The Politics of Johannes Althusius. An abridged translation of the Third Edition of. POLITICA METHODICE DIGESTA, ATQUE EXEMPLIS SACRIS ET PROFANIS. After philosophic and legal studies in Switzerland, Althusius was a professor at the “Politica methodice digesta atque exemplis sacris et profanis illustrata”. According to Althusius, the purpose of the state is to protect and encourage social life. The family is the most natural of human associations, and all other unions.

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We should make sure that we render to each science politicca due suum cuique and not claim for our own what is alien to it. Therefore I must acknowledge a degree of arbitrariness in this endeavor.

In part this rendered him less useful during the modern epoch when his unbending Calvinist emphasis on the necessary links among religion, state, and society, ran counter to the development of the modern secular state. Meyer of the University of Chicago, who critically assisted it along the way; to Father Stanley Parry of Notre Dame University, who, by making his unpublished translation of the Politica available to me at an earlier stage in my labors, kindly aided it; to Decherd H.

In other words, they are participants or partners in a common life.

Online Library of Liberty

The analysis of ecclesiastical administration contains the arguments for a religious covenant between the commonwealth and God that Althusius adapts from Junius Brutus. Johannes Althusius — was a German political and legal philosopher. Brandon marked it as politixa Nov 15, For reasons of homogeneity, we must not leap readily across boundaries and limits, carrying from cognate arts what is only peripheral to our own.

The argument makes sense. Jessica added it May 06, These men have addressed themselves to a range of topics in Althusian scholarship that reflects the wide scope of his thought.

Of particular interest to the modern reader is Althusius’s theory of federalism. I have observed that philosophers have proposed from ethics many moral virtues by which they would like the statesman and prince to be equipped and informed. There is a sense in which his two functions of syndic and elder, coupled with capacities for leadership and hard work, enabled him to coordinate the civil and ecclesiastical jurisdictions of the city, and thus to exercise somewhat the same kind ;olitica influence in Altuhsius as Calvin did in Geneva.


The communication of skilled services consists, for the most part, in promoting the duties, business, and advantages of a craft, profession, or vocation, and in averting disadvantages. The other is Cicero, from whom he learned much about the nature of social life and the vocabulary of politics. Theologians who have been of this sort have Edition: If there is no explicit covenant, then an implicit one is assumed in the continuing consent of Edition: Aug 16, W. By means of these precepts, charity becomes effective in various good works.

The particular association is encompassed Edition: He appeared in at Cologne, where he apparently studied the writings of Aristotle. He is therefore either a beast or a god, as Aristotle asserts.

With this prayer I close this preface. Therefore, it resides in the organized Edition: This essay qlthusius not pretend to be able to make that adaption or synthesis. The purpose is to show as clearly as possible the connotations Althusius probably had in mind in using the quotations. The grand designs of Emanuel Kant 3 and Martin Buber 4 draw heavily on that vision.

In these things that are merely voluntary nothing ought to be done unless all consent, not separately and at different times, but corporately and unanimously.

Where invention had previously been understood as the processes for combining predicates with subjects in debatable propositions, under the influence of Ramism it also came to denote the processes for determining what material belongs to subjects as scholarly disciplines.

These causes have built villages, established cities, founded academic institutions, and united by civil unity and society a diversity of farmers, craftsmen, laborers, polltica, soldiers, merchants, learned and unlearned men and so many members of the althksius body. For a listing of the sources contained in the entire Latin work, see the index in Latin that Carl J.

Their jurisdiction, however, must not infringe on the public jurisdiction, nor extend to those matters that are rightfully prohibited. Certainly I have attempted to flee from and avoid those things I reprove in others, and to add what I have found missing in them. Upon receiving his doctorate, he was called to the Reformed Academy at Herborn as a member of the faculty of law.

Johannes Althusius

So in those matters that are to be done necessarily by the collegium, a majority is certainly sufficient, provided that in making althusous two-thirds of the collegium is present. You excel in erudition, excellent doctrine and precise judgment, not to mention other eminent talents with which God has equipped you.

Nevertheless, all arts in their use and practice are often united, indeed, I should have said always united. He is opposed, for the same reason, to weak and vacillating rule. The family is the most natural of human associations, and all other unions derive from it.


By the time Althusius began his formal studies inthe Dutch Revolt against Spain had already come to a head, and it was not to be settled until Dutch independence was recognized in The right that is communicated is in part common to all associations, in part special to each type of association, and in althuskus particular to each individual association.

The same can be said about the political remedies, advice, and precepts adapted to place, althjsius, and person that I lolitica in various places. So I have concluded that where the political scientist ceases, there the jurist begins, just as xlthusius the moralist stops the theologian begins, and Edition: It is politics that teaches what the spouses, paterfamilias, materfamilias, servants, and attendants may contribute and communicate apthusius themselves—and what the kinsmen among themselves—in order that private and domestic social life may be piously and justly fulfilled.

Althusius’s federalist model helped renew my love for political theory, and my faith in the possibilities of politics. The communication, or communion, that occurs in the commonwealth is, of course, both ecclesiastical and secular.

We turn now to types of association or of symbiotic life. He then proceeds by dividing and repeatedly subdividing the subject matter, Edition: Many of slthusius items of this list have been personally examined through the graciousness of a number of American libraries; the standard bibliographic catalogues and reference works have been consulted for others; and great care has been taken to make this list as accurate as possible.

Project MUSE – Politica

When references have been retained, however, they have been reduced as far as possible to footnotes. I concede that the prince or supreme magistrate is the altuhsius, administrator, and overseer of these rights.

The first is that I have experienced difficulty althusiys separating juridical matters from this science. But there are more of the latter than the former, as even David in his time complained in Psalms 52, 53, and Preview — Politica by Johannes Althusius.