Part1TheGreatQuestionsofPolitics

Part1TheGreatQuestionsofPolitics - POLITICAL THINKING PART...

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POLITICAL THINKING PART I: POLITICAL THINKING AS QUESTIONS 4 Modes of Political Thinking 1. Political thinking as questions 2. Political thinking as answers 3. Political thinking as science 4. Political thinking as imagination A. THE GREAT QUESTIONS OF POLITICS 1. What is the human condition? a) Are humans fundamentally good, bad, or both good & bad? 1. HUMAN NATURE IS EVIL a/Thomas Hobbes (English, 1640s, The Leviathan ) Humans are fundamentally bad in nature Without government the meanest would persevere b/Niccolo Machiavelli (Renaissance politician and thinker in Italy, The Prince ) Humans are motivated by selfishness 2.HUMAN NATURE IS GOOD a/Jean-Jacques Rousseau (French, 1700s) Humans are fundamentally good but society changes us Society makes us bad and we must return to simplicity b/Anarchists Humans are fundamentally good but government makes us bad 3. HUMAN NATURE IS MIXED a/The mainstream of Western thought b/Apparent in all major thinkers of the Mediterranean Tradition Plato, Aristotle c/Human nature has capacity for both good & evil: this has political consequences b) Are we estranged from each other? Are people basically all alike or different? Can people understand each other c) Can estrangement be overcome? How? 2. What is politics? a) Potential definitions: 1/When things go wrong 2/A struggle for private gain
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Part I: Political Thinking as Questions OUTLINE 3/The process of making governmental decisions 4/The authoritative allocation of values b) Power and authority 1/ Power : The ability to influence events, to exert one's will, to command or prevent action, or to achieve desired outcomes.
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