The philosophy of politics – political philosophy – political science: articulation of the problem area

The philosophy of politics – political philosophy – political science:
articulation of the problem area

Article received: 2023.01.19. Accepted: 2023.07.05

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2024.01.05

For citation:

Levytskyy V.S. The philosophy of politics – political philosophy – political science: articulation of the problem area. – Polis. Political Studies. 2024. No. 1. P. 52-66. (In Russ.). EDN: OCMRQH


The article attempts to provide a definition for the problem area of the philosophy of politics, political philosophy and political science. Given the lack of a well-established distinction between the subjects of these sciences in the Russian-language discourse, the author turns to the English-language tradition. The analysis of this discourse shows the following: 1) the absence of a distinction between political philosophy and the philosophy of politics, which is replaced by political ontology as part of political philosophy; 2) the existence of a distinction between political theory and political philosophy; 3) the dependence of the paradigm of the relationship between political theory and political philosophy on the consensus developed in the national intellectual tradition. In the English-language discourse, the question of the relationship between political science and political philosophy comes to the fore. The latter is considered as a subordinate, integral part of political science. It is shown that, based on the criterion of “insufficient scientificity”, attempts to exclude political philosophy from the political science do not stop. The article substantiates the position according to which, despite their apparent similarity, the subjects of political science and political philosophy do not coincide – the disciplinary ontology of political science can become the subject of political philosophy. When discussing the relationship between the philosophy of politics and political philosophy, the article presents several hypotheses. First, a distinction is made between the philosophy of politics and political philosophy and the author argues that they are distinct. Secondly, the position, according to which the philosophy of politics belongs to the field of philosophy, and political philosophy to political science, is critically examined, and the fact that the two disciplines belong to the philosophical corpus of knowledge is substantiated. Thirdly, it is proposed to demarcate between the philosophy of politics and political philosophy in accordance with the difference between their subjects. The subject of philosophy of politics is the phenomenon of the political, while the subject of political philosophy is political phenomena. 

philosophy of politics, political philosophy, political science, ontology, metaphysics, philosophy, science.


 Ball, T. (2007). Political theory and political science: can this marriage be saved? Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory, 54(113).

Berlin, I. (1962). Does political theory still exist? In P. Laslett, & W.G. Runeiman (Ed.), Philosophy, Politics and Society (Second Series) (pp. 1-33). Oxford: Blackwell.

Brod, H. (1992). Hegel’s philosophy of politics: idealism, identity and modernity. Boulder, San Francisco, Oxford: Westview Press.

Brown, A. (1990). Modern political philosophy: theories of the just society. London: Penguin.

Corbett, R.J. (2011). Political theory within political science. PS: Political Science and Politics, 44(3), 565-570.

Duignan, B. (Ed.). (2012). The science and philosophy of politics. London: Britannica Educational Pub.

Frisch, M.J. (1953). Lincoln’s philosophy of politics. Prairie Schooner, 27(4), 385-388.

Gunnell, J.G. (1993). The descent of political theory: the genealogy of an American vocation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Hay, C. (2006). Political ontology. In R.E. Goodin, & Ch. Tilly (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis (pp. 78-96). Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.

Jung, H.Y. (1967). The radical humanization of politics: Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy of politics. Archives for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, 53(2), 233-256.

Kasza, G.J. (2010). The marginalization of political philosophy and its effects on the rest of the discipline. Political Research Quarterly, 63(3), 697-701.

Laslett, P. (Ed.) (1956). Philosophy, politics and society. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Marsh, D., & Stoker, G. (Ed.). (1995). Theory and methods in political science. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Moten, A.R., & Islam, S.S. (2004). Introduction to political science. Singapore: Thomson Learning Asia. Rehfeld, A. (2010). Offensive political theory. Perspectives on Politics, 8(2), 465-486.

Thompson, M. (2010). Understand political philosophy: a teach yourself guide. London: McGraw-Hill.

Warren, M.E. (1989). What is political theory/philosophy? PS: Political Science & Politics, 22(3), 606-612.

Alekseeva, T.A. (2018). Sovremennaya politicheskaya mysl’ (XX–XXI vv.): Politicheskaya teoriya i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Modern political thought (XX–XXI centuries): political theory and international relations]. Moscow: Aspect Press Publishing House. (In Russ.)

Carnap, R., Hahn, G., & Neurath, O. (2005). The scientific conception of the world: the Vienna circle. (Russ. ed.: Carnap, R., Hahn, G., & Neurath, O. Nauchnoe miroponimanie – Venskii kruzhok. Logos, 2, 13-26).

Discussion. Self-reflection of politics (review of the materials of two journals’ round table: Voprosy Filosofii and Polis). (2002). Polis. Political Studies, 2, 58-66. (In Russ.)

Hübner, K. (1999). Die Wahrheit des Mythos. Uberverschiedene Zeitbegriffe in Alltag, Physik und Mythos. (Russ. ed.: Hübner, K. Progress ot mifa cherez logos k nauke kak teoretiko-poznavatel’naja problema. In I.T. Kasavin, & V.N. Porus (Ed.), Razum i ehkzistentsiya: Analiz nauchnykh i vnenauchnykh form myshleniya [Vernunft und Existenz Analyse Der Wissenschaftlichen und Auberwissenschaftlichen Denkformen] (pp. 114-125). St. Petersburg: RHGI Publishers.

Il’in, I.A. (1993) Put’ k ochevidnosti [The way to insight]. Moscow: Respublika. (In Russ.)

Kant, I. (1966). Der Streit der Facultäten. (Russ. ed.: Kant, I. Spor fakul’tetov. In Kant I. Sochineniya v 6 tomakh. Vol. 6 (pp. 311-348). Moscow: Mysl’).

Kapustin, B.G. (2011). Theses on political philosophy. The Political Conceptology: Journal of Metadisciplinary Research, 2, 39-46. (In Russ.)

Mironova, D. (2019). Politicheskaya filosofiya [Political philosophy]. Moscow: MSU Publishing House. (In Russ.)

Moshchelkov, E.N. (Ed.). (2014). Filosofiya politiki i prava. 100 osnovnykh ponyatii. Slovar’ [Philosophy of politics and law. 100 basic concepts. Dictionary]. Moscow: Izdatel’ Vorob’ev A.V. (In Russ.)

Myurberg, I.I. (2018). Toward the problem of self-justification of political philosophy from the standpoint of social epistemology. Philosophy Journal, 11(1), 28-44. (In Russ.)

Piatigorsky, A.M. (2007). Chto takoe politicheskaya filosofiya: razmyshleniya i soobrazheniya. Tsikl lektsiy [What is political philosophy: reflections and considerations. A series of lectures]. Moscow: Europe Publishers. (In Russ.)

Politicheskaya filosofiya v Rossii. Nastoyashchee i budushchee [Political philosophy in Russia. Present and future. Round Table]. (2002). Voprosy Filosofii, 4, 3-30. (In Russ.)

Stepin, V.S. (2000). Teoreticheskoe znanie [The theoretical knowledge]. Moscow: Progress-Traditsiya publishers. (In Russ.)

Vasilenko, I.A. (2010). Politicheskaya filosofiya [Political philosophy]. Moscow: INFRA-M. (In Russ.)

Content No. 1, 2024

See also:

Vasilyeva N.A., Lagutina M.L.,
On the issue of world politics philosophy. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No2

Menshikov A.S.,
How to theorize politics?. – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No1

Alekseyeva T.A.,
Political philosophy as «Usable» knowledge. – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No1

Virtual workshop: political philosophy. – Polis. Political Studies. 2003. No2

Virtual workshop: political philosophy. – Polis. Political Studies. 2003. No5



   2024      2023      2022      2021   
   2020      2019      2018      2017      2016   
   2015      2014      2013      2012      2011   
   2010      2009      2008      2007      2006   
   2005      2004      2003      2002      2001   
   2000      1999      1998      1997      1996   
   1995      1994      1993      1992      1991