An Introduction to Political Philosophy by A. R. M. Murray

By A. R. M. Murray

First released in 1953, this seminal advent to political philosophy is meant for either the scholar of political conception and for the overall reader. After an creation and is the reason the character and function of philosophy, Dr Murray offers a severe exam of the primary theories complicated through political philosophers from Plato to Marx, paying distinct consciousness to modern issues.

The ebook additionally attempts to outline the basic problems with philosophical value in modern politics, with precise 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 established upon varied theories of good judgment.

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Thus Plato believed that in politics it was possible to establish principles having the precision and certainty of mathematics, whereas Aristotle believed that in politics, as in biology, careful and patient empirical enquiry was the only way of arriving at reliable generalizations. Plato believed that the apprehension of the Form of the Good would reveal exactly how a community ought to be organized and governed, whereas Aristotle thought that the right organization for any given state could only be discovered by careful examination of its other characteristics.

1 2 3 Attention has been drawn in Chapter I to the difficulty of combining this position with a nonnaturalistic interpretation of morality. Politics, 1,2. ibid. 40 An Introduction to Political Philosophy The Relativity of Moral Standards One of the most important implications of Aristotle's theory is that the moral standards of a society are relative to its 'nature* and thus liable to variationfromstate to state. Thus Aristotle says: Laws, when good, should be supreme.... But what are good laws has not yet been clearly explained; the old difficulty remains.

But the purpose of the theory is at least comparatively clear. , Vlt 540. , VI, 508. Plato's Theory of the Ideal State 3 5 ground that they are based upon the relationship of eternal Forms. If this were not the case he would not regard morality as a possible object of knowledge. It is, he thinks, a possible object of knowledge for those who have been suitably trained just because the goodness of a thing is determined by the Form of the Good, and its goodness can therefore be recognized by those who are acquainted with that Form, or whose knowledge issuesfromit 2 Now it must be conceded that, even if moral propositions are a priori, there may not be any way of demonstrating this truth to anyone who fails to recognize it.

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