On Styles of Dealing with Problems in Political Theory

34 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2006 Last revised: 26 Jul 2008

See all articles by T. J. Donahue

T. J. Donahue

Institute for Philosophical Research, UNAM

Paulina Ochoa Espejo

Political Science, Yale University

Date Written: July 23, 2008

Abstract

What are the different styles by which political theorists deal with intellectual problems? This question is important because if we do not answer it, we shall not know why methodological disagreements are so much more intense and heated than substantive disagreements. Nor shall we know why particular political theorists take the positions they do in methodological controversies. This paper argues that there are now five main styles by which political theorists deal with intellectual problems: the Classicist, the Mannerist, the Baroque, the Romantic, and the Collectivist. Classicism solves the problem it poses, Mannerism presses it, the Baroque resolves it, Romanticism dissolves it, and Collectivism publicizes it. For each style, we give an account of its main features, give examples of how it has been applied to different problems in political theory, and then identify its strengths and weaknesses.

Keywords: Styles, intellectual problems, questions, political theories, methods, methodology

Suggested Citation

Donahue, T. J. and Ochoa Espejo, Paulina, On Styles of Dealing with Problems in Political Theory (July 23, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=936730 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.936730

T. J. Donahue

Institute for Philosophical Research, UNAM ( email )

Circuito Maestro Mario de la Cueva s/n
Ciudad Universitaria
Coyoacán, Mexico, Distrito Federal C.P. 04510
Mexico

Paulina Ochoa Espejo (Contact Author)

Political Science, Yale University ( email )

P.O. Box 208301
New Haven, CT 06520-8301
United States

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