Two generations of students inspired by Harvey Mansfield come together here to demonstrate how their diverse approaches illuminate the topic of the arts of rule and speak to the wide scope of Mansfield's contributions. The essays collected here cover both ancient and modern ground. The first section covers topics such as Xenophon's question of what it is to be a gentleman, Aristotle's view of friendship, Montaigne's account of the highest good, and Montesquieu's elevation of modesty. The second section engages Machiavelli's political theory and its influence on subsequent thinkers, such as Bacon, Hobbes, and Hume. Authors in the third section examine the sources, conditions, and practices of freedom in the context of modern politics, drawing on writers from Shakespeare to Tocqueville to shed light on contemporary debates. The arts of rule cover the exercise of power by princes and popular sovereigns, but they range beyond the domain of government itself, extending to civil associations, political parties, and religious institutions. Artful rule both directs the use of authority toward a specific end and posits a more comprehensive vision of the best way of life for human beings. Making full use of political philosophy and benefiting from a range of backgrounds, this collection recognizes that although the arts of rule are comprehensive, the best government is a limited one.
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About the Author
Mary Ann McGrail, who practices law in Washington, DC, is author of Tyranny in Shakespeare and editor of Shakespeare’s Plutarch. Sharon Krause is associate professor of political science at Brown University and author of Liberalism with Honor and Civil Passions: Moral Sentiment and Democratic Deliberation