By William Anderson
Man's Quest for Political wisdom was once first released in 1964. Minnesota Archive variants makes use of electronic know-how to make long-unavailable books once more obtainable, and are released unaltered from the unique college of Minnesota Press editions.
Considering the significance of political technology as an educational topic in our time, it truly is wonderful that extra consciousness has no longer been given, before, to the historical past of political examine and instructing. As Professor Anderson's booklet makes transparent, an figuring out of this background throws gentle on questions considerably on the topic of easy difficulties of up to date political science.
By putting of their historic context pertinent advancements in precedent days, Professor Anderson indicates how the learn and educating of politics may well flourish less than convinced stipulations and falter or fail lower than others. through the ebook he demonstrates the reality of what Aristotle acknowledged concerning the research of politics: "In this topic as in others the simplest approach to research is to check issues within the technique of improvement from the beginning."
In early chapters the writer examines 3 literate societies of the traditional close to East—Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Israel. He then discusses, within the significant portion of the publication, the accomplishments of the Greeks, who, with their many self-governing city-states and their secular angle towards politics, spread out the learn of politics in a practical approach. the following he offers Aristotle the main well-liked function and reveals Plato less significant than such a lot students could anticipate. ultimately, he lines the decline of the political learn and educating within the Hellenistic interval and throughout the time of the Roman Empire.
The quantity could be of specific curiosity not just to political scientists yet to historians, philosophers, and classical scholars.
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Additional info for Man's Quest for Political Knowledge: The Study and Teaching of Politics in Ancient Times
Indeed, outside of Judah and Israel, as discussed in a later chapter, even public prophecy and the kinds of political discussions in which the prophets engaged were discouraged by the ruling powers. If, then, the Mesopotamian law codes and such law teachers as there were stuck closely to problems of private law, was there any political significance to the codes? Had they any effects in the direction of inculcating political knowledge? I think the answers to both questions must be yes. Clearly the monarchs under whose auspices and in whose names the codes were prepared and published had definite political objectives.
These are the questions of a modern man; they quite probably would have had no meaning to a man in the earliest literate societies. What is the difference, he might have asked. The king embodied or represented the whole nation in all its interests and activities. For anyone else to attempt to define and delimit his powers would be to imply that there was some power higher than his, and then the latter would presumably be king. 1 Samuel, when protesting against the Israelites' demand for a king— " .
If anything was taught about government under the guise of laws of the tribe, it must have been very limited. Knowledge of such matters was not necessarily secret or taboo in preliterate societies, although it was perhaps something of a mystery shared in by only the leading members; but certainly in many if not in most tribes there would have been but little encouragement given by the chiefs and elders to the young men to pry into such matters. Considerable variations from tribe to tribe must be assumed to have existed.