Quotes by Quentin Skinner

"The history of philosophy, and perhaps especially of moral, social and political philosophy, is there to prevent us from becoming too readily bewitched. The intellectual historian can help us to appreciate how far the values embodied in our present way of life, and our present ways of thinking about those values, reflect a series of choices made at different times between different possible worlds. This awareness can help to liberate us from the grip of any one hegemonal account of those values and how they should be interpreted and understood. Equipped with a broader sense of possibility, we can stand back from the intellectual commitments we have inherited and ask ourselves in a new spirit of enquiry what we should think of them."
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"Харрингтон в Океании сходным
образом отсылает к «целому телу народа», а позже, в Поли-
тической системе, сообщает, что «форма правления соответ-
ствует образу человека». Особенно систематично применяет
эти традиционные образы Невилл, который создает из них
обрамление трех диалогов, образующих его Plato Redivivus.
Он начинает с того, что представляет нам трех персонажей,
один из которых — Благородный венецианец, член полити-
ческого тела, которое в данный момент наслаждается состоя-
нием наибольшего политического здоровья. Сам он, однако,
как мы узнаем, в последнее время несколько занемог и при-
ехал в Англию искать медицинского совета. Здесь мы пере-
ходим ко второму участнику диалогов — излечившему его
Доктору. Затем узнаем, что оба персонажа хотят выяснить у
третьего персонажа, Английского джентльмена, о расстрой-
ствах, которые беспокоят политическое тело его собственной
страны. Джентльмен честно им отвечает, что английское го-
сударство недавно пережило такую агонию, что едва не испу-
стило дух. Оставшаяся часть диалогов посвящена изложению
планов Джентльмена по восстановлению здоровья английс-
кого политического тела."
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"no such concepts can have definitions: they only have histories. But if they only have histories, then the only way to understand them is historically ― and that is what animates my work, the belief that if we are going to understand any of the concepts we use to organise our social, moral, and political world, we shall have to study them historically"
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"the concepts of libertas and libertà came to be employed ‘almost as technical terms of Florentine politics and diplomacy’ in the course of the fourteenth century, and that they were almost invariably used in order to express the same ideas of independence and self-government"
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"The intellectual historian can help us to appreciate how far the values embodied in our present way of life, and our present ways of thinking about those values, reflect a series of choices made at different times between different possible worlds."
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Books by Quentin Skinner

  • The Prince
  • 278,182 ratings
  • October 28th 1988 by Cambridge University Press

    (first published 1532)

  • Leviathan
  • 39,621 ratings
  • August 28th 1996 by Cambridge University Press

    (first published 1651)

  • The Taming Of Chance
  • 192 ratings
  • October 26th 1990 by Cambridge University Press

    (first published 1990)

Quentin Skinner
  • Quentin Skinner

  • Date of birth: November 26, 1940
  • Born: in The United Kingdom.

  • Description: Educated at Caius College, Cambridge, where he was elected to a Fellowship upon obtaining a double-starred first in History, Quentin Skinner accepted, however, a teaching Fellowship at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he taught until 2008, except for four years in the 1970s spent at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. In 1978 he was appointed to the chair of Political Science at Cambridge University, and subsequently regarded as one of the two principal members (along with J.G.A. Pocock) of the influential 'Cambridge School' of the history of political thought, best known for its attention to the 'languages' of political thought.

    Skinner's primary interest in the 1970s and 1980s was the modern idea of the state, which resulted in two of his most highly regarded works, The Foundations of Modern Political Thought: Volume I: The Renaissance and The Foundations of Modern Political Thought: Volume II: The Age of Reformation.

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