An analysis of the idea behind the theory of classical republicanism

These 20 contributions to political philosophy turn to the history of Roman republican political 21 thought as the basis of this alternative tradition.

An analysis of the idea behind the theory of classical republicanism

References and Further Reading 1. In the Euthyphro, for instance, Socrates seeks to know the nature of piety: Yet what he seeks is not given in terms of, for example, a list of pious people or actions, nor is piety to be identified with what the gods love.

Instead, Socrates seeks an account of piety in terms of some specification of what is shared by all things pious, or what makes pious things pious—that is, he seeks a specification of the essence of piety itself. The Socratic elenchus is a method of finding out the nature or essence of various kinds of things, such as friendship discussed in the Lysiscourage the Lachesknowledge the Theatetusand justice the Republic.

That method of considering candidate definitions and seeking counterexamples to them is the same method one uses to test candidate analyses by seeking possible counterexamples to them, and thus Socrates is in effect committed to something very much like the classical view of concepts.

One sees the same sort of commitment throughout much of the Western tradition in philosophy from the ancient Greeks through the present. Particular examples of classical-style analyses abound after Aristotle: For instance, Descartes in Meditation VI defines body as that which is extended in both space and time, and mind as that which thinks.

The classical view looks to be a presumption of the early analytic philosophers as well with Wittgenstein being a notable exception. The classical view is present in the writings of Frege and Russell, and the view receives its most explicit treatment by that time in G.

Moore gives a classical analysis of the very notion of a classical analysis, and from then on the classical view or some qualified version of it has been one of the pillars of analytic philosophy itself.

One reason the classical view has had such staying power is that it provides the most obvious grounding for the sort of inquiry within philosophy that Socrates began. If one presumes that there are answers to What is F? The nature of knowledge, for example, is that which is shared by all cases of knowledge, and a classical analysis of the concept of knowledge specifies the nature of knowledge itself.

So the classical view fits neatly with the reasonable presumption that there are legitimate answers to philosophical questions concerning the natures or essences of things.


As at least some other views of concepts reject the notion that concepts have metaphysically necessary conditions, accepting such other views is tantamount to rejecting or at least significantly revising the legitimacy of an important part of the philosophical enterprise.

The classical view also serves as the ground for one of the most basic tools of philosophy—the critical evaluation of arguments. For instance, one ground of contention in the abortion debate concerns whether fetuses have the status of moral persons or not.

If they do, then since moral persons have the right not to be killed, generally speaking, then it would seem to follow that abortion is immoral. The classical view grounds the natural way to address the main contention here, for part of the task at hand is to find a proper analysis of the concept of being a moral person.

If that analysis specifies features such that not all of them are had by fetuses, then fetuses are not moral persons, and the argument against the moral permissibility of abortion fails.

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But without there being analyses of the sort postulated by the classical view, it is far from clear how such critical analysis of philosophical arguments is to proceed.

So again, the classical view seems to underpin an activity crucial to the practice of philosophy itself. In contemporary philosophy, J.

An analysis of the idea behind the theory of classical republicanism

KatzFrank Jackson, and Christopher Peacocke are representative of those who hold at least some qualified version of the classical view. There are others as well, though many philosophers have rejected the view at least in part due to the criticisms to be discussed in section 4 below.

The view is almost universally rejected in contemporary psychology and cognitive science, due to both theoretical difficulties with the classical view and the arrival of new theories of concepts over the last quarter of the twentieth century. Concepts in General The issue of the nature of concepts is important in philosophy generally, but most perspicuously in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind.

Most generally, concepts are thought to be among those things that count as semantic values or meanings along with propositions. There is also reason to think that concepts are universals along with properties, relations, etc. Whether concepts are mind-dependent or mind-independent is another such issue.

Finally, concepts tend to be construed as the targets of analysis. If one then treats analysis as classical analysis, and holds that all complex concepts have classical analyses, then one accepts the classical view.

Other views of concepts might accept the thesis that concepts are targets of analysis, but differ from the classical view over the sort of analysis that all complex concepts have.

Concepts as Semantic Values As semantic values, concepts are the intensions or meanings of sub-sentential verbal expressions such as predicates, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs. The intension or meaning of a sentence is a proposition.

An analysis of the idea behind the theory of classical republicanism

The intensions or meanings of many sub-sentential entities are concepts.1. Political Liberty as Non-Domination. Absolutely central to the contemporary civic republican program is the conception of political liberty as non-domination or independence from arbitrary power, and so it makes good sense to begin with an explication of this idea.

Republicanism was the ideology of the American Revolution, and as such it became the source of much of what we Americans still believe, the source of many of our noblest ideals and most persistent values.

The Declaration of Independence, and Revolutionary Ideology Bibliographic Essay Jeffrey L. Littlejohn Revolutionary America April 26, European or British versions of classical republicanism. was essential that he find a "theory of government that provided a place for rebellion, that.

Building upon concepts of medieval feudalism, Renaissance scholars used the ideas of the ancient world to advance their view of an ideal government. Thus the republicanism developed during the Renaissance is known as 'classical republicanism' because it relied on classical models.

D. Classical republicanism. Correct The body of Western European political philosophy concerned with individual freedom and the role of government in . Classical republicanism, on the other hand, emphasized the community, holding that the primary characteristic of good government is the furtherance of the common welfare.

Americans, however, were able to resolve the apparent incompatibility between these two doctrines by holding that the furtherance of the common welfare is accomplished by.

Classical republicanism - Wikipedia