Minerva's Owl by Jeffrey B Abramson | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Minerva's Owl

Minerva's Owl

by Jeffrey B Abramson
     
 

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As Hegel famously noted, referring to the Roman goddess Minerva, her owl brought back wisdom only at dusk, when it was too late to shine light on actual politics. Jeffrey Abramson provides a lively and accessible guide for readers discovering the tradition of political thought that dates back to Socrates and Plato, with contemporary examples that illustrate the

Overview

As Hegel famously noted, referring to the Roman goddess Minerva, her owl brought back wisdom only at dusk, when it was too late to shine light on actual politics. Jeffrey Abramson provides a lively and accessible guide for readers discovering the tradition of political thought that dates back to Socrates and Plato, with contemporary examples that illustrate the enduring nature of political dilemmas.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Abramson (government & law, Univ. of Texas at Austin; We, the Jury) bestows upon readers the benefit of his decades of teaching political philosophy. Useful as an accompaniment to, or a replacement for, an introductory course in political theory, this book consists of straightforward and lucid explorations of the canonical thinkers and their works. From Plato and Aristotle through Hobbes and Locke to Marx and Rawls, Abramson peppers his readings with historical examples, anecdotes from his experience as a student and professor, and insights gained from his students. Although all the thinkers address the question of justice, Abramson does not take the opportunity to go beyond mere explication to give us some of his own answers, but this is a minor drawback. While this ground has been covered before, Abramson is right to turn our attention to these eternal questions, and his goal of luring students to the Socratic questioning of the good and the just is a noble one. This approachable introduction to political theory is highly recommended for academic libraries.
—Steven Chabot

Austin American-Statesman
[Abramson] gives us a wonderfully accessible survey of the entire field of Western political philosophy. His book is not only a fine introduction for beginners, but also an erudite, nonpartisan consideration for those who may be more conversant with the literature. There is something to think about on every page.
— Roger Gathman

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674053472
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
08/30/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
File size:
506 KB

What People are saying about this

Michael Walzer
A splendid book. I can't imagine a better way to introduce general readers and students to the study of politics.
Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study
Minerva's Owl is a beautiful and insightful interpretation of the history of political thought. In polished and unpretentious prose, Abramson makes difficult points about difficult authors with such clarity that the difficulty recedes and you believe, after reading the book, that you really understand the thinkers under discussion. Yet the book also shows how political philosophy unsettles our ordinary opinions as it interrupts our premature complacency and uncritical views. Abramson invites the reader to join him in developing not only a sophisticated understanding of our own politics, but in entertaining radical alternatives to our own politics.
Russell Muirhead
Minerva's Owl is a beautiful and insightful interpretation of the history of political thought. In polished and unpretentious prose, Abramson makes difficult points about difficult authors with such clarity that the difficulty recedes and you believe, after reading the book, that you really understand the thinkers under discussion. Yet the book also shows how political philosophy unsettles our ordinary opinions as it interrupts our premature complacency and uncritical views. Abramson invites the reader to join him in developing not only a sophisticated understanding of our own politics, but in entertaining radical alternatives to our own politics.
Russell Muirhead, University of Texas at Austin
Tamara Metz
Unusual in its grace, Minerva's Owl offers an important alternative to introductory texts that are usually dry, superficial, and stilted. I can hardly imagine a more elegant, engaging, and accessible introduction to the traditional canon of Western political thought.
Tamara Metz, Reed College

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Abramson is Professor of Government and Law and Fellow of the Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Chair in Government, The University of Texas at Austin.

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