Philosophy, Politics and Society: A Collection

Philosophy, Politics and Society: A Collection

Philosophy, Politics and Society: A Collection

Philosophy, Politics and Society: A Collection

Excerpt

The first collection of essays under this title was published six years ago. This second is somewhat wider in its range, and we hope does rather more to justify the heading, especially the final term. The limitation to writers in this country has been abandoned, and two scholars have contributed from America, one from Germany. Five out of the ten essays have been written for the volume, as against three out of ten in its predecessor: only two have previously appeared in Britain.

The introduction of 1956 was written at the height of what one of us calls 'the heyday of Weldonism.' Heads were being gravely shaken at that time over the state of theorizing about politics, and doubts about its future expressed in many places other than at Oxford, where Mr. Weldon and the philosophical analysts of language had their most important seat. It so happened, however, that the forthright statement made in that Introduction -- 'For the moment, anyway, political philosophy is dead' -- became the text most cited from the volume as a whole. It would be very satisfactory if we were able here to proclaim the resurrection, unreservedly and with enthusiasm. We cannot quite; but the mood is very different and very much more favourable than it was six years ago. The philosophical situation has changed markedly, even at Oxford. Books like Professor Hampshire sensitive appeal to the philosophic imagination Thought and Action (1960) or Mr. Strawson Individuals (1959) now command the attention previously accorded to those strictly analytical works, both ethical and epistemological, which then exercised such an influence. The emphasis on action in particular may be seen expressed at several points in the present collection.

We cannot point to a particular work on the relation of philosophy to politics which has made the late Mr. Weldon Vocabulary of Politics entirely obsolete. But in The Concept of Law (1961) Professor Hart has in fact fulfilled the prophecy made in 1956 that the philosophers of law would be the first to turn linguistic analysis to positive use. We believe that this is the most important work for the general sociology of law and politics as well as for their philosophy to have appeared since . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.