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Tuck’s Grotius: De Iure Praedae In Context

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores Richard Tuck's account of Hugo Grotius as the key innovator in the history that leads to the invention both of the free individual, protective of his or her rights, and of the modern liberal state, respectful of individuals' rights. Contextualism as a method for dealing with texts is discussed by way of a recent interview given by Tuck's teacher, Quentin Skinner. The attempt is made to see contextualism in context. The chapter describes the grounds of the possibility of Tuck's interpretation of Grotius, that is, to locate that interpretation in its own context and thereby to contextualize the contextualizer. Tuck presents his work as an exploration of a theory of government and the individual that lies at the root of present-day political institutions, for whose merits he feels more than nostalgia or antiquarian interest.

Keywords: Contextualism; Hugo Grotius; Quentin Skinner; Richard Tuck



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