Political philosophy occupies a curious position in the intellectual

landscape. On the one hand, as a branch of philosophy, it deals with

general, theoretical issues, eschewing the practical questions of, for

example, how to administer a social security system. On the other, as a

branch of politics, it is part of a sphere of human activity which is

almost by definition engaged in the real world. There is thus a kind of

tension within the subject between the essential engagement of politics

and the frequent disengagement of the philosopher.