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Inventors of Ideas: Introduction to Western Political Philosophy 3rd Edition

Donald Tannenbaum

  • Published
  • Previous Editions 2004, 1998
  • 336 Pages


INVENTORS OF IDEAS connects the major philosophers' original political and societal views with current politics and political thought. Significantly revised to give increased coverage to the major thinkers, the Third Edition covers the traditional canon of writers. INVENTORS OF IDEAS gives students the practical and historical foundations with which to look at contemporary political issues.

Donald Tannenbaum, Gettysburg College

Donald G. Tannenbaum teaches Political Philosophy at Gettysburg College. He is the Founding Editor of COMMONWEALTH: A JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, has written widely for scholarly books, journals, and symposia, served as consultant to the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program Review Board of the United States Department of Education and to a number of Political Science departments, and been President of the Northeastern Political Science Association (1993-1994) and the Pennsylvania Political Science Association (1988-1990). Professor Tannenbaum received his Ph.D. in Politics from New York University, which named him a University Honors Scholar. In 2002, he was honored with an American Political Science Association/Pi Sigma Alpha citation recognizing him as a recipient of a campus-wide teaching award, which he attributes, in part, to his use of this text in several of his classes. In 2011, he was named chair of the Hubert H. Humphrey Award Committee by the Council of the American Political Science Association.
  • The consolidation of 20 chapters into 17 allows for increased coverage of major writers in the new stand-alone chapters while keeping the overall length of the book about the same. Coverage of some minor figures is condensed, while it is expanded for Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, and Burke.
  • The text has been thoroughly revised to include recent information and analysis on twelve philosophers.
  • New visuals, a feature not found in competing books, include a series of charts and figures integrated with the relevant text. Each graphically illustrates key concepts of major thinkers, providing a vivid imprint of some central political ideas.
  • An updated list of Additional Readings for each chapter directs students to the latest scholarship as well as to classical studies.
  • New stand-alone chapters on Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas and Burke, and a totally reconceptualized chapter on Luther and Calvin.
  • The book reveals how significantly the evolution of science has influenced the power of faith in political affairs.
  • Comprehensive enough to be used as the sole text in a course, INVENTORS OF IDEAS is also brief enough to be used in conjunction with primary source materials.
  • The text includes ideas from a broad range of thinkers, from Greek playwrights to 20th Century postmoderns, environmentalists, and feminists, which helps students appreciate the depth and breadth of political philosophy.
  • The book identifies the significance to each writer of the conflict between the individual and the collective, and accents the relationship between political philosophy and practical politics.
  • The gender themes covered by the text are unique and highly valuable to those who wish to study traditional writers while also exploring the important role that women, gender, and the family play in political philosophy.
  • The authors provide a strong historical focus and coverage of diversity issues including a discussion of Islamic thinkers and gender.
1. Political Philosophy: Introducing the Challenge.
2. Plato: Advocating Justice.
3. Aristotle: Endorsing Community.
4. Cicero: Enlarging Citizenship.
5. Augustine: Diminishing Politics.
6. Aquinas: Christianizing Citizenship.
7. Luther and Calvin: Reconfiguring Authority.
8. Machiavelli: Escaping Anarchy.
9. Hobbes: Securing Peace.
10. Locke: Protecting Property.
11. Rousseau: Establishing Democracy.
12. Mary Wollstonecraft: Feminizing Politics.
13. Burke: Grounding Tradition.
14. Mill: Grounding Liberty.
15. Marx: Revealing History's Meaning.
16. Postmodern Political Thought: Reconceptualizing the Political.
17. Inventors of Ideas and Their Inventions: The Continuing Challenge.

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  • ISBN-10: 1133967345
  • ISBN-13: 9781133967347
  • STARTING AT $16.99

  • ISBN-10: 049590824X
  • ISBN-13: 9780495908241
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $112.50
  • RETAIL $149.95

"Three strengths are brevity, analytical framework, and inclusiveness."

"First, I like the length of the book. Second, on the whole, it has a good mix of depth v. breadth. Third, again on the whole, it is well-written."