Political thinkers and their theories pdf
Lecture Notes | Introduction to Political Thought | Political Science | MIT OpenCourseWareJustice is one of the most important moral and political concepts. The word comes from the Latin jus , meaning right or law. But philosophers want to get beyond etymology and dictionary definitions to consider, for example, the nature of justice as both a moral virtue of character and a desirable quality of political society, as well as how it applies to ethical and social decision-making. This article will focus on Western philosophical conceptions of justice. These will be the greatest theories of ancient Greece those of Plato and Aristotle and of medieval Christianity Augustine and Aquinas , two early modern ones Hobbes and Hume , two from more recent modern times Kant and Mill , and some contemporary ones Rawls and several successors. Typically the article considers not only their theories of justice but also how philosophers apply their own theories to controversial social issues—for example, to civil disobedience, punishment, equal opportunity for women, slavery, war, property rights, and international relations. For Plato, justice is a virtue establishing rational order, with each part performing its appropriate role and not interfering with the proper functioning of other parts.
Plato: Political Philosophy
Plato c. His greatest impact was Aristotle, but he influenced Western political thought in many ways. The Academy, the school he founded in B. The philosophy of Plato is marked by the usage of dialectic, a method of discussion involving ever more profound insights into the nature of reality, and by cognitive optimism, a belief in the capacity of the human mind to attain the truth and to use this truth for the rational and virtuous ordering of human affairs. Plato believes that conflicting interests of different parts of society can be harmonized. The best, rational and righteous, political order, which he proposes, leads to a harmonious unity of society and allows each of its parts to flourish, but not at the expense of others. The theoretical design and practical implementation of such order, he argues, are impossible without virtue.
Mark Blitz on Ancient and Modern Political Philosophy
John Locke — is among the most influential political philosophers of the modern period. In the Two Treatises of Government , he defended the claim that men are by nature free and equal against claims that God had made all people naturally subject to a monarch. He argued that people have rights, such as the right to life, liberty, and property, that have a foundation independent of the laws of any particular society. Locke used the claim that men are naturally free and equal as part of the justification for understanding legitimate political government as the result of a social contract where people in the state of nature conditionally transfer some of their rights to the government in order to better ensure the stable, comfortable enjoyment of their lives, liberty, and property. Since governments exist by the consent of the people in order to protect the rights of the people and promote the public good, governments that fail to do so can be resisted and replaced with new governments.