- Paperback: 250 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 3 edition (February 17, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199658013
- ISBN-13: 978-0199658015
- Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1.2 x 5.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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An Introduction to Political Philosophy 3rd Edition
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"This is one of the very best introductions to political philosophy. It is informal yet in no way dumbed down, and it conveys the importance and interest of political philosophy to students."
--James Hampshire, University of Sussex
"This is an excellent undergraduate introductory text because of the admirable clarity, elegance, and accessibility of its prose. The book is very well conceived and covers the most important figures and problems in a deft and thoughtful manner."
--James Skidmore, Idaho State University
Review from previous edition: "While not unduly demanding even for 1st year undergraduates, the book is consistently thought-provoking, and demonstrates the relevance of political philosophy for an understanding of contemporary issues... All credit to the author, who emerges as the sort of
person who would be welcome at anyone`s dinner party."
--Mark Garnett, Lancaster University
About the Author
Jonathan Wolff is Dean of Arts and Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at University College London. His work has largely concentrated on issues of distributive justice, with a particular interest in the relationship between theory and policy.
Top customer reviews
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My students are able to understand the contents easily and Professor Wolff writes in a way that beginners to political philosophy can read this book as though it were an article, once through, and still understand the technical ideas.
I love that Professor Wolff summarizes major theories and the methods in a logical manner.
He covers the basics, leaving room for thoughts and arguments.
This is the 3rd time I required this book for my course.
Background: My students are mostly pre-college as our course is for gifted youth. So by "able to understand easily", I mean for pre-college students.
College Students: This should serve as an easy introduction into political philosophy. Of course, I recommend also reading Hobbes' Leviathan, Rousseau's Social Contract, etc. However, even without those basic classical readings, Professor Wolff highlights the major ideas of the most politically influential philosophers into an easy to read and sometimes humourous book.
For Political Science, Philosophy and History majors, I definitely recommend having a copy of the book. It can even serve as a substitute of notes for most lectures in political philosophy courses.
Unless someone else writes an even more marvelous book (but this is the best of my 5 year search), I will be using this book for all my future political philosophy intensives.
The author notes at the beginning that it is sometimes said that 'who gets what?' and 'who says so?' are the only two questions of importance in the subject. Whilst denying this to be entirely the case, Wolff puts these questions firmly into intial context by asking why we need the state at all and then proceeds to ask if we do need the state, who indeed should govern it? He then explores the issue of the distribution of goods before returning to the 'who says who gets what?' and by the end of the book the reader should be able to explore that question through the lenses of the competing theories of today, such as feminism or communitarianism.
I was lucky enough to have the author as one of my lecturers at university and, indeed, to take my tutorials in political philosophy in my final year. As a working class student with zero self-esteem and who was failing abjectly to mix within the rarefied air of an elite university, Mr Wolff (unlike certain snobs and marxist posers) admirably strived to boost my confidence and every student found his tutorials and lectures to be models of patience and clarity. This book is imbubed with those qualities throughout and thus can't be recommended highly enough. Whether you are a high school student or a 1st year undergraduate, this book will have you asking the right questions and should put you in the perfect position to look in closer detail at the major issues.
This is a book that is very well written, does not beat around the bushes and goes to great lengths to explain and cover the most complicated concepts. It does cover a lot of material, however, and I'm currently finding myself reading it for the second time (an extremely rare thing for me) to make sure I get all the finer points.
A definitely recommend this book.
If you are a college student as I am about to read this, don't worry, it will be a breath of fresh air in comparison to all of the other books from other classes.