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Inventing Human ScienceEighteenth-Century Domains$
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Christopher Fox, Roy Porter, and Robert Wokler

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780520200104

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520200104.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

The Enlightenment Science of Politics

The Enlightenment Science of Politics

(p.323) Eleven The Enlightenment Science of Politics
Inventing Human Science

Robert Wokler

University of California Press

Political science was manifestly not invented in the Enlightenment and may in fact be the oldest of all the human sciences. Indeed, so striking for much of its career since classical Greece, the science of politics has apparently sifted the base metal of human nature rather than refined the ore that at its birth gave it a special luster. Two main lines of enquiry, largely distinct but occasionally connected even within the same works, were pursued by eighteenth-century political scientists: on the one hand, the theoretical study of the principles of legislation, authority, and the structure of government; on the other, the analysis of political behavior and development, including the forces that drive individuals to personal domination or collective action, and societies to historical change.

Keywords:   political science, classical Greece, politics, legislation, political behavior, historical change

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