Political Theory.docx

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Political Science
POLI 2511
Johnvon Heyking

Political TheoryPolitical PhilosophyHow should we liveWhat is the best way of lifeWhat is to be doneConsiders normative questions of political order o What is justice o What is a good regime o What causes justice o How can we become justChange lawsInstitutional reformEducation Readings4 Books4 perspectives on justice and a good regimeWhat justice isIs justice realisticWhether justice and expediency can be reconciledPlatos Republic tho Written in 4 Century BCE o Foundational text of Western thinking o Can a philosopher king ensure justiceAristotles Nicomachean EthicsPolitics o Student of Plato teacher of Alexander rdo Written in 3 Century BCE o Political science as a practical science o Ethics o Man is a political animalMachiavellis The Prince tho 16 Century o Written as a guidebook for princes during the Italian Renaissance o Since justice is impossible the price should seek gloryJohn Locke Second Treatise of Government o Published during the English Civil War 1689 o Influenced founders of US and Canada o Political Society has limited aims o Justice consists of preserving life liberty and personal property Types of PhilosophyEpistemology o What is knowledgeMetaphysics o What is the foundation of matterEthics o What is right o Political PhilosophyWhat is right for political society Political philosophyReflective side of political scienceStudies whyBattle of ideasIdeas have consequencesClarity of political order can help improve it Political ScienceStudies how o Follows method o Quantitative data Real World Political PhilosophyAll political opinions aim at some good o Opinions are partial and incompleteDesire for good implies a complete picture of the goodPolitical philosophy emerges when directedness towards good becomes explicitWhen the desire arises to replace opinions with knowledge of goodAll political action implies a desire to have complete knowledge o Implies philosophyHumans possess only partial knowledge o No perfect wisdom o Only the Gods are wiseSocrates Politicians Influenced by Political PhilosophersGandhi o Influenced by AristotleUSA and Canada o John LockeFrance o JeanJacque RousseauPierre Trudeau o Machiavelli St Thomas Aquinas Lord ActonMartin Heidegger praised Nazism Reading Political Philosophy Texts 1 CambridgeHistorical School o Political philosophers can only be understood with reference to their historical context o AdvantagesReminds of political problems that were of immediate concern to political thinkersIdentifies the audience of the thinkerStudying historical context can reveal unspoken assumptionso DisadvantagesMakes political thinkers irrelevantCannot change our prejudicesUnderestimate how radical they can still be 2 TextualistStraussian o Must understand political philosophers as they understood themselves o Great texts were written with great care o Every statement is part of a grand puzzle o Historical context not important o Authors converse with each other within a tradition of readers o All great political events and revolutions originate from a philosopher o AdvantagesImportance of careful readingUnspoken assumptions can usually be gleaned from careful readingMakes us more attentive to views of othersForces us to confront our prejudices o DisadvantagesUnspoken assumptions formed by historical context 3 Dialectical o Political philosophy as a struggle for truth or order amidst untruth o Political philosophy diagnoses contemporary political disorder o Inquiry leads to majors thinkers of the past who have penetrated the surfaces of problems The RepublicBook 1 o Opening scene I went down katebenJourney to HadesWisdom through suffering o Port of PiraeusSocrates guilty of corrupting the youth and making up new gods o KatebenImage of hellOn that day when I went down inside the house of hades seeking to learn about homecoming for myself and my companions Homer OdysseyDegeneration of Athenian cultureDefeat in Peloponnesian WarWisdom through sufferingHell images in RepublicPrologueMyth of ErAnalogy of the caveRing of Gyges
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