Blurbs: ““Hegel and Plato are towering figures in the history of philosophy, but often readers puzzle over what they are saying. There are very few books that deal with them clearly and intelligently. Hardly any that do so jointly. This book is exceptional in offering a clear, scholarly and intelligent guide to their work. It focuses upon how Plato and Hegel deal with nature. While recognising the subtlety of Plato and Hegel on nature, Vicky Roupa establishes a nuanced yet clear exposition of their thought. The bonus is that the books is written in a highly readable style. This is a great book!”
– Gary Browning, Professor of Political Thought, Oxford Brookes University
This book examines nature as a foundational concept for political and constitutional theory, drawing on readings from Plato and Hegel to counter the view that optimal political arrangements are determined by nature. Focusing on the dialectical implications of the word ‘nature’, i.e. how it encompasses a range of meanings stretching up to the opposites of sensuousness and ideality, the book explores the various junctures at which nature and politics interlock in the philosophies of Plato and Hegel. Appearance and essence, inner life and public realm, the psychical and the political are all shown to be parts of a conflictual structure that requires both infinite proximity and irreducible distance. The book offers innovative interpretations of a number of key texts by Plato and Hegel to highlight the metaphysical and political implications of nature’s dialectical structure, and re-appraises their thinking of nature in a way that both respects and goes beyond their intentions.”
Blurb: “This book develops an account of embodied experience that extends from Descartes’s conception of the human body as firmly integrated into the causal play of nature to Kant’s understanding of anthropology as a discipline that provides us with guidance in our lives as embodied creatures. It defends the claim that during the early modern period, the debate on experience not only focused on questions arising from the subjectivity of our thinking and feeling, it also forcefully foregrounded the essentially embodied dimension of our lives as humans. By taking this approach, the book departs from the traditional epistemological route so dominant in treatments of early modern conceptions of experience. It shows that, far from merely raising concerns that either challenge or endorse the idea that experience is able to generate knowledge, the concept formed an essential part of a much broader debate. This debate was moral in nature and raised questions about the developmental potential of human beings and their capacity to instantiate in their lives a form of self-determined agency that allows them to act as responsible agents.”
This book assesses the roles of Pericles, Alcbiades, and Nicias in Athen’s defeat in Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War. Comparing Thucydides’ presentation of political leadership with ideas in Plato’s Statesman as well as Laches, Charmides, Meno, Symposium, Republic, Phaedo, Sophist, and Laws, it concludes that Plato and Thucydides reveal Pericles as lacking the political discipline (sophrosune) to plan a successful war against Sparta. Hogan argues that in his presentation of the collapse in the Corcyraean revolution of moral standards in political discourse, Thucydides shows how revolution destroys the morality implied in basic personal and political language. This reveals a general collapse in underlying prudential measurements needed for sound moral judgment. Furthermore, Hogan argues that the Statesman’s outline of the political leader serves as a paradigm for understanding the weaknesses of Pericles, Alcibiades, and Nicias in terms that parallel Thucydides’ direct and implied conclusions, which in Pericles’ case he highlights with dramatic irony. Hogan shows that Pericles failed both to develop a sufficiently robust practice of Athenian democratic rule and to set up a viable system for succession.