Notes - 1/15/2008 What is political theory? o What is the...

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1/15/2008 What is political theory? o What is the meaning of theory? Idea Fallible Concept Explanation Predictive o What is the meaning of political Power Legitimacy Authority Relationship between state and the citizen / individual Institutions Regulation Conflict / Compromise / Polarization Ideals Partisanship Corruption Values o Political theory is a critical tradition of discourse that provides a reflection of common life and the uses of collective power and resources within that collectivity o Dissenter activity lacks fixed center of gravity 1/17/2008 Political theory o Writers have felt compelled to present their views in a time of crisis 1
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Crisis is represented when the basis on which authority rests is fragile Also referred to economic situations Crisis of knowledge or morality 1. Socially the citizenship has turned away from the virtues of the soul 2. Plato o There is an attempt to analyze or critique the crisis A critique entails three things: 1. Unblurring distinctions 2. Make a judgment about those distinctions on a given reality 3. Rectify on the basis of the first two steps Oresteia o Monarchy Democracy o State and Family o Trojan War Helen was kidnapped by Paris then forced to marry him This was considered a violation of the value of hospitality o Before Agamemnon sails, he sacrifices his daughter in order to “get wind” o This illustrates a transition from sacrifice as a religious act to a political outcome o In the 10 years he is gone, his wife has an affair with his cousin o “The House” Monarchy The affairs of the state and the family are directly related to each other o Curse Divine component Doesn’t impair your ability to act, but it is a metaphor for the external forces beyond your control Actions have consequences because they illicit other actions beyond your control 2
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These actions are “boundless” and often initiate a cycle of violence and vengeance A curse can translate into fate In order to break free there must be a compromise o Cassandra had the ability to foresee the future, yet was cursed so that no one would believe anything she foretold o Power brings about a necessity of choices The conflict between ethics and politics Our choices may sometimes be constrained by various factors history o There are no separations between political and private life o Justice is a concept of retribution, a form of punishment for ones actions o To rectify the situation, there needs to be a shift in political form 1/22/2008 The results and consequences of actions are boundless What is the intersection between action and knowledge? The
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This note was uploaded on 05/02/2008 for the course PSCI 2014 taught by Professor Ayvazquez during the Spring '08 term at Virginia Tech.

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Notes - 1/15/2008 What is political theory? o What is the...

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