Download An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Cambridge by Colin Bird PDF

By Colin Bird

Supplying a accomplished advent to political philosophy, this publication combines dialogue of ancient and modern figures, including various real-life examples. It levels over an surprisingly huge diversity of issues within the box, together with the simply distribution of wealth, either inside of international locations and globally; the character and justification of political authority; the that means and importance of freedom; arguments for and opposed to democratic rule; the matter of battle; and the grounds for toleration in public existence. It additionally bargains an available, non-technical dialogue of perfectionism, utilitarianism, theories of the social agreement, and of lately well known types of severe concept. all through, the e-book demanding situations readers to imagine severely approximately political arguments and associations that they could another way take without any consideration. it will likely be a provocative textual content for any scholar of philosophy or political technology.

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Extra info for An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy)

Sample text

As we shall see, Plato’s seminal proposal launched a distinctively perfectionist conception of political life, one later refined by his pupil Aristotle and still influential today. Having (in this chapter) described the contours of this classical perfectionist account of the common good, in the next we shall consider the most influential modern variant of the commongood approach, utilitarianism. That chapter ends with a critical discussion of some of the problems facing this approach as a whole.

These commitments, 3 Gallie (1956), pp. 168À9. 19 20 An Introduction to Political Philosophy moreover, are woven into the day-to-day practices of Atlantan public life À judges, citizens and public officials accept the Atlantan political system because they believe that it accords, broadly, with the desiderata of justice as they understand it. Still, as we know very well from our own societies, which are Atlantan in many ways, there is room for considerable disagreement about what these very broad commitments demand.

So, for Plato, the important question was not whether his model could ever actually be achieved, but rather whether it correctly represents the ideal archetype of a just society. If it does (admittedly a rather big ‘‘if ’’ in Plato’s case), it provides a basis for rationally discriminating among actually realizable conceptions of justice that approximate this ideal to greater or lesser degrees. That is how Plato himself proceeded in the Republic. 7 This enabled him to diagnose with some precision the respective merits and deficiencies of the different understandings of justice around which societies might revolve.

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