Great Political Thinkers Plato to the Present(Full Version).pdf - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or view presentation slides online. Get this from a library! Great political thinkers: Plato to the present.. [William Ebenstein]. [Matching item] Great political thinkers: Plato to the present /. - 3rd ed. [Matching item] Great political thinkers: Plato to the present / William Ebenstein, Alan Ebenstein. [Matching item] Great political thinkers: Plato to the present / William Ebenstein, Alan O.
|Language:||English, Spanish, Hindi|
|Genre:||Children & Youth|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Register to download]|
PDF download for Book Reviews: Great Political Thinkers: Plato to the Present. By, Article Information. No Access. Article Information. Volume: 13 issue: 3. online ebook library. download now great political thinkers plato present pdf file for free from our online library great political thinkers plato to the present alan. read online: great political thinkers plato present pdf reading is a hobby that can not be denied, because reading is add knowledge about many things. great.
At the same time, social democratic parties won elections and formed governments for the first time, often as a result of the introduction of universal suffrage. In continental Europe, on the other hand, the postwar decades saw a huge blossoming of political philosophy, with Marxism dominating the field. Communism remained an important focus especially during the s and s. Colonialism and racism were important issues that arose.
In general, there was a marked trend towards a pragmatic approach to political issues, rather than a philosophical one. Much academic debate regarded one or both of two pragmatic topics: how or whether to apply utilitarianism to problems of political policy, or how or whether to apply economic models such as rational choice theory to political issues.
The rise of feminism , LGBT social movements and the end of colonial rule and of the political exclusion of such minorities as African Americans and sexual minorities in the developed world has led to feminist, postcolonial , and multicultural thought becoming significant. This led to a challenge to the social contract by philosophers Charles W. Mills in his book The Racial Contract and Carole Pateman in her book The Sexual Contract that the social contract excluded persons of colour and women respectively.
In Anglo-American academic political philosophy, the publication of John Rawls 's A Theory of Justice in is considered a milestone.
Rawls used a thought experiment , the original position , in which representative parties choose principles of justice for the basic structure of society from behind a veil of ignorance. Rawls also offered a criticism of utilitarian approaches to questions of political justice.
Robert Nozick 's book Anarchy, State, and Utopia , which won a National Book Award , responded to Rawls from a libertarian perspective and gained academic respectability for libertarian viewpoints. Most of these took elements of Marxist economic analysis, but combined them with a more cultural or ideological emphasis. Along somewhat different lines, a number of other continental thinkers—still largely influenced by Marxism—put new emphases on structuralism and on a "return to Hegel ".
Within the post- structuralist line though mostly not taking that label are thinkers such as Gilles Deleuze , Michel Foucault , Claude Lefort , and Jean Baudrillard. The Situationists were more influenced by Hegel; Guy Debord , in particular, moved a Marxist analysis of commodity fetishism to the realm of consumption, and looked at the relation between consumerism and dominant ideology formation. Another debate developed around the distinct criticisms of liberal political theory made by Michael Walzer , Michael Sandel and Charles Taylor.
The liberal - communitarian debate is often considered valuable for generating a new set of philosophical problems, rather than a profound and illuminating clash of perspective. Bell argue that, contra liberalism, communities are prior to individuals and therefore should be the center of political focus. Communitarians tend to support greater local control as well as economic and social policies which encourage the growth of social capital.
A pair of overlapping political perspectives arising toward the end of the 20th century are republicanism or neo- or civic-republicanism and the capability approach. The resurgent republican movement aims to provide an alternate definition of liberty from Isaiah Berlin 's positive and negative forms of liberty, namely "liberty as non-domination.
To a liberal, a slave who is not interfered with may be free, yet to a republican the mere status as a slave, regardless of how that slave is treated, is objectionable. Prominent republicans include historian Quentin Skinner , jurist Cass Sunstein , and political philosopher Philip Pettit.
The capability approach, pioneered by economists Mahbub ul Haq and Amartya Sen and further developed by legal scholar Martha Nussbaum , understands freedom under allied lines: the real-world ability to act.
Both the capability approach and republicanism treat choice as something which must be resourced. In other words, it is not enough to be legally able to do something, but to have the real option of doing it. Current emphasis on "commoditization of the everyday" has been decried by many contemporary theorists, some of them arguing the full brunt of it would be felt in ten years' time.
A prominent subject in recent political philosophy is the theory of deliberative democracy. Thomas Aquinas : In synthesizing Christian theology and Peripatetic Aristotelian teaching in his Treatise on Law , Aquinas contends that God's gift of higher reason—manifest in human law by way of the divine virtues—gives way to the assembly of righteous government.
Aristotle : Wrote his Politics as an extension of his Nicomachean Ethics. Notable for the theories that humans are social animals, and that the polis Ancient Greek city state existed to bring about the good life appropriate to such animals.
His political theory is based upon an ethics of perfectionism as is Marx 's, on some readings.
Mikhail Bakunin : After Pierre Joseph Proudhon , Bakunin became the most important political philosopher of anarchism. His specific version of anarchism is called collectivist anarchism. Jeremy Bentham : The first thinker to analyze social justice in terms of maximization of aggregate individual benefits. Isaiah Berlin : Developed the distinction between positive and negative liberty. Edmund Burke : Irish member of the British parliament, Burke is credited with the creation of conservative thought.
Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France is the most popular of his writings where he denounced the French revolution. Burke was one of the biggest supporters of the American Revolution. Confucius : The first thinker to relate ethics to the political order.
William E. Connolly : Helped introduce postmodern philosophy into political theory, and promoted new theories of Pluralism and agonistic democracy. John Dewey : Co-founder of pragmatism and analyzed the essential role of education in the maintenance of democratic government. Han Feizi : The major figure of the Chinese Fajia Legalist school, advocated government that adhered to laws and a strict method of administration.
Michel Foucault : Critiqued the modern conception of power on the basis of the prison complex and other prohibitive institutions, such as those that designate sexuality, madness and knowledge as the roots of their infrastructure, a critique that demonstrated that subjection is the power formation of subjects in any linguistic forum and that revolution cannot just be thought as the reversal of power between classes.
Antonio Gramsci : Instigated the concept of hegemony. Argued that the state and the ruling class uses culture and ideology to gain the consent of the classes it rules over. Thomas Hill Green : Modern liberal thinker and early supporter of positive freedom. He has pioneered such concepts as the public sphere , communicative action , and deliberative democracy.
His early work was heavily influenced by the Frankfurt School. Friedrich Hayek : He argued that central planning was inefficient because members of central bodies could not know enough to match the preferences of consumers and workers with existing conditions. Hayek further argued that central economic planning —a mainstay of socialism—would lead to a "total" state with dangerous power.
He advocated free-market capitalism in which the main role of the state is to maintain the rule of law and let spontaneous order develop. Hegel : Emphasized the "cunning" of history, arguing that it followed a rational trajectory, even while embodying seemingly irrational forces; influenced Marx, Kierkegaard , Nietzsche , and Oakeshott.
Thomas Hobbes : Generally considered to have first articulated how the concept of a social contract that justifies the actions of rulers even where contrary to the individual desires of governed citizens , can be reconciled with a conception of sovereignty. David Hume : Hume criticized the social contract theory of John Locke and others as resting on a myth of some actual agreement. Hume was a realist in recognizing the role of force to forge the existence of states and that consent of the governed was merely hypothetical.
He also introduced the concept of utility , later picked up on and developed by Jeremy Bentham. Thomas Jefferson : Politician and political theorist during the American Enlightenment.
Expanded on the philosophy of Thomas Paine by instrumenting republicanism in the United States. Most famous for the United States Declaration of Independence. Immanuel Kant : Argued that participation in civil society is undertaken not for self-preservation, as per Thomas Hobbes , but as a moral duty. First modern thinker who fully analyzed structure and meaning of obligation.
Argued that an international organization was needed to preserve world peace. Peter Kropotkin : One of the classic anarchist thinkers and the most influential theorist of anarcho-communism. John Locke : Like Hobbes, described a social contract theory based on citizens' fundamental rights in the state of nature.
He departed from Hobbes in that, based on the assumption of a society in which moral values are independent of governmental authority and widely shared, he argued for a government with power limited to the protection of personal property.
His arguments may have been deeply influential to the formation of the United States Constitution. Gave an account of statecraft in a realistic point of view instead of relying on idealism.
Machiavelli also relays recommendations on how to run a well ordered republican state, as he viewed them to be better forms of government than autocracies. As a political theorist, he believed in separation of powers and proposed a comprehensive set of checks and balances that are necessary to protect the rights of an individual from the tyranny of the majority. So understood, justice defined the basis of equal citizenship and was said to be the requirement for human regimes to be acceptable to the gods.
The ideal was that, with justice as a foundation, political life would enable its participants to flourish and to achieve the overarching human end of happiness eudaimonia , expressing a civic form of virtue and pursuing happiness and success through the competitive forums of the city. This became the major political faultline of the Greek fifth century BCE. Among equals, however defined, the space of the political was the space of participation in decision-making concerning public affairs and actions.
That invention of the political what Meier calls The Greek Discovery of Politics was the hallmark of the classical Greek world. Citizens, whether the few usually the rich or the many including the poorer and perhaps the poorest free adult men , gathered together to conduct public affairs, sharing either by custom, by election, or by lot—the latter seen in Athens as the most democratic, though it was never the sole mechanism used in any Greek democracy—in holding, or holding accountable, the offices for carrying them out.
Rhetoric played an important role in shaping those decisions, especially, though not only, in democracies, where discursive norms shaped by the poor majority were hegemonic in public even over the rich Ober At the same time, politics was shaped by the legacy of archaic poetry and its heroic ethos and by the religious cults which included, alongside pan-Hellenic and familial rites, important practices distinct to each city-state.
This was a polytheistic, rather than monotheistic, setting, in which religion was at least in large part a function of civic identity.
This broadest sense was initially most evident to the Athenians when they looked at the peculiar customs of Sparta, but Plato taught them to recognize that democratic Athens was as distinctive a regime Schofield 31—43 , one embodying a particular set of ethical goals and practices in its political arrangements.
Justice was widely, if not universally, treated as a fundamental constituent of cosmic order. Some of the physikoi influenced political life, notably a number of the Pythagoreans in southern Italy.
Others held themselves aloof from political action while still identifying commonalities or consonances between nature and politics, for example, Democritus of Abdera, whose atomist philosophy comported with a defense of political life, and so of the justice that it required individuals to enact, as being necessary for individual flourishing see e.
This nomos-phusis debate raised a fundamental challenge to the governing intellectual assumptions of the polis, even though the sophists advertised themselves as teaching skills for success within it, a number of them being employed as diplomats by cities eager to exploit their rhetorical abilities. While it is broadly true to say that Greek political thinkers generally presupposed the importance of justice, in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE many of them also increasingly problematized it.
Should philosophers act politically and if so, should they engage in ordinary politics in existing regimes, or work to establish new ones , or should they abstain from politics in order to live a life of pure contemplation?
There was likewise a question as to whether philosophers should think politically: were human affairs worth thinking about in the broadest perspective opened by the study of nature and of the gods? Philosophy might have to address the political but its highest calling soared above it. While one influential approach to the history of political thought takes its bearings from what a thinker was trying to do in and by what he or she said or wrote, it is important to recognize that the founders of ancient political philosophy were in part trying to define a new space of doing as philosophizing, independent of ordinary political action.
This is not to say that they did not also have ordinary political intentions, but rather to stress that the invention of political philosophy was also intended as a mode of reflection upon the value of ordinary political life. A humbly born man who refused the lucrative mantle of the sophistic professional teacher, yet attracted many of the most ambitious and aristocratic youth of Athens to accompany him in his questioning of them and their elders as to the nature of the virtues they claimed to possess or understand, he left no philosophical writings.
As depicted by Plato, the search for such definitions led invariably to a concern with knowledge of how best to live, as not only one of the conventional virtues in the form of wisdom but also as underpinning, even constituting, them all.
That elevation of knowledge in turn led Socrates to militate against the practices of rhetoric and judgment which animated the political institutions of Athens—the law-courts, Assembly and Council.
The relation between politics and knowledge, the meaning of justice as a virtue, the value of the military courage which all Greek cities prized in their citizens, all seem to have been central topics of Socratic conversation. Each of these had a political dimension, given the civic control of central religious cults mentioned earlier, and the broad political importance of educating the young to take their place in the civic order. Socrates had played his part as an ordinary citizen, allowing his name to go forward for selection by lot to serve on the Council, and serving in the army when required.
He went so far as to claim that as a civic benefactor, he deserved not death but the lifelong publicly provided meals commonly awarded to an Olympic champion 36e—37a. Socrates here depicts himself as a new kind of citizen, conceptualizing the public good in a new way and so serving it best through unprecedented actions, in contrast to the conventionally defined paths of political contest and success Villa The third is a hypothetical remark. Particularly in twentieth-century Anglophone scholarship, these remarks have engendered a view of Socrates as endorsing civil disobedience in certain circumstances, and so have framed the question of civil disobedience and the grounds for political obligation as arising in Plato.
A significant debate on these matters took shape in the United States in the s and s at the time of widespread civil disobedience relating to civil rights and the Vietnam War: see for example Konvitz , Woozley That debate has had to confront the fact that Socrates did not actually disobey his own death sentence with which his trial concluded: when the time came, he drank the poisonous hemlock as prescribed by the jury.
He begins his examination of them by recalling principles to which he and Crito had in the past agreed, including the principle that it is better to suffer injustice than to commit it Cri.
The meaning of this clause and its relevance to civil disobedience is again much debated Kraut remains a landmark. In the Republic, by contrast, a dialogue in which Socrates is also the main character and first-person narrator but in which the views he advances go beyond the tight-knit pattern of debates in the dialogues discussed in section 3.
See the entry on Plato. The Republic is, with the Laws, an order of magnitude longer than any other Platonic dialogue. Readers today are likely to think of the Republic as the home par excellence of political philosophy. But that view has also been challenged by scholars who see it as primarily an ethical dialogue, driven by the question of why the individual should be just Annas This section argues that the ethical and political concerns, and purposes, of the dialogue are inextricably intertwined.
Near the beginning of the dialogue, a challenge is launched by the character Thrasymachus, mentioned above, asserting that all actual cities define justice so as to serve the advantage of the rulers. He takes this to mean that the laws which their subjects are bound to obey and the associated ethical virtue of justice which they are enjoined to cultivate traditionally seen as the necessary bond among citizens and the justification for political rule , in fact amount to a distorted sham.
See the entry on Callicles and Thrasymachus. Socrates then launches a speculation as to the origins of cities: the city is held to have an existence independently of ethical concerns, coming into being for economic reasons and immediately needing to defend itself in war and also to be able to make offensive war for economic gain. However, this origin already gives rise to a proto-ethical dimension, first insofar as the members of the primitive city each do their own work the structure of what will emerge as the virtue of justice , which is fleshed out when political rulers are established who are able to use their wisdom to help their subjects maintain a psychological balance in their souls that approximates, if it does not fully embody, the virtues of moderation and justice and so enables them to enjoy a unified rather than a divided soul.
The question of why the individual should be just, figured at the outset by the contrast with the putatively happy tyrant, is resolved eventually by demonstrating that the tyrant will necessarily, in virtue of the disorder of his soul, be at once maximally unjust and maximally unhappy. That resolution rests on the division of the soul into three parts by which the Republic places moral psychology at the heart of political philosophy.
In the soul and city respectively, the rational part or class should rule; the spirited part or class should act to support the rule of that rational part; and the appetitive part of the soul and producing class in the city should accept being governed by it. Both soul and city are therefore in need of, and capable of exhibiting, four virtues e—a.
Two of these pertain to individual parts: the rational part being capable of wisdom, the spirited part of courage. A just soul will indeed reliably issue in traditionally just actions, such as refraining from theft, murder, and sacrilege contra Sachs , who argues that Plato has simply abandoned the usual domain of justice.
To be a truly effective, because wholly unified, agent, one must be just, moderate, courageous and wise. The just person enjoys psychic health, which is advantageous no matter how he is treated fairly or unfairly by gods and men; correspondingly, the just society enjoys civic unity, which is advantageous in being the fundamental way to avoid the assumed supreme evil of civil war.
In contrast, all other cities are characterized as riven by civil war between the rich and the poor; none of them counts as a single, unified city at all see Rep. In particular, Book V of the Republic suggests that a sufficiently unified regime can be achieved only by depriving its guardian-rulers of private property and of private families, instead making them live in austere communal conditions in which they are financially supported by their money-making subjects and allowed to procreate only when and with whom will best serve the city.
In Book II of his Politics, Aristotle would read this prescription as applying to all the citizens in the city envisaged in the Republic, and both he and, later on, Cicero would deplore what they construed as this abolition of private property. Even those following and radicalizing Plato precisely by advocating the abolition of property for all the citizens, rather than only deprivation of it for the rulers, as would the sixteenth-century Sir Thomas More, were generally opposed to if not also scandalized by the suggestion of procreative communism.
The Republic initiates a further tradition in political philosophy by laying out a template for the integration of ethics and political philosophy into a comprehensive account of epistemology and metaphysics.
In the Republic, the knowledge required for rule is not specialized, but comprehensive: the knowledge of the good and the Forms is somehow to translate into an ability to make laws as well as the everyday decisions of rule. The rulers are philosophers who take turns over their lifetime in exercising collective political authority. To that extent the Republic presents a paradox: if it is widely considered the first major work of political philosophy,[ 8 ] it is nevertheless a work in which there is no special content to political knowledge nor any special vocation for politics.
The discussion is interrupted but ultimately enriched by a story or myth in which politics is shown to be a matter of humans ruling other humans in place of living under divine guidance. That human expertise of statecraft is ultimately distinguished by its knowledge of the correct timing kairos as to when its closest rivals should be exercised: these are three forms of expertise that in fact corresponded to key political roles, some of them formal offices, in Greek cities at the time, namely, rhetoric, generalship, and judging Lane , Lane c.
The statesman is wholly defined by the possession of that knowledge of when it is best to exercise these and the other subordinate forms of expertise, and by the role of exercising that knowledge in binding or weaving the different groups of citizens together, a knowledge which depends on a broader philosophical grasp but which is peculiarly political El Murr Here, political philosophy operates not just to assimilate politics to a broader metaphysical horizon but also to identify its specificity.
The Statesman also raises an important question about the nature and value of rule by law, as opposed to rule by such expert knowledge as embodied in a rare and likely singular individual. By contrast, the Statesman analyzes law as in principle a stubborn and imperfect substitute for the flexible deployment of expertise e—c. However, the principal interlocutors of the latter dialogue go on to agree that if the choice is between an ignorant imitator of the true political expert who changes the laws on the basis of whim, and a law-bound polity, the latter would be preferable, so bringing law back into the picture as an alternative to the ideal after all.
For an alternative argument, that the second-best city is not meant to be Magnesia, see Bartels In this second-best city, the legislation for which is sketched out in speech by the three interlocutors of the dialogue, politics still aims at virtue, and at the virtue of all the citizens, but those citizens all play a part in holding civic offices; the ordinary activities of politics are shared, in what is described as a mixture of monarchy and democracy.
Another influential aspect of the Laws is its positive evaluation of the nature of law itself as a topic proper to political philosophy. Some scholars have found that to be a distinctively democratic and liberal account of law Bobonich ; see also the entry on Plato on utopia. That arguably goes too far in a proceduralist direction, given that the value of law remains its embodiment of reason or understanding nous , so that while adding persuasive preludes is a better way to exercise the coercive force of law, no agreement on the basis of persuasion could justify laws which departed from the standard of nous Laks Nevertheless, the emphasis on law as an embodiment of reason, and as articulating the political ideals of the city in a form that its citizens are to study and internalize Nightingale b, , is distinctive to this dialogue.
The Statesman however reserves a special extraordinary role a higher office, or perhaps not a formal office as such for the statesman whenever he is present in the city Lane b. Has Plato in the Laws given up on his earlier idealism which rested on the possibility of the philosopher-king, or on the idea of the perfectly knowledgeable statesman? If so, should that be interpreted as disillusionment or pessimism on his part, or as a more democratic or liberal turn?
Or are there more fundamental continuities that connect and underlie even these seeming shifts? These questions structure the broad debate about the meaning and trajectory of Platonic political philosophy for an overview, compare Klosko to Schofield Living much of his life as a resident alien in Athens, with close familial ties to the extra-polis Macedonian court which would, near the end of his life, bring Athens under its sway, Aristotle at once thematized the fundamental perspective of the Greek citizenship of equals and at the same time acknowledged the claim to rule of anyone of truly superior political knowledge.
Biological creatures work to fulfill the realization of their end or telos, a specific way of living a complete life characteristic of the plants or animals of their own kind, which is the distinctive purpose that defines their fundamental nature—just as human artifacts are designed and used for specific ends. While every human being, in acting, posits a particular telos as the purpose making that action intelligible, this should ideally reflect the overall natural telos of humans as such.
Here, however, arises a problem unique to humans. Whereas other animals have a single telos defining their nature living the full life of a frog, including reproduction, being the sole telos of each frog, in the example used by Lear , humans both have a distinctive human nature—arising from the unique capacity to use language to deliberate about how to act — and also share in the divine nature in their ability to use reason to understand the eternal and intelligible order of the world.
Practical reason is the domain of ethics and politics, the uniquely human domain. Yet the political life is not necessarily the best life, compared with that devoted to the divinely shared human capacity for theoretical reason and philosophical thinking compare Nicomachean Ethics I with X.
In fact he closes his Nicomachean Ethics by remarking that for most people, the practice of ethics can only be ensured by their being governed by law, which combines necessity compulsion with reason.
Because, for most people, the ethical life presupposes government by law, the student of ethics must become a student of political science, studying the science of legislation in light of the collection of constitutions assembled by Aristotle and his school in the Lyceum. At the beginning of Book IV b1—39 , Aristotle offers a fourfold account of what the expertise regarding constitutions must encompass.
The second, the best relative to circumstances, starts with the material cause and organizes political inquiry around the best that can be made out of given material. The third, the best on a hypothesis, starts not from the true end of politics, but any posited end, and so looks for means and devices that will preserve any given constitution. In defective regimes, the good citizen and the good man may come apart.
The good citizen of a defective regime is one whose character suits the particular regime in question whether oligarchic, or democratic, say and equips him to support it loyally; hence he may be deformed or stunted by a role of holding or a role of holding accountable offices defined on incorrect terms. Here the limitations and exclusions among actual humans licensed by the principled formulation of the possibility—requiring actual realization—of human virtue become apparent. Or the wealthy? Or the good?
Or the one best man? Or a tyrant?