Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Political Questions: Political Philosophy from Plato to Rawls is my textbook on the history of political philosophy. It is now in its third edition. Over the next year, I will be revising it for a fourth edition. I would be pleased to hear from anyone familiar with the book who might have suggestions about revisions.

The book is designed to stimulate thought and discussion among undergraduate and graduate students reading the classic texts of political philosophy for the first time. Each chapter is organized around a series of questions linked to specific texts.

Another feature of the book is that I tie many of these political questions to scientific research in biology, psychology, anthropology, and behavioral game theory.

I open the book with a chapter on the Declaration of Independence suggesting that the questions raised in that document come up throughout political history and the history of political philosophy.

In the present edition, I have chapters on 13 political philosophers: Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Rawls. Should I add new chapters on others?

I would be particularly interested in hearing from people who have used this as a textbook.


megapolisomancy said...

Yes. Anthony de Jasay.


The legacy of John Rawls

Kent Guida said...

Political Questions is a marvelous book. I've learned a great deal from it, and I always recommend it to students just getting interested in the subject.
I suggest adding two authors: Montesquieu and Tocqueville. They are both important and original, and especially challenging for the tyro.

David said...

I'm obviously biased, but I think a chapter on Rothbard and Nozick would be a good idea.

Rob Schebel said...

Though I've never taught from this book, I read it as an undergraduate and learned a great deal. I think the book would benefit from chapters on Mill (or Bentham and Mill) and Edmund Burke.