Overwhelming power: Part one ‐ inflationary tactics

The paradigm case of power as ?power over? (not ?power to') betrays a concern (1) more with the capacity to dominate others than with the unqualified capacity to act as such; (2) more with the fact, than with the morality, of dominance ? underscoring the key analytical distinction between ?power? and ?authority'; and (3) more with compulsion than co?operation. The three moves to combine (1) ?power over? with ?power to?, (2) ?power? with ?authority?, and (3) ?power? with ?co?operation?, are all seen as inflationary, diminishing the value of the paradigm case, and assisting in rendering power, in its actual operations, both more obscure and insidious. Tumbling down this slope, there is a further argument, to the same effect, but secured by deflating, rather than inflating, the paradigm case. This deflationary argument (4) views luck as an alternative to power. In a world of dizzying technological innovation, marked by a deepening gap between rich and poor in the cities, between advanced and dependent states, we confront an inclination in many quarters both to expand and to contract power, so that it is everything and everywhere, thus nothing and nowhere. In attempts to substitute luck for power, it becomes difficult to assign to power responsibility, as heretofore. This paper is the first of two parts, taking a critical look at the overwhelming of power by inflation. The second part of this paper will be published in a subsequent issue, and it critically inspects the argument for deflation
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/13698239808403227
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 17,761
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Thomas Hobbes (2007/2006). Leviathan. In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Early Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell Pub.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Pamela Pansardi (2012). A Non-Normative Theory of Power and Domination. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16 (5):1-20.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Preston King (1999). Liberty as Power. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 2 (3):1-25.
Thomas Pink (2009). Power and Moral Responsibility. Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):127 – 149.
Preston King (1998). Democracy and the Persistence of Power. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 1 (4):93-112.
Brian Barry (2002). Capitalists Rule Ok? Some Puzzles About Power. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 1 (2):155-184.
Amy Allen (1998). Rethinking Power. Hypatia 13 (1):21 - 40.
Brian R. Lashley (1998). A Defense of Statistical Power Analysis. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (2):209-210.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

2 ( #580,878 of 1,777,935 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #291,290 of 1,777,935 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.