The Oxford Handbook of the History of Political Philosophy

ISBN : 9780199679539

George Klosko
856 Pages
174 x 246 mm
Pub date
Jun 2013
Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy
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The Oxford Handbook of the History of Political Philosophy presents fifty original essays, each specially written by a leading figure in the field, covering the entire subject of the history of political philosophy. They provide not only surveys of the state of research but substantial pieces that engage with, and move forward, current debates. Part I addresses questions of method. Contributors discuss the contextual method, classically articulated by Quentin Skinner, along with important alternative methods associated with Leo Strauss and his followers, and contemporary post-modernism. This section also examines the value of the history of political philosophy and the history of the discipline itself. Part II, Chronological Periods, works through the entire history of Western political philosophy. While most contributions address recognizable chronological periods, others are devoted to more specialized topics, including the influence of Roman Law, medieval Arabic political philosophy, Socialism, and Marxism. Aspects of the history of political philosophy that transcend specific periods are the subject of Part III. Essays on topics such as democracy, the state, and imperialism trace theoretical developments over time. The histories of major non-Western traditions-Muslim, Confucian, and Hindu-are discussed in the final Part, with special reference to their relationships to Western political thought.


1. The Contextual Approach
2. The Straussian Approach
3. Postmodern Approaches to the History of Political Thought
4. The Value of the History of Political Philosophy
5. History of Political Philosophy as Discipline
6. The Origins of Political Philosophy
7. Classical Political Philosophy: Plato & Aristotle
8. Hellenistic Political Theory
9. Early Christian Political Philosophy
10. Influence of Roman Law
11. Arabic Contributions to Medieval Political Theory
12. Medieval Political Theory c. 1000-1500
13. Renaissance Political Philosophy
14. Political Thought in the Age of the Reformation
15. The School of Salamanca
16. The Early Modern Foundations of Classic Liberalism
17. Absolutism
18. Enlightenment Political Philosophy
19. Scottish Enlightenment
20. Early Nineteenth-Century Liberalism
21. German Idealism
22. Socialism
23. Marxian Tradition
24. Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Liberalism
25. Political Philosophy and the Idea of a Social Science
26. Contemporary Political Philosophy: Anglo-American
27. Contemporary Continental Political Thought
28. Political Philosophy in a Globalizing World
29. Democracy
30. Rights
31. The State
32. Sovereignty
33. The Social Contract (Contract of Government)
34. Citizenship
35. Property
36. Equality
37. Freedom
38. Douglass and Hobbes on Fear, Imagination, and Slavery
39. Imperialism
40. The Idea of the Welfare State
41. Libertarianism
42. Religious Toleration
43. Republicanism
44. Political Obligation
45. Anarchism
46. Feminism
47. Animal Rights and Political Theory
48. Confucian Political Philosophy
49. The Muslim Tradition of Political Philosophy
50. Hindu Political Philosophy

About the author: 

George Klosko is Henry L. and Grace Doherty Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia. He works in both normative political theory and the history of political theory.

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