Edmund Burke

Overview

Edmund Burke: Modernity, Politics, and Aesthetics examines the philosophy of Burke in view of its contribution to our understanding of modernity. Burke's relevance, until recently, has lain in how his critique of the French Revolution bolstered arguments against revolutionary communism. As that threat recedes, should we allow Burke's significance to recede as well? Stephen K. White argues that Burke remains important because he shows us how modernity engenders an implicit forgetfulness of human finitude. White ...

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Overview

Edmund Burke: Modernity, Politics, and Aesthetics examines the philosophy of Burke in view of its contribution to our understanding of modernity. Burke's relevance, until recently, has lain in how his critique of the French Revolution bolstered arguments against revolutionary communism. As that threat recedes, should we allow Burke's significance to recede as well? Stephen K. White argues that Burke remains important because he shows us how modernity engenders an implicit forgetfulness of human finitude. White illustrates this theme by showing how Burke's political thought, his judgment of the 'modern system of morality and policy,' and its taste for a 'false sublime' are structured by his aesthetics. In the late 20th century, an undemocratic thinker such as Burke may not have answers to our problems, but we might do well to let him deepen the questions that we ask.

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Editorial Reviews

Romand Coles
This book offers a reading of Burke that wrests him from his typical defenders and detractors in a way that is provocative and profoundly compelling. By illuminating Burke's political reflections through the lens of his aesthetic writings on the sublime, White brilliantly reveals Burke to be a thinker who offers political and ethical insights of great significance for contemporary reflections on the dangers and possibilities of modernity. This is White's most artfully written book, and it further establishes him as one of the freshest theorists writing today. His thinking cuts across the boundaries of pre-modernism, modernism, and post-modernism in ways which offer a perspective that is invaluable for political reflection and usually concealed by less subtle intellects.
Political Theory - David Bromwich
"Excellent ... written from a depth of engagement impossible to fake."
American Political Science Review - Linda M. G. Zerilli
"White enriches our understanding of how aesthetics came to structure the whole of Burke's critique of modernity."
Booknews
This is a new edition of a 1994 book (Sage Publications), with a new introduction by the series editor (Morton Schoolman) and a new preface. White (political science, Virginia Polytechnic and State University) looks at what meaning Burke's ideas can have for people today, examining his work in light of an aesthetic language as set forth in his , written in 1757. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Political Theory
Excellent ... written from a depth of engagement impossible to fake.
— David Bromwich
American Political Science Review
White enriches our understanding of how aesthetics came to structure the whole of Burke's critique of modernity.
— Linda M. G. Zerilli
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742521353
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2002
  • Series: Modernity and Political Thought Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen K. White teaches in the Department of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 The Sublime, the Beautiful, and the Political Chapter 3 Interpreting the Political World Chapter 4 Confronting the French Revolution Chapter 5 Conclusion

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