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Minerva's Owl : The Tradition of Western Political Thought - Jeffrey  Abramson

Minerva's Owl

The Tradition of Western Political Thought

Paperback Published: 3rd September 2010
ISBN: 9780674057029
Number Of Pages: 400

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Informal in tone yet serious in content, this book serves as a lively and accessible guide for readers discovering the tradition of political thought that dates back to Socrates and Plato. Because the arguments of the great philosophers are nearly eternal, even those long schooled on politics will find that this book calls on recurring questions about morality and power, justice and war, the risk of democracy, the necessity for evil, the perils of tolerance, and the meaning of happiness. Jeffrey Abramson argues politics with the classic writers and draws the reader into a spirited conversation with contemporary examples that illustrate the enduring nature of political dilemmas. As the discussions deepen, the voices of Abramson's own teachers, and of the students he has taught, enter into the mix, and the book becomes a tribute not just to the great philosophers but also to the special bond between teacher and student.

As Hegel famously noted, referring to the Roman goddess Minerva, her owl brought back wisdom only at dusk, when it was too late to shine light on actual politics. Abramson reminds us that there are real political problems to confront, and in a book filled with grace and passion, he captures just how exciting serious learning can be.

Abramson bestows upon readers the benefit of his decades of teaching political philosophy...This book consists of straightforward and lucid explorations of the canonical thinkers and their works. -- Steven Chabot Library Journal 20090415 [Abramson] gives us a wonderfully accessible survey of the entire field of Western political philosophy. His book is not only a fine introduction for beginners, but also an erudite, nonpartisan consideration for those who may be more conversant with the literature. There is something to think about on every page. -- Roger Gathman Austin American-Statesman 20090510

Introduction: The Canon of Political Thoughtp. 1
Plato's Republic: The Debate over Justice Beginsp. 17
The Students Revolt against Utopiap. 36
Out of the Cave and into the Light-and Back Again?p. 61
Beyond Plato's Tragic Republicp. 83
Aristotle's Ethics: The Habits of Virtuep. 87
Aristotle's Politics: Severed Hands and Political Animalsp. 105
Augustine and the Problem of Evilp. 126
Machiavelli's Dirty Handsp. 145
Hobbes and the Kingdom of Meansp. 169
Locke, Liberalism, and the Possessive Lifep. 197
Rousseau and the Rusticp. 222
Rousseau and the Politicalp. 243
Kant's Crooked Timberp. 258
John Stuart Mill and the Demands of Individualityp. 279
Hegel, Marx, and the Owl of Minervap. 301
The Revival of Political Theoryp. 322
Conclusion: The Passion for Politicsp. 345
Notesp. 353
Acknowledgmentsp. 377
Indexp. 379
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780674057029
ISBN-10: 0674057023
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 3rd September 2010
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.8  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.47