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Political Theory and the Human Predicament

An Introduction to Major Political Thinkers (Second Edition)
Edited by Ramona Grey
©2019, 564 pages

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Political Theory and the Human Predicament

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    Political Theory and the Human Predicament: An Introduction to Major Political Thinkers presents the work of important political theorists from Plato to Marx. The primary source material introduces students to the political and ethical questions theorists have, with varying degrees of success, tried to answer and shows how these questions have evolved over time.

    The political thinkers are covered chronologically and the selected readings from their works are organized to allow readers to easily locate key passages for study and discussion. Each chapter opens with an informative introductory essay that acquaints readers with the theorist’s life and times, and his or her particular approach to the study of politics and the human condition. Together the introductory essays and selected readings provide an overview of the assumptions and important arguments still used by those seeking to understand human nature, society and political life. Political Theory and the Human Predicament aims to encourage a careful and critical reading of the most significant and often controversial ideas—regarding justice, legitimate authority, law, rights, freedom, and the good life—examined in the works of classical and modern political theory.

    This revised edition features questions at the end of each chapter that are designed to help readers gauge their understanding of the original material. Several of these questions are analytical, for which there are no clear-cut answers, and have been added to encourage students to consider their own assumptions and political values when assessing the merits of a particular argument. These can be used to enhance classroom discussion or to facilitate essay and homework assignments.

    Political Theory and the Human Predicament is written for introductory political theory courses, political ethics courses, and more specialized courses in ancient and modern political thought.

    Ramona Grey is a professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Montana, where she teaches courses in ancient, medieval, and modern political theory, utopianism, and contemporary political thought. She is a recipient of the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Her articles have appeared in American Studies, the Antioch Review, and The Socratic Method Today: Student-Centered and Transformative Teaching in Political Science (ed. by Lee Trepanier, New York: Routledge, 2018).
    Cognella Active Learning is available for this title! Adopting instructors can provide students with dynamic online learning activities that reinforce key concepts from the text, provide engaging educational experiences, and support various learning styles.

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    The Cognella Active Learning content for Political Theory and the Human Predicament: An Introduction to Major Political Thinkers includes:

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    Political Theory and the Human Predicament presents a thorough and diverse collection of foundational works in political philosophy. The inclusion of extended pieces from Mary Wollstonecraft is a welcome addition which is not typically found in introductory readers.”
    Kristoffer Rees, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Political Science, International Studies Program Coordinator, Indiana University East

    ”An excellently edited collection of primary sources coupled with insightful introductions and study questions that help to situate the writers and point students to some of the key issues of the reading.”
    Natalie Bormann, Ph.D., Teaching Professor of Political Science, Northeastern University

    ”In the words of Aristotle, ‘all learning is derived from things previously known.’ In the 21st century, it is vital for students to understand history and how it relates to today’s society. This book is unique because it provides students with a foundation of the philosopher’s theory and background, while also giving them the opportunity to read excerpts from the philosopher’s work.”
    Michele Muni, Ph.D., Lecturer, Program in Criminal Justice, Rutgers University