Political Concepts And Political Theories
Political Concepts and Political Theories introduces political theory by focusing on enduring disputes about the nature of freedom, power, equality, justice, democracy, and authority. The first part of the book examines the nature of these disputes. It clarifies what we are disagreeing about when we offer different interpretations of political concepts, and why our disagreements about them are so difficult to resolve. Providing accessible accounts of the views of Plato, Wittgenstein, and recent theorists such as Gallie, Gaus argues that our interpretation of a political concept such as liberty is not freestanding but linked to our understandings of power, equality, justice, democracy, and other values. To understand a particular political concept, Gaus argues, we must place it in a political theory, which constitutes a system of such concepts. The second part of the book examines the ways in which liberal, socialist, and conservative thinkers have interpreted these enduring political concepts. Gaus considers a wide range of classical and contemporary advocates of these theories.Political Concepts and Political Theories presents in an accessible way an innovative approach to the analysis of political concepts and the study of political theory. As such, it will be of interest both to those looking at political concepts and political theories for the first time, as well as to scholars who have already examined these issues.
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Page 61 - Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do.
Page 25 - The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals, Utility, or the Greatest Happiness Principle, holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.
Page 55 - We are afraid to put men to live and trade each on his own private stock of reason ; because we suspect that this stock in each man is small, and that the individuals would do better to avail themselves of the general bank and capital of nations, and of ages.
Page 18 - Consider for example the proceedings that we call "games." I mean boardgames, card-games, ball-games, Olympic games, and so on. What is common to them all? — Don't say: 'There must be something common, or they would not be called 'games'" — but look and see whether there is anything common to all. — For if you look at them you will not see something that is common to all, but similarities, relationships, and a whole series of them at that.
Page 55 - I am bold enough to confess that we are generally men of untaught feelings, that instead of casting away all our old prejudices, we cherish them to a very considerable degree, and, to take more shame to ourselves, we cherish them because they are prejudices; and the longer they have lasted and the more generally they have prevailed, the more we cherish them.
Page 159 - Men being, as has been said, by nature all free, equal, and independent, no one can be put out of this estate, and subjected to the political power of another, without his own consent.
Page 91 - To UNDERSTAND political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider what state all men are naturally in, and that is a state of perfect freedom to order their actions and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave or depending upon the will of any other man.
Page 121 - Society requires not only that the passions of individuals should be subjected, but that even in the mass and body as well as in the ' • * individuals, the inclinations of men should frequently be thwarted, their will controlled, and their passions brought into subjection.
Page 189 - To this war of every man against every man this also is consequent, that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice, have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law; where no law, no injustice.
Page 113 - By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security ; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain; and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.