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  1. #1
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    Political Philoosophy and its Significance

    Philosophy is the pursuit of knowledge, meaning and application of the general ideas that are relevant to mankind, and the relationship these ideas have to man. Philosophy is done through ordered reasoning as well as imagination. Its value isn’t necessarily at arriving at an answer, but rather by using a systematic approach of discovery. By doing philosophy, it creates the questions that are more relevant and more applicable thus allowing for greater truth discovery.

    There are four major areas of concentration in philosophy. Metaphysics is the study of reality (nature of existence, what makes something real, etc.). Epistemology is the study of human knowledge (what knowledge is and how knowledge claims are justified). Ethics is the study of moral values or the nature of right and wrong. Social and political philosophy is the study of the structure of government, its principles and processes as well as the relationship between government and man.

    Political philosophy also seeks to understand how particular regimes started as well as the reasons they exist. Because political philosophy centers on ideas such as liberty, justice, rights and authority, it addresses a number of relevant questions that are eternal and applicable to all states. Are there limits to the exercise of power in a society? If there are limits, what are those limits? What is the relationship between a citizen and the state? Does society fulfill a need or aspect of human nature, or does it limit or restrict it? What responsibility does a government have to assure social welfare and to what extent should it? Is civil disobedience or revolution ever justified? What is justice? How can justice be enforced? These are just some of many questions that political philosophy seeks to answer, and many political philosophers have attempted to answer.

    According to a number of philosophers, it is one’s duty to study philosophy so that society can be the best that it can be. For example, in the Apology of Socrates, we learn that Socrates held that it was a moral duty to strive for created ideals than be complacent and merely accept the current state of affairs. To critique society (and its government) enabled citizens to think for themselves instead of being entirely and necessarily subject to tradition and/or authority of the state.

    Max Horkheimer, another prominent political philosopher, held that philosophy insists that man’s intentions, and acts are not the product of blind faith in its society. Philosophy brings reality into the light, which many find troublesome because it results in questioning the status quo and not necessarily accepting the state’s ideals and process in which it achieves them. He agreed with Socrates that man has an obligation to critique, analyze, question and thus, make a life for himself (in contrast to blindly following).

    The aim of criticizing what is prevalent is to prevent mankind from becoming lost in the ideas and activities that society instills into its members. It is important for man to be able to understand the relationship between his actions and what is actually achieved, between his very existence and the function of society.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; September 17th, 2012 at 08:41 PM.
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    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. - Thomas Jefferson



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