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Political Science 1020E Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Egalitarianism, Wilt Chamberlain, Human Nature

Political Science
Course Code
Political Science 1020E
Study Guide

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Intro to Political Science 1020E
Intro to Course + Politics, Power, and Authority
3 types of questions:
Descriptive, Explanatory, Normative
What is the relevance of politics?
1. Power and Authority
2. Democratic Accountability
3. Political Decisions have Consequences
Two Main Themes
1. Political Ideas
2. Political Ideologies
Five Big Ideas
1. Political Authority
2. Political Obligation
3. Democracy
4. Liberty
5. Distributive Justice
Political Authority
Who should have the right to decide?
Political Obligation (ex. George Zimmerman turns
himself in, and not found guilty)
Is there a moral duty to obey the state?
Right to command legitimate power and punish those
who disobey
What is democracy? Should the people rule? Is
democracy a bad form of rule?
Is liberty or freedom valuable? How much freedom
should I have? Is it okay to offend other people?
Distributive Justice
Who should get what? Why should some have more
property than others? (ex. they’re smart, they invested,
they didn’t spend frivolously)
Why should my freedom be restricted?
Political Ideologies
How do I fit into the world? How does the world
work? What should be done?
The Decline of Violence
Steven Pinker’s Thesis:
Politics: Some Examples
Demonstrations (ex. Ferguson, Missouri)
Policy Decisions
Politics Matters
Decisions that affect you
Law assigns us rights and duties
Decisions are Enforced
Hispaniola: Haiti and the Dominican Republic
Different environmental conditions as consequences
of political decisions
Politics matters in the regard that your political
decisions have an impact on everyone
Some Meanings of “Politics”
Formal government activity
Dishonestly seeking personal gain
Politicians use their power to reform and develop policies
that will aid them in the end
Some people believe that politics is about the noble
pursuit of the public good
Who Gets What, When, and How?”
Who Gets What, When, How?
Chimpanzee Politics: competition, power, conflict,
dominance strategies and alliances, winners and losers
Bonobo Politics: peaceful, gentle, loving, erotic and
Recent study on Bonobo’s show that they’re not so nice,
they hunt and eat other monkeys.
What is Politics?
Elements of Politics: social, process, conflict, binding
decisions, enforced
Somewhere between love and war
Politics = conflict and cooperation
Where is Politics?
Family, economy, state
International, everywhere
Aspects of Politics
Collective action
Conflict and cooperation
Authoritative decisions
Enforced against the disobedient
What is Government?
The activity of governing or Ruling
Exercising authority over others
Institutions responsible for coordinating collective
Aristotle’s Two Questions
1. Who Rules? (One, few, many)
2. In who’s interest? (rulers interest, in the interest of the
Aristotle’s Forms of Government
What is the State?
Territorial community
Centralized governing authority
Sovereignty, including the monopoly of legitimate
What is Power?
The ability to produce results
The influencing of others’ behaviour
Power can take several forms: (coercion: force,
influence: “it would be better if you did this”,
manipulation: “if you stay and finish this lecture,
everyone gets an A)
Types of Power
Hard Power
oThe Stick: force and coercion (ex. Military/police

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oThe Carrot: economic inducement, bribes, sanctions
Soft Power: the power of attraction, agenda setting,
getting others to want what you want, institutions, values
and policies
The World as a Three-Level Chess Match
Key Transnational Issues
What is Authority?
The right to command
The right to punish those who disobey
Is state authority justified?
The State of Nature: Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and
Believes we are all equal
State of Nature:
Why do we need a state?
Order, protection, set boundaries
Conflict/competiveness helps states develop
Thought Experiments:
take away material things
w/o state, we’re in state of nature (SON)
goal is to convince readers of gov and sets up basis of
gov studies
tries to convince reader how bad SON is
Hobbesian Themes:
Fear (of what we live in, SON)
War (don’t have protection of state)
oFear each other, war of all against all
Peace (removes fear by creating order)
Worst scenario: no state protection
oDo whatever we want; still instills fear
Powerful state is needed to avoid disastrous
interpersonal conflict
oOnly thing to avoid this is powerful state
Main premise: human nature/scarcity
Human Nature
Engage in process of introspection (Socrates)
oKnowledge of hope, fear; must know yourself
oUnderstand body/matter and its need
oNeed material needs to survive
oContinually success of achieving object of desire
oCome into conflict w/others to get what you want
oWar all against all
oNeed state to intervene
oNecessary between us and other who want same thing
oNeeded to get things
oPowerful sense of achieve felicity
Never ending needs
Needs regulation
Predominantly self-regarding, self-interested
Includes enhancing reputation/status
Averse to our own death
oWorried about this is SON
oChoose yourself over others in SON
Problem: everyone needs sleep which makes your
The Road to War:
Results from aspects of human nature
Equally in trouble
Scarcity: only have so much
All faced in SON
3 reasons to attack:
Competition: Gain (do this to survive)
Lack of trust: Safety (must attack to save yourself)
Glory: Reputation (want ppl to stay away/fear you)
Too Pessimistic?
Continual dear/danger of violence/death
In SON, we think others are not trustful
Even now, we lock doors because we don’t trust
Morality in SON
Natural right of liberty (ppl engage in this w/o state)
No injustice (nothing morally wrong if you need to
Laws of Nature (total of 19)
Realize SON is no way to live
oWhy we want society, order, state, peace
Laws of Nature
Fundamental law: seek peace if you can get it
Second Law: lay down natural right, if others do too
oReciprocal law
Third Law: perform your covenants
oFollow through w/promises, trust
Individual/ Collective Rationality
Its rational for individuals to attack others
Smart for one, dumb for all (all but one loses)
Its rational for collective to seek peace
oEstablish state, overcomes fear/allows you to pursue
oCollectively rational (position to come out of SON)
Break a Deal
Collectively rational outcome is unstable
oCant make everyone follow/unequal benefits
Individuals have an incentive to defect
State provides assurance that laws of nature will be
followed (need state to get through SON)
John Nash vs Adam Smith:
Indiv ambitions serves common good (Smith)
Best comes from everyone doing what’s best for
him/group (Nash)

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Need state to avoid war of all against all
Road to war: inequality, scarcity, uncertainty
Natural right of Liberty, Laws of Nature (Big 3)
Indiv/collective Rationality
John Locke
oA state of peace, doesn’t need to be at war
oPeace from perfect freedom/equality
Equality bc no one naturally is better than anyone
else (more a moral claim)
Law of Nature
oRooted in religion/Christianity (God owns all)
oDuty to help people like God
Natural Law
oDuty to others, live peacefully, moral duty to limit
Locke on Hobbes
Equality (rights/no rights, duty to others)
Law of Nature (right to exercise, moral limit)
Natural Liberty (moral duty, moral limit, moral
Enforcing Law of Nature
Need an enforcer of moral law or no one will follow
Executive power of LON
Law stems from religion
Includes right to punish
oStill keeping morals intact, produce justice/give
punish orderly
Give power to law
Scarcity/ Abundance:
Hobbes: natural scarcity/conflict (only after we
reconstruct self/society otherwise there is lots)
Locke: natural abundance of land, cultivate your land
Relative Gain vs Absolute Gain (gain is sufficient
w/o wanting what others have)
Why need state:
Problem: administration of Justice
oWhere ppl question things related to justice, need
state to mediate
Conflict about the LON
oneed someone to assess/enforce law/rules,
punishment varies and is equal
some lack of power to enforce LON
oneed state to intervene
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Human Nature
Desire fore self-preservation
Pity or compassion for suffering people
Over-estimate likelihood of conflict
oInteraction doesn’t immediately create conflict (have
desire to help others)
Social Man and Natural Savage
Hobbes + Locke describe civilized man (w/o that,
Civilization has corrupted us
oTells us to be self-interested (not natural to us,
leisure, corrupted goods, comparisons of culture which
lead to competition), meddling humans corrupt up
Savage man is unaware of morality
oIf no one harms you, you don’t harm them
oWe aren’t aggressive, felicity beings
oOnly need food, sex, sleep and fear hunger and pain
oWouldn’t want family so wouldn’t need rep/power
Self-preservation vs compassion:
Security creates problem (doesn’t mean savage will
use violence)
Self-preservation trumps pity (though people don’t
only want SP)
War is inevitable (all scarcity cant be overcome)
Natural Savage
Solidity, no language, fears only pain
Desires only food, sex, sleep
Material instincts, self-survival (animal living)
How chance happens in SON
1. Free will, 2. Capacity for self-improvement
Scarcity to innovation
Engaged in cooperation
Leisure, luxury goods, corrupted needs (unequal
Further developments in SON
Language/comparison of talents (categories)
Agriculture, property, rules of justice and inequality
Leads to state of war (avengement)
Rich devise brilliant plan
oRules: for property, maintains injustice
oSystem of inequality white is state
Anatole France
Law forbids rich/poor from steeling bread/begging
oAffects poor not rich, injustice
Justifying the State
W/o rulers, not governed by anyone
Be better off w/o gov bc we can gov ourselves
oCooperate for fundamental belief that we’re good and
can be done w/o coercion
Locke’s response
oFear, suspicion and competition will overwhelm
oFew bad apples can ruin everything
Anarchist response:
oHumans naturally good (need bad people to make
oSocial cooperation w/o coercion (police keeps us in
line, public pressure, follow rules bc others do)
oIf people don’t want to cooperate, need law
Options: conflict (freedom/chaos) or state (safety/less
The State and Political Obligation:
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