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Moses Politikos The Limitations
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Political Philosophy: An
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Michael P. Zuckert
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34:25-30. interpretation. Further (Charlton Heston This essay draws from occasional interpretive talks on the Hebrew Scriptures given between and 1998 at the Ohave Sholom Synagogue in Rockford. us examine some discovering consistency of the more interesting points wherever possible. Illinois." University of Chicago Law Spy Mission: Some Lessons June 1994 issue of on School. Jack Miles.Moses Politikos Jules Gleicher Rockford College The career of Moses has commended itself as a source of valuable learning to social thinkers as noteworthy and diverse as Niccolo Machiavelli. not a scrapbook. under of 1994.2 Though highly episodic. to restate the question more qualities politely (for God can. does Moses display that reveal him to us as choiceworthy? he is a most some ways calculated unlikely candidate. at first. No. of life Why What In does the LORD first choose Moses as His agent? Or. of the Loyola Source. we add this proviso its various parts. of course. Vol. that earned them rebuke in the Patriarch Jacob's deathbed statements 49:5-7). that later befalls Simeon's descendants. His Levite lineage is not. It also takes inspira from the seminar on Law and Religion in Biblical Antiquity. I am grateful to Rabbi Elihu and my fellow parishioners for allowing me the privilege of the pulpit. choose whomever He wishes). George Anastaplo. Section IX previously appeared under the title "The Mosaic Political Leadership from an Ancient and Venerable in the the Illinois Political Science Association Newsletter. 26. But for the same Moses' rehabilitation absorption the Levites. It was Levi and Simeon who led the mas a rash act sacre at Shechem. we might expect them to suffer into the nearby tribes and disap fate. that it a comes to us as a book. and sponsorship of the National Endowment from Professor George Anastaplo. and Martin Buber. academic political like Michael Walzer.3 one can hardly call them blessings of to his sons (Gen. to command respect. "redacted") into a more or less coherent whole. Winter 1999. of Cornell University. Sigmund scientists Freud. in the summer that I attended. pearance. the Torah was at some point compiled (or in the of the trade. let works. 2 . and Aaron Wildavsky. it tells Moses' story and that should be read with a view to This said.1 The present study continues this enterprise. for the Humanities. and Biblical commentators like Nahum Sarna. directed by Professor Calum 1994 Milder tion Carmichael. While we accept on trust Biblical scholarship's assumption of the multiple the origins of phrase that whatever authorship of the books of Moses. and Elie Wiesel.
As befits the occasion. though passionate. 3:1-6). The rabbis sometimes draw a contrast. Like a good chess player. His second response to God in the burning when bush is to ask what divine name he shall report to the Israelites he tells them he has been sent by the God of their notes. 44-45. protestations of self-doubt at this point and 22) is read.150 Interpretation is already an old man when he receives the divine call has spent his first eighty years in one or another non-Hebrew Egyptian prince. then his as a notwithstanding). who occupation. elders and officers. his princely Egyptian up to the centuries Israelites' of servitude dynasty that not have crushed the spirit. when the text describing the Patriarch Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son Isaac (Gen. is not heedless. 10. does he have in his favor? For bringing. 5:1-23). he is encounter with as an Midianite shepherd. 13-14). his shepherds (Exod. When. the in favor of Abraham. 50). 7:7). he when 2:16-17). 4:19-20. But whatever . kindred. As he himself discovers. Yet God Himself from the midst of the Moses in an his face in fear (Exod. Moses (Exod. God has told him only to speak fathers. is his killing of the he "went out to his brothers and saw their burdens" (Exod. pp. and to obtain that. 12:1-4). act that we see The first Egyptian Moses perform. then. 10). and father's house to the land that God is contrast invariably him (Gen. that is. His courage. But. He thus indicates both his identifica nurture. is understanding of which things truly are to be feared and which conceals grounded are not. as Nahum Sarna nicely to Pharaoh (Exod. he name the god who be able to has recruited him (Sarna. In his initial the LORD he assignment ineloquence anger and lack of other credentials so five times. also at a respect (seventy-five). "knew Joseph" one. he may seek to his by taking family with him. but the qualities of leader and They may have their own liberator must be bred under different conditions.) for justice shows itself again when he arrives in Midian and rescues years Jethro's daughters from the later still. will to go forth from his show land. 2:11-12). and his first meeting with disaster that leaves him in despair (Exod. not sees the reveals harassing burning bush. for he strikes the Egyptian only that no one was watching. 3:13. (For a he "turned this way and and saw (or so he thought) different interpretation of this gesture. 3:11. Moses has on the people's religious milieu must already reckoned that in order to speak credibly to Pharaoh behalf he must enjoy their confidence. the men who What. as the father of faith. especially at Rosh Hashanah. Under reluctant to take on one more resists career change. He is episode also quick minded. between Moses' Abraham's unquestioning able age obedience when he is first called. see His passion that" Walzer. Even surance that all stall the mission a Pharaoh is earlier sought to kill him are dead. p. first standably. he is thinking two moves ahead. despite his Egyptian after teous indignation. bush first impulse is fear but curiosity. a as a who was beating Hebrew slave." when young man. protesting his persistently as to provoke God's then he needs the added reas (Exod. 13. This act. and his capacity for righ tion with the Hebrews. 4:1. in a where to name a being is in a sense to capture its essence.
is one he must refuse (Exod. his from Midian to Egypt. too. Deut. He does what not always he is told. patriarchal rule. 18:19-26. apparent to justify God's choice of him to us. in conjunction with character. II As Moses embarks upon his mission of cially perplexing passage.g.. a seeker of glory. nor with himself equipped to seeing what he is not: He is passive like Isaac. (When God first [Exod. is why the offer with which the LORD repeatedly tempts him when the Israelites stray. defects. Num. e. head-over-heels in love 37:9). appreciate that Abraham is not a man of great political ambition. like all merely personal rule. he is impervious. to sweep them away and to make of him a great nation. that is. Moses has his faults. not we can personally nor ambitious Jacob. But enough of 1 :22-26). One must. nor wily like by and given to delusions of god- hood like Joseph (Gen. is as strong Moses' or as weak as the patriarch of the moment. To be sure. He calls his name twice of 3:4.] Is the second call necessary because Moses is simply hard hearing?) He tends to take sound ideas to extravagant lengths. what their number and intricacy may make it easy to miss. etc. abortive and that when similarly appeal to Moses He does later. That the LORD does in their first encounter.Moses Politikos 151 Abraham may later become on the score of faith. 13:1-2. the Torah ceive the to experience Moses' Mount Sinai to It Law as a spiritual ascent above the rule even of virtuous men. how blessed the Children of Israel are in their commandments. Num. the father of multitudes. addresses him from the listen carefully enough to burning bush. By exposing the flaws. a blessing to all nations of the earth. Num. and nearly every other command God gives him. He. and will not his own mistakes admit (see. the book of Genesis value of by contrasting them later. Zipporah. and we encounter an espe their sons are traveling . With the book discover much about purity Genesis as a backdrop. is coupled with the promise that he will be come a great nation. Often be like eleven ing what life would without way. Conversely. Essentially. 17-20. Exod. These flaws become his nobility is now increasingly pronounced over time. Thus. the first something only by see it. 14:11-19. cf. The Torah. 32:7-14. arguably teaches in this chapters of the book of Genesis show what the Chosen People a world that discover the world would under be like without a the weight of its corruption and that rest of deserves to be wiped out periodically sinks in a Great would Flood. too. prepares us and scandals of ascent at the patriarchal pe re riod. So. this first call. the without Genesis reveals what that Chosen People be the Law. and the stories that with what comes define. 32:9-14.5 like Abraham. wife liberation. in the Golden Calf and Moses' spy mission episodes. personal 16:19-22). 14:11-20). This. we may be better we appreciate the characters who populate. Num. also allows us to appreciate. implies Moses greater of of character (Exod.
152 At Interpretation a night encampment on the way. he asks her father Jethro.6 J document was a These readings assume too much about what the characters involved. The critic going quickly to Harold Bloom cites this incident of as one of several in which acts female heroism in this case. 19). Years before. Zipporah and blood" which the word regel is sometimes a euphemism 6:2]) does touch? What is the significance of the phrase "bridegroom of its formula-like ened? And why does this Second. 4:18). because the text has us witness the LORD'S first conversation with him. seems to emerge perhaps a fragment of some earlier source material. and which radically change the course of author of the original together tend to demonstrate that the woman. a few lines later. fault not as one of an haste but delay: instead Egypt. Others.. Is. of and touched his legs it. see including literary of the great medieval commentator of Rashi. saying. or First. "A bridegroom blood because the 4:24-26) just happens. called he first defended the Midianite daughters. But Zipporah did not witness it. a past 2:15ff. from and to go nowhere. the a LORD her encountered him and sought to kill him. know why Moses is going to Egypt. that he assumes his extraordinary mission to overlook the hastily Moses' as ordinary obligation of an Israelite under the Abrahamic Covenant. rupting God as suddenly prophet. these lines have no obvious repetition? or action protect whoever connection is threat to those immediately preceding following. know at this point. "Let faring" back to my kinsmen in Egypt and see how they are (Exod. she added. 2:14) why should he have . he conceals from him the full story behind his return to Egypt. they was then him an Egyptian (Exod. Rather. at esp. that "Moses told Aaron about all which the things that the LORD had committed to him and all the signs about that He had instructed him" (Exod. we readers and rereaders of the Torah may know too much about what has already happened and will happen to see the situation as it unfolds to those in its midst. and no apparent reason momentarily dis Most troubling is its depiction of seeking to kill his recently chosen A has so common rabbinical neglected interpretation has it that God is angry because Moses to circumcise his son. an otherwise fairly for smooth narrative. it is not clear what the LORD seek to kill Moses Moses' son? Whose legs [cf. Put another way. This is me go underscored when we read. So Zipporah took with flint and cut off a son's foreskin. Does The for passage is full of problems. "You are truly bridegroom of of blood to me!" And when He let him (Exod. alone. and there is no indication that Moses told her of it. Zipporah's capaciousness in opposing the impish God Yahweh's events. The brief story. he boldness tarries at inn. It is a not even clear when Jethro and his family know that Moses is priest's Hebrew. Given that he one fleeing from his past that included ever least cor- Hebrew's rejection of him (Exod. or feet (or genitals. espe cially Zipporah. We. That is. 4:28). for instance.
is the company he The LORD has already designated Aaron as his spokesman and com panion. 20). finally custom enter the land of Canaan. His deadly anger. then it from three- Exodus 2:6 that Moses himself Hebrew ritual: else would have been On the circumcised according to the the the Israelites Pharaoh's daughter have child?7 recognized when month-old infant as a Hebrew other men hand. without the Law. On the other hand. sees not as a case be) suddenly with the acts and works incantations. but as a Midianite healing call ritual. could the Midianites. 5:2forty of displacement and slavery in Egypt.Moses Politikos rected this misimpression? 153 son of (See he also Wiesel. But why would such a ritual appease the LORD? why God is angry in the first place. What toll a written would centuries desert wandering (Josh. circumcising 221). but because her the act inadvertently whence promotes the divine intent. it mocks God's command. 17:18-21. Not because Moses tarries inn. Hence. appears also the might Egyptian practice. and restores his mission to its proper character. At more chooses. This prohibition is officially seen as a punishment for his disobedience at Meribah. but Moses presumes to bring his family along (Exod. where he pro- . pp. She and the boys return to after Midian. God needs to command assurance that "all the men who sought to kill you are dead" him again. 34:4). As Bloom notes. this slows his progress across the desert. it. turning a serious political mission into a family outing. because the had lapsed during 8). What does this not allow episode enter tell us about Moses? It is well Moses to the Promised Land (Deut. does wasn't an Egyptian? Zipporah know Abraham the Abrahamic Cove to the line of wife what either Moses or nant of circumcision? While the Covenant itself as was reserved Isaac. 245). Zipporah's her son from further travel. and perhaps followed the regional ouin custom of Hertz. Conversely. his departure from Midian is not hasty. too bris. and at its root. Bed have known something p. act. 25:1-6. adding the (Exod. At worst. for even after Jethro grants him leave. Joshua has their years the of circumcised. because Zipporah faces Him down. the least. 4:18-19). To make a night encampment is a necessity (The Book of J. descendants about of by his third Keturah. p.8 accompanying While this its intended effect the invalid recovers to it female heroism makes rather Let us ask again at an much of it. Perhaps important than his pace. encampment: we can reconstruct what happens may at the night Zipporah taken deathly Moses (or Gershom. She responds by circumcising her son. Jethro brings them to Moses later. 18:1-7). If this was How their boys at age thirteen (Gen. as the ill.) As about the foster Pharaoh's And daughter. forces Moses to continue alone. have taken on memory of the pact between God and Abraham? With these thoughts in mind. departure from Egypt known that God does (Exod. by debilitating enables which is surely directed at Moses himself. 187-89. quickly. 4:14-17. the journey from Midian to Egypt is difficult under any circumstances. him to go more not So God relents.
that he may typically at add most consequential example. is strikingly or perhaps It a affirms status as a Levite. treats this dereliction as unique in otherwise flawless career (Hertz. Moses' dealing only these three tribes. While Levites' genealogical detours partial. as an innovation connected this is at odds with many passages in the book of Genesis. the last straw in a succes sion of Mosaic mistakes. they do not heed and reaffirms His intention to free the Israelites. 34:10). it is noted snidely. descended from a Canaanite . But where several promi Why would God mislead Moses about of this? The remainder of chapter 6 is a parenthesis. This interpretation leaves at uneasy The reading just offered of the encampment incident. With the rise of a new royal family Joseph" who 1:8) the presumption to to the tribe of lead. Isaac. Ill At Exodus 6:2-13. 4:1. 41:37-45)." name It would appear that the name LORD is being revealed to Moses and the with Israelites as something hitherto unknown. whom the an us LORD knew face to face (Deut. and Jacob as El Shaddai. Simeon. God again reveals Himself to Moses by Name and as the God when of the Patriarchs. is his transformation of a promis ing testimonial mission into a doomed spy mission. The filiopious tradition. 20:7-12). because there compared to no more than these two tribes and Levi. something of his own to God's orders. but I did not make myself known to them by My YHWH. a prime minister and the who enjoyed the prestige of descent from daughter of an Egyptian high "knew of not priest (Gen. rather than by speaking to (Num. based on the principle Reuben. for God. "I am the LORD. bring forth leadership would likely claim to have belonged to the Josephite tribes. 655-56). or in their default. 13). 10. Moses' which together support initial self-doubts about his suitability for the job (Exod. The text implicitly are more ac knowledges this by Why them eon is Levi's eight one of superior? surveying At first glance. the leader of Israel. presenting the names and the families are of the tribes of Reuben. with Levi. mindful of the teach a rock by ing that there never again arose in Israel a prophet like Moses. The Numbers 13. Under the former Egyptian dynasty. the start. however. suggests that mode of operation from deviation from divine commands is a feature of Moses' the apparent excessiveness even ingratitude of God's reaction. At the start of this passage is the state ment. But this message. 3:11. for which we can say that he is partly to blame for the forty years in the wilderness (see section IX be low). of Levite families. this one. pp. The rock incident at Meribah is thus. I appeared to Abraham. common. four from Reuben and six from Sim woman them. Moses doubts his ability to convince the presumably more skeptical Pharaoh. would have gone to Simeon.9 the Exodus. principle claim primogeniture. nent characters use the word LORD. (Exod.154 duces God Interpretation water from commands it as striking it twice.
Moses Politikos (Exod. for not only restorer of the forefathers' faith but establisher of the Is it Moses' perhaps essential spiritual rehabilitation at this point. could not. the nearest Hebrews could come. Moses had even reproached God quota of for sending him on a fool's errand (Exod. 18:12). righteous Gen happen to be Hebrews? Again. but as as "fearing fear the God" (Exod. without scandal. But by the eve plague it is reported that Moses "was much esteemed in the land of the of last Egypt. tian credentials in Moses' something lineage: the fact that his father Amram perhaps marriage" the Josephite tribes' Egyp took to wife his own father's sister. may have not erased even the vocabulary we of their forefathers' faith. "Ehyeh asher in bad English but maybe good ontology (or Hebronics). He is He chooses to be. 6:20). Thus. In a conspicuous show of despair. but that the Levites reminiscent of keep detailed records. the text we indulge a luxury that Moses and the Israelites having not yet been LORD may indeed be new for the Israelites in Egypt. When we read Exodus 6:3 with Genesis in the background. when the old king dies and the Isra under or even elites' bondage increases to the LORD cry and out his successor. in effect. But this is just "families" 155 a trick. ordering that they no longer be given straw to make their bricks. "I be as I (Exod. 5:22-23). Israelites' audience with Pharaoh. But be" as God has already told Moses when first asked about His name. Might "god-fearing" understand the phrase (with "g"). they were described." be conjured out of his bottle by intoning different God a name. a small 1:17). as God-who-Redeems is from God-who-Promises. record without a written by guardians who have a knack for keeping. they are said to cry out. we even not as fearing the LORD. 6:14-25). apologetic. 3:14). and the Israelite foremen had cursed the two for the harm they had done. This God is not some genie who can what ehyeh. Four hundred years of exile Torah preserved slavery. but not to to God (Exod. thus insuring that in this respect as well as others there will never again arise in Israel a prophet like Moses (Lev. they recognize the command as wicked and punishment that tiles who any just god would exact? Are they. that is. king had increased burden. When the Hebrew midwives disobeyed the previous Pharaoh's command to kill recorded. The Mosaic Law will forbid marriages tives whose consanguinity is that of Moses' parents. This may entirely dispose of the discrepancy have noted. The credential that creates for Moses is thus Sacred Name. accomplished by vite point in the third there is generation rather than the second. 2:23). to the Egyptian royal custom of "sacred and sister between brother between rela (Exod. counting the Le Perhaps the more is not the specific numbers. Further. . and for his overall political leadership with that he so conceive of himself? point. chapter 5 his standing the Israelites was at a low the By the end of Following his and the Aaron's first. the name the boy children. and the significance of the same vocalization as may be different for the captive Israelites than for the Patriarchs.
9:11). 10:7). The seventh sees some of his they warning (Exod. they into into onto will your your ascend. onto all your servants will the frogs ascend! . seventh. the notorious hardening of Pharaoh's heart. and boils produce physical discom fort. into your bedroom. and the land reeked. hail. let the Israelites might go too soon. With the sixth the magicians cannot courtiers eighth by his side heeding urge to confront Moses (Exod. so gloomy that for three days "a man could not not arise from his (Exod.156 Interpretation people" among Pharaoh's courtiers and among the in the interim is his rise in status (which (Exod. onto people. and locusts destroy Egypt's economy. Thereafter he must face Moses in man to man and the LORD god to God. Egypt. couch. let us his people's recall. generosity. and of their sequence? ranged Although what not perhaps not evident an from the substance of is for Pharaoh an ascending order of seriousness. provoke disgust: The fish that and the were in the Nile died. This would in turn tempt them to the idolatry with of Pharaoh Hence. he is a king and. each. and a man could seems as much psychological as . 11:3). 7:11-12. fourth. He cannot give in too easily. darkness a darkness so thick it could be felt. blood the frogs. Egyptians drink water from the Nile. the erosion of Pharaoh's political support. 8:3). your you. 7:21. What we see parallels the decline in Pharaoh's). they will come house. The first two. is opinion. replicate just adversary. The ninth. are perhaps. heaps. God cannot permit him to be too their accommodating. from the court-yards. upon your ovens and into your dough-pans. And when Moses warns of the capitulation (Exod. heaps upon houses. and eighth cattle disease. 10:21-23) spot" see his brother. But the magicians cannot replicate the third plague (Exod. (Exod. from the They piled them up. The seventh. 9:20). they are ar Pharaoh. could not and Nile reeked. from failure and laughingstock to acknowledged leader. Beginning the fourth the Israelites appear immune (Exod. 8:18). the blood was throughout all the will swarm with land of The Nile frogs. 8:14). The fifth. IV What in sense can we make of the ten plagues that afflict Egypt. and from the fields. and sixth lice. his court magicians can the staff-to-serpent trick or the first two plagues (Exod. serious effects on the and The we see plagues' increasingly Egyptians are also evident if them groups. 8:9-10' The third. insects. Were he to to the LORD'S By the same token. perhaps the crucial turning marks Moses' point in this sequence. 28-29. 22. they would owe freedom not but to Pharaoh's worship. [T]he frogs died away. in his as when own and a god.
"[J]ust on account of this I have allowed you to withstand. the like is of which will never for there is house in which there not a dead man. flanked of one apiece after which he by two sets of two increasingly wavers. And the tenth. The from seeing to hearing may also anticipate the ascendancy of the Law the Israelites hear at Mount Sinai (Deut. decaying ascent carcasses' odor might also place position blood-and-frogs Perhaps its in the middle of the list is an appropriate compromise. the locusts fathers' be "as neither your upon fathers nor your fathers have seen/ from the day of their being the soil until this day" (Exod. is the vindication God's that itous succession of random. of the and the 157 first-born. vision: and boils strikes the sense of touch. This with deal Moses after the second. from disgust to discomfort to destruction to de to decimation. sixth. cry in Egypt. note too that We the water of first group. the slaying of the and first-born. 24). the slaying is an event without equal that decimates Egypt: Then the shall there be a cry throughout never all the land of Egypt. . 19-24. senseless visitations [the plagues] are not a fortu of Nature's blind fury.Moses Politikos physical. occurred . The next lice. 8:4-6. it from the olfactory senses cattle disease. Pharaoh" plagues./ to make you see my power." to the first." produce an unprecedented unmatched "cry throughout the a progression Only the fifth plague. will Finally. Pharaoh relents and seeks to strike a ninth plagues fourth. fifth. As a big observed event should belong to the later hail-locusts-darkness it with the group. But the group. Hence. the land stinks from decay the ing by all fish and frogs. 12:30) Here is spair a crescendo of doom. into three groups before and two sets Sarna divides the first repeated verbal raoh. This eighth. 9:16). land. attacks taste and smell the Nile becomes loathsome to drink. 6:4) over the idols and other visually represented gods Other textual details suggest of the heathen. psychology is of isolating despair. 10:6). be again. like of which has [T]here was a great not a been. but the . insects. other organizing principles./ and in order that they might recount will my such name throughout the land" (Exod. And the third. happen without warning. 1 1:6. blood and frogs. to touch to vision to hearing. 10:16-17. . And darkness obviously compromises seeing. . He tells him to "go to and ninth before the second. ." nine plagues of three. (Exod. based on formulas: God prior orders Moses to "station himself before Pha and seventh "in the morning. 21-24. structural of symmetry "emphasize[s] that what has active presence in the life of the world. pattern. and produces a quasi-symmetrical which array in of Pharaoh's obstinacy: three central plagues through he remains most resolute. seventh. (Exod. Likewise. fourth. 5:4. as already mentioned. the first and in each triad. eighth. . does not fit into this something heard. 9:27-28. Three more plagues implicate God announces the plague of hail saying.
pp. The pollution of dead fish would in turn frog population onto the land. training We to and toughness to resist and Israelites have apparently acquired military drive off the Amalekites (Exod. 600. A mere two months later. are not told the size of this enemy Israelites' force. of course. pp. not work for the a supernatural event. lest they "have (Exod. ' ' tenth plague. by curse the LORD Both ter. plagues' orderliness denotes divine intelligence to the attempt of another scholar. the Moses' by God. 14:10-12. which would kill off the frogs and later the tians' the Egyp cattle. enough they themselves number Walzer. Again. unsuited for warfare at upon this point.000 (Exod. soil as to produce enough locust infestation have so eroded the out the sun. would a kind of sand and dust storm common to the region in the spring that usually causes atmospheric and haze. Moses. and return to Egypt" They "600 are. a change of heart when they see war. 14:7." and captains over all of men even though cf. purposeful. to view them natu- ralistically. 70-73). sweep The sedi and ment explains the river's purple bloodlike appearance. The flooding would also produce of a bumper crop of mosquitoes. dense matter for the dust storm to block And so on (Sarna. is a khamsin. God avoids leading them along the northern route through the land of the Philistines. them. The episodes first is thoroughly involve divine intervention. and an excess of flagellates bacteria the river's drive the dying off of its fish. and the third through agency (Sarna. Greta Hort. 13:17). tracks and controlled workings of the Moses' Divine Intel This schema also emergence as the LORD'S designated agent: second The first set of three are effected through some action of and Aaron's. 12:37." Hort supposes an unusually heavy in the southern sources of the Nile. identified as the Hebrew kinnim. Aaron in combination. carriers bacterium Bacillus anthracis. but of somewhat different charac miraculous: God drowns the Egyptians at the Sea of . darkness. thus the terrible Amalek (Exod. Sarna's insistence that the responds 76-78). military matters suddenly assume pri mary importance. 17:14-16). hail." directed. 46-47). But the situation is still how many men Joshua recruits so delicate that their very existence can apparently be imperiled a not by what is probably little more than a desert raid lays upon very prominent nation. the ninth plague. But the flooding.158 Interpretation calculated. which causes the river to large amounts of red sediment downstream and to flood prematurely. We get a crude measure of this when approach of they fall into despair the Pharaoh's force of chosen and all the chariots of Egypt. ligence. the slaying of Egypt's first-born. as the kind of "familiar vicissitudes of nature that imperil the Nile Valley rainfall and elsewhere from time to time. totally chariots. clearly V As the Israelites depart from Egypt. however. Hort's analysis will. pp. nor fight them. that is. 17:8-16).
In the second. then kills him in his sleep by driving a tent peg through his head (Judges 4:17-21). (Judges 5:4) his chariots and and the LORD threw Sisera and all the onslaught of Barak. The heavens dripped. but only while by raised. to prop up his hands until the battle is finally won (Exod. Yea. the LORD'S role con (Judges supporting infantry sists either of Barak's victory itself or of a powerful rainstorm that so muddies useless: the ground as to make Sisera's chariots LORD. Both texts are. him in her tent. 10. noteworthy as battlefield entirely in human or naturalistic terms. the important role that women of valor like Deborah occasionally play in Israelite history (Exod. the clouds dripped water. Also noteworthy is who does the fighting. Judges 5). piled the a passage which the rabbis who com weekly Torah readings paired with the one discussed here. The when You came forth from Seir. 15:21). Sisera who shelters perishes at the hand of Jael. can be understood The force Joshua leads against Amalek is not tribes: the attack that threatens the entire that represents drawn from any particular tribe or Israelite nation is repelled by a force against the nation. Hence.Moses Politikos 159 is Reeds. and will perhaps. Not so the battle Jabin and Sisera. A second connection is the shorter song Jael com by Moses' sister Miriam. it is God Himself. the wife of Heber the Kenite. a century after the Exodus. Shabprophetess from the Book Judges includes the bat Shirah. about military engagements. In the first case. (Why their arms do not get weary of force from propping up his is weaned not explained. prefiguring. 14:30-31).000 Israelite foot and soldiers totally defeat an army of 900 iron chariots 4:13-16). contrast can A further be drawn between these two events and the Battle of Mount Tabor. As much . 17:10-13). of Advanced from earth the country Edom. The Torah selection includes Song by the Sea after the of drowning of Pharaoh's charioteers. an undifferentiated troop of Israelites. 4:15)'2 Sisera leaped from his chariot and army into a panic before fled on foot (Judges . In the sequel. 15:1-18. lore. as noted. the Israelites merely prevail witness the event (Exod. Several thematic connections Moses' justify this particular pairing.) The Israelites are gradually being to toward the wholesome mix of faith and self-reliance they will need conquer the Promised Land. trembled. described in Judges 4-5. at the Sea of Reeds. He therefore enlists the aid of Aaron and Hur. who is also called a prophetess. the day's name. the Sabbath posed of Song. In Deborah's and Barak's battle. These events. the read ing Deborah's song of triumph after the Israelite general Barak defeats the of the Canaanite King Jabin army and his general Sisera (Exod. The second Moses' hybrid: the Israelites hands are arms. In this case.
The on some elites' process of lawmaking then continues rapidly. Individual rulers. The place Jordanian tribes of Reu Gad (here called Gilead. may just have other things on their minds than governing. The southern desert tribes of Judah Simeon would mentioned. generally good people can be corrupted. the name of Manasseh's son). or. or other biases of the lawgiver. he receives the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. But law may also be corrupt. its name) and the coastal tribes of Asher and Dan are criticized are not even for holding with back. of which are of in some sense obviously ruler One might. more desirable to live under the rule of the best or to have known rules not that work well enough most of the as our time. the Law course. events God giving him of rules forty-five subjects. As the self-reliant. even the best imaginable? Then. or hostile. stances. oppression. Is it. The tribes of Ephraim. These begin the transformation the Isra 18- political arrangements from personal rule to the rule of law (Exod. Issachar. So powerful. 23). Moses' father-in-law Jethro him. especially exceptional. it also decries Israel's tribal divisions. but at the cost of not circum circum making fine distinctions relevant to particular. We drawn to the that in this unavoidable the two principles. Manasseh (here called Machir. Benjamin. Whether it is better to be rulers governed by laws or the ad hoc judgments theory. apply where But if this it must Law's source is its instrument lofty. trans- and Naphtali ben and and are praised for joining in the battle. too. it apparently being taken for granted that they not be concerned this northern affair (Judges 5:14-18). are and biases inscribed into law view are all the more difficult to correct. Shortly thereafter. dilemma both one must strike one or another balance between right. toward others' each other that each part may regard with equanimity the conquest.13 of good of is a fundamental benefits and vintage question in political Rule law offers the of advance notice and impartiality. as our classical tradition teaches. then.160 as Interpretation Deborah's song celebrates the LORD's favor and Barak s triumph. reflecting the personal. the material on which . suggest that such considerations do not is God given and the perfect and human God's greatest prophet. on the other hand. or destruction at the hand of outsiders. internal differences move to the foreground. and render them so indifferent. can take account of such stances. Zebulun. is their temptation to tribalism or clannishness that or it may even quite obscure the common bonds that formerly united defined them as a people. but for that very reason their judgments if are harder to anticipate. apparently. cal. ideologi even liberal tradition warns. as the common danger posed Israelites become more numerous and by potentially fatal external threats recedes. VI While the Israelites visits are encamped at Rephidim.
'4 day. and appoints "capable (Exod. Or is Jethro just being him rejoice polite and matters subtle. not waiting to get God's tens" laws and teach men" publishable of form. just emerged from slavery. presumably according So he offers some counsel: to the published laws. how the (Exod. and though surrounded waywardness. 18:8-9)." to pass (Exod. and arrange men men not apt to accept bribes them hierarchically. select a number of capable. fifties. It is rather a pleasant. Less than two months fast in the the Exodus. 15:15-16). so they can settle the minor disputes. It may take efforts of nothing short of miraculous to make of a slavish multitude a people worthy self-government. Crucial to this develop is Jethro's visit. The dread prediction Moses made (by desert standards) and Song by the Sea. On the other hand. of may soon come he has received may make and descending] upon" "the dwellers in Canaan. the habits instilled by despotism are not easily shed. the Israelites. of the LORD. Does the thousands. which some practical Jethro's and visit is prompted by having heard "all that God had done for Moses LORD had brought Israel have elapsed since right out from Egypt" for Israel His people. while passing the major ones along to Moses (Exod. good news travels in the "terror direction. The Israelites' text at hand shows the beginning of the cultivation of the character ment in this direction by means of rules. the account be only sketchy. 18:3) (Why gone not their two sons?). seem Indeed. he adopts it at once. hundreds. word 4:24-26). The two advance that out to meet men courtesy. tation Unlike many Biblical encounters. dense. Gershom and Eliezer." Moses settling disputes among the Israelites He finds it not right that he performs so heavy a task alone.Moses Politikos operate -161 is far from cles. remarkably crude. one apt to wear him out in judging and the people in awaiting his First. There is The next no mention of how he greets his immediate family. make them known generally." in he is coming "with your wife and her two and "bow[ing] low and his father-in-law" Moses "[going] kiss[ing]" him (Exod. 18:1). that of Moses and Jethro is not a confron between the good and the wicked. instead of communicating friendly hoc to particular and teachings ad God's laws disputants. benign meeting men. by mira of They have. 18:13-23). for Moses fills him in on some details that and bless the LORD (Exod. evening. course. 18: 6-7). let alone a kingdom of priests (Exod. Jethro sending sons. 18:25). God-fearing. Jethro until observes "from morning attention. And second. back to Midian after the cryptic episode at the night show great mutual had presumably encampment (Exod. This idea ings into "chiefs so appeals to Moses that. and "capable" as repe tition only of from Jethro's longer list of qualities signal that Moses . trustworthy to serve as permanent judges. 19:6). and given to perfect. one solid not an of two good produces Israelite but both followers wisdom. about rejoicing which celebrating God sincerely. to be sure. but he has already "heard all"? and with over Jethro brings him Moses' wife Zipporah and "her two who sons" (Exod.
three laws at the start of chapter 18. While Moses is know what Egypt. 43-50. the priestly garments. 16:4-5. for they other. 12:37). the Israelites are not pre-eminently dedication of a people of laws." passion. Is this why. 18:22." gone for forty days.16 By the end of chapter stone 31 the Covenant is apparently tablets "inscribed with the finger of Moses receives the two Their content on than the . but in a way that emphasizes that gods do not come free of charge: the people will have to give gather against of Aaron up their gold earrings to supply the stuff of which idols are made. 19:1). to yet the task is apparently done disputes" before Jethro returns Midian. the chiefs end mere (hadavar passing the "major up bringing him "the difficult obscure matters" (hadavar hakosheh)! Does intricacy intrinsic importance (Exod. and ceremonies of consecration might leave modern readers glassyof the construction of the eyed and indifferent. And the proliferation of rule begun. heaven" 12:1-28. whose lengthy descriptions Ark. by instead the third month after the Exodus (Exod. 13.15 VII Chapters 32-34 of the book of Exodus describe the episode of the Golden on Calf. 17:14-16). 22-30. the Tabernacle and its equipment.162 acts Interpretation too hastily? Does he exhibit more enthusiasm and less piety than this plan if "God so commands you" Jethro. destroy Moses the of Israelites Moses' and intervention their the revelation to the divine attributes. the having received laws on only three distinct subjects: annual observance of Passover (to which is linked circumcision and the first-bom). (Exod. and the injunction to "blot out the memory of Amalek from under (Exod. Unlike the surrounding material. to fifteen at the end of chapter to sixty at the end of chapter 23.. name who urged (Exod.600 "chiefs" in the indicated proportions. it seems 31:18. God. the gathering of manna (associated with a limited form of Sabbath observance). The familiar Ten Command ments are followed tioning altars constructing and posi dedicated to the LORD (Exod. do not 32:15). Moses have to 78. of hagadol) on to Moses. on the one side and on the much fine print. from by a less familiar two dealing with the Israelites quickly move having only 20. They us has happened to the So they remarkable figure "who brought and ask or from the land of demand (their degree insistence is unclear) that he "make us gods who shall go before us [asehI'faneinu]. and announcement of a Second Covenant. familiar Commandments. God's threat to behalf.. So." are "inscribed may be more both their surfaces. 18:23)? Since the Isra would elites are about 600.000 adult men (Exod. 18:27. He casts . 20:19-23)." lanu elohim asher yeilkhu Aaron complies. 26)? Prior to Jethro's visit. the people grow restless. a fivefold increase followed making has only just by a fourfold increase. these chapters are full of action and complete. it would appear.
inter- The grammatical forms are the discrepancy be justified pretively. he he hurled the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot it to of the mountain. They might even a god can refer saw have taken to himself miracles. asher who out of the Egypt [eileh elo- hekha Yisrael before it and he'elukha the next me'eretz Mitzrayim]. which uses elohim as we differ from the Jewish Publication Soci one the singular because only plural. or serve sculptured images (Exod. of course. he himself becomes enraged. 216-19. counts mock tempted. Moses they working And time to replace he has apparently gone off. (The Haggadah. contribute He has them Moses with this "little will idolatry. 135). On the morrow. who says to his or did today?" her spouse. people offer up sacrifices. and Calf was made. of course. all of "LORD talk" as poetic after license: surely whom in the third now person! It was. Sarna. "Do not yet quite accustomed hear what your child Do the Israelites grasp the Moses' notion of an incorporeal God? was ruled to men who are gods: Egypt by one. for only one idol. shatters the and tablets. committed an Gen. They land proclaim. the idolatry they credit for the Exodus. he ground the Israelites drink it. "These are of gods. course. that sometimes do. anger pp. he tries to combine the religion a compromise. drink. also means dance (perhaps the word for dance. fails: some matters are not compromisable. it is excuse them. just a calf. They have already received and agreed to the command not to make. does not mention Moses by name. The LORD'S Moses' and plea. the people seem to have idola try." perhaps hoping (For that from this position of see parity the true faith eventually rebound.) As if idolatry. He calls them "your people. Ttzaheik. and the camp and saw the calf and the dancing. eat. and not a big one at that. 26:8). one to which Jews may be especially the Passover whom who wrote deifying Moses. and starting early. I8 bow down to. as gods him. wishing to preserve worship of the LORD.) of The ploy. which and against which the rabbis of re the story of the this particular kind of Exodus. not even a calling for a festival of the LORD. One is you want to reminded of the angry parent. The people want gods. but Aaron. whom you Egypt" land (Exod. all. They are. And when Moses approaches the camp is deflected only by sees the Calf and the dancing. This explanation does not."'1 Aaron builds an altar declares day a festival of the LORD. can (Tanakh.Moses Politikos the gold your 163 into a mold and fashions it into brought you a calf." In translating ety. Even before the Calf is made. 32:19-20) . attempts enough gold bull! And of by only their earrings. "play") (Exod. (Exod. He took the calf that they had made and powder and strewed it upon the water and so made burned it. 32:1-6. 32:7). the orgiastically: cf. p. Haggadah took special precautions. another explanation. "gods. when God tells him to hurry back down brought out of the to to of the people. O Israel. destroys the idol: As soon as Moses came near became enraged. 24:7).
lame. Nor that the holiness of the priesthood is a func tion of the office.000 idolaters. to accept God's offer to make him a great nation. But these said be performed solemn dignity. seem like petty insult.'" the Israelites remained stripped of the finery from Mount Horeb on. And business of pulverizing the into water. Now then. 'You one are a stiff-necked If I to go your midst and for moment.164 Interpretation sudden anger Moses' is puzzling. plus some unspecified number dying of the ensuing This is followed by a further deprivation in the next chapter: The LORD people. the people "have made themselves a molten calf and bowed low to sacrificed with After all. their punishment is severe: 3. "Say in to the Israelite people.000 killed by the Le vites. 32:24)! This from the 10)! The and God named as spokesman because he "speaks readily. not bright yellow as we might expect. said to were Moses. and metallically tastable. It is Moses' not clear whether intercession is His elites or concern for God's reputation or with LORD made see not act inconsistently X). may punishment. the LORD had already told him that it and are gestures that can of the to it" (Exod. coming after Moses destroys the Calf. explanation it mocks the me and irrespon sibility into the of religious compromisers: "They gave [their gold] to I hurled it fire. with Moses. 32:25). . It is the orgiastic that partic ularly provokes ire. [va'yeitzei ha'eigel hazeh] man whom and out came this calf Moses' (Exod. God had of sexual Moses' spectacle. after the Levites kill 3. what of the strange dancing. DeMille). But it is of a piece with the earlier which could The fine clothes that they took from the Egyptians. and making the people drink it? This act's significance may lie in the fact that the color of a colloidal suspension of gold dust in water is. I will consider what do to you. least Moses has something to learn: Moses would be better off as a new Patri of arch. (Exod. reminder of the plagues in Egypt gods must have struck in the hearts of the wayward Israelites who yearned for like those they should have left behind! The text is clearly critical of Aaron. (On this score at section whether below. though God does not de stroy the Israelites utterly. not the officeholder. leave off your finery. suggests that they may have held little promise. who side plague. I would to destroy So you. Gershom and Eliezer. The scant mention of his sons. even comical. and in whose awkward. 32:8-14). 4:14. Nor prompted by by a more profound divinity by breaking love of the Isra concern that the the promise He to the Patriarchs. but blood Imagine Calf." the terror that this visible. Israel's first High Priest tongue" the splendor and dignity of the could the point be more emphatic priestly duties could not be more vivid. after the LORD sends a plague and withdraws Himself from their midst." while Moses was "slow of speech and slow of stammered excuse contrast between this by (Exod. 33:5-6) This command. the breach nothing modesty (a la Cecil B. than as a political founder. mixing the powder red. whom it blames for letting the people get out of control (Exod. However that may be.
Moses Politikos have been symbol of 165 a emblems of their liberation. first time. even 33:19 if that means not fulfilling man some expectations. Golden Calf thus signified widens the write upon the new unlike the earlier ones.20 attachment former enslavement. Dedicate first-bom or redeem your males of your livestock to the LORD. reascends tablets" Mount Sinai and stays there another forty days. have become. 4. 3. which the LORD reveals to him what the tradition proclaims a has designated the Thirteen with Divine Attributes. the Calf is a symbol Egyptian At the start of chapter 34. Acceding. Do not make for yourselves gods of molten metal. He then He tells Moses to the Second Covenant Moses and Israel. Whereas earned indig nation and intercession have him the privilege of insight into the divine nature. as instructed. So they of too must cast off. the desig to following 1. and dedicate first-born sons. the Covenant is here specifically (aseres ha'd'varim) (Exod. Moses as much as can both something more and something less. what Does God leam the need to do this from Moses? Is this it means for Him to "speak to Moses face to face. That this involves breaking He a promise at Mount Sinai should perhaps trouble us no more than that "disappoints" also appropriate Abraham at Mount Moriah (Gen. "as a man speaketh to are the refer his friend") rules: (Exod. God tells Moses to carve two more stone tablets. con sisting of a few clear practical rules (few enough to be counted on the fingers of both hands). This Moses does. But this divine promise is not kept. beginning. "None nity shall appear before Me the commu must contribute something. 33:16). 34:29-35). another" as one speaks to (in the King James translation. which is radiant with holiness (Exod. A new beginning is therefore in order. so He can inscribe upon them "the words that were on the first (Exod. nation seems Ten Commandments? At this to the in the text. Instead. Observe the Passover. that will distinguish Israel "from every people on the face of the earth" (Exod. like those he shattered. his be. gets Presence" 33:18). lingering be luxury. and. by gap between their reluctance to look Moses' spiri directly Moses' at his face. God grace gives what is "I will grant the that I will grant and show the compassion that I will even show" (Exod. to request to "let me behold Your (Exod. like to the world of their the Calf itself. 22). 33:11)? point What. 2. called the Ten Com episode of the tual status and the Israelites'. Do not make a covenant with the Canaanites worship and the other inhabitants of the Promised Land to tolerate the of their gods. for Israel must worship only the LORD. In addition to Egyptian idolatry. . Also. 34:1). the people's dereliction stated so reveals an incapacity to appreciate the Law as a simpler far. for The mandments tablets. then. empty-handed": everyone of 5. 34:28).
This is the second of four challenges to Moses reported in Numbers 11-17. Miriam and Aaron are attaching to their racial prejudice the implication that God Himself disapproves of his marriage and perhaps of inter racial marriages generally. 12:2)? The two criticisms are connected in the punishment connection God inflicts. for he has already acted boldly help others. In the previous chapter. 12:3). The Moses' immediately ball has begun to ates roll that culminates in the rebellion of Korah and his associ in chapter 16..e. before morning. 21-25. But his . 24-29. serious the present criticisms remain "within the family" do not spread to the Israelite community generally. for the hallmark of Cush is dark skin. Observe the Feast 8. 618). 5:1. 10. and in beating the terceding with God Himself on behalf of the errant Israelites (Exod. up 9. 7:10. In this sense the episode may than the be less preceding story about the people's complaints over the lack of variety in their wilderness diet. 10:3-11. from the land of Cush. p.22 They Moses' also question well" prophetic pre-eminence: "Has [the LORD] see not spoken through us as (Num."21 VIII An incident in this country's Moses' chapter 12 of the book of Numbers bears on what deepest and most persistent problem. here may also be self-serving." you shall work. 20.166 Interpretation 6. of race relations. Some commentators identify this person Zipporah. while others regard it as a second wife of Moses. 11:4-8. 16-17. he is meekest. But if the scope of this domes tic squabble stays limited. confronting Pharaoh. but may equal an implicit from the start. "You shall not boil a kid in its mother's milk. i. but on the seventh day you shall cease from 7. 8:4-8. rescuing shepherds. 12:1). killing Egyptian who was Jethro's daughters from the harassing Hebrew slave. 2:11-12. Moses himself does the humblest. 27-30. and the LORD had obligingly siphoned off silence 32:7-14). its challenge to authority is more direct. the text says. Do not offer of Weeks and the Feast of Ingathering. supposedly of the Midianite Kusi tribe. speak ill Moses "because of the he had married" (Num. he had poignantly protested to God that the burden of this people was carrying more than he alone could bear. of men (Num. by reversing their order we By claiming prophetic status to Moses. because. and Apparently. woman sister and brother. In as this case Miriam's and Aaron's criticism would be a racial slur. We must understand by this that not Moses is to restrained at pressing his the own claims. Ethiopia (Hertz. 9:10. and use the entire Passover sacrifice anything leavened with God's blood sacrifice. or reply to the calumny. "Six days labor. is arguably Miriam and Cushite Aaron. Offer up the choice first fruits of your soil to the LORD.
account not to us the sin which we committed in our (Num. you wrought up account? Would that upon LORD's people were prophets. God days" (Num. a vision. I speak with him in a dream. on "My my lord Moses. But Aaron makes no such distinction in his plea to Moses. saying. LORD. 11:26-29) His silence at Miriam's and Aaron's provocation may combine both the share same noble generosity However this may be. please. probably repeating a standard rabbinic notes that "Miriam seems [because she is mentioned first?] to of the evil as and that "Aaron speaking against he was merely drawn into this attack on his Moses. the spirit that was upon him to seventy elders of the people 11:10-17. that the LORD put His spirit them!" (Num. one named continues: Eldad . the Moses' attendant from his youth. unriddlelike message Is there as a note of irony is not described coming to them in a dream or vision? The LORD also afflicts Miriam with tzaraat." used to be translated as some but recent scholarship whose resists this scaly skin disease wasting effects identification. Why the this punishment? most conspicuous symptom of tzaraat is that it turns one's skin white. Why interpretation.Moses Politikos some of 167 (Num. them!" restrain all But Moses said to him. . . I make Myself known to him in . "O my lord. With him I of speak mouth to mouth. lah!]" please! na (Num. (yit'nab'u)]. color-conscious like snow (Num. it would seem that Aaron is spared only because the folly" physical blemish of tzaraat would disqualify [El na functions (Lev. 12:6-8) in that this plain. (pp. was exempted brother" Rabbi J. It is apparently one can infer from Aaron's hor ror-stricken exclamation. but only after responds with a prayer r'fa him from performing his priestly that is a marvel of brevity. "Eldad spoke son of prophesied and Medad are acting "Are the prophet in camp!" the And Joshua Nun. who emerges from his is Aaron mother's womb with not also afflicted? half his flesh away" eaten (Num. heal her. This term "leprosy. 619). "Let her not be as one dead. H. had remained in the camp. Hertz. A youth ran out and in ecstasy [or they told Moses. 22:4). literally "gathered in indication The of a possible her sorry condition by week's end. he beholds the likeness the (Num. 12:12). 24-25). 12:11). The text Two men. 618. the LORD firms special status: Moses' and the same desire for coprophets to help him his load. This is what inclines us toward "Cushite. yet the spirit rested upon them . 12:10). 12:14). and the other and Medad." have been the instigator from punishment." plainly and not in riddles. 12:13)." after requiring Miriam to "bear her shame for seven which she is readmitted to the camp. Moses "O God. and af rebukes them for their impertinence "When a prophet of the LORD arises among you. complies." reading of Holy Scripture is full of poetic jus- . [hei'aseif]. Not so with My servant and Moses. Rather. spoke up and said.
the defined community by reference to a common strictly racial community.168 tice. 11-16. The "Cushite woman" Israelite people. but can we understand this action apart from its deviant sexual character? Perhaps significant here are the words the Sodomites use when they surround Lot's house and shout to him: "Where are the men who came to you tonight? them" Bring them out to us. the generic term for "know" or in Hebrew with as in English. That their reject will to give them his two virgin they daughters if they and when Lot's only extrava spare his (Gen. in the attempted violence against the travelers. Lot had in effect shown will ingness to have them consort with any man at all. raping one's guests is inhospitable by any standard mea sure. in part. 19)." has the same took her. very political identity from an appeal to universal natural . Interpretation of punishments that one could of fit the crime. incest. of homosexual rela forms of tions? code Advocates for the a Gay Rights Movement have and that the argued that Sodomites' the sexual sin in Leviticus is of later development. How much more so for a nation of immigrants. 19:4-11. 19-5). 34:2. a story suggests two respected place. indeed. and did her or King David's son Amnon's her. If the crime here is. First. along cities' sacrifice. racial preju dice. the incapacity to produce offspring. breach hospitality. punishment involves not 18:21-23. We can also see the principle of the sequel incestuous union between Lot mirroring punishment in his daughters (Gen. that we may know (Gen. bestiality. signified is their angelic cf. There is room. 2 Sam. though mythic an ethnic ancestry.23 Despite the availabil ity of these more violent words. it punishes with the death penalty (Lev. 19:6-9). disapprove another exactingly just God telling Miriam and Aaron. Does this only sterility not mirror the sterility. It is common view to regard the special sin of these wicked cities as homosexuality. Compare Shechem's treatment of Jacob's daughter Dinah: "he not violence" "be intimate with. does this the description of ambiguity necessarily imply the use of force. to consider the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. lay with her. which contrasts with Abraham's generous conduct (Gen. 18:1-8). 19:30-38). Hertz. The their destruction but the of the also surrounding land. 20:2-5. reinforced This is by what Rabbi Hertz calls the Mosaic Law's "uncom with child condemnation" promising and various of this offense. rights. The which verb yoda. p. 492). and violated (vayikakh her" otoh vayish 'kav otoh treatment of his half-sister Tamar: "he overpowered vay'aneha vayish'khav otoh) (vayehazak mimenah her. To be sure. which. is not a contemporary lessons. 13: 14). offering his daughters to the Sodomite mob. "You For Moses having a black wife? You want white? Here's imagine an white!" dramatic instance one might wish of a punishment that is neatly tailored to mirror the offense. the to the divinely inspired know" narrator nonetheless as Sodomites the desire only "to desire is specifically homosexual is made clear cribes gant offer guests the strangers. for a shared made at "ancestry by springs adoption" for those who accept the Covenant whose Mount Sinai. That indifference now comes By dramatically home to roost. and lay with (Gen. and vay'aneha).
take care esteem. the Mosaic spy men are political mission is a very public affair. this one is most peculiar. is the very stuff of politics. sends "Go. as a They go to the house such people Rahab. they seem chosen not for any special talent at espionage oshim but for their ability to lead public opinion. (The spies' authority to universal after this never doubted. a woman described harlot (ishah zonah). The mission's existence seems unknown to the Israelites generally. whose names that he has personal only two are never revealed. com mand.24 commonly inn She helps them evade the king her Jericho's agents. doomed this enterprise from the start by dictating such unfavorable selection criteria? Perhaps not. land of of the unsuccessful Moses that sends to scout the Canaan and the spy mission that disastrous military expedition follows. for is shrouded that text's description of Josh spy the earlier episode. twelve exempt chosen. and an be of an apt place for spies to gather information. appar all the ently to him alone. Thus. By contrast. The hint of intertribal in the slightly irregular order of tribal listing jostling rivalry Ephraim and Benjamin before Manasseh. for they return to Joshua hiding information they need. Their the likelihood that as tribal leaders number and they have a high opinion of themselves all but guarantees that and they will disagree. They are chieftains (anroshei). it seems.Moses Politikos the 169 Declaration it! of Independence. is confidence in them. one from each tribe (minus the who are from service. and whose only credential. not it be a mira cle if it did fail! Has God. what you a cautionary note to activists of all political of persuasions." Jericho. city Joshua's the Jericho provides a standard by which to measure men. The lection ua's rabbis who assembled with chapter mission on the weekly readings astutely paired this Torah se of 2 of the book of Joshua. in effect. It is as though the President were to compose a spy would twelve prominent senators. lest you get too much IX The story told at Numbers 13-14. By God's Levites. W. as is by now customary). Asher before Naphtali and Gad for position reinforces mission of this suspicion. in the hills for three days and report." in He he tells them. 13:3-15). "reconnoiter enough the region of They apparently know of well how to fill in the details. their instructions are simple: mission secrecy. that the LORD has delivered the whole land into their hands. On the other hand. With such personnel. And secondly.) Rahab's account of the Jerichans' fear is. known leaders whom the text names (Num. but counting the Josephite demitribes as two. Moreover. we infer. her and they in is turn prescribe arrange to accompany the ments that will spare and family from the do slaughter sure Israelite conquest. though inn would were keepers. Gunther Plaut notes that when . as spy missions go.
in the Negev. their report tries to be questions about the good or faithful to land itself agenda and were balanced. are needed to carry report it on a frame. 13:17-20). but to confirm God's bounty. on ine spy mission. the "scout the land of which is not to gather information. and from a brookside orchard they bring the famous cluster of grapes. Concerning and inhab more distinct. could and that the reflexive verb form of the divine statement I'cha (p. the the entire congregation." he adds significantly. (Num. the questions were with milk and more expansive: (Num. the LORD takes the precaution of issuing focused instructions. The the children of men are to Israel" land. and back. however. being mindful I am giving to Canaan. before Moses' In the first even they display instance. send 1 107)! However that may be. sh'lah 1:22). These tribal chieftains are chosen not as spies but as witnesses for God before the people. They scout from Zin. who dwell that there and their respective locations. 13:27). they daunted. they should pay attention to the that it is God's gift to them.25 But Moses seems to miss the point. in what is Lebanon. as far north as Lebo-hamath. and their answer is therefore The people are Moses' powerful. men The the Wilderness of now northeastern apparently take these instructions quite seriously. few or many [emphasis on military concerns]? Is the country in which they dwell good or the soil rich bad [the land]? Are the towns they live in or poor? Is it wooded or not?"26 open or fortified [military]? Is "And. them" indicate permission rather than command: "Go ahead. a tour of about seven hundred miles through sometimes rugged terrain. and this is its itants. Unlike Joshua's expedition. it fruit" does indeed flow the honey. the cities are fortified Elaborating beyond questions. for which purpose of this one their political credentials are quite appropriate. and expands making human comparisons and that concerns: He treats the undertaking as a genu God's instruction in a way that invites vacillates between the land and military "Go up there into the Negeb and on into the hill country. 13:2). Clearly. But is since largely redun dant: What kind answer land is it? Is it "We came bad? Is the soil rich or poor? their concise: to the land you sent us to. "take pains to bring back some of the fruit of the land" (Num. they name are the six nations very large. a cluster so large that two men hardly surprising. they whom back to Moses. That they take forty days to do all this is On the way back. they come upon a brook to which their action bequeaths the name Eshkol (Hebrew for "cluster"). and see what kind of country it is [emphasis on the land].170 Moses places Interpretation recalls this episode in his farewell mission with speech thirty-eight years rather later he the initiative for the the people than God (Deut. That is. of fruit his of the land. Continuing and the public nature of this expedi tion. so much they . either in general or military information in particular. Aaron. Are the people who dwell in it strong or weak.
giving them others and to extravagant speculation about how they look to to excuses for inaction. and against the LORD. X Korah's rebellion. The calumny against the land is a barometer of this. and that "we looked like we must "devours" those who dwell in it. 13:28-31). they long for the security of Egypt. point about woods. Caleb for thinking of the tribe of Judah. have instead infected them lessons of this episode are not with their characteristic vice. 13:32-33). described in Numbers 16-17. premise. The headmen who were supposed to reconcile the people to their labor of conquest. The text sets the toll of lives taken by the successive . grasshoppers to ourselves. and. But it is too late. and so have looked to run them" (Num. and to urge them not to succumb to fear. they murmur against Moses and Aaron. saves the two from stoning (Num. judged by the number earth- killed. This is no longer rational deliberation. saying that it its people are giants. ruling passion. the gravest. enters the dissenting it. of slavery. But this tack is precluded by a decisive turn for the The that defame the land itself. that the people of the (Num. young Joshua learns them well (so too. by seen. 14:39-45). Such heedless optimism is easily refuted. perhaps. At this point. The other have only to point land "are stronger than men out what we" they have already 14. the magnificent symbol of abundance. cf. 14:1-10). is the fourth Moses' challenge to leadership in that book's central chapters. does Moses: Num. of a Under the sway their own eyes. Joshua and Caleb try land's be good ness. and what consider how to return there. that is. That they protection ripe are right and Caleb wrong is when demonstrated. happy Fortunately. in human men strength. His statement seems to express only self-confidence and perhaps the opinion that the richness of the reward warrants the risk. 21:32). with its possibly encouraging military impli One of them.Moses Politikos Moses' - 171 neglect cation." opinion that they should attack anyway. Even Moses and Aaron are at a loss to remind the people of the to do next. and that faith will compensate for their deficiency worse. they are willing to deny not only God but The community thereupon falls into despair. the discussion is that the land for reminder of the mission's is God's gift. It is fear over rampant. it is refuted by the visible evidence they have that massive cluster of grapes. distorting what they have must seen. by making them rejoice in God's gift. Only divine intervention The spy mission that was not really to be a spy mission has collapsed upon itself. at the end of chapter the rout the Israelites suffer they do attack without God's (Num. that the LORD will with them if only they do not rebel against Him. That the land is inhospitable ("devouring its inhabitants") not only contradicts their testimony brought of a moment ago. "for so and we shall surely overcome He gives no specific reason does not mention God. The political ones.
their rhetoric is strikingly combined against Moses and Aaron and said to them. "Would that LORD put His spirit upon admirable expression of Moses' all the LORD'S people were see section prophets. often produces unlikely alliances between parties whose only common interest is opposition to a common foe. 3-17. Dathan. one of the traits that may make him rebellion as a politi worthy to speak with God face to face. thirty-eight years of years later (cf. Now. to the of one of the Kohathite Levites who attend Meeting On. he has recent response himself laid its groundwork in his to Eldad's and Medad's speaking in ecstasy. slain in the Golden Calf episode 16:25. 16:3). politics. In a sense. this speech it with understandable astonishment is surely impertinent. of and plague that the LORD sends at about 15. clans of and Aaron's first cousin. as descendants Jacob's eldest son. The lesson other unworthy about God is just men claim as birthright. some repute" chieftains of the community. that the them!" (Num. at Golden Calf. to and the LORD congre Moses' is in their Why then do you raise yourselves above the all that we and LORD'S gation?'" (Num. By failing to mention On son of Peleth a second time. And they are (Num. but cf. the Ex during odus which (with a few exceptions) the entire generation of perishes. This a episode reasons. kept in the sanctuary of the Tent of (Num. rebellion This Moses' is peasants' no mere a revolt. Exod. Abiram. and Moses greets (Num. 25:1-9). 19.172 quake. The latent contradiction between Korah's leadership story claims and the Reu- has led Biblical p. does the text also hint at the tendency of revolutions to fall into factions and purges. prince Korah is a man of high status. Interpretation fire. It is a wish likely to be granted this status as their half way. the time of the is threat He has already twice before. seem to represent of this tribe's natural claim to lead by right of primogeniture. After they have seen justify and Aaron's pre-eminence. however. of in Korah's cal reproach: One cannot govern a its members were when worthy large community based on the wish that all being prophets. made 16:19-21. 31-32. 27-32). men of backed benites' by "250 Israelites. holy. His confederates. 16:2). critics to regard the other as a conflation of two separate rebellions (Plaut. 16:4). 32:25-28. 17:14. also Num. because the LORD twice threatens to this is remarkable. and then the narrative resumes with 35. perhaps espe cially revolutionary politics. and sacred objects of the tribe of Reuben. also casts over the present section a chilling air of finality. Num.000. On the hand. 11:29. 17:8-10). the Israelites' arrival in the Wilderness silence notable of Zin. and more recently when the scouts gave an unfa- . 1126). all of them. to "devour their rebel own children"? But if the democratic: have gone "They leaders have high credentials. This deadly resolu tion is followed by some ritual matters. 16:1. times the number idolaters cf. five (Num. The inci dent appears to teach Moses some valuable lessons about politics and about God. This generosity. 'You too far! For all the community are midst. deflating. echoes VIII above). 33:1-37)! The text's concerning these desert wandering. among destroy the Israelites (Num.
" (Exod. they will tell it to the inhabitants of the nations who have heard Your fame will say. Isaac. but visiting the iniquity of fathers upon children. Abraham. only from the face of the and earth. both are susceptible to the same questions: Why would .Moses Politikos vorable and 173 false report of the Promised Land. providing us are a process of character. yet not remitting third and all punishment. 32:12-13) should Moses argues that the LORD be mindful of His reputation nations and should keep His word. saying. These dialogues (and for us). does God renounce his plan to punish the Israelites? We do not know. the heathen have of But why should an omnipotent being care what opinion Him? What does it matter that the Egyptians may mis maliciously? takenly believe suggest that He delivered the Israelites from Egypt And does he Or does Moses malicious were subtly God now to kill them the LORD that the liberation off? would truly be The assume that reputation were a god? is important to because it would be to him if he reminder of the Patriarchal Covenant is also flawed. to possess forever. Golden Calf speech presents two arguments: " Let to not the Egyptians say. Isaac.' . to flout the second unjust. 'The LORD! slow to anger and abounding in kindness. with the and focus now on His power rather than benevolence. Perhaps it is a divine response to Moses' earnestness. To neglect the first would among the be shameful. as You have declared. I Israel. Num. and I will give to your offspring this whole I spoke. because the was powerless to bring that people them into the land He had promised them on oath that He slaughtered in the wilderne  [L]et my Lord's forbearance be great.'" (Num. 32:9-14. Moses gave eloquent speeches to dis Him (Exod. Why. . how You offspring land swore to them by Your Self and said to them: will make your as numerous as the of which stars of heaven. [and] LORD hear the news. Moses' Let us therefore review these speeches. then. 'It in the was with evil kill them off mountains and annihilate them intent that He delivered them.. 14:13-18) The first repute reason parallels the first from the earlier speech.  Remember Your servants.. discovery for Moses Each repetition of cient and a window into the divine the threat tells that the previous arguments were insuffi that the grasp Moses thinks he has on the kind of being the LORD is is somehow wrong. 14:11-19). After the failed spy mission. Moses the people: again offers two reasons not to destroy " When that the Egyptians land . 'It must be . Both concern God's His He among the nations. He would still have kept His promise to Abraham. forgiving iniquity and transgression. and Jacob insofar as Moses is their descendant. upon the fourth generations. For even if the LORD were to destroy all the other Israelites and make a great nation of Moses. Both times He and offered to make a great or numerous nation of suade Moses.
Moses annihilating the Israelites as long as some remnant. that that His name among the heathen is not as important be as Moses assumed. 18:22-33). the people remain rebellious: Next day the whole Israelite community upon the railed against people!" Moses But and Aaron. Patriarchal Cov 34:6-7). the LORD spoke to Moses. this community. This enant. "You two have brought death gathered against LORD'S as the community cloud had covered Aaron reached them. 16:19-21) Aaron. Here Moses might just get what for. and with it. As the is. the world is full of gods. therefore. when. "Remove saying. Even it not and so. we recall from Abraham's bargaining with the LORD over Sodom Gomorrah that God's justice would permit the destruction of nine innocent kill members of a generally and The final instance off occurs community (Gen. that none of these arguments was conclusive against His doing mised so. Aaron (to whom and the divine attributes have not been revealed) for mulate a different principle altogether: Korah gathered the whole community against them at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. saying. that yourselves from I may annihilate them in an instant. Source with the breath the whole community?" from this community But they fell on their faces and said. Then the Presence of the LORD appeared to the whole community. but why ascribe omnipotence to argument: any of them? The issue of benevolence now shifts to the second to destroy the people would be inconsistent with the divine character. "O all flesh! When one man sins. it were argument too falls wide of the mark. saying. as the LORD has revealed it to Moses in a moment of special intimacy (Exod. probably to his personal annoyance. and the two hundred and fifty chieftains." They fell . When Korah's rebellion erupts the LORD threatens Israel with destruction again. Dathan Abiram their families. reason quite displaces the earlier reminder of the Is this because the latter has itself been displaced what extent by the Covenant of the Law? To archal is the Law bargain: more at Age behind us? Also hinted rather generally in this second an attempt to put the what Patri may he argument is strike us as a sinister than wipe out the whole people at once. In face of this third threat. When Moses and the Tent of Meeting. some stronger than others. "the community" whole that sins. for now at least. even a single survived to carry on the Covenant. and the LORD may spoke to Moses and that I annihilate them of in of God. and that His kindness and faithfulness would not fatally compro by family. thus indicating is. the it and the Presence of the LORD appeared.174 care Interpretation if the heathen think him powerless? And does Moses himself doubt the LORD'S ability to make good His promise until He actually delivers on it? After all. will You be wrathful (Num. Moses and Aaron turned toward the Tent of Meeting. after the earthquake and the LORD'S fire sinful and Korah. "Stand back instant!" an Whatever its intrinsic merit. this text emphasizes. the added respon sibility of shepherding the Israelites for thirty-eight more years. kill asks off only some over a few generations.
: keep alive slay also every woman who has known a man for yourselves] every young woman who has not on the matter of had man. seems left for Moses. the herds.27 XI Chapter 31 episode of the book of Numbers presents the most in Moses' career. one child murdered. a thousand from each tribe. capture their women grandson and children. and wealth. He nonetheless is a riddle to Moses. with Aaron's Pinchas serving as priest on the campaign. induced so that the the Israelites to trespass against the was struck and LORD in the LORD'S community among the children. victorious troops outside the comes the nastiness: Moses became angry with the commanders of the army [and] said to them. Now. Moses. famous pamphleteer of the of this American Revolution anti-Biblical and outspo ken religious skeptic. said to Aaron. One Moses is in hope for divine mercy. 12:8). like Abraham before to argue but to do his duty. slay every male carnally. God Moses sends tells Moses to "[a]venge the Israelite people out a the Midianites. Now . far cry onerous political duty ruling a multitude who are a wished-for nation of prophets. and the tribal chiefs then visit the camp (Num. destined to violation. 17:6-11) Moses must seems finally to recognize that to argue with the LORD is futile. but spare [lit. 25:1-18) Thomas Paine. Balaam. and the prophet Balaam. and His speeches brutally blunt. of not Moses. by the plague. plainly and atone and with not in riddles" (Num. Then Moses altar. says incident in his broadside The Age of Reason: Let any mother put herself in the situation of those mothers. For wrath it quickly to the community and make has gone forth from the LORD: the plague has (Num. we were told that God's relation special. by defini him. flocks. see Num. let any another . But if God does these stories are one persuade not address Moses in riddles. the from the with a kind of grim resignation. matter of Peor. How does the Almighty? What does it even mean for an all-knowing being to "change His mind"? What argument can one direct to one who is tion beyond human comprehension? In the end. simply As recently as chapter 12." carnal relations with a (Num. Peor. 31:1-13). 31:14-17. that "[w]ith him I speak mouth to mouth. "Take the fire pan.Moses Politikos on their 175 faces. and bum their towns and high priest Eleazar. and herself in the hands of an executioner. the Israelites' campaign against the on morally troubling Midianites. seize their encampments. "You have spared every female! Yet they are the very ones who. They kill all the Midianite men. therefore. at the bidding of . and put on it fire from the expiation begun!" Add incense and take for them. including their five kings." force of twelve thousand men.
1:15-16). has become like boys Pharaoh! We can. Rabbi Hertz observes: The war against the Midianites presents peculiar difficulties. Quoting from the Expositor's Bible. they would have rights as such under the Mosaic Law (Deut. 704) One may sympathize with Hertz's effort to make the best of a discomforting text. view his To spare the women and . if it is a let not . the young girls.176 Interpretation put daughter herself in the situation of those daughters. career's end. and therefore we cannot satisfactorily meet the various objections that have been raised in that connection. (Exod. but obviously embarrassed by the story. but last feature eerily echoes another memorable passage: "The king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives. but his comment is off target. by the earlier text and may hoc Cf. perhaps unlike the British "set mercy aside. set mercy altogether (P. 21:10-14). may punishing the cruelty and lust same in the light on this question. soldiers of the rebels. they are thorough in wiping out the enemy their kings.."2" in any period of the world have disgraced the dispute Paine's statement that the girls are "destined to name of One rather Or if taken to wife. 25:6-8). he recollection of what continues: "Perhaps the Britain bent on took place after the throw Indian Mutiny. it is Moses who refuses the commanders for their mercy. who seems an innocent be victim the wrong time. This her live'" girl. than to servitude.) and But the soldiers and their chiefs women children. kill him. and. . prophet whom the 1857. all the adult males. who has already of shown an his willingness to a woman who is demonstrably guilty who rebukes corrupting Israelite (Num. unsupported (Moses' attempt to blame him for the a post corruption of in the wrong place at Baal-peor rationalization. . if it is a boy. that the tale is morally shocking. Num. 'When you deliver the Hebrew women. Moses." revenge. Rather. illogically. boys. In a more moderate vein. The when Great then. also the and who therefore orders all the adult women slain. nearing his action politically." altogether army. was temper. But this is quibbling next to Paine's main point. partly in patriotism. partly in aside. and what will their feelings ? On the basis villains that could of this account. . to distinguish the guilty women from the innocent. We are no longer it was acquainted with the circumstances that justified the ruthlessness with which waged. do not True. destined be as a prey to the murderers of a mother and a brother. he proclaims Moses one of the most "detestable man. The remarkable fact here is that the Israelite soldiers. 22-25. of course. Among kill the commanders mercifully spare the Midianite is Pinchas. saying. and even poor Balaam (the Mesopotamian during the Sepoy Mutiny of Moabite king Balak hires to curse the Israelites but who ends up is blessing them instead).
and therefore dangerous popula tion in the midst of a conquest of migrating Israelite nation that still faces the long. to even and feel Hertz's discomfort (perhaps Paine's outrage). esp. his fear that "in the event of war the wicked first they may join not absurd our enemies in fighting against us and rise from the ground" was (Exod.29 We might also recall that Moses is 120 old. 27:13. especially as it contrasts with nurture spares of Abraham's glory seeking (section I). the sented as an atonement Levites. by the men in the ranks). 27:20)." from Divine confirm authorization as a Mosaic command possibly retire? can. that he has endured forty as years of opinion ribah" through no fault he of his own. l:19ff. see above. difficult Canaan. Does it not God's judgment that it is time for Moses to order even obeyed? Is his taken The text number notes that thirty-two thousand girls are captive.30 But it is silent concerning Do we dare hope that Pinchas and mand while his army were as righteously disobedient to an unjust com camped in Moab as the Hebrew midwives Shiphrah and Puah were court in Pharaoh's (Exod. This evidently meant to take the field of battle (Num. and the amount of gold pre offering by the officers (but perhaps not execution of captives. that he has become prone to impatience (Deut. the soldiers. about rally) and lack irritability for complaining (not unnatu the people in the desert. Further. (We might compare this to the problem the resident Pal estinian population poses same for the modern State of Israel." God does not even require extermination of the Midianite men. Num.) On the other hand. The present order thus stands as far him twice that he will soon be "gathered to his kin. 1-10). that this horrific Mosaic command does not bear the standard formula. probably resentful. the kind of political calculus could against half-genocide Pharaoh's policy of justify the Hebrews. how captured persons and beasts divided among the com munity. His princely Israelites' him from his courage and slavishness and allows development his innate . God has told when "rebels" calls of water and he has accordingly invested Joshua (who is conspicuously absent from this campaign) with some of his authority (Num. "Avenge the Israelite people on the (Num. 31:1. After all. for example. so that. 31:7). and. we may avoid the sin any human being. in his he shows in the "waters of Me- incident.Moses Politikos would place a 177 subjugated. at 37. He had only said. 31:1). but each further detail now Midianites" was a matter of years human interpretation. desert wandering. by forcing us to distinguish between the LORD of His greatest prophet. (Does the large imply generous application of the rule should that spares some females?) It is explicit about how are seized objects be ritually cleansed. "as the LORD had com idolizing manded. 1:15-21. We may note. rather suppose Let us that the text wants us to see this parallel. 20:9-11). and the priests. the end of section III)? EPILOGUE Moses' We fellow earlier called attention to nobility.
whose conception of divinity. (His political preoccupation may also make at him family. 1995). Num. Aaron Wildavsky. Moses. one who saw and Moses' heard with theoretical. notwithstanding his status as into the divine attributes. chap. Moses and Monotheism (New York: Random House. . lack unerring accuracy. Jack Miles. And. for a while least. and failing on one crucial occasion to distinguish between the culpable the God's greatest prophet who is granted a glimpse innocent. only less than perfect instruments to improve imperfect human material? NOTES 1. The Nursing Father: Moses as a Political Leader (University: University of Alabama Press. generally stops cosmological.) By the end of his life he becomes noticea and even bly irascible cruel.  1958). he their love the Israelites wrath and his adopted children. tice and his righteous indignation? Could such a perfect flawed people passion servant for jus love this very to talk back to Israel as Moses does? Would he dare behalf? Or or care God. what might be called the noble regard of a friend for the LORD'S in his mission. Messengers of God: Biblical Portraits and Leg ends (New York: Simon & Schuster. no. does and do require. Michael Walzer. 14:11-19)? In word. an eagerness to share his tasks the associated glory that is generous to a fault be and politically naive. The Revelation and the Covenant (New York: Harper & Row. 6. George Anastaplo. Exod. 1939). 3 (Fall 1998). he becomes intensely absorbed with a passion that seems removed from merely and personal ambition. as though a themselves as a mixed multitude of recent slaves could nation of equals! agant expected to govern (Moses is apparently not the only one to entertain such extrav expectations: cf.178 Interpretation intelligence. Nahum Sarna." Books. Exodus and Revolution (New York: Basic Explorations. directing In a toward his anger when they He also exhibits reputation. to face. 19:6. when offered nation the alternative of being the source of a great. The Prince. Knopf.) In particu and lar. them interceding own on behalf to deflect God's misbehave. distorts divine his mands. is his own mistakes. Though initially doubtful about his lack of eloquence and the riski as ness of the mission to warms to the which he is called. he sometimes listens unmindful of badly. 1984). Martin Buber. perhaps on account of this very absorption com princely self-assurance. Growing as aware of his status as a political Founder. face numerous. 1976). "Law & Literature and the Bible: Oklahoma City Univer sity Law Review. God: A Biography (New York: Alfred A. Elie Wiesel. Exploring Exodus: The Heritage of Biblical Israel (New York: Schocken Books. he comes to gains in self-confidence he task and as he encounters Pharaoh's resistance. Sigmund Freud. we 32:9-14. while full of awe for the great and unique short of the favor God has done for His chosen people. 1986). and takes good neglectful of ideas too far. But word. 23. Niccolo Machiavelli. on their might such a one rather consent to their destruction God want. a more a himself (Exod.31 But would a more perfect servant of the and was also more LORD. he shows. he is ever a political man. 1985).
translated from the Hebrew by David Rosenberg. Should we therefore scurry to unearth three more mitzvot that have escaped notice? one must find them. the authentic pronunciation of which is unknown. no character is recorded as speaking the Name between Jacob's prayer. (London: Soncino Press. 221. although the narrator of the last eighteen chapters of Genesis routinely refers to the LORD. 7. Hertz. ed. 30:24. The of suggestion is Moses' that absorption in his political mission has made him unmindful his wife and children. English Translation. . 40. Israelite nation for example. 3. 22:14. The Pentateuch and Haftorahs: Hebrew Text. "What Is Permissible So That This People May Survive? Joseph the PS: Political Science & Politics. gives Rashi's commentary. 1990). Commentary.. 4 (December 1989): 781. 19:13-14. Hebrew Congregations. 7. Exodus. 28:13. This leaves open the possibility (which he surely does not intend) that Moses was circumcised. Administrator. 1282a41-bl3. interpreted by Harold Bloom (New York: Grove Weidenfeld. 185. 245. El Shaddai is usually trans lated as "God Cf. ed. Exodus.Moses Politikos 2. Elie Wiesel. vol. and good humor we could really be better off for the effort? Moreover. 16. 1284a3-b34. 29:32-33.31-38. 50-52. 48. 6. and Notes by Everett Fox (New York: Schocken Books. corresponding to the Hebrew Adonai. 1981). 5. The English LORD. is 616. I have.g. 13:18. 35. 15:7. 24:3. would thus expose it on the (p. e. See Encyclopaedia Britannica. Republic 347a-d. 44. The viticus. "Moses: Portrait of a Mes of God. The text does declare him to be sengers Moses' not state age at the time of this or incident. 21. 22. Curiously. as an Egyptian. River" 8. scriptural quotations and chapter and verse references are to the volume Tanakh: Holy Scriptures: The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text (Phila delphia: Jewish Publication Society. 25:21-22. 1988). and Commentary. three more than the number of commandments to the tradi tionally hitherto ascribed to the Torah. Buber. 14 ("Of Preroga tive"). 9. Deuteronomy: A New Translation with Introductions. The bris is the ceremonial circumcision signifying the Abrahamic Covenant." either twenty forty years old. Le Numbers. before he wrestles with the angel who renames him Israel.. Gunther Plaut. 1995). 14:22. pp. but apparently only as they name given in the same order as in Exodus. concerns out of preoccupation with certain It may tempt us to disregard the forest of human arcane trees. In general. occasionally used other translations or translated passages myself when it seemed more appropriate to the point at hand. Deuteronomy. us not make too much of this particular as apt 15. W. 21:33. 31:49. section are from the translation by Everett Fox. gives the rabbinical interpretation. John Locke. 31. All translitera tions of Hebrew terms are my own. chap. 28-29. as more 11. Hertz child offers an alternative explanation: "Only a Hebrew mother. 4. which I have poetically expressive. Leviticus.. if at all. 12. 27. The 3. Passages in Genesis where characters speak the Almighty. 13. it is so easy to miscount that of drawing sweeping conclusions of from such data. 12:7-8. for example. See." 5. 49:18. p. Numbers. Let of (3x5x4) mathematical progression. 27. 1974 ed. a in this span of eighty-seven years. but different divisions of the text. but would we be especially wary No doubt. See Aaron Wildavsky. and are his deathbed salutations to 10. The Book of J. 12. The lure numerology is to mislead as to charm. 14. 210). 16. 9:26. 473d-e. no. Politics 1281a. 519c-521b.. The numerological value of Jethro's name. is the conventional rendering of the tetragrammaton. pp. 26:25. 26-27. The Biblical preferred quotations his sons. with enough ingenuity. 16:2. Second Treatise of Government. 35. 42. 32:10." Name 4:1. 8:20. 27:7. 26. 30. p. 418 ("Deborah"). is based on the paragraphing the JPS edition (Tanakh. in desperation to save her from destruction. Aristotle. 20. in Psalms 78 nor are and God's The lists though are not identical the plagues 105. p. "Torah" 179 word and refers to the first five Books of the Hebrew Bible: Genesis. The Torah: A Modern Commentary (New York: Union of American 415-16. My estimate of forty-five subjects. The Five Books of Moses: Genesis. H. 48-55. p. 2d ed. however. J. 1981). 11. reverence. Different rabbinical sources Leader. comprising three whole chapters of the book of Exodus. Plato. as at note 3 above). 56. in both the plague of blood is at or near the beginning and the dying of the first-born also at the end. Some examples of of the plagues are also mentioned power. Micropaedia.
emphasizes both that every reading as well mem ber and of the community. of washing. and remeant assertion separation they when such should . not for that. The phrase that intro nothing of the "Va'y'daber Elohim es kol-ha'd'varim ha'eileh lemor [God spoke all these words. 32:4. readings were not governed Interestingly. anoint oil. they will kill me and Judah. . 34:17)? 19. A chilling echo Israel. who brought you up from the land of He set up one in Bethel and placed the other in Dan. (1 Egypt!" He to the people. "Moses note 1 above. Is there a technical distinction between a metal. burning special incense. at least insofar as they hold certain display and admiration. thank God. pay an equal amount in census and expiation money. Lincoln drew June 26. The priestly ceremonies here described. that is. "You have Kings 12:26-30) King Jeroboam's boldness gives us to wonder whether the Mosaic story might have not been generally known at the time of the early Israelite 18. That proved to be a cause of guilt. a pesel. They thus resisted the temptation on qualities ceremonial" sharply to distinguish between the moral. The same point is made by the repeated injunction to keep the Sabbath. surely Even where we think we stand on solid ground with such matters. for the people went to worship [them]. quoted in Anastaplo. are moral." back to said King Rehoboam of So the king took counsel and made two golden calves. Professor Justine Walhout. we may be the surprised. 1857: The a similar connection between luxury slavery in his Springfield speech of [that all men are created equal] was of no practical use in effecting our from Great Britain.23)." observation. been going up to Jerusalem long enough. and one cast from molten Is this why the Second Covenant specifically forbids the making of (Exod. and wearing garments and using instruments made through divinely inspired workmanship. after the episode of Golden Calf) duces them has of the Ten Commandments. it is now proving itself. a stumbling block to those who in after times might seek to turn a free people back into the hateful paths of despotism. "ten-ness" saying]" a different rhetorical thrust: It was these words. This point recurs toward the end of the (Exod. part 8. For instance. set apart from the routines of ordinary life. and to that a number's being easily graspable. rich and up for ing with special poor alike. like the molten gods egel maseikhahl monarchy. the text makes at chapter 20 (in contrast to chapter 34.180 are Interpretation possible. Sanhedrin 102a. If up to offer sacrifices at the House of the LORD in Jerusalem. sin of the for the . and the "merely the other. O Israel. is obliged to contribute something that each is irreducibly precious. and only these Israelites' words. "Now the kingdom may well return to the House of David. that God spoke. Chemistry Depart 20. One " can gauge the importance of the "There is calf. the heart turn back to their master. attach Only later. I owe this observation to my former colleague from Rockford College's and ment. 30:1 1-34:35). section VII below. the rabbis who divided the Torah into weekly by this thematic distinction: one-third (45 of 138 verses) of the continues the ceremonial rules of portion that includes these events weeks' the previous two readings (Exod. See after the lapse into idolatry. who splits the Northern Kingdom off from the united realm of and Solomon: Jeroboam said to these people still go of these people will go himself. Its authors meant it to be. King Rehoboam of Judah. on the one hand. and it was placed in the Declaration. but for future use. teach the moral lesson that divine worship is something splendid. lawful people. They knew the proneness of prosperity to breed tyrants. not a misfortune that Israel has suffered which Golden Calf story by the is not partly and the ancient rabbinic a retribution Calf. an to their becoming 16. Ceremonies. that each person. in the David incident comes career of King along some three or four centuries later in the history Jeroboam I. Behold your gods. of this Golden in "Law & Literature of ancient 17. 30:11-16. Even the reading's opening command. does special as importance aid to their precise number. sculpted idol. all these words. 34:19. who receives the benefit of membership.
heart and your own 634). longer a need to call them by a special name. after your own p. heaven. that ye may look upon it. "But in the ranks. 1909). p.) his skin. and do them. and their inhabitants in six days and 5:12-15. given it shall be unto you for a (latur) sometimes has the nuance of casual wandering: cf. cf.. Cf. but the God orders his Isaac (Gen. 22. ISam. cf. 119-20. (For a less reverent version of the unconventional expla nation offered here. pp. the seventh (Deut. 13:23) after the 23. Carefully Translated Jewish Authorities by Isaac Leeser (New York: Hebrew Publishing Company. . Was this because. and remember all the commandments of and that ye go not about the LORD. raising funds for medical research to cure or prevent birth defects. that the Israelites wear a fringed garment: "And fringe. so it was transferred in public dis course to the moral rules and more nearly universal religious and already existing list of more fundamental that began the First Covenant. Deut. 22:1-19). these officially called spies to describe their scouting the commandment. everyone kept his booty for himself (Num. 59-60. 20:15-18. obeyed their distinctive dietary laws. woman's religious formula by Moses. and which later God is the only God in heaven (anoshim m'rag'lim). Hertz. Exod. The is often noted. Exod. earth. that Abraham bargains at raises no protest when length with the LORD to save the sacrifice inhabitants own son of Sodom and Gomorrah. Age of Reason: Being an Investigation of True Willey Book Company. etc.g. 4:39). does the name "Ten Commandments" come to be attached to the more august of Exodus 20? We conjecture that what happens next can best be understood through a modern The charitable organization called the analogy. see Hertz. which relates Sabbath obser 31. Unlike The word used the two Joshua sends. 15:39. below" above and on earth 2:11. 368. See also Deut. while omitting reference to as a remembrance of rested on it His having made having 20). 15:1-3.) list 21. How. is too good to a name Commandments" waste. 18:20-33. which she of course would not . and polio a became preventable. Thomas Paine. vance to the LORD'S liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. just a few chapters later.: "Can the Cushite change Or the leopard his spots? Just as much can you do good. 30:11 . (Emphasis supplied. The walls of Jericho are so deep that Rahab's house is built into the city wall itself (Josh. 32:25-29. her repeat a Best p. the observed Festivals like "Ten and the rules They But learned these things so well that there was no governing sacrifices. 24. 1942). I take the military sense of the last question as follows: Can the Canaanites lay in astray the first . Quoted from Twenty-Four Books of the Holy Scriptures. Moses' they had nothing for which to atone? restatement of the Fourth Commandment. perhaps unlike the officers. sea. The Canaanites were military defense. 635. Then came be dedicated to raising the Salk and Sabin But rather vaccines. 30. Cf. equipment? Note too contrast Moses' that references to the land do not repeat that it is God's him to 27. False Theology (New 29. e. men are not 25. after which ye use to go ancient people to use thickly walled cities extensively for 26. 20:8-11. stores of fuel to withstand a long siege? Can we readily obtain wood from which to construct siege gift. 4:32-40. (Josh. Who are practiced in doing evil!" (Jer. and York: 28. Deut. Hertz. 2:15). The March had of Dimes had succeeded. became part of the daily synagogue for the LORD your sensibility by having have heard. pp. See also Walzer. than to functioning organization that recognition. March of Dimes used to funds for dismantle another with medical research to cure or prevent infantile name paralysis. (v'lo taturu) (Num. See. So too the Ten Commandments. The text given pays implicit tribute to this liturgy: ". 31:53). eyes. the March rededicated itself worthy cause. The original set worked: the Israelites dispossessed the Canaanites. then.Moses Politikos appear one -181 in this fair land nut and commence their vocation they should find left for them at least hard to crack.
are discouraged from taking this description proposal. I furthermore in the limitations political arena. in which all tasks are performed by those who know their busi ness. that Critias had spent some time with Socrates be becoming one of the Thirty Tyrants. Socrates very briefly quite (see ruled by city temperance.Limitations of Political Philosophy: An Interpretation of Plato's Charmides Tucker Landy Kentucky State University Both the Republic and the Charmides are in the a form of a monologue by Socrates. (Critias wrote a poem celebrating Spartan moderation. 19. the and both contain description of a good or ideal regime. which issues true dreams. Vol. but he characterizes this description as a dream and leaves open the ques tion whether it has come from the gate of describes hom. however. No. his interpretation. who are eager to see justice and the just life defended against the arguments of the sophist Thrasymachus. or of ivory. in the of whom Critias. In the Republic. of what can be accomplished philosophy in the fore Knowing also. 26.) Knowing these facts about their careers. In the Republic. 15. In the Charmides. The of difficulty is that we cannot be sure Plato's dialogues is intended to represent the historical Socrates. the dialogue on temperance. then. p. to establish and Thirty During that Tyrants in Athens (404-403 violent measures maintain a time. we also wonder to what extent Socra character and tes and his ideas influenced the thinking most of Critias.562).2 Of all the dialogues.19). and In contrast. Plato's Socrates the Charmides would seem to be the likely place to look for that the thoughts on this matter. Winter 1999. The inter as to sobering counterweight to the intense political idealism of the Republic. Socrates speaks mainly to Glaucon and Adeimantus. both would B. Critias took extremely Spartan-style oligarchy or aristoc have this racy from Tuckey. 2 . appears ones issues false (see Homer.1 Part of the reason for this difference has to do with the characters in each dialogue. but the differences in the description presentation of these regimes are decisive.4. the work. Xenophon Hellenica 2.C. Socrates speaks mainly to Charmides later be involved in the regime of the see request. which locutors of the a realizable offer a (173b) Odyssey Charmides. and it is taken realizable proposal a of the good city takes up the bulk of seriously by the dialogue's participants as a 471c-e). we are not sur prised that Plato chose to have Socrates give Critias and Charmides a lesson in temperance with and there. Glaucon and Adeimantus would appear to need a noble vision of justice worthy of their laudable Charmides.. The Charmides.
it can express these concerns only leave the impression with less attentive is only one Socrates. The Charmides also shows. In this essay we shall assume that the character Socrates represents. the Charmides shows may not be completely effective. main even radically. it is hoped. Alcibiades I 104e-106a). would be Plato's concern. It will that there this agenda. perhaps Political philosophy therefore cannot com the ambitions of people like Critias. the most important ques tion. is something like a prototype of many well-known mod inspired em revolutionaries who were of politics by what they believed will to be a complete that delegitimized I all other claims to rulership. however. shall acknowledges inconspicuously because the at serious pursuit of political philosophy requires an that. that activity. his speeches. The Charmides. but whether political philosophy general neces just some political philosophies. We shall then take Critias as representing a dangerous type of political student: one who dangers inherent in he has acquired other Critias. is not whether the historical Socrates not actually influenced the historical Critias. and his actions. he may differ from the histori others to its introducing cal Socrates. show a predilection for the politi precisely because of the adventurous spirit they pos sess (cf. in science is liable to believe that the knowledge of political philosophy is the necessary and sufficient condition of good rulership. bear out these assump tions. but political philosophy in sarily inspires or encourages dangerous it awakens the faculty of philosophical political ambitions in certain people as inquiry and teaches them how to think to assume independently. that steps can and should be taken to bring some measure of temperance to the souls them aware of the practical subject. It is reasonable that this larger question. In this respect. about political affairs. but rather the not the ideal political philosopher allowed: one who to the extent that Plato's philosophical and literary powers is aware of the philosophy and of the need to exercise caution in charms. the historical Socrates. Clearly. In any case. argue. words. rather than the historical question. adventurous inquiries into the pursuit controversial political subjects. The inter pretation of the Charmides that follows. probably for Plato and certainly for us. if the Charmides has in an readers allusive. of such students and to make limitations to which the application of political theory is We see the Platonic Socrates tak ing such precautions that even these steps especially in this dialogue.184 Interpretation thoughts. inclination for (or most least a willingness to engage in) spirited. historical Socrates. although the historical question was certainly the stimulus to the main question and is still of some importance because it provides empirical data for answering the larger philosophical question. and that the danger of is perhaps a inspiring misguided ambitions necessary companion of political philosophy. esoteric manner. who was con demned unjustly by the Athenian demos and who was lovingly reproduced here . Finally. bears some of the marks of an in temperate or immoderate pletely avoid inciting and fostering both the historical and the Platonic Socrates cally ambitious. Indeed.
e. illnesses eluded the Thracian. All good and evil. manner in the text. According would show. who who were said to be able to make a person immortal (156b- 157c). This reading be in accord with Plato's caution in the ques Second Letter (although the authenticity of this letter has admittedly been tioned) that the dialogues are given to a Socrates "become young and beautiful" . the Charmides on Thracian doctor bid (157c). The relation of the historical Socrates to the Platonic but still substantial literary character is. "noble words" gender temperance (now mentioned for the first time) in the As temperance to the is present head and in the soul. according to ignorant with respect to the human being. The an oath to do to this reading. it is easy to secure health to the rest of the body. according to which one should not treat a part of the a whole. namely. most such as the eyes or the head. one should not treat the body as body apart from the the In fact. This physi cian agreed with the advice of Greek physicians. to see whether Plato might have addressed this matter in some artful. apart from the The Thracian added. Memorabilia 1. perhaps. Socrates explains to Charmides. not the effect of the and historical Socrates the historical Charmides Critias. therefore. that Plato is obliquely the historical Socrates in his in fact before artistic rendition indicating that he by correcting a "he did modified fault that the not teach historical Socrates he did was charged with. because the Greek physicians were Greek physicians. as I have suggested. that politics" his companions temperance (Xenophon. that soul. Plato did Socrates and others immortal his dialogues. Because of the difficulty of demonstrating of the existence of a hidden agenda.) has Then we could say.The Limitations of Political and Philosophy only a 185 in the rest of Plato's dialogues. Such soul.. i. in the the soul. however. I believe he has. that he had learned of a remedy for headaches and of a certain charm while soldier ing in Potidaea.2. At one point early in the narrative. the has to be treated first which are by certain charms (Socrates words en soon as now switches to the plural). but the effect of a new and more prudent political philosopher on would people like them. (157a). of subordinate importance to the philo sophical subject matter of this dialogue. the inattentive reader will see Socra tes innocently concerned with fostering a deeper understanding of virtue in the minds of the young and tender. though allusive. It will not be too far fetched. according to the Thracian doctor. souls not engender temperance contrast in their Platonic Socrates. had been complaining of headaches. body. body soul as well as in the whole arose from Therefore. which ought to be their concern. whole. Socrates maintains. (One observation that is not decisive but worth mentioning: the Thracian doctor is make said to be able to make men immortal [156d]. the will coherence and on plausibility the interpreta tion offered in this essay depend the evidence and the reasoning pre sented as a whole. He learned it from one of the Thracian physicians of Zalmoxis. Now let us suppose that the Thracian Plato himself as the author of the doctor is the a parabolic allusion to portrayer dialogue and literary and of Socrates. in as the to the historical Socrates. has taken before treating their heads.17).
to the student who later showed the most extraordinary intemperance in Athe nian politics. to the school of Taureas. interactions with Charmides. led him by the hand to battle at a seat beside Critias. Here we see me. better sense of Socrates a that. which the dialogic portion of the Charmides. where a major battle place. he has how dangerous political philosophy can be and and how important the lessons of restraint are in educating the ambitious young. answering all their questions. since democracy and also Socrates explains that he so delighted to back to his pastimes. He went. temperance as part of the sometimes dangerous lessons The indications that Plato gives at the end of the dialogue are not especially encouraging in this regard. and the mad Chaerephon rushed over to him. The third part will of takes up the by far the bulk something of a picture of the histori interaction with Critias. But in his narrative he repeats nothing about what he told them then. in this dialogue especially. where the young are trained. He says that after a complete account of the they . THE SETTING In the opening Socrates' of narrative and the (a recollection of the events of men to whom "the evening of the day before"). where the ethical pow Socrates' potentially dangerous side of Socrates and of philosophical inquiry into and political matters is emphasized. Several people hailed Socrates from a distance. The first part will treat the opening pages. This essay is divided into four parts that follow roughly the order of the dialogue. he had been away for long. Peloponnesian forces had taken That battle initiated the Peloponne sian War. to which would eventually the help was bring Critias get and bring Thirty Tyrants usual down the Athenian to power. he young he will speak are literally and figuratively coming from and heading in opposite directions. he shows no interest in such matters. look at while the aims of Socrates' second part will aspiring statesmen are practical. Socrates explains first that come back from the army camps at Potidaea. then. it cal seems to Socrates. with some at least temporary success. we get look Socrates' at Platonic Socrates teaching restraint. thus highlighting the difference between the former's primary interest in philosophy and the he had just with latter's primary interest in practical politics. The aims of philosophers are theoretical. which seem to intimate the fundamental conflicting The problem addressed by the dialogue: the mutual attraction and the aims of the philosopher and of the politically ambitious. and urged him to give Potidaea (153b-c). Socrates obliged them. the political philosopher can teach of political philosophy. that Plato has made some improvements to the his torical character given of in his writings. we shall make use of what whether has been gained to try to answer the larger question. In the fourth part. In these passages. therefore.186 Interpretation us (314c). I. We see here indications of erful eros and his willingness to teach bold thinking to those who seem suitable. Let allow.
manifesting itself as a desire to examine the soul of the young Athe nian Charmides. Critias' activity But there is an of soul-searching at abrupt change 161b. in ancient Athens and political ambition which can and modern be dangerous." "these things. In the hands of the politically ambitious. the discussion focusses the political power on the question of the practical benefits and even afforded by in temperance understood as self-knowledge. The action of the dialogue as a whole part pre to stem from the struggle between these two tendencies. The prob lem is that Socrates is naturally interested in educating the young. however. looking was Socrates wanted to know what was happening of in the city of Athens and specifically what philosophical activity was going on there. From that point on." sorts of he asked them about affairs at also wanted to in particular about philosophy (153d). There is in a mutual attraction. who is interested in knowl 3 Id). and the rest wanted to what was happening they were the edge of the Athenian empire. shows this. between historical philosophy record. and the times. especially the most talented and ambitious. or even edge for its own sake and not political power can (see Apology the most controversial political inquiries do no harm to himself to others. however. It is clear that in the hands of someone like Socrates. done to avoid the danger? The subsequent narration Can anything be in the dialogue analyzes the Socrates' problem and provides an of illustration. outward. if only about the Platonic that the Platonic Socrates is utterly sober was on in all respects. SOCRATES AS TEACHER OF INTEMPERANCE The Platonic Socrates is 230a). II. the dialogue temperance. then. the inward direction Socrates' attention could represent outward his interest in and the objects of philosophy. Figuratively. Indeed. but it and temperate is a mistake to assume easy for him (217e-221c). may be inspired to use their knowledge of political philosophy to realize grandiose political dreams. In the Charmides. The politically ambi tious. Critias. Charmides and proves quite amenable to the the serious pursuit of self-knowledge. As given the we an extremely complex character (see Phaedrus in the Symposium. inward. as Socrates and Charmides discuss the nature of temperance. how it might be addressed. He the young men had distinguished themselves in "wisdom or beauty know We see that at Chaerephon. if entirely solved.The Limitations of Political had had and of enough of Philosophy know whether or 187 home any both. Socrates seems to have from Alcibiades learn virtuous impression that behavior doubt Alcibiades' flattery contains much that character. he looking of inward. where presence begins to be felt more strongly. No is tme. not through the examples of action. while the attention could represent direction Chaerephon 's Critias' their interest in seems of the material and practical objects. In the early Socrates' dialogue (154d-161b). it is another matter. toward a life of philosophy. philosophical tendency dominates. we . at the limits of Athenian power.
strong impossible." In this passage. it seems. is to have desires." Socrates agreed to do so.3 Almost shows his liberal. and lost possession of himself. and enough claimed thoroughly beautiful interest in stripping Charmides' Charmides' soul viewing that rather than his form. this sort of pretense is associated with intemperate behavior (see 17 le and also the references to "pretending to be a at doctor" 170c and 171c). In this way. He says he was reminded of a verse the nameless the young man was and knocked Then. sat the extraordinary turbu down beside him (155c-d). face. looking greatest away toward the to show door. that his temperance in erotic matters is far First. Socrates appetite marble. to control. of at contemplating form. in his soul as Charmides in out. Chaerephon would told Socrates that if Charmides no consented to Socrates believe he had face. act Socrates' eros or his desire for conversation or both sometimes led him to intemperately himself. since he believed Charmides was old for a conversation. arguably a kind hubris." by wise Kydias. Socrates perfect. who lest. After Socrates mides' acknowledged the extraordinary beauty was Char strip." Socrates' days after the conversation with that he is no measurer: he is the proverbial useless at that age perhaps men in marking off the measurements of white seem beautiful to him. We learn that Socrates does control not always find it easy. difficult.188 have of Interpretation Socrates' own account of a moment when his desires almost got the better him. you be reveals boy warns someone "to take care seized as his share of the meats. he shows that his erotic attraction to Charmides' form made an have it almost impossible for him Charmides' to do what he had said he wanted to do instead soul. he saw "the things inside caught [Charmides'] fire. Soc Charmides presently companion (o hetaire. he shows that he had too much confidence in thinking he would of easy conversation with the beautiful Charmides. Second. addressing his listener lence that arose again. addressing his for the third cloak. ex plaining that Charmides had been complaining about headaches. Republic of 474d-475a). to examine Charmides' But . so form (154d). Socrates relates how. namely. Critias had an attendant summon Charmides on the pretense that Socrates was a doctor who could help Charmides with the ailment he had been complaining about yesterday. going from as a in speaking of a beautiful fawn before the lion. however. as people started pressing all around the two of them. immoderate for the beauty of the young (cf. and rates tells us actually he addresses some monologue place young man of the appeared. 154b) who is two evidently listening to Charmides and Critias took "white all line. He explains that with his former confidence looking forward to an easy conversation listener last time.4 Much later in the dialogue. though not Critias. If Socrates is world of reasonably taken to be the most complete human being in the the Platonic dialogues. and asked Soc rates to pretend he had "some remedy for the head. Evidently. now reveals Socrates. but rather some times extremely difficult to his powerful erotic appetite. told Socrates that a beauty was about up. Then Critias turned to Socrates. then to be desires that are fully human. Socrates.
Socrates or the Thracian doctor suggested that temperance is analogous to health: temperance is the whole welfare of the soul and. apparently sus nothing other than the Socratic manner of questioning (157c-d). Still. Socrates then explained that he had learned of the remedy for leaf and that a a Charmides' ailment. in giving of an account of these things to his nameless listener. There can be little doubt that Socrates was only pretending to pected was right away that Socrates' "charm" know the remedy for dia head. Eventually. temperance. Socrates' also keeping to display extraordinary in his erotic appetite a illustrating the enormous difficulty Socrates has in under control. or to make a liar out of his guardian. Socrates some maintained the pretense that he had charm (epode) went explaining that the remedy was a certain with the remedy (155e). Socrates flattered him with a lengthy his fine pedigree as a excel others in this virtue way of explaining why it was only right that he should (157d-158c). thereby. In any case. Perhaps to encourage Charmides to speak out boldly. but we wonder whether lectic can indeed engender temperance in the souls of his interlocutors. human being. Critias told Socrates that Charmides which charm excelled his comrades in the very thing account of produced. inquiring whether or not he (Charmides) Socrates in fact had this be asked it. Does Socrates (I historical Socrates) really have this all just a hoax? Socrates' a treatment for the Socrates. Charmides proved to be the very embodiment of tem and explained that He blushed he was reluctant either to boast about had it. possessed this virtue. by denying that he had it (158c-d). With respect to eros. he should able him to say what he thought temperance was. Socrates was evidently going to assist Charmides in knowing himself better.The Limitations of Political the same Philosophy 189 time. He asked Charmides to say whether he already any perance. Critias and perhaps mean Charmides the Platonic whole were certainly in not the or was need of such treatment. his appetites and weaknesses. Socrates replied that the answer that he was fitting and asked Charmides to join him in virtue. In addition. namely. and was therefore not in need of the charm. his virtue by affirming Critias. As the Charmides' Socrates' history of Athens bears out. if he had to formulate an opinion about it (159a). Socrates seems rather shaky form of continence to use Aristotle's language than an exemplary. remarking on what a stroke of luck this headache would turn out to be if it compelled Charmides to improve his understanding. virtuous form of temperance. if this passage is meant to illustrate temperance. Socrates shows what could be considered an essential ingredient of temperance: knowledge it is himself. as Critias maintained. since. and he eventually recovers his composure. Charmides also apparently caught on (see 176a-b). himsince Socrates had just experienced a momentary lapse of temperance in . remedy as well as of the charm while he was in Potidaea from one of the Thracian physicians of Zalmoxis. Critias. of the human being as health is the welfare of the body.5 Temperance how now emerges as the theme of the conversation.
a man Homer right when he said. prodding of Charmides to examine himself boldly suggests one reason conversation for the direction the some is taking: perhaps a kind of boldness that may look to like intemperance is a vital part of philosophical inquiry. Socrates and Charmides agreed. somewhat careless in the young men part encouraging boldness of this sort in reasonably be held responsible in (cf. boxing. and learning. Finally. that temperance was a noble thing and. Socrates mentioned the activities of reading. the seems to Socrates' understanding of temperance as direction of the conversation be moving toward a notion of temperance that is far from the ordinary. it is not the discovers with difficulty. Both in body more in soul. is willing who shows to switch interlocutor directions in conversing with of Critias was quite any bad character. or modesty. however. fully or even Socrates added. Socrates was undermining quietness. if temperance was noble. asked Socrates of person Charmides to look inside himself makes "bravely" this temperance say him into (160d). Charmides got and what replied kind that tem perance was respect or modesty. Thus. Alcibiades I 119c-124b). but he who does this most easily and (160a). and it could not be quietness. modesty was no more good than Charmides at agreed. he also own temperance or lack of it. athletic activity in general. and in and person. or at least to show. Socrates then proceeded him that this answer was not adequate. that temperance was a good thing.6 To speak precisely. and second that first. on the other. As examples. neither could the quiet. "Modesty not good for in need" (from Odyssey evil. he who deliberates deliberation. it was temperance was good. so that he might better understand himself and his might self. In any case. Charmides hesitated but finally answered that to temperance was orderliness or quietness convince (159b). as well as a noble was thing. orderly life be more "tempe rate" than the unquiet life (160b-d). orderliness. while. first. We shall see that his treatment different from his treatment of Charmides. Charmides agreed. on the one hand. since such inquiry requires ventional and dearly he overcoming the natural or habitual reluctance to question con held beliefs. is held worthy of praise. In response. speed and sharpness were honorable than slowness and quietness. in Plato's view.190 Interpretation have been interested in pursuing an investigation of temperance for his own benefit. that doing things quickly and force excessively (sphodrd) was more noble than doing them quietly and slowly (159e). then. At this point. Hence. temperance understood as a form of quietness or slowness is of questionable value in the pursuit of knowledge or skill.347). 17. lyre playing. It is not impossible that the historical Socrates associated with and so could was. Socrates' questioning vaunted could appear to be aimed deliberately Charmides' undermining Charmides' temperance. . writing. "In the quietest searchings of the or soul. For Socrates. Socrates is Charmides to agree. I imagine. temperance could not be modesty if. for the intemperate character of some of them The Platonic an Socrates. In this way Socrates encouraged Charmides to acquire. qualities that contrast sharply with the qualities Charmides had identified that with quickly" temperance.
Critias' presence begins to be felt Socrates' at this point in the dialogue. to take the definition of temperance of offered by Critias to be Socratic of origin. though. was Socrates' replies sometimes seem to signal an awareness that Critias using or mis Socratic doctrines. we are told that Critias had already and in spent a good one passage a deal time with suggests Socrates that prior to this occasion a (156a). This behavior is at least consistent with his think ing that Socrates was arguing against his own doctrines. for Critias was trine about as his shall own while Socrates be spreading a Socratic doc serving in Potidaea.The Limitations of Political Philosophy '191 III. But this indirectness could be "signal" an said to be demanded by the dramatic situation: Socrates perhaps did not want to em- . . something he had heard. but Socrates tells his convinced Charmides "had heard this refuting Critias and debated after temperance from Critias. Socrates expressed shock: "You You have heard this from 162c that he Critias men. It would not be out of character. Third. Why. using he wanted to remove himself from whatever peculiar interpretation might have expressed as though accrued to awareness his doctrines from Critias. I say that the replies only they do not demonstrate it. First. in the Republic (433a-c). then. SOCRATES AS TEACHER OF TEMPERANCE In fact. he be seemed to me just as the sight of some yawning causes people to affected in the same way to be compelled by the sense of my difficulty to be caught in a difficulty himself (169c). tes took on Charmides' with understanding of this doctrine. then.7 But know from the Meno and the Protagoras that one the Socratic teachings is that all the virtues are one. Socra principle is shown supporting the own that everyone in a well-governed city principle should do his it as a business. and he occasionally irritation. that discussion changes toward reinforcing business" rather than undermining Charmides wanted opinion on temperance was "doing the wise one's own rascal. initial reaction upon hearing the Socrates' doctrine from the tes mouth of Charmides. (to ta heautou prattein) (161b). Socra him for almost the entire remainder of the act so surprised dialogue. of although he interprets this differently we and offers definition justice rather than of temperance. and that Critias passed it off to Charmides as his own. It is not unreasonable. Furthermore. per haps from Socrates himself. Second. as we to see. Critias expressed surprise at hearing Socrates argue against this and other proposals Critias made." or another of Critias denied that Charmides heard this nameless companion at answer about was from him (161c). to my mind. does Socrates to hear this answer? I believe Plato has left indications in the dialogue suggesting that this doc trine had arisen in a previous conversation between Critias and Socrates. ." Consequently. and the thrust of the temperance. I present four reasons for reading the dialogue this way. aside from the fact that it best explains. . Socrates Critias had "Now tendency to mimic Socrates in things and one habitual and unreflective manner: a when Critias heard these saw me in difficulty.
following "knows himself at 164b-c). "o not agree beltiste" asked Socra this tes. not In each them. Socrates replied sternly: "Leave that aside. there Critias' also seems to be a subtext or subconversation this having to do with misappropriation of Socratic doctrine. with the claim that the one doing now" good. the language having left aside that Critias' could suggest that Socrates is now denying what he had previously taught and that Socrates is arguing merely for the sake of retribution. the one we doing have was temperate. Socrates you" protested: on which supporting this definition. The following passages are consistent gether. It makes more sense. for about which the argument annoyance attempting (166c). taken to we it quite plausible. Now Critias had known things" and final indication Critias' Socrates for strange. if Socrates did not agree "Why Critias. but what you say of tem (my who emphasis). When Socrates not allow a of him. doing just now. and we surprise that Socrates did himself Critias' agree with find Socrates rebuking him in some way for making such a hasty assumption.192 Interpretation of barrass Critias in front Charmides and the rest of the crowd by openly con fronting him with an accusation. . Later. in addition to the explicit conversation between Socrates and Cri tias. . addressing him in phrase at not Socrates' (cf. Critias expressed surprise that Socrates did other distinction between the knowledge of knowledge and the un you kinds knowledge: "And this aware. in were fact. namely that temperance was self-knowledge edge (164cown knowledge knowl to be a modified version of Socrates' temperate claim. This proposal appears suggestion (Socrates speaks of one proposed another or definition of perance. urged Critias not to care at all "whether Critias or refuted" (166d-e). since. Shortly thereafter. of which again could contain a double The fourth mittedly Socrates not a of plagiarism. what I say (my emphasis). Critias accused saying "unusual (atopa) (172e). at a long time. find Critias expressing position. you treat me as though I professed to I ask questions and needed challenged know the things with only the of will to agree (165b). Critias expressed his desire to Socrates an argument it. made in the Apology (23b). Socrates replied: "How can you think. as I believe. Socrates Socrates is the one being entendre. In other words. is that toward the end of the dialogue. if my main effort is to refute you. although it is ad strong one. It is hard not to hear a sarcastic double entendre in this rebuke. a give with of self-knowledge. that I do it with any other motive than that which would impel me to investigate myself. make with of this interpretation and. At 163e Critias manner. Critias 165b). Socrates' line of reasoning must have indeed been least to Critias. not to consider yet what Socrates' I think. . alone that the god considers Socra worth tes alone to be wise because Socrates kind knows that he is nothing with respect to wisdom. in order to provoke this remark. Socrates' use of 162d) for whether he did evil. that is. Again. you are is" you [difference] you are far from being are doing the very thing you denied to refute me.
was unreasonably high in view. Socrates' interrogation Critias. he He claimed preferred to withdraw some of his earlier claims rather than concede that a man who was ignorant perance of himself in this sense was temperate. whether might was admit craftsman not know such a thing. is superficial to the hand. He believed. not For the lessons. is both historically it suggests and philosophically significant. accomplished two main objectives. and know Critias he himself forced to an was likely that a to every craftsman had to benefit from his work and when not. the Platonic Socrates as on the one hand. who to need encouragement or incitement to excellence and the pursuit of we see wisdom. he is willing to undermine conventional notions of tem It is this willingness that is perhaps partly responsible for the failure of Alcibiades or the historical Socrates to teach those who need such Critias the lessons the of restraint." This reading. Socrates things. agreement that temperance secured is it doing was good he asked Critias whether a doctor must know when benefi to heal when someone and when it was not. It may be that what are ordinarily called temperate actions always entail a certain amount of ignorance. if words. He the Socratic teaching him a singular ability believed he had obtained the supreme science. It is historically significant because how the regime of the Thirty Tyrants might have been related to Socratic political philosophy. following the example of the historical Socrates insofar perance. a was lower this estimation. Socrates drew might even stronger conclusion (164b-c): without sometimes what the doctor have done what is helpful or harmful knowing he did. In the Charmides. alert of of on the other historical Socrates. it Critias' understanding Critias' of what philosophy The to is and of what it can accomplish practically. estimation of the power of Socrates' philosophy. For those like Charmides.The Limitations of Political Philosophy - 193 however. of "a little or knowledge philosophy. It is philosophically significant because it relates philosophy by its devotees. if correct. therefore. an improvement necessitated by Plato's expe to the general problem of the potential abuse of political Socrates' rience seem of the historical Critias. second objective that Socrates' interrogation accomplished. But Critias apparently wanted the virtue of temperance to be much more than this. dangers. referring to it as "self-knowledge. referring to the inscription "Know at . the science of all sciences. Then cial of the principal thrust of the Critias' interrogation. therefore. that his acquisition to rule. lack of self-restraint extended advance of further his willingness to use Socratic doctrines to his own reputation. at this point in the discussion. we see what is perhaps Plato's improve ment on dialectical art. instead that tem thyself!" was self-knowledge. elicited as we shall see presently. as we shall see. if thought Critias' we allow that Critias believed he was defending than doctrines that he Socrates himself had taught. in Bacon's and can Platonic Socrates. Thus." apply remedies accordingly. gave as we shall see shortly. First. We shall highlight few passages that support this under standing At 164a.
Critias then decided to defend this new definition: temperance knowing oneself. He are distinguished this inscription from and others (two much" mentioned: "Nothing too "A pledge and thereupon thy at perdi tion") he thyself!" considered spurious. however. in that dialogue. "the temperate arrest the careful reader's attention: man alone will "Therefore.8 Critias to agree. Trying to find to the self switch Critias made exactly what Critias meant. and Both Critias were and the god declared that "Know inscriptions "Be temperate!" the same. in without appears where other they do know. Socrates of proceeded next to investigate how Critias derstood knowledge conferred on this sort and exactly what power Critias thought it knowl those who acquired it. dialectic as the highest form of leading to the secure comprehension of ideas that other arts and sciences merely hypothesize (531d-535a). if there is appropriation of elicited conversation pertaining to Socrates' ideas methods. Temperance. i. Socrates did not object in his definition of temperance. Socrates would appear to have from Critias the implicit scientific essence of admission that he considered temperance to a be the Socrates' dialectic science like geometry un which could other be acquired and which would distinguish the possessor from all human beings. according to Critias. were written afterwards by was men who misunderstood the god's words as mere advice and decided to add their own. . Socrates describing temperance. to move his young interlocutors to an appreciation for theoretical philosophy. Socrates. Socrates pressed Critias to express himself more clearly on what he meant by self-knowledge. Socrates draws be a conclusion which should rates certainly said. as knowing it. that temperance had to include the lack of knowledge of the knowledge (166e).194 Interpretation even Delphi (164d-165b). a skill he describes in detail in the beneath this and Apology (21b-22e).e. think he will likewise have the cases power to check out what other people know and think they know. Socrates edge. Critias began by explain ing that temperance was a special kind of knowledge in that it did not produce any immediate. he explained. In the Soc- Charmides. perance was unique Critias in that it out was the knowledge of the other knowledges of itself. The presentation of dialectic in the Republic is consistent with his attempt. people will be and what they they know agreed. produced tangible benefit as medicine produced health or as carpentry houses (165c-e). was more like geometry or calculation in this respect. from knowledge of (heautou) He got to knowledge of itself (heautes). to knowledge now of knowl edge. In the ensuing conversation. Critias' with the very skill of dialectical examination Socrates himself more concrete a subtext employed on others throughout his life. to be unable" (167a). Critias was evidently thinking of tem perance as a theoretical rather than a practical science.. Critias assent." Soc know himself and and able to exam ine what he happens to know and not know. If this surmise Critias' is correct. said that tem and wondered what the subject matter of temperance was. The other Delphi. presents In the Republic. however. however.
Socrates said that "some great was needed who could deter with a series of examples man" mine whether petence this was possible (169a-b) and that he distrusted his own com to do it. a imitator of difficulty. he concealed him from admitting his inability to answer his difficulty. Seeing as compelled to after feel the same difficulty. if this is possible. what benefit is these things? With respect to the first question. occasion prevented so questions. therefore. which health. As a ruling science. never doing city or allowing to do anything would without knowledge. Critias knowledge admitted this was not possible. practical limitations. without any know what justice. the discus into the if it was Socrates wondered what benefit tem temperance nize enabled us this condition only knowledge of knowledge (17 Id). could he knew about these things or about other sub ject. in Socrates. with an indistinct Socrates' By failing very poor to acknowledge his fact. with no of health or disease. he was one might be compelled to yawn urge to seeing someone else yawn Critias' distinguish himself on every reply. Critias showed himself to be. a . therefore evident that edge of knowledge Critias had been considering temperance the knowl to be of tremendous power and use. and political Socrates mentioned medical of knowledge. Socrates explains. would not be able to distinguish a true doctor from one who was merely pretending (170a-e). owing mostly to his love of honor. and that the temperate man. which is knew only knowledge. just (169c). and wondered how additional knowledge any of justice health. revealed theoretical Socrates' Socrates' first question. First. Critias' about understanding or of temperance and pursued these questions throughout the rest of the dialogue (167b). difficulties Critias' with understanding of self-knowledge. For in that case had temperance and everyone governed others by us" would live without error. Critias of and agreed that the one who had knowledge that was itself would know himself and would helped thereby. that this was how they had been speaking of temperance (172a).The Limitations of Political rates seeks ophy. Critias It is admitted a house or a ruled by temperance be well ordered. we would be greatly benefitted by being temper "we who ate. someone who or knowledge. Socrates in difficulty. Thus. Critias' The deflation sion moved perance was of notion of self-knowledge continued as realm of politics. He granted that if to know what we knew and did not know and to recog in others. Socrates over not does whelmed would showing how unlikely or strange it be that anything should have the power of being applicable to itself (167b-168e). Philosophy 195 to puncture Critias' inflated opinion of the practical power of philos Socrates raised two questions. and what one or there in knowing know? Second. is it knows Critias possible to know both that one knows does not know. He wanted to know edge of what one second question aimed at whether one would revealing its be helped Socrates by knowl be of knew and did not know (169d). But Socrates itself the Critias is of same as raised a new question: what one how is knowledge that is not knowing knows and does know (169e-170a)? needed more explanation. then. Critias was humbled.
if would ment" one could determine replied that human beings would not under such conditions be happy. Critias was baffled and accused him of this temperance to the Critias had been requiring (172b-c). or would not. elicit the views of to Critias' understand Socratic that political philosophy. compelled ca bringing about a kind of political perfection. And the temperate man would also be able to examine others more beautifully not about the state of their knowledge. Socrates in the application of knowledge to he expressed concern. Socrates He wanted expound own views. for could produce no benefit. warfare. asked Critias.196 Interpretation sciences. in his view. and he asserted that saying control strange things. without such knowledge. then. though. even would be conducted knowledgeably. Even granting that tem perance could do everything that was originally supposed. and that they and bad was in any case necessary to determine whether was also anything done knowledgeably done beneficially inquiry (173e-174e). it could. according nature to which everyone performs the task to or oligar appeal (see 433a-c). He forced Critias to admit that no has any such knowledge as they had imagined been found (172a). This principle resembles the the of Republic. Socrates Cri tias to see that temperance was not sufficient by the temperance such as knowledge of good for such ends.172a). discuss this interpretation of the arisen indirectly his at 17 le. Socrates said he was still unsure what benefit it provided. medicine. then everything piloting. It is therefore likely to which someone with the oligarchic ambitions of he is fit to Critias. Socrates had been that he had good reason. the emphasis of the such a Socratic principle is not on the knowledge in for the task he performs. of Socrates now explained his "dream. In the Republic. According to Socra tes. Critias "perfection" Socrates or (telos) of welfare if he rejected find any other "fulfill this knowledge. but to version of perhaps doctrine (though it may be said to have because his purpose here was not to Critias. fearing that the worthless (175a). therefore. then." If temperance had prophecy principle human beings. . science of Socrates attempted to where disabuse Critias of this notion. city but on the natural suitability of each In the Charmides Socrates did not. Socrates then explained one possible benefit of temperance or self-knowl such as edge. perfection of person however. any certainly not democratic. but would also learn the subject matter more behold the knowledge itself of those subjects (172b). Tem added perance. learn more Critias had been supposing it to be: temperance would make one easily whatever one learned since the temperate man would not only easily. temperance would help one in the unfinishable theoretical pursuit of practical affairs. which we know from history. the knowledge knowledge. knowledge. Critias of thus revealed that pable of he considered temperance. that and be greater than it really was into temperance inquiry may have been worthless. It is necessarily aristocratic by in case chic. that a city governed had imagined could exist only as a dream. govern cities without error.
we Socrates." These to one of Athens' allow us the comforting conclusion that the charm ing words of the Platonic Socrates could have sufficiently tempered the soul of . was taught In Plato's dialogue. presumably for the purpose of encouraging a more spirited at philosophical inquiry. Its benefit is philo sophical. PHILOSOPHY AND POLITICS We turn back now to the question raised at the beginning of this essay: whether precautions can votees of political be taken against politically of ambitious students or de can philosophy who acquire an do. might be to transmit the essence of this to his interlocutor. then. Plato shows two aspects exaggerated notion of what it the relation of Socrates' teach ing to temperance. who had shown himself to be in much greater need compelled of temperance than see Charmides. In time. In this dialogue. most he [Critias] gives the intemperate regimes do not command. mides' effort charm of First. never can govern whole cities or Socrates' bring them to a fulfillment of welfare. Charmides replied: must expect me to use they force. even if it be understood as or a knowl was not a comprehensive knowledge knowledge governing longer be or somehow the whole body it of knowledge. Critias its could no certain even that such knowledge mind that can alert possessor to what he knows does not know. Utopian dreams. learn that temperance as however. The essence of temperance seems to be expressed in Critias. we see Socrates to some extent undermining Char temperance. that temperance. will en gender new and does not know will learn more dialecticians Socrates' and will. understands it can operate Socrates' recognition that the possessor of self-knowledge knowing what he knows easily and will examine others more beautifully on the subjects they have learned (172b). is to dampen Socrates' what the zeal of one inspired by dialectic to think it can be used for implementing In another intemperate respect. the skillful dialectician philosophical temperance discussion the "kingly able glory rather than of in Euthydemus 292c-e). Then we see him applying something like a to the soul of Critias. Socrates knowledge Critias to edge. of But the the Charmides gives urged an ominous foreshadowing they the regime of the Thirty Tyrants. in so far as it is possible. avoid stirring the ambitions of those who lean more toward a of life of political art" philosophy (cf. Socrates to know what "plotting" (bouleuesthon) "You allusions and whether were since going to use force. rather than political. if it is successful. Socratic education. Critias of to be more temperate in his estimation conclusion of the power of philosophy. not effectively between individuals in a philo sophical conversation in a way that it cannot operate between a temperate ruler and the city he rules. Through the art of dialectic. some The effect of speeches in the Charmides.The Limitations of Political Philosophy 197 IV. Critias Charmides wanted not to abandon Socrates were in great or small matters (176b).
front and of Socrates.2. Tuckey. 5. which would apparently have been excessive. Lamb's in the Loeb Classical Library edition of Charmides in Plato in Twelve Volumes (Cambridge. and used them as assumption use of Homer here. Nicomachean Ethics 1 1 19a b. 12. Crito 52e). Socrates did to Critias' desires the appetites." which are perhaps more head. but because he is gable moved that the souls of the young. which may help to account for the Spartan described in the Republic. Socrates edge. that Critias had passed this not admit doctrine off to Charmides so as his own would why Critias did to Charmides in this conversation that it is actually Socrates' idea. the principle of assigning every citizen to the business for which he is fit by is shown to be necessarily oligarchic or aristocratic. Plato would have reason. his 7. pp. Socrates later Thracian charm he employed was ineffective (175e). The Greek narrowly mental word sophrosyne is notoriously difficult to translate. but only of pretending to have a cure. 1979) vol. Memorabilia 1. It is not unlikely that Critias thought he was regime regime implementing the Socratic in Athens during the time of the note Thirty Tyrants. pp. NOTES 1. Indeed. like Critias. 3. G. we recall. has bad rational principle but knows they regard bad and refuses to follow them (1145a). had a for the Spartan the regime a character of (cf. R. right thing in the right way at the right time. Plato's Charmides (Amsterdam. and 2.198 a Interpretation other Critias. 6. seems well aware of the practical Socrates' limitations of his knowl This is one of the strengths of self-knowledge. Socrates. See Charmides 156a high regard Xenophon Memorabilia 1. The Platonic Socrates treats the them. without however. In this essay "temperance" shall always translate sophrosyne as and ask the reader to keep the mental connota in mind. M. 12-13. in words. With to Socrates' "Again.56: [Socrates] selected from the most famous poets the most immoral evidence in teaching his companions to be tyrants and malefactors. not because he can cure to do so partly by eros. or might obtain a comprehensive science that could bring order Socrates. 5-9." "keep I tion one's behavioral. original proposal of pretending to be a doctor.12-37. I have this explanation from W. since its meaning is and more than the meanings of the Latin-based words "temperance" "'moderation. consider Xenophon. desire for conversation and mutual self-examination with These impulses evidently cause him to act.2. MA: Harvard University Press. 1968). only the pretended to have a remedy for the head and a charm that could treat soul and the whole human being. 1 have relied on Lamb's translation. Critias actually believed he had to whole cities. where it is explained that the temperate man not agree 4. I take it. See Aristotle. partly by at his indefati them. presumably. emending where I thought I could render a word or phrase more literally. nature In the Republic. Unlike Critias. does not want to embarrass Critias crudely by revealing this in Charmides. The explain accuser alleged that passages. knowledge of the benefit to himself or the person he is treating. like the doctor discussed 164b. on account of by his contrast. that Plato is leaving as open the possibility that the history of Athens Socrates (maintaining soul could have proceeded it did even if the historical the distinction we have assumed had obeyed the precepts of the Thracian physician in this interpretation) to induce temperance in the even admitted before treating the head. then. are The continent man. The Greek word seems to mean something like an ability to See T. for .
It is regime of nonetheless. it is "the switch go of self- knowledge the other knowledges and of purpose It seems to that Socrates Critias' because his primary knowledge." part of the soul which knows. And Critias might have answered that the subject not temperance answer of is the entire soul. that this doctrine might have guided thinking for a when he led the Thirty 8. just that itself. 37-38) line of that Socrates induced Critias to have a subject matter this switch by imply ing that temperance as knowledge might not distinguishable from itself. 33-37). the Philosophy and 199 Socrates from this Tyrants. Tuckey maintains (pp. What is decisive lets the in Critias' is the suggestion that self-knowledge is somehow me comprehensive.The Limitations of Political distancing hinted. Scholars have debated the significance of this conversion long make time (see Tuckey. pp. principle in a dialogue that features Critias Critias' Charmides. is to examine the full implications of understanding . This is probably true. but be unique in having matter of Socrates' the knower as questioning seems perfectly natural: self-knowledge seems to its subject.
Alcibiades I. her is hard to measure. No. In the a Hipparchus. often risking their own safety to do so. Socrates discusses nameless. Winter 1999. the dialogues get their names present either (Republic. for some readers. and that it is not the an account of the wise and beneficent which rule of Hipparchus in Athens death. quite by unexpected and unnerving. The introduction of Hipparchus into the conversation is. or. and of the cause of the although conspiracy thread brought about his it gives its one name to the whole dialogue. This digression. with whom I have had many delightful conversations on this dialogue and other related topics. Tipton Tulane University INTRODUCTION Tyranny realm of is something political philosophy inquiry: it should seek to understand it turn its attention to should always keep within its the conditions under which tyr it. Plato's Hipparchus. Lamb finds the connection between the content of the conversation and the digression strained at best: After proving that gain is not same as good.Love A Gain. Alexander). Philosophy and Tyranny: Commentary on Plato's Hipparchus of Jason A. Laws) or from someone (Charmides. I would also like to acknowledge to Steven Berg. the namelessness matter from their of the Comrade only draws attention to the person for whom the dialogue is named. interpretation. her influence manuscript and permeates I also wish to thank her for reviewing the my gratitude making many helpful suggestions. Dionysius. given this fact. not by inquiring tyrants into the nature of but also by engaging tyrants and potential (Alcibiades. The phers examining and Socratic philoso tyranny. but for a long-dead Athenian tyrant. Cri tias.2 the love of gain (philokerdes) with Comrade who remains subject In general. 2 . displayed this concern. The argument concerning the love of gain unfolds in two phases interrupted a digression concerning the Athenian tyrant Hipparchus.1 anny phy emerges so as to recognize must when confronted with Political philoso tyranny if it is only concerned with preserving the conditions under which philosophy thrives. 26. is connected with the conversation by but flimsy one of the maxims These ness to thoughts on the Hipparchus owe much to my teacher Ronna Burger. While my indebted the entire work. Critias). Vol. Socrates gives made from worthless things. The Lover of Gain is initially striking in that it is named not only for someone who is not present. son of Pisistratus.
I believe it is an not only fruitful but necessary to interpretation of the dialogue as a sion gain. Symposium 182c). tyrant. ate and as Plato represents it in numerous dialogues. as an example of the way in which traditions have been down without any critical reflection (Thucydides 1.5 facts of their own observes that which (Thucydides To use a Platonic image. Politics 1311a37. This description is very similar to the picture that emerges in Plato's Hipparchus.20). . He returns to the later to recount the events leading up to the assassination of Hipparchus in story order to demonstrate that "the Athenians are no more accurate than the rest of passed the world history" in their accounts of their own tyrants and of the 6. an erotic (philomousos)" (Athenian Constitution (erotikos) and a lover of the muses XVIII). The Athenians potential Alcibiades.54). of attempt to whole incorporate the digression into to understand in order how the discus the Athenian tyrant contributes to the task of understanding love of would certainly fail to live up to the standard Socrates holds artfully constructed written work as an organic whole (cf. The assassination of Hipparchus by Harmo- dius and Aristogeiton of Athenian triumph generally held to be the founding moment of the democracy over tyranny (cf. One might wonder whether association with Alci biades.6 the Thucydides. was of Plato. one might suppose that Plato's journeys to Sicily. Hipparchus is said by Aristotle to be "fond of child's play (paidiodes). but only momentary difference between Socrates and his While we should not dismiss this sober observation too quickly. 275d) if it had no more unity than what Lamb allows in his introduction dialogue. was an attempt to moder tame him. What does the tyrant Hipparchus The dialogue an up for wish to gain? The story of Hipparchus. Phaedrus 264b. Thucydides introduces the story at the very beginning his history. perhaps more than Socrates' anyone. they Aristotle discusses Hipparchus people are question the opinions of the cave in and the events surrounding his assassination in the Politics in the ways of context of his discussion of the causes of revolution and preserving particular regimes (1311a35). in one version or another. significance of the legend Hipparchus he introduces it in the recognized context of a discussion about Alci as a biades. In the Athenian Constitution.202 Interpretation Hipparchus inscribed 'Deceive on a not a which maxim by the roadside for the edification of the people: this the friend' has a bearing. Likewise.5 debate. psy of about the tyrant's chological makeup and the passions that work to Thucydides provides an important clue to the when overthrow tyranny. not on any subject of friend. and it would not be surprising if Aristotle were in fact referring to dialogue. however.4 to the The question then becomes. would have been famil iar to Athenians during Plato's life. Plato and Aristotle all give varying accounts of Hip parchus' demise: Plato appears to seems to and Aristotle be in some be carrying dialogue on a with dialogue both with Thucydides. Aristotle. Thucydides few willing or able to live.
however playfully. act that attracting them that of the first is produced by Homer. The third leads to with stage involves the mur execution. it is this Hipparchus' der a fact that help but Socrates' evoke comparisons The first two programs. directed to the poetry to the as a means citizens and the political for an education distinctively country folk. in this way the deeds or the dialogue would correct or augment the speeches.Love of Gain. Hipparchus is stages poetic presented as a teacher whose education projects stage involve three involves the that seem to evolve one from the other. a possibility not for in the speeches defining gain. But why would the love Socrates be interested in disabusing the Comrade of his low opinion regarding of gain? One possible explanation is suggested by the features in the condemnation of Comrade's heated applied the lover of gain which could of to the philosopher. in contrast which private association with the unnamed and youth. are initi wise by Hipparchus a political man. The Comrade identifies the lovers be equally gain as "those . must his private education of the youth. in some form. These first two stages. As the aporetic that the loss of the Comrade's ending approaches.7 Hipparchus seems move beyond thinking himself wise. The poetry the second stage and is Hipparchus'. The second phase of love of gain attempts to continue where the conversation had been going to the digression. education of an unnamed youth. The education of the citizens. can't Simonides Anacreon. they lend it is Socrates' support initial characterization of Hipparchus as a wise man (228b 1). In adding this Socrates' ture of the his account. Socrates. it appears as if Socratic philosophers have a particular. interest in reforming tyrants. which we Philosophy and Tyranny 203 to learn about in the Seventh Letter ascribed to Plato. doing something like this in his account of Hipparchus. the argument about prior own situation. seems to have painted legendary tyrant which makes him mirror. poetry a pic and the stage to desire for recognition toward some private affection. perhaps not clear that Hipparchus be a wise man in the same sense. to involve ated the citizens generally as those outside the walls of the city. To engage in the third stage. perhaps practical. while the second stage involves the poetic education of the country of folk which is described as a means of while to the city. The first phase of the conversation in the Hipparchus culminates with an exchange of accusations of rade. if only The direction of this transformation in speech is indicated by the Socrates' most and account differs from that of Thucydides striking way in which of Aristotle in the Politics: there is no mention in either of these of Hip parchus being an educator of youth. employ in nature. deception between Socrates and the unnamed about Com It is this exchange which introduces the discussion first Hipparchus. to being a seeker of wisdom would be enough. there emerges the initial low opinion regarding love of accounted action of suspicion gain might profit or be a gain. The Hipparchus rep resents Socrates in speech. evidence. were an attempt transform the From such anecdotal young Dionysius into a philosopher-king and realize his republic.
the Comrade. Apology 20e) is the act of a madman possessed of some preternatural knowledge nificant of desire for something that continues to elude him. Symposium 203c ff. to could not condemn and punish such behavior. The Comrade seems to be indignant at the daring (tolmao) of the lovers of gain. cf. The gain. It is difficult justify fool. In discussing the Hip Alfarabi notes that Socrates "explained the relation of the things of gain useful and gainful in the eyes of the multitude to the things truly useful and gainful. they know the worthlessness of the thing the punishment of a but still dare to seek gain from it through shamelessness (225b).). the that the parchus. LOVE OF GAIN AND PHILOSOPHY As is characteristic of many the of the dialogues or more what broadly characteris of gain and (dok- tic of political philosophy who are investigation into with is the love "In my these lovers of gain begins in an opinion: opinion ousin).) The Comrade is criticizing the shameless.' This definition focuses on the starting point or the material. means by see Repub which the . with which things If they were simply ignorant of the worthlessthey hope to make a profit. the Comrade calls the lovers of gain rogues (panourgoi) and evildoers (poneroi). nection daring involved. gain" of the lover not by a some feeling (aplestia) (unless or desire is being driven immediately obvious as of gain as eros as such a description of the philosopher one identifies state. suggestion that the philosopher or power not after introduces lovers of the good money into the discussion: "So (227b 1).204 Interpretation who. the turn into profit. is a noble form of the lover of made stronger when Socrates you call those who love the good. "they from worthless are those who think it worthwhile (axiosin) things" make a gain (225a3-4). out of an emptiness (aplestia). and the city for that matter." the Comrade explains the answer to the question with which Socrates to initiates discussion. If the description of emptiness may be but wisdom. lover association is certainly strengthened by the suggestion is really the lover of the good. tyranny and some of the passions lic 575a."9 nothing but that knowledge and that arts are not adequate for obtaining the I. of are always striving preternaturally gain" (hupe- phuos) for insignificant things little or no worth in loving (226d7-el). worthless material. the lover of gain seeks to whether This first definition is quickly revised by the Comrade when Socrates asks he would call these lovers of gain fools if he thinks that don't they know the things ness of the are worthless. the ignorance Socrates has gained might indeed look like an insig thing of little or no worth. (On the con between daring. and how the gain that is the true gain. how [tme] gains or the goods are practical desired way of life.s To the nonphilosopher it might look as if Socrates' tireless pursuit of a wisdom he never seems to achieve (cf.
by suggesting that the lover from everything (pantos) (225b9-10) nothing is off It is no longer just the worthless things that are of interest The Comrade responds profiteer but everything. Presumably is it does not matter whether revised the material with which the profiteer works means worthless or not. (Cf. But one who pas sionately pursues his self-interest law is a description which seems vidual and as in doing could if it may set himself beyond the apply just as much to the indi so philosopher. Abstracting from the Comrade's concern with the shamelessness of the prof iteer's wanting to profit from worthless things. Meno 92b.Love of Gain. diametrically (Apology opposed to the tyrant the Socrates admits at his trial that he the would not give 29c-30c). lover of gain profits Philosophy and Tyranny 205 insofar as his criticism is a political condemnation he is indignant aries. it the can't help agitating the Comrade. only if he had suffered injustice at the hands of the lover of gain. This seemingly insignificant suffered an suffered some injustice (adikemenos)" (225c 1as comment about the almost behaving Socrates' if he had ence to injustice is followed immediately by refer would lawcourts (tas dikas) (225c). the Comrade highlights the the operates. but there seems to be no reason why the term should not be applied to a broader field. raising it and hoping to make a profit from it. it is be rooted the he utilizes that evoke the Comrade's anger (which may in jealousy). If the first definition now was concerned with the means with which material of the profiteer profiteer. which would encompass not just money-making.). The individual who appears to go as far as possible in this direction is the tyrant (Gorgias 469a ff.) The issue of justice. Socrates turns the profiteer . Socrates appears uninterested in at the shameless Comrade's indignation daring of the profiteer. The Comrade's indignation be justi Anytus' fied. in this definition. at the profiteer's transgression of certain social or contractual bound do not The business of the city cannot support shameless profiteers who recognize contracts. Socrates gets the Com things agree that the profiteer does know about the worth (axias) of the from which he thinks it worth while to make gain. rebuff With rade to Socrates' the conversation starts anew. where Socrates implies the same thing about indignation against the sophists. Socrates implies. The Comrade's so response draws a strong rebuke from Socrates Comrade's not to answer aimlessly "as though you had 5). Socrates asks whether he means someone like a farmer who plants a worthless plant. In this way. will reappear when Socrates introduces Hippparchus in defense against an accusation by the Comrade (228a8-10). While this example may be funny to the reader of the dialogue. but also politics and maybe the quest for wisdom. of gain wants to profit limits to the to the profiteer." city up philosophy even if commanded to do so by From the Comrade's perspective. The lover of gain is someone who rejects conventional restrictions while wholeheartedly seeking his own profit. Socrates appears shameless. which begins to emerge here. love of gain is of primarily concerned with love money.
the means the quack employs are themselves than virtuous. examples illustrate an ambiguity in the argument that has been alluded to: Is the Comrade decrying the means of the profiteer or already what he hopes to make a profit on? At this point. there are at least two models: These last two the condemnation is directed at the means or. it is clear that he continues to ignore what Comrade considers to oath of be the shameless actions of the profiteer. or any of the other men with intelligence (emphronon). general." the Comrade to the point of phrased evoking the oath.206 into the a Interpretation knower of the worth of things. Apology 18b. at the material or starting point of the profiteer's actions. and bowman. On the worth hand. If Socrates is profiting from his discussions about virtue. yet shamelessly monetary profit for themselves. In summing up this section. harper. They are also condemned for shamelessly manipulating language to win arguments. Socrates adds the horse trainer. In addition to the farmer as an example of one who needs to be considered according to the Comrade's model. but when the resemblance that Socrates with the sophists monetary profit is introduced (Apology 19d. any one of the artisans (demiourgoi) at all. do know a worthless plant and thinks affects to make a gain from it?" (226a3-4). Both cases seem to be consistent with the model of profiteering stressing the worth while use or Virtue is something (either in itself the sophists it to make a shameless means. This with seems to be in line the accusations against the sophists: Protagoras' claim to teach virtue has made him a rich man (Meno 9 Id). the profiteer can take something which has some intrin through shameless means attempt to make some profit. No doubt the Comrade has his mind as examples of profiteers thinking of something less benign than the farmer. who (georgon andron). Socrates diverges appears at times to manipulate language shares shamelessly (cf. it is surely a kind of profit of which the Comrade is unaware. think to make a gain with as a of gain lover . easy less to in large part because of the material on which attempts for its consequences). alternatively. In other words. Socrates asks if "in short. flute player. uttered man The first about the the dialogue is in Socrates' response to question you farmer: "Is there any farmer knows (gignori) he plants (gignon). way "By Zeus not Socrates has the question on in such a as to ensure such a reaction. making it is instance This is of an profiteering defined by the material from which gain extracted. profit. snake oil is an worthless to the sick man while the quack continues to peddle it. Cf. a high and a low. Sophist 223b). example that would conform to the Comrade's description of the profiteer as knowing sic the worthlessness of the other and thing from which he dares to profit (225b 1- 4). Of course. Of course it is he not so to separate the two models. The question I. 19b-c). pilot. quacks for every ailment or maybe even those who profess to teach virtue in the city. This would seem to suggest that there may be two versions of the love of gain. He probably is businessmen who have broken contracts. con artists who sell to the who prescribe snake oil vulnerable.
In his consideration about pilot cannot abstract from his own preservation his own good of gain is inextricably bound the pilot of the as an to the ship. What exactly the Comrade means by a is not clear. he gain. he would know. It is the end the profiteer desires that now seems to be the fo said to the Comrade's ire. can't Socrates' exemplification of the lover by figure This ship image for the prepare help statesman making in the us think of the traditional use of polis this (see Republic 488b-489a). where Hiero to look conclusion after the common good of about Socrates' there not being his citizens.1. the pilot seems to (226c7-10). The Socratic project aims at knowledge. Philosophy is and Tyranny not 207 worthless?" tools or with any other equipment whatever that these examples. Again. the indirectly punishes himself. (Cf. out of greed things of little or no condemnation worth in gain" loving means and (226d7-el). in the the pilot is not at stake so much one of gain of but survival. Of be The conspicuous question in that it does case of fit the in his formulation used for all the others. but of course he save his life in a way the pilot cannot. of gain are the Comrade revises Socrates. lover according to the Comrade. said to Nature is standard or in light for lover of gain can be have excessive desire longing Without what the Comrade considers insignificant. After all. This marks a shift in the to the from both the the material of the lover of gain end of that cus of love. the tyrant who perhaps can be taught that even his own self-interest depends on satisfying the interests of the citizens. what kind of profit is knowledge rance one is aware of a certain emptiness. The end or of or goal of the profiteer's striving is be an insignificant "nature" little worth. it if this might apply to Socratic eros (Symposium 203d). ignorance? In recognizing one's own igno But it is out of a feeling of emptiness that the (aplestia). It is interesting that Socrates does not describe the general would think that a general might be equally concerned can not losing his life in battle if his army has worthless weapons. Socrates only of claims or to know that.'2 Knowledge the ignorance perspective of one who certainly perplexity liked to acquire money. . own lover that of gain loves gain. power of appear worthless or from honor.) one lover of gain it: among humans according to the "But I. Xenophon's Hiero Simonides In light encourages of 11. such a description seems be applied to Socrates.Love of Gain. does ing we almost supernatural at times. The pilot's own preservation is outfitting in the same terms. The of gain recognizes sounds as his neediness and fuels his love of gain. would help for the introduction of the preeminent political man. The Comrade suggests that the profiteer is aberration or a departure from the natural. proposed definition. are always striving preternaturally (huperphuos) for insignificant those who. could much a strain.5. The pilot not only runs the risk of one who not profiting from equipping his ship with worthless supplies but he is the only is said to suffer loss (226b5-6) he destroys himself and his ship. want to say that the lovers (aplestias). Surely appear as Socrates has desire that to far exceed that of his fellow citizens. One with the ship. but he seems to think of which the of it as the average. or what. but not know. By caring for the ship.
which seems the worth of that which gain is acquired or lost. is insignificant. The Comrade thinks that the which would make end which the of gain profiteer strives after yphean or ugly. As gain proposal that the profiteer an insatiable desire. the lover the loves gain. From the and the acknowledgment that the at all Comrade loves least things (227b9-10) fact that Socrates loves it looks as some good things (227c 1-2). taken together with the Comrade's earlier statements about the the suspicion that the philosopher striving of the lover of gain. maybe even the best exemplar of love of gain. The Comrade's love for . loss." already showed. yet Socrates does not senses this avenue of inquiry. If would then Socrates love the good that are lovers of gain. Socrates gain to be ignorant of the lover of gain worth of Are the here the Socrates ends that the uses desires or the materials he begins with? this ambiguity to move the argument in a direction that we presume he wants. my said to be some times mistaken for a madman. Since a good. Socrates needs to change the way the Comrade thinks about the "insignifi cant" things the profiteer strives after the philosopher and the profiteer. where the philosopher is that with the connection madmen. before revealing any connection between if that is indeed what Socrates wishes to do. (Cf.208 Interpretation observation The Comrade's gain seems pursue like an interesting regarding the greed and desire of the lover of move in the conversation. the argument goes. Sophist 216d. phy in his it is those some friend" attempt to elevate who be alluding to philoso the Comrade's low opinion of the lover of gain. Symposium 206a). the Comrade admits that if human beings love possible good things due to the emptiness of (cf. The shift that has taken place in the argument. from emphasis on the lover of gain's means to the Comrade's general and revised his ends. This agreement. Such a generalization is his concept of the good. He dismisses definition by returning to the examples about the farmer. Socra of is evident in the very name. These "things" examples of claims. the Comrade agrees that the lover of is a lover of the good (227b 1-2). "at least the profiteers are (227b3). Human beings is the opposite of are by loss and thus it gain is bad (kakon). harmed It is not good for anyone to suffer gain loss. While apparently dismissing the Comrade's new is someone who longs for insignificant things out of tes actually addresses it indirectly. arouses may be one species of profiteer. Perhaps he that it comes too close to associating love of gain with philosophy. love Sis Socrates attempts to change the way he views that end.) Armed that has been forged between assigned to the good gain and the good the although no real content has been Socrates turns dis cussion to the Comrade's all good own experiences. thus exposing the latter to condemna tion. which horse trainer had illustrated the argument about the material the lover now of gain uses (226a6-e3). Socra tes gets the Comrade to agree that gain is the opposite of loss (226el0-227al). is not really acknowledged by Socrates. which is an end. that it is impossible for the lover the "things. then perhaps it is not with irony Socrates remarks. to abstract from is Through this inadequate argument.
although deviate they from the average in different ways. Along with the concept of Socrates' justice. all good Philosophy and Tyranny 209 things is emphasized sure that by the second oath of the dialogue (227b7). everyone appears to either be a Yet now. The honest gain man accepts conventional re strictions on what is permitted in seeking for oneself. with accuses him of deception by contradiction. In focusing on it appeared as if no one was a lover of gain: no one tries to profit from a thing knowing it is worthless. The Comrade is The he loves all good things even though he may not know what those good things are precisely. concentrating instead on the good as the end of gain loving. although the notion of the average may be the root of both standards. losing something bad is potentially independent from that gain good and evil. Socrates forces the Comrade to admit that they had previously loss which agreed is always a good and as such is the opposite of had been in deliberate to be a assumed to be always bad (228al-7). a good. Socrates 229b 1). leads . The Comrade now suggests that his conception of the connection between gain and the good might not be adequate. the Comrade ob reprehensible viously subscribed to the cause it is only acquired the that gain is unequivocally be by wicked means. wickedness and gain had gone together in the Comrade's mind. argument has now moved from a condemnation of the means or mate rial the lover the material. things the honest men do not dare replaces nature (tolmosi) of to make gain from" (227dl-4). He is daring when com to the honest man. The Comrade in favor the honest as his standard. The tyrant and philosopher definitely are not average. regroup to The Comrade the lover of gain gain attempts to as a standard against which by introducing the honest (chrestos) man identify the lover of gain: "The correct view of is serious is that he is which one who about. Likewise. Comrade chooses the honest man and not the gentleman gence of (kalos kagathos. together theme (226a 1. Again the Comrade expresses a concern about the pared daring the of the profiteer. and thinks fit to make from. unwillingness to change what was the accusation directed at his interlocutor. of gain uses to a condemnation of the end he seeks. seeking is It is the abstraction from the good that makes the the means or the end and the notion of argument wobble back and forth. With the Comrade's apparent change thinking about gain and loss. It now appears as if the Comrade other than might accept idea that gain can be acquired by something of wicked means. examined.Love of Gain. he admits that one can be harmed as a result of wicked gain (227e6). Why cf. What is clear is the re-emer man as the Comrade's concern with shame as he holds up the honest ignore the Comrade's moralizing about the profiteer's daring. 228c) is not clear. When the notion conversation began. Both gain and loss can be Instead pursuing this change in the argu ment. continues to his Socrates tos) can be rendered useful (chrestos) and connected with the good. This is made easier by the Comrade's choice of standards the honest (chres standard. deception appears recurring previously said. lover of empty when the end of gain gain.
In each case Hipparchus uses compulsion or persua bring poetry into the city. we cannot imagine the Comrade being so playful in his counter accusation. II. Whether Socrates and Hipparchus community is not clear. n. not the (see Forde. How he compelled the rhapsodes is not made clear. fifty-oared ship.210 the Interpretation Comrade to it make a strong counter accusation. made even stronger by the third oath of the dialogue (228a8). We can easily imagine Socrates being playful when accusing the Comrade of deception. These beautiful deeds included: introducing Homer into Athens the compelling the rhapsodes to recite the epics in relays. it is surely the at case that the Comrade's indignation should directed his own thinking and not Socrates (cf. The Comrade does not approve of the way in which appears Socrates has manipulated the arguments based on the Com be rade's opinions. of gain Socrates responds to the Comrade's accusation of deception the counsel of an Athenian tyrant. In addition to calling him Socrates refers to the nian tyrant as a fellow citizen would refer to or demos (228b4). And of course. but in fact this discussion promises to help the question that is part of the double question which initiates the dialogue this question. bringing Anacreon of Teos to the city by means of a fifty-oared ship. The way in which by appealing to Hipparchus is introduced (euphemein). Simonides was persuaded by money . Apology 23c-d). Olympian good and wise. not obeying a good and wise (euphemein) to denote the pious silence in duces gods a tyrant who will challenge the p." foreshadows Socrates' reconstruction of the story: "Hush Socra tes says after being accused of deception. Who is a lover of We must consider Hipparchus be the as a possible answer to tyrant looks as if he sphere. The tyrant does not feel any need to expel the from the city. It appears as we get to a discussion answer Hipparchus "who" by accident. he can bring them under his control. certainly him. of lyric keeping Simonides Ceos to around his court. DIGRESSION HIPPARCHUS' THREEFOLD EDUCATION It is with the exchange of accusations of deception that the if person for whom of the dialogue is named is introduced. man" (228b 1-2). one that would way the Athe are fellow en citizens in Athens in some other have to compass tyrants and philosophers The goodness and wisdom of Hipparchus were reflected in his beautiful and poet deeds. "I would not be doing something beautiful. political and philosophical stood as a neutral term love of gain with respect to praise may be found may have to be under or blame. might pre-eminent lover of gain within the political If there are at least three in itself spheres in which love the monetary. Socrates of the uses a word the presence of a god as he intro authority conventional. We imagine Anacreon of Teos was persuaded sion poets by either the honor or fear of force that accompanied a and gifts. 7). 25. The (What is the love gain? of gain and who are the lovers of gain?).
apparently.1. therefore. His writings are an alternative to the sayings of In addition. If Socrates were willing to deceive the Comrade. himself into an object of wonder. who are but rather a dis honor to two Aristogeiton and Harmodius popularly held to . Hipparchus. on the other outside of the city thoughts" and "This is a memorial to Hipparchus: Don't deceive of friend" a (229a4-bl). Either recognition of his desire is recognition by the citizens' his wisdom or that makes him desire more. Socrates highlights two in particu lar: "This is a memorial to Hipparchus: Walk thinking (phronon) just bly. saying he wouldn't dare might be a perfect deception. presuma a who hand. Xenophon. but he is also. the challenge to the gods implied by the second stage of his education project which rivals leads to Hipparchus' tragic end. it is authority. those in an Like the country also received a type of elegiac prose poetic education as Hipparchus composed to inscribe tyrant (graphe) on Hermae set about the country. The education of the city dwellers appears to be verbal. Hipparchus has to write in order to reach those who are (and.14 overmuch" (228el-6). enlightenment project. If he desires honor this stage. Hipparchus inscribed his sayings on the Hermae so that the country folk would not marvel at the sayings associated with the god "Know thyself and "Nothing the god.Love of Gain. he thought no one should be plies of begrudged wisdom" (228c4-6). desires to exert his influence over a expanding empire. being a gentleman (kalos te kagathos). perhaps out of his control). however. Hipparchus attempts to make others wise so that they may be recognize his wisdom. which challenges It is not. Like the townsfolk. Of the many wise sayings of Hipparchus. (Contrast this Hiero's distrust and fear of the wise. a himself. Hipparchus.13 latter saying the Comrade's accusation that he Socrates connects this Hipparchus with his own defense against was being deceived. he hoped that in traveling they The country meant could read his speeches. Such a doctrine im that either he was educating friends and enemies alike or with he considered all the citizens his friends. Through this this point. turned his attention not satisfied in the city. and come out of the countryside to complete their education education. Socrates tells us Philosophy and Tyranny - 211 why Hipparchus wished to harness the power of poetry: "He did these things wishing to educate the citizens. through Hipparchus' writings. it should satisfied with his education program at After establishing the to Socrates' education of those story. Socrates would never dare (tolmoen) to deceive the Comrade (229b2). Hiero marvel wishes 5.) This poetry education induces those in the city to at (ethaumazon) to turn Hipparchus' at wisdom (228dl). not adequate wis getting a taste of his wisdom. Hipparchus broader area. is a partial education that is in itself for the students to be able to marvel in Hipparchus' recognition of city. Not only is Hipparchus poet brings in foreign poets. so that he would rule over people who were the best possible. dom. or recognition. according to educating those in the country. to lure the country folk into the own wise Yet it is only the country the god's education.
be the founders
versions of the
Athenian democracy. As Socrates explains, there
dishonor to the believe
Hipparchus. The many it is said that
she was not allowed to
basket in the Panathenaic
his death. In this account, two strands,
tive and an erotic one, come together to precipitate the murder. It
which strand was more central
is difficult to
to the plot. As we are told, Aristogeiton
his favorite, Harmodius. Aristogeiton considered himself an educator about his educative ability). Thus humanity (literally he had "big
(antagonisten) educator and held some ani be Aristogeiton's favorite, yet the emphasis in the
relationship seems to be on his education. Socrates goes on to explain, happened to be the lover (eronta) of Harmodius, one of the most beautiful and well-bom youths. This is the first and only ex
to eros in the dialogue.
the youth marveled
Nothing is said about Harmodius as (thaumazein) at the wisdom of both Harmo
Aristogeiton. At least, Socrates explains, he
turned his mind
(sungenomenon) with Hipparchus, (kataphronesein) away from
at which point the
Aristogeiton, according to dishonor in the youth turning away from
account, were so pained
they killed Hip
the many involved
intentional dishonor is
tyrant's part; according to the more cultivated, there
intention in the dis into their joint deed
an unintended consequence
relationship between the tyrant and the is an accidental benefit of their
association with the youth
fit into his
the motivations associated with each? What does Hipparchus
educating those in the city out of what looked like a The education of those in the country was an attempt
into the city to relationship
means of a enters
to the gods. In his association with the youth,
a private and personal
compared to the political nature of the ear
motivation seems to evolve
from desire for
in his relationship
It leads the young
with the youth
man to denigrate the wisdom of he previously admired, which arouses the jealousy of those others and in his own downfall. This is, in fact, what Aristophanes portrays in the as
Clouds. As improbable
it sounds, in the
Hipparchus looks like Socrates
tyrant in the end of
Love of Gain,
one of the central prob
the dialogue if it offers
concept of the good or the end of the
the sake of a common pursuit of wisdom.
love of gain, namely friendship for If Hipparchus had been satisfied by
his wisdom, if he had
to replace the authority of the god, perhaps he would not have been
to engage the youth in what
continued on the path would
all the people
have kept expanding his in the region and then the
political, public recognition
But apparently Hipparchus is not satisfied by the of his supposed wisdom. Perhaps he is not satisfied his lack
because he harbors
be the loss
concerning his is
wisdom, in that case,
leading to the association with the unnamed youth. If by affection, Hipparchus must also harbor some doubts
about the satisfaction associated with recognition and a
III. GAIN THROUGH LOSS OF OPINION
The Comrade is
this digression that
to deceive him. As in a game of
not allowed previously.
any (229e4-8). This is something that Socrates had The Comrade chooses to alter the notion that gain is
always good, which
in the first half
12). But because
notice that the
to speak, of the conversation, we
to change this element of the argument
move that precipitated
previously (227el); it
accusations and the
the exchange of
is not good story thus brackets the digression concerning Hipparchus. While Socrates had not seriously pursued this line of inquiry before the digression (except indirectly in
notion that all gain
the content of the digression
good and some
asks whether one of
gain, is more gain than the
must explain what
statement; just as
(agathon) food and bad (kakon) food are equally food and similarly decent (chrestos) and evil (poneros) human beings are equally human beings neither evil (poneros) nor decent (chrestos) gain is more gain than the other (230c8d2). Evil
the source or manner of
the gain, which might still
count as gain and
equally be Socrates
good and wants cause
here is how
be defined, if not simply in terms of the attempts to find out what the Comrade
sees as the same
bad gain; they search for an idea of gain. Socrates illustrates what he by turning to food again: good food and bad food are equally food be they are both dry nourishment for the body (230e3-4). The Comrade
model to gain.
Perhaps Socrates is suggesting, though, that
nourishment of the soul gains are worth more essential
(cf. Minos 317e ff.). It
than others and the
seem, then, that
Even if the
know different foods have different
capacities to produce pleasures.
The fact that different kinds
foods have different
are not equal
effects on the
that good food and
to the worth of
good, while it still might be considered,
the concern about worth
some, to be
(23 lb9). In the
point or material with which the profiteer
(axion) dealt with the worked (225c3-6). Socrates
earlier, namely that
is coming around to the same point made Unlike the earlier point, though, an attempt
exactly is meant by the good and how it to judge gain. In this way the conversation
made to explore what
might provide a standard
Comrade may think. apparently inconclusive ending
tells the Comrade that "not unjustly
Comrade has been
What has been
in this way, perhaps the from the discussion is per lovers
which might confirm
some eyes that
strive out of
for insignificant things (226d7-8). The Comrade, love
to give up his opinion about the
on the other
(232b3-4). As readers,
to understand that the love of gain
has to be
before automatically condemning the lover of gain. The loss of an unthinking opinion regarding the love of gain might well be a great gain, whether or not the Comrade considers it such.
1. See Leo Strauss, On Tyranny; Including the Strauss-Kojeve Michael S. Roth, eds. (New York: The Free Press 1991).
2. The Minos;
of the past
to whom reference is made in the
On The Law is the only other Platonic dialogue named for a legendary figure discourse. It is interesting to note that both Minos and
Hipparchus are, in
Leo Strauss, "On the
in The Roots of
Anytus himself equals Harmodius. Harmodius Aristogeton. suggest ultimately hinges that Hipparchus makes Socratic-like turn.Love of Gain. Robert Brumbaugh says that use of a matter of style that has an air of paradox about and it. 47). Just as Harmodius turned to Aristogeiton." Press. . Strauss's very brief comments on the Hipparchus (pp. in face the midst summoned from the Sicilian Mysteries Thucydides' expedition to charges for his in the defacing of the Hermae and the see. 78-79) are powerful and suggestive. referring. Political Philosophy: Ten Forgotten Socratic Philosophy connection and Tyranny -215 Dialogues. In is discussing elements of Plato's style. affair The addition of the unnamed youth ture. The Hipparchus is scholars of one of the smaller dialogues of nice Plato. 12 The Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge: Harvard "[the University digression] Form. vol. vol. of Socrates for stealing away ten Socratic Dialogues. 4. of the and its peculiarities have led many to doubt its authenticity.. For a many of the Platonic dialogues see Philosophy: Ten Forgotten Socratic Dialogues.54).. View" Very little attention notable exception. 1927). While Thu reconstruction in Socrates' cydides that the murder of Hipparchus was the result of a love affair.. 4. why Socrates was later put to death. C. 1962). Anytus on turns to his educator and lover. In the Hipparchus. ed. and Alcibiades equals the nameless youth. My aim is not to enter this debate on the status of whether the Hipparchus but to use the the dialogue as vehicle for thought. (New York: Routledge. as account of the death of Hipparchus. p. R. Thomas Pangle. it is "Platonic" to warrant serious consideration philosophically. 3. said to In the Athenian Constitution. but from political rule. has been given to the Hipparchus in the secondary literature with one Alan Bloom's "The Political Philosopher in Democratic Society: The Socratic is a very good treatment of the dialogue. apparently. to philosophy. 1987). Jr. 7. (Ithaca: Cornell Uni and the versity Press. W. to the insult to sister. Hipparchus is said to to Harmodius which enraged the lover Aristogeiton. Platonic Readings. K. or what the tyrant wants to gain. philokerdeia occurs one time in the Laws (649d5) in the context of a discussion about shamelessness and daring. 1988). for between Hipparchus seem to evolve and Socrates is the to culmination of a sequence of educational efforts which from political philosophic. Aristotle revenge and in the Politics that the a Pisistratids took place for the sake of Harmodius' not from love affair (1311a35). Guthrie. which might In other words. See debates surrounding the authenticity Thomas Pangle's introduction to The Roots of Political discussion also W. Taylor. Bloom suggests very plausibly that "this tale of Hipparchus is nothing but a description of Socrates. rather. My treatment Alcibiades" aid in revenging (The Roots of Political Philosophy: Ten Forgot the Hipparchus suggests that the resemblance the Athenian demos. 534. I want to articulate movement a movement from one sort of education to on the motivations of a another. when the supposed and consideration" central ("Digression Dialogue: The Seventh Letter ed. Thucydides tells of the account of supposed role we shall story of Alcibiades being the Hipparchus' assassins. be different in kind. Charles Griswold. Plato: The Man and His Work (New York: Dial Press. Socrates deviates considerably from (6. There is no talk of the education of have made several solicitations claims is perhaps the most striking depar Harmodius in Thucydides. p. This I Hipparchus. and 5. The historical question of enough dialogue was or was not written by Plato is not at stake here. 84. it is sister murder. p. deviation is really the Plato's Literary in p. . Lamb. and A. instead of pre-Socratic science. 41. M. Platonic Writings. Aristotle includes a younger half-brother of Hipparchus who is be the source of all their misfortunes (XVIII). attack on finally the dishonor to action that Harmodius' the account of the many according to Socrates the that initiates the leads to the says 6. E. and the intention of telling it is only to explain I would suggest that as Socrates equals Hipparchus. 1927). between the Minos The tyrant word philokerdes is restricted to the Hipparchus and Book IX of the Republic where the is being contrasted with the philosopher. Plato. History of Greek Philos ophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. The discussion in the Athenian Constitution Plato's Hipparchus in and supports poets particular Anacreon Simonides to Athens by recognizing (being a philomousos) Hipparchus' efforts to bring the foreign and his suggestion that the ruler is an erotikos.
In the brief description
there are at least nine occur
or one of
its derivatives. In
contrast, within the account of
relationship with the unnamed youth, the is in reference to Harmodius and Aristogeiton.
8. While the ordinary understanding of aplestia involves greediness for money or wealth, it is by Plato to describe the desire for other ends. Democracy is said to be greedy for freedom; it defines the good as freedom so that "it is the only regime worth living in for anyone who is by
Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, Muhsin Mahdi, trans. (New York: The Free Glencoe, 1962), pp. 58-59. 10. Hipparchus; or, The Lover of Gain, Steven Forde, trans., in The Roots of Political Philoso
Ten Forgotten Socratic Dialogues. I have deviated slightly from the Forde translation only The lawlessness
the tyrant seems obvious enough. On the possible lawlessness of philos
Republic 373d ff.
describes how passionately he desires the
friends (Lysis 21 le),
which might suggest that the pursuit of wisdom and the pursuit of
to the same
or are at
the analysis of the third stage of
Cf. Theaetetus 150c,
13. Bloom (p. 46) suggests, public (332a ff.), that
justice in the Re
two sayings amount to the same
a man should
friends. To his
toward others not
passions or given
but because they
friends, because his
believed that Alcibiades had defaced the Hermae in between the
a challenge to authority.
Thucydides (6.27 ff.). 15. This
association youth and
point of contact
Minos, especially in associate (sunousiastes)
logues is indicated both 16. The
said there of
the Minos-Zeus relationship: Minos
Zeus in his
between the two dia
a number of
dramatic features: both take
place with unnamed of
are named after men of
old, generally thought to be enemies
Hipparchus establishing the
to question whether the
democracy seems to be another point of founding of a political regime is the
aim of or
merely an unintended consequence of a relationship between Minos and Zeus. 17. The word chosen to describe their relationship sungenomenon is suggestive of both the
(Phaedo 6 Id, Meno 91e, Republic
(Republic 329c, Laws
Henry VIII, Katherine
and reduced to
at about the same
she is effectively a sacrifice to a new he is clearing the way: in the play, she goes off to die moment that the future Elizabeth I is being bom to Anne
strangely her husband,
that sadly Katherine's melancholy is un
new queen and
the cause of the events that culminate in En
gland's political and religious refounding. and
in this respect, point beyond herself toward two interconnected po litical rules. For signs of the character and magnitude of political change, attend
to the altering or
titles and be aware that changing titles may
follows, I apply
a variant of these rules
question of what
it the redirecting
to the still-contested
Specifically, by considering how Machiavelli
I hope to
add to our
of the prince and the problems that
something in mind that like or
utilizing not have been
This is the case, I think, despite the
the end of the twelfth century princeps had
most part applicable
of rule and
referring to the full "terrain
Even allowing for this, we kinds of rulers that attach to
that act as
see that there are qualities and
that the term has specific
generic sense. a number of
This is important, I think, for
interest in clarifying Machiavelli's ofttimes Beyond this, the way Machiavelli and others use
to disputes over him. For a start, if
is generic, it
morally neutral, since it then subsumes under its umbrella mor and On the other distinguishable ruling forms such as ally moral lends itself to distinctions, and thereby to hand, if specific,
1999, Vol. 26, No. 2
judgments, by calling
to the things that set off one ruler
another, for example, devotion to
one's own or one's
the main wedded to the idea that
were still sensitive was
all manner of
to the problem of whether the prince, as the law or above
opposed to other
it. In short,
just in the
who tended to think of
generically, in other
apparently "loosed from the
could not escape attach
of whether qualities
princes and mark them as
tyrants or potential
tyrants, the nongeneric rulers The question of whether
generic or specific
eventually to the question of the title's moral bearing.
question of the relation of prince and republic. or popular governments come to sight
Connected to this is the
In Machiavelli's terms,
to principalities, and their
of princes and an awareness of the
tyrannical potential of princes.
Thus, Harvey Mansfield
pathy towards a desire to
aligned with suspicion of princes and with
princes and replace them with
the degree that we
determine that the princely title is specific, and leans toward absolutism, to the same degree we will come to understand why it
to republicanism and constitutionalism and why we have
stands as an obstacle
more nervous than enthused
of a great prince.
minded that princes still
in "He is
a prince of a
From the contemporary perspective,
of the generic
might appear that the ques since
tion of the generic versus specific prince
been decided in favor
a popular source
like the Oxford English Dic
tionary, for example,
reveals that the most recent
an encyclopedia passage to the effect that the emperor of and the
the Turks are called
(2d ed., 1971). Thus,
are equated and
that a prince the
incorporate emperors, queens, and kings. Even if one interprets this to is the model absolute single ruler, that is, the paradigmatic
titles in a
category for that meaning way that defeats attempts to restrict it
scholarly side, the same situation prevails. The index to Allan Gilbert's widely used English translation of Machiavelli's
works, for example,
as we shall
see, may be
same pattern repeats
provides a useful example given
that his subject, the
ment of religious and
liturgical themes into
secular affairs and the correspond
the notion of the
king's two bodies,
modem conception of rule.
up to the especially fastidious scholar, but
provides a ran
the issue of the generic versus the specific prince is not entirely. how conceiving tinguishable from any Machiavelli's prince Pocock nicely illustrates. As opposed to Plato forms of rule that are critical and Aristotle's insistence that regimes and rulers are unique and must "prince" be under stood as such. Thus. to the Machiavellian exercise of of "nonmoral virtu. the phrase rex (vicarius) of Dei as "Prince figuring as a simile of God. perhaps the most im source for the generic prince is J. . however. There remain active equivalents of the medieval potential jurists who look upon the prince as at least a tyrant. (Republic 338c-e. like Pocock. Politics 1258a8). and systems" "prince" "monarch" equate. the chus's argument ubiquity of in the Republic that the stronger in Machiavelli reminds of Thrasyma- the advantage of all forms of rule are essentially the same. or any the ruling men this man or body of men in a ruling position including in a republic. G. or any monarch."1 fore."8 For was the case for means that Machiavelli's prince obscures distinctions between to ancient thought. and identifies the prince given that "old-fashioned" opinion that as a tyrant of classical vintage." or Any residue of the idea that "prince" is a special case of monarch fades in this reading. Cf. adopts the evil. Strauss that upon conclude. Here. perhaps. Aristotle. "prince" examining Machiavelli's words seems to as Machiavelli uses it stands for many different kinds cal As Strauss puts it. whose The Machia work on Moment is the benchmark Machiavelli and the emergence of modem republicanism rians." Thus. to say Strauss.Changing he has no more problem than Titles: The Use of "king" "Prince" -219 mentioning any potential Salisbury's rex imago aequitatis imago Gilbert in equating and without difficulties in the overlap. First impressions notwithstanding. of rulers. for most of a generation of political scientists and "prince" histo For Pocock. all monarchies palities) at are either hereditary new. becomes inclusive or ubiquitous and in his reading of the "conceptual vocabularies which were avail able for talking about political in Machiavelli's time. Pocock. as for the previous examples. accompanying this is the loss of a sense that tual has a moral dimension: Pocock vocabulary" "prince" in Machiavelli's "concep can refer. Pocock's principate and be indifferent to potential differences between monarchy and ing all statement that all states and all his understanding of the Prince's open dominions are republiche o principati is that (or princi "governments least are either republics or monarchies. who abjures the idea that Machia Machiavelli is a teacher of is neutral. In this respect."6 In terms pressive vellian contemporary political thought. and thus as a particular rather than general ruler. let alone satisfactorily. it unique finding leads in a nothing different direction than of another meaning. decided. albeit he acknowledges that the categories "changed over analysis tends to time. the most notorious source velli's prince is Leo Strauss. A. although this may not be ob first. Pocock. however. there as a generic title or as indis single ruler is linked to viewing him as morally neutral.. First. in this regard. he describes John of as "prince" "Prince equity" of and parses . Strauss nicely counterbalances vious at Pocock.. As might be expected. however. "prince" "may mean a non-tyranni monarch.
pp. but it overtly replaces the old Roman kings. 118. Here the evidence something new or simply perpetuates an old stereo is that Machiavelli. Beyond this. something of a breakthrough with regard to rule. Thus. and elsewhere are n." becomes a movement The dichotomous model of . we turn to the way Machiavelli in the hope of two levels. 179-81). and others. or. called principi in the (On Tyranny. the other use of indicates his departure from comment antiquity. it works simultaneously questions in mind. it follows. the Roman model Machiavelli appropriates is. in the Prince he courses are called princes silently drops this distinction: individuals who are called tyrants in the Dis in the Prince. supplies Machiavelli's ti- model." a word to use within the Strauss then expands on a the point elsewhere. Machiavelli dorse the ions. 1. Strauss with ancient how the in title both resists and is in keeping thought. from titles. 75. and how it occurs both generic and specific forms. intend by "prince" is the title signifies type. 26. that it applies both to all manner of rule and to tyrants in particular. about hearing Suggesting the of the possibility that Xenophon's Hiero. sensitive to the matter of "valid" titles and distinguishes titles. Machiavelli's ond. the Roman prince. the fundamental differences between kings and tyrants. at as Gennaro Sasso suggests. "defective" 2. Pocock struggle with "prince" Strauss because suggest that at we are least in as part we still Machiavelli's prince unresolved to whether is a new or traditional title. Not only does it establish a competition be sense that Machiavelli's approach to regimes is fresh in the tween popular and autocratic politics that velli's and is a principal element of Machia later political By fastening in what upon thought. nn. the term tyrant never occurs in the tyrant Prince. and Together.9 With these "prince" and others clarifying whether the title "prince" as employ it descends to us is meant to convey a distinguishable variety of rule." As Strauss on points out meaning in another place.220 Interpretation "prince" Thus. specific. and whether it is general. as in other ways. shows tyranny. "in the Discourses [Machiavelli] insists This turns to be prince as tyrant. Strauss describes how Machiavelli "in his Prince avoids the term ranno: individuals who are called tiranni Prince" in the Discourses pp. Strauss is e. takes from the old He borrows his division and of all stati to render something new. 64. Machiavelli becomes an accomplice to replace royalty.g. in its own right. Sec "meaning" in Strauss's of turns out to be out critical because it points to a specific "prince. is too harsh prince.10 many people consider those who en sixfold scheme to be "wiser" than those who hold alternative opin it explicitly departs from probably the most famous approach to regimes. dialogue the art of a tyrant. principalities regimes into republics and from Rome in doing so he discards the sixfold scheme of that descends to him from Aristotle acknowledges that by way of Polybius: following Polybius. Basic to the issue whether of what Machiavelli. 24-26.
For "king" a start. is is not called heading king and Romans but the as the kind of kingdom characterized called a prince. the things. it introduces a new sovereign figure. . its lawbreaking and tyrannous Tarquins: according to Ma chiavelli. among same royalty. Even here. writers spoke largely of kings and monarchs and it does and re popular until the later middle ages.13 Second. never appears appear in a heading of the Prince but "prince" "principality" and "Kingdom" in seven teen chapter headings between them. patriarchy and divinity. we learn that princes ought to model subservient provinces their behavior on the by reducing kingdoms to all blood-related served. other words. although and. The once titles even tend to switch character. find. "prince" becomes associated with pretension and tyranny. in turn. then. in its own context as well as it signals a turn from the most traditional form kingship. lends itself in two ways to a new conception of rule in Machia velli. from Aristotle's scheme of regimes. in chapter a number of ways. there the ruler of ruler of occurs in one the kingdom of the title. both itself reasonably clear. is overtaken by prince as sover person. And this is not a trivial called princeps rather than version.14 In the Discourses. fills the void created when Rome turns its back sense of royal upon kings. erasing tendency is also ob other the treatise's republican emphasis makes it less pronounced or . The Roman princeps. By or the "prince" token. kings or royalty are diminished. . regio)" of its citizens who might try for that name could enable him to as the escape the penalties. Machiavelli reports it. Not only are preimperial principi the title was used in various senses overtaken by the idea of a prince as a single ruler "King" but king (rex) loses its luster. for example. First. for start. given that the itself is itself a breakthrough of sorts. princes" "mirror of genre we novelty shines through. however. be on assum used con after It follows from Rome's disillusionment with kings. In the Prince. transcending that as "prince" "kings" as the ruler of highest stature means ascends in stature. and royal rule. filius regis. but of rule. although Machiavelli some identified with what disguises this by utilizing in the Prince a sense of a traditional "mirror princes" of genre."12 proper princeps same For the emperors of what became known principate. and takes on positive attributes royalty. Darius. well. this experience was so discouraging as regards royalty that "the Ro man people (was) inimical for four hundred years to the kingly name (nome and "held the kingly name so much in odium that no obligation to any experience with the . is century not become placing before that.Changing prince and republic Titles: The Use of in "Prince" 221 that Machiavelli emulates may be old. and as a On these matters. foremost in the narrow son. Roman history. is to The Emperor Augustus. The title De not employed until the end of the thirteenth Regimine Principum. initiates the change princely titles when he chooses to king ing the imperial throne: princeps never became an official title but it was by subsequent emperors down through Diocletian. "prince" Machiavelli's utilization of to signify a new political direction is illustrated. of a relative with a place eign or in the line of succession.
he lauds Ferdinand the Catholic. coreligionists. to princes. Were it royalty in favor of princes. the success of the two princes is identified with republican greatness. to think "prince" "king" and are coeval. 67]). legislators" captains. are said to provide evidence that quire two virtuous princes in succession are sufficient to ac the world. "ascend" Dante's orig probity not descending branches" "through the but having to be sought from He on Comedy . republic" prince nor of his day emulates the "kings. Both demand the suppression of royalty." That is. avelli sees farther than Christians who appear to be bound to old-fashioned or not out-of-date categories and hierarchies. Indeed. "weak king" from held a becomes "by fame and by glory the what a first King of Spain. The that people tend to choose and the they lose their self-confidence and Monarchy. with the result turn self-destructive: Machiavelli cites to the effect that the people cry death to life and life to death.222 Interpretation obvious. Fer which suggests that dinand is a prince where king for Christians. I. in this sense. royalty elsewhere and the Roman prefer the linkage between Christians and the king rious title suggests that Machiavelli couples his resistance to resistance kings to his noto to his Advancing princes and suppressing kings. the fault is instability. may be one of the steps in Machiavelli's testing Christian and Church political influence. Machiavelli inal has it of succession or inheritance is undependable as a source of virtue. is from that quotes the the Banquet.xx [p. according to and Machiavelli. citizens. there are now modem re republics. On this basis. is in keeping her rise with republican Rome's expulsion of her kings to "ultimate greatness. Machiavelli laments that "neither virtuous ways of ancient thereby becomes the grounds of both popular In the preface to the first book of the Discourses. One such source is Dante. for example. Philip of Macedon and his son Alexander. in their "ancient once there kingdoms republics" and (Preface [p. For Machiavelli. however. he is a XVI [p. the poet to help clear the decks for the citations to the poet in the Discourses. follow bad leaders. under way. the fault is the uncer tainty Here. "prince" do to be Machi (Prince XXI [p. Where were ancient princes and kingdoms and republics with their various ancient republics leaders. so kings have we way to princes. 89-90]. and as given have given way to publics. For il popolo. Given Machiavelli's ence suppression of for princes over kings. even may say that Machiavelli intends to further a process if his audience is not fully cognizant of what is hap In the Prince. 124]. but the passage he quotes. which and princely political success. 185]). That there is a substantive greater project of con dimension to the kind switch from kings to also princes and that the alteration ushers in a new outside of politics is indicated by sources upon Machiavelli. the temptation that the use of the titles here might indicate that suppress for Machiavelli's tendency to would be. who king among the must Christians" and at estimable the same time demonstrates cf. I admit. For royalty. In the only direct advancing we learn from Dante of the faults in the and two main alternatives royalty il popolo. Machiavelli draws of princes. already pening. This.
he though in the original puts the passage in the mouth of the ancient poet. discerns the onset of a anticipate wake of things.121. comment observing in is part as commentary to celebrates contemporary a sign that It is invitation. is Still. "The world held me but a short time below. For Dante. or the temporal and eternal worlds. Interestingly. Dante. and had it been longer much evil comment that will be would not have been. Dante "king" his arboreal metaphor with for failed inheritance of moving through the "branches" in connection the "issue" Henry III of England. in most arresting. Dante does not view the failure of royalty. not a The prospect that he and Sordello Sordello's not an are antepurgatory is of a sad happy on one for either poet. antidynastic untrustworthy and dynastic claims to Indeed. the one to whom we are specifi cally introduced in this part of antepurgatory (Purg. Machiavelli seems to emphasize Dante's support are office of the al case by attributing the Dante Comedy's statement directly to him. In the repeats same place speaks of the uncertainties of descent." a point rule" reinforced by Charles's that his untimely death led to "bad be- . rulers in comment as antepurgatory. and conditions. and thus about the advent of princes. like Machiavelli. with Machiavelli's equanimity. penitent. to stay with our theme. although he seems to identifying royalty. 130-32). however. who died early and unfortunately and whose death negatively impacted the world to come. intersect: the for In which Comedy describes Venus as the place where we below" discern "the good the world above wheels about the world where we experience (Paradiso 9. and and allegedly secret Christian. The heaven's and imposing figure is Charles the titular king of Hungary heir apparent to the two Sicilies. On the other hand. the heaven where this and the next world. Machiavelli new order of recreate rule and erect princes. Thus Dante explicitly enters the Discourses as a witness for the antiroyal posi tion that Machiavelli borrows from Rome. he about and himself as regards welcoming the new where specifically Sordello connects his doubts inheritance to royalty. in particular in his presentation of the heaven of Venus. Where Dante differs from Machiavelli is that he is troubled Machiavelli in by the new order. or failure. that Dante laments what he. Martel. As Charles puts it to Dante. political such terms. Machiavelli accurately reflects the poet as regards about the people and the old nobility. the heaven the most limits of politics. Venus is seem the possibilities and limits of politics. that virtue is providential rather a matter of heritage. in Machiavelli. the new order. 7. that is. of and about the ordering is genuinely dubious about the stability of il popolo bloodlines and traditional lines of authority. as for Machiavelli. in herited status and qualities unsupportable. to be sure. but it is important to note that he takes liberties insofar as he suggests any of alliance between Dante force things. Moreover.Changing who Titles: The Use of "Prince" 223 "wills it. what follows in the failed kings and with princes and principalities.15 In drawing doubts upon Dante this way. Sordello: Sordello makes the Dante observe the late-repentant." that is. 107-8). Dante's the perspective and on these matters may be seen in his presentation of heavens.
are by the sad example of Charles Martel and his relatives in the heaven Venus. for the only time in the poem. 49-84. This is not success or as movers to diminish the positive aspects well-being teaches us to coincide with love rightly. The titles themselves descend angelic from the New Testament's orders." regal prudenza of King Solomon.224 cause Interpretation when "nature meets with fortune points unsuited to it" things turn perverse: and besides his were unfit own example. Machiavelli does. that Principalities in a the cutting off of political promise young and king and his de scendants and the giving as over of the world to "bad rule" "evil" is consistent with a negative sense of principalities that Dante may borrow from Scripture. v.34. the is independently nus. he calls them Principalities. we need but note that with a heavens identifies Principalities heaven failure.61). sense that it has a benign influence. For Dante's final description which of the the moment. the one "wrest(ed) he to although by nature a soldier. but he does not. Venus. the characteristic virtue of the good Aristotelian as a ruler. Dante speaks of reference under prudenza. 9." docile. 6. of which we will have more to 8." in Allan Gilbert's the heavens in the of concordia. 8. In the poet's of which case of cosmology. The difference between Dante and Machiavelli here may be signalled as by a passage in the Comedy. the other "made a when ought to have been a priest (Para. highlights the failure of a us to the sad consequences promising "evil that will king be" his family line. Dante like Machiavelli teaches us to anticipate princes and see that the way toward them is paved with failed kings. for in the Vulgate. Thrones. Para. marks the . "docile who standing This is Dante's Solomon prays as opposed to theoretical knowledge specifically foundation for the cor asks for becoming which version of the heart. in this respect. II.17 The heaven of Principalities the sad failure of a deserving king of what and the misplacement of other when dignitaries and where we contrasts with learn happens inheritance and position go the heaven of Thrones with of its commitment to awry justice. The is to the "king.16 The connection of this sad situation of princes emerges in Dante's universe characterization of composed of failed royalty to the new world of Venus as a heaven. and say below (Conv. teach us to enthuse about this. in this respect. Charles king" to his cousins Louis Robert. each independent efficient cause. rule" and alerts and "bad of that hand. Princes come forward kings recede in Dante's universe as in Machiavelli's. Sordello's failed royalty in paralleled of antepurgatory. In the ear lier and unfinished Banquet. 8. representing "God are redirected to the Heaven of Jupiter.18 Solomonic prudence. with a new but Dante order of attracts our attention to the possibility that this coincides things that is not to be welcomed. In the is Ve however.5 1). 28. is characterized by other sents On the judicant. he calls them Thrones. in the Comedy. 121-48). however. and repre where we experience justice (Para. which in lieu of political However. 130-35. who religion" for their offices. Dante gives us conflicting accounts of these movers. There. the best phrase. moved or has an revolving heavens.
with Scripture. that the disappearance of traditional English royalty will lead to and that ascent of princes. For Machiavelli." was The last scene is a celebration thousand. In the last scene. the Field and royalty and closes salute to of of the Gold was sterile politically by celebrating a new political world where "patterns. it Shakespeare. Here. horizon. and with the cor docile." christening of The irony that Elizabeth provides a Elizabeth I. to antennae what are. the transition in of Henry VIII from the Field completes of the Cloth of Gold to the England English Richard Elizabeth and history II. her birth presumably stimulus. de under livers and "apocalyptic vision of bliss in England" store Elizabeth her successor James I. will a which we are told. As Cranmer describes "high and with "royal infant" and mighty Princess her. We VIII reveals a saw earlier that the depiction of Katherine of Aragon in Henry potentially tragic dimension altering titles.'"9 ashes will "new heir as great in admiration as Together. veyed The nature of the changes scenes. the present will become "a pat graces. especially as regards of the future holds. the and constitutional reviewing development that Shakespeare begins in James the process of the insular medieval politics first play in his English history cycle." princes set the standards or In such terms. another side of the play that suggests that such alteration can be Shakespeare." tern to all princes living the embodiment of "all princely create another scenes of and her Phoenix-like herself. tive. then. prudence stand is the virtue of princes and is indiscernible from knowl kings into new world a world of for what is necessary to transform the world of Dantean Machiavellian princes and for why Dante is chary of the sees on the political that." England" of is to come. Machiavelli. he to return. of course. posi anticipates a glorious however. an first Protestant the Archbishop for what of Canterbury. edge. also fastens the virtue of rulers. feudal politics We may say of Henry VIII that it opens for all its radiance. the for similar births in the future. great moment of medieval of pageantry in English history final Cloth the moments the queen who marks the Shakespearean advent of modem with a English politics. if with not the very last. but he drops that sense of regal prudence with that Dante identifies This may Solomon.Changing best that of Titles: The Use of "Prince" 225 kings and represents the combination of is lost with such as upon prudence as understanding and a good heart Charles Martel. Shakespeare has in a mind is con in the play's first and last The first includes hyperbolic account of the "fabulous" the Cloth of Gold meeting of Henry VIII and Francis I of France on the Field of luster" put on an extraor in 1520. What we see now is that Shakespeare identifies with Henry's ancestor John of . the Henry's tionary first character of Henry framing reign by contrasting perhaps VIII point to the revolu one of the last. whose political Machiavelli's. refusing Dante's cautionary perspective. For will another perspective on what useful the turn from royalty to princes a be if only for moment. I think. quite as sensitive as involves. Archbishop Cranmer. like Machiavelli. There is. "will beget a be the "virgin Queen" aside. "two kings equal in a place where dinary display of the in "all royal. and pattern.
for example. the praise Shakespeare. demonstrates that princes come forward as royalty and recede. and the title. plenty. In the Prince. utility Machiavelli and Dante. in keeping with Machiavellian one needs and princes than with fashioned On this score. the question next arises as to what the new order entails. associate princes ism and political ambition that express with a any doubts about the kind of cosmopolitan old world and new: drives a wedge between the repeating the Cranmer say old of Dantean metaphor. marked out title rather than inherits it is ruling from other the prince who appropriates rulers his by the way he utilizes hard measures. the title is appropriate and traditional grounds. politics will use of nations. however density of including the English prediction that she will live to be "an princess" point toward an ruling style that is seditious of traditional lineal claims. "mak(ing) is significant upon rule. those about her will claim greatness by following of her ways. old- dispose of qualities more royalty." mighty Princess of Given her bloodlines on and her place in the line inheritance. but Shakespeare does not openly development. This is especially tme. It remains Shakespeare. In obvious. represent something new. the difference in short rulers in this of a respect is illustrated prince" by comparing Machiavelli's relatively treatment "natural who . by way of Cranmer. and Gaunt's "royal throne "sceptered no longer provide the focus for English earlier isle" "fame" of politics. of princes who move up from lesser positions."21 all the plains about If it is the case that "prince" using similarly as a title signifies a new order of things for Machiavelli To and some minded thinkers. will attract but mention that accord and ing to the Archbishop. truth." chapters on "peace. and merit the Machiavelli. be part of the answer is immediately measures title. Moreover. apparently. In keeping with Eliza beth's Phoenix-like qualities. and of in that the imagery. accompanies anew perspective It may be unremarkable that Elizabeth is initially heralded as the "high England. He does. That is. in keeping with Machiavelli's denigrat ing of inheritance and dynastic politics. political include love. no he encouraging his troops before the Battle be brother to anyone "that sheds his blood with and childless me. towards princely imagery to describe the English future Now. but changing its direction. lav and ishes Elizabeth James suggests that his new princes.226 Interpretation kings" Gaunt in the parochial as play is overcome." that her text on terror. and Like princesses. Elizabeth will "love fear. Agincourt. like sources. and Cranmer puts it. in sum. for instance." That Elizabeth dies doubt unmarried "yet that virgin" a as already our noted other plays a part in all this. "not begun says that by blood": at least for rhetorical purposes. this con cludes the process when will Henry V. a prince must acquainted with strong be willing to use them. The princely language imagery in the rest of aged her scene."2" new Cranmer's and look outwards. claims on lineal however. however. Shakespeare's princes. and princesses. Shakespeare has James that he will "like a mountain cedar reach his branches to him.
In the fraud. III [p. he exemplifies the proper princely ordering (Pr. or per ought to say he was insufficiently princely. and intelligent revenges. "prince" 16]. Whereas the "natural prince" succeeds will need "ordinary industry. that is. Machiavelli's utilize chapters on Philip recall his principate and the "prince" title when Philip's success and is highlighted but draw attention to Philip as a where he fails to that we see father in recounting where he erred and failed.22 Machiavelli expands on this in the of two other comments on Philip. for example. David. fraud akin to that of Agatho cles. 55]. 194]. The superiority to of to the "natural industry" prince. As Machiavelli whose attacker wedding.xiii [p. Machiavelli thus erodes our respect for . I. Philip. spells out such In the Discourses. an punish indignant kills victim of sexual assault Philip had failed to Philip at Philip's daughter's haps here we Philip is killed. because he was not severe enough. The net result is that Philip's fame rested on the behavior that led him beyond king king act the hard requirements of princely success. By the same token. and of resides in the superiority that of "great to try" in the fact that the "new the "natural prince" effectively succeeds "ordinary indus by cutting off the would seem bloodline prince. cruelty as with employed as a captain of troops and took their by the Thebans but ultimately betrayed them liberty and how. discussing injuries. To this. severity in punishments. and says great" the utility of the two empires. the prince by inheritance (Pr. rulers. then. 364-65]). [pp. therefore. 61]). XII [p. discussing Agathocles. [p. Philip provides subjects as a lesson in advancing from king to prince by treating his tyrant would: one recalls Thrasymachus's tyrannical example of the shepherd and his Discourses' flock in the Republic." prince" to "extinguish" in maintaining himself by the bloodline of in order the old ruler and over all demonstrate "great the "new prince" industry" to maintain himself. with Cesare Borgia. 18]). 311]. that Philip of Macedon "from a small inimical" became of Greece by "the exceedingly cruel and to "every life" king" way of an policy object of treating his subjects like sheep. Together. we may add intelligent use of arms.Changing inherits rule with Titles: The Use of "new "Prince" 227 order his longer treatment the "new prince" of a who acquires his or territory. Il. the story. for his Macedonian subjects. In the by utilizing fraud they attained kingdoms and "very how must rulers revenge Machiavelli addresses second. Thus it is that Machiavelli Philip king although calls Philip is at the height of the power for which he xxviii was saluted as prince earlier (Disc. In other words." is. of arms and Charles VII. By his use of Philip. according to the standards of a prince.xxvi. XIII kings [p." or of virtue inheritance. Hiero. he that pairs Philip with the Sicilian tyrant first. along the way points to how princes improve on nonprincely "prince" He approvingly tells us. as King of Macedon and as Alexander's father. II [p. this time an example of relates failure. given that the Prince tells of how Philip had once been ship and that we learn some of example. Machiavelli and differences more elaborately. he who wins the title to merit it more than he to whom the title descends.
coun a terbalance royal faults as well as supply what royalty cannot. the representative of Rome. diminishes their freedom of action flexibility. privati Disc. but in being silent on King Romulus. men lend themselves to tyr He reinforces and embroiders upon and this message with accounts of "private" how be his like Hiero Agathocles ascended from circumstances pieces" to come princes own soldiers ple. in words. and the more suscepti power ble to clerical influence than princes. than Anne Boleyn: Wolsey is willing to compromise King latter. XIII [p. as opposed to tyrants. in turn. when he repeats the list the tract's one can skip helps explain This. which.228 Interpretation dispose of qualifications that and suggests that princes anny. VI [p.23 "new great prince" in Italy. This leads to the princes go other side of the Machiavellian king-prince matched That dispose of qualities lacking in kings is by failings in kings that other beyond the uncertainties of descent. Il. good institutions and laws kings and strong kingdoms. but turns the argument on its head. for start. but fill the role not on the other founders. for instance. founder he expressly addresses of great demonstrate that founders in a last chapter. the one great as king in chapter 6 of the Prince. This is tme. 311]). In the case of Shakespeare's kings by way of manipula Henry VIII. Princely qualities. 60]. perhaps. but manipulates the marriage of Borgia. in ways not shared with by princes.xiii [p. at all levels of rule. and he effectively adopts the old attitude that kings. utilizing terrifying and Agathocles murdered by methods: all of Hiero "cut to Syracuse's some of senators and rich peo Hiero and Agathocles took different was routes to their new positions. Henry's divorce from Katherine is less critical to Henry's on the impending marriage to not on the Archbishop Wolsey. Similarly. VIII [pp. this a prerequisite for ruling that it becomes equation. apparently. royalty is so far from being drawback in the world of princes. may be illustrated who is praised for multitude. which means that even strong defer to the law. he may suggest that kings cannot he has in If a is so. which turning himself into for making anew.24 At a more critical level. and the . why Machiavelli drops Romulus. to however. The difference are characteristic of must rulers constrained between by the rule of of law and of free rulers by Machiavelli's different treatments a prince and Philip all Macedon. The two exemplary the step of king on the way to becoming prince. Royal dynasticism Church's over the sacraments open the way for manipulation of tion of marriage. Machiavelli's Pope Alexander VI Louis XII of France for the benefit of Cesare also former. They are. This is a staple of the tradition to which restricting insofar as it is committed Machiavelli answers. kingship is to the rule of law. are constrained Kings. There he says the times are appropriate for introducing mind. making adherence to the law a flaw rather than a strength. Whereas Agathocles King of Syracuse prior becoming a prince. 41-42]. Machia velli quotes an unidentified source to the end that being a king kingdom" except a Hiero "lacked nothing of (Pr. follow the rule of law. and thus are not so well equipped as princes to deal fortune or necessity. As Machiavelli has it. 33].
we conclude. one which. Thus. and specific princes are come of "good wise. for behav "Against the will law. grateful. his ior shift. such behavior the only quotation from the Bible that occurs in the Discourses. Machiavelli goes on." accordance with those bom in eight Sparta. Machiavelli expressly excludes from the list the kings of Egypt bom when Egypt was governed "good and wise princes" "in law. Philip's community community standards are a secular version of standards.Changing is praised Titles: The Use of "Prince constancy. or the message of the Magnificat to a secular set of standards or secular terms such actions rule of but in political law. and the by reversing (and) new what would be the expected treat the hungry new rich. "not only human. standards When Machiavelli turns to the multitude. " 229 for its regard for law on and for its To begin with the presen tation of anew: Philip. a parochial set of laws. In other princes are good and just when they share the lawabiding kings. when they can over dedication to the law. authorities. and the argument for the prince to make all anew amounts to having the prince imitate a tyrannical deity rather than imitate a king and subordinate himself to his community. divinely contrary to inspired acts that ignore actions salvation comes Christian doctrine may justify this spiritually because in Jesus and is not bound to a nation. "when they are princes. "repugnant" or to use willing to Machiavelli's terms. law" of all the realms Machiavelli knows the contemporary or best "regulated Princes in the by and thus of the strongest of kingdoms." opinion." when respectful of or "regu lated by In this case. Politically road lean toward tyranny by leaning away from the emulating the divine or secularizing the spiritual puts the prince on the to injustice." David the other reference to calls away him "an old prince" excellent or conventional ment of becomes the Scriptural for princes by overturning things. prudent. bom in France. a tyrant in that he makes all "he to make an absolute power. Where princes prove coming the law." tyranny by the authors." and Machiavelli's phrase. he is. to act in a was Philip way Christian but to the community and offensive to all ways of life. the people as generic character of worthy by being for the law. which is called everything. free and act. as you would expect of a unjust. obeyed Lycurgus's laws for hundred years. he provides a Scriptural men. like tyrants." be "stable. that is." common and he says that peoples. outside the law. this means Philip was. ing the He attributes to David. whereas princes in the generic sense. such as a . upon attributed to God: he "filled the becoming a king. an act that in the hungry with good things and sent him in the Discourses model Magnificat is the rich empty. Machiavelli magnifies this point by offering as his example of tyrant."25 equivalent of making "new names. the voice of the people may be likened to that of God. a constant people as ruler or steadfast worthy by surmounting or over prince in the generic sense proves words. according to Machia and those velli." At least as the traditional definition of justice as follow law is concerned.26 specific are sense Philip of Macedon Machiavelli's version of David. however. ought to renew act This means that contrary to community standards. who wishes the ancient standard.
this chapter does not mention religion (Disc. who seem to lack a principal requirement of religion: unlike the chapters at the peripheries of this sequence. of Machiavelli Scripture. By adjusting enmity both in pitting the law. is which that Scripture gives Machiavelli license to be held at utilize religion as he does. he employs religion to support the association of the people with constant and justice by likening the voice of the seems to lawabiding between multitude to the voice of God. the Vulgate's obscures the old approach to rule and en and Machiavellian.xlii [pp. arises This deals Machiavelli's use of religion to regarding Machiavelli's support both the tyran nically tending princely specific prince and the lawabiding multitude when relies on it takes on clothing. Are we. 230-31]). that is. On the one hand. in other words. and royal. Machiavelli politics leave us torn a religion which by subordinating to something greater moves us toward willful. In the case of the "prince" "king" princeps in the Old Testament is and rex always distinguished from "king. people and single demonstrating us at that the ground of the between the two is different At this point. to the question of choosing between princes and popular government there is added the question of whether religion plays a role in the choice. I think. That is." That is. in bringing other to bear the Magnificat. Insofar as I can determine. for with least. Thus. for instance.230 Interpretation retain their commitment succeeds ruling multitude. reductionist position on forms of rule." melek in Hebrew in Latin. Machiavelli rulers against one another and to law. princes. and consistent with the distinction between and that we have noted. Vulgate for supports the previously tioned movement away from ancient distinctions between a regimes and rulers insofar ruler as it employs princeps as a standin in the Old Testament Hebrew generous use of "prince" and variety of different words for New Testament Greek. and tyrannical. This is not to say that the Vulgate obliterates all distinctions among rulers. Old Testament. to con sider religion somehow responsible for our new political choices irrespective that the choices are usually traced to pagan Rome?27 The answer here. I. "loosed from the utilizes law. will apparently his titles in this way. lawmakers who be "hope" as regards erring. princes or a religion which by be associating sual lawabiding Philip of peoples with the deity ease encourages popular and consen our problem government. is to say that "prince" religion can least partly side of men responsible "prince" for the senses of that we the have encountered. returning to the phrase. he before that part of the Christian tradition which places spiritual matters politics and subordinates law to faith. when he pits the and corrupting against the yond effect the tyrannical irreligious Roman decimvir Appius are restraining effect of republican. On the hand. approaches to the rule of a last question. if jurists' unconventionally. the Vulgate replaces about a dozen different Hebrew words for ruler with princeps. there is a sameness in the Vulgate for expres- . to support the idea the prince as. Still. courages the modem. for example. Nor does Machiavelli and on in the chapter tween that on the constancy of the people. as noted. On the as general ruler.
however. Greek: and situation applies as well in the New Testament. but its "principalities" are equated with nature. which are typically paired with are primal them. our wrestling is against the Principalities and the the spiritual Powers. the most frequently Old Testament book in the New Testament. The Machiavellian . against the world-rulers of this high. for instance. Luke 19:2. the Prince of As utilized here. to be sure. As noted in discussing Dante's movers. ." and as devils. . Jewish the mortality of the the Peace. This in the New Tes given is consistent with an almost haphazard application of princeps tament as a whole." future Judean king. 1 Peter 5:4). archiereus." with be called. the Bible pro "prince. therefore. A similar. specific gives us as a generalized title for a leader." "powers. and thus with princes of a more This anticipates the mix of morally neutral princes and problem tyrannical princes we encounter in Machiavelli. Hezekiah (Isaiah gives princeps a more 9:6). Titles: The Use of "Prince" 231 for ruling. An illustration Peace" is the Vulgate version of the prediction of the coming of a "Prince of recalled in Isaiah. the Scriptural principalities. ment against forces of wickedness on The New Testa "prince" Vulgate. Christ had a part in their creation. the ruler in question the sar "prince" shalom has a more secular bearing and the title is understood more specifi cally." forces that "stand behind natural and human events and In their New Testament setting. the "prince of the kings of the vides earth. Paul has it. . high-priest. they also represent to the love of God and need to be surmounted on the way to the divine. their principalities. but they subsequently turned . God the Mighty. the Father of the world to come. a significant number of most of the different terms for leaders in the Septuagint latter turn for example. although not so ex where princeps replaces treme.Changing sions original. As St. chief-publican (Matthew 26:62. the "prince In such fashion. Counselor. the diabolical. abstract. This may be seen heavenly influence obstacles especially in the New Testament. wherein the title can be to Jesus." "prince of the readily as to Satan."29 darkness. It amounts to freeing rulers from old ruling categories and helps the generic prince possible. that is foreign to the Old Testament in the The general application of is also evident where Vulgate "prince" translations of the Old Testament anticipate the New Testament. In the Hebrew. especially in the face of the Vulgate or Christian reading. The Vulgate's "Prince general of of then. Wonder ful." commentators emphasize sar shalom and understand Isaiah to refer to a particular "crown-prince. rebellious and had to be disarmed from the cross: ". The princes second by step in this process is to generate suspicion about these new drawing in question their regimes. that is." of the and and the "prince savior. however. they must be subordinated to divine authority. Thus."28 world. rulers and on archo. architeloneis. force than the Hebrew the original. God: "his name shall The Vulgate identifies this figure Peace. and titles for rulers. then. is just one among many designations or titles for the deity. ." Machiavelli a source of support for the generalized sense of of We may call this the first step in the religious end the process of turning out new make princes.
and in the Banquet Dante folk" them in terms of a debased . or eventually to be overpowered by the suspect the notion of princes that engenders such distrust today.232 Interpretation regarding princes may be said to echo the Christian problem regarding princes. Dante's first historical brings to light the opposition between readers princes and republicans that is also places the to the dismay of the of some of Dante's celebrated when with Dante defenders republic. Il. but there are grounds for speculation. he says. We saw earlier that Dante apparently has doubts regarding the onset of principalities. morally neutral. possessing all things and not being able to desire having one more. Here we may return to Dante for a clue. Disc. Conv. lead prince seems us to recognize that the generic." and is "a single principate prince. he.iv. When Dante turns to discuss unchecked prince cal princes. Why this happens is unclear. however. is in time or a temporal monarchy ral and over with a prince in the role of temporal monarch or emperor: the tempo monarchy is "a single principate over all things in those things those things measured by time. who. his specific contemporary rulers of all historical examples indicate that secular world princes need to order. will keep will the kings contented within the boundaries lesser of their kingdoms. he doesn't fasten "perfect the title upon Augustus. who by lic is to be Rome's "first prince" supreme marking the end of the repub (Mon. He is in Paradise according to a popular legend whereby he is through the inter- . Judas in Satan's multiple mouths in lowest Hell. The first is Julius considered Caesar. than for the other republic. however. who on for two Dante's other purposes presided over monarchy. Machiavelli manipulates Scripture to serve his own purposes as regards the development of the new prince. Scripture and some of that material Machiavelli. prince IV. like Machiavelli. Dante is not unrealistic about practi In the flesh. Caesar. it follows. faults but the prospect of the is ameliorated.30 Dante's initial prince and principate as are at first sight as unlimited. but he need not create ex nihilo the material for is his refashioning of the title in tyrannic terms. Dante looks to Rome for the first princes: unlike was Ma chiavelli. knights tyrants" women" not only men and couples "princes stripes." but fastens it Romans. they speaks of are as susceptible to as anyone else. barons.31 and in his invective against More important. and potentially as tyrannical. so that there shall be peace between them" such that associations and individuals be able to pursue their own appropriate ends. aristocracy of "noble "princes. "authority the of the roman prince" by rather Surprisingly. sees a need for to appropriately to the and The solution the political disunity disarray that he sees about him. princes. v.8. At least available to him in Scripture.l. 12. prince. actual Machiavelli's.i [p. To begin. Despite princes to respond this. he argues that the than force. be held in check somehow if the is to be right put in Like Machiavelli. rather speaks for the "will" of Rome. and for freedom. world's political needs. 275]). xvi. 3. Cf.32 The Roman whom Dante calls "prince" is the emperor saved Trajan. Brutus and Cassius. in this sense. I.
fought both prin- word that in the Comedy and elsewhere also is linked to Inf. In Dante's world. vie 27. in is the problem of how to in keep the princes within bounds or turn on those whom how to rules. the Monarchy concludes on the that reverence note that towards Peter which a first bom son should show his father. Gregory. is secondary to domain. is for accepts Christianity. Para. the latter a and princes of the alternative to popular rule: cipi and 35." and Dante recounts a short time restored to his body. the extentions of Caesar and Trajan if you will. and between St. For Dante. Among How. envisions. words.9-12. Dante turns the spiritual other end of his problem. 11. "the grand the new the last are the glorious and are St. Thus. who together represent republican Rome. The "protector of the as Dante puts it. secular and religious share authority. two kinds of princes the Church. Para. in addition.91. why the Machiavellian prince ulti political liberty is protected by arranging that princes. resolve this.Changing cession of Titles: The Use of "Prince" 233 St.xii.45. Para. Dominic (Inf. cf. Trajan. Francis and St. sets the tone for the rest of Dante's in the Comedy princes is a prince of the prince of and every other prince named Church: the first is Dante's nemesis. and dies Thus." Such deference aside. mately turns tyrannic. and "justice piety. especially in the wake of the jeal between the Pope and Emperor that marked the high Middle these Ages.98). but what holds him to the law. assure that the secular prince particular not he short. Dante says. his jurisdiction is unlimited? On the model of as was done for the chiefs of Moses. itself to the religious arm where called the since world. the story goes. of example I. 25. into a virtue. again." Roman Pontiff. this means that the secular arm must subordinate Ultimately. Purg. especially since we are told that Dante reminds us of the promise in Psalms that the just will have nothing princes" to fear from "evil report. eternal happiness. Caesars collegi. 22. must defer to the Prince. Peter St. See two kinds 23. IIIJ4.85. existence of dual an answer to the question of suggests how to keep an unchecked prince bounds and. the Prince's domain. in other xiv. Dante's prince temptations towards tyranny that Machiavelli's prince does in To following the example attributed to David." which means that the ruler as or lawgiver need not be bound by community opinion Psalms 111:7)? In pursuing the faces the same tradition (Mon.7-9. Pope Pharisees.129. for supremacy. 19. as Dante has it. in turn. however. There are. "Caesar the Pontiff's must show earthly happiness. then. Moses. in Purgatory: Trajan. mentions of of princes in the world that Dante ous struggles This obviously creates problems. he is to issue law for "particular the tribes of Israel.110. since Boniface VIII. the critical point here . that who was impressed by an act of humility."33 counterbalancing the pagan Caesar in Dante's reckoning is a Christian Trajan: this is ironic given Trajan's fame as a persecutor of Christians. 16. the Church (Para.2). 6. dies. can we be sure the prince will protect his political subjects' liberty if. the The existence of competing princes becomes within secular and princes." history. who is Roman it is absolutely required. James.
It is just one of the ironies that in Machiavelli that Scripture in Machiavelli's teaching sows the seeds ally. Paul corrects those who choose to live "under the and sufficient time" law" in the name of Christian freedom reminds them that one subject bom "under the law" offers the promise of redeeming those will to law (Mon. We saw anticipated. 461). ing and Dante's accord. 132. and religion gener In conclusion. of an unchecked. 21). the title represents a changed vision of particular. I think. in final analysis there no against the irreligious . to the present. as Dante a does. pp. and the likelihood. he accepts the danger. The King's Two work repeat. thereby potentially tyrannical. 54. Kantorowicz.234 is that Interpretation Dante fashions a kind of late medieval checks and balances arrangement that provides an obstacle to the princely arrangement would obviously be difficult and tendency toward and fragile. 27.106-12. for the disempowering "prince" of religious princes.4. Dante Bodies. 16. I. for Dante. but. Galatians In refus 4:4. and to tyranny. of God. however. We recall that he points us to the irreligious tyrant Appius is likened to the and popular and the alternatives to a prince who abides voice voice of kingly rulers who are without hope as by the Magnificat or a multitude whose able to accepting. Machiavelli. This helps explain. that of the evil "sword" and that of the "crook" joined with effect because "the does not fear the other" (Purg. this is apparently prefer an accommodation with the Church. p. but one might simply mention that Dante's model for under the world monarchy is the "fullness of of Gala happiness earthly tians 4. where St. Inf. Purg.34 Such an as commentators have demonstrated. and to the rule of So long as the law. rule to popular rule. effectively (see. of course. all was well. So long one as they coexisted. from the later rule. 12.2. our contemporary distrust of Dantean accommodation between political and religious be no is refused. 184-90. To put it differently. Such countervailing ruling princes.125). But now. For Machiavelli. princes exist in opposition to In Machiavelli. may be said to replace the rule of law as the fundamental control against answer to tyranny.38. tyrannical Philosophy. would require some contortions Gilson. for middle ages all that is employed rather loosely kings. have none of this. as Katherine of Aragon prince. Why the rule of law.xvi. prince. in princes. Rome spiritual have two suns which guided men toward happiness. We may line between the generic is hedge by having the prince speak as the voice of the people. he initiates able way thinking wherein to earlier that accepting or abiding the political Machiavelli's new prince is Scripturally emerge any form of politics is prefer influence of the Church.g. 6. there would seem to way of camouflage the potential and specific princes or for tyranny by obscuring the the avoiding this. theoretically this impulses in used to secular and religious princes. To e. discovered.104. which exacts a cost. is the way to contain any As Dante puts it in the temporal and Comedy. the ancients' is another story. Dante are says.. the two ways. is no longer tyranny.
Taming the Prince (New York: The Free Press. 1-3. although . by mere trouble. and the Law: 1200-1600 (Berkeley: University of California Press. . that persons had been from "possession chap. is unjust. 3. his rhetoric. 1965). or "without being Law. 2 (1991): ric. Allan Gilbert. Leo Strauss. 22. . 1996). 1989)." and Leviathan. 8. 1994): 539-40. 173." are see For the argument Machiavelli's vocabulary exacts a cost to Kahn. Henry VIII. 13. pp. 94-95 (my emphasis). pp. 289." and Pennington. 1983).Changing NOTES Titles: The Use of "Prince " 235 1. Michael Oakeshott. Similar examples may be found in recent Dante. For purposes. In IV. The Prince 78-79. 9-10. IV. 66) that it can be discussed "without becoming anachronistic" hopelessly 3. .i. nn.. 10. the next scene. For Pocock on language. and which his championing a new method of historical interpretation that historical and especially linguistic contexts in which past stresses the deterministic character of the language in which that emphasizing ideas expressed. that all rule 33 (because of the "presumption of ruling"). pp. See. 218. Also on Machiavelli's rheto Rhetorica. Kantorowicz. 7. (New York: Macmillan. p. 269ff. 83. 172.18. perhaps sensing the problem. (Durham: Duke Uni versity Press. Anne's labor and the of delivery Rome Elizabeth are announced. J. no. (Oxford: Oxford University Press. eds.ii. (New York: Macmillan. 158. Thoughts on Machiavelli (Seattle: University of Washington Press. Henry's Church of honour" marriage to his assuming leadership of Hobbes is instructive: "Titles of and occasion of England. pp. in genl. trans. 3 vols. p. insensitive to differences between then pp. Parel. 4 (Fall. Pocock. 1957)." "greatest influence . Christopher Ryan. "Machiavelli's Use of Civic Humanist 127-29. 439. 1987). 4 (November. now. 57. Citizen Machiavelli (Princeton: Princeton University Press." Rhetoric. pp. The Complete Oxford Shakespeare. No. 283-84. p. 8. 1969)." .. 1962). 184. 1991). 4. 1975). and Prue Shaw Dante: Monarchy (Cambridge: Cam principatus as "a single sovereign authority. for example. value set upon signify "the them by the sovereign ." bridge University Press.lll. For a helpful discussion of interpretations of Machiavelli. no. Victor Gourevitch p. and Michael Roth. translates principato and prencipe as did not "rule" and translates unicus in Dante: The Banquet (Saratoga. Pennington. Victoria Method. The Prince the Law. Ill. 128.i. eds. 18. Machiavelli: The Chief Works and Others. 58.g. The Machiavellian Moment (Princeton: Princeton University Press. removed by implication. On Tyranny. who also offers a reasonably recent scorecard of the sides in the arguments over Machiavelli. p. 5. esp. pp. 38. 219ff. for reasons of good and peaceable government. Pennington define also points out that 'princeps' adopted as a generic title to a ruler who had no superior for whom the title could "only be used to describe the emperor as defined by Roman (pp. 90-91). See. command. The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology (Princeton: Princeton University Press. that titles could be devised to paper over the fact ed." new ideal of kingship is found sporadically in the later Middle himself fight"). 89 and n. too. n. 1989). pp. all rulers must seek to avoid the appearance and evade the responsibility 6. Katherine for her own funeral and interment. p. "Aristotle and the Republican Paradigm: A Reconsideration of Pocock's Machiavellian The Review of Politics. Pennington asks. see Mark Hulliung. Christopher Nadon. 227. 166. rests more on advocates scrupulous attention to the political theorists wrote. 1996): 679: Pocock's Moment. 24. too. the play's unsettled arranges authorship is immaterial. commonwealth. see A. 1993). regarding Machiavelli. Stanley our Wells and Gary Taylor. 1 16. "Reading Machiavelli: Innocent Gentillet's Discourse on Political Theory. and 4. In V. 263 ("a who Ages: the Prince translations of "ruler. . 216. pp. were turned titles" into and. . CA: Anma Libri. 2. how sovereignty in the sixteenth century differs from earlier versions and says (pp. see. Love's Labour's Lost. p. 92 n. e.7. 88-90.. Shakespeare takes the some liberties here in that the historical Anne led to his rupture with Katherine died three and years after Elizabeth's birth. 222. 181-82. 3 vols. The Prince "most jurists there were those law" and the 77-79. 47. uses hegemon in the Discourses.ii." power of the of they and wax and wane such that "in the process of time offices honour.
10. ed. Disc. vol. 162). p. Busnelli As the need In IV." . Locke. Gerald Phelan. 12. . "Principality" eleven in the titles of the first chapters. F W. Eschmann. Short of getting DiscorsP' into what J. licanism: 'Mixed A would Constitution' Ephors. See. ix-xi. See Eschmann's introduction to On Kingship. 134-135). I. (New York: Oxford 1961).g. H. John Sinclair trans.xi. 4 and 5. 15. 11. Disc.1.xi (p. 11 3. 660. by which he means kingship. necessary in princes are . 1960). 6. Machiavelli: II Principe e formulation "Dilemma we of regimes." than he is a standin for "tyrant. at the same time to unite and begin a new Government under a Regal. 'princes. 34-40. For Machiavelli's debts to Polybius. Repub lics Ancient and Modem (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 1969). in titles for a long time be confused with a understanding is that St. Whitfield. See. 1996). 14. Whereas Machiavelli speaks of principalities tyrants. H. pp. J. Heffer. De dementia. Discourses on Machiavelli (Cambridge: W. 340). II. Thomas Aquinas. and the who want more and more and more"). are to in parentheses.26. H. 21-25 (peregrinus a linked to desire to return to republican and rex). p. Sergio Bertelli. p. 380 (". I. 1968). De Regimine Principum. I. institutions. University of Press. attributed to Ptolomy occurs of Lucca. 15. iv (p. reports that immediately after the Tarquins were sent off. for princes is exposed by references to Dante. 1992). . trans. like 'the anxious to keep Machiavelli.122-24. Hobbes distinguished between what they have already acquired. VIII. 1 1. 505. 1979). Seneca. B. Historical Commentary on Polybius (Oxford: Clarendon Press. people' . St. My translation will be based citations to Machiavelli. Sullivan. Polybius that turning tyrannic and princes becoming kingship (basileia) turning monarchic (monorchia).2. Machiavelli. p. distinguished by antiquity of bloodline and centralization. see Paul Rahe. 1996). so the qualities (Florence: Felice le Monnier. 20. save for IV. Cicero. Livy. lviii (pp. Thomas's De Regno. Peter Laslett (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. monarchies of Darius's type are Machiavelli calls their monarchs princes. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press). G. For the modern dichotomy between popular and autocratic politics. 1. 1949). 1967). and in The Invention of the Modern Republic.. Sasso distinguishes ples: Studi su Machiavelli (Na Chi Morano. ." Fontana (Cambridge: Cambridge sign of the shift University Press. eds.ii (pp. Discourses I. Brutus . Harvey Mansfield. Foster. xxi. O. (Toronto: The Pon tifical Institute of Medieval Studies. The only king as such mentioned in the chapter is the king of France. pp. shew me any one Man in any Age of the World free to begin a lawful 1988). For Aristotle's 10. Bacon. Pro Sulla. or any other Form. v. The Histories. Comedy are to University Press. intro. one lawful Government in the World"). III.5-10. ed. De Republica. and G. had the people swear an oath that and they "would suffer no man to be king in Rome. 290-91. 344 Monarchy.. . citations to the Divine Dante: The Divine Comedy. For principi in the old sense falling before the idea of the single ruler. pp. pp. 1957). later work. In the earlier. first the youth (princeps iuvenatus). pp. see Vickie B. trans. of in first in the senate (princeps senatus). 388). 9. 16. 264-65).g. 421. Discourses on Livy. see. Studi.xx (p. . Pocock's if "monarch" "prince" monarchy is "monarch" a corruption of equation of with then may "Seyssel.. Il. (Milan: Feltrinelli.. chaps. liii (p. and first citizen (princeps Illinois civitatis)." 13.v (p. e. see Sasso. On Kingship. 6. Walbank. 249). pp. context princeps indicates priority in terms of lesser groups. where kingdom occurs. more be telling VI. Hexter no calls the of the What provides Machiavelli access to Polybius if he had an Greek? may note in passing that Machiavelli diverges from Polybius in speaks of interesting way with regard to princeps. Seneca. 3 vols. Th. 221.236 Interpretation a principato civile and a principato assoluto. 9-10. Vandelli. either all Men arc free. p. as republican. xxi (p. IV (p. For the departure from (" "regal" royal or rule and the move towards princely rule. and Descartes. 95-100. B. Disc. Machia velli's New Modes and Orders (Ithaca: Cornell University Press. too. or else there is but one lawful Prince. and intends. I. Machiavelli's Three Romes (DeKalb: Northern "Prince" University Press. p. 191-98.3-5 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press). e. Harvey Mansfield cago the and introductory comments in Niccolo Machiavelli: Nathan Tarcov (Chicago: The upon this work. 8(1956): 96. 146. 289). Wilfried Nippel. The Second Treatise. Polybius Studies in the Renaissance. p. 130-31). . 15). Purgatorio 7. Prince I (p. "Ancient even becomes and Modern Repub ed. 1994).' 711. 185). On Kingship. trans. see Politics 1259a25-bl0. Disc. with page numbers Discorsi. I will be bound to shew him Ten other free men at Liberty. Pr. Polybius. 19). // Convivio I.i.ii (pp.
Oxford Shakespeare put Katherine anticipates the overlapping titles of the that last scene and ties princes to the conception of equivalent of and virtue as wisdom and prudence is familiar from Machiavelli. 113 (1995): 101-3. 21. where "mighty the prosperous impoverished or distressed. I. Para. in Natural Right and Political Right. See. "Christianity and Republicanism: From St. Henry VIII is Shakespeare's "valediction to the literal and history and se stage" his figurative last word on the direction and of English to politics. 24. 57-58.i. on the Dante Studies website York: AMS Press. Of kindness at and the same nature is a to Alexander's royal acts of Etienne Gilson. 330. Tempest V. 44. issue.2-3.liii (p. 162) and I. not as archetype prince.iv. "The Failure of Henry and the toward" 1984). I. p. 159. 1996. 262-64).liv (pp. On Tyranny. the play's crucial dynastic implications that the concern about inheritance that in Dante and Machiavelli leads to princes. of the surrounding verses.iv. 35). Cf. This is See Disc. 158. see 20. II. 183)." "descend" "ascend. viii (pp. For Philip 33. 262-63). Machiavelli's Three Romes. Strauss. 94-103. V. 18. Viii. The awkward status of careful of the Magnificat in this regard leads a recent commentator to warn Christians to be spiritual content. see. 30. Pr. I. 176).Iv.iii. 415). xxvi (193-94). 30-31). see Kay. 84-86. e. The Taming of the Prince. Christian Astrology. iv. 80-81. 16. As the editors of it. V. I. 73. Thomas Silver Larry Peterman. I. In his references to Dante at I.60-62. e. Earlier. Machiavelli exchanges for For the tie between royalty and inheritance. xix (p. 24.. 187). 122. xix (p. Disc. 22. 27. (p. For Venus as the meeting place of the spiritual and human.xxi (p." 977.ii. On Solomon's wisdom. Pennington. I. 1963). Word (Dallas: Word Book. by references to Piety: Machiavelli's Modern Turn. 4. 249). XIX (pp. xxv (pp. 46. 979. see Kantorowicz. p. 193-94). too. Richard II II. I.xxvi (modi crudelissimi e nimici. 52 (1990): 190-91. 91. 134-35). and concludes that the problems must be understood in "ethico-religious" "socio-economic" the matrix of the and and language eds.Changing exposed and Titles: The Use of "Prince" 237 Virgil. 1994). 108. V. 1965). 25. (New York: Harper and Row. See Larry Peterman.37. lviii (pp. 298-99). see Larry Peterman. 36-37. VII (p. Cyprian to Rousseau. 1989).i (p. 187. can Henry VIII Hl. 192-93). Machiavelli had celebrates 26." Modernity. Richard Kay. "Ulysses Dante Studies. . 83. Pol. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Luke (Grand "socio-political" rulers" Rapids. p.94-105. pp. pp. The Riverside Shakespeare (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin. p.xi. For Christianity having a stake in hereditary rule. iv. On the direction of the history plays.ii. pp. 216. Disc. Dante Philosophy Conv. VI (pp. On the identification of Venus and Principalities. carries In addition.xi (p. 66. MI: Baker Books. 1. Strauss. pp. I. 91-92. 3 (1997): 647. Luke 1:53.lviii he the strengths of princes and the multitude. Allan Gilbert. II. pp.3.edu/dante/rh2. Dante's Christian Astrology.g. "Gravity The Review of Politics. Ameri Anthony Black. 47. 67. Disc.iv. Another commentator speaks of the are dethroned as well as the humble exalted and problems in the Magnificat.xxvi (p. Commentators teaching of attribute the change to moving from the teaching of Gregory the Great to the Pseudo-Dionysius. 187. pp. The fictional who Eliza beth I for Shakespeare may be Prospero.). Dante 's for thrones. Sullivan. (Durham: Carolina Academic Press. Henry VIII IV. p. 80-83. 203-7. 13-44. Pr. p. 13. The King's Two Bodies. 19. Dante's Christian Astrology (Phil and adelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. exposed the flaws of royalty and the people. 77-78). 1277b25-27. 184). 1994). Biblical Commentary.40. For a resume of the controversy over the exchange of principalities see Robert Hollander s comment of October 7. Ill. Henry VIII and the whole cycle of English history plays "works Cranmer's prophecy (vol. 252-53). 25. Dante's Conception of Justice (New p. IV. Rep. Kay. As the last play in Shakespeare's English quence and likely his last simply. p.lviii (pp. 343b. David Hubbard Glenn Barker." is a "Prince power" of in Milan later a "living 22. Henry VIII V. 52.g.14. Disc.3-55. too.princeton. The Prince. to discount that Romulus is a fratricide. prince. 101-2).xvi (p.i. 253-57. 194) and I. 1974). no. See." 17. see 23.53-54. Peter Schramm." Political Science Review. Pr. Aristotle. pp. 256). see. eds.html. Henry's divorce from Katherine complement marriage Anne." devoid of any making "the hymn a manifesto for political action Darrell Bock.ii (pp.45-49. XXVI (pp.i. 383). Kings 3:9. In I. 196. Mansfield. Thoughts on Machiavelli. reference (http://www..
" arrangement as an alternative to pp. here. Dante calls him by other titles. which modern commentators take to be "the spiritual Air. In the same spirit. (Verona: Mondadori. Dent. by a 1:7 to the Old Testament and to kings in a ratio phenomenon count. 1993).iv. Isaiah 10:8. to any mortal Haftorahs.g. God's is "freedom will. translations are based upon The Convivio of Dante Alighieri. Maimonides. godless dealings of (p. Mon. For this and argument and the sec contrary argument that there and affinity between Christian thought p. see. 212-14. 850.21. is generic. 2. 1963). 254-55. 2:15. with changes for literalness. 1899.ix. see. 177. For differentiating and see. Conv.57. Bruce Metzger pp. see. Numbers 7:2. Kantorowicz. Ephesians 6:12. and Michael Coogan. is that the English translations following "Prince Revelation 1:5. IV. have it that Machiavelli can use religion to support the Conventional prince wisdom would tyrannical because Christianity historically Although this opposes popular government or has a natural a affinity for where absolutist government. Ricci. 61-63. someone exalted." 647. Pier G. eds. Inferno 34." whose king is noble and whose princes 32." The Oxford Companion to the Bible. including princes. On Dante's sovereign. MI: Eerdmans Publishing feast" to no eat land may the sequel be addressed.73-96. greatest gift of the Mon. 31." ruler over the hierarchical realm of eds.4. 1987). I. ed. 20. as frequently as princeps and principes. On the transmission from most to politics.. demons. Black. Com. The King's Two Bodies. m. Thus. No or true Israelite would apply a term 'Mighty and Father' prince. God: like where the ruler is to assume the object government. of frequent Hebrew Dux and sources by far for princeps are someone of rank. Studies in Dante: Second Series (Oxford: Oxford University Press. e. J. ancient 28. (New York: Oxford University Press. Hertz. H. I. For Jews. Medieval Political Philosophy. Matthew 12:24. Acts 5:31.44. 5. . and kingdom of David. e. position is hardly universal. Dante's Christian Astrology. are based upon Shaw." "governance" 189-90. Allen Myers. 112-17..g. ed.41. 1968). For others." 34.9. Dante: Monarchy. Edward Moore. the prince's. pp. 1903). p. Judges 5:15. the New Testament has proportionally more references to princes than rough kings 1:15. unity's sake there is need for one will.238 Interpretation xliii In Disc. John 14:30. and generally attends less to An rule and rulers of ratio of about any sort. 33. The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary.20. e. 18. that is.g. of the no Princeps pads to the name of "This is quite God' impossible. Proverbs 8:15. and sar. pp. it leads to situation suspicion of princes goes hand in hand is an with suspicion of Christianity. Monorchia I.. throne. e. On the hand.xii. Purg. On Tyranny. On the Biblical The orientation religion erasing thought. Livy 111. 231). "Blessed is the land in due season for necessity and not for luxury. Taming the Prince. Ralph Lemer and Muhsin Mahdi. 10. 1965). Jewish interpreters point to the next verse (Isaiah 9. separates into four separable heads.xv. nawsi. I. Company. Machiavelli refers to a section in Livy where the the decimvirs contrast with the actions of a free people committed to their gods. (Grand Rapids." 162. with the result that there are far fewer in the English translations than there are princeps in the Vulgate. 17. republicanism. 8. but does not call him a king. IV. commentaries to the Vulgate's true Prophet linking indeed. and a rough Old Testament references to kings at about 2500 and to prince and princes other in the Vulgate at about and 250. trans. "prince" "king. p.2.61-69.7).." 'Everlasting ed. 30.xv. Supporting Jewish their view of the Isaiah text. Dante sums up the contemporary situation by quoting Ecclesiastes 10:16-17: "Woe to thee. 10:1. whose king is a child and whose princes rise up and early to "Prince. 29. Mon. translations. who may be said to speak for the Old Testament and for Aristotle. consistent with its focus upon grace rather than laws commandments. 6. There is also a single reference to the of the Power of the Ephesians 2:2. therefore.. to direct all Para. For the Trajan legend. e. it refers to princes in a of about interesting ture the nuances of occurrences of "prince" the Septuagint try to cap authority more closely than the Latin. the count prince as a puts strictly secular figure is lesser in dignity than the king. p.10-11. Philip Wicksteed.g. duces are also common words for kinds leaders but do not occur See. 39. Colossians 1:16.5. 305. creating a "modern see Mansfield. 96-97.vi. M. "Christianity Republicanism. O land. 611.g. (New York: The Free Press. Richard Kay.ii. (London: J. Strauss. The Soncino Edition of the Pentateuch 1965). pp. (London: Soncino Press. Para.
convicted as dragged to the gibbet suggests mitted by the Spanish court in Lima. this occasion. he surely have objected more strenuously to the behav- interpretation. SOURCES AND SETTING on A Narrative of Voyages and Trav Melville clearly based "Benito els. and to the welfare of his people. the captain of the slave ship San and Babo."1 mind was unusually Had he would not felt so much have protested the sympathy for their sufferings. he "was obliged to serve [the water] out to the [people on board the . Melville that of the three Babo is the most intelligent. factors that often prevent human beings from or the title the natural grounds of political rule." would have fallen a victim to their power. . that. in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres published in 1817 by Amasa Cereno" Delano. . get casks. a Tryal]. the captain board the Tryal. Seeing took on his whaleboat and a crew and went on the ship in distress. chapter off the captain of an American sealing ship named the Perseverance. Winter 1999. "the captain. and when arrived. they re was garded him "as benefactor. Vol. Babo is finally com by the tail of a mule and hanged. . Yet in his story. Had it been was otherwise. Delano and a traitor Cereno. ." Delano sent pity his boat back to . Spanish ship in distress. "As soon as he got people and slaves crowded around deck. he "no doubt on [he] did them every possible kindness. Melville dramatizes recognizing either some of the natural In relating the fate of the three leaders. Zuckert University of Notre Dame In "Benito captains Cereno" Herman Melville contrasts the leadership shown by three Amasa Delano. the temperament of his pleasant. occupy positions of lawful au thority. [his] advantage. Benito Cereno. I. . he lapses of discipline he observed on deck more force would fully than he did. much as to do themselves injury. to keep them [from] drinking so Fortunately. Delano recounts. the North American captain of a sealer. . No." Delano reports. resourceful. 2 . the sealer to They [him] they had they water.Leadership "Benito Natural and Conventional in Melville's Cereno" Catherine H. mate. . the leader of the slaves who have revolted and seized Both white men. In 18 of his narrative Delano recounted his encounter with a Spanish ship the coast of the island of St. It and as [he] great deceived in them. [him] to . make known their told grievances" and no he "could not but their sufferings. 26. control. who seeks to help a Dominick. Delano observed. Marie. .
the convicts ever unfaithful. and who had not made enough to amount to . minutes unless therefore. before they did. His control over his men was tenuous. able to get Delano had taken on in Botany to testify in court that the captain of the decided in favor an appeal to of Although the viceroy in Lima Delano. since his crew were still dispersed among the islands with no way to of help themselves or to receive succor except from him. in his question Delano brings his own leadership were ability into by knowingly voyage. Delano discovered that three of his Botany had ran off when on shore and that five more were planning to run away (p. thus left fifteen Marie. wholesome . that he had made this the iard to take them to Senegal. . Felix "with the view of procuring They were to meet again at the island of St. by keeping constantly jumped into the the his elbows." treating them with the giving them good best [he] had. In his narrative. by "exercising very strict discipline. at best. Span days after the ship left of the port seventy slaves on board had revolted killed twenty-five whites. and at other times deserved. Ambrose St. "We had been from home a year and a half. that he had kept at sea until his water was ex port to get it and. he was five of the men other sailors would use the to ran off. 97)." His "crew refractory. Delano did not so much as the lives of the emphasize the story of his deception on board the risk he and his sailors took in recapturing the Tryal from to remunerate own narrative desperate slaves and the Spanish captain's ungrateful refusal the Americans for their service. . to find a way to save remaining whites. narrative suggests the At the very least. that the slaves had commanded the pended. dare to let his was whaleboat be in the fifteen he in her himself for fear men to He incited his promise reneged opportunity risk their lives retaking the Spanish slave ship with the that they would receive half its value. Delano's historical captain was not a human character. . Delano reports. taken a great many ex-convicts on board as sailors admitting that he had un for his return But. twenty dollars for the coast of each of were of all on shares. . as shown by his disillusionment both in the men he recruited for the trip home and the Spanish captain he aided. So long as they remained at the water island Delano did not. Only was the Spanish captain whaleboat with Delano as he leaving that six and did the American discover the actual state of affairs aboard the Tryal. and floggings. according as their deeds The voyage had been unprofitable. Delano and my people.240 ior of Interpretation the negro who of prevented him from having a private conversation with at the captain when the ship. But when the Spanish captain on his offer to share the profits once they were safely in port. Perseverance the royal judges. In "Benito Cereno" Melville presents a much more positive view of De- . and his voyage less than successful very good judge as an economic enterprise. . he hoped. Arriving with one of his boats. Reaching islands of Chile. the American captain did not feel able to wait for was a pirate. Don Bonito. he managed to get across the Pacific. men his best men at seals" the St. Nevertheless.
indeed. remaining North American coast. public sentiment shifted to the rebels. Like the Amistad. In his brief for the captives. the black rebels ordered Montez to take them to Africa. [were said to instant." Writing acts for the court. very much like that Delano discovered on board the Tryal in 1804.2 deal with Southern slaveholders and the prospect of slave ships There had been two widely publicized cases of slave insurrection aboard the preceding decade the Amistad in 1839 and the Creole in 1843 which from Melville seems to the San Dominick. Melville entirely focus of the story from a celebration of the compassionate intrepidity ordinary American entrepreneur to the significance of the slave revolt. Forced to and three crew members steer of east by day. obligated to obey only tions. Justice Joseph Story agreed: "We may lament the dreadful by which they asserted their . The Spaniards survived by trickery. the Spanish have drawn in adapting Delano's narrative.Leadership lano's ability Spanish in Melville's "Benito both the Cereno" 241 the as well as a more sympathetic picture of sufferings of captain and the plight of the slave rebels. and reporters seized the slave ship in hope for the New London Gazette getting prize or initially expressed their hope that he and his men would receive their just due. Commander of Gedney salvage the brig Washington money. Mendi. Melville describes the San Dominick and sides covered with as Long Island in having bottom reports barnacles Like the and sea original of the grass. the Supreme Court freed the Africans.3 Captain Delano. The leading should question of American politics during that how Northerners rebellion. an indication of disorder and disreputable disrepair. translated their statements about having been of chained and whipped. Having murdered the captain situation on The shortly after they left Havana. by making a series of apparently insignificant shifts the original narrative. their The Spaniards' sufferings have] been 'truly deplorable. owners without expressing as 'buc- They described and "the Africans as aniers' and the Spanish owners. they eventually had to Lieutenant Like Delano. and an sailor who spoke however."4 'gentlemanly' 'martyr-like'.' lives being threatened every board the Amistad in 1839 was. the language. they secretly and altered the ship's course at night in hope for two meeting another vessel near the succeeded in prolonging the where voyage months." the "law of Nature and Nature's God. Jose Ruiz . Like schooner Amistad was initially suspected of first sighted off being a pirate ship when it was the coast of 1839. John Quincy Adams argued that under the "law of na the Africans were like the American colonists. Writing in the 1850s Melville thus made the story of much greater relevance to the of an his immediate decade was audience. violation of When it became known that the Africans had been kidnapped in African captives' the Spanish law of 1 820 prohibiting the importation of African slaves. Spanish newspaper first any and sympathized with the concern for the fate of suffering the blacks. Pedro Montez. headed by Virginia President John Tyler. land to replenish of the ship's water supply. To the surprise slaveholder the United States government. changes on Indeed.
S." "a black military republic under British the British "strike a death blow at the existence power in protection. Amistad. at territory in the Caribbean ville made the and least in part. In 1843 the slaves on an American ship. who. but they of cannot v. be deemed pirates 593- or robbers in the sense of the law nations" (U. Melville made the ship coincide with the annual celebration of the pendence on By changing the time of of slaves' seizure of control on the American Declaration Inde July 4. In 1799 General Toussaint l'Ouverture on also successfully led a and the a slave rebellion the island of Santo Domingo. the The first apparently was minor alteration Melville made in Delano's narrative the date. were Creole. freed mutinied off the coast of Virginia and sailed to of Nassau. But only can on Story was careful to point out that the within Africans' justified Ameri the high seas. brought himself declared emperor in . therefore. Didn't the principles the North American colonists used to enslaved justify their rebellion against Great Britain not also apply to blacks by the Spanish? Were they "created equal" and endowed with certain made the connection rights? By changing the year from 1804 to 1799 Melville between the events depicted on history even more during which the slave By changing the year status board the Spanish ship and North American political evident: 1799 marked the midpoint of the twenty-year period trade was allowed under the United States Constitution. if back the handed. readers of the ambiguous Melville thus reminded his institution had in the United States from the very beginning. year from winter to summer. Then Secretary a State Daniel Webster plot wrote the American consul in Havana to beware British to invade Cuba and put which would S. prospective expansion of slave By more recent cases of slave revolts on question of the board ship of with combining aspects of these Delano's narrative.242 Interpretation and took possession of the liberty. following the example of democratic revolution to an end by having Napoleon Bonaparte. In the 1840s American dreams of "mani of fest destiny" were linked. Toussaint salines. under law. he reminded his readers that Americans both Northern and Southern were im plicated in the traffic in human life and that there had been a general. the was succeeded as general-in-chief by Des- however. during which the slave rebellion on board the Spanish ship is supposed to have occurred. the months and the year. have been different. If it had occurred the legal questions would the United States. to a South America. Mexico. where they by British authorities. he thus effectively extended the principles of both the American French revolutions to blacks in the New World. Amistad 15 Peters rebellion was 94). Mel and status proper response on the part of white slavery in the New World leadership central to his story. Antebellum North American slave. Declaring Haiti republic." help seize control of the Gulf of and slavery in the U. recognition in the Constitution that the slave trade was evil and should. public opinion was by no means Nor was it clear what the official reaction of the simply United States govern pro- ment would or should be to slave revolts. come to an end.
board the San Dominick. if not of the reader's. not emphasize slaves. the object of Captain Delano's compassion. He shows how the captain's precon- . "Follow your the implicit question thus becomes not simply whether the Spanish will resisting the slaves. Bartholomew. Melville does. Not only did Melville change name from Bonito Sereno ("Blessed Serenity") to Benito Cereno ("Pallid Benedictine").Leadership 1804 them in Melville's "Benito Cereno" 243 and deceitfully assuring white landowners of their safety only to have butchered. which is to say. the captain of a slave ship. but whether the is ship following the example of the original figurehead. in Delano's Perhaps longest understandably." owner for the Columbus and write below it. however. Does Delano follow Columbus in serving a new imperial power sailors follow Aranda to death the by American captain who retakes that betrays the promise of the new world slavement of others?5 by seeking wealth through the en During and the 1 850s Southern politicians were urging Amer ican Presidents to do just that. Delano himself did the way in which he had been fooled part of by a bunch of uneducated former In the first and by far his narrative. To understand to oppose slavery made also the title character. in his the presentation of the Spanish captain. at the end of his story Melville square has the head of Babo look across the toward the Church of St. that is.) figure And on the stem Melville described of a masked satyrlike holding down another neck. the victim. What the artist narrative was the potential trompe-Toeil. representing the institution the discoverer of painting putting a foot on his the New World had brought by in his wake. In a curious twist. Melville also changed his role and character from an inept leader and ungrateful beneficiary to something resembling a mar tyr. Melville reminded his readers of this historical precedent for the slave rebellion aboard the He also added a figurehead of of Spanish ship by renaming it the San Dominick. rebels on When the board the San Dominick statue of substitute the skeleton of their former leader. The source most striking initially puzzling change Melville made from his was. Christopher Colum first brought and established bus. Bartholomew in are which the bones of his a owner Alexandra Aranda buried. (As if to emphasize the connection between Catholicism and island of the discoverer the New World who slavery. MELVILLE'S CAPTAIN DELANO The focus of the story Benito Cereno but misunderstanding. on the slavery Santo Domingo. of conditions on foremost. at the behest of a Benedictine monk named St. first and rather on is not on certainly in terms of space devoted to it Captain Delano's understanding.6 Melville's story is to understand why a novelist known the Spanish captain not only a subject of sympathy but II. saw. Christopher Colon. Melville thus made the apparent villain.
like some hypochondriac or staring. the generally slovenly maintenance of the vessel. too. besides at the same over impairing the Spaniard's authority them. as in the original narrative. but may treat with familiar trust less a servant than a devoted companion. starting. Benito Cereno displays acteristic about the shared of the aristocratic a lack of Catholic "Old World. 50-52) with other symptoms of In Delano's mind. both physical and mental. 52) . navies." energy and Delano's conviction char own reflections by Spaniard's decrepitude. condition of things was have been anticipated. the watchful old oakum pickers stationed above ominous attitude of the six "raw" deck as well as the they occasionally Delano's clash Ashantees polishing rusty hatchet heads that together like cymbals. surprise was lost in pity. he moved slowly suddenly pausing. from scarcity have brought time the less good-natured and blacks. one. cities. him. Shut up in these unconditionality about. appeared to be his Negro servant. be overlooked. A prey to cloyed settled dejection [h]is dull mind appeared unstrung.244 Interpretation about the character of ceptions Old World aristocrats and Negro servants preconceptions shared story was written by many citizens of the Northern led him to misconstrue what he saw states at the on time the board the Spanish ship almost entirely. in nature herself. a man of greater energy. (P. chained to one round of command whose abbot . . who followed the young man apprehensively. But. . performing [his] the repute of offices with that affectionate zeal which has gained for the Negro a making the most pleasing body servant in the world. In families. But. had Benito Cereno been to the present pass. nothing more relaxes good order Nevertheless. the relative paucity of whites proportion to blacks. moody mind. whom master need be on no stiffly superior terms with. . So De lano thinks. (Pp. On boarding the San Dominick Melville's Delano does some of and slaves who not fail to observe the unusual conditions: the lack of discipline in the throng of sailors immediately in surround him with their tales of woe. misrule would hardly have come But the debility . [he to reflects] under the circumstances. of the Spanish captain was too obvious to . ceives on the American captain cannot on the help blaming the disorder he per board the San Dominick Spaniard's inept leadership. or than misery. alike evidently reduced [L]ong-continued suffering seemed to qualities of the Negroes. both for the Spaniards of water and provisions out . at times an absent or oaken walls. precisely this armies.
. 57)? Who and immediate were not danger as losing his his life if he Who would indication that things they seemed? have thought an uneducated was taken black from Africa. Delano believes Negro service is an expression of a natural order. his carefully drilled blacks recruit (pp. Don to Benito's story the youngest invention. . for that matter) orders of the small who would have suspected that the titular cap tain of a Spanish ship. 68). on the other he believes is the slave's solicitous fidelity. rope" the black . Delano is attracted. another appeared to be sporting a jewel.. ever heard of a white so far a renegade as to apostatize Negroes" from his very species almost. . 1799 (or 1804. him less punishment. in fact. 75). himself . There was a gloomy hesitancy it. It was just the manner of one making up his tale for his suspicions. once complained that upon "Cap In tain Delano is moral simplicity in a form that borders weak-wittedness. who The whites by nature. too stupid. 68-69). shrewder race. Besides. whites. and he does think even worse of the Old World aristocracy Spaniard is that he his hand." Neither such cooperation of a white with members of an on the part of the was conceivable.7 In contrast to the unjust rule of a weak. one could the white sailors seemed to give knowing looks."8 But to most readers seems at worst superficial and conventional. were . down Negress. discipline "[C]ould asked be any way in complicity with the Delano . however. throughout was an purposes" (p. he immediately were the reflected. race nor such . blacks?" inferior . was. board this ship did not seem to be what they should. . . A noted American literary Delano critic. . So when the to whisper in a conspiratorial manner with Spaniard vant and stepped aside his bodyser- then asked Delano pointed questions about the number and suspect disposition the and evil of his crew. Newton Arvin. superstitious aristocrat.. by what rale are so obviously weak. Left in other effect as a hostage while his men return to the sealer to get water and saw several much supplies. Delano checked was by reflecting that "if every in the soul on plot" . could have would enslaved by own people there before he by organized a rebellion and established order on a ship? Who have be lieved he obey could get his own rebellious and undisciplined people to pretend to the Spanish captain in order to deceive their visitor? In 1799 Europeans .Leadership The of good in Melville 's "Benito Cereno of " 245 North American the only suspects reason the representative not incompetence. following trousers . "He recalled Spaniard's subterfuge about telling his story. be to be wearing a Things on fine linen undershirt. Delano began to manner while Don Benito of treachery. "they . dressed in "nothing but wide made out of some old topsail would have of suspected [held up] by a bit of unstranded that the Spanish captain was in constant gave the slightest (p. dressed in velvet and silk. . by leaguing in against it with (p. then board. Delano became suspicious when he black boys knife Sev seen a white with eral of hardly a reprimand from the captain. Don Benito "No. slave .
in a peculiar way. . 88). And also a of the people on when very practical man of action. not an admirer He has the of the prejudices of Protestants as well as of whites. human beings. that is. inferiors. Delano does hatred."9 He does not seem to be very concerned about the plight of the black slaves. just as other men to Newfoundland (pp. Captain Delano proves himself. Delano is ulates attitudes and New England trader He is who artic beliefs that were common in the North before the Civil War. formed. His initial deception not only demon strates the power of expectations and appearance in shaping opinions. as servingmen. aristocratic Negroes did not order around mem Spanish his family. 83-84). to be not only a intentioned but them. On the contrary. a perhaps even impossi Bom in Duxbury. indeed. Delano observes. however. blind attachment sometimes inhering in indisputable why [some famous authors] took . Delano takes things at face That is. philanthropically. of vocations . also closer to nature . fits him for about one's person. On the contrary. genially. board the San Dominick. Massachusetts. Not the laugh is meant this is added the docility of and that susceptibility one here [b]ut a certain easy cheerfulness. Delano to animals than whites. he thinks that slavery is bad for the white masters. institution of slavery. then closer and now. "like dogs" most men of a good. he takes he discovers the true kindly Upon discovering steps immediately and well- the plight to relieve state of affairs on board the Spanish ship. blithe Like many whites. There is a smooth tact about them. he acts just as Like value. readily perceives Negroes . institution There is something in the Negro which. Delano believes unchecked power is bad for the people who exercise it. because nature to serve. Most Negroes are natural valets and hairdressers. When to arising from the unaspiring contentment of a limited mind. at one point he observes that it "breeds ugly passions in men" (p. Watching slavery itself fundamentally objec he believes that Negroes are particularly suited by the slave prepare to shave Benito. Captain Delano took to Ne not but groes. his later reaction to his experience also shows ble it is to change such opinions once how very difficult. why his understanding of what happens on board the San Dominick has the importance it does. . not regard with or blacks fear observes. the narrator heart. moreover. So far at one point is he from objecting to the institution of slavery per se that offers to buy Cereno's black bodyservant for fifty doubloons! Delano does not think the he tionable or unjust. Like many citizens of the American republic.246 Interpretation owned old commonly bers of an Delano both ships and slaves. most quickly and effectively to reestablish lawful control. Melville indicates. The expectations in terms of which stupid or viewed experience on board the San Dominick were hardly unreasonable. but believes that Negroes are not merely for precisely that reason. mere grin or And above all is the great gift of good humor.
however. but he does He is not to care much about other so much as interested in justice be enjoying like status. like most uncivilized women. by no means passive character of Delano's reaction to his extraordinary experience is highlighted in Melville's story by the contrast between the initial description of the captain's impressions of conditions on board the San Dominick court. Like his historical people model. first. to retake the ship. in as concern for his own interest. gained control the San Dominick. loving as doves. tenderness and love. As soon as he comes to the San understand the true state of affairs aboard Dominick. now. which involves reenslaving the blacks. of and the deposition taken from the Spaniard we by the Through the deposition learn not only how the blacks reversed. the darker desires and He simply finds them to be sources of disorder others. the captain of the sealer does not under much stand or have the fears that move sympathy with the dissatisfactions. He preserves the lives of his captives so that he take them back to be tried for their "crimes" in a Spanish viceregal court Lima. (p. When he comes board the San day after the capture. [h]e was gratified with their manners. risk their lives in what must a violent encounter with the desperate of Because they are part his men not to kill or Dominick the perhaps the most valuable part the cargo.10 which need to be put down. Basically himself and the world. a court which can also grant compensation although to him and his men. Like the "These sun in the sky natural sights somehow breeze wafting over the water. he is in profit. to save as many of the Spanish sailors as possible. insensibly deepened his confidence and ease" Delano's contentment positive view of nature as a whole reflects with his own goodnatured satisfied with his relatively modest. and second. thinks: in Melville's "Benito and Cereno" 247 Observing a slumbering Negress pure her naked child." Remarking other Negresses more particularly than before. he "There's naked nature. He himself is free not seem and indepen dent. Melville's Benito Cereno appears to he was . good. he stops the whites from vengefully tortur ing can the shackled blacks.Leadership and. 73). He does not act so much out of compassion. but also how they exercised their power over the whites when the roles of master and slave were. Delano takes immediate and effective action. the narrator reports. he urges on maim the blacks. therefore. and the fight for them. in effect. tough of constitution. Melville's Delano promises his men a share of the spoil as incentive to ex-slaves. The placid. they seemed at once tender of or heart and Unsophisticated as equally ready to die for their infants leopardesses. BENITO CERENO Whereas Delano's Don Bonito tried to age as possible once ward or share salvage as much profit from his voy in port safely by denying the Americans any re in the ship they had saved. III. but commanding position.
soul and body. after the A few days black who initial rebellion. Aranda of the slaves on and the blacks' ferocity. 111-12)." inscription below it: "Follow Spaniard forward. The consequent it possible for them to organize and execute the rebellion murder eighteen of in which Spaniards sleeping they on deck. Following an Babo's orders. they also threw three others overboard. but which he. they then riveted the bones to the bow where he traced leader. [T]o in subjection. warning Don Alexandra if he saw them (the Spaniards) speak or plot anything Attempting and to save the . town. the Spaniard steered toward intermediate ports in hope that he they not to Babo threatened. or gave any look that should give the least of the past events or present state [to the North American captain]. One of the Ashantees thus prepared Aranda's masters]" skeleton "in a way the Negroes afterwards told the divulge" deponent. 107-8). Aranda.. The ring leader was the small black Delano thought should be called Benito's friend the rather than handspikes hatchets to his servant. and white's. and he formally to make over to them the (p. The small black then "took by succession each and asked should . including most of the slaves. Babo and his lieutenant. . about the character of the slaves. ship" kill any more. wore was fatally deceived None board the San Dominick were all fetters. 109). because Aranda freedom of move told the captain that ment made used they and tractable. Atufal. morally as well as physically.248 Interpretation have been thoroughly debilitated. whites the moment carried" they Babo covered the skeleton figurehead . tied up and alive. He does not seem to have owned any slaves himself. decided that Aranda should be could not otherwise killed. from its whiteness. . Melville thus presents Cereno less as owned by his friend Al a villain than a victim his friend's foolishness Like Delano. . lives of the to draw up a paper in which [he] obliged remaining whites. that "he would kill all the he should perceive any city. by his ordeal. he "harangued them way of (pp. with all his companions. "because [they] the seamen be sure of their liberty. where sighting Delano's ship. Telling the blacks that what they most needed to reach their destina tion was water. warned the deponent "that if he intimation uttered any word."" whether. faithful companions. Everyday thereafter Babo go the them that they should.. him whose skeleton that was. [the blacks also] wanted to prepare a warning of keep what road [the Spaniards] should be made to take did they or any of them oppose [their (p. with . however. so long as reason is left him. he would showing a dagger which he carried Far from natural servants or instantly hid" kill him. . your can never (pp. (p. a huge had reputedly been a chief in Africa. might find assistance. . Cereno thus headed toward the solitary island of Santa Maria. or settlement of any very kind on the shores to which they should be (p. he was simply captain of a exandra of ship transporting goods. canvas and planned the charade. Benito Cereno "agreed himself to carry them to Senegal. not think it a . 108). 106). Cereno believes that the . 106).
and Like Joseph Conrad's Mr. Cereno is impressed with the depths of human error and misunderstanding. The gentle heart darkness and he cannot fort. and yet until the very the American suspected the Spaniard's morals and motives. Delano is impatient Benito." past upon it? Forget it. human soul.Leadership blacks have created in Melville's "Benito Cereno" 249 proved themselves to be cruel savages who used the opportunity cannibalize." human" not (p. and sky can all begin anew. the North American to the possibility of a new beginning. Although he apparently rallies a bit on the trip between Santa Maria and Lima. reactions of the two captains about their Reminiscing har rowing experience on the voyage survived only by the grace of back to Lima. Human beings have memories. "You generalize. he collapses after he gives his deposition and has to be carried on a litter to a monastery on Mount Agonia where three months later he dies at twenty-nine years of age. even though he innocently of one reflects. But the American and the Spaniard disagree entirely on the lesson to be drawn from their mutual ordeal. the Spanish the captain appears unable to forget horror. it was so ever. That is the . they agree that the American God. Melville shows. Terrified losing by his our particular recent seen identity of as well as our most experience. "So far may even the best man err in judging the conduct with the recesses of whose condition he is acquainted. The responses of the two captains to their experience are almost stereotypi Resting his and looks forward always its unending cycles. the Catholic Span aristocrat He is without hope. water. because the Negro has cast a shadow case on nature with port give upon him no com him. end was Delano had been in his company all day. and the North the blue sky. [T]he leaves. Don he responds. torture. . comfort and American turns to its hope. "and yon mournfully. From his point of view progress. cal. Kurtz. these have turned nature with over new repetitive cycles Characteristically. Would that. he dejectedly responds. There is a person or voice in this story who ought to be heard but is not. He has forget it. Cereno cannot see any the thing in his future but death. men" and with all 115). Sun. he quickly adds. 116). he recalls. Past evil cannot preclude future Don Benito emphatically disagrees. in both respects. Looking back at of the history ish into the impenetrable depths despairs of progress. by the lax kindness of their master to murder. "you were forced to it." undeceived." not and you were Cereno "But. it is always possible to begin anew. we do not and cannot simply begin afresh without distinctive faculty. Melville dramatizes the difference between the to their common experience in a final exchange. why moralize and the blue sea." such morbid thoughts. suffering. breezes that blow his ship toward he explains. for is passed. "because they are "[b]ecause they have no memory. of the But in fact. See. neither the "innocent" New World nor the weary heir third of the Old sees what has gone on right under their eyes. with all in time (p. bright sun has forgotten it all.
They put later arranging Aranda's skeleton on some of pursuit to display frighten the remaining Spaniards. On the contrary. the his is sup it in be much greater than that of an admonitory word. and could will not be forced to. voice of Babo. His words" aspect seemed to say: since I cannot do deeds. "whose brain. the recovered bones Aranda" of (pp. his "head. black had "at once yielded to the superior muscular captor. . property but also condemns fixed on a pole in the plaza. Babo recapture his collaborators killed They kind to not want to take a chance on their former master's his property. Babo had proved beyond a doubt that he and shadow of a of animal his race were neither the innocent combination ferocity and affection Delano imagined nor the devils and cannibals Cereno believed savagely were murdered his friend. unabashed.250 Interpretation the black captain. and across the Plaza looked towards St. or less. the narrator imagines. Although remaining mute. Bartholomew's church. the gazes of the whites. They had did shown capable of self-rale. Babo never admits guilt or voices any regret. that hive of subtlety. the . The blacks did what they saw to be necessary to free themselves from oppression nothing more. upon whose knowledge the success of the trip to Senegal and thus their future life and freedom depended. I speak (p. in whose vaults slept then." the IV. he uttered no sound. Babo was not able to convince any of his white oppressors of humanity by demonstrating action. physical Mastered by force. The blacks did nothing did when so wantonly and needlessly cruel in retaking the ship they sliced pieces of the as the white sailors blacks' backs and thighs off with their sealing spears and then shackled them to the deck with parts of their bowels hanging out. Babo ity again his ability to speak. Seeing all was over. They were rational beings who themselves willing in fact to be and to risk their lives in order to gain their freedom. 116-17).12 . into submission and service. had schemed and led revolt. met. power of example Seeing posed to has often been said to be believing. As Benito himself with a purpose. explained in his deposition. how can or could he possibly do so with speech? By a certain organizing not only the rebellion against their former masters but also degree of order on the San Dominick. . as now. 116). BABO Subdued by his Delano when he jumped into the boat after Cereno and at tempted to stab strength of not him. effectively be denied of another up the sensible sign of his human He knows that his humanity has already and will gives by the viceregal court that not only makes him the him to death for resisting such violent oppression. not body.
If De lano had thought natural about the fact that he had witnessed the enslavement of a leader of extraordinarily was physically slight rather than to question the coincidence intelligence at least partly because Babo massively built. his self-satisfied complacency about commanding such we might even his own and his nation's position in the world.15 the evil institu Southerners' only understand but also share the They could even pity the feeble. In the end. have had to inquire into the basis of his of justice his command on board the Bachelor's Delight as his governments' own or other captain control of other human beings.14 Rather than captain extends engage in any "mournful" moralizing.13 cluded with against Cereno that they were it? Should human beings simply Is it evil to resist injustice and accept rebel or How is it that the victims of oppression come to passively be mastery by force? in regarded as villains revolting against it? We return to the Melville character. decadent "aris ultimately prove of the plantations they believed would too weak to . they tion.Leadership V. in the center of the end. perhaps even officiously. tional order as well as the simple goodness of nature The own Captain would. might subtle we inquire into the to reasons want forget what he has seen. As Mel shows. question of the significance of the most striking change made on Delano's narrative Why make him look like the mule" martyr? making the Spanish captain the title Has not the black "dragged to the gibbet at the tail of a and then beheaded suffered more severely? or more unjustly? strated more Far from a member of an and inferior race. Captain believe. the would surely undermine is strongly averse to engaging in any such reflection. they could fears of violent tocracy" officially. follow his example and to forget. in freedom well as ville and the other words. want to suggest? We begin to get a clue. but dom and their Melville's story is that not only the two white later readers have witnessed the desire for free many demonstrated capacity to exercise it rationally and yet have con aspect of blacks' evil. stupid. it his peace of mind. and he is publicly branded a criminal. forget insti like Northern traders from New England like De "peculiar" lano profited from the slave tution of the South. Yet they are saved. Even disapproved of when Delano. even trade. the North American to the say his patronizing pity Delano advises the South captains thus Spaniard. the two seem to represent two sides or aspects of the same psyche: one cannot what the other wants to repress. erner to that his sympathy is to say. to the southern aristocrat. the American would have had he believes exists between the natural and conven human or cosmic. Babo demon intelligence leadership than either of the white captains. therefore not insurrection. I consciousness. What does Melville. they were implicated in the though they liked to forget or deny it. THE ROLE OF THE NOVELIST in Melville 's "Benito Cereno " 25 1 The most shocking also captains. if Delano.
" Melville thus displayed follow. Melville thus shows us what democratic leadership man who ultimately is a leader in title alone. He himself demonstrates. trying to change those opinions.16 about what democracies. he shows us the sufferings of a puppet or posterboard a practical man of figure as it were. right or cially in By by dramatically showing his readers that blacks are neither naturally subservient nor intellectually inferior to whites. in imaginative fiction experience threatened than factual encounter. what democratic leadership actually involves. remark able prescience not merely coming conflict. but limited in his compassion and justice his range of action. reflect public opinions just. a Captain Delano he presents us with own crew as well as In Don Benito. And in Babo he shows us the rise of a natural genius destroyed by the of inability of those around and or him to appreciate either the grounds or the nobility his deeds. in ac tion. the blacks spokesman. defend itself In "Benito about the Cereno. In action. Fiction as a means of education Learning requires may be superior to fact imaginative or reflective rather than concrete and precisely because fiction is immediate. The problem was that the violence their rights also tended to convince whites chains they had to use in asserting that the blacks should be put back in Unable to present their for the sake of the whites' own self-preservation. but Old South that even more about the romanticizing Whether Americans looked away toward profit and commerce like the north ern Delano or to religion and the afterlife like the southern Cereno. by his conventional opinions. someone who would present not the threat of violence word as opposed to but a sympathetic portrait of their plight rather in deed. be their lives and livelihood too di reflection. and reflection requires distance. Neither Delano cause their rectly. able to lead his effectively to obtain profit. We readers can see the truth em bodied in the not slave revolt on not there and are were. Melville of the civilization of the would indicated. tude the problem would not go away. They finally defeated in by is law. Melville does not merely seek to entertain his readers.252 Interpretation effectively. black human beings would continue to throw off the mask of servi whenever forced upon them and try to seize their they saw an opportunity. needed a white own case in action. Neither innocent freedom animals nor savage cannibals. We can learn vi cariously from reflecting on the fictional experiences of others what we cannot learn directly from events in our own lives. threatened board the San Dominick precisely because we are by it immediately the way Delano and Cereno Cereno" both In his short story "Benito entails. Laws. Babo the guns his people are of the defeated not merely by are the superior technology court force espe American sailors. Melville shows. nor immediate Cereno leams from his experience. .
" and the Amistad 4.' " in Joseph M.' " Nineteenth Century Fiction 39 (June expansion 1984): 48-68. Melville's "Benito Press. Love and Death in the American Novel (New York: Stein & Day. 2. Knippenberg and Peter Private Citizens (Lanham. Brace. Delano's Cereno. On the name. Schaub ick observes in charge of the assault on the San Domin by means of which the mate cries see Americans capture and thus leader!" jingoistic first out. abdicating his throne. 239. increasingly isolated in maintaining the evil institution." 243. Mexico between free and and Latin America in the 1840s and 50s was to maintain the balance expanding the range of slave territory south. that seeing the San Dominick without colors or simplicity when his Captain insignia and "[considering the lawlessness and loneliness of the spot other lano's identifying . on the change p. placed Publishers. 8. Bruce Franklin. in characterization." p.Leadership NOTES in Melville's "Benito Cereno" 253 spheres: 1. one reason Southerners promoted United States into the Caribbean. therefore. Herman Melville (New York: Harcourt. and yet who is destined to die despairing. and Cereno. eds. "Follow your effectively ("Benito re-enslave the blacks. in Peru and Venezuela in the 1850s. Critical Essays on Herman Melville's "Benito Cereno" York: G. Cf. 1966). 9." "hold these truths to be self-evident. 1996). 1970). 95-122. p. Poets.. "The Riddle of the Sphinx: Melville's 'Benito (New in Robert E. Chile." But in 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe ener gized and popularized the abolitionist movement by Justice Taney were of the U. Argentina and Bolivia by the 1820s. take every sacrament. Delano's surprise might have deepened into some uneasiness had he not been a person of singularly . 7. 1992). pp. Herman Melville (New York: William Sloane. 49. In Clarel (Pt. Leslie Fiedler. Richardson. War in Melville's Imagination (New York: New York Uni versity Press. 1981). in The Writings of Herman Melville (Evanston. 117).: p. Chapter 18 (Durham: Carolina Academic Cereno'' correct in contending that Melville the " issue of slavery in Cereno' a more general opposition to American expansionism or "Mani fest Destiny. "Apparent New England Quarterly 34 (November 1961): 462-72. Joyce Sparer Adler. For this reason I do not think Allan Moore Emery is is reprinted subordinated Oriental Islands (New York: Praeger Publishers. Lewis Mumford. Diana J. Cf. In 1857 Chief in his opinion in the Dred Scott decision that the blacks were never intended to be included in the nor "men" Declaration of Independence states "created equal" in the "people" who Cereno. IL. 1987). The issues related. Canto xxxvi). the Dominican leaders of the Inquisition. p. Herman Melville. 1950). "Benito Northwestern edition of University Press. pp. 5. The United States was." 'Benito and are Manifest Destiny. Symbol of Despotic Command": Melville's Benito examples of the Cereno. ed. Richardson. p. Legislation to abolish slavery had at least slave states by been introduced in Mexico. 6. Melville does emphasize De narrator observes. Carolyn Karcher. Uruguay. Amasa Delano. Supreme Court argued publishing Uncle Tom's Cabin. MD: Rowman & Littlefield that. In "Master and Man in Melville's 'Benito Augustine Lawler. . Hall & Co. p. The decade began with the famous "compromise. who whose Roman the Emperor. Burkholder. and who. Holy encouraged the Black Friars. Fifth. II. Melville refers to a master (like Benito Cereno) who may shrive his soul. died in a monastery." 3. S. vol. Cf. 1929). 81. Case. 99. 400. The problematic character of this policy is indicated by the fact that slavery was abolished in the British West Indies in 1833 and in the French and Dutch islands in 1848. Subsequent page citations in the text are to this Cereno' the story. Narrative of Voyages and Travels. and give up the ghost on bended knees. for way in which Melville connects Benito Cereno to Charles the Spanish realm included much of the New World. H. K. 199-206. 1987). first. in the Northern and Southern Hemi Comprising Three Voyages Round the World: Together with a Voyage of Survey and Dis and covery in the Pacific Ocean in William D. Princes.
They are human beings ability: with the rights that belong to such by nature. if not their mutinying. 214-15. It was. 9.'" Fiction (Durham: Duke University Press. in the famous shaving scene Melville added to the original narrative. e. The new name maintains the associa in the original narrative. other. it was also Jose who first stabbed Aranda information they when he was makes dragged up on deck to be murdered. But with the ironic deposition. Delano thinks that Babo is merely displaying a childish love of bright colors typical of Negroes when he sees that the slave has used the flag of Spain as an apron. Robert Bruce Bickley. needed who gave the slaves the to surprise the whites in bed. in more than determine" view of what humanity is capable. Genealogy: The Politics and Cereno. between Captain Delano's activity and piracy. 63). Racism meets its comeuppance in the some contemporary critics. 1983). 55). To be sure. these into enemies. the author of the concerned about their convicts as sailors and was constantly had been deceived into taking exrunning off. "Melville's 'Benito American Literature. Melville changes the original satisfaction. As Melville renamed the Spanish ship to bring out slavery. his ship is tion Bachelor's Delight. pp. Jose. 10. Peterson. Bachelor's Delight the ship the seventeenth-century buccaneers William Dampier and William Ambrose Cowley. Melville shows that the ex-slaves are able to rule themselves and others. He also shows that individuals differ in Babo is a natural leader or democratic captain and hero Ahab. ESO: A 208-20. however. 11. CT: New Directions. who argue that Melville showed how the not equality of 12. Melville's captain has already profited from the silk trade. amicable relations." in Merrill D. along perception. such a trait implies. transforms those and the amor patriae of into despots. to indulge in any way involving the imputation of malign evil in man. who Spanish treasure ships helped Britain sap Spanish hegemony in the New World by preying on like the San Dominick in its prime. 19 (1947): 145-55. "Babo thus mocks white color pride flesh be white or death" them the whether black. "Reenvisioning America: Melville's 'Benito Journal of the American Renaissance 30 (1984): 245-59. as think. not personal undistrustful good liable. Zagarell. 77. 13. p. Thomas Jefferson. g. ed. He is especially he the and concerned about previous voyage had not getting just recompense for his services to Don Bonito.'" symbols of sovereignty or the roles of master and slave could be inverted and thus subverted but that the roles themselves are not overcome. I do versive (p. the bones beneath do are the same. As Schaub points out. Whether. and Sandra A. No longer the now called the Perseverance. because his been profitable. was the name of however. Michael Paul Rogin. But simplicity is not idiocy. In the original narrative Don Benito gets in court that some of the ex-convicts to swear Delano was a pirate to prevent the American from receiving a reward for recapturing the Tryal. Aranda's personal servant. pp. . 100-108. therefore. 1983). his men issue of have trusting. with a benevolent heart. destroys the morals of the one part. and hardly then. 1938). So much for the friendly nature of the blacks that ideal personal servants. By putting Cereno's head almost sees or by the flag no literally on the of Delano intuits It is at one point the black is precariousness of his position. pp. Yvor Winters. narrative The Portable Thomas Jefferson (New York: Penguin. except on extraordinary and repeated incentives. the who permitting and one half the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other. Maule's Curse (Nor folk. 1975). The Method of Melville's Short Cereno. so he renames the sealer to emphasize Delano's contentment. to enhance his captain's complacent sense of "Narrative" self- As we have seen. wise to as to ordinary (p. no accident that Babo also reminding the Spaniard draws blood shaving his the "master's" neck when Delano questions the Spaniard more intensely about the calms that purportedly prevented the San Dominick from traversing a distance Delano says he has sailed in days. as much as Melville had shows the reader that Babo was intentionally desecrating the sign of the sovereign who oppressed him on and longer block operated as even his people. Cf. Critics who view Babo as evil include Rosalie Feltenstein.254 Interpretation nature. he was demonstrating that the power symbolized board the San Dominick. Notes on the State of Virginia (1787): "And of satire or irony" with what execration should the statesman be loaded. Sub Art of Herman Melville (New York: Alfred Knopf. 47) and quickness and accuracy of intellectual later that "Captain Delano [was] a may be left to the simplicity man of such native be incapable (p. alarms.
Karcher. 51). wants rule Rover. Zuckert. MD: Rowman & Littlefield. . that he domestic servants. "That Hive of Subtlety: 'Benito Hero. Shadow p. 52). and William R. Melville hoped to exercise. 1. Philosophy in Novel Form (Savage." hierarchy without constraint. Sacvan Bercovitch Ideology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. hides it about the from himself. Taylor. Alexis de Tocqueville observed: "The less distant but inevitable danger a nightmare of a conflict between the blacks and whites of the South make the Union constantly one haunting the American imagination." one avoids friends. land" master or at least weather the the help other one of which. though there one's they have nothing directly fear from it. 44). of 15. Carolyn L. As Schaub (p. he 77). The northerners to it a common topic of conversation. 157-60. Natural Right and the American Imagination: Political pp. 1990). pp." Classic American Literature. James H. the Promised Land (Baton and Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. 136. "This belief in with experience of nature's in Melville's "Benito benevolence is Cereno" 255 a sailor nature's a somewhat odd stance for indiscriminate much power. in and and Myra Jehlen. There is something the connection more discussing it with frightening about stiffened the silence of the South than have North's noisy 16. vol. so to say. he as of a natural. 1980). Several critics emphasized between Cereno's artificially empty scabbard and castration. In the southern states is silence. to be crew" compares like the negro to a "Newfound clear observes. each man. Schaub observes. 1969). more or of eds. 1986)." He describes his the Bachelor's Delight "comfortable family see of a ("Benito p. But I storms suspect that with Delano thinks. pp. see Cath H. . 10. Cavalier Cereno' Yan kee (New York: Harper Torchbooks. In is Democracy in America. Kavanagh. Delano "wants own command on Cereno. the Spanish captain's unmanning.Leadership 14. costume the slaves made him unwillingly wear symbolized the For erine a more extended discussion of the poetic leadership 99-129. does not speak of the future before strangers. 352-83. ("Benito p. Cereno. For indications cal views of white of the similarities between Melville's depiction over Benito Cereno and typi Southerners. from its deadly calms to its fatal gales but then his Delano is not a man who draws can from experience" (p.'' the whaleboat dog. fears. chap. On the captains representing two sides of and the Liberal the same psyche. of from experience. cf.
i.e. the perspective confi dently indeed. Like kindred forms historicism. then. best. cannot understand themselves. Winter 1999. role of political piety is clearly outlined. i. of the former time (as well as of vestiges of that time).Harry Neumann and the Political Piety of Rorty 's Postmodernism Jon Fennell We live in Marxism and an age that is especially of proud of its relationship to the "postmodern" past. Richard Rorty. through such recognition. The challenge to traditional wisdom posed by postmodernism is especially once under pronounced in matters political and moral. now transcend. Vol. 2 . accordance the new enthusiasm. this hardly need be a requirement today. we need to look more closely at Rousseau's us And in challenging that claim. if the regime is to endure. An prominent seau's tical" study has shown that the dependence of politics on piety is a Rousseau. From this to be necessary vantage point. No. Moreover. and piety depends on a form of education. invoke a central pillar of post My plan is as follows. though scarcely endorsed.1 Rous feature in the political philosophy of Jean-Jacques part concerned with what can practical problem are. This is nowhere more evident in the question of whether a viable politics requires earlier legitimization by the divine. of man and stood as pursuit of the truth regarding the nature at the meaning of justice. the limits. trivialized. In short. let modernism. main current of From the postmodern perspective. the postmodernist sees that what appeared earlier or axiomatic was merely a reflection of an assumption that we today recognize and.. Recalling the role played by religion in the Social We will Contract. taking on reason. The postmodern observer professes to that permits him to recognize a privileged perspective the assumptions. is than now dismissed or.e. Political philosophy. Instead. politics on piety. Rousseau's logic. we will examine the implications of stripping challenges and politics of piety. 26. This be followed The by an evaluation of my conclusion. it requires sanction by the divine. even if Rousseau (and the the two-millennium tradition that preceded politics requires with him) were correct in believing In that piety. by i interpretation. The foremost is that regime. occupy claims that it understands other eras in a way that they do not and. claim.. be based in the Rousseau. will then see how Rorty fundamentally Rorty. the piety that men "as they declares that the founding the founding cannot provides its legitimacy depends must remain alive for each successive generation. a grounding order of things." Social Contract is in large political be of called "prac theory.
nihilism that would perhaps make even tance themselves personal from the supposedly taste is for a not Nietzsche blanch." morality. We immature. .. the regime must collapse upon dissipation of piety!3 It is important to note at this juncture that Neumann's concept of religion is very broad. . 83). noxious. the most powerful contemporary Neumann's religions (at least among the intellectual class) explicitly dis primitive character of orthodox churches. i. . Politics always aims for its and is animated by some good. and without Such piety is critical. That is. "[P]olitical faction's moral absolutes. it appeared that this requirement arose out of the mains true. piety means . Indeed."2 Viewed through this prism. What else can one expect of nations which more reducing.]. But the good (i. for "[w]ithout theol Atheist politics is an morality. ment limitations of human nature. . no true. etc. but for Neumann there are a wide These vary from Nature to race to concepts variety of candidates for "god. Religion is the belief in God. and this perhaps re But Neumann is pointing to what appears to be a logical require for the political piety that is the object of the religiously based education endorsed by Rousseau. that dominates the United States today. faith in one's and uncommonly forthright views.."4 of good Every form sect presupposes higher order. it is clear why Rousseau in the Social Contract has his Legislator invoke the divine. Given this view of politics. especially in its a moralization of the Neumann claims that pseudo-liberalism rests on an about dishonesty verts itself: At its heart is extraordinarily successful destruction of tradi liberalism proudly sub is animated by nothing tional efforts to moralize. At first glance. but for Neumann religion need not take the of of an actual church. oxymoron.258 Interpretation a philosopher of Harry Neumann. nonarbitrary stan religion. tolerate defamation of old-fashioned women!6 fundamentalist piety far easily than jokes about minorities or We live in dishonesty" a time marked by a "swindle" that is are "concealed subject to doing" by "an intellectual ("Political Theology?" p.5 the decency accounts other than This acknowledging for the bitterly ironic that it condition that now exists: The contemporary pseudo-liberal erosion of of moralizing morality in liberal democracies springs from this immorality [i. "an eternal. morality) presupposes religion. What all of these contenders have in common is the conviction by adherents that the religion a contender defines is such as authoritative.. . a infantile politics unaware politically how of what it is (p.e. of the reigning form of piety without piety. But this does ism" inhibit his disgust for the "pseudo-liberal universities. fervid and self-righteous debunking. rendering relative. in its basic laws. easygoing tolerance that would no matter "domesticate" all conceiv positions. Such an approach is "irresistible to ." equality or individual freedom.e. This is politics of a able shallow. eternally just ogy. and that it reflects a dard evil. as nonarbitrary. no politics. 78).e.
and the underlying thesis that "Either/Or. Rorty. of this account stand out in stark contrast to Neumann's under To begin with. but at tresses (see pp. Rorty outlines a transactional. all principles are "nonarbitrary" experimental. . traditional appeal to authoritative In the place of the foundations and the strict oneway deduction from foundations to beliefs and practices we find in Neumann. in-situation model of justification and explanation Under reflective that. history and least insofar as we are sociology trump (traditional) phi interested in understanding and moral matters. God's order. (That defines tme are the the limit of our legacy well. existing "considered p. believes that politics is prior to phi losophy. "politics can be separated from beliefs about matters of ulti mate importance. he is asserting that politics can be adequately defended without reference to i." (in the sense Neu "absolute. Several features model." mann employs this not alarming."10 (Rawls. it is. and these belong to actual human beings living to in specific judg historically delibera grounded communities. since the good and the grounded principles product of ongoing at modification of historically by historically losophy and theology. including their own. this or "eternally most (And that prospect is below. evaluating situated persons..Harry pseudo-liberal Neumann and Rorty 's Political Piety 259 if seen for what tastes." 198).) Finally.8 In Richard Rorty necessity of such a choice. . . he says. or maintained we the regime will collapse." "prediction" our existing (Western liberal "Priority. rests on a Either the young are initiated into. At best.e. in moral deliberation we begin (and in fact have no choice but to equilibrium. 20)." "religion. term)." democratic) and politics can survive without such p. [S]hared beliefs among citizens on such matters are not . and throughout their lives under. find powerful opposition to the essential to a democratic society."7 Neumann's political stark none-too-generous commentary. death of all politics. all that we can appeal during moral tion is that which we inherit through countless generations of prior as deliberation. judgments" with our ("principles" periods of equilibrium. marked by begin) where we now are.." To the view that political practices and insti to traditional "but tutions can tresses" be defended. and will survive. "Postmodernist. blinding [pseudo-liberals] means the to the fact that their pluralism.e. i." viability depends on religiously based political education. sentence we see that Rorty is in fact making two very different First. The process is one of ongoing mutual accommodation. 177-78. These judgments are revised in light of theory for Rawls). without reference Rorty assigns the name "postmodernist bourgeois liberalism."9 In this last claims.) The that we have is considered ments. just as the theory will be revised in light of judgments (that are retained after the test of theory). Rorty and reflective equilibrium. directly contradicting Neumann. He says. to the objects of conviction that Neumann would include under that Second. Nothing More on enjoys the status of true. Let us look each of these claims in turn. he is making the empirical "buttresses. is much like Rawls's "reflective equilibrium.
" 185. 195). he . straightforward empirical. Nature. and that people be required to matters. . would not prove that "human societies cannot survive without widely shared opinions on matters of ultimate importance earth" shared conceptions of our place would no more in the universe and our mission on than to (p." which. for the more important matters appear to be the logical and philosophical . But so long as we understand and practice "procedural justice. etc. In the place of Neumann's appeals to religion politics (God)." Viable (and peaceful) does not require shared beliefs higher things. can together. or to some other transcendent Appeals to to God. This not follow say that they failed because they did perhaps wise to have kings. and our realization embedded that. let Rorty's second. it is precisely the demand that religion (the transcendent) be central. . established reli gion. emphasis Rorty's) The source of practices) that spelled out authority in this picture is the traditions (principles. Procedure. beliefs. of Rorty a single paragraph evidently thinks very little in an article of note this claim. share of while is also sufficient." beliefs on such procedurally based us Before considering Neumann's likely response to Rorty. ap "communitarianism. empirical. There will always be disagreement and conflict. by those traditions or order are either poetic versions of with minimal they are chimeras which. it is p. asserts that survive" and that a special "no society that "sort sets aside of glue the idea of ahistorical truth required [is] to hold a community sociological-histor This." Rorty . given our history and the traditions us. response only is this simply to that even if the contemporary democracies did collapse. and equally important us. examination. we human domain in order to secure need not make appeals beyond an admittedly necessary. but its congruence with our deeper understanding and our aspirations. it only needs consensus on how we will contend with the chal lenges that will arise. Contra Neumann. quoted by Rorty in "Priority. says Rorty. This is clear from a passage that The justification must under this model cites Rorty from Rawls: ."12 touch on "buttresses. in our public life. ical" ("Priority." claim 178). for he dismisses it His after more than twenty pages. claim regarding politics and proaches this matter through a discussion of alleges. and as they are are passed down to us." we will remain politi cally afloat. is "a p. what justifies a conception of justice is not its being true to an order antecedent of ourselves to and given to us.260 Interpretation character of be radically different than it is for Neumann. a viable politics. are seen to be irrelevant or even meaningless. And. the most reasonable doctrine for (Rawls. Rorty advances "pro about cedure. It is follow Rorty's lead and not spend too much time on this issue. interestingly. that is perhaps the primary threat to the success politics.
Rorty and he are in agreement fundamental self. for the deep chasm between Neumann and Rorty? We in Neumann's criticism of pseudo-liberalism. regarding the character of ideals and the nature of the For both writers. Put more bluntly. Only such stupidity virtues of pluralism and open "liberalism's easy-going faith in (p. according to Neumann. Interestingly. a critique touched remarks Borrowing Rome from Leo Strauss. Rorty is without of Rome bums. 137). But failure such shared belief) proves nothing. 109). Liberalism."14 desires [whose] vocabularies and opinions are determined by historical cir for Neumann the self (and everything else) is "nothing more than it" the experience of (Liberalism. accounts What. it would seem that for Rorty eses assigning cause X to Y. "Pseudo-intel- ." It is useful by noting that Neumann is not himself a practitioner of the piety he is necessary for a viable politics. and then show an instance this where politics thrived without such shared would show what beliefs. accommodating how to live one's life.Harry issues inherent in the noting that of Neumann and Rorty's Political and Piety by 261 worth conflict between Neumann what Rorty.13 only indirectly by contemporary democracies (lacking This would remain true even if all contem case of is the porary democracies were to What is striking here is the much more and rigor of the standard adopted by Rorty in is regard to the empirical claim that politics depends on religion. Neumann while that "contemporary liberal intellectuals fiddle fiddle blind or that bums" realizing either that they (p. 135). open field for change. Returning begin claims to the contrast between Rorty and Neumann. let us consider the latter might respond to Rorty's path between the "Either/Or. illusion to believe that world" have a self 127). then. find the answer on above. It is. then. In the matter on knowledge only before us. This what was not showing true. if we hypothesize Rorty evidently is by way of hypoth that viable politics requires shared beliefs the higher matters. Rorty (pp. we p. Yet it is goes by Rorty's standard." radical experimentation and Neumann. and where for Rorty "human beings are centerless networks of beliefs cumstance. asserting that we can reliably advance our subject to falsification. intelligible (p. ("Everything . fail. blind to the meaning avoids and his reduction of ideals and morality. . This probabilistic. 135 the redemptive "seriousness" through refuge permits in "comforting stupidity" 137). an "which exist[s] in a coherent. there is no absolute ground or nonarbitrary stratum on from which we can which or derive moral authority. very little of empirical inquiry has meaning. is an p. is approvingly acknowledged it comes to assertions about a significant contrast political mere probabilism falls This is in the how to bar of acceptability. From Neumann's perspective. and approach to approach determining what moral whereas when short. In an echo there is no warrant for normally event the name of Hume. As though dialogue" Rorty were the precise object of his attack.) And. 127. we would know that hypothesis is false. Neumann observes. as contrasted to his flexible to be deciding fundamentally life.
It is that fulfills Neumann's second worst fears and is perhaps impossible for him to refute. For Rorty's He strategy is simply subsequent without reference not to engage."16 And what if an interlocu tor insisted on responding to Rorty in these terms? Rorty would simply look the other want way."15 to acknowledge the nihilism. He says. human nature. "[t]o accuse postmodernism of relativ mouth" ism is to try to put a metanarrative in the postmodernist's Rorty's response to Neumann. n. and [does] not ("Priority. Rationality." p. 202)." claims a only self-refuting knowledge that it cannot have: "The every have escaped from other could 202). 18). would proceed to such concepts as God's will. at the others view heart of their What Rorty and as a third ground between absolutism and a everything-is-up-for- grabs relativism reality. it is advisable to stop employing useful" them. This amounts to a mopolitanism. 187. The hallmark of these endeavors is unwillingness liberalism. Rorty wishes to keep all comparisons (and any recommendations) grounded in this world. (p. . ("Priority. Eventually. they are "no longer p. they fall into desuetude. Where Rorty sees courage postmodemism's to acknowledge the fact of our fundamental face up to strands says contingency. It is arrogant. or "universal moral law. forgetting (by the student) can constitute a loss of access. The first of is to disavow p. deconstructionism. ultimately. 182. . relativism. In Rorty's view. nihilist implica The one second strand of Rorty's response is. . informs contempo lectual (pseudo-liberal) trivialization of nihilist anguish hermeneutics. (ultimately." "forgetting of a certain philosophical tradition" ("Cos p. post-mod rary academic fads ernism. the moral void. . for view that every tradition is as a rational or as moral as be held only by a god. self-serving obfuscation of This is a dishonesty that refuses to acknowledge that without the "laws of nature and nature's god" (cited by the Declaration of Indepen dence). Neumann sees a cowardice and frivolity that refuse to the actual consequences of such contingency. There are at least two to his response. All of this is a drama in Neumann s mind. more significant. nihilism) is form be of shallow. When this occurs. then. structuralism. in there can "rights" no willingness (Liberalism." concepts ("vocabulary") have a life span. for he does to" not "know how to discuss n. such issues. Such being and would history and conversation into contemplation metanarrative" (p." to insist that it is presented. We have which not every argument need [sic] to be met in the terms in Accommodation and tolerance must stop short of a willingness to work within any vocabulary that one's interlocutor wishes to use. is that he (Rorty) has no tions to obfuscate. Although it may not be obvious. 15). 222). 202). For an educator. 31).262 Interpretation . is it ("Postmodernist. Therefore. . Relativism. also Rorty. p. But Rorty has not anticipated Neumann's these assault. to take seriously any topic that he puts forward for discussion.
Jewish and natural law. persists per- forefathers. "gratefully invoked by 202). For example." atheists Christian vocabulary is among the now-useless hind. No one can dispute that this is how reflective equilibrium is supposed to But it is important to ask what work. no doubt. Rorty that admits that this tradition largely freeloading Christian in its origins. it would religious roots from our convictions and ideals. Because the fruit of these religions is part can baggage that is to be left be of our tradition." political p. etc. even Neumann nightmare. a and large of persons bom in the decade be two that followed). the prevalence of such may be a 190). This context. Political Piety where 263 Pole the opening scene of Plato's Republic a (327c) marchus. a creature altogether lacking in depth.Harry This is reminiscent of Neumann and Rorty 's access. calculating. but because they happen to have is an authoritative place within our tradition. and unheroic. It would seem that the traditionalist's challenge Rorty (and the progeny of postmodernism) is to find an opening for the Socrates' siren's song. Rorty those of us who were subject to a more or everyone less traditional prior to education (which includes nearly numbers bom in the United States or 1950. let us examine Ror ty's position. it eschews cruelty. their sources be forgotten. and later finds his opportunity with to be persuasive indeed. But Jewish and ("Postmodernist. church. Rorty's are derived from God. or (c) both. goes (as commanded) with with listen. and reflective equilibrium will take care of the rest. be stopped short by the complacent acceptance of his worst Leaving our imagined Neumann in There outrage and dismay. on a legacy whose sources community believes in the dignity of all human beings. or the like. ("Religious" be like actually to erase the here is used in the appreciate what broad it sense associated above with Neumann. lacking mon. Socrates. dae listen. etc. in this For era of transition take the context and with the ideals and convictions. But this prospect is also an ticipated and embraced by Rorty: "even if the typical character types of liberal democracies people are bland. who of wills an existence of shallowness and In the face the disinclination to immersion. Confronted might reasonable price to with what pay for freedom" ("Priority. rituals. this is inevitable. These features elements of what might be called the liberal virtues are compelling for Rorty.. like [him]self ' and it is p. of is perhaps the ultimate failure education. not because they denies. (a) Constitution. law. is rendered impotent. that threatening be different kind if he of loss of mentions to Socrates he cannot persuaded refuses to cally. ballast. would at this point summon up images of Nietzsche's Last Man. pious elders. Neumann. petty. Neumann. etc. satisfies a metaphysical yearning that . insistence he worthy for Rorty's its depends First. in the process returning to the question of Rousseau's on political piety. or (b) nation.. politics. responding strategi Polemarchus. postmodern are three points of our attention.) Does Rorty fully along means to be a freeloader? When we borrow from the religious traditions of we the past. which might associated with holy order.
18 sanguine and would Rorty. Not only does he find relativism insupportable. And when pe simply necessary Rorty's politics (or his classroom) is stripped of the authority procedure. There is controversy on this despite Neumann's efforts to make it a logical considerable the call for a religious foundation at for politics remains. of he would understand that an era that legitimizes denunciation basic science) and rea son (and teaching "phallocentric" of mathematics and as "Eurocentric" or pressive. may be take with viewed as "anti-anti-ethnocentrism" which urges liberals to and full are seriousness the fact that the ideals of procedural justice human equality parochial. he forthrightly declares that he is proposing a variety of ethnocentrism. since Rorty a denies the existence of a continued constricting and op higher perspective from on the which to adjudicate such a procedure emerges dispute. recent." ethnocentrism" ("Cosmopol p.20 and in particular its apparent educational prescriptions. as Rousseau suggests. This This ethnocentrism.19 majority But this is not surprising. even the by debunking dismissal of "buttresses"). seems instead simply to can be seen in Rorty's claim that he is not a relativist. for matter of citizens. eccentric cultural developments. function There is intrinsic would metaphysical yearning that must be satisfied. that we are well advised tremely cautious. to procedure unavailable (political order) of as But this move is to Rorty. In the absence of consensus on matters of ultimate importance. produce a postmodern version of Third. worth and then to recognize that this does not mean they are any the less fighting .e. foundation in In this light.264 haps Interpretation even in persons purporting to be atheist cannot atheists. To move in this direction to be ex may be highly irresponsible. deny no that religious context required in order for as the distillation of the religious traditions (ideals and convictions) to a moral guidepost. far it. his insistence priority of as type of piety. the "pragmatist's inevitable itanism. from avoiding piety. 214). as discussed above. Rorty of political advances ("procedural justice") the the backbone viability. it appears procedure Rorty does as not escape his own version of religion. And presumably Rorty small number of great specially educated say that this is the case not only for a individuals. But Rorty does tion of not recognize the Pandora's box that has been and opened by his logic reduc morality (i. than he knows or that a is able to acknowledge. A freeloader is receiving more Among Neumann's chief messages is and thoroughgoing of freeload (for he is truly alone) is therefore is anything but cheerful. heart greatest part of requires a regarding human nature. appears Utopian. A more traditional student of politics might view adherence riod. but that it holds true for the matter. Second. If he did. Rorty's pragmatism. course. can and will blithely reject procedure as Thus. Rorty's vision. History as well as the Western literature and political philosophy indicates that politics a question piety. At the very least.. we are left with something no sane person could want.
but truth. escape the charge that pious (in Neumann's sense of the term)? As we noted earlier. is there any distinction in fact to be noted? Rorty even though he would admit to being only a in asserting that the accusation of relativism is an unfair imposition on him. Rorty for higher education the function of promot self-creation" ing "self-individualization and but only on the assumption that the primary and secondary schools have already succeeded at inculcation and initiation ("Dissent. the matter." 208) Can he In this passage Rorty's he is passion and commitment are apparent. Similarly. there is nothing compared volvement to. criticize. and then spends the remainder of his life working in the muddy fields. punish. Continued in in such contrasts is sterile. only or affirms the coher against such a can backdrop to be falling passion that his "postmodernist bourgeois neutral. experiences Enlightenment. in Rorty's schema. pragmatist explicitly It is. He states. and reason are not. In an address to the American Asso endorses Colleges. surely acts like a believer. 200)." p. "Socialization has to come some before indi constraints viduation. It hope urges that of the species. i. not the are worth pursuing. education for freedom cannot begin before young have been imposed" (p. In are of course letter" other words. or in light of. there is Destination (but there eschews any number of destinations). which his is lacking. and Rorty "capital vocabulary. Truth. The absence of universal criteria does not reduce all we and commitment shadow to irrationality.e. by a thoroughly for the college and university). That would follow only if the rejected absolutes. and the pursuit defines the good (but Good) life. for while he most assuredly talks differently from the priest. Neumann and Rorty's Political Piety 265 ideals may be local ("On and culture-bound.Harry for. pragmatism re mained in the of Instead. tice. liberalism" be said short. he says. and 200). to employ a pragmatic mea sure. Enlightenment shows the that Assuming at that it makes sense to speak of seeker that there he was already at his destination (but no is nothing to seek. Yet it is understandable how Neumann might construe Rorty as being Believer. One is reminded here of the Buddhist story in which the seeker is working in the muddy fields. it emerges as a primary and central only in Rorty's forthright endorsement of ethno feature in his vision of the ideal function of the radical role ciation of secondary schools (balanced. be the best Ethnocentrism. is he any harm?21 less likely to defend.. is anything So is Rorty therefore pious? From a traditional perspective he but. justice. proselytize. Jus The latter Reason are illusions. But. Under Rorty's vision people up through of the age eighteen or nineteen would receive a traditional education consisting . Rorty a responds to accusations such as Neumann's by refusing to participate ence of reference in dispute that implicitly to absolutes and universals. and nevertheless p. for he either denies the object of piety or he refuses to use vocabulary that presupposes the existence of such an object. first simply did not know it). Rorty seems correct religious. and perhaps even not This piety is evident centrism.
emphasis added). of an animal into a human These forthright comments. Our concern to preserve our legacy (albeit constantly . 202. 200). This preliminary activity is a process of called being by socialization" "the shaping (p. Summing education we up. straightforwardly declare that human beings necessarily precedes individuation. in the picture no postmodernist schema.266 Interpretation systematic fundamentals. process" citizens" freedom" There is purposes nature much more to say about these proposals. There is in this be safety net of God the natural order that event that the thread as a can counted on to restore what is moral and good in the to the past is severed. recommendations for education Let us begin by noting that while as that "[fjhere is no such thing human nature" invite a wide variety of here (as elsewhere) asserts Rorty in he is his educational pro posals obviously responding to what can only be called facts about human beings (p. for all of his emphasis on individuality. Rorty should want an all in After all. Rorty's early education will not only develops hope" skills and imparts facts. no counterpart in Rousseau to the mass-oriented higher education (for freedom) found in Rorty. especially for university faculty. See "Rousseau Political Piety. They will "come to think of themselves as proud and loyal of a country with a noble (if incomplete) record of improving the lot of its citizens. what it means to be a person and citizen. become free and individu ated. And it is likely that Rousseau. would have grave reser self- regarding Rorty's desire to encourage creation on a mass Yet there is between vations scale. 200). piety. followed by source the best the West has to offer. that for although Rorty recommends playful what irreverence an for adults. Moreover. D.22 self-individualization and Rorty and Rousseau a common wisdom regarding politics. 202. In addition. He does. we must admit that on his own grounds. it is early education him. but emphasize the manner vision and for our immediate human it is instructive to at the in which a view of is heart of Rorty's to highlight the sense of self that his socialization (the "shaping") aims to achieve. In short. Rorty's early education would inculcate "this narrative of and make it "the core of the socializing (p.")? There is. it (following Dewey) produce in children "an image of themselves as heirs to a tradition of increasing liberty and rising (p. for unless the secondary school does its job. etc. of course. These are not trivial matters. evident education and. tradition is or that have. that stead provide the missing socialization. the university cannot do its own. in the college or university. is fundamental is in piety. emphasis added).) Primary and secondary education is to build a "self that will. as for Rousseau. (Rorty cites (and evidently mandatory) exposure to E. below that. Hirsch's Cultural Literacy as a book for secondary education. and must in are shaped socialization (or made). after all. identical to the less and well process outlined by For is this shaping not essentially Rousseau in the Third Discourse (and in the known Considerations on the Government of Poland.
One might object what that the piety required by Rorty's is a far cry from and Harry Neumann has in or as mind. and moral authority that does as as old as for Rorty anything that stands outside of history is relevant (that is. On the one hand." But this is evil. the educa Then. that he goes beyond mere speculation to engage the world. We may course. is inculcation unclear. has meaning) only insofar it has an appli cation within it. and implicitly that there is an authoritative Ground. not all of our myriad reductionists experience the need to be practical. since and Rorty deviates from and earlier commentators of an is in his call for an in contingency. degree they engage in political and educational theory. not the point. it both includes recognition of the necessity of the of youth is self-consciously ethnocentric. constituting a "nonarbitrary standard of good For Rorty (as for Dewey before him). be a solid grounding in the postmodernism now exists. the need for piety in be discovered anew. During this process the young are taught a world. Rorty might even grant the existence of if the concept were properly understood "eternal" (e. Granted." "eternal.Harry evolving world. they suffer from a much reduced tool set. the development ironic perspective (for That Rorty's postmodernism actually escapes piety. One "God. but the mankind. Where education adults). Is moral exist authority for Rorty is human for Rorty? Well. passionate effort to reveal the respect Neumann's piety implicit in postmodernism illuminates the do (and have to civil in which Rorty is continuous with the changed long tradition of political philosophy. rest assured that so long as philosophers and theoreticians continue to engage politics will in practical political theory.. however. Neumann and Rorty 's Political Piety 267 set of principles) is proportional to our capacity to care about our grips of nihilism and Assuming. they strip themselves of the language and authority that are so prominent related sources of in Rousseau (and and Neumann. have shot them in the foot.g. when they attempt to outline a viable politics spell out tional foundations it requires). that we are not already in the have not fallen into moral vacuity. if pressed. no. seen as a metaphor for that which is valued). what we do) is the same: Civilization requires the creation of moral and beings through a process of inculcation learn and initiation. How we talk may have but. Of contemporary It is to Rorty's credit. in the end. it is essential that the young be systematically we were initiated into that legacy. there real are good and and morality is (even if not Real). Rorty would never refer to our tradition as evil. We to the selves must conclude that Rorty and other practitioners of moral reductionism. Even if should to agree with Rorty that education issue in the it "ironic" personality aware of the prerequisite to this elevated perspective would world as its fundamental contingency. then." suspects that. and it is a reaffirmation of his pragmatist credentials. .
Neumann finds campuses where the hypocrisy and cowardice of pseudo-liberalism to be the America's dominant pseudo-liberals "rarely display Nietzsche's hon esty about their nihilism's horror. Richard Rorty's many critics. 1 (Fall 1996): 122 and 118. certain of the convinced of see no reason to defend it. 1950). Liberalism. with a variety of re Harry Neumann. Liberalism (Durham. The young beneficiaries conservatives" of the postmodern perspective refuse become "thuggish who. clear. 5. Neumann's emphasis on an implicit moralization is consistent with Rousseau's assertion that amour propre (qua a prideful "rage of singularity") is at the root of xvii. P. That this is the is manifest throughout Rousseau's writings. commit" seau. 139. correctness. pseudo-liberalism is See. conclusion p. In unable both cases. 1991). it would be enough to banish them to a land of atheists." of case my argument requires that Neumann and Rousseau be in concert on this matter. pp. chap. Liberalism. "The Postmodern Self and the Politics of Liberal Educa of on an 135. 134). are collected in Meier. NC: Carolina Academic Press. Dutton. honest about its synonymous with inability to bear any (p. for example. rule on p. Or its terror! 4. draws a similar of the psychological consequences of (an education in) See Steven Kautz. armed with their fatal paradoxes. to entertain alternatives and with great self-satisfaction stand or fast in their unexamined con victions. See. The quotations here are from Harry Neumann. is no. and consecrate their talents and philosophy to the destruction and defamation of all that men hold Not that they bear any real hatred to virtue or dogma. See Liberalism. 1 (Fall 1995): 78. They smile contemptuously religion. 312: "without faith no true virtue exists". Neumann's which nihilist view of in an atheist world in it is jackass-worship" mere piety is clear: "[P]iety (p." p. This Books. The structure sponses. Compare Rousseau's bitter commentary in the first Discourse: "[Tjhese "political liberalism. Cole [New York: E. to sap the foundations at such old names as patriotism and of our faith. but bases it Rorty's tion. Harry Neumann.'' Journal of Thought (forthcoming). they are the enemies of public opinion alone. "It will not be long before such democrats find themselves easy prey for their that arises out of the spread of enemies" (p. to bring them to the foot of the altar. Instead they 'invigorating. has little regard for 6. pp. p.' and even 'effective in contributing to the understanding. Interpretation 23. it is the his popularity or political Predictably. D. H. not exactly as religious dogmas. nullify virtue. but as religious without which a man cannot paper refers faith social sentiments be a good citizen or a faithful subject" to the Bloom translation of Emile (New York: Basic (p. emphasis added). 133)." in The Social Contract and Discourses. 22). 160-61). xvi. the destructive activity. "Rousseau and Political Piety. "Political Philosophy or Self-Knowledge? Comments on Schmitt and Interpretation 24. Rousseau ultimately endorses "a purely civil profession the Sovereign should fix the articles. Steven Kautz." contingency. G. Dutton. Genesis (3:5. 1950]. 281). and Social basis" Contract. meaningless 149-69 and 170-72. One analysis Social Philosophy and Policy 13 (Winter 1996): 164-89. Kautz also points to a third of "political pathology" postmodern doctrines and the "vocabulary contingency. and superiority of democracy (and therefore never learn how to do so. P. number of 2. convinced that all views are equal. trans. Emile. p. no. A large them. . bk 4. for example. orate postmodernism promotes and condones a casual thoughtlessness that is will to invig the regime. Neumann's writings are widely scattered. What extravagancies will not the rage of singularity induce men to (Jean-Jacques Rous sacred. Social Contract (New York: E. See Jon Fennell. 7. The implicit constitutes contrast is to "authentic liberalism" for which "nothing is fruit" obligatory. Neumann. 8: "no State has ever been founded of without a of which (p.' peddle a pseudo-liberal propaganda which makes 'noble' their nihilism seem moral and cultural 'liberating.' What drivel!" (Liberalism. 181)." It "a godless wasteland. "Only propaganda and/or terror holds communities "Political Theology? An Interpretation of (Liberalism. democrats" who. they become "complacent its contingency). For Neumann." In contrast to the first two categories. "A Discourse on the Arts and Sciences. 1979) and the Cole transla together" tion of the 3. p." vain and futile de claimed go and forth on all sides. 171).268 Interpretation NOTES 1. xvii).
" tone of their critique of men Rousseau is anticipating the impact overturning. 10. 11 and . This is the view that liberal institutions and culture either should not or cannot survive the collapse of the philosophical (p. 139-40). 23. See John Rawls. 12. but he is tolerance: "Rousseau's prior criticism with good deeply suspicious of Christianity on Rousseau's professed commitment to the ground of its intrinsic irreconcilability protestations of as a practical tolerance. insofar as religion provokes political discord. moreover. s And Rousseau? The final Emile' advice of priest is "Flee those Their who sow dispiriting is a doctrines in men's hearts under the pretext of apparent skepticism hundred times perhaps adds: more assertive and more explaining nature. so long as their dogma contain nothing contrary foursquare against intolerance. Alasdair Maclntyre. Robert Nisbet's interpretation of of Rousseau is compat ible with this conclusion." commensurate with civil See Robert Nisbet. cannot in a postmodern ethos which forbids what to or politics overarching can be founded only what about principles. Among those Rorty associates 132. in its closing pages (pp. Relativity. They say that the I believe it as much as they do. "tolerance should be given to all religions that tolerate others. See 199. p. Under these conditions it is unlikely that Profession defoi any regime could thereby thrive. 1991). and "early Roberto says "[tjhese writers share some measure of agreement with a view found in an extreme form both in Heidegger and in Horkheimer and Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment. and one cannot be to the duties citizenship." the "philosophist he "by destroying. that. This is (The irony of the necessity of intolerance for intolerance ranks as a theory. it is to be rejected. They tear out from the of our remorse for crime and hope virtue. and the powerful and rich of the only brake on their passions. 35: "By that what (Emile." policy would be deemed "Priority. God" Even angels would not live in peace with men they regarded as enemies of (p. and means "distrust of tives.) It is clear that Rousseau's political piety is intended to be an agent of cohesion and. These two tolerances are inseparable. On Neumann's definition of piety. dogmatic than the decided when. 197-202. See Liberalism. 4 (November 1987): 578. 1 of Philosophical Papers (Cambridge: Cambridge Univer appears sity Press. 309. Truth." 'god' Philosophy. he says that the only thing that is to be forbidden is intolerance." with communitarianism are He Robert Bellah. pp. . Contemporary Studies.Harry here the young insular person Neumann and Rorty's Political arises Piety (the 269 does not feel at radicalism" (p. 183." Political Theory 15. Rousseau in the Social Contract where. Charles Taylor. no. adversaries. The first quotation is from Richard Rorty." a phrase that used Rorty attributes to Jean-Francois Lyotard." See Richard Rorty. 177-78. "philosophy" to be equivalent to what Neumann means by Liberalism" is from the paper of the same name in Objec metanarra- Relativism. contemporary democracies (as well as all them" . justification that the Enlightenment provided for 13. Rorty later regrets that he "post-modernism." Belknap Press." p. on what makes us more than different. A Theory of Justice (Cambridge. it is improbable that the Savoyard a democratic in order can survive. for all It is instructive to stands his emphasis on civil religion explicit (political piety)." of lesson in practical political accepted without the other. "The Priority of Democracy to mean 'god' . precludes intellectual 9. the term and Truth. boast that they are the benefactors of mankind. vol. to Clifford Richard pp. "Faith in reality. pp. they teach is not the 8. 1971). too. Rorty. 177). Unger. Community (San Francisco: Institute for pp. Relativism. "Postmodernist" for Rorty p. Rorty. (One is reminded here of the recent horrors in Bosnia and Algeria. n. Michael Sandel. I p. depths and trampling hearts on all that respect. "Thugs Theorists. 20 and 46-53.) See. Rorty's "Postmodernist Bourgeois tivity. 312). Stripped the possibility of appealing to is common. they deprive of the afflicted of the last consolation of their misery. n. 208-10. p. 182) which. "religion. Emile: "The distinction between civil tolerance and theological tolerance is puerile and vain. and yet truth proof is never harmful to men. substance honesty. and in my opinion this is a great truth" on anything intended to bestow non-arbitrary Neumann goes on to say." and Truth.). taking be home in the existing regime. 175. The Quest for p. 1990). of postmodernism in a party. "On Ethnocentrism: A Reply note in Objectivity." in Objectivity. MA: Geertz. citizenship should serve as the grain of salt with which to take the We may therefore perhaps speculate on the extent to which tolerance religion. "Priority. Thus the form of flight into group contained of "a new and more politics of appeal identity difference neutral and balkanization).
270 Interpretation history) do have (or have had) shared at beliefs regarding higher things empirical knowledge in politics. See demanding standard for fact proves nothing. standards and describes." p." portray traditional culture and politics Whether this more generous interpreta last decade. religious). See. p. which is at the heart of Neu mann's contemptuous analysis of pseudo-liberalism? In what Neumann would surely are construe as a and cowardly attempt to slip away." not provide citations to Rorty's passages. 199: "The crucial move [in under is to think of the moral self standing Rawls] a person just is that with nothing behind it ." because Rorty. bit tion is coherent is another matter. p. One might therefore is inconsistent. "Thugs "foundationist" and cited above in note 9. 328. Among the characteristics which support this classification. other regimes throughout least this prior to their decline." upon other people who sustain share. also . even atheists. while elsewhere Rorty says that "In the ideal liberal society. Two Steps Political Theory 15. when he spells out his vision for public education. society with beliefs. and emotions network. so it is impossible to confirm the accuracy of these "apparent" accusations. standards and 27). Liberalism. And what of the term "religion" itself. . Bernstein even (horror of horrors) ranks intolerance" Closer to Rorty with the neoconservatives. "Priority. then one's view it is pointless to build a critique on the assertion that some is. 7 above. Rorty's declaration would dissipate Neumann's attack through a definitional ploy (for when all positions are religious. ("Joshing. 21. Neumann would say that Rorty refuses serious attention to what he is saying. Relativism. 2). In fairness it should be noted that there is nothing in Rorty's pragmatism and readiness forbids 19. More significantly. their common "suspicion of must any appeal to universal criteri principles. Bernstein asserts that the appeal to that." p. No. The essay is followed by attacked Theorists. ironically. 354).) Unfortunately. This is merely endorses Dogma. simply observation: a crank? 18. Given Rorty's 191. 'symbol everybody. and both are subject to persuasive redefinition. A more generous interpretation would have Rorty endorsing an conservative foundations. Richard Rorty. This is what Neumann means by "cowardice. In his zeal to discredit the rejec Bernstein engages tion of leftist politics. 211. It is that Backward. Lyotard.. but not as sanctioned by anything light "higher. It criteria" hardly be noted. Neumann. n. An honest. For Bernstein. 8 21. . in caricature that. Rorty declares: "Both brella terms. "Joshing Richard First Things No. Richard John Neuhaus dependent the ironist does not offers a complementary Rorty's "ironism is parasitical. "Postmodernist. Rorty's "we" rejection of appeals. See Richard Bernstein. penetrating that would inspire view of reality. however. constitutes an "we" apology for the status quo. as a network of beliefs. that See Richard John Neuhaus." interesting (as well as. 2 conclude that Rorty See Richard Rorty. says Bernstein. When these terms 'religion' 'philosophy' are vague um broadly enough defined. "Education Without (Spring 1989): 198-204. for Rorty. 4 (November 1987): 538-63. which is discussed below. Neumann deny that is religious.." p. that flight from "universal principles. . having beliefs to act on such beliefs." to pay Given Rorty's disinclination to engage. of ultimate will be said to have a religious would faith (in the Tillichian his atheism sense of a concern')" (p. for example. "Priority. 182). There may." 14. and a readiness to act on beliefs. says would show it to "horror" 17. for example. straightforwardly Dissent 36. desires. the to the "given" 'rationalization' immediate point. in of the events of the a bizarre) to note Rorty has been from the left'. portrays himself as a carica- .e. No. p. "Cosmopolitanism Without Emancipation: A Response to Jean-Francois in Objectivity. Rorty." (September that 1990)." be a 15. "black p." (p. "One Step Forward. and his dependence instead our on the traditions that share. educational program as in which primary and secondary schools authoritative. Neuhaus does claims to 21) have Rorty in inconsistency on this matter: In one not. emptiness" 177. however. largely defines us) can be "used as an exclusionary tactic as for fostering (p. says Neuhaus. 16. Rorty. the article caught by an Steven Kautz in note Neuhaus place. the pages of Commentary. is (p. public rhetoric (and hence all persons) will be ironic." Rorty's response. for Rorty. and Truth. perhaps unknowingly. 563 n. Rorty declares that in his ideal culture.. be a funda mental tension between Rorty's pragmatism and his allegiance to cited ironism. 20. 190. the intellectuals would still be ironist. does Neumann then become. (i. al though the nonintellectuals would (Neuhaus is quoting Rorty.
the demand for justification in terms of the higher things. left may be offended by 23: "Being in the service reasons to be alarmed at the spreading influence of self-serving imperialism for Bernstein to claim that only Rorty's rejection of foundations." Fennell. The myth recommendation that revelation be employed as a politically useful is stupid. does Strauss mean? What are the implications for the perspectives on piety that we encountered above? In the dramatic of close of the reasons as philosophy is based on follows: Philosophy has faith" essay just cited. too. See. Rorty is saying. The authority that un derlies the legitimacy of the philosophical suggestion also supports the claims . Nicomachean Ethics. "Dewey One might Rousseau: Natural Development has as the of The Journal of Educational Thought 13. Nietzsche. some not by nature. and Bernstein surely has his unwarranted and Rorty's thinking. Strauss observes that "the choice (p. rush credentials. "Joshing. in its attempt to redeem his leftist and not altogether respectable. must admit the possibility of revelation [and] ("Progress or itself is possibly not the right way of ophy an act of faith. to define the "we.Harry ture of the Neumann and Rorty's Political of Piety 271 increasingly lonely leftist curmudgeon." Of his politics. it is necessary to remark that appeal to universals and absolutes. 269). 2 (August 1979): 109-20.' " [Rorty's] theory provides no measures by which such politics can be either criticized or affirmed. then. Neuhaus. What that it is the truth of revelation. 269). defender his reference of revolution. In his discussion much Rorty repeatedly acknowledges to a conception of human nature (without wishing to admit as much) on his debt to Dewey. Incidentally. Strauss never successfully refuted revelation. ADDENDUM [Tjhere is something that is just even nature. as of his self. for emergence of the true self Foucault" is suggested p. In reaching this conclusion. "This is the way it is." and 198). say that Rorty not learned the full lesson from Rousseau. yet all of it is changeable. owes is discussed in Jon Aim Education. Aristotle. Rorty is perhaps irresponsible in his denigration of the buttresses. but some by still is by nature. That Rorty embraces the traditional one-sided view of Rousseau as critic of alienating and advocate institutions." of such politics. Rorty's response to Bernstein. however."1 The argument is blasphemous because the per spective that emphasizes the politically practical use of revelation tacitly denies To say that the argument is stupid. because the recommendation is ultimately grounded in an authority that is tacitly denied by the recommendation. in effect. The grounds for this conclusion are not as clear. for example. but it is the p. For the benefit those who still remain under the dominance of leftist passions. That Dewey. has always been the hallmark of princi pled conservative political and social commentary."2 Thus. Take it or leave is a rather comical. ("Dissent. 22. 1 1 34b "is Leo Strauss either stupid or asserts that the argument that we need revelation as myth blasphemous. since "all alleged refutations of revelation presuppose unbelief in revelation. is therefore nevertheless To choose philosophy "philosophy that means that philos Return?" life" p. is to suggest unreasonable. Marx. it. No. by to "the tradition of Rousseau.
of revelation. or error.
blasphemy. There is faith
life devoted to philosophy (reason) is not the same as a life inspired The use of reason need not be stupid. But to avoid stupidity, the
philosophy revelation. Reason
and examination of
piety, but with
to it. Out of respect for philosophy we
take seriously the claims
piety, since philosophy
is itself based
is in Rousseau, Rorty,
the simplest case.
of the modem
the claims of piety as
(and postmodern) perspectives, he dis the now-encumbering baggage of a less mature
have noted, however, he is less than
giving meaning to
piety lives. From his
the weak and conceals the clean
perspective, however, piety is the and barren nothingness that is reality.
ever, is torn. He is a believer but does
find in his
own personal re
that will effectively serve as the needed cohesive
counsels recourse to a
for the just
of revelation as myth.
There is piety in
to this distancing. There
a perspective on political
which the objects of
only useful, but
a vibrant reality.
true, where in the convic history,
tions of the
in the Declaration
makes this connection.
In the introduction to Thoughts
Machiavelli, he declares
United States is freedom
It is the only
on rejection of the spirit of and
to the principles of
justice. Natural Right
whose paperback cover replicates
the observation that the United truth of a Creator who
faith in the
endowed men with unalienable rights.
thereby reminding us of Lincoln's grasp of the natural right foundations of our country, and of his pivotal role in preserving, both prior to and during civil war, the nation founded on the
that the nation was "dedicated to this
that all men are created equal.
alternative to the cynical use of
confused employment an order
by Rousseau, not to by Rorty, is
that are authoritative
a practical political
higher things are in fact true) may for some period be indiscernible from those of the successful em ployment of Rousseau's (and Rorty's) measures. But we must ask ourselves if
sequences of genuine
faith (i.e., the
conviction that the
perpetrators of such measures
undermine their effectiveness.
Implicit in the
as well as
in the faith that Strauss has discovered in the
a soul that
the admission that man such as and
revelation as myth
satisfy for consensus
what about the souls of
If the underlying claim about human nature is true, it souls must be dissatisfied, and subject to malaise.
would seem that these
piety the distinction between practical and philosophical po litical theory remains. Expertise in the practical is still required in order to found the regime and to sustain it. But enduring success of the practical de
pends on respect of natural right.
philosophical and on possession of
its fruits in the form
1. Leo Strauss, "Progress or in The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism: An Introduction to the Thought of Leo Strauss, selected and introduced by Thomas L. Pangle (Chicago:
Chicago Press, 1989),
Leo Strauss, "The Mutual Influence
The Independent Journal of Philosophy (Vienna), 3 (1979): 114. 2. Ibid. Strauss also notes that "all alleged refutations of philosophy presuppose faith in
Thomas Pangle, in his very useful examination of Strauss's argument, adds that only plete knowledge of the whole of reality would permit philosophy (reason) successfully to revelation. Philosophy obviously lacks this knowledge. See Thomas L. Pangle, Leo Strauss, Studies in Platonic
to live as a
Chicago Press, 1986),
3. See Pangle,
an act of
or of will
only if it is
a choice to
as a philosopher preoccupied with the
serious examination of the phenomena and the arguments of
wonders, "But does this not constitute the complete and final
Athens? For a philosophy based on faith is no longer in Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy, pp. 210-11.
See "Niccolo Machia
in of recent years.2 is provided by is sturdily argued by Joe Sachs in his A useful introduction to the study Harvey Flaumenhaft.00 paper. as well as of texts by Xenophon and Aris tophanes. There have been published.J. Sachs well for more than two decades. School of the world of Law The finiteness is a main point for the with ancients and for the medievals. Jacob The importance of Aristotelian science book. Winter 1999.: Rut University Press. N. who spent the last interpretation. Bart. not even the finiteness of the For Klein' nothing. John's College Program which Mr. to say nothing All this is partly due to the influence about what has been done of with authors such as Machi Leo Strauss. effectively sciences. $18. John's is perhaps the only in this country today where undergraduates can be introduced to reliable notions about the mathematics. avelli. John's College since the 1930s. Winfree Smith. St. xi + 261 pp. The merits of a proper translation of the Physics. The Program higher institution routinely can of learning yet the physical develop an awareness in students of what well the enduring questions are in these disciplines. Curtis at A. vi-xi). No. Vol. The Aristotelian philosophy stands or falls Aristotle there is nothing outside. world. Robert S. All this testifies as to the pioneering work of Jacob and their associates Klein. are also argued by Mr. as of other ancient Greek texts. Aristotle's "Physics": A Guided Study (New Brunswick. 26.00 cloth.. Aristotle's "Physics": A Guided of texts such as this one of Study. and the philosophical thought of antiquity. the Senior Editor text the series of books in which this valuable is found (pp. a number of reliable translations Platonic and Aristotelian texts. $52. Wilson. Sachs.Book Reviews Joe gers Sachs. 1995). George Anastaplo Loyola University Chicago. St. The defects of earlier translations are no ticed in his challenging introduction. J. This series has served is testimony to the St. 2 .
Inspired partly by Heidegger thing be at as partly by Joseph its to ti Owens. Page continues: Most striking energeia. pedantic. the [Sachs] is lean and idiomatically consistent. and it deserves the commendation provided on the cover of the book by Leon R." becomes "accidental Mr. Thus. "infinite" the are still pertinent today. III.g. actively organizing sense of form that is visible on the face of Aristotle's own neologisms." arche is "principle" not "matter" but "original being" source. Kass. as such provides a useful translation of the His is probably the best translation of this text available in English. whose versions that commentary rescue Aristotle's text from the rigid. Sachs en einai as translates the on ' energeia of a its "being-at-work. John's College campus in Annapolis."4 . of formerly a Tutor at St." "what it keeps being and in order to all. myself and Using such guided studies in a class has been exhilarating both for for my students.276 Interpretation his life on years of the St. Sachs student. Physics for the serious Mr. The fixity lack of dynamism the "essence" and sheer existential presence that tends to are the meaning "actuality" of thus nicely side-stepped in favor of the powerful. Thanks to the Physics comes alive as a profound dialectical inquiry and insights into the enduring questions about nature. have until now obscured his thought. I hope it is not only my perhaps naive reservations about Martin Heidegger said to which prompt me to notice problems with an edition of the Physics have been "[i]nspired partly by Heidegger. John's College (and now at the University Chicago): Sachs's and translation and misleading Sachs's superb guidance. e. change."1 becomes "material. cause. This who assessment which may take for granted the recognition that those have known the Greek language need not have had Aristotle's thought "obscured" for them the Kass assessment a is reinforced by a passage in a book review by Carl Page.. to ti amongst the departures from standard usage are the renderings of profoundest notions of and en einai and entelecheia arguably the Aristotle's whole philosophy. Mr. ousia It also avoids much of the received technical vocabulary. pulsing. John's College: translation With respect Aristotle's Greek. after a distin guished career at the University here of Chicago.' or "ruling "accident" what is usually translated as attribute. is "substance" not but "thinghood. currently to Tutor at St." and its entelecheia as its "being-at-work-staying-itself (which I think work" of as the so "self-maintaining being commonly linked usurp with at of a concept of thing). time.
Sachs himself infelicitous (pp. principle arete arche. lacking both book The mingling of numbers. This could be done with. . is to be But no matter how well a translation is done is still discouraged. A critical issue with respect to Mr. anti-Latinate for example. . Words definitely in the fixed in a long tradition of usage as privation. 250) upon nature1. continue to be translated as Some technical perhaps corrected problems with the Sachs edition should also be noticed (and in subsequent printings of so attractive a and chapter heads. is likely (many may still prefer entity). any meddling with the integrity of text. as traditionally received. for example. have been echo replaced by barbarous with the compound terms. Latin derivatives. 31. 5-6. 7). should to be translated as virtue and should phusis (pp. emphasis added): The tendency recently in as in translating Aristotle's texts into English translations and from Greek to avoid and Latin philosophers. 8-9). In the translations to the [accompanying of this argument] has been the made to return terminology of the the . 354) continue is to be scrupulously followed. accident. The insertion be distracting. In short. and ousia. English which are philosophers of seventeenth century. are book): The running distressingly inadequate. of text and commentary can be troublesome. In some them" instances it may be better simply to reserved use the Greek terms (with an explanation for this edition's eminently useful glossary). This kind of term fails the test endorsed by Mr. It is difficult to do not also much with such texts as the Physics off (if on) the St. more so than the introduction (by are him) preceding the translation or the commentary (also not by him) accompanying it. On the other hand.Book Reviews The Sachs translation is often 277 awkward. Cudworth. . and even substance. and afford no entrance into the tradition to an attempt one unfamiliar with it. Sachs insists (p. Sachs's approach is suggested argument made by his frank rejection of the following by Richard McKeon for "pre tradition" serving a continuity of (pp. Kenelm Digby. Mr.5 or presented. John's College campuses. and not only among undergradu- IV. Aristotle's Physics likely to be of little use to most bright youngsters eager to find out what the world is like. thoughtful scholars recognizes that some of the terms in his translation to catch on Thinghood. which awaken no mind of one familiar tradition. And there is the standard page numbers within the text can a prob lem with the relegation to the back of the book of four chapters considered by the the translator to be digressions. Sachs of "us[ing] the simplest possible language in a way that keeps the focus off the words and on the things meant by (p. Most Latin derivatives used have justification in the works of Hobbes. energeia. if the that Mr. has been as clear and to seek out Anglo-Saxon terms.
Much is made by Mr. 458). use other (standard) or one could. accomplishments Mr." The status of modem science more in Mr. on and scores of writers contemporary with them. Eva Brann. could speak of it" "mathematical as "one of the great auxiliary disciplines connected with est achievements of Jewish p. or so for the accomplishments of modem science. 223-24). does not a and rich approach? potentially instructive tradition tend to be depreciated by Mr. is the virtue mover" status of "a motionless first (pp.278 Interpretation even Culverwell. does seem to be and to move pursuant to ascer tainable modes.7 Aristotle of will be rendered more are changed difficult. comprehensible or yet constantly changing material should be Platonists-Aristotelians may seem to do. "forever" or enough so to engage modem curiosity? may be in the full sense. man" the other hand. Sachs is personally better informed than on most of us are ever likely to be. Is what is said by them about "the first some of them as mover" (often translated by "the Prime readily if Mover") truly The first at all more compre mover hensible. whether eternal as some would-be dismissed. Certainly. if interested in the tradition of commentary. two discussion after thousand translations One could. Philosophy. Still. now as well as this set of long ago." than (for arete) in his invaluable Meno An even more critical issue here. those things which occupy almost all physicist. not [T]he commentary understanding if the terms years. could speak of "the reverence- physics. Underlying inquiries may be questions about the meaning and the status of the Platonic doctrine of the Ideas. Little times seems. here as well as far away. Sachs of our inability be to know that to which is constantly changing. 28. Sachs notice that "in the most important respects. And one of Mr. Klein's colleagues in Annapolis. learn Greek and Latin. Sachs's But then." however in flux its appearance may always be? I wonder. that is. changeableness can said be an attribute of all observable the attention of the modem serve things. even better. Jacob Klein. the writings of Plato (p. and all the producing splendor of modem science and modem mathematics. if arbitrarily impossible. (Strauss. consider what Jacob Klein did by using excellence rather book. of course. Sachs's book respect seems to be deliberately it some lowered."10 Although . at least not in the somewhat That which we call matter reassuring way that many other things seem to be. But is not the whole which we can ob will itself "forever" in that "it" (so far as we now know) continue to exist much in some form or other according to unchanging "laws. about which than a grudging is shown by him. It is reassuring to have Mr. mass of of Bacon. 2)'' and Aristotle are more like each other than either is like anything else. but It is not observable. as in unknowable.
observed. it has been noticed. Wigner has sug- . foun to any its an informed promote. seeming depreciation of modem however misleading in its emphasis his science may be.13 Mr." can even be told of effects that are evidently transmitted from one particle to another than the speed of should light. his general tone is likely to be perceived by most of readers as dismissive. an inquiry nobly advanced by the superb work that Mr. can be reminded of Francis Bacon's that Aristotle had "corrupted be natural philosophy [that is. (The geometrical construction proposed at continues to challenge Meno 87E in commentators. Eugene P. Perhaps the same should be said of Nothingness." All this elicited from the ranks of these scientists the recollection of not speak more advice given thinks. 15). Sachs be of help here. following describing Chicago decade-long inquiry his at once into the is. himself faster tended epistemology of modem science is a reliance hard if not impossible to grasp."" Even so. Being itself can seem mysterious. of course. Among stein the problems with the upon mysterious elements. "If it is charged.12 VI." quium on the "composite "Is it real?" University of physics collo a mathematical construction? exchange at another a Or is it I am reminded as well of the after physics colloquium: A physicist. So much view is this so that it can sometimes seem that contemporary physics comes to as a primarily complaint branch of mathematics. which Albert Ein We to dismiss as requiring "spooky action at a distance. dations of modem science. a Plato relied upon. serious problems with the philosophical There are." by Niels Bohr: "One should clearly than one Such investigations become and the even more are complicated.) And. I recently heard the questions put. which can blessing and a curse. That is. He himself has of observed that no one has come to digesting the implications One set of problems posed by modem science contemporary physics." a A colleague of added. at a fermion.Book Reviews Mr. has to do with its be both One a considerable reliance upon mathematics. inquiry into these matters than St. not of more I do know school that has done Sachs has done in close several fields. when the divine beginnings of things taken into account. particularly among faculty. mathematics was a prerequisite open for anyone who wanted to where Academy. physics] by his logic. "We don't ask what this particle But we know it can leave trace. it of should also remembered that Plato can still be regarded as one the greatest of mathematicians. Sachs from his can recognize that 279 gains the "glory of the new physics is the power it mathematics" (p. properties of an exotic particle. John's College. This leaves the mathematics that the question of grounding study in Plato's the emphasis was placed in Chicago we are told.
to an effort to ago identify "the universe. "decisive course devoted to continue as they have in in breakthroughs" . if not also important. Nature has been vital to the tradi tion of philosophical pursuits in the when one notices the absence of West. That is. Un derlying this investigation. his examination of the fying we whatever "initial conditions" four causes. Does technology testify something reliable. that work can to understand and aspirations. the limits of modern science not seem to be properly know so recognized. something as the that can be highlighted Confucian. upon us on the other hand. Aristotle a and his contemporaries had a quite limited physical access to only very small part of one galaxy. galaxies which are moving away from in directions be speeds. works To this end Mr. better than direction is. I put.280 Interpretation gested. limitations. But perhaps this in the other as well: ancient science can be illuminated." the concept (but not of the workings) of nature in such great ancient intellectual traditions Biblical and the VII. in the modem grasp of things? That technology has expanded. Aristotle is needed if modem they do their foundations. particularly useful for clari there may happen to be for the universe as physicists are know it? Perhaps. again and again. Sachs's be quite helpful. Bertrand Russell has been know quoted as saying. little: it is only its mathematical properties that we can But the upon significance of this observation is not one learns trying to persuade competent physicists to as generally appreciated join one in presenting a a careful reading of Aristotle's Physics.16 What "the universe" means in these circumstances can daunting of to consider." mathematical not we because we so much about the physical world."14 laws of nature on the one with and conditions on the Is not Aristotle. the one we happen to be in. whichever direction one moves. if not better understood. in turn. Indeed. We. It is prudent for the scholar to keep in view the remarkable not that technology that to has been made possible by modem science. are accustomed to hearing about the billions billions all of galaxies all at great around us. "The surprising of discovery hand of Newton's is just this. is the continuing inquiry as to the nature and status of nature. one can adapt. by a proper appreciation of modem science's spectacular accomplishments. the initial clear separation other. Is there any reason to doubt that physicists will. if they the Twentieth Century." the questions a couple of decades and in the course of a University Chi cago memoir about Leo Strauss Enrico Fermi questions about something I called an ultron: What seems to be missing in the current scientific enterprise is a systematic inquiry do into its presuppositions and purposes. achieve. "Physics is but because discover. the reaches of the universe to a perhaps in comprehensible extent.
Reporter. hard-boiled. John's College. originally pursued and regarded as a most important component of the perfection of human life. John's College Press. George Anastaplo. Mr. " p. K. on the Jewish Great Ideas Today 1998 Philosophy collection. 114.' the nature. 2. See. pp. Another in the text of my discussion will be to Mr. or genuine understanding. See note . MD: St." Judaism. indeed. Sachs has ' useful things to say about Aristotle. pp. 7. in [Edmund] Husserl's phrase.Book Reviews 28 1 dividing subatomic "particles"? But would what future. Winter 1996. H. Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Moder nity. John's College Press. "You know why I because I have no as than you young theoreticians? It's imagination. is there a in that? I believe it "ultron. what standing is it that starting is to Or. for the reservations about Martin Heidegger referred to. 15. intelligible? To Strauss called ask such questions fundamental questions about what "the project. MD: St. 1992). Jacob Klein and in Leo Strauss. p. Aristotle's "Physics. be to put this questions still permits the universe to raise and is) Mr. 3. All citations to page numbers recent Aristotle's Physics. "Leo Strauss and (1998): 457. more telling. I suspect that making "empirical. 4. p. and Government (Athens: Ohio University Press." be fruitful for physicists that is. life. substance. 1986). Jacob Klein. "A Giving of and Accounts." NOTES 1. 457f. See Aristotle's "Physics. on Martin Heidegger Leo Strauss. Green (Albany: State University of New York. 1997)." modern How would Aristotle have responded to all this? With wonder and with many." ." 15 below. The crisis of modern science consists. 1998). Sachs's edition of instructive introduction to the Physics from St. Aristotle could have described himself the same way as someone who was hard-boiled" empirical. 1985)." Animal. See. "Rational Animal Political in Essays in Honor of Jacob Klein (Annapolis. for few of the more imaginative among them What must this an to consider seriously the nature of what we can call the ultimate particle not an "ultron" idea or a principle)? For is be like (if. pp. 29. . A told me that successful distinguished physicist recently am more Enrico Fermi had once said to him. it is a particle and implied by the endeavors of our infinite point? regress not physicists. Ethics. in 'the loss of its was "Science For the sake of a sound view of human life we seek what may still be valid in meaning for Aristotelian understanding of Laurence Bems." I am reminded here that Leo Strauss once identified himself "absolutely and always" analyses of situations. The American Moralist: On Law. 30. by their recourse to more and more ingenious (and expensive) equipment and experiments? Or are we to assume an place or (sometimes to be (if it called progress) another and no way. Lectures and Essays (Annapolis. 7-8. pp. 10. ed. and not misled by his (or anyone else's) imagination. John's College Aristotle's "Physics " is David Bolotin's An Approach to (Albany: State University of New York Press. questions of his own. See. George Anastaplo. .17 This is something that Joe Sachs's scrupulous translation of and mentary on the Physics should help us grasp better than most otherwise elegant com of us might be likely to do at a time when imagine what could ever of the have been meant it has become virtually impossible to among thoughtful Aristotelians by "the finiteness world. St.
and originality. 28-29. 93. Sachs to and second an appendix as "digressive chapters" are taken in roughly equal measure from the first interspersing of editorial tion by Aristotle of the can "motionless" Physics. "Some parts of Heidegger Nazism. pp. 1-2: "The have writings of Aristotle that we possess as wholes are school texts seem never that. 1945f. give students the skillful teacher Other translations than Mr. when the "first mover" "Physics. 84f. Anastaplo." one of his former students. ed. the repeated commentaries. for comments about the tradition. 1989). Sachs does on the at 15. from formulae. Ideas. 186. see pp. "Free Mind" Texas Tech Law Review. Anastaplo. All this is McKeon at the aside by Aristotle. See. p. of pp. p. p." Richard . among many others. See. 13." 11. while the Sachs version (unless a involved) is more likely to make all but the most gifted of students believe that said they can understand little if any of what is being Review. Freedom. the Fortunately for the reader who wants to get a sense of the arrangement of the materials relegated by Mr. 254." removed technical and unnecessary to a first study of the Aristotle's "Physics. Artist: From Homer to Plato & Aristotle (Athens: Ohio " University Press. McKeon. Even so conservative a modern as Edmund Burke. a mind virtually on the level of Immanuel George Kimball Plochmann. See. and the Common Good (Chicago: Swallow Press. 7. Does not an editor's willingness to rearrange the parts text tend to ignore the care with which an author might have ordered those parts (if he intended "publication")? whole. Compare Aristotle's Physics. 50 Review of Metaphysics (1997): 687. toward the " is this remarkably terse discussion of the motionless. clearness.. See Edward Halper.) Is there not something Baconian in following and observation? "[T]here may be a person a complete structural scientific and a pure deductive system. 69: "the sciences. at the heart Aristotle's returned to. and eventually assembled into longer connected 6. refreshing though they are. 57-58. Aristotle's "Physics. See. ("It is not should read "But is it not true. whether the treatise about physics or about pure mathematics. Did Mr. Richard McKeon: A Study (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. On the ' the Physics. had with Richard of Chicago. Leo Strauss observed.") See. ever use such terms " "mush. as a professor who neglected) "was. for (although now an appreciation of Mr.' The title that ture we with the Physics describes it as a 'course of written The likeliest conjec is that these works originated as oral discourses by Aristotle. 30. cor rected by Aristotle. See also. at least as it has come down to us. listening." "gibberish" and in print in the way that Mr. 52. pp. Both the Nicomachean Ethics and the Politics of Aristotle seem arguments more accessible to students. on the use of excellence instead of virtue." and 15 Critical Inquiry (1989): Aristotle's text that to the are rather Physics have been organization of of a Appendix. which is is discussed. by breadth Kant. "Symposium on 144f. 22. 10. ibid. 29 of his text? should 9. September 14. 1997). 5. 1990). 1998. 1953).. Human Being and Citizen: Essays on Virtue. Arnold I. 21 (1990): 1941. to have been meant for publication. 280. Klein. Perhaps Xenophon The Thinker dom as be linked to Plato and Aristotle here. Davidson. p. 36. 31 1. I. Sachs's of the Physics do is impression that they are learning something. The presenta a very short presentation (in chapter 2 of book 5) things halves of the be said to of be at the center of the entire presentation end of the Physics. (Epicurean physics made much of atoms and materialism. for his of mastery. 63. p. Unfortunately. spirit p. Book Review. Review of Metaphysics true" 32 (1979): 775. can be confusing. Stone. See also Aristotle's "Physics. Book University from the difficulties that Leo Strauss.. McKeon. on Mr. on what Socrates did know.282 Interpretation ed. Anastaplo." admiration. 49. See. with the possible exception of the Nicomachean Ethics. down by students. 8. Essays on "The Closing of the American (Chicago: Chi cago Review Press. anticipating in as well the approach of modern science. See also John Paul II. Novum Organum. p. and that can encourage them to persevere.'" (Chicago: University the of Chicago Press. That is. Bacon. pp. penetration. 1975). pp. See Robert L. opening the pages of a systematic treatise similarity between a in the a glance at the 'Mathematics sequence of Physics' section of a bookshop is will not be is able to tell. "regards Aristotle's natural philosophy as 'unworthy of whereas [Burke] considers Epicurean physics to be 'the most Natural Right and History approaching to rational. whatever he may have believed about the work of others. the extraordinary advances of which in recent times stir such and the him' Speech First Amendment. Fides et Ratio. 303f. 407f.." as pages "pretentious and gobbledygook.
165.). 17. Laws of nature is a modern term.Book Reviews B. e. 276f. Compare James Carey. 19. See. 314 (on Leo Aristotle).9 can have apparatus constructed to demonstrate p. The Great Ideas Today 1997 (1997): 448f. See. 277. Anastaplo. Stephen Hawking's work in Anastaplo. Even so. the (noticing the work of Clyde A. Anastaplo. April 1993. See. 171f.. Jacob Klein." 15. See. The Whole Shebang (New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. sec. December 16. Thought. "golden rule. on discussions. which investigated tant. p. the discussion p.e. on Aristotle. The Whole Shebang. See. noons. pp. e. e. lOOf.g. Hutchinson." "Physics. pp. The Whole Shebang. Wali. "Thursday After in Kameshwar C." 12. 16." measure 157f. Compare 190 n. Lectures and Essays. on the speed of particle-effects transmissions. "Particle's Properties Are Reported Teleported. 347 44. The Physics of Time Rever 276. See also Anastaplo. 227f. "Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Review 47 (1935): 777. Book Review. 1987). Klein. p. Simpson 461." the Fermi name can be linked with something that be in check the imagination See Sachs. See also Aristotle's "Physics. p. 150f. Anastaplo. Anastaplo. far as I know." 16. Einstein. 29 An insistence upon the . have proved so interesting and evidently so impor See. days. "Principia" 14. 1997). 264f. become bad physicists See Timothy Ferris. systems." Oklahoma of Today City University (St. "Aristotle can't solve this of Chicago Magazine. Beginnings. See. 186. Case on what a vacuum is and is taken to mean these Revisited. See. Scientific Explanation (Cambridge: Cambridge Alexander Friedmann liked to joke that bad become meteorologists. behavior described." Loyola University reminded. Newton's for the Common Reader (Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. how things move and what the effects are of those movements). See also Anastaplo. p. Anastaplo. Robert G. on the University of Chicago weekly physics colloquium. pp." University he was of Chicago Nobel Laureate in physics observed problem. A it. 16. See also Aris stuff. Strange things are also said about Beginnings. not to be found in the See. had no more than an inkling (if that) of the minute things. We can be can be to "zero. The Physics of Time Reversal.g.g. 1968).. "On 153. "[T]he evolution of the universe is determined not only by dynamics." conditions. on how apparently Time. See. Physics and Reality: Lectures of Aristotle on Modern Physics (New Haven: Yale University Press. 122. distance. 105. "On the Discovery College Lecture. Malcolm W.1' eminent scientists can speak of 1. Chandrasekhar: The Man Behind the Legend (London: Imperial College about a problem Press. but relied upon haphazardly of because it is My called a not properly noticed informant for the Fermi by us. the actual seem. mathematicians 283 University Press. 3. on the need to hold with respect to the "Arrow of pp. p. Jr. physicists and pp. but also by the initial sal (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 46-48.." The Great Ideas on Today (1998): 138. 467 n. 78-79. ed. J.. The Thinker as Artist. on the nature of nature." of it would to describe "the dynamics" of systems (for example. vacuum by of Chicago Law Journal 28 (1997): of how difficult if not impossible it pp. Albert Physical totle's "spooky action at a and Ferris. 16 below. Aristotle less and Among noticed be some taking account of the us as fact that much of what more or is tacitly relied upon by well. See also note 14 above. See Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. 1968). See. "An Introduction to Confucian 1984:(1984): 124. pp. 14. "On n. 350-51." Black Holes. e. 30. 1995). "The O. See.. "Law & Literature and the Law Review vol. See." p. The "laws nature. 1940). particle physics that measure You're going to have to University not working on." 13.. New Mexico. Kurt Riezler. "imagination" quotation was Robert G. 219f. 780. 1997. 93." p. Aristotle. Chicago Tribune. Sachs. S. Heidegger and being. 1997). New York Times. Nature is Hebrew Bible or in the New Testament Gospels. 306f.. 1997).. Greek Mathematical Thought and the Origins of Algebra (Cambridge: MIT Press. The Great Ideas Nature" Bible. purport motion) of p. by See note contemporary physicists. Complete?" Nathan Rosen. See of note 13 above.g. Reality Be Considered pp. Strauss's question about the significance of Galileo and Newton for Plato Aristotle's and relied questions could upon pp. 56-58. 29. on "the dynamics (i. Braithwaite. August 22. 42. B Rowne. 70-72. so 11-12." examples" "contrived n.2. December 22. in p. Sachs of the University can Chicago Physics Department. Santa Fe. John's either 23 (1998). 144. 1997. Other "weird See. The American Moralist. 12. Anastaplo. Boris Podolsky.
" "hard-boiled" true" and alluring as (even as one remains open to apparent absurdities)." salutary John A. for the Strauss remarks.com/anastaplo). young physicists to be overly prone instead of thinking more about. See p. Also salutary. 252-53. 342. p. 27 (1998): 345. 285. Leo Strauss and the American Regime. pp. of course. 314. Such an exercise can be properly disparaged as "chasing See. See. Law and Philosophy: The p. Stone. Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity. 1983). Practice of Theory (Athens: Ohio proper appreciation of restraints upon modem physicists. eds. 369 U. 286. . today of the 3. eds. See also Kenneth L. See. pp. Murley. See also Anastaplo. University Press. (1962). Ariastaplo. p. 426 (www. on resisting "the temptation to accept the imaginative encountered problems. Murley. Deutsch and John A." "Samplings. and not only from the Physics. Baker v. Braithwaite. and Hellmut Fritzsche. "Lessons for the Student of Law: The Oklahoma Political Science Reviewer University Law Review 20 (1995): 19. See. The Artist as Thinker: From Shakespeare to Joyce (Athens: Ohio University Press. Oklahoma City 306-7. what ingenuity" rabbits. 186. See for a reminder Not. 1992).284 "need Interpretation [for] 277. 157-58. for my speculations. Fermi's remark: He had observed to invent new particles whenever they they already knew. and thereby using. The Thinker as Artist.S. "On Things That Are in William T. on how a United States Supreme Court justice might use "imagination and in trying to defend the indefensible. As to Mr. Anastaplo. 330f. Carr." "ultron" Lectures.. would be a among physicists lessons that Joe Sachs could help them learn from Aristotle. Anastaplo.cygneis. "imagination" information" much more experimental can be the last word of a conscientious physicist. 266. forthcoming from Rowman & Littlefield. Robert L..
however. exactly. 26. very journal. a collection with this journal might also be familiar. Shakespeare xii and the Good Life (Lanham. for it contains new The Tempest. for he locates his work clearly readership within the "revolution in Shakespearean initiated several decades aims at a interpretation" ago by Allan Bloom poet. while and its eight chapters were fourth was printed in a collec tion on the bard edited which readers of by Joseph Alulis Vickie Sullivan. The Merchant of Venice. he admits to must "some trepi dation" in adding to those writings (unduly modestly. but justifies manner of himself with the promise of interpretations" "new ideas xii). Although he his point in a somewhat ambivalent manner. the political-philosophy Shakespeare Shakespeare has won to catch on. So it is not always easy to state how. and Harry special Jaffa. Vol. Lowenthal does not address He is much concerned with the new and failure of only the already converted. certainly a less At the same time. the most philosophical modest contribution than the other. it appears. More importantly. This interest in approach political "treats Shakespeare (p. $68. xii). MD: Rowman & Littlefield. the whole is the familiar essays in the context value and greater than the sum of of the as a interest of these already such valuable and as interesting Lowenthal Interpretation's. book its parts. He intends to to be made for it here" Shakespeare yet. seeing even whole much increases the essays. 1997). Winter 1999. he relates to these earlier studies. for [Shakespeare's] philosophical ability (p. instructive discussion of chapters on such and Measure for Measure. Michael Zuckert University of Notre Dame Readers enthal's of Interpretation new will on find much that is familiar in David Low three of a intriguing book originally published in this Shakespeare. even studies by those in whose path he claims to walk. 2 . perhaps he means to signal his differences from his fellow political philosophical interpreters as well as from the literary interpreters when he avers that "even the greatest claims [hitherto] fall short of the claim bring us.00. I say). about Shakespeare's states writing and new (p. This should not be taken as an excuse to ignore the plays as as important book. "This deeper view of few adherents interpretation. ix). he is extremely niggardly in citing previous studies. + 271 pages. as a philosophy" philosophical with As Lowenthal admits. well as the method and aim of Shake speare studies and of previous practice in the field.David Lowenthal. No.
C. aims as a writer (pp. he of the philosophy. especially how unevident many of the it is to prejudices of resist seeing Shakespeare The Tempest. but he chapter on on also cycles only back to the beginning: the first moves section of the The Tempest is titled. The division normally employed account for Lowenthal's ordering into genres (comedy. The "dramatic Sullivan) has nothing also to do with what he has earliest order" does not signify." But the order in he has his treatments does "convey the content and manner" of that philosophy (p. emphasis added). The Merchant of Venice. last at one and the same time as a deep thinker (philosopher) and as a consummate poet.286 Interpretation specialists. all" within by finding the sufficiently clear starting He lays out more emphasis on "an pattern. xi." can make sense of those various pronouncements if we take him quite literally: he has not made an effort "in this book to weave the particular treatments of the plays conclusions placed about into an overall pattern and to which draw Shakespeare's of the plays philosophy. xii). He not sense that it is "the from the oldest of all the plays in its setting" last to the first. but share our point of pretation" strengthening it even for those point for "one and (p. in to show how unevident some more recent critics are. (p." In between come ters on sure King Lear.) so fre and quently used (even by Alulis done here. mine" he has "placed the manner of plays in an order best [Shakespeare's] do that. 21. a and closes He then launches into a study of seven plays. tragedy. etc." while this last section the last (first) play is titled "The Origin of Drama. intellectual prejudices Shakespeare's have not The causes are many about disciplinary poetry. He begins with an devoted to surveying Shakespeare criticism from Ben Jon order to A. romance. 259). "How the Play Begins. Yet he also says that . of the principles None of the plays." among traditional Shakespeare insularity. Bradley." overall much more extensive the starting point than on his success in drawing "To map the Shakespearean cosmos requires a comprehension than (p. Macbeth. for he puts the play last and has an play like Julius Caesar come after a like The Tempest. Julius Caesar. He opens with play he insists in the chapter's first words was Shakespeare's with A Midsummer Night's Dream. a play he insists in that was chapter's first paragraph Shakespeare's first in the (pp. whether or Lowenthal presumably will attempt to they remedy this failing. His order of presentation introductory son chapter certainly has its peculiarities. and chap Mea for Measure. not only making the "revolution in Shakespearean inter more accessible to those outside the field of political philosophy. about of our age about xii). He does not even follow the principle of Bloom play Jaffa's arrangement of "ancient" "modem" and clustering Shakespeare's plays around regimes: the mod- . Yet. "it is also possible that we not always begun our analyses at a point clear to one and xii). truth." calculated to convey the content and But if he knows what order is best views about calculated to and must have some firm We the overall "content manner" bard's "philosophy. all. viii. xi).
Plato. alternative" or of to classical philosophy. "an inde of Socrates. his he lists the in his preface and provides a one-sentence precis of "conclusions" about each. is considered and in Measure for Measure the Christian view of temperance" x). 57." northern is "pre-Christian in its setting" (p. Only King Lear. Julius have 33. summer democracy.. is also a pagan The second cluster.. who "might even bear comparison with Christ himself . views). The Tempest is apparently set in Christian times. "of the of tragedies. the English monarchy (King Lear). and thus on his views of Shakespearean philosophy is to notice that the A plays cluster into two (cf. "In The Merchant of Venice the Biblical alternative to classical philosophy (p. The first three plays (The no Tempest. 39 and 68). however. pp. The two clusters are distinguished from "the Biblical by the presence or absence of Christianity. in A Mid Night's Dream (pp. . That is. the groups of three each with an epilogue or appendix on Midsummer Night's the Dream. II. in the confines of whose universal peace kingdom" would arise another martyr with another purpose and another (p. . he interchanges Macbeth The the and The Merchant of Venice. Natural Right each other History). of classical philosophy it. Macbeth is set in a Christian land and has the "countering" point of chapter of the "defective" Christian view of human life (p.. he is. establishing a worldly kingdom Julius Caesar . . 228). biblical alternatives a from those within a pagan horizon because "conventional is "usually ascribed to Shakespeare" (so far as Shakespeare is chief error an adherent credited with having to substantive correct. or Lear. but Prospero's island and Prospero himself have nothing to do with Christianity (cf. Julius Caesar. x). beginning and of wisdom on "content manner" of the Lowenthal's ordering. xi. 135). The last gives us the second a cluster (on Measure for over Measure) a Duke Vincento's pave "winning for the drama" kind of Christianity. and esp. rather. 72).Book Reviews em commercial republic 287 (the Venetian plays). 257). King Caesar) very little Christian content. course. contains plays centered on Christianity and the Bible.. play. the essay on serves in part as the transition to the topic of the second cluster of chapters. the play that in more ways than one cycles and back to beginning structure of Leo Strauss. and this attribution is the Lowenthal of means His Shakespeare is so far from being Christianity" "conventional that he is an enemy of pendent istotle" thinking follower (p. The essay that divides the two clusters concerns Julius Caesar. the ancient republic when (Julius Cae plays sar)." victory victory that seems to the way and presenta tion of "the origins of Athenian philosophy. Lowenthal that remain Christianity" segregates the plays that raise the or nonbiblical . Moreover. and Ar is meant to explicate Thus Lowenthal's first cluster of chapters .
He may intend by that his survey of Shakespearean criticism from centuries. his secret reasons agreeing studies]. dangerous both to the philosopher and to the . The philosopher-king is broader theme with not the theme of The Tempest but point aspect of a other aspects. cf. Lowenthal agrees: "Shake the idea the philosopher-king from Plato's Republic" (pp. he of "conclusion" presents as a king" the thesis that The Tempest "treats the idea the philosopher (p. 63. In his . especially not to those Lowenthal approaches Shake speare with his somewhat different theme will not want and discovers that "Shakespeare. "Shakespeare never refers to the liberal studying] philosophy (p. Lowenthal's might be. 64). one gives a different formulation: "The theme society. that one must begin with the theme of the relation between the philosopher and as such. Shake speare in this supposed re-presentation of the Platonic position as a determinedly silent on philosophy. The for this will sound raises all who know the work of Leo Strauss: philosophy society dangerous questions. Yet in the chapter relation itself he (p. xii). . 68 Yet that presents a puzzle: Lowenthal implies a more evident or starting point that might win more adherents than his fellows have done. x). Here is how his some a place where one wishes yet and for a fuller he account from Lowenthal He does of readings differ from those to preface whom appears close.. but there is "considerable concealment of overtly philosophical in it (p.. then. for which Lowenthal has all" "place" sought a sufficiently clear" clear to one and point "sufficiently Tempest. Indeed. that the Shakespeare establishment has resisted.288 Interpretation the chief elements of the classical philosophic view by giving us finds in Shakespeare.. society in toto seem a small and not with the theme of the That may difference until we notice philosopher-king Lowenthal's running be Shakespeare's phi arts insistence most losophy" on the great paradox of The Tempest: "It may ." version of the Republic.. therefore not to have won his way to that superior point of departure. beginning the seventeenth to the nineteenth (p. 68). . Where Plato blazons philosophy all admits to as or calls play. it is the analysis . xii). but he seems to begin by agreeing with what they have already said. the "revolu The Tempest involves Shakespeare's version of Republic" the philosopher-king in Plato's of (p. 21). 28). but I suspect rather that it is The Many "scholars with a background in tionaries"] have speare accepts and passim).. clear suggested that political philosophy [i. who unsurprisingly." [what Prospero pher" Prospero is a philoso over the Republic. 28-29). It is the claim. that claim he That Shakespeare is put some sort of Platonic political philosopher is the claim forth by (most of) the interpretive one "revolutionaries" with whom Lowenthal to "begin allies himself. familiar to to reveal [the character of He will not identify them as philosophy" (pp. provide hints. claim supposes.e. is. of the play is the between the philosopher and including many the rule of the philosopher 68. then. with his Prospero. our point of not persuasive view" do not "share (p. To begin by reading The Tempest to "all.
he "must hide his superiority. in Not the to have the formative be the effect he His most unconventional thoughts must concealed behind exterior" pleasing startling and (p. of course. But. Because of that. i. 71). a more seeming inconsistency. philosopher-king. at The Tempest as read by Lowenthal is thus least as much an echo of The Apology of of Socrates as of the Republic. them Platonic political philosophy: the superior claim of the to rale. way that. political The equivalent of Prospero is not the philosopher striving "ruling" power. and so on. Prospero. but necessarily esoteric presence of philosophy is the main lesson of The Tempest. such that the wisdom morality (justice) to it. That thought seems to provide the so much needed by play Lowenthal takes up. Lowenthal. them chief passions and to a degree the reason of ability to his audience. and the resistance to that rule in both society and the philosophers selves. the implications of the notion of logographic necessity.. Lowenthal can claim to "pro writing" vide new ideas main and about Shakespeare's emerge manner of (p. tempo his illusion. then. why philosophy can have only a concealed or esoteric . less the demonstra tion within and Shakespeare's a corpus of the idea of the tension between philosophy society. a philosopher would his power to show what do if for wisdom could rule. Shakespeare agrees with Plato that the philosopher cannot (and does to actual not wish political to) rale. the next tragedies" ophy and society is. The Tempest recapitulates the doubleness wise. for it "may be the (p. makes no claim to the discovery the tension between philosophy and society. The right beginning point seems to be. 62). ered society are at best indirectly available then we might say the human situation (off of Prospero's island) as uncov in The Tempest is tragic or nearly so. xii). tension pointing toward the need for more or esotericism in the presentation of philosophy. the philosophers. but Shakespeare the philosophic poet. appeal to the imagina to move a rale he uses in the general direction a wise ruler would. hide his own opinions.Book Reviews in which 289 he lives. but he life" shows "the via lasting influence he magical arts of can contribute (p. seeks. controls events (chance) in he uses a rarily. makes the rale of wisdom per se possible. It is the play where Shake most tragic of Shakespeare's specific nature of the tension between philos the what clear most makes speare transition to King Lear. a and this is Lowenthal's point. 40). but of apparent gap in the presentations. in a fashion hide order himself. through his poetic art and his superior tion. into philosophic concealed core. a resistance requiring the concealment of philosophy. If the lesson to from the inquiry into the relation between philosophy and society is the great tension between them.e. he seems merely to believe out of esotericism or he has brought these insights persons not Shakespeare in a already persuaded and by (at the approach to see way that will enable its point and view its conclusions with sympathy least) open-mindedness. Winning this point is essential to luring readers to enter into the enterprise of the political philosophical interpretation as well as getting them to read the plays in the correct manner: as extraordinarily artfully constructed artifacts leading through the most careful manipulation of detail.
79). . ness" . Lear draws justice conclusions of a most explosive sort: in the light of nature all appears conventional. Both the same for this philoso mad concealment are contained in the in" feature of the "the phizing Lear (p. Like Heraclitus. At the peak of O' his philosophizing Lear takes aside Tom Bedlam. better." of (p. 79. he concludes there is no support in the cosmos for the kind of judgements human beings ordinarily make (p. nal us the play. "the ically" King philosophy nor Shakespeare's play ends up with that as its final Lear dangerously challenges conventional justice. together with the particularly bleak ending of the play. just what the fundamental cause of things really is: Quid sit (p. Lowenthal argues. . it shows us that world is certainly not the kind of place where justice triumphs automat (p. ." gods exist deus" or. philosophy is kind madness." doubts that religion is "essential to ordinary human Having broken the conventional views of morality and with divinity. Nihilism is a moment in Lear's development. challenges all and the name of the truth it discerns about nature. 84). as distinguished from a merely claim" legal or conventional or man-made (p. what is. a sense of hopeless despair in a universe devoid meaning of purpose or Philosophy may neither political prompt one to that thought as a tentative conclusion. however. Lowenthal proposes that Lear means to ask "whether the "private" mentor. our experiences and the lessons we carry away are . is Both and the accomplishment of main plot lines of the play King Lear. a retreat into a that no longer makes the same sense as the world in which others live.290 Interpretation In the course of presence. It "calls forth we see on in our reactions to the events quite dif- stage. 88). Once it dis however. It a is also dangerous activity: the most necessary things lose all authority. 89). is "how philosophy itself comes into covers the natural. . but insight. authority as such in in the play Shakespeare actually has Lear recapitulate this radical break with the belief in the gods that is presupposed by the discovery of nature through (p. The "discovery nature. his "philosophic for a word. philosophy engages in "a radical rejection of the traditional authority of religion and society: . . 78). existence" Philosophy . independently of human agreement about what is or should be. philosophy" Since society cepted within exists in terms a of the authorities. but in a disguise that character and reason reenactment: keeps such" (p. 95). This is a question life' for private (off-stage) discourse "if religion is no essential to (p. enacted "something like the origi birth of philosophy is from recognizing it as engages before our eyes. to signal Shakespeare's intention "to convey (p. is indistinguishable from his "descent into a show that philosophy is kind of madness. demonstrates not a cosmos void one where the principles of natural right are our sense of natural justice" of justice but relatively clear (p. 71). insistently raise the same question: "Lear Edmund appeal to nature to a natural. 88) and Lowenthal's Shakespeare has ordinary human life. of beliefs and goods-gods ac private world it. 84). The play as a whole. 103). 102). Many critics take this Heraclitean wisdom. and therefore most dangerous. To .
hidden from 78). Lowenthal that he does not. not only greater (i. 127-32). 129. Lowenthal of wonders "whether Shake speare accepts concludes Caesar's standard" human merit. or at least that it is Caesar has or wishes to install. for that. however. Unwise or points merely the truth but the effectuality of partially wise human beings must complete what true natural foundations: un role of begins toward. 136). 134-35). These human beings necessarily admix large doses of prejudice and mere convention with the natural derstanding naturally most justice leads to the insight that the rather irrational preju dice. Even at its benign. loving powerful father. the republic is too are corrupted to be thus the conspirators. 106). well just than the kind of monar Lowenthal is which known for his daring reading Caesar becomes the central member of the play according to conspiracy against his own of the life. Lowenthal is careful to show. however. That tion plot against question arises in the most obvious sense via the assassina Caesar. He sees Caesar and the Caesaristic regime to be conspirators and superior to both the their republic (pp. p. Lowenthal concludes. the greatest lover of the perfection of honor. 146). is p. nature 80). He does not judge the and prudent republic an inferior regime in general. in can Julius Caesar. seeking what cannot be. 102). who guarantees or justice (cf. but only revived and under the circumstances. in view of Cicero's own admission . "While Shakespeare treats Cicero sparingly. easily do harm and be Shakespearean political philosophy can then establish the fact of natural jus tice. of that the current corruption of the republic has much to do with its inherent character: to conquest. Caesar's willingness to give up his life for his honor is seeking Caesar is man" one proof of his consummately political nature..e. acting both unwisely geared and unjustly. however (p. (pp. he that the or ultimate conflict of philosophies presses us toward the conclusion in the play is between Cicero and Caesar. really dissolving: "this play a natural base in our social all but not. strong enough and all- to be self-supporting. how Shakespeare shares in the flexible character of ancient political philosophy. Justice is natural and real. philosophy thus "must public view because it (p. 138). and of another new wholly conspiracy in favor of his eternal fame as founder of a political order. but what is it? That further question is pursued. more naturally meritorious) than the conspir honorunderstands him "as the perfection of political or Shakespeare but ators. like descent to the legitimate heir than to the most meritorious. 104). more rational and just than harmed" natural remain justice itself (cf. Lowenthal maintains. it created the conditions for the dissolution its own vir tues (pp. Caesar is the "the greatest political man. and thus he raises claim that he embodies human nature" (p. the descent into about nature" nature is not justice tries in fact to demonstrate that it has (p. Shakespeare also shows. Nature has not the character of a not wise. In sum. the conspirators act in the more belief that the republic is the best or most chic regime just regime.Book Reviews ferent from the experiences and 291 lessons of those on stage (p.
then. the and by a moral ideal very different from either honor-loving its or peak that was Caesar. for otherwise human beings face their exposure to enthal's witness chance. Jacob a Jesus. he finds one no happiness (pp. left in his care. 144). but Low Caesar. as Macbeth nicely demonstrates. bom of their aspiration rather spiritual with being who made them. on the other. on the one hand. points On the model of hand. Shakespeare's "own life as a is one of evidence of where the bard stands. or the wisdom-loving philosophic man that is Prospero sential deeds. The lure "the father-like God" is great. The biblical shows over and God." His love is for a not selfless. concludes poet" Lowenthal philosophical enthal also in favor bit of philosophy. Low promise: Shakespeare the over. Julius Caesar regime per the best se. fails mildness and otry. is "the quintes one whose life is devoted to unselfish love and charitable created Shakespeare has love" him "as a model and test case for the idea of unselfish (p. the test. in The Merchant of Venice. At the other extreme is the biblical God versus moral wise.292 Interpretation and between Plato Aristotle. caring. 145-46). the world that came into existence within the the world guided political man at Caesar made. on the other it points back to The Tempest. cover Antonio. but grasping. His nature portrait of word. and Caesar other. conceives two and classical Lowenthal's Shakespeare is extreme alternative very Aristotelian thinker. contains in a nutshell . by hand." finds evidence in the Shakespearean (p. or an inhumane moral fall regularly into an unmanly rigor. been nature "dehumanized" has been social is stunted. Moral indifference reign of which guarantees. Antonio. guided an living by by independent intelligence of magic" and assisted poetry and (p. He has. fails to deliver on this who were fate of the MacDuff family. human in this play fatherlike God is a spirit apart from matter and dominating it. but Portia alternatives presented and her Belmont triumph in this are obedience to a on the one play. of their passivity bom to imitate the over and trust. The central section of the central chapter on the plays. The biblical God. is also the central section of the book as a whole. At the one is the moral nihilism which Lear or Macbeth in his "tale told by an speech develop a most pessimistic and inhospitable view of things. 152). knowing. or rather those who live under his auspices. 171). the "natural cosmology of and than the myster ies of the God of Abraham. like Caesar. and the beautiful harmonies of nature and subject to chance. Isaac. His kindness are but form of "pious cruelty. in His a "distorted. the war of all against all versus the divine love. with its forward to the Christian world world." on the same Shake speare's view of classical political contest philosophy culminates in the kind of between the political and the philosophic life that so often forms the theme of Platonic dialogues. providential. He extremes as political-theological-philosophical (Platonic-Aristotelian) philosophy extreme idiot" the true and virtuous mean. Belmont" over. Lowenthal's Shakespeare sides." for "zeal "The who Not Antonio." Christian Christian Cicero.
rightfully I am study and that a kind of reading is direction. It has. more felt experience of the text then Lowenthal Yet there strengths. If the point of interpretive studies is to lead the in view. Shakespeare and the Good Life is not an easy book to evaluate.) As I have indicated. that Shakespeare also wrote for the read appropriate that goes beyond or attends to other other matters than their theatricality. It takes and judgement "feel" for the thing difference. (A similar point might made for the way Lowenthal poetry of the plays. the chapter on A Midsummer's Night's Dream has a view. one of The whole sequence of studies than any them. as stage they would own has its probably be in real life. be to me Lowenthal often lacks such treats the feel. We seldom glimpse only for their theatricality. an essential part of what surely This does not read but it is they later are. Some significant that a piece of times it repeated. greatly. a strong and extremely interesting argument. Even when it does not persuade it provokes thought. One of Lowenthal's betes noires is the fairly widespread in lit-crit circles. Yet he succeeds only to a . 163). He builds a case via readers) into the all" persuasive revolution" the lovely is order and coherence of more persuasive his overall argument. An author knows that exposition on laws: boring the audience is a violation of all of them.Book Reviews the 293 Lowenthalean good" mean: dead father. The essays are. obedient "Portia appearing to be obedient to the will of her only to her own will and mind in seeking her III. but it seems this is just the and a kind of compression and short cut theater requires. The chapter on Macbeth. is long and rich. very uneven in character and quality. always might be thematically came information is we not not or that some characters appear to know something that sometimes do know how they to tell the to know. he often questions when statements rele made at some earlier moment are not repeated they might vant. for example. are counterbalancing considerations to these and its many other Reviewerly candor requires I mention these as well. disappointingly thin and hasty feeling. Yet Lowenthal goes too far in the plays: through his readings that these were Shakespeare's first exhaust them need was to make them workable on stage. presented and devel oped with great attention to detail. Lowenthal is particularly concerned to find the evident (or at least many more beginning point that would lure "one and "interpretive he has joined. more succeeds thoughtful. For example. in the first place. Yet Lowenthal's why be ings give no room for this. I hope I have shown. reader to a richer. is actually own (p. that Shakespeare wrote mainly or only stage and the plays are for the accordingly to be Lowenthal insists. This is not to say that it is difficult to find very much to admire and praise. certain.
my reservations. Let us. what questions to ask of problematical with it. for example. that he understood Plato and other texts of political philosophy as Leo Strauss did? Although not impossible. then.. going so far as Platonic answers to his questions as itself signifying Shake responding spearean intent vis-a-vis Plato. he asks. Shake But structure: structure never structure of this is painstaking and sensitive attention to lies. this is probably the most comprehensive and coherent account yet at revolution to a successful completion.. Lowenthal. . in that seems prima order to capture facie unlikely. etc." lie to us readily and hear. the reading of The Tempest. to stand in the way of the establishment's signing on to Lowenthal's revolution Even I. marching happily Platonic music of the heavenly spheres. They tell us much of what we want to a "Freudian. the not happened here. With the exception of Harry Jaffa's essay in the Alvis and West collection of essays on Shake speare. repeatedly. remarkably. Shakespeare's it it is texts are so rich that almost pieces and particles shaped any does sieve applied to them will allow through particular to fit the holes in that produce a sieve. philosophy. is the one check Bellona?" "bridegroom other of An interesting question. supposition of course. certainly a fellow traveler and perhaps a fellow have ary. is example of a problem besetting the whole enterprise. read with a expend great effort Lowenthal begins to strong pre-text. a questions preinterpretation a particularly good begins his reading by to interpret the failure to in terms of which the interpretation proceeds. pays little attention to the the plays. it is a significant and highly tempted of a political-philosophic Shakespeare. but it surely has sieve. Good Life is not. so not too surprising that this sieve reading of the play. to the Exit reviewer. and hesitations. This is especially texts as rich as Shakespeare's plays: texts so intentionally are prepared ambivalent and ambiguous (an aspect Lowenthal underestimates) will "Feminist.294 Interpretation degree. There are. because Strauss had to or recapture these texts as he did. great debates over whether interpretation without pre is possible. and relies instead on small details: who. read Shakespeare interested in and perhaps knowledgeable about the themes and texts revolution. no doubt. I suspect. Thus there is a to speare." "Lacanian. He begins. likely to be the book to bring despite my doubts and rewarding advance. and so on." a against etc. as a writer of political But can we assume. Nonetheless. with a template. but like so many the little things so amenable to Shakespeare and the giving us back what we bring. He posing Platonic get to the text. The thickness of and visibility continue of the selectiveness of many the readings will. The beginning point. an advance notion of what the text is about. by all means. in other words.
Joan Stambaugh Hunter College On the whole. In other words. $35. in Heidegger's terms. published corrections of prefaced Dr. and we differently. As Hans-Georg enormity Gadamer wrote: horror of what was beginning Hitler in coming to power drum would deconstruct the nonsense he had used to up the movement. could Heidegger's fatal save error was what his faith in Hitler. and Americanism ning") from saw as the his many close Jewish friends and colleagues attest to this as well as to his was efforts to protect and help them. human existence thrown project. Thus. Indeed he always objected kind "spiritual" of anti- i interpretation. we are free with regard free to a large he to our future. but unfortunately also accepts uncritically their errors. He believed that Hitler menacing forces of communism ("plan Germany He was not anti-Semitic nor a racist. perhaps deliberately blind.Riidiger Safranski. xvii + 474 pages. highlighting the major stages of his philosophical odyssey in remarkably clear analyses for mulated often in concepts that do not simply my repeat Heidegger's a transitive words. has of these errors in volume 11 Heidegger Studies. MA: Harvard University Press. competition anti-Semitism spirit" a specific exist "Jewish But this Jewish spirit that one should generally includes the assumption of beware of does not to this for Heidegger. by an acknowledgment of thanks for Saf- ranski's effort to be fair and unprejudiced. We are not extent with regard dom. translated by Ewald Osers (Cambridge. ("calculation"). he analyzes human existence as forcefully transitive expressed in Sartre's "I exist having meaning (most counterbalanced body") by the in is finite free to our factor of thrownness. We were to learn It was a widespread conviction in intellectual circles that Safranski sums up Heidegger's intellectual attitude as follows: In the cultural field. Heidegger's son and editor of the collected works. 2 . for example. Hermann Heidegger. in the face to take place. Martin Heidegger: Between Good and Evil. Vol. No. however. Riidiger Safranski has reliable presented us with an intelligent and and biography." Nazism" and Hugo Ott's "Martin Heidegger: A Political His book contains mate rial that lacking and perpetuates in those works. His of the judgment.00. Winter 1999. and flawed. origin. 1995. Safranski certainly endeavors to explicate Heidegger's thought. 26.1 counted the anti-Semitism as part of this nonsense. 1998). was one that supersedes Victor Farias's "Heidegger Life.
authenticity is more primordial." rector) because knew that he had the personality nor the practical experience similar tone in academic administration required concludes: for such a In a Safranski He retrieves the free mobility overall of his thinking art" when he no longer wants to be a participant in the "work of of the people's community. but rather the perspective: inauthenticity is more prevalent. but instead turns all. 263) But back to issues. not originally intended for publication. (P. 256) In his notes to Hugo Ott's book states that she on Heidegger (Heidegger Studies. (Reflective Thinking) more such volumes have ap Die Geschichte des Seyns (The History In his Contributions with a we see delirium of concepts Heidegger transporting himself into that "other and a litany of sentences. There is a great deal of ambiguity involved in this issue. He into the comparatively safe quarters of philosophical thought. declaring Hegel that if his was "Jewish". These." and Time that not state that authenticity is the ground of inauthenticity. Safranski states that "Inauthenticity is the primordial shape of our This is not exactly false. The Contributions are of a new state" a laboratory in which for the invention records way of Heidegger his experiments speaking about God. In the past year two and peared: Besinnung of Being). then all philosophy from Leibniz to was Jewish (Safranski. create a religion without a positive doctrine. he was better the was soon able again to the works of art and philosophy. lecture in the mid-1930s he defended Spinoza. the Beitrdge (Contributions). Heidegger was to fill the empty heart the his reality. In philosophy too. which only be touched upon in the scope of this brief review. Heidegger's philosophy. By involving he had himself in the real politics of on revolutionary to retire again movement made excessive demands himself. mother advised against neither volume 13) becoming Hermann Heidegger "my it (Heidegger's post. The depends upon ambi actual guity is the result of confused thinking. These exercises in thinking about being with thus proceed from a discovery. They are a diary to discover whether it is possible to . everyday- One ness. but it hardly exhausts the matter. there are other passages in Being eral Dasein.296 Interpretation a Semitism. after to read than the political reality. p. In just Bohme had wanted to experience their way Meister Eckhart and Jakob God. 308) . (P. one of the issues in Being and Time that aroused the most gen interest. would of have liked from Heidegger experience of some exploration of authentic can how the authenticity Safranski can ends his extensive exploration of transform ordinary daily life. with the last pub lication of works available to him. With philosophical regard to the issue of authenticity- inauthenticity.
recalls: "It seemed to me as if the thinking of this old man took possession of him as of a medium. I am quite oscillation of work and I am basically marks unable to control into the specific simply its hidden law. his son. it coincide. was spirituality is a total lack of This has nothing to do with a Spinoza who said that necessity and freedom Another contemporary witness. sound 297 in sensing an affinity with the German mystical Yet however bold. Hans A. This is no longer On the his other hand. had studied for three years with Heidegger. however. if you will. these two thinkers were. 1985). who made Hei degger's acquaintance after the war. determinism. God" But as soon as I get there again (Todtnauberg) the whole of work of earlier questions cabin again presses in on me during which the very first hours my existence. After all. It him. moreover. 278) placed One of the unmistakable of genuine arbitrariness. 315)." spoke out of Hermann Heidegger. preserves is no small feat. Western or Eastern. NOTE 1. radical and suspect still to traditional church doctrine within the realm of they believed themselves to be Christianity. the thoughts Tao (way. with the great Buddhist thinker of the Kyoto school. mindless an absolute necessity. (P. p. Although he had less was personal contact with Taoists than Buddhists. he reports.Book Reviews Safranski's instinct is tradition. Fischer-Barnicol. His father. . Undoubtedly Heidegger felt himself act correspondence resonance with or nonmanipulation) and Heidegger's thoughts of Gelassen- addressed by a power that finds no ex ality speaks out of of "the eclipse of in any religion. would sometimes say to him: "It thinks in me. In particular. path) had of wu wei (noninterference strong heit (releasement) and way. MA: MIT Press. (p. Heidegger could not wholeheartedly affirm Eastern thought either. Nishitani a seems that Keiji. I cannot resist it" Safranski's book ner presents the development of Heidegger's thought in a man which intelligible and accessible to a nonspecialist. entirely in the form in I had left it. 75. it a Taoism to which Heidegger felt himself drawn. it ample contacts with way open to Heidegger. confirms this impression. The translation by Ewald Osers this clarity and readability. To name an example. Yet a powerful spiritu him that is genuine enough to realize that it speaks in a time (Martin Buber). Philosophical Apprenticeships (Cambridge.
and so her second is to find in Rousseau alternative to the Machiavellian hypocrite. is with as follows: First Grant Rousseau's agreement Machiavelli that is about politics hypocrisy is necessary in politics. Vol. discussed in her third move. they in turn are the sources of amour-propre (vanity). these natural capacities produce sexual differentia knowledge. and certain sorts of dependency are the cause of psychological damage. thus. The question begets a rarity corruption. she supplies insightful. 26. Winter 1999. in her fourth move. The centerpiece of Grant's book is the "integrity. Grant move contends. Ruth Grant raises little-noticed but crucially important questions about morality and politics." claim that Rousseau articulates a viable Grant persuasively argues. restrictions which and manipulation) and in the allow Grant to assert that the Rousseauian Rousseau's actor has integrity. Each type is uncongenial to Machiavelli (Rousseau is both critic and follower of Machiavelli). Grant enough for signs of prudence within the moralist type flexibility to avoid the charge of youthful naivete and enough adherence to principle to avoid the charge of sellout. Corruption's root causes are human and is such a and freedom. In this splendid study of Rousseau's ethics. Hypocrisy and Integrity: Machiavelli. These signs she detects in Rousseau's concessions to practicality (his openness to compromise. amour-propre is the cause of dependency. In her fifth person of integrity long study of the problem of final move. even better. and (5) a willingness to fail more politic rather than commit evil (p.. is disinclined to do an ethics. answers to all of the questions she asks. xii + 201 pp. Rousseau of and the Ethics of Politics (Chicago: Patrick Coby Smith College University Chicago Press. however: (1) tolerable compromises needed to achieve Rousseau identifies only three justice and the interpretation. It is necessary because dependent relationships and because the interests of political identical to the ruler's own. who. Grant asks why in history. resembles either the fanatic or the misanthrope.Ruth Grant. 1997). supporters are never But while Machiavelli is satis fied to leave it the core at that at the prince who is "fox" a with no moral character at without Rousseau." moralist Rousseau specifies five elements: vengeance.50. proves not to be the dispassionate moderate (present in Moliere). in brief. the prevention of which is Rousseau's ulti perfectibility tion and mate objective. No. $22. than either "au ethics. deceit. one better called What then does Rousseau mean by integrity? The hyperor thenticity" "virtue. searches and neither is seriously political. on first examination. sometimes brilliant. 75). notes The argument. The alternative. (2) absence of (4) truthfulness. The elements. but the uncompromising moralist. (1) disinterestedness. 2 . restrictions he places on each. (3) pride without vanity.
(2) deceptions faithful
(not factual truth),
beneficial results, e.g., the integrity.
parent manipulates the
child, the tutor
the student, and the Legislator the citizen.
tant touchstone of
Again, disinterestedness is
a completeness to
that it covers means,
ends, and intentions. The means
to generalized principles of justice (equal
the ends refer to justice in the particular, or to common to interested-disinterested motives. Virtue
goods; and intentions
principled means often
just ends, because just
and Utopian ends also
is difficult because
the justice of the end requires
philosophy, revelation, conscience, or
ways subject to
Rousseau faces up to these difficulties: He derives his ends from conscience chiefly (the sentiment of existence). He makes practical concessions (Polish
representation) in the hope
respectful of man's
accomplishing just ends (a society He fights to defend the sanctity of
end and good
limits to the
condemning certain sorts of hypocrisy. And he means (disinterestedness and no direct implication in
order to safeguard
questions now come to mind or two with
seem worth pursu
ing. Rousseau is teamed
as a quasi-modern who
consensus that political relations can
openly or that reason can devise remedies, negotiate differences, achieve peace. What then would Machiavelli, Rousseau's partner in hypocrisy, have to say
what might the ancients
about a mo
rality so suspicious of moderation? Rousseau seconds Machiavelli in arguing that
relationships and that politics
is different from
has its own, looser
or much of on
it). For Rous founder to
seau, that looser
the part of political
Does Machiavelli lest
share power cipled and
lest it be thought that his
crimes are self-interested and unprin
tion of office
sharing, he does
stoic view of virtue requires
for self-forgetting as does Rousseau, that actors derive no benefit from their
deeds, even that they suffer harm. Romulus, who created a senate but stayed as king, was a better founder than Solon, who wrote a new constitution with
in it for himself
to see it set free. Thus Machiavelli would surely not
seau's attempt naive and
to stigmatize ambition; he instead would dismiss the attempt as
the stipulation that evil,
if tolerated, be not personally committed Rousseauian integrity Machiavelli would likely classify as
way between the wholly good and the wholly bad. have Machiavelli's permission to inhabit the middle way.
Which brings up the next point. Rousseau is more scrupulous than Machia because Rousseau is less political. One difference between the two is that
of princes, ambitious
individuals struggling Rousseau examines the behavior of citi have the
zens, people only partly political
life. One should, therefore,
retreating into private in Machiavelli than in Rous
only more hypocrisy. It is said of them both that they between enmity and love: the mutual dependencies of politics
than war but meaner than
is only partially true of by force. The prince is enjoined to imitate the beast, to be part fox (fraud) and part lion (force); thus the prince rales by lionlike force no less than by foxlike fraud. He does
authors might so still
force. While entirely true of Rousseau, this maxim Machiavelli. Politics, for Machiavelli, is often fighting
is war, is to
that political relationships are
one strives to
seek an escape
through the acquisi
tion of power. If one begins as a
the power of a lion one can afford to
reconcile the opposition of
have integrity. Rousseau's
integrity by implanting
was mentioned above
some portion of
a person who middle way.
some portion political.
is to cling to the
that Rousseau's summum malum
falsity, inconstancy. With Ma by dependency summum malum is defeat by fortune. Rousseau is introspective;
then be said that Rousseau offers a soft
suggestion would explain the
life for Rousseau
its capacity to
restriction of public
occasional acts of
common with on
Plato. Rousseau determines the justice
of an action
the effect it has the "moral
the actor. Thus
acceptable as not come
causes no psychic
or no corruption to the
soul, in the idiom
Plato takes the
of classical philosophy. action and as of
as the measure of right
the desideratum to be pursued. He too permits himself the
telling lies (noble lies)
committing legal transgressions (unlawful that no personal advantage is realized (his Socra
tes lives in ten-thousand-fold poverty) and the
disturbed. Rousseauian damage is
ordering of his soul is not is kindred to Platonic natural is that for
to occur whenever spirit or appetite
takes command of the soul. The difference between conceptions
Rousseau the rightful
commander or moral
is in command, judgment. This
more egalitarian commander perhaps explains
to dependence of every
to the rale
of philosopher-kings. as
seems not to
one's own and character.
recognizing the rightful rule of a supe
rior in intellect
just dependence (student to
teacher) is psychologically crippling,
166). Aristotle is
and so even
just dependence is
also uneasy about philosophical rale, and he is so for reasons Rousseau's that citizens will not grow in virtue without self-gov
(hence the propriety
or moral virtue,
ertheless, Aristotle would quarrel
ostracizing the man of superlative virtue). Nev with Rousseau over the meaning of integrity:
is essentially moderation, a mean between extremes. Rousseau discards the Aristotelian continuum in favor of a
Grant detects in Rousseau
morality to Aristotelian moderation, namely She is satisfied that a single mean cannot account
virtue of the purist and that moderation since moderation
the vice to which
Both moral types, in fact, suffer from immoral hypocrisy (righteousness being hypocritical in its own way). One question arises, however: Would abandon
ment of the present on not
be necessary if more than three points were bracketed by opposite extremes)? Could there
to account for the person of Rous
integrity? Consider the
" fallen: the soul. for the timidity. that man observes.Book Reviews 303 By fall this reckoning the complacent cynicism. between the cardinal virtues of Greek phi revelation. conse virtue is "nothing too What one has then is a much. the Aristotelian statesman is more prudent still. and callous indifference. herself in the the possibility that Rousseauian Or it may be Grant is little better than integrity and adolescent idealism. In the Rousseau's matter of she speculates that courage of conception of doing integrity good and would account French peasants who hid Jews from the Nazis. one hold is good by nature and corrupted by society. rests on a competing philosophy of man. the other vicious extreme. each of which is fully vir tuous and each of which culminates in an exemplary moral type: the statesman. The human soul is is naturally evil united and harmonious. examples of wonders and But notice where Grant goes to find integrity to simple peasants and idealistic that youth. a battleground between two moralities (a la Isaiah Berlin). resisting evil. Rousseauian as well as the cowar dice of Parisian sophisticates who rationalized collaboration. But Grant thinks that amenable to the com the charge is misplaced.). offers a second reason falling ing short of the virtuous mean she but is a why Rousseauian integrity is not a legitimate alternative to moderation. passionately committed. then moderation would remain would the mean. coolly flexible. or thus virtue is not a balancing of opposites but extremism in pursuit of goodness. raises and the purist. What is passing for an alternate virtue in fact be but a mild form of vice. while the severe moralist would short of rectitude the side of fanaticism. This integrity. is dependent quently the meaning choice of conflicting carefully crafted compromises for its peace. Grant. Grant that this prudence may prove a cover for complacency. losophy and the spiritual virtues of Judeo-Christian . though. partly evil. one on moderate would fall short of moral rectitude on the side of vicious extreme. Anyone who under wrong if persisted no in (as and saying: thirty who is not a socialist no has heart. anyone over thirty is still a socialist has brain. on forces. Against this view is the belief that of man by nature. One then if the choice which Grant presents is not between Athens Jerusalem. immature. because Rousseauian And although worries integrity is promises of prudence. hence incomplete.
their views a manner that is destruc one upon opening the book. Winter 1999. 11). of was simply wrong. Until this latest effort. In order to move the argument from the academy to the political arena. she charged him with corrupting young minds in the academy through an insidious form of atheism that cloaks itself in outward displays of piety. but he knew that unmask were not serious readers would see that the modem pieties he sought to those of religion. to believe in a punitive god in order to behave religion would succeed not too particular would for Strauss "any political task at be" hand. No. 26. It is no surprise followed him in this endeavor. Immediately convinced . preferring instead an "unquestioning devo cannot and will not ideas that they . $35. . In The Political Ideas of Leo Strauss (1988). but Drury continues by Strauss scorn tion to are a set of to find this rational incomprehensible. less two. and in Leo Strauss first book the American Right.. that his illumination fundamental tensions between common man who needs and that reason and revelation only masks a contempt for the well. reach extends Americans who lean supposedly While her its core. 2). Ideas of Leo Strauss was misguided. interpretation. not only of Strauss. defend in except to those who already disseminating tive of intellectual life itself (p. xiii + 239 pp. Susan Orr Reason Public Policy Institute Shadia Drury seems intent upon making a career out of blaming Leo Strauss for everything she finds wrong with the world. The echoes of the Socratic charge would not have been lost on Strauss. Thus. him for all the things that she doesn't like about America. 2 . anyone would to write a book. Drury confuses and conf lates the classically liberal foundations of the American politics of the last half of this century. Martin's Press. Unsatisfied Drury indicts Machiavellian with saddling Strauss with all that is wrong with the academy. confusing bad exegetical accounts of Strauss with his work.Shadia B. Drury. Leo Strauss and the American Right (New York: St. claiming that those influenced discourse. her latest is simply silly. 1997). but also of the American regime. Vol. He is therefore in accomplishing the about which religion it While The Political should one (p. is that Strauss's philosophy is nihilistic at that what the he fears most is unfettered democratic rale. then and now. There are many this is the most regime with the liberal errors in the book but fundamental. the subject. Her thesis. her latest book betrays an even deeper misunderstanding. but rather the idols of positivism and histori that his students have cism.00. it have been hard to imagine in which Drury could so misunderstand her subject. if the man and much his students are as she on describes. to all she now finds that Strauss's rightward. wonders need why.
But for Drury. Alan Keyes is noteworthy because with his not the United presi Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick under President Reagan. 138). but the list must have been of old even work at the book. Strauss mistakenly conflates the two because. her pictures of strongest argument in the cover art. the antipa thy liberalism. detects the hand dominant of Irving and Leo Strauss are all of a piece. where she notes that people who take religion seriously dians. the emphasis on nationalism. In the text. yet he only gets a nasty dig in a footnote in the first chapter. late Washington" of the Branch Davi- The book turns from "Straussians in "Strauss's Jewish Heritage" in the first chapter to in the second. For her for democracy supposed over liberalism (p. According she puts political to Drury. juxtaposed with Leo Strauss briefly worked wrote looking sufficiently Cheshire Catlike." but we hint of opinion of religion are earlier. both looking angry. it is telling have that a a concern about the highest things becomes a "preoccupation. The treatment here is equally loose. What either . as it. the world is relatively world" (p. or the conservative movement would The only link she can make with plausibility she doesn't even try to forge: William Kristol is arguably the most politically influential of those who studied under Strauss and his students. the depreciation to Enlightenment rationalism. Here one leams that "according of a to Strauss. Anyone with a glancing knowledge of Strauss's students know that her account is unreliable. the concern with the role of and the preference intel lectuals in politics. 91). These all-too-frequent errors make read ing the book an exercise Having skipped along in frustration. Instead she reserves her final Kristol chapter for his father as the founder feet of of the neoconservative movement. one who excoriates Strauss for his nihilism. which displays two Clarence one of Thomas and Newt Gingrich.306 Interpretation draws the is outlines of a conspiratorial Drury movement. and it is a sure bet that Robert Bork would be surprised to find himself listed among the powerful Straussians in Washington. largely people such as David Koresh. She Strauss amidst the neoconservatives because almost all the motifs of neoconservatism are the bedrock of Straussian thought: the preoccupation with religion. "Strauss is unable to liberate himself from the conception of the which by his victimized" people were so tragically (p. Maimonides does as opposed to the sian not even think that philosophy can prove the creation eternity of the secret. the surface of Connection" to uncover "Strauss's German Strauss's Jewishness. the conviction of that nihilism is the source of the crisis of American liberalism. which until now had not been laid at the Leo Strauss. linking Strauss and his students to the right wing of the Republican Party. It consists of her insistence that there is no resemblance between Weimar Germany and modem-day American excess. for his 1996 dential run. she next attempts by linking him to Heidegger and Schmitt. in the introduction to note where some of the students in the public she pauses of only Strauss have when she arena. presented Unfortunately. If that is her idea Straus safe. 52).
Her as: documents slight. But it is here that master she fails miserably because politics she has failed to the American founding adequately. Her front. Shadia Drury has a problem with the revolution that led to the Republican takeover of the Congress in 1994. Drury She would have done well or to spend some time reading founding docu ments. Surely it is more than to take Strauss's arguments seriously and. for instance. they come the only references we get to when any founding Strauss's students. i.Book Reviews Strauss's Jewish remains 307 policy or German heritage has to do has managed with American public unclear. have spent some time place of morality in politics. [of aspects of were very clear on these issues In fact. It account would have proved far better and more intrinsically interesting squarely.e. Because she likes neither this with mistakes that make development in American study Strauss. It is not the fourth chapter that she turns to what should have been her central thesis: an analysis of those who have spent most their time studying the founding of America.. what to do when the popular a serious learning from Abraham Lincoln about the ducking of the very question he had to con will violates the principles of truth and a justice. is ereignty deficiency. The book is filled for a sloppy wearying read. she reads politics nor the increase in number of those who she posits that refused the two are intertwined. . ma have behooved her to with compare the various Straussian accounts of the see whether the founding nipulated her own understanding to Straussians have their accounts to suit their purposes. Since her focus is to it would understand how American is shaped by Strauss. feminism ought the Declaration of Independence. 109-10). as she an argument needs to be advanced. insists. are Unfortunately. a except that she to conjure up lurid images of Nazism in until book about the conservative trend in American politics. had she confronted the question of popular sov so suggests Her failure to do her most profound misunder standing not only of Strauss but also of political philosophy. to be a tenet embraced by those who embrace If. Leo Strauss and the American Right will offer any serious reader of Leo Strauss little but frustration. ironic that she time. they were often attracted to the most foolhardy liberal doctrine. only gloss on the founding consists of is referencing throwaway lines such she "There is little indication that the Founders public morality]. the Federalist Papers also could the Notes on the State of Virginia. I am referring to the intoxicating idea that the prolif eration of private vice contributes to the maximization of public benefits" (pp. at the same of the Republicans' between the lines "Contract America" with only to find Leo Strauss lurking there.
and Pornography (Notre Dame. does our collective well-being depend in the some vital respects upon promotion of former and restriction of the latter?" (p. 2 interpretation.' To perceive such collectivities is to likenesses unlikenesses. extended. Law. so abstractly. if any. resolute Professor Clor same time no and. Will Morrisey Are public an morality and liberal society mutually exclusive? Is 'public can mo rality' oxymoron there being no genuine morality an that survive the crudities of publicity. he argues. conversely. IN: University of Notre Dame Press. an ethos is Americans could not speak of still possible 'us' in regimes. or. and in the American academy particularly. 1996). he (in effect) replies. Winter . To be unable to perceive likenesses and unlikenesses among hu man groups would standing. careful of the particulars. Because nihilism in the end must deny itself. one sees instead the construction of what Andre means Malraux nicely it takes terms "moderate nihilisms. 'You citizens of other countries could not begins sentences with the perceive phrase. public his moderation) does not depend To sympathetic readers who despair of the well as any morality in America generally. no public sphere that can endure the squeamish refinements of morality? Is 'liberal society' oxymoron. He takes the Aristotelian path to politi cal philosophy: he begins with standards of level-gazing. "What. also commends moderation. Vol. is the legitimate interest of the community in decency and indecency. suggesting them to his attentive reader. x + 235 pp. By a public call losophers American an morality Clor ethos. Clor's approach to these questions is his while nonetheless to state them so baldly. $17. As means a something very of course close to what Greek phi teacher of classical political philosophy and constitutional law. commercial republic.." compromised acknowledges doctrines by of which the village atheist winkingly that. he is resolute. and so to self-under Such derangement has been the project of nihilism. One refusal to liberate and to socialize are opposite tasks? of the merits of Harry M. a village. he is at the more less than a nihilist. deliberate. as it turns out. because. and between an ancient polis and a modem. be profoundly deranging to morality. theless.00 paper. The question is. Clor. Clor is acutely modem aware of the differences None not. Indeed. to be a village atheist. Public Morality and Liberal Society: Essays on Decency. finally.Harry M. "It is of practical importance that libertarian doctrines and 1999. 1). No. 26. if it were 'our' and as distinguished from 'them' 'their'. calmly: Despair is for immoderate and fearful people. as I have done. and Americans. pre cisely because his upon an imagined inculcation of resolution (as nothingness.
Such It a love. and that a rational case for public morality be available when and if the cultural situation be hospitable" comes more resolution and superior (pp. people stubbornly hold beliefs in common. morality. and the short ran can error caused be the brutal. To overcome the difficulty. own that the state remain neutral with respect to private and group mo puts supreme value on autonomy: Libertarian liberalism every man Nietzsche. A public morality is "a acknowledged periodically more or body of presuppositions implicit in a way of life. 54). theory.310 Interpretation community-weakening tendencies do not go unchallenged. "the freewheeling see that an 34) that maximizes liberty not and or Communitarians individual might well claim a a right merely a claim to an individual or group would conflict 'lifestyle' but to political and society. 13). the good of the served. Beneath such a stubbornly held ethos lies human nature itself. by the legal order" morality is an articu morality to the sum of private or individual moralities have never really worked in practice. That is. disgusted at the dehumanization the destruction long ran itself may be changed or even replaced. entails. (p. reduce public lable Attempts to human beings draw back from the results. If an Aristotelian can demonstrate superior moderation. provoked challenges from communitarian writers. and realize they served namely. Such incommensurably with libertarian egalitarian liberalism. two varieties of contemporary liberalism go too far. but in the the inhuman-all-too-inhuman excesses weaken and collapse. Egalitarian liberalism diverse moralities. public doctrines. But an atheist commu nitarianism difficulty with such explanations. realm of Hence the for a public morality. would need institutions. Hence the In the for reasonable sanctions on need human by rule of the passions. Attempts to destroy the ethos go only so far before real ethos or set of customs. the nihilist loses at his own game. a public less. radical lib that (a) sociality of this sort is bad or at least not so group autonomy claims or (b) communalism is The second claim dissolves when one sees that it strong that tramp personal and compatible with pluralism. An ethos At the same time. In this case. would require a toleration so love" it would begin to look like "a be powerful religion of universal that would include "a rather stringent morality of and such a [its] arise own" (p. by institutional or opinion leaders and sanctioned. radical liberalism would begin to look quite illiberal. those supposed models of erals must claim either good as to inclusiveness. dehumanization need can go quite far. Against communitarianism. puts supreme value on equal respect for all the These radical liberalisms have (p. Although an illiberal communitarianism could explain to citizens what good spontaneously. could hardly expected to laws to itself. can what good serves. say a powerful religion of universal love with a stringent morality. who question the replacement of the virtuous re republic" public with equality. 2-3). libertarianism can be defended as being more . community it it could not explain what good the community has more Christianity. his demanding ralities.
167). 116. familiar from the writings of John Rawls and the life self-eviden and Ronald Dworkin. 164). in oneself or others is to cause real injury by being" un actualize the distinctly human mode of (p. One 'self might say. Feminists typically of object to pornogra phy because its 'objectification' the other establishes a relation of domi- . but forgets the portion. person" for a particular (p. but its smaller-bore assertiveness makes genuine civic cal dialogue and compromise difficult. Only self-government tout court can solve the problems modem liberalism leads to. the right over decency. par an or ticularly regard contemporary feminists approach elemental passion for other people's bodies Pornography "arouse[s] independently of any affection it. encouraging citizenry whose souls tend not so much to moderation as to petty assertiveness. such as civility. Egalitarian liberalism. in agreeing with Clor. in as which he issue of pornography. 141). and virtue. emphasis added). that liberalism well understands the 'government' portion of self-government. central chapter Accordingly. Lockean liberalism performs the ex traordinarily useful function of discouraging the grand assertiveness of tyranni souls. The excellence. But Locke individual rights a and claims firmly above duties to the community. of self-govern Clor illustrates the distinctive ment and indispensable addresses the character in his final chapter. This admission brings back the claims of nor the community. 192). Neither libertarianism nor egalitarianism can produce a humanly balance" satisfy ing morality because healthy condition [of elements that are neither accounts for the nature of the human soul. but in such a weak form that neither individual rights the community that respects them can claim any solid foundation (p. in his Clor has recourse not to Locke but to Plato. "the which] is an "both diverse and appropriately hierarchical among unequal in (p. the me? interest. Egalitarians have as more difficulty proving that of such rights should be valuable than other moral considerations. Rawls's well-known privileging the good the latter allegedly a matter of mere utility rests on grounds so shaky that Rawls himself admits in his later writings that this privileging is merely the assumption of one particular political culture. regarded claims that all persons and groups have a right to "equal concern and respect" (p. Clor finds these problems of contemporary liberalism at the core of Locke's excels liberalism. status" "To destroy that balance dermining the capacity to 116). 149).Book Reviews 31 1 likely than communitarianism to serve one or more of four goods: dignity. and individuality is that (p. 135). Such claims rhetorical question. Locke human problem later liberals in his recognition of "the fundamental the existence of powerful non-benign natural passions requir to which public morality has puts ing restraint and refinement nonetheless been response" a (p. Who other than myself is to judge what usually is best for rest on answer to that question occasions in which considerations of a good "ordinary experience provides plenty of of individuality are in competition with other imperatives superiority of the former is not even to the self-judging individual (p.
philosophy is not without dangers. The way to test human limits and to overcome the atomistic forms of individuality is not to plunge passionately into 'the which is nothing if alone. gives This weaving together of moderation and extremism or radicalism Clor's thought a comprehensiveness and just articulation missing in liber alism modem and postmodern. Interpretation of inequality. in an odd. Eros is more complex and interesting same can than the body involves the soul as well as the body. 218). the at right to which also variants. risk-taking part of the soul. 220]). Some equality while simultaneously defending only be described as Utopians of the body. Clor concurs. . And. they overlook or even deny the degradation of the voyeur. as the life of Socrates demon strates." because it has limits but because it tests the limits. to limit-experiences will Clor suspects that this approach habituate the souls that take more body. Still other feminists want to defend can a sexual-liberation agenda. further that dominance he knows it by its more precise is only one half of pornography's viciousness. Clor's moderation thus supports his extremism and soul with a true vice versa. To acknowledge that tyranny degradation edge the would be to transcend feminism postmodernists and masculinism and to acknowl humanism that detest. eros not individual. Plato's Symposium. The is be said for free speech. speech Putting these together free one comes of course to philosophy. between argues voyeur and the person the voyeur watches. they argue. Clor shows how the path of public policy can lead to the mansion of political philosophy. for example. (Here Clor act of so to speak. philosophy eroticism and such as conceived in. least in its American Free more complex and interesting course than unlimited expression. imagining a life of limitless pleasure that synthesizes adolescence with infantil ism. it too can appeal to the thumotic. more not intelligent.312 nance. celebrate what no has been called "the pornographic read imagination. precisely to test the discover the limits of humanness. looms large in the speech pornographic imagination. Such free speech provide the human limit-experience.' it to debasement. to distinguish between an idea and a stimulus genuine eroticism and genuine [p. To about or to view sexual limits of human consciousness and to dehumanization is. but name. in the failing ideas Supreme Court Justice Souter in flagrante. Others. misguided Hobbesianism. Because too many feminists focus solely on power. Free speech originally meant rational catches dis (p.
1. Accord 322. and the language. Box 358. The Enlightenment Project's conception of physical science is defective. Works Cited. this defective conception of physical science renders the analytic conception of social science. epistemology defective. Throughout the book. metaphysics. of This journey highlights the internal logical disintegration relativism that project.O. 2. psychology. USA movement scientism. history of philosophy.00 P. philosophy. The Enlightenment Analytic Social Science.S.00/GBP 109. 9. Analytic philosophy has been a dominant intellectual century and a reflection of the cultural pre-eminence of to analytic philosophy's peculiar reticence in the 20th In response (and inability) to discuss itself. Beyond the Enlightenment Project. an alternative that reconnects philosophy with the mainstream of Western civilization and process of providing acoherentcultural narrative. and that defective conception of the human condition leads to defective conceptions of both moral philosophical psychology. an alternative conception of engineering or social philosophy is initiates the of a coherent presented as a way out of the abyss of analysis. Analytic Epistemology. 1998 548 pp.A. 8. 7. freed of any higher authority and channeling its privileged tool.O. U. Metaphysics in Analytic Philosophy Philosophy. . Analytic Philosophical Psychology. Analytic Philosophy and Language. science. 1 1 . 3. and Political Analytic Philosophy and the History of Philosophy. Analytic Social Philosophy. epistemology. 6. Index. 10. The central element in the analytic conversation has been the Enlightenment Project: the appeal itself through science as to an autonomous human reason. specifically the idea of social technology. Appendix: Outline of the Enlightenment Project in the Analytic Project. 3300 AH Dordrecht. OH. The Enlightenment Project in Science./Hardbound ISBN 0-7923-5014-6 NLG 320. Analytic and Conversation.The Enlightenment Project in the Analytic Conversation By: Nicholas Capaldi University of Tulsa. MA 0201 8-0358. 12. Analytic Ethics. This book will be of particular the lack interest to any sophisticated reader concerned about cultural narrative. political development in the philosophy of social science. Box P. Contents Introduction. 4. Hingham. Post-modern is its natural offspring and not a viable alternative. this book provides its first comprehensive history and critique. 5. and and political philosophy. Analytic Philosophy of Science. This centrality is demonstrated presence and by systematically examining its ethics. The Netherlands Station.
goals or goods at which Hassing history. White philosophy. Hassing (35=Sl> An study of the questions of final causality. Fortin George Gale Teleology the nature. human beings is among the sial most controver Velkley themes in the history of William A. Baltimore. the inquiry into and Allan Gotthelf Richard F.95 cloth THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA PRESS P. MD 21211 410/516-6953 . God. Wallace David A. principle cosmology. ISBN 0-8132-0891-2 $59.FINAL CAUSALITY IN NATURE AND HUMAN AFFAIRS edited by Richard F.O. Burbidge Ernest L. Box 4852 Hampden Station. intriguing CONTRIBUTORS: John W. The chapters Studies in are arranged order in historical Philosophy and the History of Philosophy Series 1997 from Aristotle to anthropic- contemporary / 282 pp. aim John Leslie Francis Slade Richard L. The essays in this volume brilliantly probe questions of the abiding final causality.
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