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This volume studies the concept of a political 'language', of a discourse composed of shared vocabularies, idioms and rhetorical strategies, which has been widely influential on recent work in the history of political thought. The collection brings together a number of essays by a distinguished group of international scholars, on the four dominant languages in use in Europe between the end of the fourteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century. They are: the language of political Aristotelianism and the natural law; the language of classical republicanism; the language of commerce and the commercial society; and the language of a science of politics. Each author has chosen a single aspect of his or her language, sometimes the work of a single author, in one case the history of a single team, and shown how it determined the shape and development of that language, and the extent to which each language was a response to the challenge of other modes of discourse.
Cambridge University Press
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