First published in 1986. Nations have a unity often described as 'cultural'; and within them there are divergences some of which are termed 'political'. But culture and politics do not, therefore, comprise two wholly distinct zones or orders of experience, the one marked by unity, the other by plurality. Unity and plurality interpenetrate.
These insights, which derive from the thinking of Herder, have been fundamental to the work of F. M. Barnard. In this volume a number of scholars contribute, in Barnardian vein, reflections on the tensions between unity and plurality in the history of ideas. The central underlying question is, in essence, ’what is the context of political life?’ The question remains of more importance than any single answer.