Social and Political Thought

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The Social and Political Thought of Yen Fu

The Social and Political Thought of Yen Fu

Behind Yen Fu's impassioned defense of Spencer's idea of progressive evolution and his criticism of various ideas of retrogression and cyclical change lay his ultimate political concerns. He was interested in the idea of progressive evolution primarily because he found its normative implications could be used to argue for change and reform in China. Yen Fu was surely fascinated by grandiose schemes of universal change and evolution which Spencer and other evolutionists described. He was apparently even more fascinated by its normative implications for human actions. Based on the idea of evolution, Yen Fu advanced a formula which reversed the doctrine of Tung Chung-shu: heaven changes, earth changes, and therefore the way of man {tao), which should follow heaven and earth, must also change.^* No single set of political institutions, social customs and legal systems can apply to all societies and all ages. Vaiious social and political systems, including those developed by the Chinese sages, were designed only to cope with certain concrete situations. When the situation changed, the systems had to be changed accordingly. The problem of China, Yen Fu wrote, lay in people not understanding the necessity of changing outdated systems.^’ If this mentality did not change, he warned, China would never be able to make progress.^ Chinese people had to understand. Yen Fu argued, that change was not only a necessity required by the universal law, but also the instrument for attaining progress. So long as China followed the universal law of evolution to change its traditional system. Yen stated, it would definitely move towards perfection. He often quoted a Han historian, Ssu-ma Ch'ien, to express his belief: 'When difficulties are faced, change is the way to solve them; change will lead to permanent
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Tractarians and the 'Condition of England': The Social and Political Thought of the Oxford Movement

Tractarians and the 'Condition of England': The Social and Political Thought of the Oxford Movement

Possibly the strongest chapter in the book examines the Tractarian view of the relationship of church and state, again largely through analysis of generally ignored articles in the British Critic. Skinner provides a brilliant analysis of the contorted views of the Tractarians in regard to Erastianism. He leads the reader to grasp more clearly and deeply than any other historian why the Tractarians had so many doubts regarding the contemporary connection of the church with the state. In their radical High Churchmanship they claimed the standing and authority of the church derived from Apostolical Succession rather than from the accident of Erastian establishment. The growing religious pluralism of English political and parliamentary life had led them to take that stance whereby they gave the Church of England what they regarded as a unique claim to be the only true church in the land. They deeply believed in the priority of the church to the state and the absolute necessity that the former influence the moral vision of the latter. Keble especially argued that the legitimacy of the state flowed from its Christian character. That is to say, he and other Tractarian
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Reception of Hegel’s Social and Political Thought in the Work of Charles Taylor. Bernstein’s Criticism of Taylor’s Interpretation of Hegel

Reception of Hegel’s Social and Political Thought in the Work of Charles Taylor. Bernstein’s Criticism of Taylor’s Interpretation of Hegel

Nakon nekih općih kritika koje mu upućuje zbog nekoherentnosti, nepove- zanosti i Taylorovog inzistiranja na određenim temama dok druge probleme ostavlja u sjeni (Bernstein, 2000: 69), [r]

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How Should We Live? A Study of Social Critical Theory, Feminist Utopianism, Anarchism and Eco-political Thought

How Should We Live? A Study of Social Critical Theory, Feminist Utopianism, Anarchism and Eco-political Thought

Unlike feminist utopias which have engaged with such problems by imagining less privatised, non-hierarchical and more communal alternatives to the nuclear family structure (The Dispossessed, Woman on the Edge of Time, The Female Man in Moylan, Demand) Bravo naturalises the nuclear family. Policy “protections to value families” constitute the biggest change to the workplace, such as the introduction of paid leave in an attempt to resolve capitalism’s contradictory treatment of reproductive labour (Bravo, “Not a Favour 173). The entwinements of ‘family values’ with the naturalisation of hierarchy, racial supremacy, heterosexism, eugenics and the control of women’s reproduction (Collins 77) are left uncritiqued, where even the only lesbian character in the story conforms to a marital and nuclear family structure. Such emphasis on reproduction, and the absence in the story of anyone without children, reinforces what Lee Edelman calls ‘reproductive futurism’, a logic of progress where ‘the social good appears co-terminus with human futurity’ (Sheldon n.p) and the image of the child justifies a discourse of future growth for capitalist exploitation and profit accumulation which relies on ‘surplus populations’ (Sheldon). In a time in which Donna Haraway writes, ‘make kin, not babies’ (“Making Kin” 102), this does not appear as a radical alternative to present social and environmental dilemmas. In contrast, Haraway argues that “it is high time that feminists exercise leadership in imagination, theory, and action to unravel the ties of both genealogy and kin, and kin and species” to the ends of not increasing the human population, but the well-being of all people and life forms (102). A controversial statement, for sure, but equally problematic is a continued commitment to status-quo, patriarchal and capitalist linkages of futurity and reproduction.
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Context and social criticism: The problem of context in the history of political thought and political theory

Context and social criticism: The problem of context in the history of political thought and political theory

Foucault is eager to present us with an alternative to the devices which produce histories of continuities rather than of discontinuities, but these devices are not simply rejected as 'misconceived'. While he introduces the idea o f discourse as part o f a project o f setting out a 'pure description of discursive events', it becomes clear that these traditional devices are not rejected because they do not reflect 'how things are', but because if one is primarily interested in discontinuities they are not useful.68 His argument is essentially a pragmatic one in which the idea o f discourse is thought of in terms of the choice o f a 'level of description' which is appropriate to a particular interest in the matter at hand.69 In his account, 'statements' are treated as elements of a discourse, in which they are systematically related to one another, but this is not to deny that they may also be thought of as elements of particular speech acts. On this pluralist view we do not have to choose between one way o f identifying acts and another, but only to specify the level of description at which we are associating them. We could allow that speakers intend their utterances to be taken in a particular way without limiting ourselves to determining what this is, or organising our account of that utterance around this narrative principle. The identity o f the act concerned cannot be specified independently of our interest in it, on this view, while Skinner on the other hand assumes that the speaker's intentions fix its identity in such a way as to limit what we might say about the act in question.
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An Introduction to Morteza Motahari''''s Political Thought

An Introduction to Morteza Motahari''''s Political Thought

philosopher; that is to say, his method in proving his claim is mostly logical in most of his publications and he is a Motekallems be- cause in all of his writings, his intention is to defend the religion. However, the important question is that if commitment to defend reli- gious propositions does or does not damage his philosophical and logical method-and freedom in his way-. In other words, does it not lead such scholar to justification? Davari and Soroush have not posed this question in their works but one of the authors has claimed that Motahari was well committed to the philosophical method. That is to say; he first relied on philosophical basis and then tried to defend religious propositions (Sou- zanchi, 1999: 207-208). However, it seems that at least in some areas of political and social issues- and especially in distinguishing the freedom of thought from the freedom of belief and omitting the word democratic from the Islamic Republic 30 - in Motahari’s terms, the argument is confiscated in favor of inten- tion (here we do not judge his intentions and motives to be right or wrong) 31 .
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Methodological Impediments to Innovation on Political Thought of Islam

Methodological Impediments to Innovation on Political Thought of Islam

Obviously, they are humans and human beings are affected by family as well as political and social conditions. Understanding and thought of people in every time is limited and proportionate to conditions and scientific advancements of that time and this limitation on human understanding, which is prerequisite of being a human being is quite natural. On the other hand, one of the most important characteristics of Quran and Sunna is that they are perennial, especially that part which is not subject to conditions of time and place. Scientific theories are willing to last a long time provided that they could overcome opposing theories or do not allow them to emerge. When political thought is directly related to Quran and Sunna, a theory is apt to become lasting by being attributed to Quran and Sunna. In this process, the words and ideas of a mortal creature will be placed along the words of the immortal God. In other words, they are willing to consider their own ideas as being the word of God, which has been uttered by them. In this way, any criticism of those ideas will be considered as tantamount to criticism of the words of God and their rejection is equal to rejecting divine revelation. This will close the door to innovation and no new theory could challenge such theory. Innovation is only possible when the main pillars of that theory are confirmed and only less important points are subject to innovation (and that should not take shape as outright rejection). In this case, accepting the pervious theory and adding something to it will be of no objection. However no theory or viewpoint is allowed to weaken frame of previous theories and take its place. During history when new problems emerged, there was possible for thinkers to come up with new ideas and political thought and since those theories were attributed to diving revelation, they blocked the way to presentation of other theories.
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The Epistemology of Islamic Political Thought in Indonesia

The Epistemology of Islamic Political Thought in Indonesia

Abstract When perceived from circular perspective (not linier or parallel) based on three of the prior political epistemologies (bayani, burhani, and irfani), then reconstruction of ideal thought – as the fundamental philosophy –of Islamic Politics for contemporary Indonesia in the next era should be a balance between political trilogy ala al-Jabiry that is bayani (idealistic in the commitment to the Islamic values), burhani (ability to answer real challenge of the people and nation) and irfani (personal and communal wisdom of Muslim politicians). In textual-normative-bayani, the Islamic political vision for contemporary Indonesia still refers to the fundamental values found in the Holy Koran and Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad, such as deliberation, unity, welfare and justice values. As for the burhani (rational-empirical), application of the political values which is fundamental should be adjusted to plurality context of Indonesian society, and to answer some of the existing social problems. The actual case example: application of justice and economic values which is more intense now in the sharia economy system already gets more acceptances among the society as an alternative to conventional-capitalistic economy. In burhani, thinkers or activists of Islamic politics should always have the ability to accommodate aspiration and give appreciation and positive and constructive contributions to the political dynamic in Indonesia, for the sake of the people and nation‟s glory in the future, and at the same time providing successful model of Islamic political implementation in Indonesian context which is modern and democratic. This research employs a deductive approach and a library research as the methods. This research cocludes that the future of politics in Indonesia is a combination between bayani, burhani and ‘irfani (psycho-spiritual) approaches.
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The Issue of Woman in Ghasem Amin’s Political Thought

The Issue of Woman in Ghasem Amin’s Political Thought

women‟s freedom is the central problem when talking about the freedom of Egypt. If it is sup- posed that Egypt get liberated from foreigner‟s dominance, and access its own Arabic and ethnic nature, it is necessary, more than anything else, that Egyptian woman access her freedom. The reason is that any social reform which is to initiate other reforms is in one way or another related to women and the family. He stated that the reason of underdevelopment of the Egypt in thinking, culture and civilization turns back to the lack of independence and dictatorship which are mani- fested in the issue of insult of and domination over women (Sakakini, 1965, p 32). He wrote some articles in the journal of “Almoayed” under the title of “reasons and outcomes”, anonymously. In these articles he claimed that the main problem of Egypt and Egyptians were the ignorance and lack of Education of the women. He, also, wrote that “there is no use to find fault with others when we ourselves are full of faults.” It is better now to solve our own problems first. (Ibid) for him, there is no obstacle, except illiteracy and disability in the training of Egyptian women to prevent them from getting involved in affairs like science, tech- nology, literature, trade, and industry, that west- ern women are involved in, except, (Amin, 1988, P. 8).
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The Concept of the Political in Contemporary Western and Non-Western Political Thought

The Concept of the Political in Contemporary Western and Non-Western Political Thought

The postmodern interpretation of the political is primarily shaped by the rejection of what Lyotard termed ‘metanarratives’ - of all attempts, that is, to legitimate social and political relationships by presenting them as natural, rationally grounded or inevitable. The reverse side of this deconstructive scepticism is a sense of the contingency of all identity and all social and political relationships which is shared by agonal theorists like Connolly, as already noted. In the case of postmodern thinkers, however, the impression has often arisen that they are ultimately inspired by a purely negative ideal of deconstruction that regards all social relations as merely masks for power and domination. It is to the credit of the American philosopher, Richard Rorty that he sought to combine sympathy for the anti-rationalist and anti-foundationalist aspects of postmodern philosophy with a more positive formulation of the political implications of postmodern philosophy by focusing on what he regards as the two most fundamental features of the political for postmodern theory.
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Qanun and the Modernisation of Political thought in Iran

Qanun and the Modernisation of Political thought in Iran

In the 19 th century, like many other non-western countries, Iran had a chance of entering the age of modernization. Many internal and external factors had facilitated this change and development. Newspapers, especially those, which published on exile, had much effect on the changing process. The Qanun newspaper, in many respects, had the utmost influence on the Iranian society due to its clear and frank language and also the extensive modern ideas and thoughts that were elaborated cleverly in this newspaper. The modern and Western ideologies were handled in such a way to build up the mind of the people toward the new meanings of social and political concepts that were in most cases different to how these concepts were understood by the society. In this paper the injection of modern ideas did not follow a blind line, however, it had a systematic discipline that showed the ability of Malkum Khan, the founder of Qanun, to project modern ideas in traditional society such as Iran. Qanun has actually played a vital role in the process of modernization of social and political thoughts in the contemporary history of Iran and its impact is still felt in the current everyday life of the Iranian who has much yet to achieve in ongoing process of modernization especially in the age of globalization.
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Realism and idealism in the political thought of Reinhold Niebuhr.

Realism and idealism in the political thought of Reinhold Niebuhr.

ternationalistic aspirations, but have failed to understand how difficult of hop© are these realisations. Similarly h© has refuted the position of those who would hold out optimis­ tic prospects for a perfect Justice in domestic society. And of course, he has done the same thing to the argument that man himself is perfectible. To Niebuhr it is significant that he has had to do this? that his battles have been with the children of light, the sentimentalists, rather than with the children of darkness, the moral cynics. Human history is the record of man's recurrent efforts to overstep the bounds which have been set upon his existence, and what happens in history is an ironic comment on this human pretension. For Niebuhr, the great events of history — the rise and fall of social institutions, the breakdown of old social classes and the emergence of new ones, the revolutions and wars, the great hopes with which social movements begin and the great disap­
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Geopolitics and global democracy in Owen Lattimore's political thought

Geopolitics and global democracy in Owen Lattimore's political thought

was not a pawn in a global balance of power but a proactive community which could influence the entire political unit. This geographic area was for Lattimore a space of cultural interaction and a hub of national movements. It was not, however, a unified political space. James Scott’s reading of Lattimore emphasizes the contention between the agricultural plane and the pastoral hills populations, and the fundamental importance of the relations between the human and the natural in creating the political sphere. Lattimore saw the nomadic social order, which escaped the control of the territorial state, as a complex developed social system, unlike most interpreters who conceived the transition from agriculture to nomadism as social deterioration. The populations inhabiting the frontier zone, like the Mongols, Uzbeks and – in Scott’s research – the Zumia, created a pluralistic, unstable and amorphous political space that was characterized by ‘low-stateness’. Lattimore and Scott alike saw this unique political reality as a counterbalance to the western conception of the state as a territorially-fixed entity. It allowed a more flexible and versatile interpretation of the territorial space of political action and democratic participation. 20 Lattimore rejected natural
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Nature and artifice in Hobbes’s international political thought

Nature and artifice in Hobbes’s international political thought

It is well known that Hobbes’s social contract theory conceives of the constitution of the state in terms of a transfer of right, whereby everyone is supposed to submit their strength and resources to a number of people. In doing so, they “appoint one man or assembly of men to bear their person, and every one to own and acknowledge himself to be author of whatsoever he that so beareth their person shall act, or cause to be acted,” as Hobbes puts it in Leviathan. 25 The artificial personality of the state, and to what extent it is distinct from the person of the sovereign, has been much debated.
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The role of philosophy and hierarchy in Friedrich Nietzsche's political thought

The role of philosophy and hierarchy in Friedrich Nietzsche's political thought

The agonist David Owen elaborates his criticisms of Rawlsian liberalism from a Nietzschean standpoint where he describes Rawls’s overlapping consensus as “anti­ perfectionist state neutrality”.127 Owen observes that what is central to Rawls’s anti­ perfectionist position is that there can be no exceptions to the rule that the autonomy of persons as citizens would necessarily be breached under any attempt to unify modem political society according to a conception of the good.128 Here Owen offers closer scrutiny of Rawls’s claim to a neutrality which presupposes an anti-perfectionist position concerning the autonomy o f persons as citizens. According to Owen the problem is not that neutrality fails to address the concern that the conflict between conceptions o f the good may lead to social disagreement but rather that it is disingenuous to claim neutrality in the event o f various “perfectionist” social agreements. In other words, in the event of increasing social agreement with respect to a particular perfectionist conception o f the good, for instance, neutrality might have to be abandoned, and a comprehensive liberal doctrine be re-imposed, in order to protect the non-perfectionist autonomy of all citizens. Thus, Owen claims that the “neutral” quality of Rawls’s theory, the quality that is
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The Ratio of Political Goodness and Negative Freedom in Berlin's Political Thought (With Emphasis on Russian Communism)

The Ratio of Political Goodness and Negative Freedom in Berlin's Political Thought (With Emphasis on Russian Communism)

interest that has been used since ancient times to this day. One of the main reasons for the creation of political goodness can be the de- prival feature od goodness in societies. In other words, against the evil in a society, good will for the order, integrity and security of that so- ciety be invented. From Socrates who lived in the ancient Greek vacuum thought, to the Isaiah Berlin, the mentioned thinker in our paper, they seek to offer the goodness for bringing peace, security, justice, and freedom in socie- ties. The political goodness in the historical process has been operational in terms of ele- ments such as virtue, human education, a do- minant state, and general will, to as well as elements such as freedom, equality, justice and individuality. But have political goodness been able to be implemented equally in societies dur- ing history, or have the pursuit of political goodness been successful by the rulers for peace, security, and social justice? What is good for Isaiah Berlin? How does he link Char- ity to negative freedom and shape his critical look at Russian communism? These are ques- tions that this article will answer.
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The Contextual Backdrop for Deficit Spending in American Political Thought

The Contextual Backdrop for Deficit Spending in American Political Thought

governmental aid was most certainly not what Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, or even Franklin Delano Roosevelt had in mind. Roosevelt intended for his social-welfare programs to simply allow the impoverished American people to get back on their feet, with a roof over their heads and food in their mouths, much like Hamilton’s beliefs in regards to national debt. But, regrettably, those who had once strived for independence, especially economically, had grown dependent on governmental aid, and, as aid grew, so did the desires of those accepting it.
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Designing video and audio resources on the history of political thought

Designing video and audio resources on the history of political thought

generally delivered without a script and certainly without the aid of an autocue that helps smooth presentation on television, meaning that even the best lecture will struggle with coherency over a long period of time. Nor should a lecture be reduced to a recording session for a VAR as this will diminish the sense of spontaneity and reaction to the audience, which is stock-in-trade to the lecturer and vital in building social capital amongst the students on a module.

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A Set of New Interpretations in Political Thought

A Set of New Interpretations in Political Thought

(Q1) IX. From this Signification of Right arose another of larger Extent. For by reason that Man above all other Creatures is endued not only with this Social Faculty of which we have spoken, but likewise with Judgment to discern Things 1 pleasant or hurtful, and those not only present but future, and such as may prove to be so in their Consequences; it must therefore be agreeable to human Nature, that according to the Measure of our Understanding we should in these Things follow the Dictates of a right and sound Judgment, and not be corrupted either by Fear, or the Allurements of present Pleasure, nor be carried away vio- lently by blind Passion. And whatsoever is contrary to such a Judgment 2 is likewise understood to be contrary to Natural Right, that is, the Laws of our Na- ture [19].
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The Position of the Concept of Revolution in Hannah Arendt's Political Thought

The Position of the Concept of Revolution in Hannah Arendt's Political Thought

In order to express the position of revolution, Hannah Arendt first tries to find the roots of human activities; she considers human activi- ties the results of three types of efforts. The first of these is the effort for livelihood, or labor, which is an indispensable and inevita- ble effort, and a man who is constantly strug- gling and working hard is industrious. This kind of endeavor aims to capture and meet the needs of life and is more in the economic context. The most prominent feature of this type of activity is the speed of consumption and its uniformity and repetition. In her view, the Marxist revolution is in this line because the ideal goal of revolutionaries was to elimi- nate social classes and eventually bringing the lower class to a better life from an eco- nomic point of view (Ansari, op. cit: 125).
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