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Contemporary Political Philosophy

An Anthology

Third Edition

Edited by

Robert E. Goodin and Philip Pettit

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Each volume in this outstanding series provides an authoritative and comprehensive collection of the essential primary readings from philosophy’s main fields of study. Designed to complement the Blackwell Companions to Philosophy series, each volume represents an unparalleled resource in its own right, and will provide the ideal platform for course use.

  1. Cottingham: Western Philosophy: An Anthology (second edition)
  2. Cahoone: From Modernism to Postmodernism: An Anthology (expanded second edition)
  3. LaFollette: Ethics in Practice: An Anthology (fourth edition)
  4. Goodin and Pettit: Contemporary Political Philosophy: An Anthology (third edition)
  5. Eze: African Philosophy: An Anthology
  6. McNeill and Feldman: Continental Philosophy: An Anthology
  7. Kim, Korman, and Sosa: Metaphysics: An Anthology (second edition)
  8. Lycan and Prinz: Mind and Cognition: An Anthology (third edition)
  9. Kuhse, Singer, and Schuklenk: Bioethics: An Anthology (third edition)
  10. Cummins and Cummins: Minds, Brains, and Computers – The Foundations of Cognitive Science: An Anthology
  11. Sosa, Kim, Fantl, and McGrath: Epistemology: An Anthology (second edition)
  12. Kearney and Rasmussen: Continental Aesthetics – Romanticism to Postmodernism: An Anthology
  13. Martinich and Sosa: Analytic Philosophy: An Anthology (second edition)
  14. Jacquette: Philosophy of Logic: An Anthology
  15. Jacquette: Philosophy of Mathematics: An Anthology
  16. Harris, Pratt, and Waters: American Philosophies: An Anthology
  17. Emmanuel and Goold: Modern Philosophy – From Descartes to Nietzsche: An Anthology
  18. Scharff and Dusek: Philosophy of Technology – The Technological Condition: An Anthology (second edition)
  19. Light and Rolston: Environmental Ethics: An Anthology
  20. Taliaferro and Griffiths: Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology
  21. Lamarque and Olsen: Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art – The Analytic Tradition: An Anthology (second edition)
  22. John and Lopes: Philosophy of Literature – Contemporary and Classic Readings: An Anthology
  23. Cudd and Andreasen: Feminist Theory: A Philosophical Anthology
  24. Carroll and Choi: Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures: An Anthology
  25. Lange: Philosophy of Science: An Anthology
  26. Shafer‐Landau and Cuneo: Foundations of Ethics: An Anthology
  27. Curren: Philosophy of Education: An Anthology
  28. Shafer‐Landau: Ethical Theory: An Anthology (second edition)
  29. Cahn and Meskin: Aesthetics: A Comprehensive Anthology
  30. McGrew, Alspector‐Kelly and Allhoff: The Philosophy of Science: An Historical Anthology
  31. May: Philosophy of Law: Classic and Contemporary Readings
  32. Rosenberg and Arp: Philosophy of Biology: An Anthology
  33. Hetherington: Metaphysics and Epistemology: A Guided Anthology
  34. Davis: Contemporary Moral and Social Issues: An Introduction through Original Fiction, Discussion, and Readings
  35. Dancy and Sandis: Philosophy of Action: An Anthology
  36. Sosa, Fantl, and McGrath: Contemporary Epistemology: An Anthology


The essays contained in this collection represent what seem to us to be canonical texts in contemporary political philosophy. But they only represent the contemporary canon, they do not exhaust it. Although this collection is two or perhaps three times the size of most, we nevertheless found that we had space for only a sample of the very many more texts and topics that we would like to have included.

The collection is deliberately designed as a companion to our earlier Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy (Oxford: Wiley‐Blackwell, 1993; 2nd edition, 2012). We attempted to retain something of the same flavor in this collection, much the same scope of substantive concerns and much the same diversity of analytic styles. Inevitably, though, there is so much more surveyed in the Companion’s many chapters than can be reprinted here. Interested readers are referred back to the Companion not only to situate the texts in the present collection but also for further readings and whole other sets of concerns.

The Companion as a whole, and our own introduction to it, serves effectively as a preface to this collection. So we will not expound at length here upon our views as to the nature of the political philosophical enterprise. Let this one comment suffice. We have tried to select and organize the texts included here so as to show political philosophy as it truly is: as a set of ongoing conversations and disputations, arguments, and debates.

Robert E. Goodin
Philip Pettit

Doing Political Philosophy