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ANNO DUEMILA: IL SAPERE POLITICO È ANCORA "ARCHITETTONICO"?

Anna Maria Lazzarino Del Grosso
Il Politico
Vol. 65, No. 4 (195) (Ottobre-Dicembre 2000), pp. 497-516
Published by: Rubbettino Editore
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24007285
Page Count: 20
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ANNO DUEMILA: IL SAPERE POLITICO È ANCORA "ARCHITETTONICO"?
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Abstract

The view of political knowledge as "architectural" knowledge comes from Plato and, above all, from Aristotle. This view influenced successive reflections on politics up to the late modern era and in some cases has influenced it up to the present day. The classical view of the architectural nature of politics involves the idea that political knowledge is the most noble of the forms of knowledge necessary to man, inasmuch as it is knowledge both of the final end of the community and individuals and of the way to realize that end, and places itself at the top of a hierarchy of practical sciences the direction and coordination of which is the job of the politician. In the centuries following the classical era, this vivid metaphor took on new meanings, drawing on further aspects of the Platonic-Aritotelian notion of political science. Aquinas suggested that the higher end involving the architectural nature of political knowledge is nevertheless an earthly end, and as such subordinate to the end of spiritual salvation. In the modern era, political knowledge is ever more clearly classified as a set of skills useful for the pursuit of objectives conducive to the general good or in any case included in the ever-increasing range of activities and functions proper to the modern State. The reference to the architectural in this new context is meant, essentially, to imply the capacity to know, organize and control, from a critical perspective, the complex of social factors that condition the various areas of legislative and governmental intervention. In terms of method, we can already see in Bodin that need for an interdisciplinary approach corresponding to the contemporary version of the idea of the architectural in politics. It is this need that inspired the formation of the first Faculties of Political Science in Italy and which has become a crucial part of their identity - an identity that is still present today and the recognition of which is evident in the new classes of degree course in political and social studies laid down in recent ministerial decrees.

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