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Political Science

A handy online guide to political science: the major figures, problems, study tools, career prospects.

What Is Political Science?
Political science studies governments in all their forms and aspects, both theoretical and practical. Once a branch of philosophy, political science nowadays is typically considered a social science. The history of the discipline is virtually as long as that of humanity. Its roots in the Western tradition are typically individuated in the works...

Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527)
Niccolò Machiavelli was one of the most influential political theorists of Western philosophy. His most read treatise, The Prince, turned Aristotle’s theory of virtues upside down, shaking the European conception of government at its foundations.

Liberalism
Liberalism is one of the principal doctrines in Western political philosophy. Its core values are typically expressed in terms of individual freedom and equality. How these two ought to be understood is a matter of dispute so that they are often differently declined in different places or among different groups. Even so, it is typical to...

Karl Marx (1818-1883)
One of the most remarkable and controversial figures in modern politics and philosophy, Karl Marx was a German-born philosopher of Jewish descent, who inspired generations of students through his writings. Author, among others, of the "Capital" (whose second and third volumes were posthumously published by his lifelong fellow Friedrich Engels)...

The Philosophy of Sex and Gender
Is it customary to divide human beings among male and female, men and women; yet, this dimorphism proves to be also ill-taken, for instance when it comes to intersex (e.g. hermaphrodite) or transgendered individuals. It becomes hence legitimate to wonder whether sexual categories are real or rather conventional kinds, how gender categories get...

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1787)
Mary Wollstonecraft is best known for her philosophical and political insightful fervor, especially for her strenuous and lucid defense of the rights of women in society. This excerpt, taken from the third chapter of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, bears witness to a well-articulated picture.

Cheerfulness and Happiness
What’s the difference between cheerfulness and happiness? Trying to offer an answer to this question may help to shed light on a number of important aspects of ethics, politics, and practical living. In this article I will offer a few remarks on how a philosophy encompassing both cheerfulness and happiness may be developed.

"The Prince" by Niccolò Machiavelli
The Prince is the most read work by Florentine author Niccolò Machiavelli and one of the masterpieces of Western political thought. It is a small treatise composed of twenty-six chapters and aiming to educate a young adult about how to maintain power in a princedom regardless of the situation. Machiavelli’s precepts subverted Aristotelian...

The West
The idea of a West was initially also a geographic idea, when first used by the ancient Greeks to indicate the societal structure and culture of those societies that stood West of Persia. Later adopted also to describe the societies falling under the Roman influence, it has since been utilized by early and late medieval Christians, Europeans,...

Humanism
Humanism was a cultural movement that developed in Europe starting from the second half of thirteen hundreds. It reached its peak in fourteen and fifteen hundreds, most remarkably in Florence (Italy), during that period which goes under the label of Renaissance. Humanism affected all the arts and sciences as well as politics, religion, and...

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