KEY TERMS OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

Ideologies and definitions.

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  • Created by: Becca
  • Created on: 04-05-09 11:19

Key Terms

Ideology

A body of political ideas that form the basis of a policy.

Democracy

A state ruled by the people for the people. People Power. Representative. Generally most favoured.

Anarchism

No one is goverened by a state - naturally capable of self-governing.

Communist

Each member of society works for common benefit of society and recieves according to needs. Equal rights but run by govt.

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Key Terms cntd.

Conservative

Favour traditional values. Conserve and preserve. Hierarchal society is natural. Favours aristocracy.

Liberalism

To be as free as we can be without harming others. (Liberty harm principle)

Liberty

Right or power to do as one pleases being subject only to the laws established on behalf of the community.

Capitalist

Rich have the power. System of wealth and possession, wealth is used in the production and distribution of goods for profit. Causes poverty gap.

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Communitarian

Looking out for the community rather than society has a whole. Are individuals but community is important. Less extreme mix.

Socialism

Everyone has a social responsibility to other beings. People in control. Tries to bridge poverty gap.

Utilitarianism

Greatest good for greatest number. Ruled by two sovereign masters. Democratic.

Theocracy

Society ruled by God - above anybody else.

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Autocracy

Governed by single ruler, usually gained power by own efforts.

Stratocracy

Goverened by military rule.

Meritocracy

Goverened by those who have most merit/worth/ability.

Tyranny

One person with complete control - imposes will on population.

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Natural Law

The idea that within the universe there is a set order of morals. What is natural is good. Revealed through human reason or revelation.

Freedom

The condition of being free and unrestricted. Personal or civil liberty. Absence of slave status. The power of self-determination. The state of being free to act. Frankness/outspokeness. Ease in action. The condition of being exempt from or not subject to.

Rights

Are Rights innate or a result of society? Do we possess rights by virtue of being human or are rights decided by society? Originally the term Rights stood for power or privilage, in the modern sense it refers to entitlement or how we should be treated.

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Legal Rights

Rights that are decided and enforced by the law, usually based on a utilitarian ethic.

God-given Rights

Rights are given by God and it is our obligation to obey them. If they are not obeyed then that person is failing their duty towards God and behaving immorally.

Moral Rights

Reflect what a person should have, usually according to a certain ethical or religious view point. Can be divided into human (natural) rights and animal rights.

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Natural Rights

There is a universal law inherent in the universe that humans can live in harmony with. Locke believed humans natural rights were to life, liberty and property as in the Declaration of Independence 1776: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable right."

Law

Law is what marks a civilised society and commands what people have the right to do and what they are prohibited from doing.

Punishment

Law is backed up by a system of punishment, if laws are broken then a punishment is given. Punishment aims to reduce crime so that one can fulfil their human potential, be happy and live in a stable society.

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Authority

There are 3 types of authority: Traditional, Charismatic and Legal-Rational.

Traditional: Authority is based on respect for long established customs and traditions. Authority is seen as legitimate because it has always been the case and was accepted by previous generations.

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