The philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock as ordered by the court...
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Political philosophy refers to the study of fundamental issues regarding government, governance, and politics. It includes topics such as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and legal authority.
For the purpose of illustration, the following basic questions deal with political philosophy:
A central concern in political philosophy is the economy, because one of people's greatest concerns is money and their most influential desires is wealth. Political philosophy inquires about how to distribute wealth. Additionally, it seeks to determine the validity of various types of trades and contracts. For example, political philosophers may debate whether or not sweatshops are okay.
Political philosophy also seeks to determine what type of property, if any, people can own, both individually and collectively.
Political philosophy also inquires about the politics surrounding social issues. Namely, it asks how and to what extent the government could, would, and/or should be involved in legislating social issues. For example, political philosophers may debate whether or not drugs should be legal. In another example, they may debate whether or not people have a right to possess certain items (e.g. guns, drugs, etc.).
A political philosophy is a certain system or collection of political opinions, beliefs, and/or theories. There are many different political philosophies, such as capitalism, anarchism, communism, libertarianism, socialism, et cetera.
Most political philosophies are marked by the particular form of government they propose. Many forms of government have been proposed throughout history, such as plutocracy, democracy, anarchy, et cetera.
Although political philosophy as a field concerns itself with the abstract and theoretical investigation of politics, many people use it to support specific practical ends. In other words, they don't care so much about discover philosophical truths, but just want to get political power or such.
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