Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Machiavellian Moment by J.G.A. Pocock

Chapter 1, Part 1

Temporality, Contingency and Infinity are necessary elements of human political society. Traditionally, philosophy's purview was not the temporal. But, republic/Aristotilian polis as well as Christianity dealt with the universal and its attainment. These universals were timeless. For Aristotle, the universals were values for which the citizens of the polis strove. For Christianity, it is a God who is outside of temporality but a Being for which humans strive to relate. Here, eternity is the goal of human striving.

We live with each other. There are modes of behavior under the rubric of politics. Initially, republicanism was the mode. Since it deals with events and their relationships, which are temporal, they are supra-philosophical--outside of philosophy. Republicanism is an explanation of events as its core which in term makes it a form of historicism.

The problem: How to overcome the republican ideal of universals with secular particularity?

No comments: