POS 210 SG Exam 1

POS 210 SG Exam 1 - POS 210 Study Guide: Exam 1 Week 1:...

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POS 210 Study Guide: Exam 1 Week 1: Intro to Ideologies What is an ideology? An ideology is a fairly coherent and comprehensive set of idea that explains and evaluates social conditions, helps people understand their place in society, and provides a program for social and political action. The 4 Functions an ideology performs: Explanatory : offers an explanation of why social, political, and economic conditions are as they are, particularly in times of crisis. Evaluative : supplies standards for evaluating social conditions. Orientative : a sense of identity of who he/she is, the group (race, nation, sex, etc.) to which he/she belongs, and how he/she is related to the rest of the world. Programmatic: tells its followers what to do and how to do it. What is the difference between ideology and political theory, political philosophy, religion, and scientific theory? Scientific theories are empirical in nature, meaning they are concerned with describing and explaining some features of the world, not with prescribing what people ought to do. Ideologies carry implications for the normative problem of how people should live. Political theory and philosophy perform the same four functions as ideologies, but they do so at a higher, more abstract, more principled, and perhaps more dispassionate level. Political ideologies fix their focus on the importance of action. Religions are often concerned with the supernatural and divine, while ideologies are much more interested in the here and now, with life on this earth. Why do ideologies all have some conception of freedom? Every ideology claims to defend and extend “freedom” (or liberty). Freedom figures in the performance of both the evaluative and programmatic functions, with all ideologies condemning societies that do not promote freedom and promising to take steps to
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promote it themselves. Freedom is an essentially contested concept, meaning that there is no one indisputably correct definition of “freedom”. What is the triadic structure of freedom? It consists of (A) an agent, (B) a barrier or obstacle blocking the agent, and (C) a goal at which the agent aims (pgs 10-11 text). Every statement about freedom can take the following form: “A is (or is not) free from B to achieve, be, or become C”. What is the concept of freedom frequently used for? All ideologies have a concept of human nature that they rely on, what is the purpose of that? The conception of human nature spells out (to a certain extent) what is politically possible for an ideology. (ex: if you believe humans are self-interested, competitive, etc., then it is unlikely that you would embrace communism or anarchism) Why aren’t nationalism and anarchism ideologies?
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2010 for the course POS 210 taught by Professor Simonhy during the Fall '07 term at ASU.

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POS 210 SG Exam 1 - POS 210 Study Guide: Exam 1 Week 1:...

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