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Political Philosophy is a section of Adventures in Philosophy devoted to a brief history of political thought and theory from ancient Greece to the present day. You may notice that some of the thinkers included here are not ordinarily considered to be philosophers. We think their inclusion here is justified, however, because of the intellectual impact they have had on the development of social and political thought in Western Civilization as well as on Western culture in general.


Background Essay

A Brief Introduction to the Study of Political Philosophy

Ancient Political Thought

Pericles -- Plato -- Aristotle -- Pliny the Younger


Medieval Political Thought

Saint Augustine -- Thomas Aquinas


Modern Political Thought

Sir Thomas More -- Tommaso Campanella -- Nicolo Machiavelli
Hugo Grotius -- Thomas Hobbes -- Jean Jacques Rousseau
Edmund Burke -- Baron Charles-Louis de Secondat de Montesquieu
Thomas Paine -- Claude Henri, Comte de Saint-Simon -- Robert Owen
David Ricardo -- Frédéric Bastiat -- Giuseppe Mazzini -- John Stuart Mill
Max Stirner -- Pierre Joseph Proudhon -- Michael Bakunin -- Karl Marx
Jakob Burckhardt -- Friedrich Engels -- Ferdinand Lassalle
George Plekhanov


Recent Political Thought

Georges Clemenceau -- Prince Peter Kropotkin -- Georges Sorel
Bernard Bosanquet -- Pavel Borisovich Axelrod -- Vladimir Soloviev
V.I. Lenin -- Johan Huizinga -- Nicholas Berdyaev -- Giovanni Gentile
Benito Mussolini -- José Ortega y Gasset


American Political Thought

Thomas Jefferson -- Alexander Hamilton -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henry David Thoreau -- Walt Whitman -- Henry George -- Woodow Wilson
Louis D. Brandeis -- Thorstein Veblen -- John Dewey
James Hayden Tufts -- Benjamin N. Cardozo



 Famous Political Documents in Western Culture

[Note that these documents are located in the Politics Resource Center.]

The Magna Carta -- The Mayflower Compact
The Declaration of Independence -- The Articles of Confederation
Lincoln's Gettysburg Address -- The Original 7 Articles of the U.S. Constitution
The Original 10 Amendments of the U.S. Constitution: The Bill of Rights
Amendments Since the Bill of Rights

Resource: A Guide to Reading the American State Papers

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