Political Philosophy

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Its main tasks are in part to describe past and existing social organisations, in which seem to duplicate the findings of economics, political science, anthropology, biology and sociology; and in part to evaluate these organisations, in which respect it is like ethics.
For example, it describes the essential features of various types of governments (democracy, monarchy, fascism) and at the same time asks such questions about them as What is the ultimate justification foe the existence of any form of government? Is it possible to have rigid control over the economics affairs of people without curtailing their political freedom? Should elected representatives to a legislature be allowed to vote as they see fit, or should they merely reflect the majority opinion of their constituency? Classical political theories offer advice for achieving an ideal society. Modern theories are primarily devoted to what we have called philosophical analysis, . i. e. to the purpose of clarifying the meaning of this advice and of the terms we use in political discussion.
1. The state was more important than any individual citizen not only because it united all citizens into a particular culture, but also because its persistence guaranteed the continuance of the culture even though its individual members perished.
2. The individual is more important than the state-and in this respect, philosophical analysis may be regarded as having the important function of showing us that certain kinds of advice Die for the Fatherland may be mistaken, i. e. philosophically and logically untenable.
PLATO S POLITICAL PHYLOSOPHY One of the most difficult and perplexing questions in political philosophy is: who should rule? . If one holds that people should rule themselves, he s advocating democracy; if he holds that one men should rule, he may be a monarchist; and so forth. The Platonic answer is that a specially trained group of intellectuals should rule.
What would an ideal society be like? The answer, Plato believed, depended to a great extent upon who ruled such a society. He assumed that there was an analogy between an individual person and the society in which he lived. The only real difference was one of size-a society is nothing but: the individual writ large. What makes a man perfect? What makes an ideal man is a matter both of physical and of psychology perfection. By perfection Plato here meant the same as health. A man is physically healthy if he s not suffering from disease; but to determine when he s psychologically is somehow more complicated.
Plato[s reply was that the human soul was divided into 3 parts: -what he called the the rational element the spirited element the appetitive element.
The rational is what part of a man s soul which enables him to reason, to argue, to deliberate. The spirited element is what makes a man courageous or cowardly and gives him strength of will, and the appetitive ...


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