Re c o n s i d e r at i o n s Jacques Maritain I: Nation, Body Politic, and State There is no more thankless task than trying rationally to distinguish and to circumscribe--in other words, trying to raise to a scientific or philosophical level--common notions that have arisen from the contingent practical needs of human history and are laden with social, cultural, and historical connotations as ambiguous as they are fertile, and which never theless envelop a core of intelligible meaning. Such concepts are nomadic, not fixed; they are shifting and fluid. Now they are used synonymously, now in opposition to one another. Everybody is the more at ease in using them as he does not know exactly what they mean. But as soon as one tries to define them and separate them from one another, hosts of problems and difficulties arise. One runs the risk of being switched onto a wrong track while attempting to bring out the truth, and to make analytical and systematic what has been conveyed to him by confused experience and concrete life. The preceding remarks apply strikingly to the notions of Nation, Body Politic (or Political Society), and State.Yet
Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture – Logos: Journal of Catholic Thought & Culture
Published: Apr 3, 2008
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