Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Korab-Karpowicz, W. Julian. Tractatus Politico-Philosophicus

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Korab-Karpowicz, W. Julian. Tractatus Politico-Philosophicus

Article excerpt

KORAB-KARPOWICZ, W. Julian. Tractatus Politico-Philosophicus. Kety: Marek Derewiecki, 2015. 239 pp.--In his new book Tractatus Politico-Philosophicus, Korab-Karpowicz returns to the classical tradition of Western political thought and argues that politics "is the ability to actualize a good life for a society." The main goal of politics is the prosperity of the people. The book ends with "Seven Principles of a Happy Society." In order for a happy or prosperous society to exist, cooperation is needed among individuals and groups. While Hans Moregenthau defines politics as a struggle for power, for Korab-Karpowicz, this is only a secondary meaning: "The struggle for power--the conflict occurring both in the internal relations of a state and in international relations--is not the essence of politics, nor' does it define politics; it is only one of its components." Is not the struggle for power, which leads to conflict and allows stronger entities to dominate over the weaker ones, a necessary outcome of human nature? Korab-Karpowicz claims that it is not. "Human nature is unalterable," but that does not mean human beings cannot morally improve themselves or become more brutal. Whether people cooperate with or dominate one another largely depends on their own choices. They can "control their desires, and create moral principles governing their conduct." Therefore, there is hope for the moral development of humankind. What makes this more likely is that similarities we share outnumber our differences: "All people have the same basic needs and are endowed with the same mental powers, though in unequal degrees. All have the same goal, which is self-realization, although it may be expressed in different ways."

The goals that human beings pursue are determined by inherent values, and since these values are subject to self-reflection, they can be altered. Ultimately, we all strive toward "self-realization, although it may be expressed [and understood] in different ways." However, proper leadership is required. According to Korab-Karpowicz, the most qualified political leaders must have not only knowledge of several specialized areas, including security, foreign policy, strategy, and economics, but also the in-depth understanding of human nature and the highest goals of human beings, the sources of which are philosophy and religion. Since such qualified leaders are usually lacking in today's democracies, he proposes a new ennobled democracy, which he calls "sophoeracy." It is a political system that combines within itself the values of freedom and wisdom. The greatest vice of many today's democracies, he claims, is the usurpation of government by the unqualified and unfit. "In a society where there is no room for wisdom and nobility, political power is gained by the worst."

Korab-Karpowicz's Tractatus is a unique and ambitious philosophical work that aims to reexamine the values that lie at the foundation of today's societies and to solve some of our most urgent problems. …

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