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Voegelin and Aristotle on Nous: What Is Noetic Political Science?

David D. Corey
The Review of Politics
Vol. 64, No. 1 (Winter, 2002), pp. 57-79
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1408694
Page Count: 23
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Voegelin and Aristotle on Nous: What Is Noetic Political Science?
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Abstract

The article examines Voegelin's understanding of nous as the ground for theorizing, and relates this back to Aristotle. Aristotle is shown to have understood the activities of nous in two distinct ways. On the one hand, nous is the divine activity of the soul exploring its own ground. But nous is also induction (epagôgê) of the first principles of science through sense perception, memory and experience. The two basic activities of nous are related, but they have different values when it comes to the world of particulars. The argument is that a substantive ethical and political science-one that sheds light on particulars-must include the inductive employment of nous and that the exclusion of this from Voegelin's political science results in some discernible limitations.

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