Human nature is political, and this volume explains why and how. It is of interest to students of political thought and behaviour, as well as those studying the history of ideas and political philosophy.
The subjects discussed in this book include the conceptions of human nature at the heart of political argument and theory; the identification of major theories of human nature and the functions they perform in epistemological and explanatory terms; the examination of key individual thinkers and major intellectual traditions, probing the origins and impact of each view of human nature and assessing their theoretical and practical strengths; as well as a practical orientation, focusing on specific areas of politics, to highlight the role played by often competing theories of human nature and so contrast their accuracy and efficacy. The conclusion brings into close contrast the separate theories of human nature as it applies to politics, throwing into sharp relief the major problems found in its varied form and usage, and pinpoints the prerequisites for the sound but fruitful study of politics and human nature.
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About the Author
Ian Forbes is a former Professor of Politics at the University of Nottingham, UK.
Steve Smith is Professor of International Studies and Vice Chancellor of the University of Exeter, UK.
Table of Contents
Preface Martin Hollis
Introduction Steve Smith
1. Political Theory and Human Nature Graeme Duncan
2. Marx and Human Nature Ian Forbes
3. Mill and Human Nature Paul Smart
4. Conservatism and Human Nature Christopher Berry
5. Utopianism and Human Nature William Stafford
6. Critical Theory and Human Nature Vincent Geoghegan
7. Psychoanalysis and Human Nature Michael Nicholson
8. Feminism and Human Nature Ruth Levitas
9. Work and Human Nature John Street
10. Bureaucracy and Human Nature Jeffrey Sedgwick and George Sulzner
11. War and Human Nature Steve Smith
Conclusion Ian Forbes