chapter  10
Social philosophy, politics, Utopia
Pages 34

In appearance, the social philosophy of the Renaissance was as undifferentiated as that of antiquity. Machiavelli, More, and Bodin produced, like Plato and Aristotle, works which dealt at one and the same time with ethics, political theory, economics, and legal theory. The resemblance, however, is only superficial. In the time of Plato and Aristotle science itself had not yet set out on the path of differentiation. But the beginnings of bourgeois society - which were at the same time the beginnings of the bourgeois division of labour - made possible, and even necessary, a process of differentiation among the ‘social sciences’. The immediate unity of economy, state, law, and ethics gave way increasingly to a mediated unity, and the discovery of their special, particular laws became a pressing scientific task. It was Machiavelli and Bodin above all who took up that task.