An Introduction to Political Philosophy

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Overview

This book provides a comprehensive introduction to political philosophy. Combining discussion of historical and contemporary figures, together with numerous real-life examples, it covers an unusually broad range of topics in the field, including the just distribution of wealth, both within countries and globally; the nature and justification of political authority; the meaning and significance of freedom; arguments for and against democratic rule; the problem of war; and the grounds for toleration in public life. It also offers an accessible, non-technical discussion of perfectionism, utilitarianism, theories of the social contract, and recently popular forms of critical theory. Throughout, the book challenges readers to think critically about political arguments and institutions that they might otherwise take for granted. It will be a provocative text for any student of philosophy and political science.

About the Author:
Colin Bird is Associate Professor at the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, University of Virginia. He is author of The Myth of Liberal Individualism (1999)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521544825
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2007
  • Series: Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 322
  • Sales rank: 1,417,327
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Colin Bird is Associate Professor at the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, University of Virginia. He is author of The Myth of Liberal Individualism (1999).
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Table of Contents


Preface     ix
Introduction     1
Politics and justification     11
The puzzle of justification     13
The common good     33
Utilitarianism     47
The social contract     67
Topics in political philosophy     97
Property and wealth     99
Economic justice     125
Authority     154
Liberty     176
Democratic rule     201
War     223
Living with difference     251
Radical criticism     277
Bibliography     297
Index     305
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