Morals and Politics

Anthony Quinton

in Of Men and Manners

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199694556
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731938 | DOI:
Morals and Politics

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This chapter's main thesis is that it is a mistake to see political philosophy as a subordinate part of moral philosophy, and thus to suppose that the characteristic problems of the former are of the same kind as those of the latter. More concretely, the problems of politics itself are not generally or primarily, let alone exclusively, moral in nature. We all know that political problems are not, to any great extent, approached by those involved with them, from a moral point of view. It is argued that it is not reasonable that they should be. But the philosophical habit of running the two things together encourages a kind of moral absolutism in political thinking, and from time to time in political practice, which has bad results, not necessarily morally bad, just bad.

Keywords: political philosophy; moral philosophy; political problems; absolutism

Chapter.  5590 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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