Political scientists often specialize in one area (e.g., comparative, American, world, theory, public policy, public administration, methodology), and then political scientists specialize within their area (e.g., congress, political parties, presidency, courts, democratic systems, ethnicity, political languages, bureaucracy, campaigns, media). In this way, political scientists may avoid many areas of political science year in and year out. On the other hand, political aficionados may not be political science PhDs; rather, life-long learners of all things political. This site should be useful to both equally.
The Point of “Philosophy” is an age old question, like eternity–its is only answered by one in parts. Here’s what I consider “pop-philosophy” (inspired by Will Durant’s Story of Philosophy):
Philosophy is the life-blood of politics. Socrates says that a just society is one that provides equality of opportunity in achieving one’s potential to all citizens, even though he would have abolished marriage–for the president and members of parliament / congress. Jesus teaches that people are equal under God and that there are mechanisms which constrain people to be good and not evil, even though many today would not have hands. Aristotle articulated a new form of scientific analysis for the world, even though he thought men had more teeth than women. Kant showed us space and time (I daresay most political scientists are under the influence of Kant), even if his quirky afternoon walks meant keeping the mouth shut in order to always breathe through the nose—to avoid a cold—just wave to the neighbors. Voltaire, with his clever pen, informed everyone that they were rather uninformed—regardless of their power in society. Spinoza, an ideal Christian, provided the material for thinkers to escape societal and philosophical constraints for all ages. Machiavelli tells us how a state, and actors, would succeed in the political, even though demonized and kept hushed. Nietzsche propels us to be strong and create our own philosophy—to become an overman (or superman), calling for a transformation by elites of society in order to create the substance (Spinoza) for an overman to succeed. James helps us remember to be pragmatic. These days, philosophy is the life-blood of politics because it is the beliefs we subscribe to that form our state, society, and culture.
Posts regarding philosophy are here. I welcome all “pop-philosophy” (I.e. pop-culture for philosophers) and more serious suggestions too–as comments to posts.