Monday, December 9, 2019
Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine free essay sample
This essay compares the political philosophy of Edmund Burke with that of his leading critic, Thomas Paine. An essay which compares the political philosophy of Edmund Burke with that of his leading critic, Thomas Paine. It argues that Burkes philosophy was less a reaction to the French Revolution than an idealization of the English constitution which was created for the purpose of disarming those in England who might have drawn upon revolutionary principles to foster change at home. Paines philosophy is distinguished from Burkes chiefly by the fact that it takes a much more critical attitude to the past. Yet as praise for Burkes philosophy seems detached from any particular enthusiasm for the late 18th-century English state, it seems that Burkes political philosophy is routinely analyzed in a way that completely abstracts it from the political order it was intended to eulogize and exempt from further change. We will write a custom essay sample on Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not WasteYour Time HIRE WRITER Only 13.90 / page The problem with this abstract approach is that it bestows upon Burkes philosophy the power to legitimize any political order simply because it has subsisted into a venerable old age. In other words, if the Third Reich had lasted a thousand years, it would also be entitled to similar esteem as the fruit of generations of human wisdom. It is hard, however, to see the genuine wisdom in a philosophy which blithely ratifies the past, without developing clear criteria to distinguish between the parts which might be allowed to continue to subsist without harm, and those which will only yield harm if left uncorrected.