By Roger Scruton
This re-creation takes inventory of the innovative adjustments that experience taken position because the dictionary was once first released in 1982. 1790 entries conceal each point of political proposal supplying an crucial consultant to the concept, the knowledge and the folly of contemporary politics via probably the most lucid philosophers of our time.
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Greek: living under one's own laws; hence self-government. The following are important political applications of the idea: (i) Autonomy of the individual. This is captured by the doctrine that the *rational individual may, in the words of *Kant, 'will the maxim of his action as a law for himself. It is held that rational beings (or •persons) do not merely respond to the promptings of appetite and autonomy desire, but also to self-imposed commands, and this is what distinguishes free action from subjection to the 'laws of nature'.
See *babouvism. babouvism. Extreme •egalitarianism, along the lines proposed by Fran~is Babeuf (1760-97) in his Conspiracy of Equals. This was a leading document for 35 the secret societies of the nineteenth century, which advocated absolute equal· ity of incomes, and prepared the ground for conspiratorial and insurrectionary movements of *socialist persuasion. Bacon, Sir Francis (1561-1626). English philosopher, essayist, jurist, and Lord Chancellor. See *balance of power, •equity, *humanities.
3. The social aspect. This is perhaps most vivid in the popular imagination, which identifies aristocracy with all hereditary privilege and the leisure, luxury and manners generic to it. Hence aristocracy comes to stand for an idea of 'breeding', which has sometimes served as a rationalization of hereditary entitlement. There are aristocratic virtues and vices, and these have a distinct character in imaginative and moral thinking, exemplified in the mysteries of title that made it necessary for Dracula to be a count.
A Dictionary of Political Thought by Roger Scruton