An Introduction to Political Philosophy

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Cambridge University Press, Dec 14, 2006 - Philosophy - 311 pages
Providing a comprehensive introduction to political philosophy, this 2006 book combines discussion of historical and contemporary figures, together with numerous real-life examples. It ranges over an unusually broad range of topics in the field, including the just distribution of wealth, both within countries and globally; the nature and justification of political authority; the meaning and significance of freedom; arguments for and against democratic rule; the problem of war; and the grounds for toleration in public life. It also offers an accessible, non-technical discussion of perfectionism, utilitarianism, theories of the social contract, and of recently popular forms of critical theory. Throughout, the book challenges readers to think critically about political arguments and institutions that they might otherwise take for granted. It will be a provocative text for any student of philosophy or political science.
 

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Contents

2 The common good
33
3 Utilitarianism
47
be cleared of the charge that they are unsound because
61
4 The social contract
67
5 Property and wealth
99
The force of this objection derives from an observation to
106
6 Economic justice
125
7 Authority
154
8 Liberty
176
in realizing that ideal in their own lives Mill himself
200
9 Democratic rule
201
10 War
223
11 Living with difference
251
12 Radical criticism
277
is usually organized This suggestion has been very influential and
278
fact conceal various gendered practices or tacit forms of racism14
287

such ends These cases lend themselves to analysis in terms
173

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About the author (2006)

Colin Bird is Associate Professor at the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, University of Virginia. He is author of The Myth of Liberal Individualism (1999).

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