Former Head of the Department of Politics and International Relations Oxford and Fellow and Tutor in Politics Oriel College Oxford Mark Philp, Mark Philp, Fellow and Tutor in Politics Mark Philp
Harvard University Press, 2007 - Philosophy - 283 pages
This book explores how the processes and practices of politics shape political values, such as liberty, justice, equality, and democracy. Mining the history of political episodes and political thinkers, including Caesar and Machiavelli, Mark Philp argues that it is through political activity that "values are articulated and embraced, and they become powerful motivating forces." Political Conduct is thus an attempt to inform and enrich political theory--to show that its principles would be more relevant to actual politics if they were immersed in history and practice. Philp argues for a separation between moral and political philosophy and proposes that a less abstract and ideal approach to political philosophy than that provided by Rawls, Dworkin, Nagel, and Cohen would be more useful in illuminating the conduct of politicians and the limitations on what they can achieve.
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Philp's book offers a realist approach to the problems of political ethics with an admirable sensitivity to the complexities and ramifications of difficult political situations. It is one of the most inspiring pieces of contemporary political theory. If you like this stuff you should also check out Andrew Sabl's Ruling Passions.
Rendering unto Caesar
Machiavelli and Political Virtue
The Character of Political Rule
Resolved to Rule
Must Power Corrupt?
Loyalty in Politics
Officials and Public Servants
Resistance and Protest
Institutions and Integrity