Political Philosophy

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By Paul McLaughlin

Analyzing the political thought of anarchism from a philosophical and ancient point of view, Paul McLaughlin relates anarchism to the elemental moral and political challenge of authority. The e-book will pay specific recognition to the authority of the nation and the anarchist rejection of all conventional claims made for the legitimacy of nation authority, the writer either explaining and protecting the critical tenets of the anarchist critique of the state.The founding works of anarchist idea, by means of Godwin, Proudhon and Stirner, are explored and anarchism is tested in its old context, together with the effect of such occasions because the Enlightenment and the French Revolution on anarchist concept. eventually, the key theoretical advancements of anarchism from the late-nineteenth century to the current are summarized and evaluated.This publication is either a hugely readable account of the advance of anarchist considering and a lucid and well-reasoned defence of the anarchist philosophy.

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Extra info for Anarchism and Authority (Ashgate New Critical Thinking in Philosophy)

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25 In other words, it centred on a socio-political scepticism, on profound doubt about the moral foundations of the social order itself – not on epistemological doubt as such. Scepticism of a socio-political – or fundamentally ethical – nature has classical origins in Socratic thought. Socrates is a sceptic (skeptikos) in the authentic sense: a provocative examiner of the powers that be, a moral inquirer into conventional wisdom. His sole mode of existence consists ‘in examining and searching people’s minds, to find out who is really wise among them, and who only thinks that he is’.

It is doubtful, in any case, that mere etymology could suffice to tell us anything, or to define even minimally, a substantive social philosophy with a complex history – and this is clearly true of liberalism and socialism too. 7 It is not false to 6 In Defence of Anarchism (New York, 1970), pp. 72, 78. It is rather odd that Wolff is usually referred to as an anarchist by scholars (myself included) even though he renounces the position. This is, I suppose, due to the fact that his logic dictates anarchist conclusions even though he tries to suppress them.

Pp. 15, 17. , pp. 17–18. Emphasis added. , p. 8. Emphasis added. 6 While the abbreviated version of Clark’s definition doesn’t say everything about the anarchist ideology (and will be disputed anyhow), it says no less than his ‘comprehensive’ – or rather pedantic – version. In any case, we take it that no definition is ‘comprehensive’ – that every definition is an abstraction and therefore inadequate – but that definitions are necessary for conceptual work. Defining liberalism, for instance, as ‘the political philosophy of individual liberty’ may be simplistic, but it provides a framework in which liberalism can be discussed – along lines which any remotely intelligent person can grasp.

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