Political Philosophy and Cultural Renewal: Collected Essays

Francis Graham Wilson, H. Lee Cheek, Jr., M. Susan Power, Kathy B. Cheek
Transaction Publishers - 263 ページ
Francis Graham Wilson was a central figure in the revival of interest in political philosophy and American political thought in the mid-twentieth century. While he is best known as a Catholic writer and conservative theorist, his most significant contribution is his original interpretation of the development of American politics. Central to his thought was a process of self-interpretation by the citizenry, a quest for ultimate meaning turning to a divine, transcendent, basis of history and shared experience. Although Wilson's writings were extensive and influential, they have not been readily available for decades. Political Philosophy and Cultural Renewal brings together a coherent and representative selection of his work, highlighting his concern for the common good and his belief in personal and societal restraint as an alternative to political partisanship and superficiality. Wilson's affirmation of a republican inheritance encourages contemporary students of politics to revisit the Founders' views of diffused political authority. His remarkable contribution to American political philosophy is a full-fledged theory of cultural renewal that has lost none of its relevance for contemporary political and social issues. This volume will be of interest to historians, political scientists, and American studies specialists.


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Human Nature and Politics
The Revival of Organic Theory
The Structure of Modern Ideology
The Political Theory of Renewal and Conservation
A Theory of Conservatism
The Political Philosophy of Conservatism
The Ethics of Political Conservatism
The Emergence of a Conservative Realism
On Jeffersonian Tradition
Democratic Theory A Central Issue
Ethics in the Study of Democratic Politics
The Federalist on Public Opinion
Pessimism in American Politics
Notes from the Democratic Rhetoric
A Wilson Checklist

The Conservative in Crisis Notes on De Officiis
Sources of Renewal in the American Political Mind

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191 ページ - In a nation of philosophers, this consideration ought to be disregarded. A reverence for the laws, would be sufficiently inculcated by the voice of an enlightened reason. But a nation of philosophers is as little to be expected , as the philosophical race of Kings wished for by Plato. And in every other nation, the most rational Government will not find it a superfluous advantage to have the prejudices of the community on its side.
191 ページ - If it be true that all governments rest on opinion, it is no less true that the strength of opinion in each individual, and its practical influence on his conduct, depend much on the number which he supposes to have entertained the same opinion. The reason of man, like man himself, is timid and cautious, when left alone; and acquires firmness and confidence, in proportion to the number with which it is associated.
202 ページ - The primary inducement to conferring the power in question upon the Executive is, to enable him to defend himself; the secondary one is to increase the chances in favor of the community against the passing of bad laws, through haste, inadvertence, or design.
126 ページ - Out of a stem that scored the hand I wrung it in a weary land. But take it: if the smack is sour, The better for the embittered hour; It should do good to heart and head...