By Jonathan Wolff

ISBN-10: 0192892517

ISBN-13: 9780192892515

What may lifestyles be like with out the kingdom? What justifies the kingdom? Who may still rule? How a lot liberty should still the citizen get pleasure from? How may still estate be justly disbursed? This ebook examines the relevant difficulties interested by political philosophy and the earlier makes an attempt to reply to those difficulties. Jonathan Wolff appears to be like on the works of Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Marx, and Rawls (among others), reading how the debates among philosophers have built, and looking for attainable solutions to those provocative questions. His ultimate bankruptcy appears to be like at newer concerns, really feminist political idea.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to Political Philosophy (Opus S.)

Sample text

This particular pertinence of thinking to acting can be understood in relation to the two central capacities that Arendt associates with the life of the mind: conscience and judgment. Think ing and M or a l F a c u l t i e s Although thinking produces no moral axioms, instead rendering all beliefs questionable, it may nevertheless activate conscience. As an internal dialogue of the self with the self, thinking enacts a bifurcation in consciousness, a ‘difference within an identity given within consciousness’ (Arendt 1981/I: 193).

This point is simultaneously an issue for politics because it implies a denial of what the tradition of political philosophy seeks, a truth underlying the realm of human affairs (Arendt 1958: 184). It is for this reason that Arendt’s ‘storytelling’ amounts to nothing resembling a general, confirming narrative and rather consists in the fragmented deployment of particular narrative for purposes of exemplifications that provoke and provide matter for ongoing reflection. The modulation to the theoretical voice here consists of resistance to the search for narrative continuity and the deployment of history through a focus on specific events and the potential illumination they can bring us in their uniqueness.

On a gigantic scale, which could not be traced to any particularity of wickedness, pathology, or ideological conviction in the doer, whose only personal distinction was a perhaps extraordinary shallowness’ (Arendt 2003: 159). The loss or abdication of the ability to think is a central and decisive feature of our modern experience. Thoughtlessness points us equally to the loss of a common sense, also a feature of totalitarian conditions, and also, therefore, to the loss of the ability to judge. indd 30 31/03/2011 11:26 thinking a nd a c t i n g condition where we experience an erosion of the capacities both for free action and for free reflection on our experience; where these two capacities, as we have seen, become disconnected and where potentially, as a result, we conceive of a spurious reconciliation between them through legislation from one to the other.

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