The crisis of western civilization is a crisis of public philosophy. This is the charge of Public Philosophy and Political Science, a stunning new collection of essays edited by E. Robert Statham Jr. Vividly cataloging the decay of the moral and intellectual foundations of civic liberty, the book portrays a generation of Americans alienated from institutions built on public philosophy. The work exposes the failure of America's political scientists to acknowledge and understand this alarming crisis in the American body politic. The distinguished contributors examine the evolution of public philosophy; the inextricable relationship between politics and philosophy; and the interplay between public philosophy, the constitution, natural law, and government. They reveal the dire threat to deliberative democracy and the fundamental order of constitutional society posed by public philosophy's waning power to refine, cultivate, and civilize. The work is an indictment of a society which has discarded a way of life rooted in natural law, democracy and the traditions of civility; and is a denunciation of an educated elite that has divorced itself from the standards upon which public philosophy rests. It is essential reading for philosophers and political and social scientists seeking to resurrect the standards of American public life.
E. Robert Statham Jr has brought together a diverse and interesting array of perspectives on the relation between the current 'crisis of public philosophy' and the discipline of political science. Commentators who question contemporary political 'science' from the 'outsider' perspective of classical political philosophy or natural law rub shoulders with others who emphasize, in different ways, the failure of political scientists to make an effective contribution to the renewal of public philosophy. Anyone who wishes to reflect seriously on this ongoing 'crisis' needs to confront the questions raised so well in this volume.--Christopher Wolfe, Marquette University