Comparative Political Philosophy: Studies Under the Upas Tree

Comparative Political Philosophy: Studies Under the Upas Tree

by Anthony J Parel
     
 

For a long time, the study of political philosophy has assumed the centrality of western political philosophy. The underlying presumption is that the western tradition reflects not just modernity but that it is the product of universal reason itself. This claim of universality is being challenged by other cultures while many from within the western tradition have… See more details below

Overview

For a long time, the study of political philosophy has assumed the centrality of western political philosophy. The underlying presumption is that the western tradition reflects not just modernity but that it is the product of universal reason itself. This claim of universality is being challenged by other cultures while many from within the western tradition have begun to question the assumptions underlying the concept of modernity. This fascinating volume explores four major traditions of political philosophy - western, Indian, Chinese and Islamic - in order to identify 'equivalences' and thus engender respect for other traditions while deepening an understanding of one's own. The contributors maintain that particular cultural and linguistic traditions condition the emergence of specific political philosophies. As such, each tradition produces texts which consciously develop a philosophic understanding of the theory and practice of governance. The strategy followed herein is to select significant representatives from each tradition. Thus, from the pre-modern west, Plato and Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas; from pre-modern China, Confucius; from India, Kautilya; and from Islam, Farabi. In contrast are those who endeavoured to up-date or reshape their respective traditions of political philosophy: Hegel, Marx, Gandhi, Mao and Khomeini. Taken as a whole, this volume moves beyond a Eurocentric bias in order to facilitate an exchange of perspectives originating in major streams of political philosophy as a response to the perilous transition between tradition and modernity, and to the commonality of human distress which characterises such transitions. It will be of considerable interest to any student of political philosophy, political theory and intellectual history.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803994126
Publisher:
SAGE Publications
Publication date:
09/03/1992
Pages:
260

Table of Contents

Preface7
Acknowledgements9
1The Comparative Study of Political Philosophy11
2Classical Western Political Philosophy29
3Modern Western Political Philosophy45
4Law and Society in Confucian Thought71
5Mao Zedong and his Political Thought87
6What Good is Democracy? The Alternatives in China and the West113
7Of Artha and the Arthasastra141
8Mahatma Gandhi's Critique of Modernity163
9Farabi and Greek Political Philosophy185
10Khomeini's Doctrine of Legitimacy217
Contributors245
Index247

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