Relationship between Political Science and Philosophy
Study the core elements of politics and philosophy side by side with our joint honours This programme combines the two complementary fields of politics and topics such as ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, politics and law, and science. Looks at evidence, the relationship between scientific and policy aims and the. John Rawls published A Theory of Justice, political philosophy declined in the Much academic debate regarded one or both of two pragmatic at the relation between consumerism and dominant ideology formation. Political science focuses on the theory and practice of government and of institutions, practices, and relations that constitute public life and modes of inquiry that promote citizenship. Comparative politics courses are of two basic types.
In doing so, the philosopher is working not only against the inclination of the prisoners to remain focused on the images before them, but also against the manipulators of these images.
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It can of course be objected that the philosophers who return to rule cannot do so by simply conversing with the prisoners; this may be the only way of converting other philosophers, but to rule they must ultimately take over the whole system of image-production in the Cave.
It is presumably this aspect of rule that is being described in the specific proposals of censorship to be found in books II and III: This again shows how different and even opposed the demands of philosophy and politics remain even in the ideal state: But, in the analogy of the Cave, such control of the entire city by philosophers is not even described and is made to seem a very distant prospect: If we return now to the very start of book VI, we see that Socrates there, after defining philosophers as those who know the Forms, makes it perfectly clear that such knowledge by itself, in abstraction from its difficult enactment, is insufficient for political rule.
While Socrates and Glaucon agree that philosophers will be better rulers than the lovers of sights and sounds, they do so only on the condition that philosophers will not fall short in the other requirements: While Socrates then proceeds to deduce these practical virtues from the love of wisdom that defines philosophers, this is possible because the love of wisdom is itself a disposition of character and not merely an attribute of reason.
This explanation in turn shows that becoming a useful and virtuous philosopher depends on much more than native intelligence and knowledge. Indeed, the virtues of the philosophical nature can become the greatest vices under the wrong external conditions b The idea of philosopher-kings is therefore not the naive idea that philosophers simply as such will make the best rulers, but rather the idea that they could make the best rulers under the right social and practical conditions.
It is here, of course, that we run against the infamous paradox: It is on account of this seemingly vicious circle that Socrates must repeatedly appeal to the divine in defending the possibility of philosophical rule: This would appear to suggest that a state ruled by philosophers is not humanly realizable.
But what needs to be emphasized now is simply this: Though I cannot possibly hope in this short space to do justice to the differences between Plato and Aristotle on the relation between philosophy and politics, I want to look briefly at texts that might suggest differences to show that these differences are not as great as might at first appear. If we look first at Aristotle's critique of the Republic in book II of the Politics, we must be struck by the fact that in focusing this critique on the second of Socrates' paradoxical proposals, i.
How are we to interpret this silence? Is it a condemning silence, as if to suggest that the proposal of philosopher-kings is too absurd even to merit comment? Yet there is another possibility: The relevant passage here is Politics ba1 where, on some translations, Aristotle, in referring to Socrates' account of the education of the guardians, appears to dismiss it as an extraneous matter: However, as Catherine Zuckert has suggested, Aristotle could be seen here as simply following the lead of Socrates who in the summary he gives of the Republic in the Timaeus 17cb also leaves out the philosopher-kings; the reason Zuckert suggests is that they may have not considered the proposal of philosopher-kings to be part of the regime or constitution itself cf.
Recall that Socrates introduces the philosopher-king as a condition for the ideal city's coming into being, and so arguably as not forming part of the definition of this city. This supports the main point I wish to make: Thus, in summarizing the political proposal in the Timaeus, Socrates can leave out the philosophical training and knowledge of the rulers which, if it is what qualifies the rulers to rule and thus what makes the city possible, still lies outside of the city, just as the distinction between the outside of the Cave and the inside will never be overcome.
If we turn next to the Ethics, which Aristotle himself calls 'political science' and thus does not sharply distinguish from the Politics, we do appear to find an implicit critique of the idea of philosopher-kings in the explicit critique of the Idea of the Good in book I, chapter six.
Recall that Socrates introduces the Idea of the Good as the object of the 'greatest study' to be undertaken by the philosophical rulers. Furthermore, Aristotle's critique appears to bring into question precisely that movement of descent, that movement of application that is so critical to Socrates' account of the relation between philosophy and politics.
It is hard not to hear in the following passage a reference to the account of the Idea of the Good in the Republic: Perhaps, however, some one might think it worthwhile to have knowledge of it [the Idea of the Good] with a view to the goods that are attainable and achievable; for having this as a sort of pattern we shall know better the goods that are goods for us, and if we know them shall attain them.
But politics is not to be found among the examples Aristotle appeals to in his objection. Does politics no more need knowledge of some transcendent good for it is the unattainability of the Good that is at issue in this objection, rather than the universality at issue in the other objections than does medicine? There is always, therefore, a tension between the two. But Aristotle appears to go further: The knowledge above politics is simply a different kind of knowledge with different objects and thus irrelevant to the knowledge of our own human good.
Matters, however, are far from being so simple. If we turn to the account of wisdom in the Metaphysics, it turns out that its highest object, i. And its life is such as the best which we enjoy, and enjoy but for a short time" Met. In this case it is hard to see how ethics and political science would not be grounded in first philosophy and metaphysics. To know the first principle of the heavens and the world is to know the good to which we ourselves aspire. In other words, a politician who was not a philosopher could not fully know the good to which human beings aspire and thus could not fully know what constitutes a good state.
That, despite the critique of the Idea of the Good in Ethics I as unattainable and impractical, the ultimate object of ethics turns out for Aristotle to be a transcendent and divine good is made clear not only in the Metaphysics but in book X of the Ethics itself. Indeed, what Aristotle concludes in this book perfectly mirrors what is said in the Metaphysics, thus showing how ethics and metaphysics are ultimately inseparable for Aristotle.
The best human life is concluded to be one lived according to the divine element in us, that is, a life focused not on a distinctively human good, but rather on those higher, divine things that are the objects of wisdom. The divine element of which Aristotle speaks is indeed 'in' us, but at the same time transcends our 'composite nature'. Indeed, in what appears to be a clear allusion to Socrates' description in the Republic of the transcendence of the Good beyond being "in power and honor" R.
Perhaps the best indication that the differences between Plato and Aristotle on the relation between philosophy and politics may not be as great as they seem is that in book X of the Ethics Aristotle is faced with a problem similar to that illustrated by the Cave analogy in the Republic: How is this not a repetition of the dilemma facing the philosopher outside the Cave?
One's existence as a political animal and thus politics demand one thing, while the philosophical knowledge of the highest divine good on which politics itself depends demands something else. Those who best know that good to which humans aspire will at least want to live a distinctly human, political life. We thus appear to be left with a tense, problematic relationship between politics ethics and philosophy, not so different from that encountered in the Republic.
If Plato, in attempting to reconcile politics and philosophy also shows them to be in conflict, Aristotle, in attempting to keep them sharply distinct, also shows them to be implicated in one another. Therefore, theoretical philosophy represents for Aristotle the highest aim of a politics that aims at the highest human good. This is strikingly evident in book VIII of the Politics with its insistence that what the city should seek to promote above all in its system of education is useless knowledge see especially a Correspondingly, when confronting the debate concerning whether the contemplative or the political life is better, Aristotle chooses the former but only in insisting that it is the most genuinely active: It is in the context of this argument that the Politics must appeal to the Metaphysics: In conclusion, one could perhaps best express the difference between Plato and Aristotle as follows: Heidegger as Philosopher-King In courses from the 's Heidegger credits Aristotle with avoiding the confusion between ethics and ontology supposedly found in Plato's Idea of the Good.
And indeed in a course entitled Grundfragen der Philosophie, 10 Heidegger describes the making of philosophers into kings in the Republic as "the essential degradation [Herabsetzung] of philosophy. Yet when Heidegger four years earlier assumes the Rectorship of Freiburg University and joins the National Socialist Party, he sings a very different tune.
Delivering a course entitled The Essence of Truth [Vom Wesen der Wahrheit], 11 the first part of which is devoted to an interpretation of the Cave Analogy, Heidegger seeks in the ideal of philosopher-kings justification for his own political involvement.
However, it becomes clear from what Heidegger says that for him the idea of philosopher-kings does not mean any kind of actual involvement in concrete politics on the part of philosophers of any type. What he does say, after having characterized the Idea as the rule Herrschaft and the origin Ursprung for beings, is that "the rule of the being-with-one-another of human beings in the state must be essentially determined" through philosophical men and philosophical knowledge id.
But what does this mean, if it does not mean philosophers actually ruling the state? The following sentence provides the answer: Plato posed the question of the essence of knowledge [Wissen], not because it belongs to a school-concept [Schulbegriff] of the theory of knowledge, but because knowledge [das Wissen] forms the innermost enduring substance of political being [den innersten Bestand des staatlichen Seins], insofar as the state is a free one, that is, at the same time a force that binds a people.
Here we see at its clearest the complete identification of philosophy and politics or, more precisely, the complete absorption of politics into philosophy: If the philosopher must return to the Cave, this is not a demand of justice, but only an illustration of the fact that truth is never fully separable from untruth cf.
And if Socrates describes the philosopher who returns to the Cave as in danger of being killed, this for Heidegger does not not a tension between philosophy and politics but only the philosopher's being misunderstood cf. On Heidegger's reading, in short, there is no descent from philosophy to politics, no struggle and danger in the philosopher's attempt to become politically effective.
Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France is the most popular of his writings where he denounced the French revolution. Burke was one of the biggest supporters of the American Revolution. The first thinker to relate ethics to the political order. Helped introduce postmodern philosophy into political theory, and promoted new theories of Pluralism and agonistic democracy.
Co-founder of pragmatism and analyzed the essential role of education in the maintenance of democratic government. The major figure of the Chinese Fajia Legalist school, advocated government that adhered to laws and a strict method of administration. Critiqued the modern conception of power on the basis of the prison complex and other prohibitive institutions, such as those that designate sexuality, madness and knowledge as the roots of their infrastructure, a critique that demonstrated that subjection is the power formation of subjects in any linguistic forum and that revolution cannot just be thought as the reversal of power between classes.
Instigated the concept of hegemony. Argued that the state and the ruling class uses culture and ideology to gain the consent of the classes it rules over. Modern liberal thinker and early supporter of positive freedom. Contemporary democratic theorist and sociologist.
He has pioneered such concepts as the public spherecommunicative actionand deliberative democracy. His early work was heavily influenced by the Frankfurt School. He argued that central planning was inefficient because members of central bodies could not know enough to match the preferences of consumers and workers with existing conditions.
Hayek further argued that central economic planning —a mainstay of socialism—would lead to a "total" state with dangerous power. He advocated free-market capitalism in which the main role of the state is to maintain the rule of law and let spontaneous order develop.
Emphasized the "cunning" of history, arguing that it followed a rational trajectory, even while embodying seemingly irrational forces; influenced Marx, KierkegaardNietzscheand Oakeshott.
Generally considered to have first articulated how the concept of a social contract that justifies the actions of rulers even where contrary to the individual desires of governed citizenscan be reconciled with a conception of sovereignty.
Hume criticized the social contract theory of John Locke and others as resting on a myth of some actual agreement. Hume was a realist in recognizing the role of force to forge the existence of states and that consent of the governed was merely hypothetical. He also introduced the concept of utilitylater picked up on and developed by Jeremy Bentham. Politician and political theorist during the American Enlightenment.
Expanded on the philosophy of Thomas Paine by instrumenting republicanism in the United States. Most famous for the United States Declaration of Independence.
Relationship between Political Science and Philosophy
Argued that participation in civil society is undertaken not for self-preservation, as per Thomas Hobbesbut as a moral duty. First modern thinker who fully analyzed structure and meaning of obligation. Argued that an international organization was needed to preserve world peace. One of the classic anarchist thinkers and the most influential theorist of anarcho-communism.
Like Hobbes, described a social contract theory based on citizens' fundamental rights in the state of nature. He departed from Hobbes in that, based on the assumption of a society in which moral values are independent of governmental authority and widely shared, he argued for a government with power limited to the protection of personal property.
His arguments may have been deeply influential to the formation of the United States Constitution. First systematic analyses of: As a political theorist, he believed in separation of powers and proposed a comprehensive set of checks and balances that are necessary to protect the rights of an individual from the tyranny of the majority. Called the father of the new left.
One of the principal thinkers within the Frankfurt Schooland generally important in efforts to fuse the thought of Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx. Introduced the concept of " repressive desublimation ", in which social control can operate not only by direct control, but also by manipulation of desire. His work Eros and Civilization and notion of a non-repressive society was influential on the s and its counter-cultural social movements.
In large part, added the historical dimension to an understanding of society, culture and economics. Created the concept of ideology in the sense of true or false beliefs that shape and control social actions. Analyzed the fundamental nature of class as a mechanism of governance and social interaction.
Profoundly influenced world politics with his theory of communism. One of the most important thinkers in the Confucian school, he is the first theorist to make a coherent argument for an obligation of rulers to the ruled. A utilitarianand the person who named the system; he goes further than Bentham by laying the foundation for liberal democratic thought in general and modern, as opposed to classical, liberalism in particular.
BSc Politics and Philosophy
Articulated the place of individual liberty in an otherwise utilitarian framework. Analyzed protection of the people by a "balance of powers" in the divisions of a state. Revitalized the study of normative political philosophy in Anglo-American universities with his book A Theory of Justicewhich uses a version of social contract theory to answer fundamental questions about justice and to criticise utilitarianism.
Eponymous founder of the Mohist school, advocated a form of consequentialism. Philosopher who became a powerful influence on a broad spectrum of 20th-century political currents in Marxismanarchismfascism. Which are best laws and policies? What social and political reforms should be introduced by the State?
SOCRATES ON PHILOSOPHY AND POLITICS: ANCIENT AND CONTEMPORARY INTERPRETATIONS
Which is the best form of government? What is the right and ideal political conduct? While answering these questions, Political Science enters the realm of Philosophy. It depends on philosophy for finding answers to these normative questions.
However, in contemporary times, Political Science is defined as the science and not philosophy of state, government and politics. It is held to be an empirical science of politics and not a normative philosophy of State. Political Science is projected as a science and not as a philosophy. Philosophy involves a normative study of Human Conduct and Relations and which includes a study of State and Human Political Relations: Philosophy is the study of what is good and bad?
What is the ideal? What is highest good?