Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Spirit of Modern Republicanism by Thomas L. Pangle

Our tastes or the things in which we take pleasure may be shifting; we may be endowed by nature with no clear order or hierarchy of inclinations; variety and change may in themselves be a chief constituent of human delight; but the pleasures we take in independence, or in the belief in our independence, would seem to be a relatively constant and a principal ingredient of human happiness. And this natural yearning for independence is most fully realized in the human being who is rational because educated according to the principles of Locke's treatise on education. Such a person understands his longing for independence, and lives in the light of this understanding: he sees that the longing for independence is truly fulfilled through the reasonable regulation of all the passions. Lockean man takes pride in this self-conscious, rational independence. It is here that he finds the source of his dignity. It is here that he finds the source of the grace or beauty of humanity, in himself and others...(Pangle, Thomas L. The Spirit of Modern Republicanism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), pg. 264)

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