The History of Political Thought: A Thematic Introduction by John Morrow

By John Morrow

How have the significant concerns in political theory-the ends of politics, the site and workout of political energy, and demanding situations to authority-been tackled via quite a few thinkers over the process heritage? via emphasizing chronology and context, John Morrow offers an organizationally cutting edge creation to political thinkers and themes.

The publication balances a coherent account of theoretical traditions with a grounded information of the social and political currents which produced them. Morrow combines distinct assurance of the good figures of political proposal, akin to Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, Marx, and Mill with very important yet lesser recognized names comparable to Bodin, Grotius, Maurras, Bartolus, Paley, Godwin, and Bakunin. Spanning precedent days to the 20 th century and offering timelines and charts to prepare the cloth, The background of Political Thought is a very lucid and built-in advent to the ways that Western thinkers have come to grips with the issues and paradoxes of political life.

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This insight explains the range and intractability of the religious opinions that so exercised his contemporaries; it also shows why attempts to use these as the basis of politics were bound to produce conflict. The starting point of Hobbes' argument is an account of what life would be like in the 'state of nature', that is, a condition in which individuals are subject neither to the constraints of law nor to the effective influence of shared moral ideas. State of nature theory is an analytical rather than an historical tool.

Significantly, Hobbes believed that the consequences of a lack of order are so alarming that the threat of a return to the state of nature is far more to be feared than subjection to any conceivable sovereign. 120). In other words, the need for order is a fundamental requirement of human life, one that can only be satisfied by political institutions that replace private judgement with the authoritative and binding power of a sovereign. The writings of Hobbes and his predecessors provide a series of trenchant and theoretically significant statements of the role that political institutions played in creating an orderly structure that provides the basis for human life.

119). These points of reference are important, but one must also bear in mind that Hobbes' Leviathan was presented as a generally valid, 'scientific' account of politics. Hobbes' views on this matter reflect deep scepticism about the possibility of arriving at any elaborate and generally accepted account of moral truth (Tuck, 1984, pp. 104-5). This insight explains the range and intractability of the religious opinions that so exercised his contemporaries; it also shows why attempts to use these as the basis of politics were bound to produce conflict.

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