Between Philosophy and Politics
The Alienation of Politcal Theory
This book presents a rigorous critical analysis of academic political theory and its relationship to philosophy and politics. It explores, historically and analytically, what the author argues is the alienation of political theory.
John G. Gunnell sets out to destroy a number of myths that pervade the literature of academic political theory and in large measure have come to define it. These myths include the beliefs that the canon of classical texts from at least Plato to Marx constitutes a historical tradition that explains the present; that epistemology reveals the nature of scientific and social scientific explanation and provides the foundation of scientific inquiry and knowledge; that philosophy and political theory can discover and articulate transcendental grounds of political judgment; that politics is something more than a conventional form of human action or has some essential character that explains it and gives it value; and that academic discourse about politics is equivalent to political discourse.
In the final chapters, Gunnell addresses the more positive question of what political theory might be and presents the rudiments of a theory of politics based on an analysis of conventional objects.