That perennial controversy over the role of "normative" theory in social science has apparently abated somewhat; however, it is just such occasions as these that send academic political scientists wringing their hands. The work of St. Thomas Aquinas is hardly considered to increase our knowledge of political phenomena; he was, after all, a friar, hardly a political man, and he wrote philosophy. That latter charge is meant as the clincher. What could he possibly contribute toward an understanding of the political?

The question is fair enough; and here I propose an analysis of his only explicit political work, On Kingship. In our own present high period of political monarchy, perhaps it would also be worthwhile to investigate one man’s conception of and arguments for kingship as the “right” form of government. Apparently, we have got to learn to live with it.



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