Download e-book for kindle: An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Cambridge by Colin Bird

By Colin Bird

ISBN-10: 0521544823

ISBN-13: 9780521544825

Offering a finished creation to political philosophy, this e-book combines dialogue of ancient and modern figures, including various real-life examples. It levels over an surprisingly vast variety 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 warfare; and the grounds for toleration in public lifestyles. It additionally deals an obtainable, non-technical dialogue of perfectionism, utilitarianism, theories of the social agreement, and of lately well known different types of severe concept. all through, the booklet demanding situations readers to imagine significantly approximately political arguments and associations that they may another way take without any consideration. will probably be a provocative textual content for any scholar of philosophy or political technology.

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Additional resources for An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy)

Example text

For example, the fact that we know that sugary foods are bad for us will not by itself remove the desire to eat them. To follow our reason, we must do more than just listen politely to its recommendations and then disregard them. We must actually submit to its judgments, and cultivate a settled disposition to do so. This, according to Plato, is the proper role for his middle faculty of ‘‘spirit’’: it supplies the determination and resolve to discipline our appetites so that they support, rather than subvert, our best interests.

But Plato denied that these character traits come naturally or easily to most people. Unless they are exposed to the right guidance, the chances are that they will fail to develop them and that they will make poor decisions for themselves as a result. Democratic freedom, the freedom to pursue one’s own good unimpeded by others, tends to cut too many people off from this needed guidance, or so Plato feared. He doubted whether leaving people to themselves was an adequate way to promote their happiness.

Faced with such disputes, we may lose confidence in the ability of reasoned reflection to explain definitively which political arrangements justice, or equality, democracy, and the common good, require us to support or resist. ’’ Even if we were confident that many simple value judgments can be criticized as irrational, for example, we might still doubt that we can use reason to resolve disagreements over the ‘‘correct’’ interpretation of a complex ethical ideal like justice. The rest of this chapter explores the dimensions of this problem and the doubts it raises about the possibility of rational justification in political life.

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An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy) by Colin Bird


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