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Political Questions Political Philosophy from Plato to Rawls

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ISBN-10: 1577662636

ISBN-13: 9781577662631

Edition: 3rd 2003

Authors: Larry Arnhart

List price: $34.95
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Meant to be read in conjunction with the primary texts examined, this introduction to political philosophy uses themes in American politics to explore questions raised by the works of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Machiavelli, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and John Rawls. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Book details

List price: $34.95
Edition: 3rd
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Waveland Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/1/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 362
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

Introduction: From the Declaration of Independence to Political Philosophy
Political Knowledge and Political Power: Plato's Apology, Crito, and Republic
What is the political lesson of the trial of Socrates?
How far is a citizen obligated to obey the laws?
In defining justice, how do we move from opinions to knowledge?
Is justice the interest of the stronger?
Is justice the fulfillment of natural needs?
Is justice conventional rather than natural?
Is the rule of philosopher-kings meant to be a realistic political goal?
Why does Socratic statesmanship require a "noble lie"?
Is there any justification in nature for the hierarchical ordering of the city and soul into three parts?
Political Science as the Study of Regimes: Aristotle's Politics
Is the best regime good enough?
Does political life fulfill a natural human end?
Are human beings the only animals with the capacity for symbolic speech?
How do selfishness and aggression influence political life?
Does Aristotle show the prejudices of his culture in his views of slaves and women?
Does Aristotle's understanding of citizenship have any application to modern democratic politics?
Does Aristotle's regime go too far in restricting individual liberty?
How should we settle the conflict between oligarchic and democratic views of justice?
How does the Aristotelian leader handle a regime that is less than the best?
Why does Aristotle teach tyrants how to preserve their regimes?
The Political Realism of Christian Theology: Augustine's City of God
Was Augustine the first political realist?
Does Christian faith perfect our reasoning about politics?
Is nature apart from God a reliable standard for politics?
Must earthly political rule always be unjust?
Must the Christian be a Machiavellian?
Natural Law: Thomas Aquinas's "Treatise on Law"
What is natural law?
Is law the command of the sovereign backed by threat?
How do human beings discover natural law?
Does the fact-value distinction refute the idea of natural law?
Is law the joint product of nature, custom, and stipulation?
Does cultural diversity contradict the idea of natural law?
Is it right to legislate morality?
Power Politics: Machiavelli's The Prince and Discourses
Is Machiavelli a teacher of evil?
What is Machiavellian virtue?
In politics does the end justify the means?
Does political order require "cruelty well used"?
Does Machiavellianism subvert popular government?
Does Machiavelli elevate political power over political wisdom?
Liberal Rationalism: Descartes's Discourse on Method
Would the scientific method of Descartes lead us to a free and rational society?
Is the Cartesian account of reason correct?
Does Cartesian science promote nihilistic tyranny?
Does Cartesian science promote technocratic tyranny?
If machines can think, do they have rights?
Individual Rights and Absolute Government: Hobbes's Leviathan
Are human beings too selfish to be naturally political?
If human beings are naturally competitive, how is political order possible?
Why should we obey an absolute government?
Can only an absolute government protect individual liberty?
Does the right to revolution subvert good government?
Is the founding of political authority on rational selfishness too idealistic?
Is the American government a Hobbesian Leviathan?
Individual Rights and Limited Government: Locke's Second Treatise of Government
Are all human beings naturally equal?
Should a just government secure private property rights?
Can liberal government combine individual freedom with political authority?
Can Lockean government secure the consent of the governed?
By what right does the majority rule?
Can the rule of law and the separation of powers secure individual rights?
Must the executive have the powers of a dictator?
What is the right to revolution?
Should women have equal rights?
Participatory Democracy: Rousseau's First and Second Discourses and Social Contract
Does popular enlightenment subvert political freedom?
Are human beings by nature asocial and arational?
Has the evolution of civilization deprived us of our natural freedom and happiness?
Does participatory democracy promote or threaten individual liberty?
Does a participatory democracy require a godlike founder?
Is representative democracy disguised slavery?
Does democracy need a civil religion?
Is a true democracy impossible?
History and the Modern State: Hegel's Philosophy of Right and Philosophy of History
Does history have an ultimate meaning?
Is every political philosopher "a child of his time?"
What is freedom?
Can the modern state unite individual rights and political duties?
Does war preserve the health of the state?
Is the United States a state?
Have we reached the end of history?
Socialism: Marx's Communist Manifesto
Do economic interests determine history?
Must capitalists exploit their workers?
Does capitalism prevent workers from finding joy in their work?
Would socialism emancipate human beings?
Would a socialist economy work?
Can we have Marx without Stalin?
Can socialism be democratic?
The Death of God and the Will to Power: Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy; Human, All Too Human; Thus Spoke Zarathustra; and Beyond Good and Evil
Do we need the illusions of mythic art to conceal the meaningless chaos of the world?
Can a free-spirited science give us "humble truths?"
Can human beings live without transcendental longings?
Is a free-spirited science compatible with modern liberal democracy?
Who is Zarathustra?
Does going "beyond good and evil" lead us to a new nobility?
Equality and Liberty: Rawls's A Theory of Justice
Are the principles of justice those we would choose under certain conditions of fairness?
Should we force the more fortunate people of our society to help those less fortunate?
Does justice require socialist equality?
Does justice require capitalist liberty?
Should we seek equality of opportunity but not equality of result?
In asking political questions, must we ask about the meaning of life?
The Declaration of Independence