Political Philosophy

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History of Political Philosophy

The Western Tradition

  • Plato - In The Republic, Plato set out the ideal polity headed by a "philosopher-king" and protected by guardians. Perhaps one of the most influential works in the Western tradition. Plato also discussed political philosophy in The Laws, including critiques of the Republic, but it was never as influential.
  • Aristotle - Eudemian Ethics, Nichomachean Ethics, The Politics, The Athenian Constitution
  • The Medieval Period - Augustine (virtual theocacy), Aquinas
  • Locke and the liberal tradition
  • Marx and the Marxist tradition
  • Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco
  • John Rawls - Perhaps the most influential political thinker among contemporary liberals. His Theory of Justice attempts to work out the implications of the ideals of freedom and equality at the basis of American society. He says that anyone who is committed to these ideals should agree to two basic principles, dictating na equal distribution of freedom and a just distribution of wealth.
  • Nozick

Statism versus Anarchy

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