contribution to the theory of truth, but at the same time it rejected the question 'Vv'hat is truth?' A theory of truth, in Ayer's view, could only show how propositions were validated. Followers of Ayer, such as T. D. Weldon and Margaret MacDonald, reduced political philosophy to little more than the analysis of language into meaningful propositions that could be verified, or an analysis of the type of emotional response a statement was meant to elicit. Subject to such hostile criticism, and with what appeared to be a less urgent need for political analysis at a time that most prominent intellectuals, with the notable exception of Friedrich Hayek, agreed was 'the end of ideology' and one of convergence upon consensus

Chapter 1: Introduction

politics, political philosophy on both sides of the Atlantic by the mid-1950s was rendered moribund, and pronounced, by the likes of Leo Strauss and Peter Laslett, either dead or in the process of dying. Almost immediately first- and second-order political philosophy was resurrected by distinguished historians of ideas such as John Plamenatz and Isaiah Berlin, and the activity underwent a renaissance when H. L. A. Hart generated serious thinking about the place oflaw in society and the conditions necessary to sustain it and John Rawls revived the social contract tradition to formulate a consensual theory of distributive justice.

Political thought and practice We have seen so far that the activity of studying past political thought emerged in the context of competing pressures: the philosophical, which tended to emphasize the timelessness of the ideas discussed; the historical, which emphasized the disinterestedness of the historian's task; and the scientific, which tended to emphasize the objectivity of the inquirer and the need to go beyond an antiquarian interest to formulate generalizations or testable propositions that might be of use to the political scientist. The fourth set of considerations we want to discuss is, perhaps, the most pressing. Because political questions are intensely practical, and political opinions potentially divisive and emotive, it is difficult, and perhaps not even desirable, for the inquirer to separate practical from philosophical considerations. Considerations of practical utility consider historical disinterestedness anathema to the ethos of political thinking. Thus McIlwain's view that the historian is not a partisan, and therefore it is not his or her task to decide between two positions, precipitated hostile responses from those who emphasized the practical value of studying the works of political philosophers. 21 Robert Blakey had set the precedent in being himself a political activist. He had been the editor of two English radical newspapers, Black Dwarf and The Politician. He was very much concerned to make judgements about what was good and bad in political theory in relation to pressing practical problems. W. K. Hancock, for example, suggested that Machiavelli could tell us a great deal about ourselves, and about the power and interest of the state and technical knowledge. 22 C. Deslisle Burns was even more forceful in his view that the study of the past must have a practical value. He argued that the history of political thought 'must show us how to change the present into a better future, by showing how the past became the present'.23 Some modern philosophers, among them T. D. Weldon, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Michael Oakeshott, although holding quite different theoretical positions, nevertheless agreed that philosophy had nothing to contribute to the activities it took as its subject matter. In other words, there is a division between theory and practice that cannot be bridged. This in itself was a denial of the possibility of normative political theory. R. G. Collingwood, on the other hand, who did much to establish the autonomy of the historical mode of understanding, maintained that theory and practice overlap. One cannot be a utilitarian in theory without its having some bearing on how you view people and objects, namely, as means to an end, and each occasion as an opportunity for utility maximization. In Collingwood's view, all philosophical problems arise from practical problems, and their solutions return to practice. Collingwood's own major work of political philosophy was occasioned by the Second World War and was meant to instil in Europeans the importance of the values that underpinned their civilization and which had to be defended against Fascism and Nazism.24



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After the so-called demise of political theory in the late 1950S and early 1960s it has been argued that among those factors that have contributed to its revival and flourishing are the fact that it very quickly became abundantly clear that ideological politics, far from having ended, made a resurgence, both between and within societies. Furthermore, the civil rights movement and the war in Vietnam confronted theorists with normative issues of political obligation, civil disobedience, conscientious objection, just war, and social justice." It is no coincidence that these are the very issues addressed by the two leading theorists to have surfaced in 1960s America, Michael Walzer and John Rawls. In Britain in the same period political theory re-emerged under the influence of H. L. A. Hart and Brian Barry, as both set out to challenge the hegemony of utilitarian thinking in the field of political and social theory. Hart was an important scholar of Jeremy Bentham and John Austin, but was also a sophisticated critic of a crude utilitarianism in social and penal policy." His critique of the limitations of utilitarianism had its roots in reflections on the emergence and development of utilitarian ideas in the late nineteenth century. Like a subsequent generation of Oxford political theorists including Alan Ryan, John Gray, David Miller, Gerry Cohen, and Jeremy Waldron, Hart's example showed that the engagement with the tradition of past political thinkers could inform, explain, and provide the intellectual resources to think beyond the limitations of contemporary political orthodoxy." Barry also writes of the resurgence of political theory, since the publication of his Political Argument in 1965 and John Rawls's A Theory of Justice in 1971, as a return to a grand tradition of political theory that had ceased around the turn of the twentieth century." The return to normative, or first-order, political theorizing mirrors the approach of the idealists in Britain at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. A reflection on past thinkers provides a prolegomena to actual theorising. This is not intended in the simplistic sense of continuing a timeless conversation, nor of drawing simple lessons or arguments from past political thinkers. Rather it embodies a recognition that firstorder political theorising cannot emerge from nowhere, but instead is a constructive enterprise that involves building, expanding, and developing the vocabularies that are inherent in great political texts. This revival in first -order political theory has gone hand in hand with a renaissance in second-order political theorizing, some, as we saw, dedicated to historical authenticity, but a considerable amount passionate to address and contribute to the resolution of present political problems. The Straussians in the United States have been most vociferous about the dangers of devaluing the status of classic texts by the propagation of an insidious relativism that threatens to render moribund two of the most prominent characteristics of the stuff of political thought, namely philosophical criticism and practical relevance. The classic authors, despite being dismissed by feminists and multiculturalists as dead, white males, offer us visions of the good life, and it is our duty to take their claims to truth seriously. Allan Bloom complained of the marginalization and historicization of the study of political thought, which for him was symptomatic of the more general crisis of modernity in the loss of our capacity to value, marvellously diagnosed and regrettably accentuated by Nietzsche, who encouraged the rejection of the categories of truth and falsity in political and moral matters. In order to overcome the perversity of modernity we must, in Bloom's view, return to the contemplation of Socrates." One does not have to be a Straussian to defend the value of studying classic texts. Indeed even those defenders of disinterested historical inquiry who are brought together under the heading of the Cambridge School do not avoid drawing substantive, albeit negative,

Chapter 1: Introduction

lessons from the contemplation of the classical thinkers. This is most clearly exemplified in Quentin Skinner's proposal of a third, 'republican' defence ofliberty as superior to the 'negative' liberty of modern liberal theory, and James Tully's extension of this approach to liberty and historical method to address problems of multiculturalism and national identity.30 Despite the many objections to their unrepresentativeness, the classic texts are a series of reflections on the Western state experience, the domination of the many by the few, that has served to shape not only Europe and America, but also the whole world. In the words of Neal Wood: These texts reflect and comment upon the nature of the Western state with all its blemishes and defi·· ciencies as well as benefits. Some of the texts call for radical reorganization of the state, others for its reform, and in so doing grapple with fundamental social and political problems which we share with the past. Vihether we like it or not, these works have indelibly stamped our modern culture and the World today.ll

Political thinkers: an overview This brings us to the task of justifying our particular conception of the canon and our account of those we include and those we deliberately exclude. It is important to state clearly and unambiguously that all accounts of the importance of a group or canon of political thinkers has to be constructed from the perspective of the present. Even if we set out to provide a purely historical account of the canon, those criteria we would have to use would still be located in the present. Which historical issues, debates, and events are singled out as of primary significance can only be judged from the perspective of the present. The historical past is not only 'another country' where they 'do things differently'; it is also something that is constructed by historians (albeit not arbitrarily) from material that is in the present. Given that all such criteria for an account of the canon are in the present, it is our contention that all of the thinkers we have chosen to include make a complex but significant contribution to the architecture of our moral and political universe. That is not to say that they set in train chains of cause and effect that lead inexorably to our moral and political institutions and practices. They do, however, provide part of the common resource out of which, and against which, we articulate our contemporary political aspirations. All political thinkers, no matter how minor, will to some extent make such a contribution to our present, but some do so in much more important ways than others. The thinkers we have included fall within this second category. They are all philosophically significant, though often for quite different reasons. We have not attempted to locate texts as exemplars of distinct vocabularies that might have lead us to include more of what are often considered minor thinkers. Instead we have chosen thinkers who are important for their philosophical subtlety and fecundity; thinkers who have extended the boundaries of the political; thinkers who have challenged prevailing philosophical paradigms and opened up new avenues of thought and inquiry; thinkers who present contrasting conceptions of the purpose of politics and the possibilities of theorizing politics. It is for this reason that we exclude Roman thinkers such as Cicero but do include the late Roman Christian thinker Augustine of Hippo. Although Cicero's influence is great, he is a highly eclectic thinker whose significance is through his application of Greek ideas to the institutional practices of the Roman republic. Augustine, on the other hand, is hugely influential because he transforms the way in which we see politics as part of the highest good for man, and provides us with a



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chastened vision of political life as a response to man's imperfection rather than as a condition of his perfectability. With Augustine we see a transformation from a Greek-inspired set of questions to a whole new vision of politics and its significance. In the modern period we have included Marx and Nietzsche, but not the host of post-Marxian socialist thinkers such as Lenin, Kautsky, Bernstein, or Trotsky, nor post -Nietzscheans such as Derrida or Lyotard. All of these latter thinkers are important, but they are important for working out the ideas of other more significant thinkers. Lenin is clearly an important political figure as theorist and leader of the October Revolution of 1917. But as we respond to the collapse of 'really existing' socialism after 1989, we can take a more impartial view of Lenin's significance as a theorist as opposed to an important political agent. It remains Karl Marx, from whom Lenin and Trotsky derived their ideas and political practice, rather than these secondary thinkers who still has a legitimate claim on our attention. We have divided the book into five parts. Part I covers the birth of political theory in the context of the ancient Greek polis. It is from this very different world that many of our modern notions about the point of political life, the nature of citizenship and its virtues, and the idea of justice as the primary political virtue emerge. Although the ancient Greeks' answers to questions about the nature of the political, be they the demands of justice or the nature of citizenship, are either unfeasible or undesirable because of the dependence on a slave class and the subordination of women to the private sphere, the huge influence of Socrates, Plato, and Atistotle on all subsequent Western thinking makes them tile obvious starting point for any conception of the Western canon. This section begins with an important chapter on the Sophists, that group of thinkers against whom Socrates developed his own political theory. The Sophists provide the earliest recognizable political theory in the Western tradition, and this chapter supplies the framework against which to make sense of Socrates and Plato. Aristotle is the other key source of classical political theorizing. His conception of political theory as political science is fundamentally different from Plato's and sets up a significant intellectual paradigm that is not only important for its impact on subsequent Christian theorizing in the case of Augustine and Aquinas, but also because it provides the foil for modern theorists such as Hobbes. It is also one of the key sources of communitarian understandings of politics and morality, and as such has a distinctly modern resonance in debates about the character of the contemporary political community.l2 Part II, which we have entitled 'The Two Kingdoms', covers late Roman Christians such as Augustine of Hippo, extends into the medieval period with Aquinas and Marsiglio of Padua, and ends with Machiavelli, as the beginning of the modern period. Augustine and Aquinas are the two main representatives of Christian characterizations of politics. Augustine's conception of the limitation of politics and human imperfection shapes all modern understandings of political relationships. Aquinas was much less pessimistic, and develops a significant vocabulary of natural law and natural rights. His combination of the doctrines of political activity as a component of the good life with an appreciation of the limits of politics and a commitment to natural law and rights feeds into modern debates about the continuity of morality, politics, and law, against 'modern' conceptions of the autonomy of the political which are based on the very different approaches of Hobbes and Machiavelli. Although the high Middle Ages remains a significant period for thought about the relationship between politics, law, and morality (the intellectual vitality of this period is beautifully conveyed in Umberto Eco's novel The Name of the Rose), we have confined our attention to Marsiglio of

Chapter 1: introduction

Padua. Marsiglio writes within the context of debates between empire and papacy, but his significance also extends beyond the politics of the high Middle Ages as a key source of constitutional ideas. Part II concludes with a chapter on Machiavelli, whose uniqueness and influence makes him very difficult to characterize. For some he is a backward-looking thinker who attempts to recover and apply a pre-Christian idea of politics as an autonomous realm of human action with its own distinct rules and conceptions of virtue which are opposed to the virtues of the good Christian. For other commentators, this defence of the autonomy of politics makes the Florentine republican one of the first modern theorists, who is able to think beyond the Christian natural law framework that has its origins in Augustine's rejection of the classical conception of politics. The focus then shifts to the modern period from Hobbes to Marx and Nietzsche. The range of thinkers included in Parts III and IV are those that most clearly shape the architecture of modern politics and its conflicting institutional forms. All are theorists of the modern juridical state, but each approaches the emergence and justification of this peculiar form of political association in different ways. For some the state is the necessary solution to the problem of conflict in a pluralist world, whereas for others the state with its associated concepts of sovereignty and right is a problem than needs to be controlled and constrained. While the juridical state casts a shadow across subsequent political theorizing in the modern world, it would be wrong to see all t1te theorists of this modern political form as providing a straightforward celebration and explanation of this political form. In theorizing around the state many of these t1tinkers consciously reject traditional forms of justifying political power and authority. Against the authority of the Church, received tradition, or the divine right of kings, they counterpose the authority of the individual. This authority is both political and epistemological. Whereas the received authorities of divinely sanctioned monarchy, empire, or Church were closed, elitist, and peremptory, the search for justification in a pluralist world of different religious confessions required the exercise of individual reason and judgement. Out of this challenge to received authority emerges what we have characterized as the rationalist Enlightenment. The thinkers who fall under this category differ in subtle ways, but they all seek to justify and explain political obligation, the authority of the individual, the nature of the political community, and equality of concern and respect in terms of publicly accessible universal norms of natural law, justice, or utility. The only authority that is ultimately acceptable is the authority of human reason. Part III begins with the dominant figure of Thomas Hobbes, who contributes to the modern notion of the state and its central concepts of sovereignty, right, and will. Hobbes also resurrects the language of contractualism but transforms it into the modern doctrine of the social contract as the source of political authority. These ideas of the contractual origins or political legitimacy, natural rights and the state of nature, the rejection of patriarchal power and the development of modern constitutionalism, are then taken up by Locke in his assault on political absolutism. The discussion of Locke is followed by a chapter on the Scottish philosopher David Hume, who marks a break with the classical contractarianism of Hobbes and Locke. Hume is a savage and largely effective critic of social contract theories and theorists of consent. He is also important as a source of speculative historical sociology and as a theorist of emerging commercial society as a condition of constitutional or soft government, rather than abstract philosophical theories about contract or natural rights. He is also a precursor of the utilitarian theories of Bentham and J. S. Mill. Montesquieu is another



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subtle critic of contractualism but who nevertheless champions constitutional government in opposition to the despotism of absolutism. He develops an anthropological theory of the state of nature that influences Rousseau. Yet he also develops a conception of political science that emphasizes the sub rational or non-rational components in accounting for the development of political institutions and constitutional forms. He particularly emphasizes climate and geography, making him a precursor of modern political sociology and social history. This armed him with the resources to reject the moralized politics of traditional natural law theory. His dispassionate study of constitutional forms independently of morality makes him a precursor of utilitarians such as Bentham and the writers of the Federalist such as James Madison. There then follows a chapter on Rousseau, who is both one of the most profound critics of the social contract tradition and one of its most influential theorists through his doctrine of the general will. Rousseau is also significant for his commitment to republicanism and popular sovereignty as well as the enormously influential view that human perfectibility is frustrated by human political institutions. This latter idea clearly leads on to the politics of total revolution as a condition of human emancipation-a doctrine that has its most significant statement in the works of Karl Marx. Following Rousseau we have chapters on the Federalist Papers, Mary Wollstonecraft, Alexis de Tocqueville, Jeremy Bentham, and two chapters on J. S. Mill. The chapter on the Federalist and their most important contributor, James Madison, is addressed primarily to the explanation and defence of the American Constitution, but also to the defence of a limited form of constitutional republicanism appropriate to a large-scale pluralist society. Alexis de Tocqueville is another key theorist of the American republic, particularly at the time of the presidency of Andrew Jackson, but he too is addressing broader themes about the nature of government in the new egalitarian democratic society exemplified by the United States. Wollstonecraft is one of the few women authors who have a place in our canon. There were certainly other women writers on politics throughout the modern period, and indeed some before that time. However, it would be a mistake to play down the significance of women's exclusion from the public realm of politics and therefore pretend that there is a large but ignored canon of significant women theorists. The fact of the absence of significant women theorists from the canon is a function of their political exclusion and not simply the prejudices of contemporary defenders of the canon. That said, Wollstonecraft genuinely merits inclusion, not simply for her theoretical subtlety, for her arguments are often eclectically woven from a diverse variety of sources, but because of her significance as a founder of the modern feminist tradition. She is relentless in drawing the implication of the doctrine of the rights of man, but with her critique of the subjection of women she also challenges the gendered conception of the subject which underlies the doctrine. Part III ends with chapters on Bentham and Mill. Bentham provides an alternative rationalist foundation for political and moral norms with his doctrine of utilitarianism, and he provides an account of some of the key concepts of the modern juridical state such as sovereignty, law, and the concept of rights. His separation of analytical questions from normative or critical questions makes him not only a founder of analytical jurisprudence but also a precursor of modern positivist conceptions of political science. J. S. Mill is both a follower and critic of Bentham. His unique blend of philosophical naturalism, utilitarianism, and liberalism makes him a major source for contemporary political thought in modern Western liberal democracies. However, his eclecticism and significance are difficult to capture in one chapter devoted largely to his defence of liberty, so

Chapter 1: Introduction

we have included a separate discussion of his increasingly important work The Subjection of

Women. Although the rationalist Enlightenment extends into our own political concepts and theories, there is a sense in which the momentous events of 1789 and the French Revolution marked a high point in the aspirations of rationalist Enlightenment thinkers to subordinate all authority claims to the tribunal of individual reason and judgement. Even those thinkers who continued to pursue the aspirations of the rationalist Enlightenment into the nineteenth century did so in a more chastened form, aware of the dangers of unleashing mass society. This is a tension particularly noticeable in J. S. Mill's writings. Yet 1789 marks an important change in the character and aspirations of political theory. At one level it initiates a new form of ideological political thought which is more concerned with mobilizing and directing classes, interest groups, or factions in an age of mass society. Yet alongside the initiation of this new age of ideological politics, the challenge of 1789 also initiates a strand of counterEnlightenment thinking that was to have a most profound impact on the subsequent development and possibilities of political theory itself. In Part IV, 'The Counter-Enlightenment', we include discussion of Burke, Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche. Each in their own way has a deeply controversial reputation, yet each also provides some of the most profound insights into the nature and possibilities of political life as well as into the character and status of the modern state. Edmund Burke helps shape our understanding of the impact of the French Revolution on British political thought and the consequent political mobilization of the political masses. Burke's response to the rationalist Enlightenment and the French Revolution which it spawned is unrelentingly hostile, and he unleashes through his critique an exemplary statement of the modern conservative cast of mind. Yet the most challenging response to the rationalist Enlightenment is provided by Hegel. He is equalled only by Plato and Hobbes in terms of his significance. His complex and dense works have shaped the self-understandings of all modern theorists of politics. Even those who violently reject every component of his philosophical system cannot ignore him. His ideas have naturally been seen as a precursor of those of Marx, or modern nationalism, constitutional liberalism, conservatism, and at the more extreme Fascism and totalitarian-state worship. There is almost no modern ill that has not been attributed to Hegel's ideas by some thinker or other. Where Hegel challenges the ideal of abstract individualism that underpins the arguments of many Enlightenment thinkers, Karl Marx attacks the idealist conception of history that underpins Hegel's account of freedom in the modern state. Like Hegel, Marx has an ambiguous reputation. Undoubtedly tainted by the use to which his ideas were put by his defenders between 1917 and 1989, his real subtlety and challenge to the very notion of political theory is often overlooked. Yet Marx is an extraordinarily complex and controversial thinker even among those who identify themselves as Marxists. We have devoted two chapters to Marx to cover the conventional distinction between the early'humanistic' thinker of the Paris Manuscripts and The German Ideology, and a second chapter to cover the later, mature Marx of Marx and Engels fame. The final thinker in Part IV is perhaps the most controversial of all, namely Nietzsche. Like Hegel, there is almost no bad thing that has not been attributed to his thought. Despite the work of many scholars he still retains in the popular imagination the tainted image created for him by his sister as a precursor of Nazism. For others, more sympathetic to his ideas, he is not really a political theorist at all. In one sense they are right, as Nietzsche does not theorize the state or any of the concepts that go with it. Yet his diagnosis of the consequences of the death of God



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transforms the moral resources from which we theorize about political and moral relationships. Nietzsche's challenge is not merely to find new foundations for political theory but to respond differently to the absence of foundations and the fact of nihilism. His potentially bleak view coincides with the bleak history of the first fifty years of the twentieth century. Although the thinkers of the twentieth century are not responding directly to Nietzsche, in the sense that he is the theorist of the end of morality and the ultimate liberation of power, all post -Nietzschean thinkers are responding to his legacy. In the fifth and final part of the book we make perhaps our most controversial choices as we select just four representatives of the twentieth century. We have chosen four thinkers who have engaged both with the Nietzschean challenge of nihilism and with the legacy of the canon we have presented in the preceding sections. Each thinker draws on different aspects of that legacy to provide us with an account of the prospects for political theory in the future. With Oakeshott we have a chastened vision of politics that draws on Augustine's politics of imperfection as well as the cautious scepticism of Hume and historicism of Hegel. Rawls and Habermas offer two different ways of resurrecting the legacy of the rationalist Enlightenment without appealing to a conception of natural law. Foucault offers us a continuation of the ideal of radical critique that is derived from Marx and Nietzsche. Taken together these four thinkers offer us accounts of the continuing relevance of the great texts of political thought for the ongoing activity of political theorizing in a new century. As we saw in Part IV, the study of political theorizing is far removed from a dry antiquarianism, but is part of an ongoing activity that remains central to the activity of doing politics in our own times. Our selection of canonical texts and authors is broadly conventional. That said, we will no doubt have raised important questions about who we have left out and how we conceive of the thinkers included and why we regard them as having canonical status. We have given general considerations behind the choices we have made, but in order to defend our criteria of inclusion in this section we need to address two sets of issues that have surrounded the study of political theory in the last few decades. The first set of debates touches on the methodology appropriate for studying the ideas of a past political thinker. The second issue addresses the idea of the canonical or classic status of a text. In order to further support our conceptions of the canon of political thinkers we turn to address those questions in the two remaining sections of this introductory essay.

Perennial problems We have deliberately refrained from calling this volume a history of political thought because we acknowledge that not all studies of the past assume the character of historical studies. The concept of history is deeply contested and suggests for many students a single disciplinary approach or set of methods which we have rejected in adopting our pluralist approach to the canon and to the thinkers in the individual chapters. Students of political thought were reminded of the variety of attitudes that one may adopt towards the past in the late 1960s, when the question of methodology almost eclipsed the study of past political texts itself. In reaction to the idea of a timeless, ongoing conversation conducted between philosophers, exemplified by Sheldon Wolin's Politics and Vision and Leo Strauss's Natural Right and History,']




in what Paul Ricoeur calls a quasi world of texts cast free of their contexts, and in which perennial questions were addressed over two and a half thousand years, the so-called New Historians pressed the claims of history as an autonomous discipline distinct from the philosophical character of its subject matter. George Sabine, the author of one of the most famous histories of political thought, epitomized the basic assumption involved in positing the existence of perennial problems when he reiterated what Thucydides, the ancient Greek historian, and Machiavelli, the Italian Renaissance political thinker, maintained, that: 'Political problems and situations are more or less alike from time to time and from place to place.'34 The political philosophers who addressed themselves to such problems, it was contended, used the same vocabulary, added their own personal nuances to concepts, and addressed themselves to arguments formulated by other philosophers. It was not uncommon for the historian of political thought to assume that there was one vast tradition of related ideas that stretched from Plato to the present day. Such a belief had no necessary implications for what it was considered appropriate to do with the ideas once they had been faithfully represented. C. H. McIlwain, an influential American historian of political thought, for example, believed that it was none of the historian's business to pronounce on the question of whether one theory was better than another. 35 Historians such as Peter Laslett, W. H. Greenleaf, J. G. A. Pocock, John Dunn, and principally Quentin Skinner maintained that understanding the arguments of the political philosophers entailed reconstructing the language context in which they were formulated.]6 Much was made of contemporary philosophies of language, such as those of Ludwig Wittgenstein, J. L. Austin, and J. R. Searle, in the arguments for historical purism, but fundamentally the case rested on two seminal contentions of the English philosopher of history R. G. Collingwood in his An Autobiography.]7 He contended, first, that there are no perennial problems in philosophy, only individual answers to specific questions. And, secondly, that no two statements could be convicted of being contradictory unless they were shown to be different answers to the same question. The words in a question may remain the same, Collingwood argued, but the meaning changes with the context. 'When Plato talked of the Greek polis, or state, he meant something very different by using the concept than Hobbes did in seventeenth-century England. In this respect Plato and Hobbes were not addressing a perennial question. The two different concepts of the state are related, not as answers to the same question, but as part of the same historical process: the process by which the one conception of the state gradually became transformed into the other. The business of the historian is to trace and understand this process of change, and not to imagine a timeless question to which there are different answers. Such views constituted an important corrective to a belief that the problems of political philosophy were somehow timeless, but it needs to be pointed out that the historians who are said to have held such views were never quite as naive as they are claimed to have been. For example, Quentin Skinner's famous denunciation of the practice of the history of political thought throughout the mid-twentieth century is mistaken in two important respects. In the first place, he associated the idea of perenniality and timelessness with what he called the 'textualist' approach. According to Skinner, contextualists took the text to be the sole determinant of meaning. He argued that to concede that the 'social context is a necessary condition for an understanding of the classic texts' constitutes a denial that they 'contain any elements of



David Boucher and Paul Kelly Chapter 1: Introduction

timelessness or perennial interest'.l8 This was not, in fact, how most historians viewed the matter. They did not distinguish between textualist and contextualist interpretation. Indeed, many argued that the social context enabled us to achieve a clearer understanding of the meaning of a text, and that this did not preclude a belief in the perenniality of the issues that the texts addressed. Paul Ward, for example, argued that 'the political and social theories of men always concern the problems of their own culture and age, and are to be understood only in that context'. He goes on to contend, however, that 'there are tides in the affairs of men, ebbs and flows of human events, which have been recurrent since human life began'.J9 The second point at which criticism has been exaggerated is in the purposes attributed to historians who study the perennial issues. It is true that such historians as Ward contended that 'the solutions which men have given to their social problems in the past may be of help to men in contemporary society','o but it does nor warrant Skinner's contention that there is 'simply no hope of seeking the point of studying the history of ideas in the attempt to learn directly from the classic authors'." In fact, there is no suggestion that we can pillage the past in order to learn directly from past political texts. Sheldon Wolin readily argues that philosophers address 'persistent ideas', but the reason for studying them is to familiarize ourselves with 'a continuously evolving grammar and vocabulary to facilitate communication and orient the understanding'." Even Leo Strauss, the most stalwart adherent to the idea of perennial issues, contended that 'we cannot reasonably expect that the fresh understanding of classical political philosophy will supply us with recipes for today's use .... Only we living today can possibly find solutions to the problems."] Finally, this attitude is confirmed in one of the most widely read college textbooks in the United States, Political Thinking: The Perennial Questions, in which Glenn Tinder contends that the purpose of studying past thought is to 'learn to consider questions with clarity and determination and an open mind'." 'vIibile there are differences of emphasis, most historians of political thought agree with both Collingwood and Skinner that, while we do not learn directly from the past the solutions to our own present practical problems, we do nevertheless gain something of practical value. For Collingwood, history is self-knowledge of the mind. Knowing what people have thought and done makes us aware of human potentials and prepares us better for future action." Skinner also held some such view when he maintained that studying how past thinkers have dealt with political concepts could enable us to see our way round seemingly intractable conceptual problems in the present. 46

What is a classic text? 'vIiby should such issues have become so important and so potentially divisive in the discipline of politics? No other discipline has so inextricably defined itself in terms of past texts, and these texts are significant both for the political philosophers themselves in developing their own arguments, and for students of political thought interested in those arguments. We should not lose sight of the fact that these activities, though related, are nevertheless distinct, but they both rely upon a range of texts that have been afforded classic status. For philosophers they acquire this status because they are capable of exercising a degree of epistemic authority, which is a type of non-executive authority. This is quite different from executive authority, of which political authority is a species. Non-executive authority, such as epistemic

authority, carries with it no right to command. Epistemic authority entails acceptance on the part of the subject that A is an authority, but does not oblige the subject to obey or act upon what A says. In other words, knowledge does not give anyone the right to impose the fruits of his, or her, labours upon anyone else. 47 The implications of too heavy a reliance upon epistemic authority, the tyranny of the expert, have become all too evident in our modern technocratic societies, in which the fear is that our every decision will be made for us on the basis that those who make the decisions possess superior knowledge, or expertise, to us in their fields of specialization. The danger in modern society seems to be not only that epistemic authorities will come to impose their decisions upon us, like philosophers returning to the cave after having seen the sunlight, by means of the exercise oflegitimate executive authority, but that they will come to wield undue influence over legitimate elected executive political authorities because of deference on the part of the latter to the superior knowledge of the former. We see in the realm of economic strategy, for example, the increasing dependence of governments upon the expertise of economists in formulating policy. In the history of political thought we can clearly see the epistemic authority of Aristotle after the rediscoverv of his work in the Latin West during the thirteenth century. From then until the seventeen;h century he was cited as 'the philosopher'. Dante, for example, in both The Banquet and Of Monarchy frequently invokes Aristotle's authority to add weight to his argument. In recommending the necessity of temporal monarchy for the well-being of the world, Dante contended that 'there are very clear and strong arguments for it. The first argument enjoys the authority of the Philosopher, in his Politics.''' Similarly, Sir Robert Filmer, in his famous Patriarcha, which derived political authority from its first conferment by God upon Adam, constantly invoked the authority of Aristotle, who he thought came as close to the truth as was possible for a pagan. Had Aristotle been a Christian, the implication is, he would have got it completely right. In more recent times, of course, Karl Marx became an epistemic authority for many of those who purported to follow him. Scarcely any further argument was needed, other than clarification, if it could be shown that Marx had recommended it. Epistemic authority should not, however, be equated with deference. The purpose of invoking an authority was not so much to defer to the text, but to associate one's own arguments with the favourable evaluative connotations of standard 'authorities'. The arguments of authorities in political theory are often exploited by other political theorists for their own political purposes, and the accuracy of what they claim 'the philosopher' said is often not uppermost in their minds. Furthermore, a theorist may wish to invoke the negative authority of an author in order to add a pejorative connotation to an argument he wishes to refute, as, for example, Sir Robert Filmer did with Cardinal Bellamine, a theorist of the state of nature and of natural equality, but also a Catholic, which in itself was enough to discredit the argument in Protestant England. The appropriation of authors as authorities, or as so despised as to discredit any argument with which they are associated, is a constant feature of the history of political thought. The capacity of a text to be used in this way over a significant period of time, and in chang.ing historical circumstances, signified for Conal Condren, a contributor to the methodologIcal controversies, the key to what makes a text attain classic status. He argued that 'the safest generalisation appears to be that the status of x was a function of the rhetorical and ideological resonance that stemmed from his being effectively exploited as an authority'."






David Boucher and Paul Kelly

vVhy can a text be used as an authority and be successfully exploited in a varietv of ideological contexts? Condren makes the suggestion that it is because of the text's ambig~ity, and goes on to make the rather remarkable claim that ambiguity is in fact an appraisive category in terms of which a text attains classic status. Ambiguity, for Condren, is in fact the foundation upon which such appraisive claims are made. 50 It is ambiguity that prevents a text from becoming so inextricably tied to one ideological context as to become emblematic of it, and which prevents it from losing its value to the broader political theory community. Condren is claiming that what gives a text classic status is not a list of substantive virtues, but the triadic complex of authority, exploitation, and ambiguity. If this were the case, such ~ppraisive categories would enable us to say nothing about the quality of argument, the forcefulness of its imagery, nor anything about the extent to which it contributed to our understanding. In fact, they are not appraisive categories at all. Take authority and exploitation. They point us not towards the text itself, but to its consequences. The value of the text, on these criteria, is judged in relation to the effect it has on its audience. It is what J. L. Austin, the analytic philosopher of language, called its perlocutionary effect. This is something quite dIfferent from the locution of a sentence, whose meaning is discerned in the dictionarv definition of the words, their sense, and the things to which the words refer, their reference. T~ say that the officer was dressed in uniform is certainly intelligible, but to know that the reference of the sentence is Field Marshal Montgomery enhances its meaning. The illocution of a sentence is the particular action that a speaker is performing in uttering the sentence WIthout the sentence itself specifying the action. For example, to specify that what you are sayIng IS a Joke detracts considerably from the act of joking. To gain what Austin called uptake, that IS to understand what is being done, entails a knowledge of the context of conventions that enable the action to be comprehended. 51 Condren's appraisive categories do not allow us to say anything about these aspects of the text's meaning, but only about, in Austin's terms, the perlocutionary effect on the audience. Furthermore, ambiguity is not in fact an appraisive category. We cannot use it to judge the quahty of a text, nor can we use it as a standard with which to compare it with other texts. To say that one text is more ambiguous than another is hardly a recommendation. It is in fact a property of a text, that which allows variety of interpretation. Ambiguity is a condition of interpretation. All words are polysemic. They have multiple meanings, or nuances of meanin.g. This is what Paul Ricceur means when he talks of discourse and the surplus of meaning. vI; hatever the author may intend, the meanings the word carries are far greater, and surplus to what the author intends." Interpretation is not a matter of choice. We are unavoidably interpretative beings. Both Martm Heldegger and Hans-Georg Gadamer have underscored this point in modern philosophy. Interpretation for them is an ontological condition of our being. Interpretation IS always from a standpoint because we are born into a world of inherited meanings, and we take WIth us a forestructure of meanings, or prejudices, when we read texts. There is no text independent of interpretation. The act of interpretation entails a fusion of horizons, that of the text and that of the interpreter, neither of which remains the same after the encounter. This is what Terence Balls calls 'the inescapability of interpretation'.5J The chapters in this volume are, then, unavoidably interpretations, personal readings of the thInkers who have attained importance in the study of the history of political thought. For the most part, each of the chapters tries to reflect the variety of interpretation, while pursuing its

own line of argument. So far in this section the focus has been upon the use of political philosophers by other political philosophers. The authors in this volume are clearly doing something different from what Condren has claimed gives texts their classic status. The authors are not invoking the texts as authorities, nor seeking to exploit them for ideological purposes, although it is a matter of contention whether all interpretation has an ideological import. They are engaging in an activity of relatively recent origin, that is, the disciplined academic study of past political philosophers. It is an activity, to paraphrase Michael Oakeshott, that has emerged like the games that children play and always exhibited an unsettled surface owing to the different tensions and disciplinary pressures it was compelled to accommodate, both in Britain and in the United States. As such this volume is a contribution to that activity rather than an attempt to legislate for it. If we can succeed in helping new generations of students enter into that activity and find value in the study of great political theorists, we will have achieved our purpose.

NOTES 1. See P. J. Kelly, 'Contextual and :-ion-Contextual Histories ofPohtical Thought', in Jack Hayward, Brian Barry, and Archie Brown (eds.), The British

Study of Politics (Oxford: British Academy, 1999)· 2. John G. Gunnell, Political Theory and Interpretation (Cambridge, Mass.: Winthrop, 1979),11.

}. T. H. Green, The Principles of Political Obligation, ed. Bernard Bosanquet (London: Longmans Green, 1919), 49-120, and id., The Philosophical Theory of the State (London: Macmillan, 1965). 4. Michael Oakeshott, 'Thomas Hobbes', Scrutiny, 4 (1935-6), 267. 5. R. G. Collingwood, The New Leviathan, rev. edn., ed. David Boucher (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), p. iv. 6. Leo Strauss, What is Political Philosophy? (Glencoe: Free Press, 1959); Eric Voegelin, Order and History

(Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1956-74), vols. i-iv. 7. J. N. Figgis, Studies of Political Thought from

Gerson to Grotius (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1907),}. 8. J. W. Allen, A History of Political Thought in the Sixteenth Century (London: Macmillan, 19 2 8), pp.

xvii-xviii. 9. A. J. Carlyle and R. W. Carlyle, A History of Medieval Political Theory in the West, 6 vols. (6th imp. Edinburgh: Blackwood, 1970). 10. Quentin Skinner, 'The Rise of, Challenge to and Prospects for a Collingwoodian Approach to the History of Political Thought', in Daria Castighoni and lain Hampsher-Monk (eds.), The History of

Political Thought in National Context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 176. n. This was Sir Karl Popper's line of reasoning in The Open Society and its Enemies (London: Routledge, 1969), ii. 95-6. Ian Shapiro makes the argument against the New Historians in 'Realism and the Study of the History of Ideas', History of Political

Thought,3 (1982),535-78. 12. James Tully (ed.), Quentin Skinner and his Critics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988 ), and J. G. A. Pocock, Politics, Language and Time (London: Methuen, 1972). 13. Quentin Skinner, 'Rhetoric and Conceptual Change', Finnish Yearbook of Political Thought,3 (1999),61. 14. J. B. Bury, 'The Science of History', inaugural lecture (1903), in Selected Essays off. B. Bury, ed. Harold Temperly (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1930), 9· 15. Robert Blakey, History of Political Literature (London: Richard Bentley, 185;). vol. i, pp. vii and

xxix-xxx. 16. Sheldon Amos, The Science of Politics (London: Kegan, Paul, Trench, 1883), 5 and 21. 17. Frederick Pollock, An Introduction to the History of the Science of Politics (1890; London: Macmillan, 1918),2 and 4318. See Gunnell, Political Theory and Interpretation, 5· 19. David Easton, The Political System: An Inquiry into the State of Political Science (New York: Knopf, 1953),237; d. pp. 235-9 and 25+ Also see David Easton, 'The Decline of Modern Political Theory',

Journal of Politics, 13 (1951),41,42, and 52.



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20. A. J. Ayer, Language, Truth and Logic (1936), with introd. by Ben Rogers (London: Penguin, 2001), p. xvi. 21. C. H. McIlwain, The Growth of Political Thought in the West from the Greeks to the End of the A1iddle Ages (New York: Macmillan, 1932).314. 22. W. K. Hancock, 'Machiavelli in Modern Dress: An Inquiry into Modern Method', History, 20 (1935), 114· 23- C. Delisle Burns, Political Ideals: Their Nature and Development (London: Oxford University Press, 1915),1l. 24- Collingwood, The New Leviathan. 25. Terence Ball, 'Whither Political Theory?', in his Reappraising Political Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 49· 26. H. L. A. Hart, Essays on Bentham (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982). 27. See Alan Ryan, The Philosophy of John Stuart }"fill (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1987); John Gray, Mill on Liberty: A Defence (London: Routledge, 1983); D. Miller, Philosophy and Ideology in Hume's Political Thought (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981); G. A. Cohen, Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978); and Jeremy Waldron, God, Locke and Equality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). 28. See Brian Barry, Political Argument, 2nd edn. (Hemel Hempstead: Harvester, 1990). 29. Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Alind: How Education has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1988), 34, 198, 219, )12, and 344. 30. See esp. Quentin Skinner, 'On Justice, the Common Good and the Priority of Liberty', in C. Mouffe (ed.), Dimensions of Radical Democracy (London: Verso, 1992), 211-24, and James Tully, Strange ,\,Iultiplicity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995). 3!. :';eal Wood, Reflections on Political Theory: A Voice of Reason from the Past (London: Palgrave, 2002), 4·

32. See A. MacIntyre, After Virtue (London: Duckworth, 1981), and id., Whose Justice? Which Rationality' (London: Duckworth, 1988). 33- Sheldon Wolin, Politics and Vision (Boston: Little, Brown, 1960 I; Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1963). 34. George Sabine, 'What is Political Theory?', Journal of Politics, 1 (1939),4. 35. McIlwain, TIle Growth of Political Thought, 3 and 31+

36. For a discussion of the debates and an argument for methodological pluralism in the study of political thought, see David Boucher, Texts in Context: Revisionist Methods for Studying the History of Ideas (Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, 1985). 37. R. G. Collingwood, An Autobiography, with new in trod. by Stephen Toulmin (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978). 38. Quentin Skinner, 'Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas', History and Theory, 8 (1969), 5· 39. Paul W. Ward, A Short History of Political Thinking (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1939),5 and 3. 40. Ibid. 5. 4!. Skinner, 'Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas', 50. 42. ~Nolin, Politics and Vision, 26 and 27. 43. Leo Strauss, The City and Man (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978), ll. 44. Glen Tinder, Political Thinking: The Perennial Problems, 6th edn. (New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1997), 2!. 45. R. G. Collingwood, The Idea of History, rev. edn., ed. Jan van der Dussen (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993). 46. Quentin Skinner, Liberty before Liberalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). 47. For a discussion of these distinctions, see Richard T. de George, The Nature and Limits of Authority (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1985). 48. Dante, On World Government, trans. Herbert W. Schneider (Indianapolis: Babbs-Merrill, 1957), 8. 49. Conal Condren, The Status and Appraisal of Classic Texts: An Essay on Political Theory, its Inheritance, and the History of Ideas (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985), 255. 50. Ibid. 18!. 51. See J. L. Austin, How to Do TIlings with Words (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962). 52. Paul Ricceur, Interpretation Theory: Discourse and the Surplus of Meaning (Fort Worth, Tex.: Christian University Press, 1976). 53. Terence Ball, Reappraising Political Theory: Revisionist Studies in the History of Political Thought (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995). Also see Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method, trans. J. Weinsheimer and D. G. Marshall (London: Sheed & Ward,1975).

PART I .............................................................................................................

The Polis .............................................................................................................


The Sophists Peter Nicholson

Contents Introduction: the Sophists and their significance


Protagoras and the politics of the community: the indispensability of justice


Thrasymachus and the politics of the individual: the disadvantage of justice


Antiphon and further doubts about justice


Conclusion: the Sophists and Plato


Chapter guide The Sophists were a new kind of professional intellectual and teacher in late fifth-century Be Greece. They debated fundamental moral and political issues, and especially the question of the origin and nature of justice, and the question whether it was better for the community, and better for the individual, to be just or unjust. Only fragments of their writings survive and there are problems of interpretation. Protagoras presented justice as an indispensable ingredient of political life, such that both the community as a whole and every individual benefited from its practice. Thrasymachus by contrast contended that every community really is controlled by some faction in its own interest, making laws which favour itself, so that being just is to that faction's advantage and every other individual's disadvantage. Antiphon's work stressed the problems of justice by highlighting other difficulties, costs, and dangers to the individual of being just. The arguments against being just cannot be answered satisfactorily on the assumptions used by the Sophists. A stronger case for justice was developed by Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, who changed some of the terms of the debate.

Biography Even the most basic information is often missing or tentative (the ancient biographical material is gathered and discussed in Rosamund I(ent Sprague (ed.), The Older Sophists: A Complete Translation by Several Hands of the Fragments in Die Fragmente der Varsokratiker edited by Diels-Kranz (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1972)). Protagoras, from Abdera in northern Greece, lived approximately from 490 to 420 Be. He is said to have been the first Sophist, or professional teacher, and was highly successful and the most famous and respected. He visited Athens several times, and became a close associate of the leading Athenian politician Pericles, who invited him to draw up the constitution for a new colony, Thurii, in Italy (444). Thrasymachus, from Chalcedon on the


Peter Nicholson

Bosporus, was primarily known as a teacher of rhetoric and a stylist. He travelled extensively, and possibly lived in Athens for some time. Plato makes him a central character in his Republic, set in Athens in 427. Antiphon was an Athenian, perhaps roughly contemporary with Socrates (469-399), with whom he conversed, according to Xenophon. Some believe that Antiphon the Sophist is the same man as Antiphon the Orator, born about 480 and executed as one of the leaders of the failed oligarchic coup in Athens (411), but this identification remains controversial.

Key texts Antiphon, Truth, in Michael Gagarin and Paul Woodruff (ed. and trans.), Early Greek Political Thought from Homer to the Sophists (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995). (Pt. v of this collection contains the main fragments of all the Sophists.) Plato. Protagoras, in Michael Gagarin and Paul Woodruff (ed. and trans.), Early Greek Political Thought from Homer to the Sophists (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995). Plato, Republic, trans. G. M. A. Grube. rev. C. D. C. Reeve, in Plato: Complete Works. ed. John M. Cooper and D. S. Hutchinson (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1997). Other dialogues by Plato are quoted in the translations in Plato: Complete Works, ed. John M. Cooper and D. S. Hutchinson (indianapolis: Hackett, 1997).

Key ideas Protagoras. Justice is obeying the rules of society: is essential to the existence of a community, therefore a good benefiting the individual. Justice and political skill are taught. Politics is cooperative. Protagoras was a social relativist; hence any defence of democracy

must be limited. Thrasymachus. Politics is a struggle. The stronger dominate the weaker and make laws favouring themselves. Justice is the interest of the stronger, and sensible men avoid it. The individual is happy when he gains his own interest. Antiphon. Justice is a convention opposed to nature, and the natural brings pleasure. Law is unable to uphold justice; therefore it is better to be unjust whenever one can.

Introduction: the Sophists and their significance There was a major intellectual awakening, an Enlightenment, in ancient Greece roughly in the second half of the fifth century BC, when fundamental questions concerning human life, and particularly morality and politics, were critically investigated and traditional ideas were challenged. The Sophists were an important element in this Enlightenment, along with dramatists such as Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes, the historians Herodotus and Thucydides, and Socrates. The Sophists forged influential new methods of thinking and rational debating, setting out opposed positions so that they could be systematically tested, and themselves contributed significantly to the discussions. The most prominent were Protagoras (reputedly the

Chapter 2: The Sophists

first), Gorgias, Pro dicus, Hippias, and Thrasymachus. The Sophists formed a distinctive group principally because they originated charging fees for teaching. There were some similarities in their methods of analysis and argument, and all of them claimed to be able to impart practical skills of communication and to enable men to make a success of their lives (justifying their charges), but they shared no set of beliefs and were not in that sense a 'school' of thought. They did agree, however, on the importance of certain issues. In particular, they examined the moral basis of political life, and debated the question whether or not it was better to be 'just', meaning by that, to follow the moral and legal rules of one's society-rules which they thought were man-made, conventions created by human agreement, rather than existing by nature (on nature and convention, see the penultimate section, on Antiphon). They differed, however, in their explanations of the origin and function of rules, and they gave widely divergent answers to the question whether one was better off or worse off if one followed them. The Sophists, often leading citizens in their own poleis (politically independent city-states), came from, and taught in, poleis all over the Greek world, but tended to congregate in Athens, which was then at its height as a political power and commercial and cultural centre. They were in great demand, particularly for their lessons in public speaking, which was crucial for anyone pursuing a career in politics since power came to those able to persuade their fellow citizens in the council and assembly (where political decisions were taken) and in the courts (where political scores were often settled, and one's property or even one's life could be at stake). The Sophists were offering a kind of higher education for the first time in Greece, and they became famous and prosperous. This was one explanation of their general unpopularity in Athens, now a direct democracy where power had shifted from the rich into the hands of the majority ofless well-to-do. The Sophists were, in effect, teaching wealthy young men how to become influential in politics, and that made some of the democrats hostile (a hostility Protagoras, as we shall see, sought to overcome). Moreover, many of their innovative ideas were controversial or suspect and shocking, and widely viewed as threatening the received wisdom, especially that embodied in customary morality and religion. The Sophists were ridiculed by Aristophanes in his comedy The Clouds (423 BC).l They were attacked by Plato, who frequently portrayed them in argument with Socrates. With the major exceptions of Protagoras and Gorgias, Plato painted the Sophists, and especially their customers and disciples, as showy talkers and muddled, shallow thinkers, peddling dangerous ideas. They appeared in his dialogues as the complete opposite of Socrates, who relentlessly pursued the argument wherever it led, regardless of its fee-earning potential. Aristotle defined a Sophist as 'one who makes money by sham wisdom' (Sophistical Refutations 165'22), and remarked that the Sophists (excepting Protagoras) had to charge in advance because no pupil would have paid once he discovered what they were teaching (Nicomachean Ethics n64'30-2).' There are, then, two reasons for beginning one's study of the history of Western political thought with the Sophists. First, they are of interest in themselves. They were the first serious and systematic political thinkers, reflecting on some of the perennial issues of morals and politics, and originating some distinctions of permanent importance.) Secondly, the Sophists were very influential on Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, usually but not exclusively in a negative way, and consequently some knowledge of their ideas is a necessary background to understanding properly what Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle argued and why. In particular, Plato and Aristotle inherit the rich debate about justice conducted during the Greek



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Enlightenment. They revise some of its terms and reach different conclusions-notably on the nature-convention issue-yet their positions are recognizable as contributions to the same discussion. Accordingly I aim to set out the leading political ideas of some of the main Sophists, noting the range of different opinions; and finally to note briefly how they all, though in varying respects and degrees, differ from Plato. I give a schematic account in order to provide as clear an introduction as possible; further study will reveal that it needs both elaboration and qualification. But first, problems about evidence must be mentioned. It is difficult to find out exactly, and in detail, what the various Sophists thought. Very little of their own writing has survived, often only in small fragments which are hard to interpret. Furthermore, our main source for the Sophists and their ideas is a biased witness-Plato. Even if Plato is not, as some hold, deliberately distorting them in his reports, he is giving selective accounts to suit his own purposes and to develop his own arguments. Nonetheless, most commentators judge that it is possible to get past Plato's bias and reconstruct the main ideas of some of the Sophists, although sometimes the interpretation must be tentative, and that it is important to do so because of the high quality of their thinking:

Protagoras and the politics of the community: the indispensability of justice The bulk of the evidence for Protagoras' ideas comes from Plato, above all from his dialogue Protagoras, so it must be used cautiously.s However, Plato consistently treated Protagoras respectfully, even when he was disagreeing with him, and most scholars assume that Plato's representation of Protagoras' philosophy is basically accurate. The Protagoras offers a substantial account of Protagoras' claims as a Sophist. He teaches political skill and makes his pupils good citizens: a pupil gains 'good judgment (euboulia) about domestic matters, so that he may best manage his own household, and about political affairs, so that in affairs of the polis he may be most able both in action and in speech' (Protagoras 3ISe-319b; Gagarin and Woodruff, 175)6 Socrates probes this claim, doubting whether such a skill can be taught. He points out that Protagoras' claim apparently conflicts with what the Athenians believe: I observe that when we convene in the Assembly and the city has to take some action on a building project, we send for builders to advise us; if it has to do with the construction of ships, we send for shipwrights; and so forth for everything that is considered learnable and teachable. But if anyone else, a person not regarded as a craftsman, tries to advise them, no matter how handsome and rich and wellborn he might be, they just don't accept him. They laugh at him and shout him down ... This is how they proceed in matters which they consider technical. But when it is a matter of deliberating on city management, anyone can stand up and advise them, carpenter, blacksmith, shoemaker, merchant, shipcaptain, rich man, poor man, well-born, low-barn-it doesn't matter-and nobody blasts him for presuming to give counsel without any prior training under a teacher. The reason for this is clear: They do not think that this can be taught. Public life aside, the same principle holds also in private life, where the wisest and best of our citizens are unable to transmit to others the virtues that they possess. (Protagoras 319b-e; Cooper and Hutchinson, 755-6 7 )

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This challenge, resting on the important distinction between expert technical knowledge and general political competence, leads to a fuller explanation from Protagoras of what he can offer his pupils, and a justification of his ability to teach it, all provided with an eye to his situation in Athens as an outsider who might appear, as Socrates has hinted, to be subverting its democratic practices. The explanation comes in two parts: first a story about the origin of the polis, then a reasoned analysis and interpretation of the story which develops an argument that political skill can be taught. Both the story and its explanation, probably closely following Protagoras' own, are full of fascinating detail and are presented with considerable rhetorical brilliance. The first essential point is that knowledge of how to behave politically, respecting other people, accepting obligations to them, and acting justly, is indispensable if people are to live together in a city; it must be possessed, and acted on, by everyone in the city. The second essential point is that the knowledge is not natural in the sense of innate, one is not born with it, but, like specialized knowledge such as medicine, it must be learned and it must be passed on. Thus the Athenians are right to believe that on technical matters only the expert few should be heard, whereas on issues concerning the general running of the city every citizen can be presumed to be qualified and should be allowed to participate. Here and elsewhere the Athenians assume that everyone knows about politics and justice (justice being one of the constituents of political skill). 'In fact, people say that everyone ought to call himself just, whether he is or not; and if someone doesn't pretend to be just, they say he's crazy, on the grounds that there cannot possibly be anyone who does not in some way or other share in Justice, or else he cannot exist among human beings' (Protagoras 323b-c; Gagarin and Woodruff, 179). It is because everyone thinks justice and political skill are neither naturally inherited nor innate, but teachable and can be acquired by diligence, that they rebuke and get angry with anyone who does not make the necessarv effort (whereas they think pity, not blame, is appropriate for anyone who is poorly endo~ed by nature in their looks or size or strength). Again, the point of punishment is not vengeance 'for the wrong that is past, since what has been done cannot be undone'; instead punishment is inflicted 'so that both the wrongdoer and anyone who sees him punished will be deterred from doing wrong again' (Protagoras 324a-c; Gagarin and Woodruff, 180). Protagoras brings out what is implied in ordinary social practices: the very idea of deterrence implies that people can change their behaviour, can be educated through punishment to act justly. How, then, does one account for the fact that men particularly good at politics, for example Pericles, fail to pass their skill on to their sons? Is that not a powerful counter-example? Protagoras notes that, if political skill is as basic as he claims, and everyone thinks it can be learned, it would be amazing if good men did not have it taught to their sons. And in fact they do. As soon as children can understand, parents and all concerned in bringing them up work hard to teach them to be as good as possible, using threats and blows if necessary. When the children are sent to school, the main concern is that they learn good conduct, and they are given edifying poems and stories to read, copy, and memorize. After school, 'the city in its turn requires them to learn its laws and to live by the example they set, so that they'll not do whatever they feel like, now that they're on their own', and punishes anyone who does not follow the laws (Protagoras 326c-d; Gagarin and Woodruff, 1S3). So political skill is taught, and successfully (even the most unjust person is seen to be actually just, indeed an expert in justice, when he is compared to people who have had no exposure to law at all). One must realize that everyone is a teacher of political skill-'it's as if you were looking for a teacher of the Greek



Peter Nicholson

language: you wouldn't notice a single one!' (Protagoras 328a; Gagarin and Woodruff, 184). The reason that many sons of particularly skilled fathers turn out poorly is that they differ in their natural ability: the sons may have all the education and training possible, but if they have not inherited the special talent, then their skill will not be as great. It is exactly the same as playing a musical instrument: people's ability differs, so that everyone is able-with the appropriate education and encouragement, already outlined-to reach a basic level, but some have greater talent and can excel. From all this, Protagoras justifies his own position as a Sophist, an educator specializing in political skill. Everyone has enough knowledge of political skill to be able to teach it to the basic level, but it is hard to find someone competent to teach it at the higher levels. 'So if any one of us is even a little bit better at helping others advance ... he should be welcomed. I believe that I am one of these, that I do a better job than others do in helping a person become fine and good, and that I am worth the fee I charge' (Protagoras 328a-b; Gagarin and Woodruff,184). Protagoras features, much more briefly, in another of Plato's dialogues, the Theaetetus. Here some version of relativism is attributed to him (precisely what version is in dispute among commentators). 'A human being is measure of all things, of those things that are, that they are, and of those things that are not, that they are not', and 'each thing is to me such as it appears to me, and is to you such as it appears to you' (Theaetetus 152a; Gagarin and Woodruff, 186). For example, the same wind may be perceived as cold by me but not cold by you. However, Protagoras also retains the idea of objective facts which are what they are whatever anyone thinks about them. For instance, a substance may be harmful to humans but beneficial to horses or vice versa, or beneficial if applied externally but harmful if taken internally; and someone who knows such facts is an expert, in this case a doctor (Protagoras 334a-c; Gagarin and Woodruff, 185). Crucially for our purposes, in the case of moral and political values Protagoras espouses social relativism. 'Vv'hatever each city judges to be just and fine, these things in fact are just and fine for it, so long as it holds those opinions' (Theaetetus 167C; Gagarin and Woodruff, 186). It had long been observed that customs and laws varied greatly from one society to another. Herodotus gives many examples. In one famous passage, contrasting the Greek practice of cremating the dead with an Indian practice of eating them, he comments: 'If you should ask all people to select the best from among all the various conventional practices, each group would choose their own, even after examining them all; for they would consider their own practices to be by far the best' (The Histories 3. 38; Gagarin and Woodruff, 82). Protagoras is, in effect, providing an epistemological view to support this judgement. There is no right or wrong way of disposing of the dead, nor any 'correct' standard of justice, which some cities adopt and others fail to adopt;J:ather, each city establishes its own customs and laws, and determines its own conception of justice, and for each city those are what is 'right'. This is not inconsistent with his fundamental view that each man is the measure of all things, which must include values such as justice: rather, it may be precisely because each man is his own measure of justice that Protagoras thinks that, in order to live together as a single political entity, the members of the community must agree on a common measure and work constantly to ensure that it is effective. Thus Protagoras' relativism leads him to a strongly communitarian, indeed anti-individualist, political position. Nor is his social relativism inconsistent with his claim to be an expert with knowledge to teach the Athenians or any community of citizens. For a city may adopt conventions, rules, and laws (known collec-

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tivelyas nomoi) which are useless or disadvantageous, so that the city is not as successful as it might be. This is where the Sophist can bring improvement by persuading the citizens to change: 'the wise and efficient politician is the man who makes wholesome things seem just to a city instead of pernicious ones' (Theaetetus 167c; Cooper and Hutchinson, 186). This is Protagoras' definition of a wise man: 'when one of us has bad things appear and be to him, the wise man can change that and make good things appear and be to him' (Theaetetus 166d; Gagarin and Woodruff, 185), much in the way that a doctor can persuade a man to take unpleasant, beneficial medicine. This is the service that Protagoras can provide to any city; and it is a skill that he can teach to his pupils. Protagoras has built up a complex, coherent, and attractive account of politics. Byarticulating and analysing what is presupposed in Athenian thinking about politics, he has shown that an understanding of justice and other virtues is indispensable and foundational to living with other people. In fact, if you lack it altogether, you have to be excluded (Protagoras 322d and 325a-b; Gagarin and Woodruff, 178 and 181). It 'is what everyone must share in ... what everyone must follow in doing whatever else he wants to learn or do, or else not do it at all' (Protagoras 325a; Gagarin and Woodruff, 181). Every community inculcates its own particular rules (nomoi) in its citizens, trains them to obey them, and, as part of the educational process, punishes them if they do not. Protagoras' emphasis on the community is perfectly compatible with his position that some of its members will be better at politics than others and will get ahead. Vv'henever particular individuals are especially successful at politics, everyone benefits, since those individuals are practising an admired social skill which facilitates the smooth running of the city along its agreed lines (and they may sometimes bring improvements). Everyone gains from this. 'I think', says Protagoras, 'that practicing [political skill] and justice towards each other is to our advantage; that's why everyone is so eager to teach everyone else what is just and lawful' (Protagoras 327a; Gagarin and Woodruff, 183). This gives Protagoras the grounds for justifying his teaching. His pupils will excel at political skill, and as individuals become popular and prosperous; but the whole city benefits from their exercising their skill. Protagoras thus presents himself as simply continuing, at a higher level, the educational process of the Athenian democracy, which should reassure both the democrats and his potential pupils. His teaching was also well suited to what happened in Athens in practice. Though all citizens had equal status, with no official 'government' (no head of state, prime minister, leader of the opposition), and most administrative posts rotating and filled by lot, the Athenian democracy was led by a handful of outstanding men. In Pericles' day, in Thucydides' judgement, 'Athens was in name a democracy, but in fact was a government by its first man', Pericles (History of the Peloponnesian War 2.65.9; Gagarin and Woodruff, 102). Some commentators claim Protagoras provides a justification of democracy. Kerferd, for example, stresses his importance in the history of political thought for producing 'for the first time in human history a theoretical basis for participatory democracy'.8 But this needs the qualification that Protagoras' arguments are not exclusively pro-democratic, but have a more general application. Protagoras' social relativism entails that the 'right' constitution is whatever the members of the city have decided is right; so an oligarchy based on consent (where only the wealthy few have full political rights) is as legitimate as a democracy (where more citizens, and in Athens' case, even the poorest, have full rights). In effect, Protagoras is defending the idea of the polis, where the governing of the city is shared by all its citizens (what proportion of the adult native males are full citizens, making the difference between one constitution



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and another). Accordingly, any Greek city, even a monarchy, meets Protagoras' criteria, with the sole and significant exception of a tyranny-where a single individual has seized power for himself and rules by force and in his own interest. In other words, Protagoras does justify democracy but only because his position is a justification of any polis constitution: but it is indecisive as between a democracy and an oligarchy. Strictly speaking, Protagoras simply explains Athenian democracy, analysing what Athenian ideas and practices involve, what is implied by what the Athenians think. This is different from claiming that what they think is in some sense 'true'. He demonstrates that their beliefs are consistent with their actions. But he does not raise the question whether what they think is right: his relativism leaves no room for that. Protagoras has strongly defended traditional values, and in particular the centrality of acting justly and obeying the law.' To be just yourself and to live in a just society are, for Protagoras, inseparable, so that not only does your acting justly benefit others and their acting justly benefit you; your acting justly benefits you yourself because unless you are just you cannot belong to a society and cannot gain the benefits of others being just to you. However, Protagoras' position is not free from difficulty, and it did not go uncriticized. Some Sophists found the traditional values problematic and attacked them directly-and by implication criticized Protagoras. I turn next to one of the fiercest attacks, from Thrasymachus.

Thrasymachus and the politics of the individual: the disadvantage of justice Once more, Plato is the principal source. His presentation of Thrasymachus early in the Republic seems designed to outline a set of assumptions and conclusions against which to contrast his own position. Many readers see the remainder of the Republic as Plato's response to Thrasymachus. How far the ideas Plato puts into Thrasymachus' mouth are those of the historical Thrasymachus, how fairly he represents Thrasymachus' position, cannot now be known; but even though he is fitting this view of justice into his own argument, it would have been a pointless distraction to attribute it to Thrasymachus unless Plato's readers would have accepted the general accuracy of his portrayal. Although commentators disagree over many aspects of the interpretation of Thrasymachus' contributions in the Republic, especially their consistency, the main points are clear and coherent. Early in the dialogue Thrasymachus and Socrates are discussing the fundamental question 'which whole way of life would make living most worthwhile for each of us' (Republic 344e; Cooper and Hutchinson, 989), and specifically whether or not one should be 'just', meaning by that, follow the rules and laws of one's society. Thrasymachus contends that 'justice is nothing other than the advantage of the stronger'(Republic 338C; Cooper and Hutchinson, 983). The rules are made by the stronger in each society, by the tyrant in a tyranny, by the democrats in a democracy, and so on, and always made to their own advantage. 10 Thus, whatever the constitution, justice 'is the same everywhere, namely, the advantage of the stronger' (Republic 339a; Cooper and Hutchinson, 983). Hence if you obey the stronger's rules, you act to the advantage of the stronger, and against your own interests. Sub-

sequently, Thrasymachus widens his claim to cover all relations between people, in private life too: in every case, 'justice is really the good of another' (Republic 343C; Cooper and Hutchinson, 988). Those who understand this, and have the sense to break the rules and take advantage of others, are in that sense the stronger, and gain from their impositions. Those who are so simple as to let themselves be imposed upon are the weaker, and by following the rules 'they make the one they serve happy, but themselves not at all' (Republic 343C; Cooper and Hutchinson, 988). Thus there are two kinds of people, pursuing two ways of life. Some people always rig rules in their own favour when they are in power or, when they have to knuckle under other people's rules, seize every opportunity to bend or evade them to suit themselves; generally they manipulate and exploit other people in order to gain more than their fair share. These are the strong, and they live the unjust way of life. The other kind of people follow the rules, and always lose by it. These are the weak, and they live the just way of life. Thrasymachus gives illustrations: A just man always gets less than an unjust one. First, in their contracts with one another, you'll never find, when the partnership ends, that a just partner has got more than an unjust one, but less. Second, in matters relating to the city, when taxes are to be paid, a just man pays more on the same property, an unjust one less, but when the city is giving out refunds, a just man gets nothing, while an unjust one makes a large profit. Finally, when each of them holds a ruling position in some public office, a just person ... finds that his private affairs deteriorate because he has to neglect them, that he gains no advantage from the public purse because of his justice, and that he's hated by his relatives and acquaintances when he's unwilling to do them an unjust favor. The opposite is true of an unjust man in every respect. (Republic 343d-e; Cooper and Hutchinson, 988) Thrasymachus' paradigm case is the tyrant, who wields despotic power and lives above the law. He is able to be completely unjust, thereby making himself the happiest man in the city, as everyone acknowledges (Republic 344a-c; Cooper and Hutchinson, 988) ." The completely unjust man is clever and good: the just man exhibits 'very high-minded simplicity' (Republic 348c; Cooper and Hutchinson, 992). It seems to follow that, for Thrasymachus, justice is a mug's game which only the stupid play, while injustice is preferable and is chosen by anyone with their wits about them." The unstated assumptions behind Thrasymachus' position are obvious. He treats individuals as isolated beings, each with his own interests. Individuals are in pursuit oflimited goods (e.g. money, material possessions, fame, honour), and therefore in competition with one another; thus, in any exchange or relationship between individuals, when one of them gains, the other or others must lose. The individual's interests are his exclusively, and opposed to every other individual's: individuals have no common interest. The sensible way to live your life is always to put yourself first as much as you can. Correspondingly, politics is viewed as a power relation between stronger and weaker (ruler and subjects), in which the parties have opposed interests and the stronger satisfy their interests at the expense of the weaker. The stronger are able to make the rules, and lay down as 'just' what advantages them, so that justice is what is against the interests of the weaker. These assumptions involve a restricted view of human relationships and a narrow conception of one's interest or advantage; and they disregard all Protagoras' insights into the social nature of justice and its reciprocal benefits. One can see in Thrasymachus a whole series of contrasts with Protagoras' position, indeed a comprehensive repudiation of that position and its assumptions. From Thrasymachus' 'realist' perspective, Protagoras is naive and superficial,



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taking political ideals at face value instead of investigating whether they are put into practice, and who gains when they are. Above all, Thrasymachus' position entails denying that justice is reciprocally beneficial and in everyone's interest. It would be, if everyone were just: justice could be another's advantage, yet one could be just and not lose if everyone else acted to one's advantage in return. But, Thrasymachus would insist, not everyone is just. Those strong enough to be unjust benefit more from injustice and are unjust whenever they can get away with it, and then those who are just lose out because they do not gain from them in return but merely serve their interests. For Protagoras politics is a cooperative activity in which all citizens gain, using discussion and persuasion to reach agreement on their constitution and laws, and providing continuity and stability by training each succeeding generation in them; whereas for Thrasymachus politics is conflictual, another competitive arena in which some men control, exploit, and oppress others, manipulating and deceiving them and using force if necessary. Significantly, in Plato's portraits of the two Sophists, Prot agoras uses the same word (euboulia), meaning 'good judgement', to describe the political skill he teaches, which includes being just oneself and teaching others to be just, as Thrasymachus uses for the stronger man's policy of injustice (Protagoras 318e; Gagarin and Woodruff, 175; Republic 348d; Cooper and Hutchinson, 992). So Thrasymachus seems to take the opposite view from Protagoras on the nature of politics and on how one should live one's life. Protagoras defends the traditional view of the polis: that, Thrasymachus objects, is unrealistic. It is hard to see how anyone taking the Thrasymachean perspective, and who proposes to act unjustly whenever he can, can be dissuaded by Protagorean arguments. The unjust man will be free-riding on the justice of his fellow citizens, but ifhe can free-ride, why should he not? l\Ior is this the only objection to Protagoras. Plato clearly believes that many people share something like Thrasymachus' cynical view of the disadvantages of being just. Plato has Glaucon renew Thrasymachus' argument, observing that 'most people' think that justice is 'onerous' and 'to be practiced for the sake of the rewards and popularity that come from a reputation for justice, but is to be avoided because of itself as something burdensome' (Republic 358a; Cooper and Hutchinson, 999). According to Glaucon, most people think that to do injustice is naturally good and to suffer injustice bad, but that the badness of suffering it so far exceeds the goodness of doing it that those who have done and suffered injustice and tasted both, but who lack the power to do it and avoid suffering it, decide that it is profitable to come to an agreement with each other neither to do injustice nor to suffer it. As a result, they begin to make laws and covenants, and what the law commands they call lawful and just. ... [Justice] is intermediate between the best and the worst. The best is to do injustice without paying the penalty; the worst is to suffer it without being able to take revenge .... People value [justice] not as a good but because they are too weak to do injustice with impunity. (Republic 3s8e-359b; Cooper and Hutchinson, 1000) Il If a just and an unjust man both had the freedom to do whatever they liked, then they would both behave unjustly because everyone naturally desires 'to outdo others and get more and more' (Republic 359C; Cooper and Hutchinson, 1000). Men are just because they have to be, because they cannot do whatever they like. But if they could do whatever they liked, they would be unjust, because they think the life of the unjust man is 'much better' (Republic 358c; Cooper and Hutchinson, 999). 'Indeed, every man believes that injustice is far more profitable to himself than justice' (Republic 360c; Cooper and Hutchinson, 1001). 'And any exponent of this argument will say he's right: Glaucon adds, because anyone given the chance to be unjust with impunity who did not seize the opportunity 'would be thought wretched and

stupid by everyone aware of the situation, though, of course, they'd praise him in public, deceiving each other for fear of suffering injustice' (Republic 360d; Cooper and Hutchinson, 1001). Someone who is good at being unjust, so that he is never caught but is actually thought to be just, has the best life: He rules his city because of his reputation for justice; he marries into any family he wishes ... he has contracts and partnerships with anyone he wants; and besides benefiting himself in all these ways, he profits because he has no scruples about doing injustice. In any contest, public or private, he's the winner and outdoes his enemies. And by outdoing them, he becomes wealthy, benefiting his friends and harming his enemies.... He takes better care of the gods ... (and, indeed, of the human beings he's fond of) than a just person does. Hence it's likely that the gods, in turn, will take better care of him than of a just person. That's what they say, Socrates, that gods and humans provide a better life for unjust people than for just ones. (Republic 362b-c; Cooper and Hutchinson, 1002) This bears very significantly on Protagoras' position. On the view Glaucon summarizes (which echoes radical Sophist ideas), the ordinary opinion of justice is pretty much the opposite of what Protagoras claimed it was. Either Protagoras misreported what people thought, or there had been a major shift in public opinion in the intervening years, perhaps as a result of the stresses of the great war with Sparta and eventual heavy defeat. '4 Whatever the reason, the difference is vital. The basic weakness of Prot agoras' position is precisely that he argues from what people think (,vvbatever each city judges to be just and fine, these things in fact are just and fine for it, so long as it holds those opinions'; Theaetetus 167C; Gagarin and Woodruff, 186). Consequently, justice is valuable only so long as people think that it is, and want to practise it themselves and encourage it in others in the ways that Protagoras described. But if Glaucon is reporting correctly that most Athenians then thought that justice was not good, Protagoras' defence of it collapses. His relativism entails that, in a society where people think as Glaucon claims they do, justice is not a highly valued good but simply a necessary evil, a compromise which is accepted because there is no alternative and which will be evaded whenever opportunity allows.

Antiphon and further doubts about justice So far I have roughed out two views of politics and of justice, relying on Plato's versions of what Protagoras and Thrasymachus argued. In the case of Antiphon, unusually, we are not dependent on Plato (who never mentions him) but possess Antiphon's own words. This makes him highly significant, because his ideas can be used to check the historicity of other reports of Sophists' ideas. Unfortunately, there are other problems of evidence. We have only small fragments of Antiphon's treatise Truth, and his intentions are not deaL 's Nonetheless, these fragments establish that the ideas which Plato attributes to figures such as Thrasymachus, and those which Glaucon expresses, are not figments of Plato's imagination but were under discussion. The overall structure of Antiphon's Truth and his purpose in discussing justice are not known, and commentators attribute different positions to him. '6 Possibly, in the surviving fragments, he was expressing his own view and attacking justice, or perhaps he was setting out



Peter Nicholson

sample arguments for teaching purposes without committing himself for or against them. So I shall follow a cautious path of minimal interpretation, and present what Antiphon writes as the exposure of features of justice which must raise doubts about whether one should be just. I do not claim the doubts are his own, nor that they led Antiphon himself to recommend acting unjustly: it is enough for my purposes that these were the kinds of arguments that the Sophists examined. Antiphon uses the common distinction between nature (phusis) and convention (nomos). As standardly formulated, what is natural is the way it is innately, it is unchangeable, and it is the same everywhere, 'as fire burns both here and in Persia'; what is conventional is a human creation, it can be changed, and it varies from one society to another. 17 Antiphon is one of those who does not simply posit the natural as different from the conventional, but sees them as opposed to one another; and draws radical conclusions from the distinction l8 He observes that we know and respect the conventions of nearby communities but not those of distant communities, and that this is barbarous behaviour because we are all at birth in all respects equally capable of being both barbarians [i.e. foreigners 1and Greeks. We can examine those attributes of nature that are necessarily in all men and are provided to all to the same degree, and in these respects none of us is distinguished as foreign or Greek. For we all breathe the air through our mouth and through our nostrils, and we laugh when we are pleased in our mind or we weep when we are pained, and we take in sounds with our hearing, and we see by the light with our sight, and we work with our hands and we walk with our feet ... (Gagarin and Woodruff, 244-5) The next fragment applies the nature-convention distinction to justice. Justice, he says, using a common definition and one which both Protagoras and Thrasymachus could accept, is 'not violating the rules (nomima) of the city in which one is a citizen' (ibid. 245). Antiphon then states a radical conclusion which Thrasymachus would applaud but Prot agoras would repudiate: 'a person would best use justice to his own advantage if he considered the laws (nomoi) important when witnesses are present, but the consequences of nature (phusis) important in the absence of witnesses' (ibid.).19 The reasoning seems to be as follows. Nature requires us to do things which are necessary and unavoidable (perhaps an example would be, to eat and drink), whereas what the conventional rules of our city require are neither. So if we break the rules, we suffer harm (shame and punishment) only if we are witnessed doing it; but we necessarily suffer harm if we try to violate one of the inherent requirements of nature (e.g. if we do not eat or drink, we die) regardless of whether we are witnessed or not. This is an important matter, Antiphon stresses, because 'most things that are just according to law are inimical to nature', bringing pain rather than pleasure and life (ibid. 245-6). For example, if you follow the rules and treat your parents well even when you have been treated badly by them, you are acting contrary to nature and giving yourself 'more pain when less is possible and less pleasure when more is possible' (ibid. 246)20 On this line of argument, the opposition between what nature and what convention require of the individual becomes a justification for the individual to disobey laws and other rules whenever he can get away with it. 21 The analysis then turns to another consideration, that the rules fail to protect those who obey them. In the first place, the rules do not stop the unjust from breaking them, or prevent their victims from suffering. In the second place, when there has been an offence and it comes to punishing the aggressor, the law does not favour the victim: the victim must convince the court that the crime occurred and he suffered loss, and whatever means of persuasion he has

Chapter 2: The Sophists

are equally open to the perpetrator. 22 Antiphon notes that the alternative to persuading the court is to deceive it, and the implication surely is (though this is not stated explicitly) that the offender will have no compunction in lying, whereas the victim, if he is just, will tell the truth and once more disadvantage himself. There is a change of tack in the final fragment, which draws attention to another aspect of the legal process, the obligation to appear in court as an eyewitness: To testify truthfully for one another is customarily thought to be just (dikaios) and to no lesser degree useful in human affairs. And yet one who does this will not be just if indeed it is just not to injure (adikein) anyone if One is not injured oneself; for even ifhe tells the truth, someone who testifies must necessarily injure another somehow, and will then be injured himself, since he will be hated when the testimony he gives leads to the conviction of the person against whom he testifies, who then loses his property or his life because of this man whom he has not injured at all. In this way he wrongs the person against whom he testifies, because he injures someone who is not injuring him; and he in turn is injured by the one against whom he testified in that he is hated by him ... As a result he has an enemy who will do him whatever harm he can in word or deed. (ibid. 246-7) Here Antiphon is pointing out a contradiction between two ideas of justice, that it is just to take part in the judicial process and that it is just not to injure someone who has not injured you, when telling the truth as an eyewitness involves harming someone who has not harmed you. It is impossible for both these to be just, and Antiphon apparently concludes that 'the judicial process, verdicts, and arbitration proceedings are not just, since helping some people hurts others' (ibid. 247). We observe that the argument works only on the assumption that the witness of an offence against someone else is not himself harmed. If, on the other hand, it is thought, as one might from Protagoras' perspective, that any offence breaches some community interest (such as an ordered society providing security oflife and property), then the witness has been harmed, albeit indirectly, and the inconsistency disappears. So the argument Antiphon presents, and perhaps Antiphon himself, presupposes that there is no community interest in justice. Antiphon's analysis here focuses on the inadequacies and failures of law (nomos). It highlights necessary limits to what law can achieve either for the individual or for the community, and thereby produces a powerful case against being just. First, the rules one follows if one is just are disadvantageous to oneself, and the disadvantages are natural and thus unavoidable. Secondly, such advantages as there may be from being just are highly contingent and may never be enjoyed. And thirdly, participating in the legal process, as justice requires, involves harming people who have not harmed one and hence is both inconsistent and very imprudent-especially in a world where a bedrock moral conviction was that a real man should bear grudges and get even with his enemies.2J We may note that Antiphon is discussing fundamental and constitutive features of any legal system: so they are found in modern legal systems and remain problematic. His examination shows that there must be a choice between acting justly and maximizing one's own advantage, and at the very least he has raised extremely serious doubts about whether it is possible, and whether it is sensible, to be just. Everything seems to point towards acting unjustly whenever one can get away with it (and there are strong hints that the unscrupulous can get away with a great deal). Otherwise not only do you refrain from pursuing your own advantage, you also allow yourself to be the victim of others pursuing theirs.



Peter Nicholson

Chapter 2: The Sophists

Conclusion: the Sophists and Plato FURTHER READING

Something of the range and variety of the Sophists' political thought should now be apparent. The most significant feature is that justice is both applauded and defended, and queried and denigrated; old landmarks have been replaced by uncertainty. This was the state of the debate that Socrates engaged in, and that Plato joined after him. Plato cannot be seen simply as the opponent of the Sophists. Rather, he is in agreement with Protagoras on many matters, such as the value of community and the importance of education (socialization), and above all on the centrality and indispensability of justice. On the other hand, from Plato's perspective Protagoras built his case for justice on weak foundations and had no defence against the attacks mounted by the next generation of Sophists. Protagoras' great weakness is his narrow conception of the individual's interest. Protagoras measures the individual's success by his material achievements and his standing in his polis. But Thrasymachus and others claimed that the individual best serves his interest ifhe is unjust (when he can be), justice always being to the advantage of someone else and injustice being to one's own advantage. Protagoras' theory has no resources to generate a response. His relativism means that justice has no value in itself; it is merely useful as a means to serving one's own interest. And if one's interest is defined in terms of external goods, and one can serve it without being just, then Protagoras can offer no convincing reason why one should act justly.24 Plato follows Socrates in adopting a different strategy. The individual's interest is understood in non-material terms, and made internal to him, and justice is redefined as intrinsically valuable. From this new perspective, reasons can be offered for being just even when one might gain more wealth or reputation from not being just. The change of perspective also meets the doubts raised by Antiphon. If justice is good in itself, and brings the individual internal benefits, then it is worth acting justly even though the law is defective. The just man may not be effectively protected by the law, and crimes may go undetected or unpunished-but the just man remains better off in other ways. Thus law and justice are valuable and desirable despite their unavoidable operational limitations. The corresponding conception of politics sees it much as Protagoras did, that is, as the cooperative enterprise of a community of individuals who have a common interest in living under law and in acting justly, since everyone who is just benefits from it both communally and individually. Of course, whether this strategy is successful, and what costs 11 lllCurS, are another matter. Modern readers jib, for example, at Plato's rejection of Protagoras' endorsement of the Athenian democrats' opinion that political skill can be learned by everyone. Plato agrees that there is a political skill, and that it can be taught-but argues it is specialist expertise which can be learned only by that tiny minority with the appropriate natural ability (though he includes women among them), and that politics should be controlled by these people exclusively. So it may put Plato's Republic in a different and more sympathetic light if it is located in relation to the discussions and disputes of the Sophists. Then the Republic can be understood as attempting to provide support stronger than Protagoras could, for the traditional idea of communal justice against the attacks of Thrasymachus and other radical individualists. Plato's aim is to reconcile the conflicts of interest between the community and the individual which the Sophists highlighted, by revealing the interdependence and harmony of true interest between community and individual."

Caizzi, Fernanda Deeleva, 'Protagoras and Antiphon: Sophistic Debates on Justice', in A. A. Long (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993). Guthrie, W. K. C, A History of Greek Philosophy, iii: The Fifth-Century Enlightenment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969); pt. I reissued as The Sophists (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971). Kerferd, G. B., The Sophistic Movement (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981). Romilly, Jacqueline de, The Great Sophists in Periclean Athens, trans. J. Lloyd (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 199 2 ). Schiappa, Edward, Protagoras and Logos: A Study in Greek Philosophy and Rhetoric (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1991).


Interestingly, Socrates was the main figure of fun. This confirms Socrates' centrality in the Enlightenment, alongside the Sophists, and is revealing of the popular view of him. Aristophanes was otherwise completely unfair to him, because Socrates distinguished himself from the Sophists. He never charged a fee, being concerned to bring men to reconsider their lives and their characters in individual conversations rather than to market

some expertise wholesale; moreover, he had a very different idea of what counted as a 'successful' life, and what was needed to live it. 2. See Plato, Protagoras 328b-c; Gagarin and Vloodruff, 184, for Protagoras' system of charging fees, which satisfied his pupils (references are first to the standard pagination, common to all translations, and secondly to the translation in Michael Gagarin and Paul Woodruff (ed. and trans.), Early Greek Political Thought from Homer to the Sophists (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), hereafter Gagarin and Woodruff). 3. For Greek political thought before the Sophists, which (on the little evidence which survives) tends to be much less explicit and developed, see Gagarin and Woodruff, pts. l-IV. 4. See in particular George Grote, A History of Greece (London: John Murray, 1846-56; new edn. 1869), ch. 67; Karl R. Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies, i: The Spell of Plato (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1945; 4th edn. 1962); Eric A. Havelock, The Liberal Temper in Greek Politics (London: Jonathan Cape, 1957); and Jacqueline de

Romilly, The Great Sophists in Periclean Athens (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992). Popper and Havelock mar their accounts through mistakenly believing that the case for the Sophists can be advanced only if Plato is denigrated. 5. [have used the selection of fragments and reports of Protagoras in Gagarin and Woodruff since this emphasizes his political thinking. A somewhat different selection, attending more to his

philosophy, is offered with an enlightening commentary by Robin Waterfield, The First Philosophers: The Presocratics and Sophists, World's Classics (Oxford: Oxford Gniversity Press, 2000). 6. Protagoras automatically assumes that his pupils will be men. In the Greek cities only native adult males were full citizens with political rights, and almost no one questioned this (Plato being the most notable exception). Protagoras' teaching is targeted at men, as heads of households and as citizens. He recognizes in passing that political skill, the art of living together in a city, must be shared by literally every inhabitant, 'whether man, woman, or child' (Protagoras }25a; Gagarin and Woodruff, 181); but he does not pursue this and he does not infer, as we would, that it means women are qualified to be full citizens. (See too n. 2}.) 7. Plato: Complete Works, ed. John lvI. Cooper and D. S. Hutchinson (Indianapolis: Hackett"997); hereafter Cooper and Hutchinson. 8. G. B. Kerferd, The Sophistic I'vIovement (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1981), 144·



Peter Nicholson

9. Another Sophist who defends the traditional values is Prodicus; see 'The Choice of Herades; which presents a case for preferring the path of virtue to the path of vice, in Gagarin and Woodruff, 211-14. See too the very conventional moral assertions in the Sophistic treatise Anonymus Iamblichi, in Gagarin and Woodruff, 290-5· 10. For examples of how democrats in a Greek city might organize their constitution to favour themselves over others, see The Constitution of the Athenians. Its unknown author, usually called the Old Oligarch, alleges that the Athenian democrats did precisely that. Extracts appear in Gagarin and Woodruff, 133-44. 11. On the popular opinion of the outstanding happiness of successful tyrants, see too Plato's Gorgias, 470d-472b. 12.

I think Thrasymachus is recommending injustice.

Others contend he is simply describing what people think and how they behave; see e.g. de Romilly, The Great Sophists in Periclean Athens, ch.6. 13. Some commentators have seen here the first statement of social contract theory; e.g. 1. I/li. Gough, The Social Contract: A Critical Study of its Developme/1t (2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957). Glaucon's statements do indeed locate the origin of morality in an agreement between the members of a society, but he says nothing about politics, about obligation to obey the law, or the rights of subjects and limits on the law, or the role of a sovereign. Indeed, in Greece the sharp modern distinction benveen moral and legal rules did not exist (notnos covered both); there were no political institutions equivalent to the modern state to perform its role. Hence any Greek 'contract theory' is inevitably very different from the social contract theories of the 17th century and later. See further on the differences David Boucher and Paul Kelly (eds.), TIle Social Contract from Hobbes to Rem'ls (London: Routledge, 1994), 1-4. Again, an early contract theory may lie behind the Sophist Lycophron's remark, recorded by Aristotle, that 'law is the guarantee of just behavior (dikaia) among men' (Politics 128ob1:!.; Gagarin and \Voodruff, li5). However, even in the context of Aristotle's objections to it, the remark is too brief to allow reliable reconstruction of Lycophron's social contract theory (if indeed he had one). 14· For examples of the wartime collapse of traditional civic and other moral standards, see Thucydides' accounts of the plague in Athens and

Chapter 2: The Sophists

of the civil wars in Corcyra: 2. 52-8 and 3.81. 2-84; Gagarin and Woodruff, 102-8. 15. I take the fragments in the order followed by Gagarin and Woodruff, 244-7; see p. xliii on the text and its arrangement. 16. For instance, Antiphon is portrayed as an immoralist by Michael Nill, Morality and Self-

Interest in Protagoras, Antiphon and Democritus (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1985), ch. III, but as much more like Protagoras by de Romilly, The Great Sophists in Periclean Athens, 122-S. 17· I draw here on Aristotle, Nicomacheal1 Ethics 1134 blS-1l3S 6. 18. For instance, nature and convention are explicitly opposed, though with varying emphases, by Hippias (Protagoras 337d-338b; Gagarin and Woodruff, 216-17); in the theory Glaucon recounts (Republic 359C; Cooper and Hutchinson, 1000); and by Callides-usually taken as working from Sophist ideas-in Plato's Gorgias (482C-4C and 488b-92C; Cooper and Hutchinson, 827-8 and 831-5). See generally, on the nature- 395-6,399,402 Plato 70-2 Rousseau 239,246-51

Tocqueville 294-6 Wollstonecraft 276, 277-84 see also liberty

G Gauthier, David 166-7 gender issues 65-6 gender relations 303-4 Gert, Bernard 171 Gilbert, Allan 147 Godwin, William 279 government

Aquinas 115-19 Federalist 257-8,260-5 Foucault 525 Hume


Marsiglio 132, 136 Montesquieu 226-7,228-9 Rousseau 251 governmentality 526--9 Gramsci) Antonio 142 Gray, John 329,331,)33 Gray, T., P. Hindson and 371 Greenleaf, W. H. 464 Grotius, Hugo 370 Gunther-Canada, Wendy 2i6

social theory 483-5 speech acts 484 strategic actions 484 Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere 482 Theory alld Practice 483 Theury of Communicative Action 483-5 universalizability, principle of (Principle U) 487 Halevy, Elie 307 Hamburger, Joseph 338,339-40,341 Hamilton, Alexander 254,255,256,259-60,263-4, 265-6: see also Federalist: Publius Hampton, Jean on Hobbes 166 harm principle 332-3,334-5,340 Hart, H. L. A. 7,8,473-4 Hayek, Friedrich 215 Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich '3, 225, 383-402 'Abstract Right' 395,396, 39i abstraction 388 assessment of 401-2 authoritarianism 402

Habermas, Jurgen 452,480-93 autonomy 486,488-9 Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory oflaw and Democracy 485-92

civil society 493 communicative action 483-5,488,489 deliberative politics 490-1,492 democracy 485-6, 48i-93

discourse theory 487-90 Foucault 525 globalization 492-3 instrumental actions 484

Knowledge and Human [nterests 483 law 486,487-8, 489-90 liberalism 490-1 liberty 486-9 lifeworld 485 nation-states 492-3

positivism, critique of 483 procedural democracy 489--91 public sphere 482,491-2 publics, weak and strong 491-2,493 republicanism 490-1 rights 486--9

173, 175, 1i6-8

interpretations of 165-i, 1iO, 171, 172, 178 Lawfulness of Obeying the Presellt Government 16 9 legal positivism 315 leviathan 163,164-5,166,167,169-7°, '7'-}, 174-5, 176,177

natural law 165-6 non-resistance covenant 174-6

obligation 165-6 political agency li3-4 relativism 172,178 Rousseau's criticisms 240-4

solipsism 170-1,172,178 sovereignty 169,173-5,178,195,374 White's 'De Mundo' Examined 172 human nature 76-7

civil society 398-400

human rights 511-13




conscience 398 contractarianism 393,396-8 contradiction 393-4 dialectic 39'-2,)93-4,395 'Ethical Life' 398 freedom 386,387-91,392,393,394. 395-6, 399, 402 interpretations of 390,401-2 Kant, criticism of 390


De Cive 167,168--9,170,172,174, 1i5, 176 de facto authority 166, 1i3, 176-8 egoism 165-6, '7'-2 Elements of Law, Natural and Politic 167-8, li0-1, 172,

Lectures on the Philosophy of History 392 and Marx 401,410,412 'Morality' 397-8 motivation of individuals 398 personality 395,396-8,399,400 Phenomenology of Spirit 393 Philosophy of Right 386-7,391-2,393,394-5,401,402 property 395-8 punishment 397-8 recognition 393,396 spirit (Geist) 391-3.394-5 state 398-9,400 subjectivity 391,)95,397-8,)99-400 will 390 Hendel, C. W 239 Henry, Patrick 255,25i Herder, Johann Gottfried 14' Herodotus 28 Himmelfarb, Gertrude 466 Hindson, P., and T. Gray 371 historical materialism 421-2 Hobbes, Thomas 1l,163-78 absolutism 164,168,173,175,374 consent 173) 177-8 contractarianism 164-7,172-3,174-6,178,373 Correspondence 169


Hume, David

ll, 198-215, 22i, 322 aesthetics 204 assessment 214-15 causation 202 consent theory, critique of 211-12 contractarianism 214-15 conventions 206-7,208 empiricism 201-3 government 209-12



impressions 201, 203 justice 205-6,207-9,210

knowledge 201,202 liberty 334-8 morality 203-5 obligations 206,207,208,211-12 passions 203,204, 210 property 207-9, 210 reasoning 201-2,203 Rousseau 236

sceptical naturalism 214 sentiments 203, 204 Treatise ofHllmal1.~~ature


and utilitarianism 204,205, 2'3-14,33 ' virtues, natural and artificial 205-6 Hutcheson, Francis 204

identity 440-1,444,452-3,454 independence 249-51, 280-1 individualism 293, 298 individuality 333,339





inequality 242,243-4,250,442 International Working Men's Association (IWMA, later the First International) 420,432-3

ius civile 114 illS gentium 114,121

Jay, John 254,255: see aiso Federalist: Publius Jevons, Sir Stanley 425 Jews 412-13 Jones, Henry 466 Juricu, Pierre 222 just war 105-6,121-2,376-8 justice Antiphon 33-5 Aristotle 75,78-81,84-5,87-8 and conventions 206-7



Hume 205-6,207-9,210

Montesquieu on 221,231 natural 86 Plato 30-1,32-3,36,57 and property 207-9, 210 Protagoras 26-30,36 Rawls 499-506,507-8 rectificatory 80 Thrasymachus on 30-3

command theory 473-4 Habermas 486,487-8,489-90 Hart, H. L. A. 473-4 legitimacy of 486-7,489 Marsiglio 131-2,136-7 Montesquieu 224-5 Nietzsche 447 Oakeshott 472-8 politics 476-8 Rousseau 248-9 rule of 193-6,367-8, 472-6 and sovereignty 315-18 Lecky, William 365 legal positivism Aristotle 87 Bentham 315-17,321-2 Hobbes 315 Marsiglio 136



liberalism 452-3 Bentham 321-3 Foucault 528 Habermas 490-1 Locke 183-4 Mill, J. S. 330-5 Oakeshott 464-5 Rousseau 239 liberty Habermas 486-9 Hume 334-8 Mill, J. S. 324-41

Montesquieu 223,230-2 see also freedom

K Kant, Immanuel 388 Foucault 518-19

Hegel's criticisms 390 individual autonomy 486 right 488 Kaufmann, Walter 451 Kelsen, Hans 73-4,81, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87 Kerferd, G. B. 29 kingship 81,128 Kirk, Russell 368 Kraut, Richard 43

Locke, John 181-97 absolutism 184,192-3 assessment of 196-7 consent 186-8,190,191 equality 188-91

Luther, Martin 388 Lyons, David 331,332,333

414,415 Machiavelli, Niccolb 5,11, 139-58 Burke 366-7 Christianity 148-50

Discourses 011 Livy 140, 143~4, 148-50, lSI, 152, 153-5, 156-7



Fortune 149-50

History of Florel1ce 148,154 interpretations of 141~4 metaphysics, hostility to 147-50 political realism 153-7

Prince 140,141,142-3,144,147,148-50,151,152,153-5, 156,157

Renaissance context 144-7 republicanism 141, 143-4 tyranny 143 viraL 148,149 MacIntyre, Alasdair 74,77,89-90,411,452 Macpherson, C. B. 166 Madison, James 254,255,260,262-3: see also Federalist: Publius

rvlanichaeans 104 l>!ansfield, Harvey 142 Markus, Robert 103

marriage 279~80, 281-2, 284~5 Marsiglia (Marsilius) of Padua 10-11,124-37 citizenship 130-2 conciliarism 134,137 consent 130-1 Defellder lvfil10r 134-5,136-; Defender oIPeace 125,126-34,135,137

Essay Concerning Humall Understallding 188,189 First Treatise 184,189,191,192 Letter Concerning Toleration 185,196

ecclesiology 133-4

liberalism 183-4 natural law 186-7,189-90 obligation 186-7,332 patriarchalism 184,185-6 political absolutism 184,192-3 property 186,190,191-4

government 132,136 law 131-2,136-7

Form of a Dispe11satio11 with Respect to the Relatio11 of COl1sallguinity 135

0111j,Iarriage 135 all the Transfer of the Empire 134, 135-6 papacy, criticisms of 126-7 passive resistance 136-7

Reasonablelless ojChristiallity 189

political theory 127-9

religious toleration 196 rule of law 193-6

secular theory 129-31,135

labour 425-6,427

Second Treatise 184~5, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 191,

Lansing, John, Jf. 254,256 law Aquinas 11}-15,118 Bentham 315-18

192-5,196,197 sexual equality 184 social contract 184-8,373

Two Treatises of Govern me lit 182,184 logical positivism 5, 6, 462~4

capitalism 396,407,414,424-7,429-30 civil society 406,412,413 Civil vVar il1 France 432-3

Class Struggles in France 432 Collected Works 405,406,407,409,410-11,412,413,


L language, theory of 99,100-1

Capital 417,424,428,430,433

temporal realm 129-30 Marx, Karl 10,13,144,404-17,419-34

Comments on James !vlill 406,416 commodities 425,426-7 communism 394,405,406,407,409,414-16,431

Contributioll to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right 406,412-13 Col1tributioll to the Critique of Political Eco/1omy 406, 428-9

Critique of the Gotha Programme 433 Deutsch-Jranzosiscl1e Jahrbiicher 407 Eco/wlnic and P/lilosophic lVial1llscripts 406,407-9, 410,414-15,416,424,426

Eighteenth BTllmaire afLouis BOl1aparte 422,432 emancipation 412-14 Engels, collaboration with 405-6,407,409,413,415, 416-17,419-34

exchange value 426-7 fetishism of commodities 427-8 and Feuerbach 409-10 German Ideology (with Engels) 405-6,416-17,419, 42 3,430,43 1

Gnll1drisse 417.430 and Hegel 401,410,412 historical materialism 421-2 Holy Family (with Engels) 406,409,413,415,419 human essence 407-11 humanism 409-10 as ideologist 465-6 ideology 423-4

Jews 412-13 labour 425-6,427 !'vIanifesto of the Communist Party (with Engels) 419, 422-3,424,432

lvlarx-El1gels Werke 432 modern state, critique of 411-14 0/1 the Jewish Question 406,412 political economy, critique of 408-9,424-6 Poverty of Philosophy 422 private property 408,409,410,411,412,414-15 production 407-8,428-30,430-1 religion 409

revolutionary politics 432-3 at Rheinische Zeitul1g 406-7 Selected Correspondence 424,433 Selected'vVritings 431-2

alienation 407-11,416-17

society, stages of 430-1

Althusser on 409,416-17

value 425-6,427

and Aristotle

on Bentham 307

Marxism 433-4,525 McTaggart, J. M. E. 466

bourgeoisie 422-3

IvIeinecke, Friedrich 141






Mersenne, Marin 168 Mewes, Horst 410 Michelman, Frank 490 Mill, J. S. 12-13, 283-4, 322, 324-41, 343-57 act-utilitarianism 331,332-3 anti-paternalism 336 assessment of 345.357 Autobiography 346-7 COllsideratiolls of Represelltative Govemment 340 empiricism 350,353 equality 350,351-2,]54 harm principle 332-3.336-7,34° individuality 333,339 interpretation of contemporary feminists 355-7 liberal feminism 349,352-3 liberalism 330-5 liberty 324-4' nature 353-5

obligation 33',332-3 On Liberty 331,333,334-6,340 psychological hedonism 327-30,338,340 punishment 332 reconciliation 333

religion 335, 337, 338, 339-40 rule-utilitarianism 331

Subjection of Women 348-55,356 subordination of women 349,350 utilitarian liberalism 330-4 Utilitarianism 327,331,332

views of 329-30,33',332,333, 337, 356-7 women's rights 343-57 Mill, James 165,320,335,346 Miller, Fred D., Jr. 73,77,83 modes of association 470-6 monarchy

Aquinas 117-18 Montesquieu :u6, 227, 228, 229-30

Montesquieu, Charles Louis de Secondat, baron de II-12, 21 7-3 2

assessment of 232 climates, theory of 220,225 Considerations on the Callses of the Greatness of the Romans and their Decline 220,221-2,223. 226

constitutionalism 219 despotism 219-21,222,226,227,228,232

general spirits 224-5 government 226-7,228-9



law 224-5 liberty 223,230-2 monarchy 226,227.228,229-30

property rights 231 republics 226-7,228,229,259 slavery 231 Spirit of the Laws 220-1,222,223-5,226-7,218, 229-32

morality Burke 367,368-9.370-2 Hume 203-5 Nietzsche 443-5,446-8 Tocqueville 303-5 Wollstonecraft 278 Morely, John 365

N natural law Aristotle 80,81-3,85, 87-8 Burke 368-70 Hobbes 165-6 Locke 186-7,189-90 Rousseau 244-6 Nedham, Marchamont 178 New Historians see Cambridge School Nietzsche, Friedrich 13-14,436-54 Anti-Christ 451 art 450 ascetic ideal 448-51 Beyond Good ami Evil 440,451 chaos 441-2 conscience 445-8 Daybreak 453

difference, politics of 451-4 evil 440,441,443-5,452 friend and enemy 453-4 Gay Science 438-9,440,452 genealogy 44'-51 God, death of 438-41, 450 good and evil 443-5 guilt 447-8 Human, All Too Huma" 440 identity 440-1,444,452-3,454 interpretations of 451-2

law 447 master-slave dialectic 44' modern secularism 448-51

nihilism 439-40,442,443,448-51 noble morality 443-4,445,446 On the Genealogy of Morals 441,442,443-51,452 opposition 440-1,442,443 overman 451,452,454

Pe/1Sees 228 Persian Letters 220,221

punishment 445,446-7 purity 440-1,445,448 ressemiment 444-5,446,447-8,449,450,453,454

political liberty 223,230-2

revaluation 45}

powers, separation of 222-4,225

self 442,446

slave morality 444-5,446-8

Thus Spoke Zarathustra 453 truth 438-9,440 Twilight of the Idols 453 Will to Power 440 will to power 442,444,451 nihilism 439-40, 442, 443, 448-51

o Oakeshott, Michael 307,459-78 assessment of 478 'Character of Modern British Politics' 477 civil association 471,472-6 conservatism 46}-4 enterprise association 471-2

Experience and its Modes 463, 467 Hobbes 17°,172,178

ideology 465-6,467,469 law, politics and 476-8 liberalism 464-5 modes of association 470-6

0" History and Other Essays 472, 47J. 474-6 On Human Conduct 474,475 philosophical idealism 461-3 philosophy as theory 466-7 rationalism 466,467-70,477 Ratiollalisl11 ill Politics 466,469,470-1,477

republicanism 465 rule of law 472-6 Social arid Political Doctri"es of Contemporary Europe 464

obligations Bentham 312-14

Burke 371-2,J73.375-6 Hobbes 165-6 Hume 206,207,208,211-12

Locke 186-7,332 Mill, J. S. 331,332-3 occupancy (property rights) 209 akin, Susan "loller 355-6 oligarchy 81,82,85,86,128

Ordo-liberalism 528 overman 451,452,454

p Pagona, Francesco Mario 249 Parsons, Talcott 483

Payne, E. J. 377 peace 1O}-4, 105, 106 Peter of Auvergne 111

philosophical idealism 461-3 Pitt, William 319 Plamenatz, John 165 Plato 5,54-72 Apology of Socrates 42,43,46-9 art 68-70 Cave allegory 57 Crito 43, 49-50 education 68-9 Forms 58-60 freedom 70-2 good-itself 58-60,64 Gorgias 45,51

gender issues 65-6 infant exposure 67-8 justice 30-1,32-3,36,56 kallipolis 57,61-2,64,66,68,7°,71-2 Laws 68 lies 63-5 Lysis 60 medicine 66-7 order 441-2 philosopher-kings 56-7,61,63,64-5,69,71 private life 6;-6 private property 65-6 Protagoras 26, 27-8, 29, 32, 47 Republic 30-1,32-3,36,43,56-7,58-60,61-72,427, 441-2

slavery 68 and Sophists 25,]6 specialization 62-3,65, 68,427 Theaetetus 28, 29

Plumb, J. H. 146 Pocock, J. G. A. 4-5 political thought as history 4-5 and practice 7-9 as prelude to philosophy 3 as scientific enquiry 5-7

polity 81,83,128 Pollock, Frederick 5 Polybius 229 power 120-1,195,524-6

prescription (property rights) 209 Price, Richard 276 Principle U 487 property 231 Hegel 395-8 Hume 207-9, 210

passive resistance 1}6-7

Locke 186,190, '91-4

Pateman, Carole, Mary Lyndon Shanley and 35 6-7 patriarchalism 184,185-6 patriotism 250.365-6

Marx 408,409,410,411,412,414-15

Plato 65-6 Rousseau 242





Protagoras 23 justice 26-30,36 social relativism 28-30 psychological hedonism Bentham 310-12 J. S. Mill 327-30,338,340 Ptolemy of Lucca III Publius see under Federalist Pufendorf, Sam uel von 374-5 punishment 332,397-8,445,446-7

Habermas 490-1 Machiavelli 141,143-4 Rousseau 239-40 revolution 296-7,299-)02 Riazanov, David 407 Riley, Jonathan )29-30,3)1, )37 Robespierre, Maximilien de 239 Rorty, Richard 4S1

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 12,235-51,277,281,283,388 assessment of 236,238 censorship 249 Constitutional Project for Corsica 250,251 democracy 247-8 Discourse 011 Political Economy 239,250 Discourse 011 the Origin oflneqllality 241,243,244, 246 Discourse all the Sciences and the Arts 23/,239 freedom 239, 246-51 general will 24/,248,249,250,251

Q Quinton, Anthony 464


Governlllel1tofPoland governments 251

Raphael, D. D. 466-7,468 Ratification Debate 25),254,267 rationalism 466,467-71,477 Rawls, John 7,8,88-9,215,321,488,496-513 Aristotle 74. 89 'Basic Structure as Subject' 504 consensus 507,508-10, SU, 512 difference principle S02 distributive economic justice 501-3,504-5

Hobbes, criticisms of 240-4 independence 249-51

inequality 242,2 . +3-4,250 lawgiver 248-9

Letter to d'Alembert 237 liberalism 239 on Machiavelli 141 malleability of man 245 natural law 2..l-J.-6

equal basic liberties 500-1,504-5 human rights 511-13

noble savage 242 particular will 247,248,249 patriotism 250

'Idea of Public Reason Revisited' 509 justice 499-506, S07-8 justification 507,510-11 Latv of Peoples 500, SOl, S02, 51H) maximin argument 505 moral justification 510-11 original position 503-6 Political Liberalism 506, S07-9, S10 Theory of JustJCe 499,500,502, S03, S04, SOS, 506, S10 utilitarianism 330,499,505 veil of ignorance 503-4 reason 274-6,278, )69-70 relativism 28-)0,8)-8,172,178,211-12

pity 241

republic 226-7,228,229,258-60 republicanism 257,465

social contract Burke 373-4 Locke 184-8,37) Rousseau 247,373

see also contractarianism social life 101-4,112-13 Socrates 40-S2

and democracy 51-2 elenchlls 43,44,45-6,48,51 interpretations of 41-4 paradoxes 44

Protagoras 27 reconciliation 49-50 trial of 46--9 Sophists 10,23-)6 Antiphon 23,24,33-5 Aristotle and 2S,88 Plato and 25,36

Taylor, Harriet 348 Thatcher, Margaret 463 Thrasymachus 23-4, )0-3 Thucydides 29 Tocqueville, Alexis de 288-)oS

ancien regime 297-9,300-1,302 assessment of 290 associations 295-6 centralization 297-8 democracy 290-6,301-2 Democracy in America 290---1,292-), 294-S, 296, 298, 301, )03-4 despotism 292-4,296 equality 299 freedom 294-6 genderrelations 30)-4 individualism 29),298 mentalites 291-2,294,297,299-300,3°1-2 morality 30)-S

CElIvres, papiers, et correspondances d'Alexis de TocqueviIle 290,291 Old Regime and the Revolution 297-9, )00-1, 302 religion 302-3

revolution 296-7,299-302 view of women 303-4 totalitarianism 66,239 tyranny 81,119-20,128,143

Protagoras 23,26-30


significance 24-6 Thrasymachus 23-4, )0-)

universalizability 487


United Nations 493 US Constitution 2S3, 255, 262, 265-6, 267-8

property 242 real will 247

Bentham 317-18

Antifederalist arguments against 256,257,258,

Burke 372,374-5

religion 248-9

Hobbes 169,173-5,178,195,374 Pufendorf, Samuel von 374-5

2S9-60, 264-5 bill of rights 266-8

republicanism 239-40 self-preservation 2-P-4 social contract 247,373 Social Comract 235,243, 2-\--\-,246-9,251 state of nature 240-1,244,245,241 State of War 241 totalitarianism 239

religion Burke )66,369, )7), 376, )78-9 Locke 196 Machiavelli 148-50 Marsiglia 126-7,133-4 Marx 409 Mill, J. S. ))5,)37,338,339-40 Nietzsche 438-.P,450 Rousseau 248-9 Tocqueville )02-) representation, theories of 260-5


selfhood 98-101, S)O self-preference )13, )20, )21 self-preservation 130,241-4 sexual equality 6S-6, 184 sexuality 281-2, 530---1 Shanley, Mary Lyndon, and Carole Pateman 356-7 Sidney, Philip 167 Simpson, Peter 80 Skinner, Quentin 4, S, 8-9, 15-16, 142, 166, 167 slavery 68,80,88,231,268,376 Smith, Adam 227 Smith, Nicholas D., and Thomas C. Brickhouse 43

view of women 277, 279, 280 views on 236,239 Wollstonecraft on 279 rule of law 193-6, )67-8,472-6

rule-utilitarianism 331

specialization 62-3,65,68,130,427 Stanlis, Peter 368 state 376-9,398-9,400,411-14 Stephen, Sir Leslie )70

utilitarian liberalism 330-4 utilitarianism 215,309-10,318,330-4,341 Bentham 310,312-13,314,315,321 Burke 365-8

Hume 204,2.05,2.13-14,331

Storing, Herbert 257 Strauss, Leo 16,42,43,245 subjectivity Foucault 529-31 Hegel 391, 39S.397-8, )99-400 succession (property rights) 209 Sunstein, Cass 490

Mill, J. S. 3)0-4

Rawls 330,499, 50 S

v values 425-6,427 Vaughan, Charles E. )70

5 Sabine, George IS


Sapiro, Virginia 272,216 scientism see positivism secularism 129-32,135,448-51

Talmon, J. L. 2)9 Taylor, A. E. 165,166,167 Taylor, Charles )90

Vienna Circle 462 Viroli, Maurizio 142, 239, 465 virtue 148,149,205-6,264-5,279,280 virtue ethics 77-8 Vlastos, Gregory 42-3 Voltaire, Fran~ois-Marie Arouet 222




sexuality 281-2 Vindication of the Rights of Men 273-4,275-6,277,

w war \05-6,121-2,243-4,376-8 War render, Howard 165-6,167 Weber, Max 483 Wetzel, James 99 Wilkins, Burleigh T. 368 William of Ockham 137 Wokler, Robert 245 Wollstonecraft, Mary 12, 270-85 assessment of 271-3 on Burke 274,275-6,277-8 citizenship 282-5 democracy 283-5 education 280 Education of Daughters 281 feminism 272 independence 280-1 Letters Written during a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark 271,275 Maria; or, The Wrongs of Woman 275,276,277, 281, 283

marriage 279-80,281-2,284-5 morality 278 motherhood 282-3 Political Writings (Revolution) 277-8 reason 274-6,278 rights of man 275,276-7 on Rousseau 279 sensibility 274,275,276


Vindication of the Rights of Woman with Strictures on lv[aral and Political Subjects 274-5,276,277, 278-83,284

virtue 279, 80 women's rights 272,273, 276, 277-84 women freedom of 276,277-84 place of 273 rights of 276,277-84,343-57 Rousseau's views on 236,239

suffrage 347-8>355 Tocqueville's views on 303-4 women's movement 347-8 Wood, Allen 410 Wood, Neal 9

x Xenophon 42,43

y Yates, Robert 254,256: see also Federalist: Brutus Young Hegelians 406,409