U.S. Intellectual History Blog

With More Audacity

“The citizen must have a theory of knowledge which allows great latitude for public decisions upon public events.  To attempt the erection of a civic way of life upon epistemological foundations which allow the recognition only of universal order and particular traditions is to be hampered by certain limitations.  It can be argued that the history of Florentine political thought is the history of a striking but partial emancipation from these limitations.” — Pocock, 50. This is the kernel of Pocock’s argument in The Machiavellian Moment.  Both law and custom are insufficient to prepare a republic to respond to new Read more