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Engaging Political Philosophy : From Hobbes to Rawls - Andrew Levine

Engaging Political Philosophy

From Hobbes to Rawls


Published: 8th October 2001
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Engaging Political Philosophy investigates the political philosophies of Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke, Mill, Rawls, and Marx and reveals the scope and limits of the philosophical tradition they helped to forge. The principal subject of the essays on Hobbes and Rousseau is the state and, more generally, political authority and political obligation. The chapters on Locke and Mill focus mainly on liberalism, and on authority's rightful limits. All of these issues are resumed in the section on Rawls, where the main topic is justice, but where the notion of political legitimacy developed in Political Liberalism is also a prime concern. The chapter on Marx addresses many of the issues raised in the earlier essays both from the perspective of his early writings, and from the vantage-point provided by his mature theories of the state and history. While the essays are relatively self-contained, a cohesive narrative about modern political philosophy emerges from them to create both an accessible introduction and an interesting, original interpretation of ideas that have influenced our society.

"Engaging Political Philosophy is recommended for teachers wanting to learn with students willing to discover. This scholarly text sheds fresh light on enduring political issues and stimulates readers to become intellectually and politically engaged with primary sources. It proves that teaching the classics of modern political philosophy is alive and well." Thomas W Simon, Illinois State University

"Levin's collection would be a fine supplement to an advanced survey course in modern political philosophy. It would also provide particularly valuable insights for nonspecialists preparing to teach such a course." Ethics, October 2003


What is Political Philosophy?.

Great Transformations.




Part I: Hobbes.

The State of Nature.

The Problem.

Rational Agency.

A Prisoners' Dilemma.

A Monitoring Problem.

The Social Contract.

Hobbesian Justice.

The Sovereign.

Hobbes and Liberalism.

Hobbes's Conservatism.

Hobbesian Statism.


Part II: Rousseau.

Rousseau's Contractarianism.

A Digression.

The Social Contract.


Rousseau and Liberalism.

Political Obligation.

Discovering the General Will.

Into Politics.


Part III: Locke.


The State.


The State and Society.

The Minimal State.

Political Legitimacy.

Representative Government.


Part IV: Mill.

Mill's Reformism.

What Utilitarianism Is.

Problems for Utilitarians.

"The Permanent Interests of Man as a Progressive Being".

The Principle of Liberty.

Freedom of Speech.

Experiments in Living.

In Defense of Liberty.

Appendix: Repressive Tolerance.


Part V: Rawls.

The Problem of Justice.


Rawls's Principles.

The Original Position.

The Case for the Principles.

Political Liberalism.


Part VI: Marx.

The Young Marx.

Philosophy of History.

The Criticism of Religion.

The Critical Program.

Alienated Labor.

Marx in Transition.

The State.


Marx's Politics.

Appendix: The Primacy Thesis.





ISBN: 9780631222286
ISBN-10: 0631222286
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 8th October 2001
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.59 x 16.15  x 2.67
Weight (kg): 0.54
Edition Number: 1