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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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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64 views

Utilitarianism revisited

I assume utilitarianism to be the doctrine that one should act to maximize the overall amount of some "happiness". Next to the fact that it's not quite clear what happiness is supposed to be and ...
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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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94 views

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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78 views

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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61 views

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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126 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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73 views

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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98 views

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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157 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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232 views

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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134 views

Is there an established name for position that argues against law?

This is my position. But for some reason I'm sure I'm not the first to accept it (I guess some anarchists would have it). So, there likely should be other people with this position. Is there a name ...
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88 views

What is the historical entitlement conception of justice? How does it differ from the patterned conception?

Related to Nozick. What are the policy implications of the two approaches? Any examples?
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99 views

According to Nozick, what is a “patterned” conception of justice?

Any examples of a policy issue on which a patterned conception of justice might plausibly disagree with a historical entitlement based conception of justice
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503 views

If I want everyone to be a friend to everyone, am I an anarchist? [closed]

I am not defining friendship. It's easier to say what is not friendship. In most aspects there are some signifiers of friendship. What language do you use, how do you treat people, what do you feel. ...
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52 views

Did Nietzsche have anything to say about the trans-Atlantic slavery trade?

Given that there are over 300 references to slavery in Nietzsches work did he, in any of his works, address what was the most significant revival of slavery since Graeco-Roman times, that is the trans-...
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196 views

What did Confucius mean by saying that the 'rectification of names' is the first thing required to rule a state?

In Analects XII, a disciple asked Confucius the right principle of government whereupon Confucious said: The one thing needed first is the rectification of names. What did Confucius mean by this?
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In what order should I read The Republic, Aristotle's Politics, and The Prince?

I want to read Plato's The Republic, Aristotle's politics, and Machiavelli's The Prince. Is there an order in which I should read them to better understand the development of political philosophy?
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Did Nietzsche elaborate on his notion of a 'political caste to rule over Europe'

In Aphorism 251 in Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzche says: What is serious for me ... [is] the cultivation of a new caste to rule over Europe. And according to Nietzschean scholar Ronald Beiner, when ...
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Did Simone Weil analyse the conditions that allowed the growth of an oppressive bureaucratic state in the former Soviet Union?

In the short book by John Hellman, Simone Weil, an introduction to her thought, he quotes from her essay, La Revolutienne Proletarienne: Throughout history men have struggled, suffered and died to ...
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151 views

Can the affirmation “All taxes are theft” be considered an a priori truth?

Hans Hermann Hoppe is a popular Economist from the Austrian School whose central ideas seem fundamentally right. However, I see him as having very poor argumentation skills and more than once I read ...
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72 views

Privacy in the modern context [closed]

In Roman times, 'privacy' had more to do with one’s “private” domain where one is the master of one’s own house rather than the sense we have today where the emphasis is more on one’s private thoughts,...
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What are Popper's views on employment and unemployment?

I recently read an interview where Popper ranked his interest in employment above education. Unfortunately, the interview was quite brief and didn't go further into Popper's thinking on this. Q. What ...
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461 views

What exactly is the philosophical genealogy of racism, in particular Locke and Hume?

Afua Hirsch in her book, Brit(ish) writes: I was in my thirties when I learned that both Locke and Hume were also important proponents of racism, pouring that same intellect they used to such great ...
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79 views

Is “class culture” an artificial construct or does it have “natural” motivation?

Is "class culture" an artificial construct or does it have "natural" motivation? A lof of things, at least judging by internet, are associated or measured relative to socio-economic class. However, ...
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188 views

Does Egalitarianism also mean having Equal Opportunity?

Egalitarianism proposes that everyone should have same access to political and civil rights, but does that mean include equal opportunity?
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132 views

What is “State” for Rousseau?

I guess this simple question has a simple answer, but I have not found it. I am reading "The Social Contract" and am really loving it. I understand Rousseau's distinction of sovereign and government....
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96 views

Classical liberalism and libertarianism

What is the distinction between classical liberalism and libertarianism?
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133 views

Authors who think war and violence are part of the American culture and economy

The United States Military budget exceeds the next 9 countries on the list combined ref. here. A great deal of Hollywood movies portrait the glory of war and present violence as something entertaining ...
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32 views

Ernesto Laclau: 'Any repetition that is governed by a structural law of successions is space'

There is a debate going on about Ernesto Laclau's argument that any repetition that is governed by a structural law of successions is space But what does he actually mean by that?
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177 views

What are the key points Thomas Nagel makes in his article “Moral Conflict and Political Legitimacy”?

Particularly, what is his view on liberalism? And what is the significance of the example he gives regarding Catholics? The article can be found here:
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112 views

What grounds did Spinoza give for the legitimacy of government?

How exactly does Spinoza ground the legitimacy of the government in the theologo-political treatise? More specifically in Chapter 16, what is the legitimacy of the government grounded in?
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351 views

What is the difference between 'socialism' and 'communism'?

I frequently hear about these two different concepts. What is the fundamental difference between them?
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39 views

What was the scholastic position on Monarchy?

I'm trying to look into the history of medieval political thought, and I am struggling with the scholastics, especially Scotus and Albert. Does anyone know what their views were on Monarchy ...
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193 views

Natural sociality in Rousseau and Aristotle

Are we social or solitary by Rousseau's reckoning? How do his arguments stand in relation to Aristotle's idea of humans as essentially social or political?
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Was Jan Smuts the father of Holism?

With reference: Jan C. Smuts, Holism and Evolution https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Smuts With what I've found so far it seems he has had an enormous impact on the world that we have, so: Is ...
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44 views

Which philosophers were the strongest supporters of individual privacy?

Philosophers differ on their opinions of privacy. Who were the strongest supporters of individual privacy?
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561 views

Does philosophy shed any light on how parties can fruitfully debate without an agreed source of truth?

A hallmark of recent political developments is extreme partisanship, where each side has near total distrust of the other. To exacerbate this situation there has been a breakdown in agreement over ...
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165 views

What is John Locke's basic idea of individuality?

Are we social or solitary by Locke's reckoning? How can we use his argument to oppose Aristotle's idea of humans essentially being social or political? I have read the chapter 2 'Of the state of ...
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180 views

How does Aristotle argue for his claim that all humans are essentially social/political?

In relation to Aristotle's books Politics 1 and 2, how can you argue that all humans are social or political beings and what can you argue against that? What kind of arguments can be brought up ...
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157 views

Gun control and classical liberalism

Is gun control consistent with classical liberalism? Can a classical liberal case be made for restricting this liberty?
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55 views

Whose ideas are most influential for European Convention on Human Rights?

The European Convention on Human Rights is based on the idea of civil liberties, 18 articles in total. What philosophy is the foundation for these liberties? Specifically the right to privacy/private ...
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105 views

How do Marxists account for depreciating value of commodities

If Marxists claim that useful labor is the source of a commodities value then would a commodity that has an expiration date, strawberries for example have as much value when they turn rotten as when ...
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Is there a name for a position that governments could be replaced with voluntary organizations?

The problem I see with governments is that you have "duties" (from the position of legislators) even despite the fact you didn't choose to be born in any particular state. Therefore, probably it would ...
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Why are legal and moral responsibilities said to be different?

It seems in most cases which laws are adopted depends on what ethical views legislators hold. There might be counterexamples when a lawmaker does not adopt laws reflecting own moral views. But I do ...
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What does 'semantic blindness' mean here?

A public talk to be given by Philosopher Michael Patrick Lynch at Oxford is to address: Fake news spread online is a clear danger to democratic politics. One aspect of that danger is obvious: it ...
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67 views

What does Focault mean by “space”?

I’m reading “Of other spaces”, but it’s hard to follow for me because I don’t know what Focault means by “space”. So, what does Focault mean by space? What would be the definition?
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120 views

Philosophical approaches for a response to rape

I wasn't sure whether to post this here, or on law, or on politics. But I eventually landed here since this SE seemed like the most middle of the road option. My question concerns rape and how we ...
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48 views

How do marxists account for the value of land?

Under the labor theory of value, land should on its own have no value if no useful labor has been put into it yet its exchange value on the market extremely high. How is this contradiction addressed? ...
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What is use-value according to Marx and why is it what is valuable in a commodity?

According to Marx, labor is what gives a commodity its value, specifically useful labor(das mudpie). My question here is what exactly is useful labor and why is labor itself what provides value and ...