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The Metaphysics of Edmund Burke

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 Burkes 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 Burkes 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 "utilitarian" interpretation of Burke is Joseph Pappins work The Metaphysics of Edmund Burke. Not only does this work challenge the "utilitarian" view of Burke, it sets out, as not other work on Burke has attempted to do, "to make explicit the implicit metaphysical core of Burkes political thought." Pappin does this by examining both Burkes critics and Burkes own attack on a rationalist, ideologically inspired metaphysics. Drawing from Burkes vast writings, Pappin establishes as his goal "to demonstrate that Burkes 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 key" of a realist metaphysics grounding Burkes politics "is a key that fits the lock better than any other that scholars haveoffered." Canavan further holds that the author offers "us a more thorough analysis of Burkes understanding of God, the creation, nature, man, and society than has previously appeared."
The Metaphysics of Edmund Burke
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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.
Pappin is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Author
Joseph L. III Pappin
Short Title
METAPHYSICS OF EDMUND BURKE
Pages
188
Publisher
Fordham University Press
Language
English
ISBN-10
082321365X
ISBN-13
9780823213658
Media
Book
Format
Hardcover
DEWEY
320.520
Year
1993
Publication Date
1993-01-31
Imprint
Fordham University Press
Place of Publication
New York
Country of Publication
United States
Residence
AZ, US
Illustrations
black & white illustrations
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