Questions tagged [political-philosophy]

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

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Dialectics and Machiavelli

What is the relation between Marxist dialectics and Machiavelli's philosophy? I have read Lefort, and he seems good, but I was unsure if he was an academic playing games.
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Are social crises good for the bourgeoisie, according to Marx?

Are social crises good for the bourgeoisie, according to Marx? Clearly social crises can be bad for the working class. For example, the world wars were bad and count as 'social crises', but they may ...
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Is there any second-hand, open-source literature on Georges Bataille's essay “The Psychological Structure of Fascism”?

A while ago, I read Bataille's essay “The Psychological Structure of Fascism”, translated into English by Carl Lovitt. As I haven't followed any philosophy courses at a university (I'm mostly a self-...
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Who does 'men of letters' refer to?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in his discourse on the origin of inequality and discourse on the arts and sciences, mentioned the 'men of letters', men he associated with negative connotations. However, who ...
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Paradox: if people are too immoral to be left free in their choice, then why is democracy the solution?

I am asking if there are noted philosophers that have thought about the following paradox before, or something resembling it. Democracy is seen here as a system in which a nation is governed by a ...
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Why does Hayek refer to French 'individualism' as the “Cartesian” school?

I am reading Frederick Hayek right now and saw that he refers to the French liberal tradition, what he calls French "individualism (vs the English liberal tradition of Smith, Ferguson, Burke, etc.) ...
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144 views

Is political correctness a result of a more rational society?

Yes, I am aware of the insanity in the question. However, that is precisely why I am asking. The insanity stems from the popular idea, especially amongst academics or the type of people you might find ...
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Is anarcho-socialism an oxymoron?

I have regularly heard debate between anarcho-socialists and anarcho-capitalists about which one is the true oxymoron. If we take anarcho-socialism to mean no government and economic equality (+ ...
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Is it possible that Israel - despite being a self-named Jewish state is not a Jewish state at all? [closed]

An aunt of mine, when she arrived in Britain, once jeered at me, calling me a Christian, mostly because she thought of Britain as being Christian. These were the only categories of thought she had. I,...
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Current academics exponents of (classical) liberalism

First of all, I don't want to cause polemic with the question. I know it's a delicate issue and I don't want to touch personal susceptibilities. My question is more on ignorance since I am from ...
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Should we place our own good before our nation's good? [closed]

I'm currently writing a screenplay, and one of the philosophical themes arises out of a very specific conflict, with I call: INDIVIDUAL BENEFIT vs STATE BENEFIT. One of the characters sacrifices ...
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What does it mean for someone to “found a state/government”? And why can they do it? [closed]

What does it mean for someone to "found a state/government"? And why can they do it? E.g. George Washington is referred to as the "founder" of American republic. But what's a republic and how can ...
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Who writes the natural laws of a constitution?

If we say that the natural law of a constitution in a democratic government has to protect the minority from the majority, by whom is it written? If the majority writes it, it might not protect the ...
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344 views

Are state secrets compatible with Democracy?

In some western countries some government agencies and intelligence services withdraw information from the general public on the pretext of "national security" or "public safety". eg. 1: The American ...
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How do Burkean conservatives respond to the accusation of cultural relativism?

I sincerely hope that this is the right StackExchange to ask this question. Politics deals with pragmatics and History seldom deals with more abstract questions. As far as I can gather, Burkean ...
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Why does Arendt say that the 'absence of continuity' is an outstanding characteristic of the totalitarian mind?

Hannah Arendt writes in her book The Origins of Totalitarianism: Stalin's successors attempted to do without concessions to the name of their predecessor, even though Stalin had thirty years' ...
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Who was the first philosopher of property?

I assume that the idea of property already existed in ancient Greece, else there would be no slaves -- at least no privately owned slaves. Yes, I know that litte about the Greeks. Who was the first ...
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Is the term 'Quantum Supremacy' symptomatic of the sick state of quantum physics today?

I overheard the following dialogue recently: Letitia: Quantum what? Josef: Quantum supremacy! Letitia: Is that a game quantum theorists play to show who is supreme in quantum mechanics? Josef: No, ...
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What causes the binary (left/right) division in politics?

In many places we can see that people cluster into specifically two groups, politically. Of dozens of prominent unresolved societal issues, we can predict one's stance on many issues by knowing their ...
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Continuing Political Philosophy Study

A little over a year ago, I took a political philosophy course, and am currently reviewing some notes and the texts. Keeping in mind that I have no other background in philosophy, I wondered if anyone ...
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Is gaslighting a totalitarian measure?

The term gas-lighting means: manipulate (someone) by psychological means into doubting their own sanity. This is given in individual terms; by this, I mean that gaslighting is done by some-one to ...
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Who said, “a parliament with no opposition should be dissolved”?

I've found a reference in a Jewish text from the mid-19th century to a "gentile sage" (an expression usually referring to a Greek philosopher, but it could be any non-Jewish person really) who said ...
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Maximizing freedom in a society

A friend and I were trying to come up with the most basic rule that, if followed, would lead to a functional (and preferably good) society. He said: "People should be free to do whatever they want, ...
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I'm being drafted to the military but I have the option to refuse (legally), would it be immoral for me to serve? [closed]

I’m set to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces but I have the option to exempt from the military if I wish to. So I’m in a big moral dilemma on whether I should serve or not, I’m currently leaning ...
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In the philosophy of Josiah Royce, is there a tension between the individual and society?

I'm reading through Josiah Royce's view on the self and this is what I think he believes the tension to be between the individual and society: "The tension between the individual and society is ...
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Is freedom from discrimination a positive or a negative right?

Because of the recent controversy regarding pronouns on Meta, I started thinking about this question. In general, is freedom from discrimination as protected in most modern liberal states a positive ...
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Is fascism intrinsically violent?

Has every group or nation that is generally considered to be fascist, descended from the nationalist ideology of Mussolini (I don't mean 'fascism' in the sense of just any right wing demagogy), ...
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225 views

Was Bertrand Russell correct in characterising the United States as 'a Nazi State'? [closed]

In his book, War Crimes in Vietnam, published in 1967 Russell several times calls the United States a Nazi State: The United States government is conducting a war of annihilation in the Vietnam. ...
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Difference between the ensemble of organizations in an anarchy and a state?

Even an anarchy needs organizations to provide security, legal judgment, roads, etc. and to prepare large-scale plans and arrangements. Probably, for the sake of efficiency and harmony, there should ...
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Philosophers on alternatives to capitalism and communism

Philosopher Karl Marx envisioned an economic system called communism to fight the abuses suffered by working class people during the industrial era. The exploration of man by man and the excessive ...
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Was Robin Hood's point of view ethically sound?

The story of Robin Hood was a favourite of mine as a child. But as an adult, I am beginning to change my mind for a couple of reasons. The first being that if we assume a free market exists, ...
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How to argue that some inequality is justifiable in order to maximize the well-being of the worst off in Rawls's theory of justice?

In context, I have to describe what we think is a just society by Rawls theory of justice. I want to try and use Scandinavia, for example, the Nordic Model as a representation as a just society. ...
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Is illiteracy something you could claim as freedom in the Libertarian world view?

Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasizing freedom of choice. (Wiki) Is it consequent or illogical to argument that a Libertarian world view allows for illiteracy as ...
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Authors on the Credibility and Corruption of Modern Science

During the Renaissance and Industrial eras science was a way to remove superstition, religious misconception, and irrational fears. The scientific method was proved to be valid and available to ...
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What is to be understood by the phrase “Israel's right to exist”? [closed]

As someone who is interested in the Israeli-Palestinian question one phrase that comes up in the pro-Israeli position is the insistence that the Palestinians recognise '"Israel's right to exist". (In ...
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In Hegelian Dialectic is an antithesis ever a shift in the status quo, or only an opposition to the status quo?

I am trying to understand how the Hegelian dialectic evolves over time. I will use tn (where n is a constant integer) informally, such that tn+2 - tn+1 is not necessarily the same duration as tn+1 - ...
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What is structural power in Miranda Fricker's Epistemic Injustice?

I'm reading Epistemic Injustice by Miranda Fricker (looking at pages 10 and 11 here) and she starts out by defining power. One of the things she says is [...] power can operate purely structurally. ...
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Why does Williams quote Napoleon calling Rouseau a madman?

In truth and truthfulness, Bernard Williams spends quite some time discussing the life of Rousseau, including his apparent inauthenticity. At one point, he Williams briefly gets into his relation to ...
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Is participating in democracy ethical?

I have been pondering this question for the past few days and have come up with this short argument to support the ethical value of abstinence from participation in a democratic system. If we are all ...
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What did Ivan Illich think of Helmut Schoeck?

Is there any record of Ivan Illich commenting on the writings, viewpoints or life of Helmut Schoeck?
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Utilitarianism revisited

I assume utilitarianism to be the doctrine that one should act to maximize the overall amount of "happiness". Next to the fact that it's not quite clear what happiness is supposed to be and how it ...
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How many academic Philosophers in Australia are still influenced by John Anderson “Andersonians”

John Anderson was a well known Philosopher in at Sydney University whom influenced many involved in the Sydney push and the those involved in the sexual revolution of the 1960’s. Are any of his ideas ...
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Difference between 'marxist' and 'Marxist'?

What is the difference between 'marxist' (with a small 'm') and 'Marxist'? This question arose to me when I came across this: It follows from this belief that if you can totally change the '...
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What does Marx mean by “the real will of the cooperative”?

This is an extract from A Darwinian Left by Peter Singer: Marx: Under collective property, the so-called will of the people disappears in order to make way for the real will of the cooperative. ...
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Who wrote about levels of power?

Recently, a senator stated that a bill would not be voted upon “because I get to decide what we vote on.” I recall a complete philosophy of exercising power at various levels, of which deciding when ...
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379 views

How is egalitarianism even possible? [closed]

How is egalitarianism (broadly, any idea about equality between humans) even possible? I find it hard to chew as to how can egalitarianism be demonstrated to even exist in any, even simple sense. ...
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Why should I trust experts - and what's the place of experts in a democracy?

If we trust experts, do we then elevate them as determiners of the truth? When we trust our surgeon to do a good job in surgery because he is an expert, do I forfeit my right to criticize experts on ...
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Is this argument about ownership valid?

I came across an argument that I believe to be invalid: Ownership is defined as the ability to exclude others. "Everyone owns land" becomes "everyone has the ability to exclude others from land." I ...
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191 views

Is Socrates' happiness possible for average, normal people?

Socrates talked a big game in the Republic: we don't need money, family or friends to be happy; all that requires is that we pursue truth and wisdom. I can sort of see how this can make sense for ...
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What does Machiavelli say about friends of my enemies?

What does Machiavelli say about friends of my enemies? I read the Prince, and some continental stuff relating it to Marxism, such as Specters of Marx. The former mostly seemed like practical, in some ...

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