Political Philosophy: From Plato to Mao

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Overview

This accessible introduction to political philosophy explores the history of ideas and ways of thinking about society over the centuries, as part of a broader, historical narrative. Martin Cohen provides an overview of the work of the major political philosophers, from the Ancient Greeks to the Renaissance thinkers, the English liberals and the Continental radicals. Cohen sets each theory within its social context and provides a detailed account of the key texts, and an assessment of their influence. He concludes with an analysis of Chinese Marxism and the Maoist legacy and brings the narrative up to date with a discussion of Western capitalism and the Third Way. Arranged chronologically, the book includes concise summaries of key ideas and reading, and each chapter is prefaced by a timeline of significant events.
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Editorial Reviews

Times Higher Education Supplement
...a broad sweep covered with surprising agility and clarity... The central advantages are undoubtably its lucidity, range and unorthodox approach.
Zenon Stavrinides
...something of a stylistic achievement: clear, relaxed, jargon-free and often attractively witty.
The Philospher
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745316048
  • Publisher: Pluto Press
  • Publication date: 7/20/2001
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Cohen is Research Fellow at University College of St. Mark and St. John, Plymouth, and author of 101 Philosophy Problems (Routledge, 1999). Martin Cohen is editor of The Philosopher and author of the bestselling 101 Philosophy Problems.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
'How To' Guide
Introduction 1
Prologue: The Story of Human Society 4
Timeline: Prehistory to Plato 13
1 Plato's Utopia 15
Key Text: Republic
Timeline: 300 BC to AD 1513 31
2 Niccolo Machiavelli and the Psychology of the State 33
Key Text: Discourses
Timeline: 1516 to 1651 47
3 Hobbes' Wicked World 49
Key Text: Leviathan
Timeline: 1653 to 1695 65
4 John Locke: The True End of Civil Government 66
Key Text: Essay Concerning the True, Original Extent and End of Civil Government
Timeline: 1703 to 1765 81
5 Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Inequality or Freedom? 82
Key Text: Discourse on Inequality
Timeline: 1752 to 1776 97
6 Adam Smith's Inquiry into the Wealth of Nations 98
Key Text: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
Timeline: 1780 to 1805 113
7 Marx and Engels: The Communist Manifesto 115
Key Text: The Communist Manifesto
Timeline: 1806 to 1848 129
8 The Principles of Political Economy: J. S. Mill and the Limits of Government 131
Key Text: The Principals of Political Economy
Timeline: 1851 to 1899 143
9 Positivism and the Science of Society: Emile Durkheim and Max Weber 145
Key Text: Social Rituals and Sacred Objects
Timeline: 1903 to 1919 161
10 Behold the Man! The Deceptive Appeal of Power: Hegel, Nietzsche and the Fascists 162
Key Text: Ecce Homo
Timeline: 1920 to 1945 179
11 Mao's Little Red Book 182
Key Text: The Red Book
Timeline: 1945 to 1969 207
12 The End of History? 209
References and Sources for Further Reading 223
Some Internet Sources 233
Index 235
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