Skip to content Skip to footer

Human Nature And History

The characteristic problems of modern political theory are not “po- litical” problems. They are not problems of the state itself but prob- lems of the relation between the individual and the state. Even to translate polis as “state” obscures the change which took place when the individual emerged as the theoretically significant unit of political behavior, for this change involved not only a changed conception of the individual’s human nature but also a changed conception of his political relations to other men.

Additional information


Robert Denoon Cumming

Accession No




Number Of Pages



Maṉita iyalpu maṟṟum varalāṟu


The University Of Chicago Press

Publishing Year




Categories: , Tags: , Product ID: 25610


It is true that Mill will find that his principle of individuality is illustrated by “the whole stream of Greek history,” as a “series of ex- amples of how often events on which the whole destiny of subsequent civilization turned were dependent on the personal character for good or evil of some one individual.” But whatever may have been the role of the individual in Greek history, he does not play any decisive role in Plato’s or Aristotle’s political theory. Cicero’s Republic is the earliest surviving political theory which is largely composed of examples of how much depends on the personal character for good or evil of some one individual. The changed conception of human nature which is usually corre- lated with the emergence of the individual in modern political theory is the conception that “human nature is essentially selfish, and that the effective motives on which a statesman must rely are egoistic”-as Sabine puts it in his History of Political Theory .



There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Human Nature And History”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *