The Metaphysics of Edmund Burke

Overview


The most recent commentators on Edmund Burke have renewed the charge that his political thought lacks the consistency and coherency necessary to even claim the status of a political philosophy and that he is indeed a utilitarian.They mark him off as an ideologist,a rhetorician,and a deliberate propagandist.Even Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, his most profound statement of a political philosophy, is regarded by some as a work of mere persuasion,not philosophy.All this occurs in spite of the ...
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Overview


The most recent commentators on Edmund Burke have renewed the charge that his political thought lacks the consistency and coherency necessary to even claim the status of a political philosophy and that he is indeed a utilitarian.They mark him off as an ideologist,a rhetorician,and a deliberate propagandist.Even Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France, his most profound statement of a political philosophy, is regarded by some as a work of mere persuasion,not philosophy.All this occurs in spite of the seminal work of Stanlis, Canavan, and Wilkins, who in the 1950s and '60s, demonstrated the natural law foundations of Burke's politics. Burke revisionists, forced to acknowledge his use of the natural law,label such use as a rhetorical means for utilitarian ends. Directly opposed to this renewed utilitarianinterpretation of Burke is Joseph Pappin's work The Metaphysics of Edmund Burke. Not only does this work challenge the utilitarianview of Burke, it sets out, as not other work on Burke has attempted to do, to make explicit the implicit metaphysical core of Burke's political thought.Pappin does this by examining both Burke's critics and Burke's own attack on a rationalist, ideologically inspired metaphysics. Drawing from Burke's vast writings, Pappin establishes as his goal to demonstrate that Burke's political philosophy is grounded in a realist metaphysic, one that is basically consonant with the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition.Does the author succeed? According to Francis Canavan, in his Foreword to this work, the explanatory keyof a realist metaphysics grounding Burke's politics is a key that fits the lock better than any other that scholars have offered.Canavan further holds that the author offers us a more thorough analysis of Burke's understanding of God, the creation, nature, man, and society than has previously appeared.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823213665
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2000
  • Edition description: 2
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Pappin is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Foreword
Introduction
1 Metaphysics and Politics 1
2 The Problem of a Burkean Metaphysics 11
3 The Case for Burke's Metaphysics 52
4 The Philosophy of God and Human Nature 102
5 The Metaphysical Elements of Teleology and Natural Law 139
6 Concluding Reflections: Metaphysical Nihilism and Radical Individualism 160
Selected Bibliography 175
Index 183
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