By Alexander Rainy Maclean Murray
First released in 1953, this seminal advent to political philosophy is meant for either the coed of political thought and for the overall reader. After an advent and is the reason the character and function of philosophy, Dr Murray offers a severe exam of the main theories complicated by way of political philosophers from Plato to Marx, paying exact cognizance to modern matters. The publication additionally attempts to outline the basic problems with philosophical value in modern politics, with exact connection with the clash among political authority and person rights, and to teach how the various ethical assumptions underlying authoritarian and democratic platforms of presidency are finally dependent upon diversified theories of common sense.
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It is clear that Plato had no doubt about the answer to these questions. Against the theory of Thrasymachus he argued that men do not, and against the theory put forward by Glaucon and Adeimantus he argued that men should not, arrange their affairs simply in accordance with their natural desires and powers. 1 Hence the direction of the community should be placed in the absolute power of those who, by the circumstances of their lives and the quality of their minds, are least likely to be influenced by personal desires and ambitions and most likely to exercise their power solely in accordance with what they know to be morally right And hence democracy, in which the opinions of the corrupt and the ignorant may count for as much as the knowledge of the upright and the wise, is the very negation of moral government It follows, of course, that if there is an objective distinction between right and wrong (or, as Plato says, between justice and injustice), the state ought to be governed in accordance with therightpolicy.
VII, 540. , VII, 540. This does not mean that the relationship of men and women should be promiscuous, but that a woman should be available for mating with whichever man is cugcnically best suited to her. Plato's Theory of the Ideal State 33 This manner of life will be their salvation, and make them the saviours of the commonwealth. 2 These proposals have led some people to suppose that Plato was at heart a 'communist*. But it is clear that this is not true in the modern sense of the word. Plato's object in depriving the rulers of private property was not economic but moral He did not, like a modern communist, advocate the 'nationalization* of the means of production and distribution in the economic interest of the whole community.
Thus the Sophists drew attention to a question which has remained fundamental throughout the history of philosophy and still gives rise to much debate and controversy. It is the question whether moral laws are created by man or are, like the laws of the physical universe, objective principles independent of man's feelings and desires. If they are objective principles they constitute a valid basis for inferring what, in a categorical sense, a man ought to do. If, on the other hand, moral laws are, as the Sophists believed, expressions of desire or interest, there can be no valid ground for inferring that they 'ought' to be obeyed except in the hypothetical sense that if certain consequences are desired these laws must be obeyed Thus if moral laws are objective there is a valid sense in which (assuming that theft is wrong) it can be said that I ought not to steal; but if these laws are subjective a statement of this sort must be interpreted as meaning that I must not steal if I wish to avoid the risk of punishment or the risk of endangering the structure of the society whose benefits I enjoy or some other consequence.
An Introduction to Political Philosophy by Alexander Rainy Maclean Murray