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The Centrality of the Regime for Political Science - ebook/pdf
The Centrality of the Regime for Political Science - ebook/pdf
Autor: Liczba stron: 105
Wydawca: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego Język publikacji: polski
ISBN: 978-8-3235-2648-3 Data wydania:
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Kategoria: ebooki >> psychologia i filozofia
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The book concentrates on the crucial Aristotelian concept of politeia, trying to show how its understanding has evolved for years, often towards fallacious interpretations. The text also points out how reconstruction of the original meaning of the concept can help in creating the frames for modern political science to avoid the traps of ethnocentrism and methodological reductionism that appear in most of todays models used by the political science and by the theories of the political systems. In the last 20 years interest in Aristotles works has increased, resulting in reconsideration of their problems, especially of Aristotelian political thought. Many researchers offered redefinitions of politeia, but it is worth noticing that most of the previous analysis did not take into consideration central role of the concept and its constant liveliness, suggesting rather its archaic character and usefulness only from the historical point of view. Clifford Agnell Bates Jr proves the opposite: for him politeia is the universal concept that helps to understand the internal structure of modern political systems, their dynamics and mutual relationships. Clifford Angell Bates Jr About The Centrality of the Regime for Political Science Autor koncentruje się na kluczowym Arystotelesowskim pojęciu politeia, ukazując, jak sposób jego rozumienia ewoluował przez lata, często w kierunku błędnych interpretacji. Wskazuje również, jak rekonstrukcja pierwotnego znaczenia tego pojęcia może pomóc w stworzeniu ram dla współczesnych nauk politycznych, pozwalając uniknąć pułapek etnocentryzmu i redukcjonizmu metodologicznego, obecnych w większości modeli wykorzystywanych dziś w naukach politycznych i teoriach systemów politycznych. W ostatnim dwudziestoleciu wzrosło zainteresowanie dziełami Arystotelesa, co zaowocowało nowymi analizami zawartej w nich problematyki, w tym zwłaszcza Arystotelesowskiej myśli politycznej. Wielu badaczy proponowało wcześniej redefinicję pojęcia politeia, warto jednak zauważyć, że w większości dotychczasowych analiz nie uznawano centralnej roli tego pojęcia i jego stałej żywotności, sugerowano raczej jego archaiczny charakter i użyteczność jedynie z historycznego punktu widzenia. Clifford Agnell Bates Jr The Centrality of the Regime dowodzi czegoś wręcz przeciwnego: dla niego politeia jest pojęciem uniwersalnym, które pomaga zrozumieć wewnętrzną strukturę współczesnych systemów politycznych, ich dynamikę i wzajemne powiązania.
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Introduction This little book tries to make the case for the centrality of what Aristotle called “the politeia” and contemporary political scientists call “the regime” in any attempt to have a science of politics. For the past decade, I have been engaged in an effort to clarify the concept of sovereignty, its origins, and its evolution in the history of political thought. The concept of sov- ereignty is a modern one that, nevertheless, can trace some of its origins from the nature and character of medieval kingship. Sovereignty plays a central role in how the modern state operates in the world, as well as playing a key role in the relations among nations. Now many scholars dealing with the issue of sovereignty have not been happy to accept this idea as a product of the medieval era and instead have sought to find its origins in Greek political thought, if not in the politics of the Greek polis. All too often they try to connect it with the concept of the kryos, or the politeuma. This has been assisted by the trend from the 17th century on to translate polis as “state” or “city-state.” I took up this issue in my earlier book, Aristotle’s Best Regime (Bates 2003, 17-26). And I agreed that it is anachronistic to do this because the very nature of the state, a concept created by Machiavelli and perfected by those following in his footsteps, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, et al., is fundamentally different from the concept of the polis. It is true that both the polis and the state are instruments of political community, but the state is the modern one with the modern philosophical assump- tions about nature’s defectiveness and the need for man to conquer it, while the polis is the ancient one with the ancient, classical philosophical assumption that nature is the ground that not only sustains the life of man, but also scopes out the potentialities of man’s excellences (a.k.a the virtues of man). But my eureka moment came when I realized that the state’s rela- tionship may not be at the level of the political community, i.e, its body, but may instead be in its form; that the state is the tool that gives form to the modern political community; and that those who say that Machia- centrality.indd 7 1/27/2017 4:38:27 AM 8 Introduction velli is silent about Aristotle’s politeia [a.k.a. regime or constitution] and speaks instead of “new modes and orders” and coins the concept of la stato [a.k.a the state] may be missing what old Nic (that is Machiavelli) might have done. We scholars might have noticed his bait and switch, but we may have missed that which was, in fact, switched. That the con- cept of the state, la stato, might be not the new political body, but in fact that which gives form to and life to that political body. That the state, is Machiavelli’s replacement for the Aristotelian concept of the politeia [the regime]. So the contrast is not between the polis and the state, but between the politeia and the state, between the two tools that give shape to or form to the political community. But we have then a problem with what Hob- bes and others do with Machiavelli’s state—for they make it the body pol- itic, the collective will of the body politic. What Machiavelli understood to be the tool that would give shape to the political order and give it life, became for Machiavelli’s successors the whole of the political order—that is to say it shifts from being an instrument in the creation of the whole to being the whole itself. For these later thinkers the state is the very body politic, itself. Thus the state becomes the form of the political community in modern political thought. So the conceptual contrast is not between the state and the polis, but between the state and the concept of the politeia, the regime. And the point of contention is not then the question of naturalness of the Ancient form (the polis) versus the conventionality of the modern form (the State), but rather the difference is the fact that the state—being an act of will and willing of the one who brings it to being and as a willed thing—its form is generally unitary and its whole is united as one (or ought to be, if healthy and strong) versus a whole that emerges out of discrete and even heterogeneous parts which might come together and share a life together but are not truly one united whole. The politeia (or the regime) is that which brings together the parts that form the given political community—but those parts remain, in fact, discrete parts. Thus any concept of the “general will” would be alien to the character of the politeia (regime) and because of that the politeia allows for a much more dynamic understanding of both the nature and the workings of the political community. This book will first look at the nature of the political community and it then shows the central role that the politeia or the regime (as many modern political scientists would today label the term) plays in giving centrality.indd 8 1/27/2017 4:38:27 AM Introduction 9 the political community its form, its shape, and its character. Then after an examination of Aristotle’s treatment of the concept, we turn to a how this critical concept is increasingly marginalized in the study of poli- tics. And finally we will turn to the attempt of political scientists in the mid-20th century to re-create a concept or framework that will allow observers of political behavior to capture the dynamic nature of politics and how those attempts all end up falling short of what Aristotle already had given the students of political science with his treatment of the poli- teia or regime. centrality.indd 9 1/27/2017 4:38:27 AM
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