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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13
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4answers
20k 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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3answers
413 views

Morality of Interfering in Foreign Elections

What kinds of moral theories, or even just considerations, come into play for state-level action in trying to influence another nation's political election process, in terms of information/propaganda? ...
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3answers
10k views

How can I start learning about political philosophy?

I'm interested in learning about political philosophy. What are the best ways to start? Are there any websites for beginners? Are there any books such as the "For Dummies" series? Are there any audio ...
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2answers
1k views

Industrial Society and its Future [closed]

Ted Kaczynski, also known as the “Unabomber,” was born on May 22, 1942, in Illinois. A mathematics prodigy, Kaczynski taught at the University of California at Berkeley before retreating to a ...
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2answers
3k views

What views of government were based on Kantian ethics?

Historically, what kinds of government and politics have been influenced by the maxims of Kant's "categorical imperative"? Take for example, the maxim that one should only act in such a way that the ...
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6answers
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Is “Don't blame me; I voted for ___” a bad argument?

Is there a fallacy in the argument, "Don't blame me; I voted for ..."? Or is a voter's entire responsibility for their contribution to whatever current state of political affairs they experience ...
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1answer
84 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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7answers
40k views

What are prominent attacks of Rawls' “veil of ignorance” argument? Which liberal philosophers have advanced it?

In John Rawls' A Theory of Justice, he argues that morally, society should be constructed politically as if we were all behind a veil of ignorance; that is, the rules and precepts of society should be ...
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4answers
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Why is John Rawls taken more seriously than Ayn Rand?

I just listened to a lecture on ethics and justice, and John Rawls' "a theory of justice" was presented as the most significant work of political philosophy in recent times. The lecturer then went on ...
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Are there contemporary arguments against democracy as inherently flawed?

Consider the following idea: In the modern democratic form of government where the person or group in power are chosen through elections, and in a situation where the current elected government is ...
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6answers
739 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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4answers
67k views

Accepted Interpretation of Machiavelli's “the ends justify the means.”?

Prior to reading The Prince, I had heard of the aphorism: The ends justify the means This was Machiavelli's identifying line to many people, and in my conversations with them, I got the impression ...
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Does Plato see tyranny as final?

Plato's Republic famously describes the decay of the regimes, a process by which a society decays from the best regime, that of aristocracy, to the lowest, that of tyranny. However, the purpose of ...
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1answer
303 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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Pendulum Theory / Cyclical Theory in Philosophy?

In political science, the Cyclical Theory states that societal attitudes (Liberal-Conservative spectrum) move like a pendulum moving from one extreme to the other. Are there any philosophers who ...
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1answer
99 views

Is political equality meaningfully achievable as a political goal? [closed]

In a recently closed post Is equality as a political goal meaningless?, the OP posed this question [as edited by me]: Is the concept of political equality, itself, meaningless, without referencing ...
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3answers
23k views

What were Plato's view on slavery, in particular with respect to his proposed Utopia?

In the Dialogues(specifically The Republic), when he is discussing his Utopia, At one point, he does say that children should not be treated differently based on their parent's status in life. However,...
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365 views

Does the idea of a welfare state fundamentally conflict with an open immigration policy?

Progressives and liberals in the US (myself included) typically support two ideas: That immigration should be open so that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay and provided a so-called "...
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3answers
296 views

How should the fair distribution of some goods depend on other-regarding preferences?

I am a welfare economist, working on fairness in economics, and I would like your opinion on some distributional dilemma. Suppose we have the following situation: A country is endowed with some ...
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4answers
2k views

How much if any suspension of civil liberties can be ethically justified during a “state of war”? [closed]

We constantly see civil liberties getting sacked because the country/state/city/town is in a state of war (let it be curfews or bugging civilian mobile phones). How much is ok? At what level is it ...
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6answers
2k views

difference between power and authority

I'm trying to precisely define some political and philosophical concept and i realize i can't figure out what the difference is between Authority and Power. a few researches gave me that : ...
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0answers
363 views

How has Foucault Philosophy of Surveillance been critiqued?

One of the horrors of the communist police-states of Eastern Europe was the incredible amount of information that the police force kept on the general population. This was often not gathered just by ...
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3answers
1k views

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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1answer
525 views

Who said postmodernism is a Right-wing philosophy?

The vast majority of texts I've read (probably all of them) link postmodernism with the Left-wing in politics. However, postmodernism attacks modern science, which was/is the main force against ...
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260 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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1answer
128 views

To what extent are the concerns of philosophy divorced from those of real life? [closed]

There's a thread that asks whether the slogan "guns don't kill people, people kill people" is a valid argument. I'd like to have answered it, but couldn't because I don't have enough mojo here. Yet ...
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1answer
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What consequences has Locke's theory of knowledge had on modern political thought?

According to John Locke's notion of tabula rasa, there are no innate ideas in the mind. All human knowledge comes from sensible experience. Assuming this principle, it follows that there is no innate ...
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1answer
8k 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 liberal ...
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3answers
40k 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
814 views

When studying philosophy, is there a prioritization of primary or secondary sources/texts?

How do/did philosophers like Zizek, Cornel West, Derrida, Sartre study philosohy? Did they focus on primary sources or secondary? Both at the same time? I am currently reading a primary source and ...
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5answers
1k views

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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2answers
52 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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4answers
382 views

Can literacy + numeracy tests for voters improve democracy?

There have been many examples in History of various types of census for voters. The examples would include land ownership, income, age, gender, race, literacy, etc. Many of those have been detrimental ...
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1answer
524 views

Can “freedom toward death” have 'freedom' translated out of it?

The term "freedom toward death" appears in Heidegger's Being and Time, e.g. p255 to be itself in the passionate anxious freedom toward death, which is free of the illusions of the they, factical, ...