The Best of Political Philosophy

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Every free minute I get of late, I tune into Steven B. Smith’s outstanding course on Academicearth.org titled Introduction to Political Philosophy. I am re-reading Plato’s The Republic with a version on my Kindle 2 and a regular copy of The Republic of Plato, Allan Bloom’s highly regarded translation. Steven Smith, Alfred Cowles Professor of Political Science at Yale University, has a distinctive teaching style that I find quite good.

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I hope to make my way through the reading list as follows.

Plato, Trial and Death of Socrates
Plato, Republic
Aristotle, Politics
Machiavelli, The Prince
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
John Locke, Second Treatise of Government
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Political Writings
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

The Online Library of Liberty

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Always in search of primary sources relevant to military history, I wanted to pass along the following find.
The Online Library of Liberty is a free access website maintained by the Liberty Fund, Inc.

Library of Liberty

The Liberty Fund Library provides online resources in multiple categories including philosophy, art, economics, war and peace and much, much more. It provides both a forum and the library of resources. Both are excellent. It also has robust search capabilities.

Of particular interest for the study of military thought is a full version of many of Machiavelli’s (below) writings made available in English here. [See a good biography of Niccola Machiavelli here.]

Machiavelli

Niccolo Machiavelli

This allows students to view directly not only Machiavelli’s Art of War (here), but also his more famous work, The Prince and Discourses on Livy. Versions are available for download in multiple formats including: html, pdf and ebook formats.

Also available on the site – in the category of war and peace – are: The Works of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington’s final address, Thomas Hobbs’ translation of Thucydides’ The History of the Peloponnesian Wars (Vol. 1 and 2), Rousseau and many more. The site provides an outstanding overview of history and thought with access to hundreds of other primary works.

I’ll be enthusiastically adding to my links.

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