David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Ethics 14 (3-4):185-216 (2010)
This essay is an attempt to piece together the elements of G. A. Cohen's thought on the theory of socialism during his long intellectual voyage from Marxism to political philosophy. It begins from his theory of the maldistribution of freedom under capitalism, moves onto his critique of libertarian property rights, to his diagnosis of the “deep inegalitarian” structure of John Rawls' theory and concludes with his rejection of the “cheap” fraternity promulgated by liberal egalitarianism. The paper's exegetical contention is that Cohen's work in political philosophy is best understood in the background of lifelong commitment to a form of democratic, non-market, socialism realizing the values of freedom, equality and community, as he conceived them. The first part of the essay is therefore an attempt to retrieve core socialism-related arguments by chronologically examining the development of Cohen's views, using his books as thematic signposts. The second part brings these arguments together with an eye to reconstructing his vision of socialism. It turns out that Cohen's political philosophy offers a rich conception of objective and subjective freedom, an original understanding of justice as satisfaction of genuine need, and a substantive ideal of fraternity as justificatory community with others. If properly united, these values can suggest a full-bloodied account of the just polity, and give us a glimpse into what it means, for Cohen, to treat people as equals
|Keywords||G. A. Cohen Historical materialism Luck egalitarianism Marxism Second-personal reasons Socialism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
G. A. Cohen (1983). Book Reviews. [REVIEW] Mind 92 (367):440-445.
G. A. Cohen (2000). Freedom and Money. Filosoficky Casopis 48 (1):89-114.
G. A. Cohen (2000). If You're an Egalitarian, How Come You're so Rich. Journal of Ethics 4 (1-2):1-26.
G. A. Cohen (2000). Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
George G. Brenkert (1998). Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Autonomy. Journal of Ethics 2 (1):27-55.
Pablo Gilabert (2011). Feasibility and Socialism. Journal of Political Philosophy 19 (1):52-63.
John E. Roemer (2010). Jerry Cohens Why Not Socialism? Some Thoughts. Journal of Ethics 14 (3-4):255-262.
Andy Lamey (2010). The Thinking Man's Marxist. [REVIEW] The Literary Review of Canada (June).
M. Ronzoni (2012). Life is Not a Camping Trip - on the Desirability of Cohenite Socialism. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 11 (2):171-185.
Peter Vallentyne (1998). Critical Notice of G.A. Cohen’s Self-Ownership, Freedom, and Equality. [REVIEW] Canadian Journal of Philosophy 28:609-626.
Helga Varden (2010). G. A. Cohen's Rescuing Justice and Equality - A Critical Engagement. Social Philosophy Today 26:175-189.
Kai Nielsen (1989). A Moral Case for Socialism. Critical Review 3 (3-4):542-553.
Andrew Williams (2008). Justice, Incentives and Constructivism. Ratio 21 (4):476-493.
Pablo Gilabert (2012). Cohen on Socialism, Equality and Community. Socialist Studies 8 (1):101-121.
Added to index2010-07-26
Total downloads56 ( #34,624 of 1,679,406 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #26,041 of 1,679,406 )
How can I increase my downloads?