This research examines the development and the character of the political philosophy and theory of James Madison. Madison's political theory is complex, and in part is based on earlier developments in Western political thought. The most notable developments in political philosophy typically occur at periods of history when political discord is highest. The new developments are offered as cures for contemporary problems. Madison's political philosophy developed within such an environment, and was offered in such a context.
Philosophical criticism in politics explores human commitments in the context of the principals or values accepted by humanity. Such criticism provides a basis for testing the coherency of commitments and values. When incoherency can be demonstrated, choices between values and incompatible commitments may be forced. In the real world, discrepancies between expectations and doctrine invite both criticism and reformulation. That which begins as an exercise to realign principles with accepted contemporary practices also provides a basis for the development of new practices. Madison's political philosophy and theory sought both to realign principles and introduce new practices.
Development of Madison's Political Philosophy and Theory
The history of political philosophy is the succession of ideas concerning the organization of humanity into collectives. Political philosophy is philosophical in character because it is concerned with values, as