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Title: Explanation in political philosophy
Author: Allison, Ann
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1969
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The aim of the dissertation is to explore the notion of explanation in political philosophy, given that political philosophy concerns political things, acts and concepts. Features of explanation are outlined with special emphasis on organisation of experience leading to understanding; and include interpretative, expository, ordering, and insight-providing elements. The political sphere is outlined, which provides the subject matter of explanation, by reference to the Socrates/Plato watershed in early Greek thought; and characterised by its concern with order in diversity, patterns, public activity and the search for the good life. It is a created sphere and encompasses autonomous activity, thereby admitting the possibility of philosophy in politics. It contains various sorts of explanation, among them explanation of human action. Consideration of this leads to a discussion of the relation of theory to action, of action to values, and of epistemology to political philosophy itself. The latter provokes an attack on the customary dichotomy between fact and value. The act concept is examined and leads to a discussion of symbolism and other important examples of explanation in political philosophy; myth, political space and time, paradigms and tradition, which are expounded v/ith reference to the presocratic Greeks, Herbert Read's educational theories, and Michael Oakeshott's work respectively; Finally a summary of points emerging from the exploration is presented, pointing out the link between matters of fact and political philosophy, from which the need for explanation springs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available