Twentieth-Century Political Philosophy

Authored by: Matt Matravers

The Routledge Companion to Twentieth Century Philosophy

Print publication date:  March  2008
Online publication date:  October  2008

Print ISBN: 9780415299367
eBook ISBN: 9780203879368
Adobe ISBN: 9781134424030


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There is a commonly told story about political philosophy in the twentieth century that begins with Peter Laslett’s famous statement of 1956 that “for the moment, anyway, political philosophy is dead” (Laslett 1956: vii). The tale continues with Isaiah Berlin’s 1962 claim that “no commanding work of political philosophy” had been written in the twentieth century (Berlin 1962: 1) before ending with the publication of Rawls’s A Theory of Justice – a “commanding work” by any measure – which is credited with breathing life back into the moribund body of political philosophy.

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