Political Philosophy on Republic - Dictionary of Arguments
Gaus I 170
Republic/Political Philosophy/Dagger: Some scholars have taken disagreements about the proper size of a republic to mark one way in which modern republicans have diverged from the path of classical republicanism. According to this view (Pangle, 1988(1); Rahe, 1992(2); Zuckert, 1994(3)), the truly classical republicans of ancient Greece saw civic virtue as desirable because it protected and preserved the polis in which the highest virtues could be cultivated (...). Cf. >State/Republicanism.
VsVs: By contrast, modern republicans, who stem from Machiavelli, are willing to accept representative government and large polities because of their conception of virtue, which allows
for commerce and acquisitiveness, and their concern for natural rights.
Other scholars are more impressed by the continuity of the republican tradition. Some of these,
such as Pocock (1975)(4), trace the line of development from the 'Atlantic republicans' of the seven-
teenth and eighteenth centuries back through Machiavelli to Polybius and Aristotle, while
Quentin Skinner (1998)(5) and others hold that modern republicanism derives primarily from Roman theory and practice (see e.g. Sellers, 1998)(6).
Dagger: Those who look back to Aristotle tend to stress the side of republicanism that calls for a life of public-spirited political participation; those who look to Rome stress the republican commitment to independence as freedom under the law. (See Honohan, 2002(7), for an analysis that stresses the distinction between participatory and rule-of-law republicanism.) In neither case, however, is there an attempt to draw a sharp or significant distinction between classical
and modern republicanism. To the contrary, these scholars take the historical consciousness of
- a consciousness reflected modern republicans in their tendency to look to the ancient world for
exemplars - as evidence of the continuity of the classical republican tradition.
1. Pangle, Thomas (1988) The Spirit of Modern Republicanism: The Moral Vision of the American
Founders and the Philosophy of Locke. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
2. Rahe, Paul (1992) Republics Ancient and Modern: Classical Republicanism and the American Revolution. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.
3. Zuckert, Michael (1994) Natural Rights and the New Republicanism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
4. Pocock, J. G. A. (1975) The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic
Republican Tradition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
5. Skinner, Quentin (1998) Liberty before Liberalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
6. Sellers, M. N. S. (1998) The Sacred Fire of Liberty: Republicanism, Liberalism and the Law. London: Macmillan.
7. Honohan, Iseult (2002) Civic Republicanism. London: Routledge.
Dagger, Richard 2004. „Communitarianism and Republicanism“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications_____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Gerald F. Gaus
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004