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Teaching Philosophy

Volume 38, Issue 1, March 2015

John Rudisill
Pages 95-109

Recent Texts in Political Philosophy

In this review article, I attempt to give a helpful qualitative assessment of four books that might be used to provide the central content of a course in political philosophy. Two of these books (Inventors of Ideas: An Introduction to Western Political Philosophy, Third Edition, by Donald G. Tannenbaum and An Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy: A Question Based Approach, by Richard Schmitt) are, as their titles suggest, intended for use in introductory courses. The other two books (Political Philosophy in the 21st Century, edited by Steven M. Cahn and Robert B. Talisse and Comparative Political Thought: Theorizing Practices, edited by Michael Freeden and Andrew Vincent) are better suited for students who have already acquired adequate familiarity with political philosophy in a prior course. The two introductory books are written with markedly different approaches to teaching introductory political philosophy in mind and, likewise, the two more advanced collections of essays survey content areas that are mostly non-overlapping.

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