George Klosko

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Political Philosophy

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199238804
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728365 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy


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  • History of Western Philosophy
  • Social and Political Philosophy


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Although this volume is a text on the history of political philosophy, dividing lines between that field and the closely related history of political theory and of political thought are not hard and fast. Part I of the book covers questions of method. This part includes discussion of the contextual method, classically articulated by Quentin Skinner, which is widely regarded as the standard method for studying the history of ideas, including the history of political philosophy. Currently, the chief alternative methods are those associated with Leo Strauss and his followers and a less clearly defined postmodern approach. Part II provides an overview of the entire history of Western political philosophy, with some articles tackling thematic topics such as the influence of Roman law or medieval Arabic political philosophy, socialism, and Marxism. Part III addresses aspects of the history of political philosophy that transcend specific periods and generally change and develop in interesting ways between periods. Part IV explores three major non-Western traditions: Confucianism, Islam, and Hinduism.

Keywords: Confucianism; Islam; Hinduism; political philosophy; Quentin Skinner; socialism; Marxism; Leo Strauss; Roman law; history

Article.  3021 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy ; Social and Political Philosophy

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