The previous chapter outlined two different modes of contemplation and action. In the first mode, both are powered by the ‘mill-race’ of the individual consciousness. In the second, human practices are likened to the ‘dry wall’ composed of contingently related occurrences. In both cases, politics is concerned with the possibility of change, while change is recognized as being possible due to the ‘historical’ understanding of human associations as human inventions. Yet politics in the ‘mill-race’ mode (Collingwood) is an activity which brings about the progressive conversion of individuals and their associations to the condition of civility, while politics in the ‘dry wall’ mode (Oakeshott) is a procedure meant to increase (or maintain) the overall coherence of the already existing practice of civility. This way or another, politics is meaningful only in relation to civility and the question of this chapter is that of the location of the practice of civility in the world of states.
KeywordsEurope Milling Coherence Assure Abate
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