Hobbes and America: Exploring the Constitutional Foundations (Heritage) (Paperback)

Hobbes and America: Exploring the Constitutional Foundations (Heritage) By Frank Coleman Cover Image
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This path-breaking study seriously shakes the credibility of the

prevalent interpretations of American government and politics. It exposes the real

American constitutional morality, one embodied in a code adhered to by those in

political life.

Frank Coleman makes a persuasive case that the real roots of

the American political system are in Hobbes, and not, as is usually thought, in

Locke. He shows that a Hobbesian interpretation fits the transactional, bargaining,

or conflict-management nature of American politics pointed out by all the empirical

political scientists, although this viewpoint is incompatible with the leading

philosophical interpretations of American constitutionalism.

In so far as the

American system and its rationale are Hobbesian, they are thereby incapable of

resolving social conflicts and of pursuing any common good. The leading theories,

particularly the reformist theories, are unable to absorb the teachings of empirical

political science - and to such an extent that one can speak of a pattern of

political schizophrenia prevailing in the political science


Coleman is no naive iconoclast: he has a thorough grasp and

appreciation of the traditions of political theory from Aristotle to Oakeshott: he

dissects his material meticulously, with coherence and integrity. His synthesis of

empirical and philosophical studies of political life sharpens our perceptions and

forces a re-evaluation of certain ideas and well-entrenched notions. Hobbes and

America has serious implications for understanding both American politics and, more

generally, western political experience and thought.

About the Author

Frank M. Coleman has taught politics at LaSalle College, Philadelphia.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781442639287
ISBN-10: 1442639288
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Publication Date: December 15th, 1977
Pages: 170
Language: English
Series: Heritage