EDMUND BURKE’S IDEA OF REVOLUTION: A CRITICAL STUDY

Author: Obonyano Dickson Bonaventure
Department: Philosophy
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

The present thesis offers a hermeneutical interpretation of Edmund Burke’s idea of revolution. By contrast to the existing literature; it studies Burke’s work as a purposive intervention in a domestic problem complex that turned upon the ways in which the French Revolution was refracted in various British contexts of argument. The thesis illustrates Burke’s alarm at these developments, which he perceived as constituting a democratic threat to Britain’s mixed constitutions; such fears were compounded by the political behavior of his moderate contemporaries, many of whom embraced natural rights arguments that were at odds with their aristocratic conceptions of politics. The thesis investigates Burke’s response to these dilemmas by situating his ideas on the French Revolution; it is here that Burke’s idea on revolution stands to affect a corrective measure to the excesses of revolution as a ‘check and balance’ principle to register its impact in the history of humanity. This work does not aim at deconstructing structures and systems that govern human existence the result rather highlights those structures that barely aids for progressive existence of humanity amidst socio-political environments, depersonalizing his personality and those that perpetrate debasement of man’s worth and dignity in the society he finds himself. Finally, it also provides possible ways of checking the excesses of revolution in our present generation.

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