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Humility and Political Ambition

Reflections on Abraham Lincoln (and a Couple Others You Might Know)

Can one be humbly ambitious? We are all too familiar with the damage of vicious and dehumanizing ambition in political, religious, and corporate settings. Even at a personal level, selfish ambition can be a destructive and demeaning force. Success at the expense of others finds no place in the ethics of Jesus. But is ambition always vicious? Philosopher Robert C. Roberts suggests that we might find a picture of virtuous and even humble political ambition in perhaps the most virtuous of presidents: Abraham Lincoln.

In this ebook from The Table, you’ll find:

  • A philosophical analysis of ambition as a species of pride.
  • An introduction of Abraham Lincoln’s political character throught the virtue of humility.
  • A consideration of Lincoln’s ambition; that it was a virtuous and humble political ambition.
  • A discussion of the 2016 presidential election season, considering the ambition of the two major party candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
  • A vision of servant leadership based in human rational-moral nature in light of Philippians 2.
  • Two practical suggestions for leaders to acquire humility that leads to virtuous ambition.