The Character of Political Philosophy

Ross, Craig (1993) The Character of Political Philosophy. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis constitutes an inquiry into the nature or character of political philosophy. The work is in many ways Oakeshottian, and takes its structure principally from Experience and its Modes. Making use of the notion of the modes of practice, science and history the thesis examines the ways in which it is thought that political philosophy might relate to these modes. It is maintained that there is no justification for the attempt to found a prescriptive political philosophy by attaching philosophical writing to one of these modes. This case is pursued by an exegesis of the work of Kuhn, Feyerabend, Rorty and MacIntyre, among others. There is also an account of Nozick's Anarchy, State and Utopia, and it is maintained that this work is, whilst being in some minimal sense "political", (that is concerned with political concepts), also meaningfully philosophical. The thesis will also maintain that the apparent change in Oakeshott's philosophical position from Experience and its Modes to his later work, the desire of political philosophers to engage in prescription, and the hostility of commentators to the work of Nozick all seems to hinge on what view we should take of the relationship of "art" to the world. I will show what is implied in becoming phlegmatic about the social consequences of our intellectual world and its products. We might thus go beyond Oakeshott, beyond prescription, and beyond any fear we might have of the consequences of the work of writers such as Nozick.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: C J Berry
Keywords: Political science, Philosophy
Date of Award: 1993
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1993-75686
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 18:57
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 18:57

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