Human history is about change. We have seen, in our study of Western political thought, a number of changes taking place in political institutions, social practices and ideas. How is the change in ideas implicated in political and social change? When new social practices emerge, do new ideas arise in order to legitimize these emerging social practices, or do earlier social practices begin to fade as they succumb to intellectual challenges?

A series of changes that turned the course of human history has been given the name of modernity. In the tradition of Western political thought, we have seen modern political institutions being defended on the grounds that they enlarge human freedom. We have also come across the argument (pace Rousseau ...

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