Politics and Philosophy

Exploring Political Issues Through Philosophy


Article Abstracts
All abstracts are linked to the main article.

Am I Dumb, or Why Politics are Boring

Abstract: The article explains why it is that keeping abreast of “political” development is a confusing and often tedious business.  The analysis takes the approach that most often what we see is government and not politics, government being the mask behind which political struggle takes place.  The organized face of government is in place to shield the citizenry from the deadly and vicious struggle that take place behind its seeming innocuous façade.  Look behind the mask and much of the boredom disappear as survival and self-interest stake their claim to you attention. (Article length is approx. 5500 words.  At the time of posting,  Ms. Bergson is a graduate student studying international relations.  Posted 11/10/2010)


Anarchy and the Case for Government

Abstract:  Dr.Bliss discusses the original, historical rise of governments and the thread of anarchist theory that has always run tandem and counter to government.  His essay is written in two parts.  The first part of the essay offers some of the more widely recognized philosophical premises to justify the existence of the state, and especially the modern liberal state.  The second part is an analytical discussion of the historical reality and how anarchist theory would treat with the discrepancy between liberal philosophy and historical reality.  His research on the rise of government takes the reader into a theoretical journey through Plato and Aristotle, the Hobbes and Locke.  Dr. Bliss then compares these several theories with the best research on the rise of ‘government’ provided by up-to-date paleoanthropology. (Article length is approx. 12,000 words.  At the time of posting Dr.Bliss is working on a book analyzing political ethics. He does call it an oxymoron. Posted, 4/11/2012)


Class and Class warfare

Abstract:  Class warfare is on quite a few lips these days, and Dr. Shattuck take up the subject.  He first discusses the various ways to define class, showing many of them to be faulty.  He then arrives at a definition based on an economic model based on production.  This definition is less Structuralist than it is neo-Marxist, but it is definitive and more satisfactory that the more social or income orientated definitions often advanced by sociologists. At this point Dr. Shattuck strikes out out in an unusual direction:  he analyses the nature of war, but in a social and political way, finding that society’s classes can frequently be legitimately described as being at war.  Finally he looks into different models for the resolution of class war.  (Approx. 10,500 words.  Dr. Shattuck teaches government and political theory.  Article posted 7/23/2012)


Defining the Left and the Right

Abstract:  The article beings with the historical origins of the words ‘Left’ and ’Right,’ and how they derived their meaning.  The piece then goes into common misconceptions surrounding the political concepts. A more appropriate and consistent definition follows, one based on differing views of “human nature”.  Then the Right’s and the Left’s position is measured up against this definition; it is then shown where these differing position lead in the real world. (Article length is approx. 5000 words.  William Pray has advanced degrees in “Political Science and Philosophy”.  He is also one of the editors of the journal Politics and Philosophy. Posted 6/17/2010)


Raising Consciousness

Abstract:  Richard Wu approaches this subject by first carefully defining consciousness, the goes on to define “political’ consciousness.  Consciousness is different than awareness.  Consciousness is a function of engaging and intentional curiosity coupled with ‘reflection’. Along this line he analyzes the “raising” of consciousness in general as being dependent on reason, knowledge, and imagination.  Political consciousness is a bit different in that it is specifically intentional with regard to the power relations in the environment of the consciousness.  Mr. Wu is careful to point out that raising political consciousness is also a function curiosity, but of curiosity motivated by survival instincts, and takes place in a negative atmosphere, as the relations of power are hostile to the raising of political consciousness. This the heart of Mr. Wu’s argument and the analysis become deliberate and closely reasoned, with attention given to detail and illustration.  He analyzes the difficulties that stand in the way of political consciousness, and shows how these difficulties can be overcome by the unique qualities of each individual consciousness in relationship to its context.  (Article length, approx. 11,000 words.  Richard Wu is, at the time of this writing, a Ph.D candidate in Philosophy.  Posted 6/22/2011)


Standing Behind Libertarianism

Abstract:  A penetrating and critical analysis of libertarianism.  Dr. Arambuala’s approach is to demonstrate that the resolution between individual self-interest and the common good sought by the libertarian is ultimately inconsistent.  Dr. Arambual’s analysis finds that the ultimate resolution to this inconstancy relies on the nature of the political state that inevitably must arise in defense of the rights of property against the collective good.  (Article length, approx.  7000 words.  Jack Arambuala is a pseudonym.  He is currently retired, but taught political science and government in several institutions on the West Coast.  Posted: 1/4/2010)



Terror and Torture; the Ethics of Random 

Abstract:  Ms. Bergson is a Structuralist and approaches this highly charged subject through an unusual analysis that finds both terror and torture within a contextual unity. She begins with a definition of terror that finds it to be a morally neutral tool of conflict.  She then goes on to define ethical nature of torture within its contextual relationship to the apparent “random” nature of terror. This apparent random nature provokes a contextual veil of secrecy that generates its own system of ethics.  She argues that it is the ethical system developed within the context of “apparently” random actions of terror that produce torture as one of its offspring.  (Article length: approx. 7,500 words.  At the time of posting, Ms. Bergson is searching for a Ph.D residency in philosophy.  Posted: 11/3/2011)


The Particular Nature of Truth in Social Issues

Abstract:  This very short philosophical essay plunges us into a common problem concerning the supposition of ‘truth’ in all our discussions of social issues and social justice. The problem, according to the author, arises out of confusing ‘truth’ with ‘fact’, as ‘truth’ comes from a different place than ‘fact’. This is not a side door way of saying that truth is relative, but rather that truth is ‘particular’.  Truth is particular because we attach value to truth.  The balance of this essay then discusses the particularity of this truth-value and why it is particular to different situations.  Mister Conner argues because of the particularity of truth, we choose what is true and what is not.   (Articular length: approx. 3,000 words. At the time of posting, Mister Conner is a first year graduated student in philosophy. Posted: 1/17/2010)


The Rise of Christianity as Political Ideology

Abstract:  A lengthy and detailed examination of the very early history of organized Christianity (30 CE to 250 CE).  This treatment analyzes the dialectical relationship between an obscure Jewish sect and Imperial Rome.  The study begins by carefully describing politics and ideology, the study then uses these descriptions as tools to dissect the complex development of Christianity from its inauspicious beginnings to the most powerful political entity in the western world from c. 400 to c. 1000.  (Article length, approx. 13,500 words.  William Pray has advanced degrees in “Political Science and Philosophy”.  He is also one of the editors of the journal Politics and Philosophy.  Posted: 8/23/2010)


The Role of Violence in Politics

Abstract:  Richard Wu argues that while politics is usually presented as an arbitrator of conflicting and potentially violent factions, politics is in fact a form or organized violence.  Mister Wu begins by advancing the position that political legitimacy is a form of disguise that cloaks the coercion that is central to all political decisions.  He supports this rather radical point of view by arguing that institutional violence in inherent in the allocation of social resources, and it is this allocation that is the central task of politics. (Article length, approx. 7,000 words. This is Richard Wu’s second contribution to Politics and Philosophy. Richard is completing his Ph.D project in Philosophy.  Posted 3/27/2012)


What is Ideology

Abstract:  A detailed descriptive analysis of ideology.  What precisely is ideology, how ideology operates and what are the individual and social effects of ideology and ideological thinking?  The limits of such a study are discussed, along with a distinction drawn between political doctrine and ideological thinking.  The article stresses that political doctrine and ideology are often used as though identical, but they are not.  Ideology is a far vaster idea system that encompasses and arranges all our experiences into how we understand the world in general. As the analysis is phenomenological a there is a heavy analytical reliance on examples and illustrations of the phenomenon described.  (Article length is approx.: 6500 words.  William Pray has advanced degrees in Political Science and Philosophy. He is also one of the editors of the journal “Politics and Philosophy”.  Article posted 12/2009)




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