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A defense of rule : origins of political thought in Greece and India

Author: Stuart Gray
Publisher: New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2017] ©2017
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"At its core, politics is all about relations of rule. Accordingly one of the central preoccupations of political theory is what it means for human beings to rule over one another or share in a process of ruling. While political theorists tend to regard rule as a necessary evil, this book aims to explain how rule need not be understood as anathema to political life. Rather, by looking at some of the earliest  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Gray, Stuart.
Defense of rule.
New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2017
(DLC) 2017004118
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Stuart Gray
ISBN: 9780190636319 0190636319
OCLC Number: 964292775
Description: xxvi, 274 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Introduction: Historical-Comparative Political Theory --
1. Homer: Ruling as Distinction --
2. Hesiod: Critique, Poetic Justice, and the Increasing Anthropocentrism of Greek Rule --
3. Vedic Political Thought: Hierarchy, Connectedness, and Cosmology --
4. Vedic Saṃhitās and Brāhmaṇas: Ruling as Stewardship --
5. Comparative Considerations on the Meaning of Rule --
Conclusion: Panocracy as a New Vision of Rule.
Responsibility: Stuart Gray.

Abstract:

"At its core, politics is all about relations of rule. Accordingly one of the central preoccupations of political theory is what it means for human beings to rule over one another or share in a process of ruling. While political theorists tend to regard rule as a necessary evil, this book aims to explain how rule need not be understood as anathema to political life. Rather, by looking at some of the earliest traditions of political thought we can rethink rule in ways that evoke stewardship rather than domination. Gray argues that hierarchical ideas about rule coevolved with political divisions between the human and non-human in western theory. The earliest discernible Greek thought advanced an instrumental relationship between humans and their environment, a position that has persisted into our current age. While this seems a defensible position, this book points out that such instrumental understandings of the nonhuman world have gotten us into serious trouble, including problems of deforestation, global warming, rising sea levels, species loss, and peak oil. To rethink the concept of rule, the book turns to early Indian political thought that suggests that rule is a relationship predicated on stewardship. The book compares these two traditions of thought in order to suggest that we have a normative duty to the environment, and thus to act in a way that takes the interests of non-human nature into account. Basing his argument on his own original translations of primary sources in ancient Greek and Sanskrit, the author shows when and how early concepts of rule evolved to justify divisions between the human and nonhuman. In doing so, he argues for a reconsideration of our duties toward the nonhuman natural world"--

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"Combining wide-ranging expertise in the history of political thought with exegetical brilliance and analytical sharpness, Stuart Gray reminds us that we can expand our political imagination by Read more...

 
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