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By James V. Schall

"Pleads eloquently for the recovery of politicalphilosophy to the valuable place it as soon as occupied in ourtradition, and it demanding situations political philosophy itself toremain real to its nature...".An attentive reader will getfrom this stimulating e-book clever guide on what's worthfighting for and at the limits of the prospective in politicalaction".

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Example text

The answer to the question of what is the "best" regime mayor may not be the same as the question of where this best regime exists. The best regime according to the classics existed in speech, in argument, not in fact. This response was brilliant and at the same time unsatisfactory. b. What is the nature of human happiness? Political "science" asks about the nature of human happiness in general and, separately, about human happiness insofar as man is a mortal during his time on earth. These questions are not identical.

Was the choice of Socrates to be a philosopher the wise choice, the only real choice for a good man to make? Or were other forms oflife equally legitimate? Were not philosophers few and were there not many other things to be done? Was not the life of the poet, or the politician, or the craftsman (the professions of the three accusers of Socrates) equally attractive to the young citizen seeking to be what he ought to be? Did the roles of the craftsman, poet, and lawyer in the condemnation of Socrates reveal defects in the souls of his accusers, defects that led to the essential imperfection of every polity?

We are to show our superiority by being "a-pathetic," that is, by not allowing anything to affect us, even our passions. Aristotle maintained that passions existed, should be ruled, and were in themselves good and indicative of virtue's subject and possibility. Moral virtues in this new system after Aristotle were held to surpass theoretic or speculative virtues. This order was exactly the opposite of that found in the Greek classics, where the moral virtues were ordained to the theoretic virtues, whose purpose was to discover what is.

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