Friday, August 22, 2014

Political philosphy

When I was studying politics in college and graduate school the course work included both political "science" — the supposedly value-free study of how political systems work — and political theory, including political philosophy. I found political theory far more interesting than statistical studies. Today I discover "The Great Thinkers," a site devoted to political philosophy. From the introduction:
Hegel
Political philosophy is the study of the fundamental questions of human life generally and political life in particular. Its first basic problem concerns the profound issue of human happiness: how should I live? Is the best way of life one devoted to the satisfaction of desire, the ethical and political virtue of a Lincoln or Washington, the intellectual excellence of a Socrates, religious faith and observance, or the poetry of a Shakespeare? Its second central question is how should we live? What is justice, and what is the most just form of government?

Political philosophy explores all the central phenomena of human action and political choice in the light of its two central questions. [more]
The twenty-two "thinkers" thus far included at the site cover a considerable range from Plato to Augustine to Maimonides to Burke to Nietzsche with brief biographies of each and links to their "Featured Works," commentary and video lectures.