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Man and the State Paperback – February 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0813209050 ISBN-10: 0813209056 Edition: New edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: The Catholic University of America Press; New edition edition (February 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813209056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813209050
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on December 13, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fine little piece of Maritain's work. Starting with the definitions of the body politic, state, nation, etc. Maritain elucidates the proper notion of authority in a democracy, an authority that can must be in accord with Natural Law. The chapter on human rights is worth the cost of the book itself, as the west is in dire need of a sound notion of human rights and ought to jettison the ilusory notions of such as promulgated and derived from the philosophies of Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau.
It is no surprise that Maritain played a significant role in drafting a charter on human rights with the United Nations. Read this work in conjunction with his other work entitled "Natural Law" and also Yves Simon's "Philosophy of Democratic Government"
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James E. Egolf VINE VOICE on July 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jacques Maritain (1882-1973)wrote this book after W.W. II, and it was published in 1951. This book was an optimistic yet practical view of political power and Ultimate Values or the Higher Law. Maritain argued that a practical view of political power and rights could work if men recognized such a state for their mutual benefit in spite of religious and political differences.

Maritain's opening sections of this book dealt with definitions of the nation, political state, nationalism, race, cultural influences, etc. Maritain argued that the state should be used to insure justice and maintain peace to protect citizens. The state became dangerous when it became adored and became an end of itself at the expense of justice and rights. In other words the state became dangerous when the state authorities were more concerned about protecting themselves than the rights of citizens. In other words, Maritain warned that the state became dangerous when it became an object of adoration rather than an instrument to insure justice and the safety of citizens. To paraphrase George Washington (1732-1799), the state was necessary like fire but dangerous when out of control.

Maritain warned readers of political "buzz words" of modern poltical vocabulary. For example, Maritain gave a warning of Rousseau's (1712-1778)book THE SOCIAL CONTRACT who claimed that reason gave men the freedom to be free of each other but not the General Will which was the will of the state. A good assessment was an explanation of Vox Popupli, Vox Dei or The Will of the People is the Will of God. One must ask what people and what if the Will of the People victimized those whom the state or General Will deemed as not worthy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Todd Fricke on January 19, 2014
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Man and the State is concerned with the relationships between the person, the body politic, and the state. Maritain draws on history, Thomistic philosophy, and political philosophy to present a vision of a future state that best serves the person, the common good, and preserves peace among nations.

The pain of World War II, communism, and the advent of the atomic bomb prompted Maritain to consider the relationship between man and the state. His assessment that dictatorships reliant on oppression could not survive was proved by actual events. The world has changed since this book was written; most notably the fall of communism and the establishment of democracies in many countries throughout the world. These changes verify the validity of the ideas presented in this book.

Man and the State is grounded in reason, sober in expectation, and rich in hope. I recommend it to anyone with an interest in political philosophy.
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By rico on August 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has opened my eyes to the general nature of the government and the governed. Or as the title says, Man and the State. An eye opening perspective covering such grounds as the community, society , body politic, state , soveriegnty and touches on international law. A healthy philosophical outlook.
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By carlos zeitoune on December 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
An essencial reading for those who are still trying to understand (or getting less dummie) in the state's creation and functioning stuff, going through its origins, albeit under a specific point of view, in order to compare with other dense thinkers. I strongly recommend it.
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