The Individual and the Political Order: An Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy

By Norman E. Bowie; Robert L. Simon | Go to book overview
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Throughout this work, the principal concern is to delineate the proper relation of the individual to the political order and to the institutions that make up that order. We hope, through consideration of alternate views, to develop, defend and apply the principle so eloquently stated by John Rawls that "Each person possesses an inviolability . . . that even the welfare of society cannot override. . . . the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests."2 But whichever political position turns out to be most defensible, perhaps the study of political philosophy itself is of the highest value, for it can lead to critical and reflective evaluation of that great leviathan, the political order, which can so significantly affect our lives.

Jonathan Kozol, "Bicentennial Blues in Boston," The New York Times, Oct. 20, 1975, p. 33. © by The New York Times reprinted by permission.
John Rawls, A Theory of Justice ( Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971) pp. 3-4.


Each chapter of this book will be followed by a short list of suggested readings. While these lists are not intended to be comprehensive or exhaustive, we believe that the materials included will be of special use and interest to readers. Additional bibliographic information may be found in the notes following each chapter.

General introduction to social and political philosophy

Barry Brian. Political Argument. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, Ltd., 1965.

Benn S. I. and Peters R. S. The Principles of Political Thought: Social Foundations of the Democratic State. New York: The Free Press, 1965.

Bluhm William T. Theories of the Political System: Classics of Political Thought and Modern Political Analysis. 3rd ed. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1978.

Feinberg Joel. Social Philosophy. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1973.

Fowler Robert Booth and Orenstein Jeffrey R. Contemporary Issues in Political Theory. New York: John Wiley, 1977.

Held Virginia. Rights and Goods. New York: The Free Press, 1984.

Lucas J. R. The Principles of Politics. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966.

Raphael D. D. Problems of Political Philosophy. New York: Praeger Publishers, Inc., 1970.

Sabine George H. A History of Political Theory. 4th ed. Revised by Thomas Landon Thorson. Hinsdale, Il. : Dryden Press, 1973.

Taylor Richard. Freedom, Anarchy and the Law. 2nd ed. Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1982.


Diggs B. J., ed. The State, Justice and the Common Good. Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresman, 1974.


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