Bite Size Theory: Western Political Theory in the Face of the Future

“If we are all democrats today, it is not a very cheerful fate to share. Today, in politics, democracy is the name for what we cannot have – yet cannot cease to want.”

John Dunn, 1979, Western Political Theory in the Face of the Future, Cambridge University Press.


Bite Size Theory: Define and Rule

“The indirect rule state was not a weak state. Unlike the preceding era of direct rule, its ambitions were vast: to shape the subjectivities of the colonized population and not simply of their elites.”

Mahmood Mamdami, 2013, Define and Rule: Native as Political Identity, Wits University Press.

Bite Size Theory: Goldilocks’ Dilemma

“Can we find units of government that are “just right” – small enough to facilitate participation and yet large enough to exercise authority so significant as to make participation worthwhile?”

Robert Dahl, 1970, After the Revolution, Yale University Press.

Bite Size Theory: Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline

“It is not an accident or a limitation or a prejudice that we cannot care equally about all the suffering in the world: it is a condition of our existence and our sanity.”

Bernard Williams, 2006, Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline. Princeton University Press.

Bite Size Theory: Ontological Relativity

“Ontology is indeed doubly relative. Specifying the universe of a theory makes sense only relative to some background theory, and only relative to some choice of a manual of translation of one theory into the other”.

W.V. Quine, 1969, Ontological Relativity and other essays, Columbia University Press.