This paper gives a philosophical outline of the initial foundations of politics as presented in the work of Plato and argues why this traditional philosophical approach can no longer serve as the foundation of politics. The argumentation is mainly based on the work of Latour (1993, 1997, 1999a, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008) and consists of five parts. In the first section I elaborate on the initial categorization of politics and science as represented by Plato in his Republic. (...) In the second section I discuss the gap between humans and non-humans and how they are tied together in actual real life political topics. In the third section I elaborate on the concepts of political and scientific discourse and how they are thought of as separated fields based on the ancient constitution of human society. In the fourth section I link the concepts of matter of fact and matter of concern. In a final section I present a redefinition of the nature of politics as represented in the work of Bruno Latour as an alternative foundation for the study of political systems. (shrink)
The precondition of any feminist politics – a usable category of ‘woman’ – has proved to be difﬁcult to construct, even proposed to be impossible, given the ‘problem of exclusion’. This is the inevitable exclusion of at least some women, as their lives or experiences do not ﬁt into the necessary and sufﬁcient condition(s) that denotes group membership. In this paper, I propose that the problem of exclusion arises not because of inappropriate category membership criteria, but because of the (...) presumption that categories can only be organised by identity relations or shared properties among their members. This criterion of sameness as well as the characterisation of this exclusion as essentialism attests to a metaphysics that is not conducive to resistance and liberatory projects. Following a strain of hybrid thinking in feminist and post-colonial theory, I outline an alternative pluralist logic that confronts oppressive binaries that impede theory work in gender, sexuality, and race theory, and limit political action and resistance. The problem of exclusion is neither irresolvable nor is it essentialism. Instead it is a denial of subjectivity due to pseudodualistic self/Other dichotomies that can be resisted by adopting a new categorial logic. While this paper focuses on the speciﬁc problem of formulating a category of ‘woman’, it has implications for other areas of gender, critical race, and postcolonial theory. Rather than working toward an inclusive category founded on sameness, theorists need to develop independent and positive categories grounded in difference. Our current categorial logic does not permit such a project, and therefore a new metaphysics must be adopted. (shrink)
The aim of this highly original book is twofold: to explain the reconciliation of religion and politics in the work of John Locke, and to explore the relevance of that reconciliation for politics in our own time. Confronted with deep social divisions over ultimate beliefs Locke sought to unite society in a single liberal community. Reason could identify divine moral laws that would be acceptable to members of all cultural groups, thereby justifying the authority of government. Greg Forster (...) demonstrates that Locke's theory is liberal and rational but also moral and religious, providing an alternative to the two extremes of religious fanaticism and moral relativism. This fresh new account of Locke's thought will appeal to specialists and advanced students across philosophy, political science, and religious studies. (shrink)
Since the end of the Cold War, there has been increasing interest in the global dimensions of a host of public policy issues - issues involving war and peace, terrorism, international law, regulation of commerce, environmental protection, and disparities of wealth, income, and access to medical care. Especially pressing is the question of whether it is possible to formulate principles of justice that are valid not merely within a single society but across national borders. The thirteen essays in this volume (...) explore a range of issues that are central to contemporary discussions of global politics. Written by prominent philosophers, political scientists, economists, and legal theorists, they offer valuable contributions to current debates over the nature of justice and its implications for the development of international law and international institutions. (shrink)
Dewey's enduring insights into democratic politics are still relevant today. Dewey grounded his political ideals historically within the American democratic experience and sought to adapt Jeffersonian idealism to the corporate-industrial age. Like Jefferson, Dewey maintained that the roots of the American political tradition are moral, not merely a means to material gain. Dewey's theory of democracy was designed to reconcile freedom with authority, social stability with the need for reform, and universal standards with specific circumstances.
Contemporary pragmatists often describe politics as primarily an exercise in social organization. Our tendency is to see the task of political philosophy in terms of the conceptualization of social, governmental, and legal institutions that will protect and deepen the core liberal values of freedom and equality. John Patrick Diggins could thus confidently and truly assert in 1994 that pragmatism "embrace[s] society as almost redemptive . . . no other modern philosophy has so dignified the social" (Diggins 1994, 160–61), I (...) do not see this claim as untrue so much as the unfortunate residue of recent pragmatism's narrow emphasis on a social conception of a pragmatist politics. This emphasis has been at the expense of early pragmatists' skepticism toward the idea that social institutions are the tool most useful for deepening democratic freedom and equality. In articulating pragmatist politics within frameworks with decided biases for the social over the individual, recent pragmatists have obscured a novel element central to early pragmatists William James and John Dewey: the philosophical and political idea of a personal action that is reducible to neither individual power nor social relations. -/- Recent pragmatism's social bias is perhaps clearest in the case of Richard Rorty. In his early work, Rorty defended a conception of knowledge as a social product, describing his position as "explaining rationality and epistemic authority by reference to what society lets us say" (Rorty 1979, 174). In Rorty's later work on politics, this social conception of epistemic practice is rephrased in terms of a social authority of consensus. In the first instance, political authority rests on the weight of social consensus: "nothing save freely achieved consensus among human beings has any authority at all" (Rorty 1998, 18). Further, democratic politics is mostly a matter of finding ways of broadening consensus, of bringing more persons into the authoritative social fold: the resolution of disagreement always requires "widen[ing] the range of consensus about how things are" (35). Rorty thus often slides toward a conception of democratic politics as purely social and consensual—individual dissensus is accommodated in private rather than explicitly invited or cherished as a valuable aspect of democratic political culture. -/- Rorty is not alone in voicing this position—his work skillfully condenses themes entrenched over the last twenty-five years of pragmatist political theory (these themes are equally prevalent in non-pragmatist liberal and socialist theory). According to Richard Bernstein, the value of pragmatism is that it articulates social insights such as the following: "the institutionalization of democratic forms of life require[s] a new understanding of the genesis and development of practical sociality" (Bernstein 1991, 48). Cornel West, who describes his envisioned "Emersonian culture of creative democracy" as one "in which human participation is encouraged and for which human personalities are enhanced," tends to view participation and personality in decidedly social terms. According to West's vision of Emersonian culture, "social experimentation is the basic norm" because "once one gives up on the search for foundations and the quest for certainty, human inquiry into truth and knowledge shifts to the social and communal circumstances under which persons can communicate and cooperate in the process of acquiring knowledge" (West 1989, 213). -/- Pragmatists should not accept these arguments. Once we abandon the quest for certainty, the balance of interest does not necessarily tip toward the social. My argument is that our interest should shift, rather, to the synergy between individual and social forces that alone cultivates democratic practice. Only in this way can we hold in vision a conception of democratic practice that both originates and terminates in human personality. (shrink)
Existentialist Politics and Political Theory The publication of the Critique of Dialectical Reason in 1960 marked the culmination of Sartre's efforts, begun in his more occasional political writings in what became essentially his journal, Les Temps Modernes, and developed more systematically in his important essay, Search for a Method, to forge links between existentialism and a non-orthodox version of Marxism with a view to developing a new philosophy of politics, society, and history and a new approach to the (...) philosophy of the social sciences. The articles provide a wide-ranging, insightful exploration of Sartre's successes and failures in this domain. (shrink)
Kant argues that morals should not only constrain politics, but that morals and politics properly understood cannot conflict. Such an uncompromising stance on the relation of morals to politics has been branded unrealistic and even politically irresponsible. While justice can afford to be blind, politics must keep its eyes wide open. In response to this charge I argue that Kant’s position on the relation of morals to politics is both morally uncompromising and yet politically flexible, (...) both principled and practical. Kantian justice is not blind to circumstances, and we need not abandon our convictions in order to be politically responsible. Indeed, Kant argues that future political progress can only be achieved when the coerced rule of right is coupled with the non-coerced rule of virtue. For Kant, freedom and justice are intertwined with publicity, and publicity depends upon the critical acumen and moral candour of an enlightened and virtuous citizenry. (shrink)
Bioethics as politics -- Bioethics and the politics of expectations -- Engendering consent : bioethics and biobanks -- Missing the big picture : bioethics and stem cell research -- Testing times : bioethics and "do-it-yourself" genetics -- Governing uncertainty : the politics of nanoethics -- Beyond bioethics.
In this timely book, Eddie S. Glaude Jr., one of our nation’s rising young African American intellectuals, makes an impassioned plea for black America to address its social problems by recourse to experience and with an eye set on the promise and potential of the future, rather than the fixed ideas and categories of the past. Central to Glaude’s mission is a rehabilitation of philosopher John Dewey, whose ideas, he argues, can be fruitfully applied to a renewal of African American (...)politics. According to Glaude, Dewey’s pragmatism, when attentive to the darker dimensions of life—or what we often speak of as the blues—can address many of the conceptual problems that plague contemporary African American discourse. How blacks think about themselves, how they imagine their own history, and how they conceive of their own actions can be rendered in ways that escape bad ways of thinking that assume a tendentious political unity among African Americans simply because they are black, or that short-circuit imaginative responses to problems confronting actual black people. Drawing deeply on black religious thought and literature, In a Shade of Blue seeks to dislodge such crude and simplistic thinking, and replace it with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for black life in all its variety and intricacy. Only when black political leaders acknowledge such complexity, Glaude argues, can the real-life sufferings of many African Americans be remedied. Heady, inspirational, and brimming with practical wisdom, In a Shade of Blue is a remarkable work of political commentary on a scale rarely seen today. To follow its trajectory is to learn how African Americans arrived at this critical moment in their history and to envision where they might head in the twenty-first century. (shrink)
One of America's foremost public intellectuals, Jean Bethke Elshtain has been on the frontlines in the most hotly contested and deeply divisive issues of our time. Now in Real Politics , Elshtain gives further proof of her willingness to speak her mind, courting disagreement and even censure from those who prefer their ideologies neat. At the center of Elshtain's work is a passionate concern with the relationship between political rhetoric and political action. For Elshtain, politics is a sphere (...) of concrete responsibility. Political speech should, therefore, approach the richness of actual lives and commitments rather than present impossible utopias. In her essays, Elshtain finds in the writings of Václav Havel, Hannah Arendt, and Albert Camus a language appropriate to the complexity of everyday life and politics, and she critiques philosophers and writers who distance us from a concrete, embodied world. She argues against those repressive strains within contemporary feminism which insist that families and even sexual differentiation are inherently oppressive. Along the way, she challenges an ideology of victimization that too often loses sight of individual victims in its pursuit of abstract goals. Elshtain reaffirms the quirky and by no means simple pleasures of small-town life as a microcosm of the human condition and considers the current crisis in American education and its consequences for democracy. Beyond exploring the details of political life over the past two decades, Real Politics advocates a via media politics that avoids unacceptable extremes and serves as a model for responsible political discourse. Throughout her diverse and insightful writings, Elshtain champions a civic philosophy that tends to the dignity of everyday life as a democratic imperative of the first order. "Jean Bethke Elshtain is a person of rare intellect. The moral wisdom that pervades these essays reminds us that when all is said and done politics is about the life and death of real people who are anything but abstractions. Her erudition is remarkable, but equally stunning is her eye for the significant. What she is so good at is helping us see the moral and political significance of the everyday."--Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University " Real Politics serves as a forceful reminder that Jean Elshtain has been dealing with the real world in twenty-five years of powerful essaying. Transcending ideological categories, she writes out of hope that human beings can enjoy those capacities of reason and faith which make them human. It is a pleasure to be reintroduced to her sustained intelligence."--Alan Wolfe, Boston University. (shrink)
This book offers an analysis of the ways a linked set of ethico-political concepts - responsibility, rights, freedom, equality, and justice - might be re-thought, in view of the linguistic deconstruction of their underlying principle, the individual human subject. In a series of readings of contemporary thinkers and their philosophical antecedents the author argues that an encounter with the difficulties of reading language, precisely what resists the immediate comprehension or mastery of a subject, enables in turn a new thought of (...) rights and responsibility. The book is driven by a sense that literary and theoretical questions, and the ideas or concepts they appeal to or provoke, play a critical role in the way we think about and experience politics. The author seeks to harness this specialized discourse in order to consider what ethical and political thinking might learn from literature and its theorists. (shrink)
A battle over the politics (and philosophy) of time is a major part of what is at stake in the differences between three competing currents of contemporary philosophy: analytic philosophy, post-structuralist philosophy, and phenomenological philosophy. Avowed or tacit philosophies of time define representatives of each of these groups and also guard against their potential interlocutors. However, by bringing the temporal differences between these philosophical trajectories to the fore, and showing both their methodological presuppositions and their ethico-political implications, this book (...) begins a long overdue dialogue on their respective strengths and weaknesses. It argues that there are systemic temporal problems (chronopathologies) that afflict each, but especially the post-structuralist tradition (focusing on Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Derrida and their prophetic future politics) and the analytic tradition (focusing on John Rawls and analytic methodology in general, particularly the tendency to oscillate between forms of atemporality and intuition-oriented “presentism”). What is required is a “middle-way” that does not treat the living-present and the pragmatic temporality associated with bodily coping as an epiphenomenon to be explained away as either a transcendental illusion (and as a reactive force that is ethically problematic), or as a subjective/psychological experience that is not ultimately real. (shrink)
The aesthetic turn in international political theory -- Art after 9/11 -- The sublime nature of global politics -- Poetic world politics -- Poetry after Auschwitz -- Poetic resistance to Cold War politics -- Come see the blood iin the streets -- Poetics and the politics of memory -- The poetic search for identity and community.
Throughout its ten related essays, Imagining the Real contrasts our abstract imaginings about the human world with the imaginative insights provided by art and experience. It questions, variously, the relevance of game theory and sociobiology to politics the supposed intrinsic values of liberal freedom, cultural change, and democratic action and the claims of Marxism, deconstruction and "Theory" generally to be non-ideological. More positively, it reinterprets fiction as a specific invitation to imagine, and celebrates Shakespeare, L.H. Myers and Beckett as (...) truly critical, because truly imaginative, exponents of ideas. (shrink)
Contains fourteen essays and an introduction addressing the main areas of scholarly interest for Richard W. Davis, Professor Emeritus, Washington University, St Louis Questions how individuals envision the public good in modern Britain and how, through religious and moral beliefs, coupled with wisdom and political savvy, they can improve the public good through the ever-changing nineteenth century political institutions Essays range from studies of local electoral politics and parliamentary reform campaign to national political party organization, high politics and (...) the role religion and empire played in the creation of national policy Examines the influence of individuals on the political process through their professional work in historical and philosophical writing, journalism and missionary work at home and abroad Provides new original research in the area of modern British political history together in Parliamentary History. (shrink)
"Not but by the spirit understood" : Milton's plain style and present-day Messianism -- Areopagitica and the ethics of reading -- Liberty before and after liberalism : Milton's politics and the post-secular state -- Samson, the peacemaker : enlightened slaughter in Samson Agonistes -- Can the suicide bomber speak?
This book examines the concept of civility and the conditions of civil disagreement in politics and education. Although many assume that civility is merely polite behavior, it functions to aid rational discourse. Building on this basic assumption, the book offers multiple accounts of civility and its contribution to citizenship, deliberative democracy, and education from Eastern and Western as well as classic and modern perspectives. Given that civility is essential to all aspects of public life, it is important to address (...) how civility may be taught. While much of the book is theoretical, contributors also apply theory to practice, offering concrete methods for teaching civility at the high school and collegiate levels. (shrink)
International organizations such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the European Union and the World Bank play an increasing role in international politics. This broad-ranging and up-to-date textbook provides a theoretical and empirical introduction to the politics and policies of such organizations.
Professor Rosenblatt presents a study of Benjamin Constant's intellectual development into a founding father of modern liberalism, through a careful analysis of his evolving views on religion. Constant's life spanned the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, Napoleon's rise and rule, and the Bourbon Restoration. Rosenblatt analyses Constant's key role in many of this era's heated debates over the role of religion in politics, and in doing so, exposes and addresses many misconceptions that have long reigned about Constant and his period. (...) In particular, Rosenblatt sheds light on Constant's major, yet much-neglected work, De La Religion. Given that the role of religion is, once again, center-stage in our political, philosophical and historical arenas, Liberal Values constitutes a major and timely revision of our understanding of the origins of modern liberalism. (shrink)
All eyes are turned towards genomic data and models as the source of knowledge about whether human races exist or not. Will genomic science make the final decision about whether racial realism (e.g., racial population naturalism) or anti-realism (e.g., racial skepticism) is correct? We think not. We believe that the results of even our best and most impressive genomic technologies underdetermine whether bio-genomic races exist, or not. First, different sub-disciplines of biology interested in population structure employ distinct concepts, aims, measures, (...) and models, producing cross-cutting categorizations of population subdivisions rather than a single, universal bio-genomic concept of “race.” Second, within each sub-discipline (e.g., conservation biology, phylogenetics), genomic results are consistent with, and map multiply to, racial realism and anti-realism. Indeed, racial ontologies are constructed conventionally, rather than discovered. We thus defend a /constructivist conventionalism/ about bio-genomic racial ontology. Choices and conventions must always be made in identifying particular kinds of groups. Political agendas, social programs, and moral questions premised on the existence of naturalistic race must accept that no scientifically grounded racial ontology is forthcoming, and adjust presumptions, practices, and projects accordingly. (shrink)
Heidegger's 1950 claim to Jaspers (later repeated in his Spiegel interview), that his Nietzsche lectures represented a "resistance" to Nazism is premised on the understanding that he and Jaspers have of the place of science in the Western world. Thus Heidegger can emphasize Nietzsche's epistemology, parsing Nietzsche's will to power, contra Nazi readings, as the metaphysical culmination of the domination of the West by scientism and technologism. It is in this sense that Heidegger argues that German Nazism is "in essence" (...) the same as Soviet Bolshevism and American capitalism. Jaspers himself had likewise emphasized the Will to Power by contrast with the doctrine of eternal recurrence. Heidegger differs from Jaspers (as from their mutual student Hannah Arendt) inasmuch as Jaspers preserves an enthusiasm for the possibility of scientific certainty while yet recognizing (as Heidegger does) a strong sense of the limits of science. None of the three can correctly be labeled anti-scientific. The essay closes by recalling Arendt's reflections on the very possibility of resistance using the example of Jaspers' own resistance to contemporary political events.
What does it mean to practice socially responsible science on controversial issues? In a fresh turn focussing on the neuroscientists’ responsibility in producing knowledge about politically charged subjects, Chalfin et al. (Am J Bioethics 8(1):1–2, 2008) caution neuroscientists to be careful about how they present their findings lest their results be used to support unfounded biases, social stereotypes and prejudices. Weisberg et al. (J Cogn Neurosci 20(3):470–477, 2008) discuss the allure of neuroscience explanations and demonstrate how laypersons easily accept dubious (...) claims as long as (even non-relevant) neuroscientific descriptions are provided. Fine (2010) exposes the use of scientific evidence in propagating outdated gender myths by popular writers and discusses the infiltration of these prejudices into popular belief, folk culture and lifestyle. This paper discusses ways in which the ‘neuroscience of gender difference’ itself inadvertently contributes to normalising socially constructed theories about sex difference in cognitive performance. This unpremeditated effect has evident implications on the structuring of society because gender relations cut across social, political and economic boundaries. We present a theoretical reflection of factors that could interact with the scientists’ attempted objective evaluation of the subject, the methods and some principle problems, and we engage a science studies approach as our methodological tool. Our object of critique is drawn from the research on spatial abilities that articulate the dissention pertaining to sex differences in intellectual capacity. (shrink)
This book evaluates the claim that in order to explore the changing social foundations of global power relations today, we need to include in our analysis an understanding of global civil society, particularly if we also wish to raise ethical questions about the changing political and institutional practices of transnational governance. The authors engage directly with the notion of global civil society in order to examines the ethical, social, and political conditions that make certain kinds of globalizing practices a reality (...) today. They explore and utilize the normative dimensions of the civil discourse to further debate about the meaning of citizenship in a world of multi-level governance, as well as the changing characteristics of political community and democracy. Bridging the normative concerns of political theorists with the historical and institutional focus of scholars of international relations and international political economy, this book will be of broad interest to students and researchers concerned with international relations, civil society, global governance and ethics. (shrink)
Arguing that intellectual movements, such as deconstruction, postsecular theory, and political theology, have different implications for cultures and societies that live with the debilitating effects of past imperialisms, Arvind Mandair ...
BackgroundIn 2009, Dr. Paolo Zamboni proposed chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) as a possible cause of multiple sclerosis (MS). Although his theory and the associated treatment (“liberation therapy”) received little more than passing interest in the international scientific and medical communities, his ideas became the source of tremendous public and political tension in Canada. The story moved rapidly from mainstream media to social networking sites. CCSVI and liberation therapy swiftly garnered support among patients and triggered remarkable and relentless advocacy efforts. (...) Policy makers have responded in a variety of ways to the public’s call for action.DiscussionWe present three different perspectives on this evolving story, that of a health journalist who played a key role in the media coverage of this issue, that of a health law and policy scholar who has closely observed the unfolding public policy developments across the country, and that of a medical ethicist who sits on an expert panel convened by the MS Society of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to assess the evidence as it emerges.SummaryThis story raises important questions about resource allocation and priority setting in scientific research and science policy. The growing power of social media represents a new level of citizen engagement and advocacy, and emphasizes the importance of open debate about the basis on which such policy choices are made. It also highlights the different ways evidence may be understood, valued and utilized by various stakeholders and further emphasizes calls to improve science communication so as to support balanced and informed decision-making. (shrink)
This book offers an assessment of Sartre as an exemplary figure in the evolving political and cultural landscape of post-1945 France. Sartre's originality is located in the tense relationship that he maintained between deeply held revolutionary beliefs and a residual yet critical attachment to traditional forms of cultural expression. A series of case-studies centered on Gaullism, communism, Maoism, the theatre, art criticism, and the media, illustrates the continuing relevance and appeal of Sartre to the contemporary world.
Our century has witnessed violence on an unprecedented scale, in wars that have torn deep into the fabric of national and international life. And as we can see in the recent strife in Bosnia, genocide in Rwanda, and the ongoing struggle to control nuclear weaponry, ancient enmities continue to threaten the lives of masses of human beings. As never before, the question is urgent and practical: How can nations--or ethnic groups, or races--after long, bitter struggles, learn to live side by (...) side in peace? In An Ethic for Enemies, Donald W. Shriver, Jr., President Emeritus of Union Theological Seminary, argues that the solution lies in our capacity to forgive. Taking forgiveness out of its traditional exclusive association with personal religion and morality, Shriver urges us to recognize its importance in the secular political arena. The heart of the book examines three powerful and moving cases from recent American history--our postwar dealings with Germany, with Japan, and our continuing domestic problem with race relations--cases in which acts of forgiveness have had important political consequences. Shriver traces how postwar Germany, in its struggle to break with its political past, progressed from denial of a Nazi past, to a formal acknowledgement of the crimes of Nazi Germany, to providing material compensation for survivors of the Holocaust. He also examines the efforts of Japan and the United States, over time and across boundaries of race and culture, to forgive the wrongs committed by both peoples during the Pacific War. And finally he offers a fascinating discussion of the role of forgiveness in the American civil rights movement. He shows, for instance, that even Malcolm X recognized the need to move from contempt for the integrationist ideal to a more conciliatory, repentant stance toward Civil Rights leaders. Malcolm came to see that only through forgiveness could the separate voices of the African-American movement work together to achieve their goals. If mutual forgiveness was a radical thought in 1964, Shriver reminds us that it has yet to be realized in 1994. "We are a long way from ceasing to hold the sins of the ancestors against their living children," he writes. Yet in this poignant volume, we discover how, by forgiving, enemies can progress and have progressed toward peace. A timely antidote to today's political conflicts, An Ethic for Enemies challenges to us to confront the hatreds that cripple society and threaten to destroy the global village. (shrink)
The dual aim of this article is to reveal and explain a certain phenomenon of epistemic injustice as manifested in testimonial practice, and to arrive at a characterisation of the anti–prejudicial intellectual virtue that is such as to counteract it. This sort of injustice occurs when prejudice on the part of the hearer leads to the speaker receiving less credibility than he or she deserves. It is suggested that where this phenomenon is systematic it constitutes an important form of oppression. (...) [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]. (shrink)
In this paper, I consider one possible defense of the presumption, common among liberal legal and political theorists, that we should respect culture. Specifically, I examine the view, forcefully articulated by Joseph Carens, that we can identify those attachments or practices that are candidates for one or another form of legal protection by determining whether they are `authentic' in the sense that members of some relevant group accept or embrace them as an integral component of their culture. I first sketch (...) in detail Carens's view and show that despite appearances his position is central to liberal arguments that we should respect culture. Next, I recapitulate the empirical case (the complicated cultural politics on the islands of Fiji) that Carens uses as a vehicle for his argument. I then challenge the implications that Carens draws from the Fijian case. In particular, I argue that claims to `authenticity' are themselves artifacts of strategic political processes, that they and the institutions they purport to justify are in fact morally arbitrary, and, therefore, that `authenticity' cannot afford a basis for justifying policies aimed at protecting culture in Fiji or elsewhere. I suggest in conclusion that by invoking authenticity in this regard Carens courts a brand of relativism that is especially pernicious in that it erodes the terrain of democratic representation and deliberation. This is ironic to the extent that Carens seeks to defend democracy as well as difference. On this basis I recommend that, for purposes of justifying social, political or economic arrangements, we abandon the language of authenticity altogether. Key Words: liberalism authenticity culture strategy justification. (shrink)
It is commonly argued that the international system is currently in a state of upheaval, as state sovereignty is challenged by a variety of forces. Keene's book questions this assumption, arguing that sovereignty has never existed globally in any case, and suggesting that it has applied only to Western states. International relations elsewhere have been characterized by the norms of colonialism, rather than international law. The book examines the conduct of the British and Dutch empires, and how the traditions of (...) colonialism have been challenged in the modern world. (shrink)
Wallis draws on his experience in urban ghettos to show why traditional liberal and conservative options that emphasize either social justice or personal values fall short. He looks outside the traditional corridors of power to find solutions. Foreword by Garry Wills Preface by Cornel West.
What is justice? -- The idea of justice in the Holy Scriptures -- Platonic justice -- Aristotle's doctrine of justice -- The natural-law doctrine before the tribunal of science -- A "dynamic" theory of natural law -- Absolutism and relativism in philosophy and politics -- Value judgments in the science of law -- The law as a specific social technique -- Why should the law be obeyed? -- The pure theory of the law and analytical jurisprudence -- Law, state, (...) and justice in the pure theory of law -- Causality and retribution -- Causality and imputation -- Science and politics. (shrink)
Deliberation and democratic legitimacy -- Moral pluralism and political consensus -- Associations and democracy (with Joel Rogers) -- Freedom of expression -- Procedure and substance in deliberative democracy -- Directly-deliberative polyarchy (with Charles Sabel) -- Democracy and liberty -- Money, politics, political equality -- Privacy, pluralism, and democracy -- Reflections on deliberative democracy -- Truth and public reason.
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction Seyla Benhabib; Part I. Freedom, Equality, and Responsibility: 2. Arendt on the foundations of equality Jeremy Waldron; 3. Arendt's Augustine Roy T. Tsao; 4. The rule of the people: Arendt, archê, and democracy Patchen Markell; 5. Genealogies of catastrophe: Arendt on the logic and legacy of imperialism Karuna Mantena; 6. On race and culture: Hannah Arendt and her contemporaries Richard H. King; Part II. Sovereignty, the Nation-State and the Rule of Law: 7. Banishing the (...) sovereign? Internal and external sovereignty in Arendt Andrew Arato and Jean Cohen; 8. The decline of order: Hannah Arendt and the paradoxes of the nation-state Christian Volk; 9. The Eichmann trial and the legacy of jurisdiction Leora Bilsky; 10. International law and human plurality in the shadow of totalitarianism: Hannah Arendt and Raphael Lemkin Seyla Benhabib; Part III. Politics in Dark Times: 11. In search of a miracle: Hannah Arendt and the atomic bomb Jonathan Schell; 12. Hannah Arendt between Europe and America: optimism in dark times Benjamin R. Barber; 13. Keeping the republic: reading Arendt's On Revolution after the fall of the Berlin Wall Dick Howard; Part IV. Judging Evil: 14. Are Arendt's reflections on evil still relevant? Richard Bernstein; 15. Banality reconsidered Susan Neiman; 16. The elusiveness of Arendtian judgment Bryan Garsten; 17. Existential values in Arendt's treatment of evil and morality George Kateb. (shrink)
Books V and VI of Aristotle's Politics constitute a manual on practical politics. David Keyt presents a clear and accurate new translation of these books, together with a commentary which also supplies a key to Aristotle's many historical references. It is intended to guide readers towards a proper understanding of this classic text in the history of political thought.
Introduction: Locating the Lacanian left -- Antinomies of creativity : Lacan and Castoriadis on social construction and the political -- Laclau with Lacan on jouissance : negotiating the affective limits of discourse -- Žižek's 'perversions' : the lure of Antigone and the fetishism of the act -- Excursus on Badiou -- What sticks? : from symbolic power to jouissance -- Enjoying the nation : a success story? -- Lack of passion : European identity revisited -- The consumerist 'politics of (...) jouissance' and the fantasy of advertising -- Democracy in post-democratic times. (shrink)
My concern in this paper is how to reconcile a central tension in Hannah Arendt’s thinking, one that – if left unresolved – may make us reluctant to endorse her political theory. Arendt was profoundly and painfully aware of the horrors of political evil; in fact, she is almost unparalleled in 20 th century thought in her concern for the consequences of mass political violence, the victims of political atrocities, and the most vulnerable in political society – the stateless, the (...) pariahs, the outcasts. At least, this is the case in her discussions of concrete, historical political situations. Yet in her philosophical writings, she continues to argue that the political realm ultimately redeems human existence, and furthermore, that politics should remain distinct and autonomous from moral evaluation. Political action must be evaluated according to “greatness,” not goodness or any other explicitly moral or even ethical standard. She goes so far as to suggest that politics and morality may be deeply hostile to one another, and can only be reconciled in situations of extreme emergency. This can leave many feeling both perplexed and deeply uncomfortable with the theory of human action that Arendt proposes. Drawing on her notions of political conscience, judgment and - in particular - her account of forgiveness, in this paper I argue that Arendt offers an ethics of plurality, in which what is good is developed from what is most politically important: amor mundi, or love of our shared political world. (shrink)
In this critique of security studies, with insights into the thinking of Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, Levinas and Arendt, Michael Dillon contributes to the rethinking of some of the fundamentals of international politics, developing what might be called a political philosophy of continental thought. Drawing on the work of Martin Heidegger, Politics of Security establishes the relationship between Heidegger's radical hermeneutical phenomenology and politics and the fundamental link between politics, the tragic and the ethical. It breaks new (...) ground by providing an etymology of security, tracing the word back to the Greek asphaleia --meaning not to trip up or fall down-- and a unique political reading of Oedipus Rex. Michael Dillon traces the roots of desire for security to the metaphysical desire for certitude, and points out that our way of seeking that security is embedded in 20th century technology, thus resulting in a global crisis. (shrink)
The banner of deliberative democracy is attracting increasing numbers of supporters, in both the world's older and newer democracies. This effort to renew democratic politics is widely seen as a reaction to the dominance of liberal constitutionalism. But many questions surround this new project. What does deliberative democracy stand for? What difference would deliberative practices make in the real world of political conflict and public policy design? What is the relationship between deliberative politics and liberal constitutional arrangements? The (...) 1996 publication of Amy Gutmann and Dennis F. Thompsons Democracy and Disagreement was a signal contribution to the ongoing debate over the role of moral deliberation in democratic politics. In Deliberative Politics an all-star cast of political, legal, and moral commentators seek to criticize, extend, or provide alternatives to Gutmann and Thompson's hopeful model of democratic deliberation. The essays discuss the value and limits of moral deliberation in politics, and take up practical policy issues such as abortion, affirmative action, and health care reform. Among the impressive roster of contributors are Norman Daniels, Stanley Fish, William A. Galston, Jane Mansbridge, Cass R. Sunstein, Michael Walzer, and Iris Marion Young, and the editor of the volume, Stephen Macedo. The book concludes with a thoughtful response from Gutmann and Thompson to their esteemed critics. This fine collection is essential reading for anyone who takes seriously the call for a more deliberative politics. (shrink)
Questioning the usual judgements of political ethics, Ruth W. Grant argues that hypocrisy can actually be constructive while strictly principled behavior can be destructive. Hypocrisy and Integrity offers a new conceptual framework that clarifies the differences between idealism and fanaticism while it uncovers the moral limits of compromise. "Exciting and provocative. . . . Grant's work is to be highly recommended, offering a fresh reading of Rousseau and Machiavelli as well as presenting a penetrating analysis of hypocrisy and integrity."--Ronald J. (...) Terchek, American Political Science Review "A great refreshment. . . . With liberalism's best interests at heart, Grant seeks to make available a better understanding of the limits of reason in politics."--Peter Berkowitz, New Republic. (shrink)
Coady explores the challenges that morality poses to politics. He confronts the complex intellectual tradition known as realism, which seems to deny any relevance of morality to politics, especially international politics. He argues that, although realism has many serious faults, it has lessons to teach us: in particular, it cautions us against the dangers of moralism in thinking about politics and particularly foreign affairs. Morality must not be confused with moralism: Coady characterizes various forms of moralism (...) and sketches their distorting influence on a realistic political morality. He seeks to restore the concept of ideals to an important place in philosophical discussion, and to give it a particular pertinence in the discussion of politics. He deals with the fashionable idea of "dirty hands," according to which good politics will necessarily involve some degree of moral taint or corruption. Finally, he examines the controversial issue of the role of lying and deception in politics. Along the way Coady offers illuminating discussion of historical and current political controversies. This lucid book will provoke and stimulate anyone interested in the interface of morality and politics. (shrink)
The continuous rise in the profile of the environment in politics reflects growing concern that we may be facing a large-scale ecological crisis. The new edition of this highly acclaimed textbook surveys the politics of the environment, providing a comprehensive and comparative introduction to its three components: ideas, activism and policy. Part I explores environmental philosophy and green political thought; Part II considers parties and environmental movements; and Part III analyses policy-making and environmental issues at international, national and (...) local levels. This second edition has been thoroughly updated with new and revised discussions of many topics including the ecological state, ecological citizenship, ecological modernisation and the Greens in government and also includes an additional chapter on 'Globalisation, Trade and the Environment'. As well as considering a wide variety of examples from around the world, this textbook features a glossary, guides to further study, chapter summaries and critical questions throughout. (shrink)
Although frequently invoked by philosophers and political theorists, the theory of negativity has received remarkably little sustained attention. Negativity and Politics is the first full-length study of this crucial topic within philosophy and political theory. Diana Coole explores the meaning of negativity in modern and postmodern thinking, and examines its significance for politics and our understanding of what constitutes the political. Beginning with an insightful reading of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and a consideration of the work of (...) Hegel, Coole goes on to discuss the importance of negativity in the thought of a number of key theorists including Nietzsche, Adorno, Kristeva, Freud, Foucault, Habermas, Deleuze, Derrida and Butler. Throughout, Coole clearly and skillfully shows how the problem of negativity lies at the heart of philosophical and political debate. (shrink)
Table of Contents: Politics, morality, and pluralism -- Liberal morality and political legitimacy -- Political legitimacy and social justice -- Williams's concept of the political -- Legitimacy, stability, and morality -- The politics of morality -- A moral point of view -- Manners and morality -- Morality and conflict -- Moral conflict and political theory -- The morality of politics -- Feminism and multiculturalism -- A defense of culture -- Politics and normative conflict -- The political (...) as moral viewpoint -- Morality and politics: a review -- Political unity and pluralism -- The liberal archipelago -- Loose linkage and political legitimacy -- Political unity and the body politic -- Social justice and political unity -- The bonds of civility -- Nationhood and the liberal polity -- The nature of nationhood -- Pluralism and nationalism -- Nationalism and social justice -- Deliberative democracy and the liberal polity -- Liberalism and democracy -- Democracy and deliberative discourse -- The terms of deliberative discourse -- Normative discourse and political legitimacy -- Deliberative democracy and intragroup politics -- Group autonomy and intergroup discourse -- Politics, history, and reason -- Principle and justice in the liberal polity -- Liberal institutions and liberal ideals -- Stopping history -- Rationalism and politics. (shrink)
In this book, Honi Haber offers a much-needed analysis of postmodern politics. While continuing to work towards the voicing of the "other," she argues that we must go beyond the insights of postmodernism to arrive at a viable political theory. Postmodernism's political agenda allows the marginalized other to have a voice and to constitute a politics of difference based upon heterogeneity. But Haber argues that postmodern politics denies us the possibility of selves and community--essential elements to any (...) viable political theory. Haber calls into question the postmodern dichotomy of totality or difference. She argues that the self--which need not be coherent or unchanging--is always already a social entity. The "subject" must be understood as a subject-in-community, but any subject is constructed by many different communities. The subject whose death has been dictated by postmodern deconstruction is the very subject whose life is necessary for a politics of difference. Haber develops this theory through a detailed examination of postmodern politics as formulated in the work of Lyotard, Rorty, and Foucault. Beyond Postmodern Politics suggests that we must use the concept of subjects-in-community in order to move beyond postmodern politics and arrive at a genuine politics of difference. (shrink)
Political judgment in its historical context -- The politics of managing decline -- Moralism and realpolitik -- On the very idea of a metaphysics of right -- The actual and another modernity : order and imagination in Don Quixote -- Culture as ideal and as boundary -- On museums -- Celan's Meridian -- Heidegger and his brother -- Richard Rorty at Princeton : personal recollections -- Melody as death -- On bourgeois philosophy and the concept of "criticism".
Translator's introduction -- Preface -- Part I: The aesthetics of politics -- Ten theses on politics -- Does democracy mean something? -- Who is the subject of the rights of man? -- Communism : from actuality to inactuality -- The people or the multitudes -- Bio-politics or politics -- September 11 and afterwards : a rupture in the symbolic order -- Of war as the supreme form of advanced plutocratic consensus -- Part II: The politics (...) of aesthetics -- The aesthetic revolution and its outcomes -- The paradoxes of political art -- The politics of literature -- The monument and its confidences or Deleuze and Art's capacity for resistance -- The ethical turn of aesthetics and politics -- Part III: Response to critics -- The usage of distinctions. (shrink)
In this book, Robert Talisse critically examines the moral and political implications of pluralism, the view that our best moral thinking is indeterminate and that moral conflict is an inescapable feature of the human condition. Through a careful engagement with the work of William James, Isaiah Berlin, John Rawls, and their contemporary followers, Talisse distinguishes two broad types of moral pluralism: metaphysical and epistemic. After arguing that metaphysical pluralism does not offer a compelling account of value and thus cannot ground (...) a viable conception of liberal politics, Talisse proposes and defends a distinctive variety of epistemic pluralism. According to this view, certain value conflicts are at present undecidable rather than intrinsic. Consequently, epistemic pluralism countenances the possibility that further argumentation, enhanced reflection, or the acquisition of more information could yield rational resolutions to the kinds of value conflicts that metaphysical pluralists deem irresolvable as such. Talisse’s epistemic pluralism hence prescribes a politics in which deep value conflicts are to be addressed by ongoing argumentation and free engagement among citizens; the epistemic pluralist thus sees liberal democracy is the proper political response to ongoing moral disagreement. While developing his view, Talisse engages central issues in contemporary liberal political theory, including toleration, state neutrality, public justification, and the accommodation of illiberal sub-cultures. This book will be of interest to ethicists, political philosophers, and political scientists. (shrink)
How can we critique political theory when all we have to use are its own conceptual tools? As Hannah Arendt observed, it can only be done through leaps, inversions, and the turning of concepts upside-down. But this twisting operation must be done in order to turn those who philosophize back to the hard work of real life change. In Turning Operations , renowned theorist Mary G. Dietz challenges specific contemporary modes of theorizing (...)politics-from feminist theory to Habermasian discourse--while appropriating some of political theory's own approaches and some of its most striking figures, including Aristotle, Nietzsche, Weber, Beauvoir, and Arendt in order to foment some leaps, inversions, reversals and turns on politics along the way. Dietz confronts a number of current debates, arguing that most are filled with artificial division and empty terms. She argues that we must abandon commonly supported dichotomies-masculine versus feminine, speech versus action, liberty versus community -to create abetter discourse, and a better world. Turning Operations is an essential new contribution to democratic and feminist political thought. (shrink)
The moral and political philosophy of pluralism has become increasingly influential. To pluralists, when values genuinely conflict we should aim to strike an appropriate balance or trade-off between them, though this means accepting that compromise will be inevitable. Politics, as a result, appears as a thoroughly tragic affair. Drawing on a "hermeneutical" conception of interpretation, the author develops an original account of practical reasoning, one which assumes that, though making compromises in the face of conflicts is indeed often unavoidable, (...) there are times when reconciliation, as distinct from compromise, is feasible. For this to be so, however, citizens must strive to converse--and not just negotiate--with each other, thus fulfilling the good that is at the heart of their shared political community. This is the central message of the patriotic alternative to pluralist politics that the author defends here. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction: on religion, ethics, and the political in Kant; 2. Religion, politics, enlightenment; 3. Knowledge and experience; 4. Illusions of metaphysics and theology; 5. Autonomy and judgment in Kant's ethics; 6. Ethics and politics in Kant's religion.
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Jonathan Floyd and Marc Stears; 1. Rescuing political theory from the tyranny of history Paul Kelly; 2. From contextualism, to mentalism, to behaviourism Jonathan Floyd; 3. Contingency and judgement in history of political philosophy Bruce Haddock; 4. Political philosophy and the dead hand of its history Gordon Graham; 5. Politics, political theory, and its history Iain Hampsher-Monk; 6. Constraint, freedom, and exemplar Melissa Lane; 7. History and reality Andrew Sabl; 8. The new realism Bonnie (...) Honig and Marc Stears; Afterword Jonathan Floyd. (shrink)
Divisions abound as to whether politics should be held responsible to a higher moral standard or whether pragmatic considerations, or realpolitik, should prevail. The two poles are represented most conspicuously by Aristotle (for whom the proper aim of politics is moral virtue) and Machiavelli (whose prince exalted political pragmatism over morality). The fourteen contributions to this volume address perennial concerns in political and moral theory. They underscore the rekindled yearning of many to hold the political realm to a (...) higher standard despite the skepticism of dissenters who question the likelihood, or even the desirability, of success. (shrink)
The use and abuse and critique of Kant has generated a huge literature among contemporary political theorists; his work has been surreptitiously kept by some critics of the Enlightenment to exeplify starndards of modernity. Kimberly Hutchings reevaluates Kant's work in terms of its significance in the writings of Habersmas, Arendt, Lyotard and Foucault. This is not an exercise in the history of ideas; through her extremely lucid presentation of Kant's critical philosophy, Hutchings reveals the critique to be a complex, ambiguous (...) political practice. The common Kantian heritage in the thought of the four contemporary theorists challenges orthodox distinctions between modernist and postmodernist theorizing. Kant, Critique and Kant addresses why Kant's legacy is inescapable for current debates about both "critique" and politics. This reading sheds a new light on continental and political philosophy, international relations theory and feminist theory. (shrink)
This volume brings together new essays from distinguished scholars in a variety of disciplines - philosophy, history, literary studies, art history - to explore various ways in which aesthetics, politics and the arts interact with one another. Politics is an elastic concept, covering an oceanic breadth of mechanisms for conducting relations between empowered groups, and these essays offer a range of perspectives, including nations, classes, and gendered subjects, which examine the imbrication of politics with arts. Together they (...) demonstrate the need to counteract the reductionist view of the relationship between politics and the arts which prevails in different ways in both philosophy and critical theory, and suggest that the irreducibility of the aesthetic must prompt us to reconceive the political as it relates to human cultural activity. (shrink)
Can we criticize those who hold beliefs which are likely to be wrong? Or must we abandon notions of truth and objectivity and claim that certain beliefs are best for us while incompatible beliefs are best for others? Truth, Politics, Morality addresses this crucial issue and its implications for democracy by arguing that the notion of truth ought to be returned to the center of moral and political philosophy. Cheryl Misak persuasively makes a case for a (...) certain kind of pragmatism in which a true belief is one that could not be improved by inquiry, nor defeated by experience or argument. Her compelling discussion makes sense of the idea that, despite conflict, pluralism, and the expression of difference, our moral and political beliefs aim at truth and can be subject to justified criticism. (shrink)
This book explores the impact of poststructuralism on contemporary political theory by focussing on a number of problems and issues central to politics today. Drawing on the theoretical concerns brought to light by the 'poststructuralist' thinkers Foucault, Derrida, Lacan, Deleuze and Max Stirner, Newman provides a critical examination of new developments in contemporary political theory: post-Marxism, discourse analysis, new theories of ideology and power, hegemony, radical democracy and psychoanalytic theory. He re-examines the political in light of these developments in (...) theory to suggest new ways of thinking about politics through a reflection on the challenges that confront it. This will volume will be of great interest to students of postmodernism and poststructuralist theory in political science, philosophy, sociology, philosophy and cultural studies. (shrink)
Despite the United States' economic abundance, "the good life" has proved elusive. Millions long for more time for friends and family, for reading or walking or relaxing. Instead our lives are frantic, hectic, and harried. In Graceful Simplicity, Jerome M. Segal, philosopher, political activist, and former staff member of the House Budget Committee, expands and deepens the contemporary discourse on simple living. He articulates his conception of a politics of simplicity--one rooted in beauty, peace of mind, appreciativeness, and generosity (...) of spirit. (shrink)
Why do most of us consider ourselves free but also believe there is little we can change in the way the world is run - individually, severally, or even collectively? Why has the growth of individual freedom coincided with the growth of collective impotence? Bauman argues that this condition hangs on the agora - the space where private and public meet to seek the creation of 'public good', a 'just society', or 'shared values'. The problem is that little remains of (...) such old style spaces. We cannot, he argues, overcome our collective impotence without resorting to politics and using the vehicle of political agency. Three orientation points for a reconstruction of politics are suggested: the republican model of the state and of citizenship, basic income as a universal entitlement, and re-enabling the institutions of autonomous society by catching up with the controlling extraterritorial powers in an age of globalization. (shrink)
This book examines the relationship between environmental and democratic thought and the apparent compatibility of ecology and democracy. Although environmental politics is quite rightly seen as a progressive force, it has also featured a strand of extreme right "eco-authoritarianism" and its proponents have sometimes developed controversial positions on such issues as population policy. There have also been a number of situations where radical environmental activists have broken the laws of democratic societies in pursuit of ecological objectives and the book (...) examines this in a number of case studies on biotechnology, genetic engineering and biodiversity. This is a significant contribution to the literature on environmental politics, ecological thought and democracy. (shrink)