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About this book

The third edition of this highly-regarded core textbook offers an accessible and impressively comprehensive account of Western political thought over the last two millennia. Structured in four main parts, the chapters are organised around a wide range of key themes, covering everything from Absolute Government and Revolutionary Political Thought to Politics and Freedom and Theories of Civil Disobedience. This new edition concludes with an Epilogue that considers the challenges posed to the history of Western political thought by the perspectives of post-colonialism and post-modernism. The use of boxes throughout the book to explain key thinkers in more detail, as well as the author’s ability to express complex ideas in clear and jargon-free language, makes this the perfect text for helping students to understand the key debates, issues and continuities in the long history of political ideas.
For undergraduate and postgraduate students studying courses on the history of political thought and theory, this is an indispensable guide.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Abstract
There is no fixed definition of critical thinking. There are scholars who dislike the idea of attempting to find a generic definition at all. Yet some embrace it and also suggest attributes that a critical thinker exhibits; some will stress traits that another authority on the subject might understate the emphases vary. There are respected proponents of critical thinking in universities who present it simply as a means of sorting what is true from what is false looking at it as the art of being right. This is a definition that I see as problematic. While critical thinking is a truth seeking activity, to describe it this way evokes a level of competitiveness at odds with the spirit of enquiry. It also seems to oversimplify it, implying that criticality begins and ends with analytical work, when it also involves reflection (including self-reflection) and needs to be applicable to the workaday world. This book sees criticality as a mental attitude that can be used to guide both specialised and everyday thinking far more than a utilitarian argumentation tool or a simple skill set. While the ability to think critically will certainly improve academic results, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
John Morrow

The Ends of Politics

Frontmatter

Chapter 2. Politics and Order

Abstract
There is no fixed definition of critical thinking. There are scholars who dislike the idea of attempting to find a generic definition at all. Yet some embrace it and also suggest attributes that a critical thinker exhibits; some will stress traits that another authority on the subject might understate the emphases vary. There are respected proponents of critical thinking in universities who present it simply as a means of sorting what is true from what is false looking at it as the art of being right. This is a definition that I see as problematic. While critical thinking is a truth seeking activity, to describe it this way evokes a level of competitiveness at odds with the spirit of enquiry. It also seems to oversimplify it, implying that criticality begins and ends with analytical work, when it also involves reflection (including self-reflection) and needs to be applicable to the workaday world. This book sees criticality as a mental attitude that can be used to guide both specialised and everyday thinking far more than a utilitarian argumentation tool or a simple skill set. While the ability to think critically will certainly improve academic results, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
John Morrow

Chapter 2. Politics and virtue

Abstract
There is no fixed definition of critical thinking. There are scholars who dislike the idea of attempting to find a generic definition at all. Yet some embrace it and also suggest attributes that a critical thinker exhibits; some will stress traits that another authority on the subject might understate the emphases vary. There are respected proponents of critical thinking in universities who present it simply as a means of sorting what is true from what is false looking at it as the art of being right. This is a definition that I see as problematic. While critical thinking is a truth seeking activity, to describe it this way evokes a level of competitiveness at odds with the spirit of enquiry. It also seems to oversimplify it, implying that criticality begins and ends with analytical work, when it also involves reflection (including self-reflection) and needs to be applicable to the workaday world. This book sees criticality as a mental attitude that can be used to guide both specialised and everyday thinking far more than a utilitarian argumentation tool or a simple skill set. While the ability to think critically will certainly improve academic results, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
John Morrow

Chapter 3. Politics and freedom

Abstract
There is no fixed definition of critical thinking. There are scholars who dislike the idea of attempting to find a generic definition at all. Yet some embrace it and also suggest attributes that a critical thinker exhibits; some will stress traits that another authority on the subject might understate the emphases vary. There are respected proponents of critical thinking in universities who present it simply as a means of sorting what is true from what is false looking at it as the art of being right. This is a definition that I see as problematic. While critical thinking is a truth seeking activity, to describe it this way evokes a level of competitiveness at odds with the spirit of enquiry. It also seems to oversimplify it, implying that criticality begins and ends with analytical work, when it also involves reflection (including self-reflection) and needs to be applicable to the workaday world. This book sees criticality as a mental attitude that can be used to guide both specialised and everyday thinking far more than a utilitarian argumentation tool or a simple skill set. While the ability to think critically will certainly improve academic results, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
John Morrow

Chapter 4. Politics and Order

Abstract
There is no fixed definition of critical thinking. There are scholars who dislike the idea of attempting to find a generic definition at all. Yet some embrace it and also suggest attributes that a critical thinker exhibits; some will stress traits that another authority on the subject might understate the emphases vary. There are respected proponents of critical thinking in universities who present it simply as a means of sorting what is true from what is false looking at it as the art of being right. This is a definition that I see as problematic. While critical thinking is a truth seeking activity, to describe it this way evokes a level of competitiveness at odds with the spirit of enquiry. It also seems to oversimplify it, implying that criticality begins and ends with analytical work, when it also involves reflection (including self-reflection) and needs to be applicable to the workaday world. This book sees criticality as a mental attitude that can be used to guide both specialised and everyday thinking far more than a utilitarian argumentation tool or a simple skill set. While the ability to think critically will certainly improve academic results, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
John Morrow

Chapter 5. Politics, happiness and welfare

Abstract
There is no fixed definition of critical thinking. There are scholars who dislike the idea of attempting to find a generic definition at all. Yet some embrace it and also suggest attributes that a critical thinker exhibits; some will stress traits that another authority on the subject might understate the emphases vary. There are respected proponents of critical thinking in universities who present it simply as a means of sorting what is true from what is false looking at it as the art of being right. This is a definition that I see as problematic. While critical thinking is a truth seeking activity, to describe it this way evokes a level of competitiveness at odds with the spirit of enquiry. It also seems to oversimplify it, implying that criticality begins and ends with analytical work, when it also involves reflection (including self-reflection) and needs to be applicable to the workaday world. This book sees criticality as a mental attitude that can be used to guide both specialised and everyday thinking far more than a utilitarian argumentation tool or a simple skill set. While the ability to think critically will certainly improve academic results, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
John Morrow

The Location of Political Authority: Who Should Rule?

Frontmatter

Chapter 6. Rule by a single person

Abstract
There is no fixed definition of critical thinking. There are scholars who dislike the idea of attempting to find a generic definition at all. Yet some embrace it and also suggest attributes that a critical thinker exhibits; some will stress traits that another authority on the subject might understate the emphases vary. There are respected proponents of critical thinking in universities who present it simply as a means of sorting what is true from what is false looking at it as the art of being right. This is a definition that I see as problematic. While critical thinking is a truth seeking activity, to describe it this way evokes a level of competitiveness at odds with the spirit of enquiry. It also seems to oversimplify it, implying that criticality begins and ends with analytical work, when it also involves reflection (including self-reflection) and needs to be applicable to the workaday world. This book sees criticality as a mental attitude that can be used to guide both specialised and everyday thinking far more than a utilitarian argumentation tool or a simple skill set. While the ability to think critically will certainly improve academic results, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
John Morrow

Chapter 7. The rule of the few

Abstract
There is no fixed definition of critical thinking. There are scholars who dislike the idea of attempting to find a generic definition at all. Yet some embrace it and also suggest attributes that a critical thinker exhibits; some will stress traits that another authority on the subject might understate the emphases vary. There are respected proponents of critical thinking in universities who present it simply as a means of sorting what is true from what is false looking at it as the art of being right. This is a definition that I see as problematic. While critical thinking is a truth seeking activity, to describe it this way evokes a level of competitiveness at odds with the spirit of enquiry. It also seems to oversimplify it, implying that criticality begins and ends with analytical work, when it also involves reflection (including self-reflection) and needs to be applicable to the workaday world. This book sees criticality as a mental attitude that can be used to guide both specialised and everyday thinking far more than a utilitarian argumentation tool or a simple skill set. While the ability to think critically will certainly improve academic results, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
John Morrow

Chapter 8. The rule of the many

Abstract
There is no fixed definition of critical thinking. There are scholars who dislike the idea of attempting to find a generic definition at all. Yet some embrace it and also suggest attributes that a critical thinker exhibits; some will stress traits that another authority on the subject might understate the emphases vary. There are respected proponents of critical thinking in universities who present it simply as a means of sorting what is true from what is false looking at it as the art of being right. This is a definition that I see as problematic. While critical thinking is a truth seeking activity, to describe it this way evokes a level of competitiveness at odds with the spirit of enquiry. It also seems to oversimplify it, implying that criticality begins and ends with analytical work, when it also involves reflection (including self-reflection) and needs to be applicable to the workaday world. This book sees criticality as a mental attitude that can be used to guide both specialised and everyday thinking far more than a utilitarian argumentation tool or a simple skill set. While the ability to think critically will certainly improve academic results, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
John Morrow

The Exercise of Political Authority

Frontmatter

Chapter 9. The sanctions of nature

Abstract
There is no fixed definition of critical thinking. There are scholars who dislike the idea of attempting to find a generic definition at all. Yet some embrace it and also suggest attributes that a critical thinker exhibits; some will stress traits that another authority on the subject might understate the emphases vary. There are respected proponents of critical thinking in universities who present it simply as a means of sorting what is true from what is false looking at it as the art of being right. This is a definition that I see as problematic. While critical thinking is a truth seeking activity, to describe it this way evokes a level of competitiveness at odds with the spirit of enquiry. It also seems to oversimplify it, implying that criticality begins and ends with analytical work, when it also involves reflection (including self-reflection) and needs to be applicable to the workaday world. This book sees criticality as a mental attitude that can be used to guide both specialised and everyday thinking far more than a utilitarian argumentation tool or a simple skill set. While the ability to think critically will certainly improve academic results, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
John Morrow

Chapter 10. Mixed government, balanced constitutions and the separation of powers

Abstract
There is no fixed definition of critical thinking. There are scholars who dislike the idea of attempting to find a generic definition at all. Yet some embrace it and also suggest attributes that a critical thinker exhibits; some will stress traits that another authority on the subject might understate the emphases vary. There are respected proponents of critical thinking in universities who present it simply as a means of sorting what is true from what is false looking at it as the art of being right. This is a definition that I see as problematic. While critical thinking is a truth seeking activity, to describe it this way evokes a level of competitiveness at odds with the spirit of enquiry. It also seems to oversimplify it, implying that criticality begins and ends with analytical work, when it also involves reflection (including self-reflection) and needs to be applicable to the workaday world. This book sees criticality as a mental attitude that can be used to guide both specialised and everyday thinking far more than a utilitarian argumentation tool or a simple skill set. While the ability to think critically will certainly improve academic results, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
John Morrow

Chapter 11. Absolute government

Abstract
There is no fixed definition of critical thinking. There are scholars who dislike the idea of attempting to find a generic definition at all. Yet some embrace it and also suggest attributes that a critical thinker exhibits; some will stress traits that another authority on the subject might understate the emphases vary. There are respected proponents of critical thinking in universities who present it simply as a means of sorting what is true from what is false looking at it as the art of being right. This is a definition that I see as problematic. While critical thinking is a truth seeking activity, to describe it this way evokes a level of competitiveness at odds with the spirit of enquiry. It also seems to oversimplify it, implying that criticality begins and ends with analytical work, when it also involves reflection (including self-reflection) and needs to be applicable to the workaday world. This book sees criticality as a mental attitude that can be used to guide both specialised and everyday thinking far more than a utilitarian argumentation tool or a simple skill set. While the ability to think critically will certainly improve academic results, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
John Morrow

Chapter 12. The rule of law and rule-bound orders

Abstract
There is no fixed definition of critical thinking. There are scholars who dislike the idea of attempting to find a generic definition at all. Yet some embrace it and also suggest attributes that a critical thinker exhibits; some will stress traits that another authority on the subject might understate the emphases vary. There are respected proponents of critical thinking in universities who present it simply as a means of sorting what is true from what is false looking at it as the art of being right. This is a definition that I see as problematic. While critical thinking is a truth seeking activity, to describe it this way evokes a level of competitiveness at odds with the spirit of enquiry. It also seems to oversimplify it, implying that criticality begins and ends with analytical work, when it also involves reflection (including self-reflection) and needs to be applicable to the workaday world. This book sees criticality as a mental attitude that can be used to guide both specialised and everyday thinking far more than a utilitarian argumentation tool or a simple skill set. While the ability to think critically will certainly improve academic results, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
John Morrow

Challenging Political Authority

Frontmatter

Chapter 13. Resisting unjust rulers

Abstract
There is no fixed definition of critical thinking. There are scholars who dislike the idea of attempting to find a generic definition at all. Yet some embrace it and also suggest attributes that a critical thinker exhibits; some will stress traits that another authority on the subject might understate the emphases vary. There are respected proponents of critical thinking in universities who present it simply as a means of sorting what is true from what is false looking at it as the art of being right. This is a definition that I see as problematic. While critical thinking is a truth seeking activity, to describe it this way evokes a level of competitiveness at odds with the spirit of enquiry. It also seems to oversimplify it, implying that criticality begins and ends with analytical work, when it also involves reflection (including self-reflection) and needs to be applicable to the workaday world. This book sees criticality as a mental attitude that can be used to guide both specialised and everyday thinking far more than a utilitarian argumentation tool or a simple skill set. While the ability to think critically will certainly improve academic results, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
John Morrow

Chapter 14. Revolutionary political thought

Abstract
There is no fixed definition of critical thinking. There are scholars who dislike the idea of attempting to find a generic definition at all. Yet some embrace it and also suggest attributes that a critical thinker exhibits; some will stress traits that another authority on the subject might understate the emphases vary. There are respected proponents of critical thinking in universities who present it simply as a means of sorting what is true from what is false looking at it as the art of being right. This is a definition that I see as problematic. While critical thinking is a truth seeking activity, to describe it this way evokes a level of competitiveness at odds with the spirit of enquiry. It also seems to oversimplify it, implying that criticality begins and ends with analytical work, when it also involves reflection (including self-reflection) and needs to be applicable to the workaday world. This book sees criticality as a mental attitude that can be used to guide both specialised and everyday thinking far more than a utilitarian argumentation tool or a simple skill set. While the ability to think critically will certainly improve academic results, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
John Morrow

Chapter 15. Theories of civil disobedience and non-violent resistance to political authority

Abstract
There is no fixed definition of critical thinking. There are scholars who dislike the idea of attempting to find a generic definition at all. Yet some embrace it and also suggest attributes that a critical thinker exhibits; some will stress traits that another authority on the subject might understate the emphases vary. There are respected proponents of critical thinking in universities who present it simply as a means of sorting what is true from what is false looking at it as the art of being right. This is a definition that I see as problematic. While critical thinking is a truth seeking activity, to describe it this way evokes a level of competitiveness at odds with the spirit of enquiry. It also seems to oversimplify it, implying that criticality begins and ends with analytical work, when it also involves reflection (including self-reflection) and needs to be applicable to the workaday world. This book sees criticality as a mental attitude that can be used to guide both specialised and everyday thinking far more than a utilitarian argumentation tool or a simple skill set. While the ability to think critically will certainly improve academic results, thats just the tip of the iceberg.
John Morrow
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