In Cultivating Citizens Dwight Allman and Michael Beaty bring together some of America's leading social and political thinkers to address the question of civic vitality in contemporary American society. The resulting volume is a serious reflection on the history of civil society and a rich and rewarding conversation about the future American civic order.
Responding to volatile criticisms frequently leveled at Leo Strauss and those he influenced, the prominent contributors to this volume demonstrate the profound influence that Strauss and his students have exerted on American liberal democracy and contemporary political thought. By stressing the enduring vitality of classic books and by articulating the theoretical and practical flaws of relativism and historicism, the contributors argue that Strauss and the Straussians have identified fundamental crises of modernity and liberal democracy.
_Cicero’s Practical Philosophy_ marks a revival over the last two generations of serious scholarly interest in Cicero’s political thought. Its nine original essays by a multidisciplinary group of distinguished international scholars manifest close study of Cicero’s philosophical writings and great appreciation for him as a creative thinker, one from whom we can continue to learn. This collection focuses initially on Cicero’s major work of political theory, his _De Re Publica_, and the key moral virtues that shape his ethics, but the (...) contributors attend to all of Cicero’s primary writings on political community, law, the ultimate good, and moral duties. Room is also made for Cicero’s extensive writings on the art of rhetoric, which he explicitly draws into the orbit of his philosophical writings. Cicero’s concern with the divine, with epistemological issues, and with competing analyses of the human soul are among the matters necessarily encountered in pursuing, with Cicero, the large questions of moral and political philosophy, namely, what is the good and genuinely happy life and how are our communities to be rightly ordered. The volume also reprints Walter Nicgorski’s classic essay “Cicero and the Rebirth of Political Philosophy,” which helped spark the current revival of interest in Cicero the philosopher. “This well-planned and exceptionally well-written collection of articles brings together leading Cicero scholars of our day on a carefully chosen set of topics. As such, this book is an invaluable account of the current state of Cicero studies, while advancing those studies.” —_Gerard Wegemer, University of Dallas_. (shrink)
Sharing Jefferson's view that when one "descends" from theory to practice "there is no better book than The Federalist," White also appreciates the book as possibly "the most influential work in the history of political technology". White seeks to understand better this work of Publius by exploring the philosophical culture that affected its authors. White is eminently sensible as he approaches this task, for not only does he recognize that The Federalist is not primarily a philosophical work, but he also (...) is wary of the "exaggerated claims" made at times in the name of intellectual history. The Federalist, if read with Hume's "strict philosophic eye," can be read well even by the nonphilosopher. White sets out to bolster and illuminate a careful reading by offering an interpretation that keeps "one strict philosophic eye on the text of Publius and the other on any philosophical text which influenced him when he was writing." The effort bears significant fruit. (shrink)