• Blond Phillip
doi: 10.32575/ppb.2021.2.7


This paper studies in parallel the history of empire and the development of universals. It uses as its preliminary orientation the work of Eric Voegelin who argued that universals develop in history alongside and through universalising empires. We find this basic contention highly credible as it is empires that force us to develop cognitive approaches that encompass both colonised and coloniser in any subsequent social structure. So conceived, the paper then argues that empires are synonymous with human history as such and that even those entities (such a Greek city states) which are eulogised for escaping this logic are on examination no less imperial than the empires they oppose. The paper then argues that the development of universals is not a byproduct of empire but rather that it drives imperial expansion in the first place. It seeks to argue that ideation is the casual factor in human history, social structures and behaviour. It argues contra thinkers like Francis Fukuyama, there is no biological foundation for the qualitative distinctions of civilisation, rather the paper contends that the origin of civilisation lies in human conceptuality not human biology, locality or indeed any other material force impinging on life. So configured, the paper then concludes that the primary political question lies in bringing together the question of the good with empire – a process most advanced in human history by Christianity.


Christianity Empire Nationialism Fukuyama Greek city states universals Voegelin


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