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NL XXIX: External Politics

Index to this series

Executive summary (added September 13, 2018): External politics—dealing with other bodies politic—is the third stage of political life, after the forming of societies (as if by marriage), and their coming to rule over non-social communities (as if by having children) in the formation of a body politic. Since dialectic has been used in the first two stages, it can be used in the third. Thus, being the eristic of external politics, war has no psychological cause. Still, war is a state of mind, which does not think non-agreement can become agreement. Pacifism has this state of mind.

External politics are international relations. These represent a third “stage” in political life (29. 1):

  1. The first stage is the the joining of wills into a society, which rules itself (29. 11).
  2. The second stage is such a society’s ruling over a non-social community in a body politic (29. 12).
  3. The third stage is dealing with other bodies politic (29. 13).

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NL I: “Body and Mind”

“Body and Mind” is the opening chapter of Collingwood’s New Leviathan. The chapter is a fine work of rhetoric that could stand on its own, though it invites further reading. In these respects it resembles the first of the ten traditional books of Plato’s Republic, or even the first of the thirteen books of Euclid’s Elements. The analogy with Euclid becomes a bit tighter when we consider that each chapter of The New Leviathan is divided into short paragraphs, which are numbered sequentially for ease of reference.

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