European Journal of Political Theory 17 (4):391-410 (2018)

The 18th-century French political theorist the Baron de Montesquieu described honour as the ‘principle’ – or animating force – of a well-functioning monarchy, which he thought the appropriate regime type for an economically unequal society extended over a broad territory. Existing literature often presents this honour in terms of lofty ambition, the desire for preference and distinction, a spring for political agency or a spur to the most admirable kind of conduct in public life and the performance of great deeds. Perhaps so. But it also seems to involve quite a bit of what the contemporary philosopher Aaron James calls ‘being an asshole’, and the article will explore what happens to Montesquieu’s political theory of monarchy – which is foundational for an understanding of modern politics – when we reverse the usual perspective and consider it through the lens of the arsehole aristocracy.
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DOI 10.1177/1474885118783603
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References found in this work BETA

On Human Conduct.David Copp - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (2):235.
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Is Liberal Society a Parasite on Tradition?Samuel Bowles - 2011 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 39 (1):46-81.

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