First published in 1982, this volume is a collection of original essays by young British philosophers reflecting the state of political philosophy. For many years contemporary political philosophy could with justice have been accused of triviality and sterility, but by the early 1980s the substantive and normative questions were firmly back at the centre of debate - as this volume demonstrates. It falls into three parts. In the first the essays examine aspects of the conception of human nature that must underlie political beliefs - in particular the vital notions of interest and personhood; in part II they evaluate different and supposedly conflicting political ideals - liberty and equality, individual rights and socialism; and in part III explore the bases of acceptable forms of political organisation - where political obedience does not reduce to moral obligation and where genuine freedom of expression is possible. The essays do not stem from a single political standpoint, although all are written from within the analytical tradition. They go to the roots of these perennial issues with arguments that are clear and forthright, and as a collection they will serve as both an important addition and a bracing introduction to the subject.