Term 1, Week 2

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PLEASE NOTE this is a 2013 reading list—the precise content may change in future years.
Term 1, Week 2
Topic: Introduction: Studying the History of Political Thought
Questions for discussion:

Are a writer’s ‘intentions’ important to understanding a text?

How do philosophers approach a text in the history of political thought?

Should an ‘historical’ approach or ‘philosophical’ approach be preferred?
Core Reading
At least two of the following:

A. Ryan, On Politics, pp. xi-xxv.

D. Boucher & P. Kelly, eds., Political Thinkers, ch. 1.

I. Hampsher-Monk, A History of Modern Political Thought, Introduction.

A. Levine, Engaging Political Philosophy, Introduction

J. Lively & A. Reeve, eds., Modern Political Thought from Hobbes to Marx, Key Debates,
General Introduction.

Editor’s foreword to J. Rawls, Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy, pp. xii-xvi and
pp. 1-20 by Rawls
Supplementary Reading

J. Coleman, “The History of Political Thought in a Modern University”, History of

Political Thought, 21, 2000, 152-171.

D.Miller, “The Macpherson Version”, Political Studies, 30, 1982, 120-127.

M. Philp, “Political Theory and History”, in D. Leopold and M. Stears, Political Theory:
Methods and Approaches, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008.

Q. Skinner, “Meaning and Understanding in the History of Ideas”, History and Theory, 8,
1969, 3-53.

_______. Visions of Politics, Volume I: Regarding Method, Cambridge, Cambridge University
Press, 2002. Includes a revised version of the above and other essays.
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