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Stephen G. Salkever


The connections between Aristotle's teachings and the study of political science is a key part of Mary Katharine Woodworth Professor of Political Science Stephen Salkever's work. "Aristotle forces us to confront both the need for and the danger of authority in moral and political life," he says. At Loyola University this spring, Professor Salkever presented a series of lectures on this subject, entitled "Practical Reason and Political Science: Aristotle and Contemporary Political Analysis," and offered a way of reading Aristotle as a philosopher whose central aim is to persuade his readers to ask questions about the place of politics in human life. Professor Salkever argues that understanding Aristotle in this way provides a new and attractive model for thinking about the nature of political science as a discipline in particular — one which stresses classroom teaching as much as research — and of liberal education in general. "The core of this understanding is the idea that the goal of such education should be to develop a sense of the connection between practical problems and broad philosophizing," he says.