Segments in this Video

What is Politics? (04:28)


Politics is the relationship between individuals and those in political power over them. What choices exist for individuals within politics? What is it for the government to exist and the state to be just?

What is Political Philosophy? (02:09)

Two disciplines considered together within normative philosophy are political philosophy and ethics. The fundamental question centers on how humans can organize themselves to live well.

Classical Greeks: Plato and Aristotle (05:28)

The Republic by Plato describes a utopia where the city-state, or polis, ideally represents the soul of man. Aristotle's eudaimonia is one of four "causes" describing a successful life.

Divine Right: Thomas More (02:09)

The divine right of the monarchy originates from the Romans and Christians. Its authenticity in human affairs is challenged by Thomas More's "Utopia" during the Renaissance.

Thomas Hobbes and John Locke (05:03)

In seventeenth century England, while Hobbes believed man's rights come from society in a social contract, Locke believes in the natural rights of life, liberty, and property beginning the liberal tradition.

Jean Jacque Rousseau's Democracy (06:04)

Rousseau redesigns the social contract by exploring the natural freedom and moral innocence of man as the "noble savage." Certain freedoms must be present for democracy to exist.

George Hegel Influences Karl Marx (04:00)

The German Hegel believes reality is rationality, and the world as a whole is the product of an absolute mind. His idea of the Dialectic influences Marx' theories of economics and socialism.

Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill (03:01)

Bentham's Utilitarianism supports the action of the greatest good for the greatest number of people. His disciple, John Stuart Mill, believes in representative democracy and individual rights.

American Philosopher John Rawls (04:12)

In Rawls "A Theory of Justice," he proposes several principles that would impove the situation of a least advantaged in society.

Robert Nozick: Libertarianism (03:43)

In "Anarchy, State, and Utopia," Nozick proposes that political theory is about rights and individual liberties, not justice. He supports a reduced role of the state, especially in taxation and entitlements.

Role of the Political Philosopher (03:02)

Political philosophers have always been involved in the politics of their time. How does one shape what one thinks to make things a little bit better? It is important to raise ethical questions about politics.

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Political Philosophy

Part of the Series : Great Ideas of Philosophy II
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Who should lead the world’s only superpower? When is it acceptable to topple another country’s leader? Are personal freedom and national security mutually incompatible? The answers to urgent political questions such as these are informed by 23 centuries of discourse that started with The Republic. This program focuses successively on the pivotal ideas of Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Rousseau, Marx, Mill, John Rawls, and Robert Nozick to elucidate the thinking that underpins the West’s conceptions of good and bad government. Commentary by Ronald Dworkin, of New York University, and Kwame Anthony Appiah, of Princeton University, is featured. Part of the series Great Ideas of Philosophy II. (46 minutes)

Length: 46 minutes

Item#: BVL32716

ISBN: 978-1-4213-1509-6

Copyright date: ©2004

Closed Captioned

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