Published Humanitas, Volume VI No. 1, 1992-1993
The Catholic University of America
Edmund Burke: The Enlightenment and Revolution, by Peter J. Stanlis, with a foreword by Russell Kirk. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1991. 259pp. $34.95.
Professor Peter Stanlis has done perhaps more than any other scholar of this century to explicate the thought of Edmund Burke as both philosopher and statesman. His Edmund Burke and the Natural Law, first published in 1958, did much to dispel the myth propagated by nineteenth-century utilitarian and positivist scholars that Burke was opposed to the classical and Christian natural law tradition. Edmund Burke: The Enlightenment and Revolution, based on Professor Stanlis’ chief articles and critical review essays on Burke over the past 40 years, continues this work.
Stanlis begins by discussing what he sees as the cardinal principles of Edmund Burke’s political thought—“the moral Natural Law; the political sovereignty of constitutional law and legal prescription; prudence as the supreme principle in practical politics; a corporate and Christian view of human nature; and a providential as well as an empirical conception of history.” In discussing these principles…
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