"Focusing on Aristotle and Hobbes, Habermas contrasts the classical and the modern conceptions of politics. The 'old doctrine of politics' has become alien to us in three respects. First, 'politics was understood to be the doctrine of the good and just life; it was the continuation of ethics. Aristotle saw no opposition between the constitution formulated in the nomoi and the ethos of civil life; conversely, the ethical character of action was not separable from custom and law. Only the politeia makes the citizen capable of the good life; and his is altogether a zoon politikon, in the sense that he is dependent on the city, the polis, for the realization of human nature' (TP, p. 42.).
Second, 'the old doctrine of politics referred exclusively to praxis in the narrow sense of the Greeks. This had nothing to do with techne, the skillful production of artifacts and expert mastery of objectified tasks. In the final instance, politics was always directed toward the formation and cultivation of character; it proceeded pedagogically and not technically' (TP, p. 42).21
Third, 'Aristotle emphasizes that politics, and practical philosophy in general, cannot be compared in its claim to knowledge with rigorous science or with apodictic episteme. For its subject matter, the Just and the Excellent in its context of a variable and contingent praxis, lacks ontological constancy as well as logical necessity. The capacity of practical philosophy is phronesis, a prudent understanding of the situation, and on this the tradition of a classical politics has continued to base itself, by way of the prudentia of Cicero, down to Burke's "prudence"' (TP, p. 42.)" (Bernstein 1995 :185-186).
Bernstein, Richard J.
1995 The Restructuring of Social and Political Theory. Philadelphia, PA: The University of Pennsylvania Press.
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