The Political Writings of Samuel Pufendorf
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The Political Writings of Samuel Pufendorf

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The seventeenth-century philosopher Samuel Pufendorf was one of the most widely read natural lawyers of the pre-Kantian era. This volume presents the basic arguments and fundamental themes of his political and moral thought. Selections from the texts of Pufendorf's two major works, Elements of Universal Jurisprudence and The Law of Nature and Nations, have been brought together to make Pufendorf's moral and political thought more accessible. The selections appear here in a new English translation which far exceeds what is currently available. The translator has constructed a rendering of the Latin that is sophisticated but clear, and the volume has been prepared with an emphasis on continuity and readability. The editor has included a substantive introduction intended to acquaint readers with Pufendorf and his political thought and to indicate why his work has relevance for contemporary political discourse.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 294 pages
  • 161.5 x 242.6 x 22.1mm | 681.78g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195065603
  • 9780195065602
  • 1,480,154

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This work is a fine service to scholars and teachers and must be warmly welcomed. * Ethics *show more

Back cover copy

Samuel Pufendorf's significance has long been understood by students of natural law, who remember him as the architect and systematizer of the modern natural law tradition begun by Grotius. His reputation has grown as scholars have begun to explore his influence on the Enlightenment, classical liberalism, and modern jurisprudence. Demonstrating how it is possible to live with political authority and why it is not possible to live well without it, Pufendorf's political philosophy remains most pertinent for anyone who wonders about the ethical legitimacy and practical necessity of the modern state. The Political Writings of Samuel Pufendorf presents the basic arguments and fundamental themes of the political and moral thought of Samuel Pufendorf with selections from the texts of his two major works, Elements of Universal Jurisprudence and The Law of Nature and of Nations. These two works have been brought together to make Pufendorf's moral and political thought more accessible with a new English translation, the first for both works in roughly sixty years. In this volume, Craig L. Carr, the editor, and Michael J. Seidler, the translator, have developed a volume that is comprehensive and representative of Pufendorf's thought without being repetitive, fragmented, or obscure. Contemporary students of politics and philosophy can find in Pufendorf an alternative to liberal individualism built upon a distinctive vision of human sociality.show more