It is an interesting and very intricate historical question how this canon came to be constructed, and an amusing and recently popular intellectual game to see how readily and decisively it can be deconstructed.
And thirdly, what is the broader human intellectual significance of that history? The volume provides a representative collection of work by one of the most astute political commentators writing today.
Why is the history of political theory of the slightest importance to anyone who does not The history of political theory and other essays need to be able to discuss it fluently and accurately in order to placate some examiner?
Of the three approaches, however, it is the first, the self-consciously historical focus on authorial experience, intention and context, that has been pursued with most intellectual energy and panache over the last three decades.
As matters now stand, no one thinking seriously and on any scale about political agency in the world in which we live can ignore for any length of time the legal, administrative and coercive apparatus of the modern state, the ideological and practical obliquities of the modern political party, or the recalcitrant dynamics of the world trading system.
Chapter 5 complements this assessment of the superior political illumination of classical contractarian treatment of the issue of political obligation by underlining the greater frankness and political sensitivity of classical contractarian treatment of the mutual trustworthiness or otherwise of human agents or agencies.
So, to make any headway with the question of the felicity of its present composition over and above noting its severely western confinementwe must return to the issue when we come to consider the broader human and intellectual significance of western political theory today.
It is that question, effectively, which has constituted the history of political theory as a subject for university education in Europe and North America, from the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries up to the present day, and since extended it, not just to the remainder of the European diaspora or the former colonial or imperial territories of European powers, but to those few world societies which were never really subjugated by the west.
Mai pensant political opinion, we can be confident, we have ever with us. Questions and answers To fathom the meaning of the canon of classic texts of the history of political theory cannot reasonably be thought of as a finite enterprise - as perhaps physicists, for example, might still hope will prove apt in the end with the project of identifying the fundamental particles cf.
But, since the great texts of political theory are, amongst other characteristics, works of urgent analytical thought, and since their being so is a substantial part of the grounds for continuing to study them, the Rorschach blot approach to these texts, however assiduously applied, is not a promising recipe for fathoming their current significance.
It remains striking how little attempt has thus far been made to explain the imbalance between its considerable intellectual appeal and its exiguous political efficacy.
The ambiguous relation between academic elaboration and political Introduction 3 illumination is explored further in chapter 3, in a study of the historical sources and intellectual upshots of the conception of a social contract.
Its main conclusion is the prospective centrality to this endeavour of very large-scale and rapid changes in popular attitudes and the extreme political peril of seeking to orchestrate and implement such changes of attitude principally by accumulating and directing coercive power.
Gust what is the history of political theory the history ofi Secondly, how is that history, whatever its precise contours its scope and limits should be judged to be, best understood? Not all historical studies of what an author means by and in their text disclose anything important that would not be apparent to a casual and historically ignorant, but mentally alert, reader.
Rather, it is whether anything truly indispensable has been omitted from it. But most political actions which have any effect at all have at least some unintended consequences; and many stand in the most distressing relation to the outcomes which they prove to deliver.
It was first published in Government and Opposition in and is published here Acknowledgements xiii with the permission of the editors. In place of a Holy War against an adversary which could be confidently anticipated to act abominably but which had long also been plainly too powerful and dangerous for its freedom of action to be successfully restricted within its own territorial perimeter, the new configuration of political, military and economic forces plainly rendered it possible to intervene, with good or less good intentions, in a wide variety of settings Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Haiti.The history of political theory and other essays by Dunn, John; 1 edition; First published in ; Subjects: Political science, Philosophy, History The history of political theory and other essays |.
Get this from a library! The history of political theory and other essays. [John Dunn] -- "In this collection of recent essays (several appearing in English for the first time), John Dunn brings his characteristically acute and penetrating insight to a wide range of issues facing.
In the first one he argues for the importance of a historical perspective in political thought. He also examines contractualism, socialism, racism, governments and states' interdependence, the European Union, the nation state and the heritage and future of the European political left.
The History Of Political Theory And Other Essays The myth of national defense: essays on the theory and, the libertarian idea of society without a state appeals to. Amongst many other characteristics, to study, seek to understand, write or teach about the history of political theory are all themselves in some degree political activities - certainly a continuation of civic exertion, and in some instances, perhaps, even a continuation of military exertion, by very different (and, in the latter instance.
What is History? And Other Essays Selected Writings Michael Oakeshott. This highly readable new collection of thirty pieces by Michael Oakeshott, almost all of which are previously unpublished, covers every decade of his intellectual career.Download