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Realism in Political Theory.

  • Academic Journal
  • Perspectives on Political Science; Jan-Mar2021, Vol. 50 Issue 1, p24-31, 8p
  • The physical sciences discarded the method of Cartesian rationalism in the 18th century, but much of contemporary political theory continues to adhere to this outdated method, following the famous rationalist social contract theories of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant. This paper proposes an alternative, non-rationalist paradigm for political theory, which is based on the writings of empiricist theorists. This realist paradigm is based on five premises: (i) Men are born into families, tribes, and nations to which they are bound by ties of mutual loyalty. (ii) Individuals, families, tribes, and nations compete for resources and honor until a threat from outside recalls them to the mutual loyalties that bind them to one another. (iii) Language, religion, law, economic forms, and government are traditional institutions developed by particular families, tribes, and nations with the aim of strengthening themselves and ensuring the welfare of their members. (iv) Political obligation arises as a consequence of membership in these loyalty groups. (v) These premises are derived from experience, and may be challenged and improved upon in light of experience. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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