Social and political philosophy, unlike other fields and disciplines, involves conflict, disagreement, deliberation, and action. This text takes a new approach and understands philosophy not so much as a story of great thinkers or as a collection of philosophical positions but as a series of debates and disagreements in which students must participate. Adopting what may be called an 'active learning' method, Richard Schmitt, who has long taught social and political philosophy in the Ivy Leagues as well at state colleges, presents a range of problems and debates which engage the core question of freedom. Too often, students are bewildered, and then bored, by highly abstract philosophical questions because they are unable to connect those abstract issues to their own life experiences.
Richard Schmitt Ph.D. is emeritus professor of philosophy at Brown University. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and has published widely in modern political philosophy, with special focus on Marxism and critical theory. His books include Introduction to Marx and Engels and Towards a New Socialism.
Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 How to Use This Book Chapter 3 Freedom: Possession or Process? Chapter 4 The Citizen and the Government Chapter 5 Property and Rights Chapter 6 Democracy Chapter 7 Why is Freedom Important? Chapter 8 Review Questions Chapter 9 Questions for Reflection and Debate Chapter 10 Suggested Reading Chapter 11 Notes