Download A Dictionary of Political Thought by Roger Scruton PDF

By Roger Scruton

This new version takes inventory of the innovative alterations that experience taken position because the dictionary was once first released in 1982. 1790 entries disguise each point of political suggestion delivering an critical advisor to the idea, the knowledge and the folly of recent politics via essentially the most lucid philosophers of our time.

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The following are important political applications of the idea: (i) Autonomy of the individual. This is captured by the doctrine that the *rational individual may, in the words of *Kant, 'will the maxim of his action as a law for himself. It is held that rational beings (or •persons) do not merely respond to the promptings of appetite and autonomy desire, but also to self-imposed commands, and this is what distinguishes free action from subjection to the 'laws of nature'. Kant argued that a rational being not only may, but also must, be autonomous in this sense, and that he can be so only if his action is governed by a universal law.

Balance of power. An important concept in the description of international relations, but also of uncertain meaning. It may refer: (i) to a policy on the part of states that deliberately aims to prevent the prepon· derance of any one state or *bloc, and to maintain approximate equilibrium in military potential; (ii) to an observed principle of international politics, whereby any state which threatens to increase its power becomes at once subject to increases in countervailing power from potential belligerents; (iii) to a political system characterized by a particular configuration of power relationships.

Arms control. Expression introduced in the 1950s by US strategists, to denote all the ways whereby one or more states may intentionally restrain the development, testing, deployment, and danger of armaments, with the aim of reducing the likelihood and the hazards of warfare. It covers disarmament, agreements for restraint (such as the SALT agreement between the US and the USSR and the 1968 non-proliferation treaty), and unilateral acts, such as the decision by the US and others in 1969 to suspend research into biological weapons and to destroy stocks of them.

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