Talk:Political philosophy

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ctrl+F "Tocqueville" ...not found.[edit]

I... seriously? Alexis de Tocqueville, anyone? Democracy in America, anyone? Nowhere to be found in an article on political thought? Can my eyebrows defy gravity any more than they are right now? I don't think so? 69.114.223.250 (talk) 02:31, 28 September 2011 (UTC)


He should certainly be listed under the Influential political philosophers section, without question. I'm horrible at all this formatting stuff otherwise I'd add it now. Anyone else who could volunteer to do so? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.25.112.234 (talk) 10:09, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Plato is not the earliest example of Greek political thought, nor does fn 4 claim that he is.[edit]

The article currently includes the sentence (under History > Ancient > Ancient Greece): "Western political philosophy originates in the philosophy of ancient Greece, where political philosophy begins with Plato's Republic in the 4th century BC." This sentence is false, because there were political philosophers in ancient Greece before Plato, including Gorgias, Protagoras, and Heraclitus (and arguably Socrates, since there's a vibrant trend of reading Socrates in his own right, as separate from the ideas of Plato). Also, what about Plato's dialogues that predate the Republic and discuss political issues?

Anyway, the sentence cites a quote from Sahakian, which reads "Western philosophical tradition can be traced back as early as Plato." Note that this wording does not support the claim that Plato was the first political philosopher, or that political philosophy began with Plato, but rather that political philosophy can be traced to as early as Plato. To say that x can be traced to as early as y does not mean that x cannot also (perhaps more controversially) be traced back earlier still to z. But to say that x began with y is to say that none came before y.74.232.112.235 (talk) 13:47, 19 July 2013 (UTC)


Well stated. I just made a minor change due to the error, and incorrect citation, as you noted. There should probably be a pre-Socratic entry. Nothing too elaborate or detailed, but at least a few sentences to help illustrate what was really the foundation that Socrates drew from in fact. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.25.112.234 (talk) 10:05, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Social philosopher[edit]

Could someone more clued-up figure out if the current redirect of Social philosopher to this article is correct, or whether it should instead point to Social philosophy? Cheers. Bromley86 (talk) 17:58, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Straussian political philosophy[edit]

I propose a new subsection titled "In the context of Leo Strauss" or something like that. For it is quite impossible to understand the meaning of the phrase "political philosophy" in writers like Strauss and Laurence Lampert from the article as it is. Simply put, the article as it is is an entry for the phrase as it is commonly understood: as philosophy is love of wisdom, so political philosophy is the love of political wisdom. But in writers like Strauss, the phrase is equally meant to refer to the political love of wisdom, that is to say to philosophy that has become political--not so much in the narrower sense, of "being in politics" (although Bacon for example was Lord Chancellor), as in the broadest sense, of political activity in general, for example the publication of a political manifest. Political-philosophical writings, as understood by Strauss et al., are basically manifests for the benefit of philosophy, written by philosophers who felt they had to rise up for it. Or rather, go down: for in this understanding, the great Platonic political philosophers--whose ranks include Homer (Seth Benardete, "The Bow and the Lyre: A Platonic Reading of the Odyssey") and Nietzsche (Strauss, "Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy")--are philosophers who temporarily leave their height in order to involve themselves with its foundations for the benefit of that very height. In fact, we could say that, in this reading, the common understanding of the phrase is due to the success of Platonic political philosophy in the narrower sense, whose Socrates ostensibly went down merely in order to learn political wisdom, but with all his feigned naivety and impartiality really at least as much sought to teach a select few intelligent listeners his own political wisdom. Sauwelios 16:57, 12 October 2015 (UTC)

theory or philosophy, that is the question.[edit]

I realize this may be an old issue, but is this an article on theory or philosophy? Political Theory redirects here but the Intro states they are not the same thing. And if they are not the same, where in this article is Theory discussed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.87.73.175 (talk) 14:11, 15 November 2015 (UTC)