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What Makes A Political Theory A Classic

            This is a review and analysis of the journal article "What Makes a Classic in Political Theory", dated September 1973. In the beginning of the article the author mentions that there are a select few books that he believes are a measure of classics. Even the favored authors he lists are admittedly obscure in their rise to classic standing. He believes that classics are what you were taught as a student, yet it is a rather unsatisfactory reason. Levin suggest five criteria for which a book might be justified as a classic. Using these criteria he undoubtably believes that John Locke's Two Treatises of Government is a political classic. The work was published in a defense of the 1688 Revolution. The fact that it is still on political students recommended reading leads to a particularly high philosophical quality, yet some do not agree.
             Levin touches on Locke's Two Treatises as classic with the consideration of the five questions:.
             1. Philosophical quality.
             2. Original content.
             3. Influence on events or other political theorists.
             4. The foremost example of a certain category of thought.
             5. Extended relevancy beyond their own time of publication to the present, or even to provide judgments of universal application.
             He admits that there is a lack of originality but that can be associated with other great theorists. His influence is far outweighed by his reputation. He wrote for the people who were not as educated, helping him be more understandable. He concludes with the assessment that Locke relies on the timing of publication rather than his originality.
             The second part of the article by Michael Levin starts with the idea that Locke's fame rest on the timing of his views and that he expressed them in a partly new form. So Locke's ideas were only socially significant due to good timing. His reputation is what seems to catapult his Two Treatises into classic status because of previously written works by Locke on politics.

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