Introduction to Political Science: Two Series of Lectures

Introduction to Political Science: Two Series of Lectures

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Introduction to Political Science: Two Series of Lectures

Introduction to Political Science: Two Series of Lectures

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Excerpt

Elementary instruction in Political Science -- regarded not merely as a subject cognate to history, for which the study of history is a preparation, but as a method of studying history itself -- formed for many years an important part of the teaching given by the late Sir John Seeley as Professor of History in Cambridge. Usually, however, this instruction was given not in formal expository lectures, but in a weekly conversational class. His manner of conducting this class has been clearly described by one who attended it -- Mr. J. R. Tanner -- in the English Historical Review for July 1895 (p. 512). I quote a portion of his description: --

His old pupils carry with them grateful recollections of his "Conversation Class." The subject was political science studied by way of discussion, and discussion under the reverential conditions that prevailed resolved itself into question and answer -- Socrates exposing the folly of the Athenians. It was mainly an exercise in the definition and scientific use of terms. What is liberty? Various definitions of the term would be elicited from the class and subjected to analysis. The authors of them . . .

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