Monday, May 26, 2008

The Machiavellian Moment

Republicanism is a form of historicism since it deals with sequence of events, events themselves and political interactive relationships. Basic conflict is explaining human sequences. Medieval thought avoided it by not creating a historicism. Rationality dealt with universals. Historicism itself was questionable because it by necessity was about time and contingency which were inherently not rational. With the Greeks, history as a philosophy was not solved or seen as a problem. Aristotle's cyclic view of time based on the perfect sphere served as a metaphor for time in human interactions. It took other modes of thought superseding the Christian one to develop an historical frame of reference for the temporal or human. Christianity discarded the cyclical view because of the obvious constraints it imposed on a God outside and superior to time. Philosophy itself was inadequate to reconcile universals within a temperal context. Political society is time bound, contigent and particular. New modes of thought developed outside of philosphy to deal with this fact. Republicanism revealed the tension by offering universal values for the attainment of human perfection within a politcal context that was time bound. The tension of universal values within an imperfect and changable temporal mode of existence is the heart of the matter.

The goal--a philosophy of history--republicanism is a philosophy of history.

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