Describing questions about the philosophy of politics and society which investigate concerns like liberty, justice and equality.

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Ring of Gyges and mass surveillance

Plato in the Republic recounts a mythical story of the Ring of Gyges in book 2 of the Republic. It is a device to understand the nature of morality; that is whether a man would be moral if he need not ...
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21 views

Failed states and Gramsci

The state for Gramsci is not purely the stage for government; he elaborates it as the site for both political and civic society; the first is the realm of force (a la Hobbes leviathan) and the second ...
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3answers
48 views

Can political ideologies be logically undecidable? If so, what are the consequences of this?

I'm having a thought that I would like more expert opinion on, as this crosses boundaries between philosophical logic and political science. My premise is that a political ideology can be represented ...
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32 views

Is anarchism a form of liberalism? [on hold]

In my experience [of on-line life] anarchists are simply extremist liberals, and so their own criticisms of liberalism apply just as much to themselves. Is there some philosophical truth to this?
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27 views

Can anyone help me find critical published responses to this paper?

Research and discovery of counterarguments has quite a lot to do with philosophy as a practice, and I'm hoping to improve on my technique and see what others can do. In line with this, I have a ...
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1answer
65 views

Generalize Article I of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

I find Article I of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be fascinatingly insightful and concise: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with ...
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2answers
122 views

Do academic philosophers have a special duty to challenge their government?

This is a question about source materials: I'm hoping someone can point me to a modern treatment of obligations to the state incurred by the act of philosophizing, or even an argument against the ...
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1answer
50 views

Is (are) there a civic religion(s) in Western Europe?

The sociologist Robert Bellah considered The United States to have a civic religion centred around national figures (Lincoln etc) and documents (The Declaration of Independence). Its worth noting ...
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75 views

Is a work ethic, ethical?

Having a work ethic means being disciplined and hard-working amongst other things. But I'm hard-pressed to see this as being part of the notion of ethics in the usual or philosophical sense. Who ...
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50 views

Should a king be restrict to marry a queen that is also a philosopher in Plato's point of view?

Should a king be restrict to marry a queen that is also a philosopher in Plato's point of view? I know that the king had big power and should be a philosopher in Plato's view. If the queen have some ...
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1answer
42 views

What are the differences betweeen post-apocalyptic and anarchical or dystopic? [closed]

When I get into the definitions for fictions like novels and movies, I've became a bit confused. For example, there are some post-apocalyptic fictions and when there is an authority in that fiction it ...
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5answers
233 views

Can mathematics be political?

The Liverpool Tate have an exhibition currently running that discusses the dialectic between politics and art - the situationists, Bertolt Brecht and earlier the patronage of the court. Mathematics, ...
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61 views

The many Utopias [closed]

I am looking for philosophical texts that tackle the subject of Utopia. This is what I was able to find, that wasn't a novel. The Republic (ca. 380 BC) by Plato - one of the earliest conceptions of ...
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56 views

Answering difficult questions about the state of humanity [closed]

My child is at that age of asking difficult questions. Things like How come Japan has suffered two nuclear attacks and is still one of the largest economies in the world? Or How come people in ...
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3answers
81 views

What is the 'War on Terror'? [closed]

It isn't War, as classically defined by Clauswitz, which is defined to be declared by states against states; states are of course the pre-eminant form of political organisation since the Peace of ...
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3answers
83 views

How to approach study of PPE for the, non-achedemic, layman?

I'm a non-academic type (I left school at 16) who is also dyslexic with attention deficit problems. I've recently become interested in the study of philosophy, politics and economics (To answer ...
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4answers
123 views

Why is taxation opposed by libertarians?

I have recently learnt that taxation is opposed by libertarians and that they the cite the principle of self - possession to justify this, an interesting argument along these lines equated taxation to ...
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2answers
86 views

Was Marcus Aurelius the first philosopher-king?

Marcus Aurelius, well-known for his Meditations, in the second century AD, was a Stoic philosopher and also emperor of the Roman empire. Plato, in his Republic, advised that the ideal rulers of his ...
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178 views

What is the Difference Between Human Rights and Natural Rights?

When people discuss the human rights and natural rights, there seems to be a distinction between the two, where standard interpretations of human rights (such as the Universal Declaration of Human ...
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2answers
46 views

Problems of political philosophy?

Are there any resources or references that concisely state the problems with political philosophy? Recommended texts for beginners are also welcome!
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41 views

The future of my philosophical understanding and methods for getting there

I am trying to go through a semi-rigorous self-teaching regimen, and I was wondering if I could get some criticism on my approach. I'm interested in philosophy of economics, social philosophy, and ...
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2answers
40 views

Can public funding panels properly represent the interests of the public?

The public funds a large number of projects in the arts, humanities and sciences. How this funding is distributed is decided by a small group of people who given the power to make a decision on behalf ...
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1answer
43 views

Legitimacy of peer review

Many matters in academia, such as who gets funding, what gets published and who gets employed are settled by a relatively small group of people. This applies quite broadly, from the arts to the ...
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2answers
349 views

Should governments have the power to limit the citizen's rights during wartime?

Should the government be allowed to limit their citizens rights during wartime or other hard times that the country is going through? What if it was an apocalyptic event that everyone knew they would ...
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280 views

Political Philosophy - who to vote for

Apologies if this is a bad forum for this question. Given the historic links between politics and philosophy, I thought it might be a worthwhile question. Otherwise, downvote away :) There are ...
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2answers
54 views

Greek political philosophy and theory?

I'm interested in political philosophy, and I was hoping to become rounded in Greek political theory and philosophy, in hopes of moving on to Roman political philosophy with a bit of context. My ...
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53 views

Suggestions for critical writing

I was wondering if anyone had any tips for critiquing a philosophical work. I know this is a vast topic in itself, but I really want to start analyzing philosophical writings and engaging with the ...
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75 views

is the answer contained in the question when it is well formulated? [closed]

we expect others especially authorities to give us answers. can anyone have answers to our own questions except oureselves when letting the question being unconsciously processed and give space for ...
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34 views

Singer's Principle of Sacrifice & Miller's Principle of Sympathy

The debating area is global political philosophy and is particularly about global distributive justice. Singer's principle of Sacrifice: If it is one's power to prevent something very bad from ...
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4answers
85 views

Is there any difference between Populism and Democracy ?

I'm from India, the world's largest functional democracy. We often hear of political opponents criticizing each other for being 'populist' and for 'forgoing good governance'. And we also hear the term ...
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1answer
99 views

According to Mill, are the stand your ground laws ethical?

Quick definition to get on the same page: "stand-your-ground law states that a person may justifiably use force in self-defense without an obligation to retreat first" (wikipedia) This question is ...
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50 views

Mass surveillance and the concealed subject of power

In Spivaks essay, can the Subaltern speak, she states that: [the] contemporary invocations of the libidinal economy and desire as the determining interest, combined with practical politics of the ...
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155 views

What will be the outcome of an open source project without the supervision of an expert group? [closed]

Edited on 20th April Currently open source projects always have a group of developers who give direction and approve commits to the project. A sort of an expert committee, probably accepted by ...
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1answer
580 views

What does Foucault mean by discursive practices or discursive constitutions in definition of discourse?

Foucault uses the concept of discursive practices or discursive constitutions in the definition of discourse. What does he mean by this concept? How are discursive practices different from ...
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2answers
57 views

Economics, State and Violence

I think it was the continental sociologist Weber who defined a State as that organ of a nation that has a monopoly of violence. Economics, at least what minute fraction I know, appears to ignore ...
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71 views

The mass surveillance of price and the invisible hand?

In Hayeks Road to Serfdom, he distinguishes between central planning & decentralised planning. And states that decentralised planning makes the most sense, since the available information is too ...
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71 views

Does analytical political philosophy discuss both capitalism and communism as an inheritence of Christianity?

John Gray, discusses in his book, Black Mass, the similarities between both Capitalism and Communism in terms of Christianity in a Post-Christian Europe - he calls them both Political Religion: He ...
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1answer
24 views

What authors differentiate between ability and freedom?

On one view, I am free to fly, because no other person renders it physically impossible for me to do so. On another view, I am unfree to fly, because I am not able to. The act of flying is not ...
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93 views

What is the difference between 'hegemony' and 'interpellation' in Marxism?

I thought that hegemony explains how one class exerts influence over another, and interpellation explains how one class allows the other class to exert influence over them. But then the two seem so ...
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55 views

Identifying base/superstructure using Marxist theories in Coriolanus?

How does the base/superstructure and ideology or hegemony work in the play Coriolanus by Shakespeare? I mean what is the base and the superstructure? I know that the superstructure is basically the ...
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109 views

How does Hannah Arendt define “freedom?”

Looking at this: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/arendt/ By freedom Arendt does not mean the ability to choose among a set of possible >alternatives (the freedom of choice so dear to the ...
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34 views

Measuring freedom in republican theories?

The liberal, or pure negative, approach to freedom, which identifies freedom with non-interference, often allows for freedom to be measured, e.g. in the works of Ian Carter and Matthew Kramer. Are ...
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1answer
51 views

What is the relation between modern political philosophy and politics? [closed]

I am thinking about authors like Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, as well as current debates about e.g. negative and positive freedom or liberal and republican notions of freedom. Are there political ...
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5answers
187 views

Is “equality” an virtue in itself or a derivative of envy?

There have been a lot of political talk on "disparity" and "equality" lately in US. The underlying assumption often is that equality is necessarily good, and that most people would benefit from the ...
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1answer
17 views

What are the political, ephemeral and accidental alternatives?

I am reading “Natural Right and History” by Leo Strauss and I have trouble to understand the following quote (Chapter 2, Paragraph 2): If philosophy in general is possible, political philosophy in ...
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1answer
72 views

The Irony of Rorty's Ethnocentrism and “Lonely Provincialism”

In his philosophy, Rorty “turns” his reorientation in analytic philosophy and epistemology away from knowledge to a new focus on hope. He adopts the stance of fallibilism and the “liberal ironism,” ...
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1answer
109 views

Understanding Rawls' Justice as Fairness?

I take 'Justice as Fairness' to be the name of Rawls' political theory on how we should basically live together. As SEP states in an article on Rawls, his most discussed work is his theory of a ...
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1answer
103 views

Is democracy fatally flawed in a “rights” dominated culture?

I've been thinking of late that democracy simply doesn't make as much sense as we think it does, in its present cultural context. Let me explain... Let's assume that for every problem there is a set ...
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1answer
158 views

Was Ayn Rand affected by Italian Futurism?

Italian Futurism was an art movement in early 20th century Italy which celebrated youth, violence & technology: Marinetti expressed a passionate loathing of everything old, especially ...
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73 views

What are the major criticisms of the Labour Theory of Value?

Philosophically speaking it seems that the only & sole determinant of value of goods can only be Labour - through labour of the spirit, mind and hands. This truth is true only when labour is seen ...