Political Natality: The Rebirth of Beginning

  • Patricia Bowen-Moore


The category of natality includes a preliminary manifestation at birth — the première of a new creation and the capacity for beginning which is announced by the birth of a child. The coincidence of the beginner and a beginning is the meaning we assigned to primary natality; its factual content was given by the experiences of play and education by which the beginner experimented with the faculty for novelty as the capacity to commence projects and to insert unique interpretations in the world of the nursery. These nursery experiences of play and education were shown to be activities of a pre-political kind inasmuch as through them children were introduced to and prepared for the world of adulthood rather than the world of politics. Politics, to be sure, is not like the nursery and this for the most obvious of reasons: children are peers only to other children; they are still under the guidance of adult authority; the principle of political equality does not govern their relationships; the world of childhood is essentially private and self- contained; childhood interests and activities are not usually inspired by a comprehensive love and reverence for the world of human affairs. Politics is not like the nursery because in politics the principles of equality, distinctness and the attitude of amor mundi reign supreme and become the possibilities for those adults who partake of the political in a mature and responsible manner.


Political Actor Political Life Political Reality Human Affair Political Freedom 
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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© Patricia Bowen-Moore 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Bowen-Moore
    • 1
  1. 1.Nazareth College of RochesterRochesterUSA

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