Why study the history of political thought?

Philosophy and Social Criticism 37 (5):519-531 (2011)
Abstract
This article explains why its author has spent much of the past decade rediscovering the history of political thought (rather than enter into the fray of political philosophy as it has been practised since Rawls). The article is only an illustration; but its virtue is that it summarizes in a short space the thesis developed in my book The Primacy of the Political: A History of Political Thought from the Greeks to the American and French Revolutions. It lays out a general theory of the political, demonstrates that there exists an inherent anti-political tendency within all politics (as seen in the rise of 20 th -century totalitarianism), and tries to suggest how this difficulty can be confronted
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David Hume (1994). Political Essays. Cambridge University Press.
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