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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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32 votes
16 answers
18k views

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, ...
Adam Ledger's user avatar
32 votes
16 answers
10k views

Is mathematics politically and culturally neutral?

Lately, there have been many people who say that mathematics itself is racist, that it is simply a creation of dead white Greek men. As a mathematician, I strongly disagree, and believe that ...
user107952's user avatar
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28 votes
10 answers
11k views

What are some arguments against violence?

I had repercussions over an argument in class of the inevitability of war, and violence in some instances. I was on the side that was arguing that violence is never necessary. My opponent said ...
Lucian09474's user avatar
27 votes
11 answers
7k views

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 ...
Mimikyu's user avatar
  • 241
22 votes
11 answers
10k views

My CO2 emissions in the light of Russia burning thousands of tons of it a day

According to the news, Russia is burning off, or "flaring," about 4.34 million cubic meters of gas a day because it does not sell it to Europe. That's apparently an equivalent of 9,000 ...
user avatar
21 votes
10 answers
7k views

When is violence appropriate?

In what situations would violence be appropriate? The way I see it, the only excuse is as a response to violence (self-defense). Am I missing anything?
Joe Flynn's user avatar
  • 331
18 votes
4 answers
6k views

How much ethics did Machiavelli convey in The Prince?

My philosophy teacher and I are having a little disagreement regarding The Prince: He argues that although the book's context is a letter to Lorenzo de' Medici advising him and recommending a course ...
commando's user avatar
  • 7,389
18 votes
5 answers
76k 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 ...
commando's user avatar
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17 votes
5 answers
4k views

On what grounds can a democratic state prohibit pornography?

On what grounds can a democratic state interfere to prohibit or limit its citizens from producing, distributing and consuming pornography? Does the state have any right to prohibit pornography or ...
user avatar
17 votes
7 answers
9k views

Why would Aristotle argue that "a mechanic or a mercantile life" is "ignoble and inimical to virtue"?

All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind. (Aristotle) UPDATE: As Michael notes below, a better translation of the above is in Rackham (reproduced from Michael's citation): This isn't a better ...
please delete me's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
847 views

Is Nozick's Criticism of Rawls correct?

When Nozick says distributive justice 'marks a shift from the classical liberal notion of self ownership to a notion of property rights in others', is this a fair criticism of Rawls and distributive ...
fuzz's user avatar
  • 171
16 votes
7 answers
46k 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 ...
Uticensis's user avatar
  • 864
16 votes
3 answers
3k views

What are the main points of contention between Marxist and capitalist economic philosophies?

What are the main points of contention between Marxist economic philosophy and the various "pro-capitalist" economic philosophies (Labor Theory of Value, Austrian School, Libertarianism, etc.?)
Joseph Weissman's user avatar
  • 9,606
15 votes
9 answers
6k views

Do decolonialists have to attack science and modernity?

I’m a professional scientist (mathematician, actually). I’m not a philosopher. I’ve got a lot of friends well-versed in philosophy, and they all seem to point toward modernity as a byproduct of ...
Simón Flavio Ibañez's user avatar
15 votes
8 answers
5k views

If you have won the trust of an illegal immigrant, is it ethical to turn him/her over to the authorities?

My question is NOT about the problems associated with secondary consequences of illegal immigration, such as unemployment of the native workforce. Nor is it about the causes of illegal immigration, ...
Krishnaraj Rao's user avatar
15 votes
7 answers
4k views

Arguments for/against tolerance against intolerance?

What arguments speak for/against tolerance towards intolerance? Can someone be called fully tolerant, if they don't tolerate intolerance? Hence, does tolerance exist in a pure form? On the other ...
Bob's user avatar
  • 1,082
15 votes
9 answers
2k views

Should I vote for what is best for me or what is best for others?

I live and vote in a constituency where the policies of Party A are better for the long-term success of my business, which determines the material conditions of my well-being and that of my family. ...
luchonacho's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are the most significant contributions Slavoj Žižek has made to the field of philosophy?

What are the most significant contributions Slavoj Žižek has made to the field of philosophy, perhaps in particular to political philosophy?
Kenshin's user avatar
  • 1,544
14 votes
6 answers
28k 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 ...
Kupyn's user avatar
  • 243
13 votes
11 answers
2k views

Should freedom of speech accept speech against liberal values? Such as hate speech?

Should freedom of speech accept speech against liberal values such as diversity? Focusing on a particular scenario as an example: If people want to protest against the existence of say black people, ...
SAFI's user avatar
  • 741
13 votes
4 answers
30k 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,...
apoorv020's user avatar
  • 923
13 votes
3 answers
4k views

Was the Republic a meritocracy?

One direct way of stating the heart of the question might be: is there sufficient textual evidence and support for the assertion that Plato's Republic contains meritocratic elements? A second and ...
Joseph Weissman's user avatar
  • 9,606
12 votes
14 answers
10k views

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 ...
rus9384's user avatar
  • 2,696
12 votes
5 answers
1k views

If the "right to life" is denied in abortion, isn't it also denied in the use of the death penalty?

Many people who support death penalty are also against abortion, and vice-versa. What is the moral difference between the two? In both cases, isn't the "right to life" of another being violated? ...
max0005's user avatar
  • 390
12 votes
5 answers
4k views

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 ...
commando's user avatar
  • 7,389
11 votes
7 answers
10k 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 ...
Arjun J Rao's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

What are the Moral Sentiments of Capitalism according to Adam Smith?

Despite his legacy as the father of capitalism and authority on jurisprudence especially toward the end of his career, Adam Smith is usually known in ethics and philosophy classes by his classic The ...
Paradox Lost's user avatar
  • 2,111
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

Does the current “ruling ontology” deny any possibility of a social causation of mental illness?

Mark Fisher in his book Capitalist Realism writes: The current ruling ontology denies any possibility of a social causation of mental illness. Fisher then goes on to say that the construct of “...
Muhhamedbinghazi's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
455 views

Was the European Left confined in a false dichotomy between capitalism and communism?

In the 2004 book "Camus and Sartre: The Story of a Friendship and the Quarrel That Ended It" (link to a brief review/synopsis), the author portrays two of the leading members of the literary class' ...
mfg's user avatar
  • 867
10 votes
6 answers
7k views

Why is Nietzsche more frequently associated with Nazis than Hegel is?

Most introductory texts or lectures of Nietzsche mention the connection between his thought and Nazi ideology (supposedly due to his sister's promoting his thought as being pro-Nazi). But Nazis don't ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
553 views

What are reasonable basic obligations of citizens in democratic societies?

Theorists (Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel) have often discussed the state's obligations to its citizens, but nowadays it seems we need a definitive-but-succinctly articulated account of citizens'...
Mavaddat Javid's user avatar
10 votes
7 answers
1k views

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 ...
Alexander S King's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

What are the fundamental philosophical questions reflected in the American legal system?

I am interested in the link between philosophy and legal systems, in particular the American legal system (and English heritage) and the underlying ideas in play. At a high-level, it seems to me ...
DuckMaestro's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
279 views

Where can I start to learn about the philosophy of penology?

I'm interested in how societies deal with criminals, and I was wondering where to start in understanding the contribution philosophers have made to this question. I'm particularly wanting to ...
Tim Martin's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
568 views

Is transgenderism a radical rejection of feminism?

A woman can be an engineer; a man can be a nurse. A woman can be aggressive; a man can let a woman take the lead. A little girl can play with toy trucks; a little boy can play with dolls; A woman can ...
David Gudeman's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
448 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 "...
Alexander S King's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
715 views

How was the rationale for Nazism built up in the academia (especially the philosophy departments)?

I am deeply suspicious about writing off the Nazis as mere haters/fascists. It seems that a very plausible rationale was set rolling, within the academia, right from the middle of the 19th century, ...
user2277550's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
27k views

What is the difference between Functionalism and Structural-Functionalism?

I don't know if I should ask this here because the question is more like a sociology one. Anyway, I will give it a try, since most of the sociologists are also philosophers, so maybe I'll be lucky ...
sfrj's user avatar
  • 193
9 votes
5 answers
687 views

Is democracy scalable?

In a small tribe, where pretty much everyone knows everyone else (and their ancestors) one could elect one person to rule over all; he is in a simple sense, first amongst equals, for all the members ...
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
459 views

Which if any contemporary philosophers have written about the potential negative effects of "reverse" discrimination?

In many cases when I talk about how I think, I find it useful to abstract the messy real sources of inspiration into a pure dialogue with my friend Matt. In this case, Matt and I were talking about ...
davidlowryduda's user avatar
8 votes
15 answers
7k views

Is it logical to seek revenge?

People believe revenge or "violence" to be illogical, impractical and immoral; illogical because the "violence" is executed in impulsive rage, impractical because the wheel of &...
ActualCry's user avatar
  • 1,979
8 votes
6 answers
856 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 ...
Bob Tway's user avatar
  • 845
8 votes
6 answers
2k views

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 ...
xuinkrbin.'s user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Was Hobbes a natural law theorist?

I would like to hear some opinions on a question I am asking myself due to contradictions in the references of my term paper. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on "The Natural Law ...
iphigenie's user avatar
  • 2,501
8 votes
2 answers
7k views

Was Nietzsche influenced by Machiavelli?

I've been reading Machiavelli and I've noticed that his is very critical of Christianity in a way that reminds me of Nietzsche's Master-Slave morality; he does so by comparing the focus on 'heroic ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 2,386
8 votes
3 answers
886 views

Neo-liberalism, language and freedom?

Background Byung Chulhan in his book psychopolitics defines freedom in two ways: a. He defines it as an interlude which the subject feels when passing between lifestyles or ideologies. This is a ...
More Anonymous's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
6k views

What did Acton mean by saying "absolute power corrupts absolutely"?

John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton said that "[p]ower tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." What did he mean by this? How might power compel evil or restrict free will?
bwDraco's user avatar
  • 205
8 votes
1 answer
5k 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?
Mozibur Ullah's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
304 views

Authors that compare nationalism to religion

If people didn't choose their birth place nor their parents why do people feel proud or ashamed of their country? Why do they feel somehow responsible for the actions people take in the present or ...
user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
490 views

Agamben and grammatical shifters

While this collapse of metaphysics into ethics is increasingly evident as nihilism, contemporary thought has yet to escape from this condition. Agamben seeks to understand and ultimately escape this ...
AAAAA's user avatar
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