Western Political Theory Vs Comparative Theory

873 Words4 Pages
When people talk about comparative political theory, often the definition of “comparative” is locked into one idea: how Eastern thinkers are different than traditional Western thinkers. In fact, studying comparative political theory generally means studying non-Western texts (March 2009, 531). Use of the term, comparative political theory, in this sense is somewhat confusing to me because it is possible to compare two or more Western philosophies, and I do not see the problem of comparing two or more Eastern philosophies. Andrew F. March (2009, 558), who examines a proper definition of comparative political theory, also points out the strangeness of its definition as studying non-Western thinkers, and he argues that one of criteria should be…show more content…
In fact, whether comparative political theory should be comparative in the first place or not is nonsense to ask because the study of political theory itself contains the aspect of comparisons of how people or governments should act in a certain situation. Thus, the real problem is how people should compare since there is no need for such subfield to unnecessarily separate Eastern thinkers and Western thinkers. The criteria of comparison need to be different than East and West. Rather, it should be compared in March’s way. However, it is also true that cultural differences hinder people to understand Eastern thinkers’ logics if they are used to Western philosophy, and it attracts them to compare by regions. Thus, I would like to examine whether comparative political theory should be based on thinkers’ opinions or where they live by focusing on the Analects of Confucius. If Confucius’ way of thinking is, in fact, persuasive regardless of a cultural difference, comparative political theory should be comparative in a way that should compare ideas and opinions on certain…show more content…
Weather this is due to a problem of English or those concepts of the terms do not exist in Western culture, this should not be a problem for understanding what Confucius says because most books of the Western philosophy are translated too. Moreover, this should not be a barrier to make people to think Eastern thinkers are not persuasive and to differentiate by East and West. For example, a concept of virtue is exclusive in this book, which should be a familiar concept for people who already studied Western philosophy. However, the virtue that is explained by Confucius is, in fact, unique. For instance, Confucius (2015 ,4) says that in order to be virtuous, people need to concern the other before themselves. If I had to assume that Western society, especially the United States, is based on individualism and encourage to consider people themselves first, this idea is somewhat difficult to understand. This is, however, why people should study comparative political theory by one’s thought, not a region or culture. If people compare political theory with culturally biased views, it is difficult to determine whether the idea itself is useful and applicable to the real world or not. In this case, prioritizing others might feel overwhelming, but respecting others should be a fundamental virtue and understandable to most people. Otherwise, who would like to live in the world where no one respects each

More about Western Political Theory Vs Comparative Theory

Open Document