The Concept of the Political: Expanded Edition

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University of Chicago Press, Dec 1, 2008 - Philosophy - 162 pages
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In this, his most influential work, legal theorist and political philosopher Carl Schmitt argues that liberalism’s basis in individual rights cannot provide a reasonable justification for sacrificing oneself for the state—a critique as cogent today as when it first appeared. George Schwab’s introduction to his translation of the 1932 German edition highlights Schmitt’s intellectual journey through the turbulent period of German history leading to the Hitlerian one-party state. In addition to analysis by Leo Strauss and a foreword by Tracy B. Strong placing Schmitt’s work into contemporary context, this expanded edition also includes a translation of Schmitt’s 1929 lecture “The Age of Neutralizations and Depoliticizations,” which the author himself added to the 1932 edition of the book. An essential update on a modern classic, The Concept of the Political, Expanded Edition belongs on the bookshelf of anyone interested in political theory or philosophy.


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The specific political distinction to which political actions and motives can be reduced is that between friend and enemy. The political enemy need not be morally evil or aesthetically ugly; he need not appear as an economic competitior. Read full review


Introduction by George Schwab
Translators Note to the 1976 Edition
The Concept of the Political by Carl Schmitt
The Age of Neutralizations and Depoliticizations 1929 by Carl Schmitt
Notes on Carl Schmitt The Concept of the Political by Leo Strauss
Index of Names

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About the author (2008)

Carl Schmitt (1888–1985) was a legal and political theorist and constitutional lawyer. He was the author of many books, including Political Theology, which the University of Chicago Press recently reprinted.

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