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

Readings in Social and Political Philosophy

Second Edition

Robert M. Stewart

Publication Date - February 1996

ISBN: 9780195095180

472 pages
6-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $114.99


This updated edition of a well-established anthology of social and political philosophy combines extensive selections from classical works with significant recent contributions to the field, many of which are not easily available. Its central focus is on the liberal currents in modern Western political thought--variants of classical liberalism, modern liberalism, and libertarianism--with specific focus on differing conceptions of political obligation, freedom, distributive justice, and representative democracy.
The text is organized into four thematic sections: Political Obligation and Consent, Freedom and Coercion, Justice and Equality, and Democracy and Representation, making it easily accessible to students. Each chapter features selections from classical thinkers alongside writings by influential contemporary philosophers and political theorists, thus tracing the historical development and transformation of Western political thought on key issues in the field. Among the classical authors represented in this collection are Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Mill. Contemporary contributors include John Rawls, Isaiah Berlin, Thomas Scanlon, Robert Nozick, Thomas Nagel, Ronald Dworkin, and Hanna Pitkin. Each section is preceded by an introductory overview and followed by a helpful, current bibliography providing guides to further reading.

Previous Publication Date(s)

August 1986


"Excellent collection, both in editing of individual selections and in the relationship between classic and contemporary texts."--Jeffrey G. Seward, University of Texas at San Antonio (on the previous edition)

Table of Contents

    I. Political Obligation and Consent
    Crito, Plato
    From Second Treatise of Civil Government, John Locke
    Of the Original Contract, David Hume
    Obligation and Consent, II, Hanna F. Pitkin
    The Principle of Fair Play, A. John Simmons
    II. Freedom and Coercion
    Of the Liberty of Subjects, Thomas Hobbes
    Two Concepts of Liberty, Isaiah Berlin
    What's Wrong with Negative Liberty, Charles Taylor
    From "On Liberty", John Stuart Mill
    The "Open Society" and Its Fallacies, Willmoore Kendall
    Freedom of Expression and Categories of Expression, Thomas M. Scanlon, Jr.
    Liberty and Harm to Others, David Lyons
    We Do Not Have a Right To Liberty, Ronald Dworkin
    III. Justice and Equality
    From Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    A Kantian Conception of Equality, John Rawls
    Distributive Justice, John Rawls
    Distributive Justice, Robert Nozick
    Liberty, Contract, and Contribution, Thomas K. Scanlon, Jr.
    Equality, Thomas Nagel
    Communitarian and Liberal Theories of the Good, Jeffrey Paul and Fred D. Miller, Jr.
    Responsibility, Reactive Attitudes, and Liberalism in Philosophy and Politics, Samuel Scheffler
    The Domain of the Political and Overlapping Consensus, John Rawls
    IV. Democracy and Representation
    From Considerations on Representative Government, John Stuart Mill
    Open Government and Just Legislation: A Defense of Democracy, William N. Nelson
    A Paradox in the Theory of Democracy, Richard Wollheim
    Democracy Without Preference, David M. Estlund
    Losing the Faith: Feminism and Democracy, Susan Mendus
    Political Representation, Hanna F. Pitkin
    Implementing Representation: A Framework and Two Applications, Bruce F. Cain and W.T. Jones