Reappraising Political Theory: Revisionist Studies in the by Terence Ball

By Terence Ball

During this full of life and enjoyable ebook, Terence Ball continues that 'classic' works in political concept proceed to talk to us provided that they're periodically re-read and reinterpreted from replacement views. That, the writer contends, is how those works turned classics, and why they're considered as such. Ball indicates a manner of analyzing that's either 'pluralist' and 'problem-driven'--pluralist in that there's nobody correct solution to learn a textual content, and problem-driven in that the reinterpretation is inspired by way of difficulties that emerge whereas analyzing those texts. additionally, the next readings and interpretations turn into a growing number of suffused with the interpretations of others. This travel de strength, consistently interesting and eclectic, specializes in the middle difficulties surrounding the various significant thinkers. was once Machiavelli fairly amoral? Why did language topic lots to Hobbes--and why should still it subject to us? Are the roots of the totalitarian nation to be present in Rousseau? have been the utilitarians sexist of their view of the franchise? The author's goal is to teach how a pluralist and problem-centered technique can shed new gentle on outdated and up to date works in political concept, and at the controversies that proceed over their which means and importance. Written in a full of life and available sort, the booklet will impress debate between scholars and students alike.

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And among the most powerful weapons in any theorist's arsenal are arguments, like Locke's against Firmer, which purport to show that an opponent has somehow been inconsistent, incoherent, or has otherwise contradicted himself. 34 In so far as its practitioners attend closely and critically to matters of logic and language, political theory is at once a form of political action and a species of philosophical enquiry. But the latter, far from being separate from the former, is an integral part of the enterprise.

Marx did indeed send an inscribed copy of the first volume of Das Kapital to Darwin; Darwin did in fact write to thank Marx; but—contrary to a long-standing myth—Marx never offered to dedicate a later volume of Capital to Darwin, nor did Darwin refuse his request. What actually happened, and why it matters, I discuss in some detail. Many modern American students of political theory, it Reappraising Political Theory 37 seems to me, are rather too eager to embrace European thinkers and theories as somehow superior to or more sophisticated than their own humbler and more prosaic ancestors and contemporaries.

44 What are we to make of this? If we are to understand the pronouncements and the practices of the new historians, we must, I think, view them in much the same way that they view the writings and actions of historical actors. Their methodological prescriptions must be understood, in part, as polemics directed against a certain sort of historian or commentator. On the one side stand those 'textualists' who read a piece of political theory as a timeless text of the sort imagined and ide43 Dunn, Political Thought, p.

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