Against Throne and Altar: Machiavelli and Political Theory Under the English Republic

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Cambridge University Press, 7.9.2009 - 436 sivua
Modern republicanism - distinguished from its classical counterpart by its commercial character and jealous distrust of those in power, by its use of representative institutions, and by its employment of a separation of powers and a system of checks and balances - owes an immense debt to the republican experiment conducted in England between 1649, when Charles I was executed, and 1660, when Charles II was crowned. Though abortive, this experiment left a legacy in the political science articulated both by its champions, John Milton, Marchamont Nehdham, and James Harrington, and by its sometime opponent and ultimate supporter Thomas Hobbes. This volume examines these four thinkers, situates them with regard to the novel species of republicanism first championed more than a century before by Niccolo Machiavelli, and examines the debt that he and they owed the Epicurean tradition in philosophy and the political science crafted by the Arab philosophers Alfarabi, Avicenna, and Averroes.

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Paul A. Rahe holds a B.A. from Yale University, an M.A. in Litterae Humaniores from University of Oxford, and a Ph.D. in Ancient History from Yale University. He is the author, most recently, of Soft Despotism, Democracy's Drift: Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Tocqueville on the Modern Prospect (2009) and Montesquieu and the Logic of Liberty: War, Religion, Commerce, Climate, Terrain, Technology, Uneasiness of Mind, the Spirit of Political Vigilance, and the Foundations of the Modern Republic (2009). He has co-edited Montesquieu's Political Science: Essays on the Spirit of Laws and edited Machiavelli's Liberal Republican Legacy, and he has published a host of articles in journals and chapters in edited books. Professor Rahe is the Charles O. Lee and Louise K. Lee Chair in the Western Heritage and Professor of History and Political Science at Hillsdale College.

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