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Perspectives on the Study of Man

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Abstract

Hocking’s inquiry into the nature of man, society, and political institutions is philosophical. He sees that “political problems, domestic or international, always involve us in psychological and philosophical issues.”1 His approach is that of the classical political philosophers — philosophical reflection on the basis of personal immersion in political life and dialogue with other thinkers engaged in similar reflection. He is thus a political philosopher in the tradition of Plato and Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas, Hobbes and Locke. Since this approach may seem dated, it must be justified before a detailed treatment of his political thought can begin. This chapter is, however, more than an apology for a particular style of inquiry. It explores Hocking’s criticism of the method which now dominates the social sciences, and it discusses his justification for the approach of political philosophy.

Keywords

Natural Science Scientific Method Political Philosophy Political Theory Moral Sense 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    “Problems of World Order in the Light of Recent Philosophical Discussion,” p. 1117.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    David Easton, “The Current Meaning of ‘Behavioralism’ in Political Science,” in The Limits of Behavioralism in Political Science, ed. by James C. Charlesworth (Philadelphia: The American Academy of Political and Social Science, 1962), p. 9.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Nelson W. Polsby, Robert A. Dentier, and Paul A. Smith, editors, Politics and Social Life (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1963), pp. 12–13.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    “Problems of Concept and Theory Formation in the Social Sciences,” in Philosophy of the Social Sciences, ed. by Maurice Natanson (New York: Random House, Inc., 1963), p. 209.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    “Political Theory as a Vocation,” The American Political Science Review LXIII (December, 1969), pp: 1073–1074.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hocking writes (MGHE, p. 142): “The difference between a religious view of the world and a non-religious view lies chiefly in the quality or character which is attributed to the world as a whole. It does not lie in the circumstance that the religious mind has a whole-idea, while the nonreligious mind has none: every man must have his whole-idea, and such as it is, it will determine what value existence may have for him. But the critical difference appears in the judgments about the whole; whether this reality of ours is divine, or infernal, or an indifferent universal gravepit. These differences, we may say, are differences in predicates, rather than in the subject….”Google Scholar
  7. 21.
    See, for example, Arnold Brecht, Political Theory (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1959), pp. 28–29, and Easton, op. cit., pp. 7–8.Google Scholar
  8. 22.
    “Political Theory as a Vocation,” op. cit., pp. 1064.Google Scholar
  9. 23.
    Brecht, op. cit., pp. 279–281.Google Scholar
  10. 24.
    “Science in Its Relation to Value and Religion,” pp. 154–155.Google Scholar
  11. 25.
    Charles S. Hyneman, The Study of Politics (Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1959), p.183.Google Scholar
  12. 26.
    “Fact and Destiny, II,” pp. 322–323.Google Scholar
  13. 27.
    “Science in Its Relation to Value and Religion,” pp. 148–149.Google Scholar
  14. 31.
    Easton, op. cit., pp. 2–3.Google Scholar
  15. 32.
    Ibid., p. 7.Google Scholar
  16. 33.
    Rollo Handy and Paul Kurtz, A Current Appraisal of the Behavioral Sciences (Great Bar-rington, Mass.: Behavioral Research Council, 1963), p. 14.Google Scholar
  17. 63.
    Polsby, Dentier, and Smith, op. cit., p. 7.Google Scholar
  18. 69.
    “Dewey’s Concepts of Experience and Nature,” pp. 235–238.Google Scholar
  19. 73.
    Brecht, op. cit., pp. 126–128.Google Scholar
  20. 74.
    Moral Principles in Political Philosophy (New York: Random House, Inc., 1968), p. 179.Google Scholar
  21. 77.
    “Science in Its Relation to Value and Religion,” pp. 171–182.Google Scholar
  22. 78.
    Brecht, op. cit., Ch. X.Google Scholar
  23. 79.
    The Crisis of Civilization (London: Jonathan Gape, Ltd., 1941), p. 105.Google Scholar
  24. 80.
    “Science in Its Relation to Value and Religion,” p. 186.Google Scholar
  25. 85.
    “Science in Its Relation to Value and Religion,” p. 187.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Louisiana State University in New OrleansUSA

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