Download e-book for iPad: A History of Western Political Thought by J. S. McClelland

By J. S. McClelland

ISBN-10: 0203980743

ISBN-13: 9780203980743

ISBN-10: 0415119618

ISBN-13: 9780415119610

This can be a nice e-book to achieve a greater knowing of a number of the suggestions of western politcal thought...its sparknotes for any poli sci significant, yet on an highbrow level...its an exceptional e-book.

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Extra info for A History of Western Political Thought

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The obvious answer is that the philosophical training is designed for the benefit of the ruling class itself, and only indirectly for the benefit of the ruled. Plato, like all the Greek political thinkers, believed that political instability was caused by divisions within the ruling elite, and he realised that a common system of education is one of the ways that an elite can be bound together. All Plato’s Guardians would have been to the same elite school, and some of the characteristics of a particular kind of school are preserved throughout a Guardian’s life, for example the common meals and the barracks life in general.

If there is a man somewhere who is just, then he is the master and the rest are naturally his pupils. The pupils will themselves become just men by going through the same training programme as he did and by attending to his example. ’ Plato may have thought about Socrates like that and Socrates may have meant that he could not produce a set of rules of justice when he said that he knew nothing. His questioning of those who said they knew what justice was may have been meant to demonstrate that justice could not be a set of rules for conduct which only had to be memorised for justice to follow.

Plato has even prepared us for his exit right at the beginning of the scene where Cephalus is found resting in a chair with a garland round his neck; plainly Cephalus has unfinished business on hand. Cephalus is dismissed because his is not an example to be followed. The Republic is a book about justice, and Plato could have said: Being just is being like Cephalus; his life is admirable, so imitate him. When Cephalus leaves the scene the moral authority of a lived life leaves too; justice is to be found elsewhere, in the present, not the past.

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A History of Western Political Thought by J. S. McClelland

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