Oppression, Subservience, and Resistance

By Raymond Angelo Belliotti

Subjects: Political Philosophy, History Of Philosophy, Political Theory, Plato, Feminist Philosophy
Paperback : 9781438459561, 272 pages, January 2017
Hardcover : 9781438459554, 272 pages, April 2016

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Table of contents


Part One
I. Concepts of Power

II. Thrasymachus (ca. 459 BC–ca. 400 BC) and Socrates (ca. 470 BC–ca. 399 BC): Does Might Make Right?

III. Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527): The Ambiguity of Power

IV. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900): The Will to Power

Part Two

V. Stoicism: Overcoming Oppression through Attitude

VI. Georg W. F. Hegel (1770–1831): The Dynamic of Dyadic Relationships of Power

VII. Karl Marx (1818–1883) and Antonio Gramsci (1891–1937) Securing the Acquiescence of the Oppressed
Part Three
VIII. Michel Foucault (1926–1984): The Ubiquity of Power

IX. Jürgen Habermas (1929–): The Power of Communicative Rationality

X. Feminism: The Power of Collective Transformation

XI. Final Words

About the Author

Deepens our understanding of power through a survey of how its dynamics have been understood from ancient times to the present.


Frequently understood in simplistic and often highly negative terms, the concept of power has proven to be both uncommonly intriguing and maddeningly elusive. In Power, Raymond Angelo Belliotti begins by fashioning a general definition of power that is refined enough to capture the numerous types of power in all their multifaceted complexity. He then proceeds in a series of discrete yet thematically connected meditations to explore the meaning of power in ancient, modern, and contemporary thought. In grappling with the critical questions surrounding the accumulation, distribution, and exercise of personal and social power, this work allows us to confront fundamental questions of who we are and how we might live better lives.

Raymond Angelo Belliotti is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia. He is the author of many books, including Machiavelli's Secret: The Soul of the Statesman, also published by SUNY Press.


"Power is an impressive project for its breadth and insight. Belliotti offers an exhaustive discussion of the philosophical notion of power, which deepens the reader's understanding of power and provides a 'powerful' tool for assessing the proper uses of and abuses of social and dyadic power relations. The book is rich with material, expertly organized, and written in a clear and accessible style. " — Kimberly Blessing, Buffalo State, The State University of New York