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Two Books from Thomas Pangle

New works explore Aristotle and challenges to the philosophic life

Posted: April 23, 2013

Aristotle's Teaching in the PoliticsThomas Pangle has published two new books. The first, Aristotle's Teaching in the "Politics," has been released by The University of Chicago Press. The second, Political Philosophy Cross-Examined: Perennial Challenges to the Philosophic Life (Essays in Honor of Heinrich Meier), is a volume co-edited with J. Harvey Lomax and released by Palgrave Macmillan as part of the Recovering Political Philosophy series, which Pangle co-edits with Timothy Burns.

From The University of Chicago Press:

With Aristotle’s Teaching in the “Politics," Thomas L. Pangle offers a masterly new interpretation of this classic philosophical work. It is widely believed that the Politics originated as a written record of a series of lectures given by Aristotle, and scholars have relied on that fact to explain seeming inconsistencies and instances of discontinuity throughout the text. Breaking from this tradition, Pangle makes the work’s origin his starting point, reconceiving the Politics as the pedagogical tool of a master teacher.

With the Politics, Pangle argues, Aristotle seeks to lead his students down a deliberately difficult path of critical thinking about civic republican life. He adopts a Socratic approach, encouraging his students—and readers—to become active participants in a dialogue. Seen from this perspective, features of the work that have perplexed previous commentators become perfectly comprehensible as artful devices of a didactic approach. Ultimately, Pangle’s close and careful analysis shows that to understand the Politics, one must first appreciate how Aristotle’s rhetorical strategy is inextricably entwined with the subject of his work.
 
From Palgrave Macmillan:
 
Political societies frequently regard philosophers as potential threats to morality and religion and even subject these thinkers to the gravest inquisitions and indictments. Socrates was executed for disbelieving in the gods of Athens, Jean-Jacques Rousseau was charged with capital crimes for his anti-Christian teachings, Galileo Galilei was found "vehemently suspect" of heresy, compelled to recant, and sentenced to incarceration for life. The contributors to Political Philosophy Cross-Examined aspire to reopen the case for the philosophic way of life while fully appreciating the harsh attacks advanced by its most fervent detractors. In an age where extremist movements, existentialism, and postmodernist thought challenge the authority of reason, the book is a seminal contribution to current literature on philosophy, politics, history, classics, and religion alike. Political Philosophy Cross-Examined is a festchrift in honor of Professor Heinrich Meier of the Siemens Foundation, the University of Chicago, and the University of Munich.

 Political Philosophy Cross-Examined

 

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