We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Political Thought

Edited by Michael Rosen and Jonathan Wolff

30 September 1999

ISBN: 9780192892782

448 pages

In Stock

Oxford Readers

Price: £39.99



This Oxford Reader contains 140 essential readings covering the most important debates in the Western political tradition and presents samples of the major political ideologies. Issues discussed include; the role of human nature in determining social arrangements; the political significance of gender differences; the justification for the powers of the state; democracy and the rights of minorities; the tension between liberty and equality; the way in which resources ought to be distributed; and international relations. Authors range from Plato and Aristotle to Martin Luther King, Michel Foucault and Isaiah Berlin.

  • 140 key writings on political thought
  • Discusses particular political ideologies as well as general theoretical issues

About the Author(s)

Edited by Michael Rosen, Fellow, Lincoln College, Oxford, and Jonathan Wolff, Department of Philosophy, University College London

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: Human Nature
    1a: The Natural State of Mankind
    1. Aristotle: The State Exists By Nature
    2. Thomas Hobbes: The Misery of the Natural Condition of Mankind
    3. John Locke: The State of Nature and the State of War
    4. Baron de Montesquieu: Fear and Peace
    5. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Noble Savage
    6. Robert Owen: Man's Character is Formed For Him
    7. Karl Marx and FriedrichEngels: Man as a Productive Being
    8. Charles Darwin: Natural Selection
    9. Charles Darwin: The Advantage of Morality
    10. Peter Kropotkin: Mutual Aid
    1b: Man's Nature and Woman's Nature
    11. Plato: Women as Weaker Partners
    12. Aristotle: Separate Spheres
    13. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Likeness and Unlikeness of the Sexes
    14. Mary Wollstonecraft: The Rights of Women
    15. John Stuart Mill: The Subjection of Women
    16. Carol Gilligan: In a Different Voice
    17. Alison M Jaggar: Socialist Feminism and The Standpoint of Women
    Chapter 2: The Justification of the State
    2a What is the State?
    18. John Locke: Political Power
    19. Max Weber: The State and Coercion
    2b The Social Contract
    20. Thomas Hobbes: Creating Leviathan
    21. John Locke: Express and Tacit Consent
    22. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Natural Freedom and the Freedom of the Citizen
    23. Immanuel Kant: The Hypothetical Contract
    2cAgainst The Social Contract
    24. David Hume: The Irrelevance of Consent
    25. Jeremy Bentham: Utility as the True Foundation
    26. G.W.F Hegel: The Priority of the State over The Individual
    27. H.L.A. Hart: The Principle of Fairness
    2d: The Anarchist Response
    28. Michael Bakunin: Science and the People
    29. Robert Paul Wolff: The Conflict of Autonomy and Authority
    2e: Civil Disobedience
    30. Plato: The Duty of Obedience
    31. Henry David Thoreau: The Duty of Disobedience
    32. Martin Luther King: An Unjust Law is No Law
    33. John Rawls: Civil Disobedience
    Chapter 3: Democracy and Its Difficulties
    3a: Against Democracy
    34. Plato: Ruling as a Skill
    35. Frederick the Great: The Enlightened Despot
    3b: Democratic Ideals
    36. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The General Will
    37. Immanuel Kant: Freedom and Equality
    38. John Stuart Mill: The Democratic Citizen
    39. John Rawls: Majority Rule
    3c True and False Democracy
    40. V.I. Lenin: Bourgeois and Proletarian Democracy
    41. Carole Pateman: Participatory Democracy
    3d Dangers in Democracy
    42. Aristotle: Rule of the People and Rule of Law
    43. James Madison: The Danger of Faction
    44. Alexis de Tocqueville: Tyranny of the Majority
    3e Democracy and Bureaucracy
    45. Max Weber: Bureaucratic Administration
    46. Vilfedo Pareto: Rule By Oligarchy
    3f: Separation of Powers
    47. John Locke: Legislative, Executive, and Federative Powers
    48. Baron de Montesquieu: The Ideal Constitution
    Chapter 4: Liberty and Rights
    4a: What is Liberty?
    49. Benjamin Constant: The Liberty of the Ancients and the Liberty of the Moderns
    50. Isaiah Berlin: Two Concepts of Liberty
    51. Charles Taylor: In Defence of Positive Freedom
    52. Ronald Dworkin: No Right to Liberty
    4b: Law and Morality
    53. John Stuart Mill: One Simple Principle
    54. James Fitzjames Stephen: The Consequences of Liberty
    55. Partick Devlin: The Enforcement of Morals
    56. H.L.A. Hart: The Changing Sense of Morality.
    4c: Toleration and Free Expression
    57. John Locke: The Futility of Intolerance
    58. Thomas Scanlon: Free Expression and the Authority of the State
    59. Jeremy Waldron: The Satanic Verses
    60. Catherine MacKinnon: Only Words
    4d: Virtue and Citizenship
    61. Pericles: The Democratic Citizen
    62. Aristotle: The Requirements of Citizenship
    63. Niccolo Machiavelli: The Servility of the Moderns
    64. Alexis de Tocqueville: The Nature of Modern Servitude
    65. Quentin Skinner: The Republican Ideal of Political Liberty
    4e: Rights
    66. Jeremy Bentham: Nonsense on Stilts
    67. Karl Marx: The Rights of Egoistic Man
    68. Robert Nozick: Rights as Side-Constraints
    69. Ronald Dworkin: Taking Rights Seriously
    4f: Punishment
    70. John Stuart Mill: In Favour of Capital Punishment
    71. H.L.A. Hart: Punishment and Responsibility
    72. Robert Nozick: Where Deterrence Theory Goes Wrong
    Chapter 5: Economic Justice
    5a: Private Property
    73. John Locke: Labour as the Basis of Property
    74. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Earth Belongs to Nobody
    75. G.W.F Hegel: Property as Expression
    76. Herbert Spencer: The Right to the Use of the Earth
    77. Karl Marx: Money, the Universal Whore
    78. Karl Marx: The True Foundation of Private Property
    79. Sigmund Freud: Property and Aggression
    80. R.H. Tawney: Reaping Without Sowing
    81. Robert Nozick: Difficulties With Mixing Labour
    5b: The Market
    82. Adam Smith: The Dangers of Government Interference
    83. Karl Marx: Appearance and Reality
    84. F.A. Hayek: Prices as A Code
    85. Milton Friedman and Rose Friedman: The Tyranny of Controls
    86. G.A. Cohen: Poverty as Lack of Freedom
    5c: Theories of Distributive Justice
    87. Aesop: The Grasshopper and the Ants
    88. Aristotle: Reciprocity
    89. Aristotle: Equality and Inequality
    90. Gerald Winstanley: The Common Stock
    91. David Hume: The Impossibility of Equality
    92. Karl Marx: From Each According to His Abilities, To Each According to His Needs
    93. Edward Bellamy: Looking Backward
    94. F.A. Hayek: The Impossibility of Planning
    95. John Rawls: Two Principles of Justice
    96. Robert Nozick: The Entitlement Theory
    97. Ronald Dworkin: Equality of Resources
    Chapter 6: Justice Between Groups
    6a: Peace and War
    98. Immanuel Kant: Perpetual Peace
    99. Richard Cobden: The Civilizing Influence of Commerce
    100. Michael Walzer: Just and Unjust War
    101. Thomas Nagel: The Limits of Warfare
    6b: Nationalism
    102. Isaiah Berlin: National Sentiment
    103. Alasdair MacIntyre: Is Patriotism a Virtue?
    6c: Minority Rights
    104. Thomas Hill: The Message of Affirmative Action
    105. Avishai Margalit and Joseph Raz: National Self-Determination'
    6d: Intergenerational Justice
    106. Brian Barry: Justice Between Generations'
    6e: International Justice
    107. Peter Singer: Famine, Affluence and Morality
    108. Onora O'Neill: Lifeboat Earth
    Chapter 7: Alternatives to Liberalism
    7a: Liberal Theory Under Strain
    109. Jurgen Habermas: Legitimation Crisis
    110. Michael Walzer: Liberalism in Retreat
    111. Michael Walzer: The Artificiality of Liberalism
    7b: Conservatism
    112. Edmund Burke: Eternal Society
    113. T.S. Eliot: The Transmission of Culture
    114. Michael Oakeshott: On Being Conservative
    7c: Communitarianism
    115. Charles Taylor: Identificiation and Subjectivity
    116. Alasdair MacIntyre: Tradition and the Unity of a Life
    117. Michael Sandel: Conceptions of Community
    7d: Socialism
    118. Karl Marx: Work in Communist Society
    119. Karl Marx: The Communist Manifesto
    120. Karl Marx: The Realm of Freedom
    121. Oscar Wilde: The Soul of Man Under Socialism
    122. Ernest Mandel: Productive Activity
    123. G.A. Cohen: Socialism and Equality of Opportunity
    7e: Post-Modernism
    124. Friedrich Nietzsche:The Impulse Towards Justice
    125. Michel Foucault: Power/Knowledge
    126. Richard Rorty: The Priority of Democracy to Philosophy
    Chapter 8: Progess and Civilization
    127. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Efffect of the Arts and Sciences
    128. Adam Smith: Division of Labour
    129. Friedrich Schiller: Fragmentation and Aesthetic Education
    130. Karl Marx: Development of the Productive Forces
    131. Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Our Self-Destructive Impulse
    132. Friedrich Engels: Transition to Communism
    133. Max Weber: Disenchantment
    134. Karl Popper: The Utopian Method
    135. Francis Fukuyama: The End of History
    Appendix: Fundamental Political Documents
    136. U.S. Declaration of Independence 1776
    137. Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen 1789
    138. The Bill of Rights 1789
    139. The Gettysburg Address 1863
    140. United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

Related Titles