Political Philosophy

Political Philosophy : From Plato to Mao

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--A revised and expanded edition of this acclaimed introduction to political thought--

'Reliable and fair... Clear, relaxed, jargon-free and often attractively witty.' The Philosopher

'A handbook of the history of political philosophy.' CHOICE

"The central advantages of this book are undoubtedly its lucidity, range and unorthodox approach. ... This wide range is covered with surprising agility and clarity. The book offers an engaging account of political philosophy where great schools of thought are audaciously summarised in a paragraph or two." Times Higher Education Supplement

Guiding the reader through the key arguments of the classic figures of Western political philosophy, from Plato through to the modern era, this revised edition includes new essays on Aristotle's 'Politics', Confucianism, Islamic social philosophy and Nazism, as well as additional material on 'Roman Law', Anarchism and 'anti-capitalism'.

Cohen moves chronologically through the development of political philosophy. He presents key texts in their own terms, before offering short, precise analyses of their strengths, weaknesses and influence. The book finishes with a discussion of modern liberalism and conservatism.

Providing both a broad overview and precise summaries of key ideas, this is an invaluable guide for all students of political thought.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 350 pages
  • 136 x 212 x 22mm | 399.16g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 0745324703
  • 9780745324708
  • 1,164,955

About Martin Cohen

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

Note to the Second Edition


Context: The Story of Human Society

1. Plato's Vegetarian Republic

Key Text: Republic

2. Confucius's Polite Society

Key Text: Analects

3. Aristotle and the Hierarchy of Nature

Key Text: Politics

4. Mohammed's Message of Doom

Key Text: Koran

5. Machiavelli's Psychopathic State

Key text: Discourses

6. Hobbes' Wicked World

Key Text: Leviathan

7. Locke's Feudal Freedom

Key Text: Essay Concerning the True, Original Extent and End of Civil Government

8. Rousseau's Ode to Liberty

Key Text: Discourse on Inequality

9. The Founding Fathers' Constitutional Recipe

Key Texts: The U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence

10. Mr Smith's Excellent Inquiry into Money

Key Text: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

11. Marx's Messianic Materialism

Key Text: The Communist Manifesto

12. Mill's Optimistic Liberalism

Key text: The Principles of Political Economy]

13. Durkheim's Strange Science

Key text: Social Rituals and Sacred Objects

14. The Philosophical Dance with Fascism

Key Text: The Doctrines and Institutions of Fascism, by Benito Mussolini

15. Hitler's Doctrine of Hate

Key text: Mein Kampf

16. Mao's Little Red Book

Key text: The Red Book

Epilogue: Karl Popper and the search for the End of History

References and Sources for Further Reading

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Review quote

'Offers a broad sweep across the history of political thought starting with Plato's Republic and ending with Mao's Little Red Book. This wide range is covered with surprising agility and clarity' -- Times Higher Education Supplement 'Clear, relaxed, jargon-free and often witty' -- The Philosopher
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14 ratings
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