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Lua Nova: Revista de Cultura e Política

Print version ISSN 0102-6445On-line version ISSN 1807-0175

Abstract

FERREIRA, Bernardo. Between kratos and ethos: ethics, politics, and history in Friedrich Meinecke. Lua Nova [online]. 2017, n.100, pp.225-282. ISSN 1807-0175.  https://doi.org/10.1590/0102-225282/100.

The paper deals with the relations between ethics, politics, and history in the thought of Friedrich Meinecke, especially in his book Die Idee der Staatsräson in der neueren Geschichte (English edition: Machiavellism. The doctrine of raison d'État and its place in modern history), from 1924. It tries to situate this book in the wider context of Meinecke's previous historiographical work and in the tradition of German historicism. In his history of reason of state, Meinecke turns his attention once more to the relationship between ethics and politics, but with a new focus: he revises his previous position, which postulated the historical convergence between ethics and politics in the nation and state's struggle for self-determination. The reason of state history would show the opposite situation, namely, a tragic and insoluble tension between kratos and ethos. In this new context, the assertion of political power would be a condition and, simultaneously, an inescapable threat to the accomplishments of spirit and culture.

Keywords : Ethics; Politics; Historicism; Friedrich Meinecke; Reason of State.

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