Question:

What is the definition for classical republicanism?

Answer:

Classical republicanism is a form of republicanism originating from and inspired by the governmental forms and writings of classical antiquity.

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Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or Classical Civilization) is the branch of the humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world (Bronze Age ca. BC 3000 – Late Antiquity ca. AD 300–600); especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity (ca. BC 600 – AD 600). Initially, the study of the Classics (the period's literature) was the principal study in the humanities.

The word “classics” is derived from the Latin adjective classicus: “belonging to the highest class of citizens”, connoting superiority, authority, and perfection. The first “Classic” writer was Aulus Gellius, a 2nd-century Roman writer who, in the miscellany Noctes Atticae (19, 8, 15), refers to a writer as a Classicus scriptor, non proletarius(“A distinguished, not a commonplace writer”). Such classification began with the Greeks’ ranking their cultural works, with the word canon (“carpenter’s rule”). Moreover, early Christian Church Fathers used canon to rank the authoritative texts of the New Testament, preserving them, given the expense of vellum and papyrus and mechanical book reproduction, thus, being comprehended in a canon ensured a book’s preservation as the best way to retain information about a civilization. Contemporarily, the Western canon defines the best of Western culture. In the ancient world, at the Alexandrian Library, scholars coined the Greek term Hoi enkrithentes (“the admitted”, “the included”) to identify the writers in the canon.

Republic

A classical republic, according to certain modern political theorists, is a state of Classical Antiquity that is considered to have a republican form of government, a state where sovereignty rested with the people rather than a ruler or monarch. These include states like the Roman Republic. The Romans used the term res publica to describe their state, but the most common sense of that term is closer to body politic or commonwealth. The phrase was coined, it seems, to distinguish the post-Tarquin political system with the previous monarchy, the res privata.

The idea of republicanism was a creation of the Renaissance. The Renaissance scholars, most prominent among them being Niccolò Machiavelli, looked back on the ancient period with great interest and reverence. They defined republic as any state that was not headed by a monarch - thus including the Roman res publica. The Italians, themselves living in Republics like Florence and Venice (although note that the doge was an elected monarch), looked back on these states as models of social organization. They looked to the history of the classical republics and attempted to emulate their model. In particular, they saw the mixed government of Rome as the secret to stability and the pursuit of civic virtue as the key to the citizens' well being. The theory of government based upon this Renaissance study of the past is known as classical republicanism. Other elements the classical republics shared was the central importance of citizenship. The percent of the population that were citizens was quite limited, but they also had important burdens such as military service. The focus on civil virtue also meant that little attention was paid to individual liberties in these states.

Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world. It is the period in which Greek and Roman society flourished and wielded great influence throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

It is conventionally taken to begin with the earliest-recorded Greek poetry of Homer (8th–7th century BC), and continues through the emergence of Christianity and the decline of the Roman Empire (5th century AD). It ends with the dissolution of classical culture at the close of Late Antiquity (AD 300–600), blending into the Dark Ages (AD 600–1000). Such a wide sampling of history and territory covers many disparate cultures and periods. "Classical antiquity" may refer also to an idealised vision among later people of what was, in Edgar Allan Poe's words, "the glory that was Greece, the grandeur that was Rome!"

Political philosophy is the study of such topics as politics, liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why (or even if) they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it should take and why, what the law is, and what duties citizens owe to a legitimate government, if any, and when it may be legitimately overthrown, if ever. In a vernacular sense, the term "political philosophy" often refers to a general view, or specific ethic, political belief or attitude, about politics that does not necessarily belong to the technical discipline of philosophy. In short, political philosophy is the activity, as with all philosophy, whereby the conceptual apparatus behind such concepts as aforementioned are analyzed, in their history, intent, evolution and the like.

Political science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, nation, government, and politics and policies of government. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior, culture. Political scientists "see themselves engaged in revealing the relationships underlying political events and conditions, and from these revelations they attempt to construct general principles about the way the world of politics works." Political science intersects with other fields; including economics, law, sociology, history, anthropology, public administration, public policy, national politics, international relations, comparative politics, psychology, political organization, and political theory. Although it was codified in the 19th century, when all the social sciences were established, political science has ancient roots; indeed, it originated almost 2,500 years ago with the works of Plato and Aristotle.

Political science is commonly divided into at least distinct sub-disciplines which together constitute the field:

Republicanism

Classical republicanism (also known as civic humanism) is a form of republicanism developed in the Renaissance inspired by the governmental forms and writings of classical antiquity, especially such classical writers as Aristotle, Polybius, and Cicero. Classical republicanism is built around concepts such as civil society, civic virtue and mixed government.

In the classical period itself the term republicanism did not exist, however the term res publica, which translates literally as "things public," was in usage. There were a number of theorists who wrote on political philosophy during this period such as Aristotle, Polybius, and Cicero, and their ideas became the essential core of classical republicanism. The ideology of republicanism blossomed during the Italian Renaissance, most notably in Florence, when a number of authors looked back to the classical period and used its examples to formulate ideas about ideal governance. One of the first reintroducing classical republicanism was Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527) in his later reflections.

An ideology is a set of conscious and unconscious ideas that constitute one's goals, expectations and actions. An ideology is a comprehensive vision, a way of looking at things (compare worldview) as in several philosophical tendencies (see political ideologies), or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all members of this society (a "received consciousness" or product of socialization).

Ideologies are systems of abstract thought applied to public matters and thus make this concept central to politics. Implicitly every political or economic tendency entails an ideology whether or not it is propounded as an explicit system of thought.

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