"This is a very well-informed, thoughtful and scholarly account that is destined to be read closely (and with great profit) by specialists in the field as well as by the students for whom it is primarily intended." Francis Oakley, Edward Dorr Professor of the History of Ideas and President Emeritus of Williams College "Professor Coleman demonstrates an admirable grasp of the detail and subtlety of the philosophical arguments, and their relation to social and historial circumstances, including trends in wider spheres of thought [...] I found the chapter on Plato particularly illuminating and students will find much of ambiguity in The Republic clarified by Coleman's discussion.[...] Students of specialist courses in Greek, Stoic and early Christian political thought will gain much from this scholarly and erudite book by an acknowledged expert in the field"David Boucher, Cardiff University English Historical Review Vol 117, June 2002Vom Verlag:
Janet Coleman's two volume history of European political theorizing, from the ancient Greeks to the Renaissance is the introduction which many have been waiting for. It treats some of the most influential writers who have been considered by educated Europeans down the centuries to have helped to construct their identity, their shared "languages of politics" about the principles and practices of good government, and the history of European philosophy. It seeks to uncover and reconstruct the emergence of the "state" and the various European political theories which justified it. This volume continues the story by focusing on medieval and Renaissance thinkers and includes extensive discussion of the practices that underpinned medieval political theories and which continued to play crucial roles in the eventual development of early-modern political institutions and debates.Throughout the author draws on recent scholarly commentaries written by specialists in philosophy, contemporary political theory, and on medieval and Renaissance history and theology. She shows that the medieval and Renaissance theorists' arguments can be seen as logical and coherent if we can grasp the questions they thought it important to answer. Janet Coleman strikes a balance between trying to understand the philosophical cogency of medieval and Renaissance arguments on the one hand, and on the other, elucidating why historically-situated medieval and Renaissance thinkers, respectively, thought the ways they did about politics; and why we often think otherwise. The volume will meet the needs of students of philosophy, history and politics, proving to be an indispensable secondary source which aims to situate, explain, and provoke thought about the major works of political theory likely to be encountered by students of this period and beyond.
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