Political Philosophy Forum/Reviews/Links/FAQ



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The Forum is open to anyone who is interested and doesn't mind doing a little reading. Participate in the discussion and have all the postings delivered to your mailbox. Respond to others or introduce new ideas to the discussion from the convenience of your email program.

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Politeia: we could translate this ancient Greek word loosely as citizenship or as publicness (publicity?), though neither word by itself quite catches what a contemporary of Plato or Aristotle might have heard in it. It seems to name what the state and the citizen have in common, what they both require in order to be what they are: let's call it the public space. It is the title of Plato's great work, often translated "The Republic." There he argues that the most important issue for the state and the citizen, that on which the existence of the public space ultimately depends, is education. That is as much as to say that the state and the citizen together are an intellectual achievement, and above all an achievement that requires constant maintenance in the form of informed public discussion.

Let's treat this site as the entrance to a public discussion of the sorts of things that might help to make us into an informed public. No, not merely items in the news (though these might provide the an occasion for reflection) but mainly things of abiding interest. Let's use this space to discuss the intellectual questions that might help us to appreciate the sort of intellectual undertaking modern citizenship entails. One way to accomplish this is to discuss the seminal texts in the tradition of political thinking.

With that in mind, I have set up a listserve forum through Yahoo for the discussion of Plato's Republic or Aristotle's Politics or Machiavelli's The Prince or John Locke's Second Treatise of Government or Marx's Capital, or any other great work from the tradition of Political Philosophy. Why not enter the forum and see if you find the questions or the discussion interesting? There is no cost, and if it turns out to be boring or annoying, it's easy to leave.

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If you need information on editions and translations of The Second Treatise of Government or the Republic, or any other text from this tradition, visit my reviews page. I am in the process of compiling a catalog of reviews of available translations and editions of important texts in political philosophy. This is still a work in progress so please check to see the progress of the catalog from time to time.

Political Philosophy Forum/Reviews/Links/FAQ


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