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This book reveals that there are two general ways of thinking about the legal and the political: the modern which sees all through the lens of the state, and the traditional which begins with individuals and with the normative relations that exist as between them building only slowly towards the community and the state. On the modern view, the private law is understood as a method for achieving certain social goals. As such, it can be ignoredby political philosophy. For the traditional view, on the other hand, the private law is of central philosophical importance, because it is there that we observe a society's enunciation of its most fundamental political and legal values. Arguing that an understanding of the traditional view isessential to an understanding of the private law and of political life, this book highlights how the modern conception is seriously distorting in this regard. A story unfolds throughout the chapters; the story of the growth and decline of the traditional view in political and legal thought. It shows that the decline is much to be lamented and gives reason to hope that a rebirth may be in the offing.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. The Modern Conception of Political Philosophy and Law Part I: Discovery 2. Plato: A Beginning 3. Plato: A New Beginning 4. Aristotle 5. Cicero Part II: Establishment 6. Aquinas 7. Pufendorf 8. Kant Part III: Forgetting 9. Hobbes 10. Locke 11. The Utilitarians Part IV: Implications 12. Legal Analysis 13. Political Philosophy 14. Conclusion Bibliography