File Name: modern political thinkers and ideas an historical introduction .zip
The history of political thought dates back to antiquity while the history of the world and thus the history of political thinking by man stretches up through the Medieval period and the Renaissance. In the Age of Enlightenment, political entities expanded from basic systems of self-governance and monarchy to the complex democratic and communist systems that exist of the Industrialized and the Modern Era.
In parallel, political systems have expanded from vaguely defined frontier-type boundaries, to the definite boundaries existing today. The history of political thought has often overlapped with the history of philosophy. The origins of political thought are in ancient Rome and Greece. Starting in approximately BCE, thinkers in these societies began to consider questions of how to organize societies, as part of their more broad considerations of how ethics and how to live the good life.
From around BCE, China began to experience a time of peace and prosperity , which allowed the rise of the so-called Hundred Schools of Thought , the most influential of which was that of Confucius. For this to work, however, society had to be ordered hierarchically, modeled after the patriarchal family. In fifth-century Athens , an intellectual golden age was also flourishing. Despite the Athenian democracy in which Plato had the freedom to develop his ideas, he nevertheless despised democracy , alongside all other then existing form of government.
In India , Chanakya offered in Arthashastra practical advice on how to run government. He also believed that virtue in the leader and the merit of their advisers were important. The early Christian philosophy of Augustine of Hippo was by and large a rewrite of Plato in a Christian context.
The main change that Christian thought brought was to moderate the Stoicism and theory of justice of the Roman world, and emphasize the role of the state in applying mercy as a moral example. Augustine also preached that one was not a member of his or her city, but was either a citizen of the City of God Civitas Dei or the City of Man Civitas Terrena. Augustine's City of God is an influential work of this period that refuted the thesis, after the First Sack of Rome , that the Christian view could be realized on Earth at all — a view many Christian Romans held.
Medieval political philosophy in Europe was heavily influenced by Christian thinking. It had much in common with the Islamic thinking in that the Roman Catholics also subordinated philosophy to theology. Perhaps the most influential political philosopher of medieval Europe was St. Thomas Aquinas who helped reintroduce Aristotle 's works, which with the exception of the Politics which was translated directly from Greek to Latin by William of Moerbeke had only been preserved by the Muslims , along with the commentaries of Averroes.
Aquinas's use of them set the agenda for scholastic political philosophy, which dominated European thought for centuries. In , the Magna Carta introduced the concept of constitutional rights , such as habeas corpus. The rise of Islam , based on both the Qur'an and Muhammad , strongly altered the power balances and perceptions of origin of power in the Mediterranean region. Early Islamic philosophy emphasized an inexorable link between science and religion , and the process of ijtihad to find truth - in effect all philosophy was " political " as it had real implications for governance.
This view was challenged by the Mutazilite philosophers, who held a more Greek view and were supported by secular aristocracy who sought freedom of action independent of the Caliphate. By the late medieval period, however, the Asharite view of Islam had in general triumphed. Islamic political philosophy , was, indeed, rooted in the very sources of Islam , i.
The political conceptions of Islam such as kudrah, sultan, ummah, simaa -and even the "core" terms of the Qur'an, i. Hence, not only the ideas of the Muslim political philosophers but also many other jurists and ulama posed political ideas and theories. For example, the ideas of the Khawarij in the very early years of Islamic history on Khilafa and Ummah , or that of Shia Islam on the concept of Imamah are considered proofs of political thought.
The clashes between the Ehl-i Sunna and Shia in the 7th and 8th centuries had a genuine political character. The 14th century Arab scholar Ibn Khaldun is considered one of the greatest political theorists. The British philosopher-anthropologist Ernest Gellner considered Ibn Khaldun's definition of government , "an institution which prevents injustice other than such as it commits itself", the best in the history of political theory.
During the Renaissance secular political philosophy began to emerge after about a century of theological political thought in Europe. That work, as well as The Discourses , a rigorous analysis of the classical period , did much to influence modern political thought in the West. A minority including Jean-Jacques Rousseau could interpret The Prince as a satire meant to give the Medici after their recapture of Florence and their subsequent expulsion of Machiavelli from Florence.
At any rate, Machiavelli presents a pragmatic and somewhat consequentialist view of politics, whereby good and evil are mere means used to bring about an end, i. Thomas Hobbes , well known for his theory of the social contract , goes on to expand this view at the start of the 17th century during the English Renaissance. John Locke in particular exemplified this new age of political theory with his work Two Treatises of Government.
In it Locke proposes a state of nature theory that directly complements his conception of how political development occurs and how it can be founded through contractual obligation. Locke stood to refute Sir Robert Filmer 's paternally founded political theory in favor of a natural system based on nature in a particular given system. During the Enlightenment period, new theories about what the human was and is and about the definition of reality and the way it was perceived, along with the discovery of other societies in the Americas, and the changing needs of political societies especially in the wake of the English Civil War , the American Revolution and the French Revolution led to new questions and insights by such thinkers as Jean-Jacques Rousseau , Montesquieu and John Locke.
These theorists were driven by two basic questions: one, by what right or need do people form states; and two, what the best form for a state could be. These fundamental questions involved a conceptual distinction between the concepts of "state" and "government. The term "government" would refer to a specific group of people who occupied, and indeed still occupy the institutions of the state, and create the laws and ordinances by which the people, themselves included, would be bound.
This conceptual distinction continues to operate in political science , although some political scientists, philosophers, historians and cultural anthropologists have argued that most political action in any given society occurs outside of its state, and that there are societies that are not organized into states which nevertheless must be considered in political terms.
Political and economic relations were drastically influenced by these theories as the concept of the guild was subordinated to the theory of free trade , and Roman Catholic dominance of theology was increasingly challenged by Protestant churches subordinate to each nation-state , which also in a fashion the Roman Catholic Church often decried angrily preached in the vulgar or native language of each region.
These ideas did not spread to cultures outside of Europe until considerably later. The Industrial Revolution changed societies dramatically. Their ideas were further developed by Vladimir Lenin , leading to the ideology of Leninism , and Stalin , leading to Marxism-Leninism , practiced in the Soviet Union and later allied countries.
As industrialisation enabled the rise of colonialism , this was accompanied by the ideology of Imperialism. Later, anti-imperialist ideologies would counter this, such as Gandhism and Nasserism.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Description of political thought's evolution through times. For the textbook, see History of Political Philosophy. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages. This article includes a list of general references , but it remains largely unverified because it lacks sufficient corresponding inline citations.
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How are we to understand past political thinkers? Is it a matter simply of reading their texts again and again? Do we have to relate past texts of political thought to the contexts in which ideas were composed and in which the aims of past thinkers were formulated? Or should past political theories be deconstructed so as to uncover not what their authors maintain, but what the texts reveal? In this book, theories of interpreting past political thinkers are examined and the interpretive methods of a range of theories are reviewed, including those of Hegel, Marx, Oakeshott, Collingwood, the Camb
Block 1: Modern political ideas: An introduction This block is an exciting introduction to the key questions of the module: what are political ideas, why study political ideas; how are political ideas generated and why do we need thinkers and theorists? Starting with the political fall-out to the financial crisis of —, you'll look at the core ideas of the various populist movements that grew in its wake. You'll consider the work and continuing relevance of theorists of the state and democracy. Block 3: Citizenship and Noncitizens You'll examine the idea of citizenship, considering what citizenship means and how who is a citizen is understood. You'll be introduced to both classic and critical literature in this area and explore ideas and examples of unequal citizenship through a range of different case studies. Accompanying this will be an exploration of the relationship between the nation-state and citizenship and ideas that challenge this relationship.
This article examines the history of political thought between the mid-nineteenth and the later twentieth centuries. It contends that the history of political thought became a disciplinary genre within political science largely because of the works of Robert Blakely, William Dunning, and George Sabine. It contends that a methodological awakening in the later twentieth century brought the disciplinary genre to a close and initiated the latest article in the history of political thought. Keywords: political thought , political science , Robert Blakely , William Dunning , George Sabine , methodological awakening.
Political philosophy , branch of philosophy that is concerned, at the most abstract level, with the concepts and arguments involved in political opinion. The meaning of the term political is itself one of the major problems of political philosophy. Broadly, however, one may characterize as political all those practices and institutions that are concerned with government.
Looking for a different module? This module introduces students to the study of political concepts that are central to thinking about political life. Through the study of these concepts students will be introduced to the principal ideas of many of the major figures in the history of Western political thought for example, Plato, Hobbes, Rousseau and Marx and to the work of many contemporary political theorists as well John Rawls, Michael Sandel, Richard Rorty, Susan Okin and others. In addition, lectures and tutorials will familiarise students with a variety of different debates about how best to understand any given concept such as, debates about what constitutes 'human nature' as well as how to understand the relationship between different concepts such as, whether a just society must be an equal one or not. Moreover, the module is designed to allow students to develop a set of 'conceptual tools' with which to interrogate and shape the political world in which they find themselves; a world which is saturated everyday with competing articulations of the political concepts that we will study in this module. As such, students should come to develop a subtle appreciation of how the concepts examined on this module are, to greater or lesser degrees, intrinsic to all of their studies in politics and international relations and related subjects. Total contact hours: 22 Private study hours: Total study hours:
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