"Pocock is, without question, the leading historian of eighteenth-century British-American political thought. . . . All of his skills are brilliantly employed in the Introduction. . . . In addition to being the best treatment of Burke’s thought in context, it is . . . the best and most concentrated presentation of Pocock's own view of the main contours of eighteenth-century political thought. . . . Finally, the Reflections and other texts by Burke are then woven into this rich fabric, thus providing the reader with an understanding of Burke’s thought which is deeper and more complex (and surely more historically sensitive) than any available in the secondary literature." --James Tully, McGill University
"Of all the scholars who currently study the history of Western political thought, no one is more fertile, eloquent, and ingenious than J. G. A. Pocock." --Keith Thomas, in the New York Review of Books
Burke ranked among the era's most eloquent defenders of democracy; however, he also realized the dangers of unchecked liberty and that mob rule is in no way better than the reign of a king or dictator. His lucid and passionate manifesto, written in the form of letters, employs examples from the aftermath of the French Revolution to demonstrate the superiority of gradual political change over outright anti-authoritarian revolt. A believer in practicality rather than abstract theorizing, Burke articulates a defense of property, religion, and traditional values that continues to resonate with twenty-first century readers.
The beautiful, according to Burke, comprises that which is well formed and aesthetically pleasing. The sublime, on the other hand, possesses the power to compel and destroy. This distinction bears a noteworthy historical relevance, since the popular preference for the sublime rather than the beautiful indicates the transition from the Neoclassical to the Romantic era. Burke's dissertation is both a precursor of his later political writings and one of the first major works in European literature to explore the concept of the sublime—a topic as fascinating to eighteenth-century thinkers as it is to modern philosophers and critics.
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Kenntnisse can be used as core teaching material or as a supplementary text. The complete course comprises the student's book, 2x60 minute audio cassettes and a teacher's book.
Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves – and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives – and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
The volume sets the Reflections in the context of Western political thought, highlights its ongoing relevance to contemporary debates, and provides abundant critical notes, a glossary, and a glossary-index to ensure its accessibility. Contributors to the book examine various provocative aspects of Burke’s thought. Conor Cruise O’Brien explores Burke’s hostility to “theory,” Darrin McMahon considers Burke’s characterization of the French Enlightenment, Jack Rakove contrasts the views of Burke and American constitutional framers on the process of drawing up constitutions, and Alan Wolfe investigates Burke, the social sciences, and liberal democracy.