The Social and Political Thought of R. G. Collingwood

The Social and Political Thought of R. G. Collingwood

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This is the first comprehensive study of the political philosophy of the British philosopher R. G. Collingwood, best known for his contributions to aesthetics and the philosophy of history. However his political thought, and in particular his book The New Leviathan, have been neglected, even dismissed in some quarters. Professor Boucher argues for the importance of this political theory and provides a perspicuous account of its development and originality. He contends that The New Leviathan is an attempt to reconcile philosophy and history, theory and practice. Collingwood's distinctive contribution to modern political and social thought is seen as his sustained project of distinguishing utility from right, and right from duty; the passion for history coincides with the ethical thought because Collingwood wishes to identify dutiful, or moral, action with a historical civilization. Drawing on a wealth of manuscript material, this book will prove invaluable to political philosophers and intellectual historians.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 316 pages
  • 156 x 230 x 23mm | 470g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521892686
  • 9780521892681

Table of contents

Preface; 1. Collingwood in context; 2. The New Leviathan in context; 3. The two Leviathans and the criteria of rational action; 4. The development of the European mind; 5. Collingwood's liberal politics; 6. The state and the body politic; 7. The process of civilization; 8. Conclusion: civilization and its enemies; Notes; Index.
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