The green movement has posed some tough questions for traditional justifications of democracy. Should the natural world have rights? Can we take account of the interests of future generation? Do we need to replace existing institutions to deal with the ecological crisis? But questions have also been asked of the greens. Could their idealism undermine democracy? Can greens be effective democrats? Democracy and Green Political Thought, leading writers on green political thought analyze these and other important questions, examine the discourse (...) of green movements concerning democracy, the status of democracy within green political thought, and the political institutions which might be necessary to ensure democracy in a sustainable society. The debates are not simply about the compatibility of democracy with green ideas but also how best to define democracy itself. (shrink)
Contemporary liberal political justification is often accused of preaching to the converted: liberal principles are acceptable only to people already committed to liberal values. Catriona McKinnon addresses this important criticism by arguing that self-respect and its social conditions should be placed at the heart of the liberal approach to justification. A commitment to self-respect delivers a commitment to the liberal values of toleration and public reason, but self-respect itself is not an exclusively liberal value.
What is war, and how should it be waged? Are there restraints on its conduct? What can philosophers contribute to the study of warfare? Arguing that the practice of war requires a sound philosophical understanding, Ian Clark writes a fascinating synthesis of the philosophy, history, political theory, and contemporary strategy of warfare. Examining the traditional doctrines of the "just" and the "limited" war with fresh insight, Clark also addresses the applicability of these ideas to the modern issues of war crimes, (...) choice of targets, guerrilla warfare, and nuclear strategy and deterrence. (shrink)
In this lively and entertaining book, Terence Ball maintains that 'classic' works in political theory continue to speak to us only if they are periodically re-read and reinterpreted from alternative perspectives. That, the author contends, is how these works became classics, and why they are regarded as such. Ball suggests a way of reading that is both 'pluralist' and 'problem-driven'--pluralist in that there is no one right way to read a text, and problem-driven in that the reinterpretation is motivated by (...) problems that emerge while reading these texts. In addition, the subsequent readings and interpretations become more and more suffused with the interpretations of others. This tour de force, always entertaining and eclectic, focuses on the core problems surrounding many of the major thinkers. Was Machiavelli really amoral? Why did language matter so much to Hobbes--and why should it matter to us? Are the roots of the totalitarian state to be found in Rousseau? Were the utilitarians sexist in their view of the franchise? The author's aim is to show how a pluralist and problem-centered approach can shed new light on old and recent works in political theory, and on the controversies that continue over their meaning and significance. Written in a lively and accessible style, the book will provoke debate among students and scholars alike. (shrink)
During the past two decades there has been increasing dissatisfaction with established political categories, on the grounds that they no longer fit many of the facts of contemporary life, or adequately express many contemporary political ideals. Political Theory in Transition explores the principle reasons for this dissatisfaction and outlines some of the most influential responses to it.
This book constructs a new scientific explanation of the causes of war. The author describes systematically those factors common to wars between equal states to see if there is a pattern that suggests why war occurs and delineates the typical path by which relatively equal states have become embroiled in wars with one another in the modern global system. The book differs from others in that it employs the large number of empirical findings generated in the past twenty-five years to (...) solve the puzzle of war and peace. (shrink)
What does it mean for someone to have a moral right to something? What kinds of creatures can have rights, and which rights can they have? While rights are indispensable to our moral and political thinking, they are also mysterious and controversial; as long as these controversies remain unsolved, rights will remain vulnerable to skepticism. Here, Sumner constructs both a coherent concept of a moral right and a workable substantive theory of rights to provide the moral foundation necessary to dispel (...) such doubts. (shrink)
Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy provides in one volume the major writings from nearly 2,500 years of political and moral philosophy. The most comprehensive collection of its kind, it moves from classical thought (Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Cicero) through medieval views (Augustine, Aquinas) to modern perspectives (Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Rousseau, Hume, Adam Smith, Kant). It includes major nineteenth-century thinkers (Hegel, Bentham, Mill, Nietzsche) as well as twentieth-century theorists (Rawls, Nozick, Nagel, Foucault, Habermas, Nussbaum). Also included are numerous essays from (...) The Federalist Papers and a variety of notable documents and addresses, among them Pericles' Funeral Oration, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and speeches by Edmund Burke, Abraham Lincoln, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, John Dewey, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The readings are substantial or complete texts, not fragments. An especially valuable feature of this volume is that the works of each author are introduced with a substantive and engaging essay by a leading contemporary authority. These introductions include Richard Kraut on Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Cicero; Paul J. Weithman on Augustine and Aquinas; Roger D. Masters on Machiavelli; Jean Hampton on Hobbes; Steven B. Smith on Spinoza and Hegel; A. John Simmons on Locke; Joshua Cohen on Rousseau and Rawls; Donald W. Livingston on Hume; Charles L. Griswold, Jr., on Smith; Bernard E. Brown on Hamilton and Madison; Jeremy Waldron on Bentham and Mill; Paul Guyer on Kant; Richard Miller on Marx and Engels; Richard Schacht on Nietzsche; Thomas Christiano on Nozick; John Deigh on Nagel; Thomas A. McCarthy on Foucault and Habermas; and Eva Feder Kittay on Nussbaum. Offering unprecedented breadth of coverage, Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy is an ideal text for courses in social and political philosophy, moral philosophy, or surveys in Western civilization. (shrink)
This book conveys the breadth and interconnectedness of questions of justice - a rarity in contemporary moral and political philosophy. James P. Sterba argues that a minimal notion of rationality requires morality, and that a minimal libertarian morality requires the welfare and equal opportunity endorsee by welfare liberals and the equality endorsed by socialists, as well as a full feminist agenda. Feminist, racial, homosexual, and multicultural justice, are also shown to be mutually supporting. The author further shows the compatibility between (...) anthropocentric and biocentric environmental ethics, as between just war and pacifist theories. Finally, he spells out when normal politics, legal protest, civil disobedience, revolutionary action, and criminal disobedience are morally permitted by justice for here and now. This highly original and potentially controversial book is ideal for courses in moral and political philosophy, applied ethics, women's studies, environmental studies, and peace studies. Winner of the 1998 Book of the Year Award of the North American Society for Social Philosophy. (shrink)
Is toleration a requirement of morality or a dictate of prudence? What limits are there to toleration? What is required of us if we are to promote a truly tolerant society? These themes--the grounds, limits, and requirements of toleration--are central to this book, which presents the W.B. Morrell Memorial Lectures on Toleration, given in 1986 at the University of York. Covering a wide range of practical and theoretical issues, the contributors--including F.A. Hayek, Maurice Cranston, and Karl Popper--consider the philosophical difficulties (...) inherent in the concept as well as the practical problems of implementing a policy of toleration. Although the contributors differ in their conclusions about the grounds of toleration, they all share a belief in the importance of the concept both historically and in modern society. (shrink)
This is a book about moral reasoning: how we actually reason and how we ought to reason. It defends a form of "rule" utilitarianism whereby we must sometimes judge and act in moral questions in accordance with generally accepted rules, so long as the existence of those rules is justified by the good they bring about. The author opposes the currently more fashionable view that it is always right for the individual to do that which produces the most good. Among (...) the salient topics covered are: an account of the utilitarian function in society of generally accepted moral rules; a discussion of how we interpret existing moral rules and create new ones; and a defense of "rule" utilitarianism against the charge that it either commits one to irrational rule worship, or collapses into a form of "act" utilitarianism. (shrink)
What is sovereignty? Was it ceded to the Crown in the Treaty of Waitangi? If land was unjustly confiscated over a century ago, should it be returned? Is an ecosystem valuable in itself, or only because of its value to people? Does a property right entail a right to destroy? Can collectives (such as tribes) bear moral responsibility? Do they have moral rights? If so, what are the implications for the justice system? These questions are essentially philosophical, yet all (...) thoughtful New Zealanders will be keen to see them discussed clearly, rigorously, and dispassionately. This book gathers together essays by eminent philosophers on some of these problems. All of them are New Zealanders or have connections with this region. The problems which this book addresses on aspects of justice and ethics are of concern to all New Zealanders. Students of law, Maori studies, philosophy, politics, and history will find it particularly helpful. (shrink)
This book studies the work of John Stuart Mill in order to answer the question: what is political theory? Looking at what political theorists have written about this subject leads to the conclusion that they have different ways of defining political theory, resulting in different readings of political theory. In defense of this argument, Reading Mill includes three different readings of the works of John Stuart Mill and identifies a fourth type of political theorist unlikely to read Mill. When it (...) comes to the question with which the book began, the only answer is that political theory is not one but four possible practices. This means that there are four different ways of reading a political theorist and reading political theory. The book calls for political theorists to recognize the value of their different ways of understanding political theory and, as a result, to tolerate their differences where they cannot celebrate them. (shrink)
Why does agency--the capacity to make choices and to act in the world--matter to us? Why is it meaningful that our intentions have effects in the world, that they reflect our sense of identity, that they embody what we value? What kinds of motivations are available for political agency and judgment in an age that lacks the enthusiasm associated with the great emancipatory movements for civil rights and gender equality? What are the conditions for the possibility of being an effective (...) agent when the meaning of democracy has become less transparent? David Kyuman Kim addresses these crucial questions by uncovering the political, moral, philosophical, and religious dimensions of human agency. Kim treats agency as a form of religious experience that reflects implicit and explicit notions of the good. Of particular concern are the moral, political, and religious motivations that underpin an understanding of agency as meaningful action. Through a critical engagement with the work of theorists such as Judith Butler, Charles Taylor, and Stanley Cavell, Kim argues that late modern and postmodern agency is found most effectively at work in what he calls "projects of regenerating agency" or critical and strategic responses to loss. Agency as melancholic freedom begins and endures, Kim maintains, through the moral and psychic losses associated with a broad range of experiences, including the moral identities shaped by secularized modernity and the multifold forms of alienation experienced by those who suffer the indignities of racial, gender, class, and sexuality discrimination and oppression. Kim calls for renewing the sense of urgency in our political and moral engagements by seeing agency as a vocation, where the aspiration for self-transformation and the human need for hope are fundamental concerns. (shrink)
In Search of a Political Philosophy is an analysis of the three democratic `isms'--conservatism, liberalism, and socialism--and of the distinct nature of the all-consuming ideology of Marxist communism. W. J. Stankiewicz is concerned with the conscious and unconscious assumptions of the proponents and followers of each ideology, and those of their theoreticians and critics. Stankiewicz examines the norms by which political ideologies are characterized, and discusses which of these are given precedence. He provides an analysis of how each ideology views (...) such issues as freedom and restraint, responsibility, equality, justice, power, authority, property, human nature and happiness. He also examines the areas of ideological contiguity and mutual influences, the sources of ideological incomprehension in our society, and the forces that split Western societies. In Search of a Political Philosophy takes issue with the positions of some of our leading political theorists and represents an original contribution to political philosophy in its own right. It makes a stimulating and challenging contribution to the areas of politics, political philosophy, ethics, political and social theory, the history of political thought, and the history of ideas. (shrink)
This book makes a significant contribution to the contemporary debate about multiculturalism and democratic theory. It reflects upon the ways in which claims about culture and identity are advanced by immigrants, national minorities, aboriginals, and other groups. It argues that liberal democrats should provide recognition and support for minority cultures and identities, and examines case studies from a number of different societies to show how theorists can learn about justice.
How Terrorism is Wrong collects essays by Virginia Held that examine terrorism and other forms of political violence. Held assesses popular attitudes that glorify some kinds of violence and vilify others, and discusses the kinds of moral evaluation appropriate for terrorism, war, violent political change, or repression. This collection suggests ways of improving how we understand and deal with violence.
Global dynamics and the integrity of life -- Pluralism in creation -- Reconsidering greed -- Timing moral cosmologies -- Love in the end times -- From toleration to political forgiveness -- Sacred texts and the social imaginary -- Comparing religions, comparing lives -- On moral madness -- Presenting theological humanism.
Gellner's political philosophy in these volumes combines the down-to-earth realism of political sociology with a rational treatment of the normative issues of traditional political thought. In these essays Gellner strives to understand the religions of nationalism, communism and democracy, returning again and again to the basic values of the liberal: social tolerance, rational criticism, human decency and justice.
This is a book that brings together material from an unusually wide range of perspectives on an important topic. The scholarship is first-rate--one profits from reading the footnotes as well as the text.
This book offers a powerful response to what Varner calls the "two dogmas of environmental ethics"--the assumptions that animal rights philosophies and anthropocentric views are each antithetical to sound environmental policy. Allowing that every living organism has interests which ought, other things being equal, to be protected, Varner contends that some interests take priority over others. He defends both a sentientist principle giving priority to the lives of organisms with conscious desires and an anthropocentric principle giving priority to certain (...) very inclusive interests which only humans have. He then shows that these principles not only comport with but provide significant support for environmental goals. (shrink)
Across Europe, national leaders and ordinary citizens alike face the problems and opportunities raised by increasing economic and political interdependence. Interdependence between nations creates new dilemmas in every sphere of activity. In The Netherlands: Negotiating Sovereignty in an Interdependent World, Thomas Rochon offers a comparative focus and a strong conceptualization of small-state issues applied to present the Netherlands experience.Although all countries face issues of sovereignty and adjustment to international forces, the Dutch have addressed these issues more explicitly and over a (...) longer span of time. How have the Dutch gone about the transformation from global power to small state? What lessons have they learned along the way that might be applied elsewhere in Europe, not to mention the United States? Rochon addresses these issues and provides background information on the people, culture, government, and economy of the country. In the final chapter, he summarizes the Dutch experience and explains that what unites the Netherlands with other industrial nations is how the country copes with change. (shrink)
Ecopolitics is a study of environmental awareness--or non-awareness--in contemporary French theory. Arguing that it is now impossible not to think in an ecological way, Verena Andermatt Conley traces the roots of today's concern for the environment back to the intellectual climate of the late '50s and '60s. Major thinkers of 1968, the author argues, changed the way we think the world; this owes much to an ecological awareness that remains at the heart of issues concerning cultural theory in general. The (...) book points to critiques of ecology in the work of Luc Ferry and Jean Baudrillard before turning to more complicated ecological awareness primarily in French thought. The author considers key texts by influential figures such as Michael Serres, Paul Virilio, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Michel de Certeau, Helene Cixous and Luce Irigaray. (shrink)
Shearmur draws on his years as Popper's assistant, on unpublished material in the Hoover archive, and on wider themes within Popper's philosophy to offer striking critical re-interpretations of his ethical and social theory. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
This is a study of the central questions of explanation in the social sciences, and a defence of 'holism' against 'individualism'. In the first half of the book Susan James sets out very clearly the philosophical background to this controversy. She locates its source not at the analytical level at which most of the debate is usually conducted but at a more fundamental, moral level, in different conceptions of the human individual. In the second half of the book she examines (...) critically three case studies of holistic approaches - Althusser, Poulantzas and the Annales historians - and progressively refines our sense of the strengths and deficiencies of their programmes. She ends by arguing for a form of concessive holism, which offers some accommodation to liberal conceptions of individual autonomy but continues to emphasise the explanatory importance of social regularities and environments. (shrink)
Nation and Identity provides a concise and comprehensive account of the place of national identity in modern life. Ross Poole argues that the nation became a fundamental organising principle of social, political and moral life during the period of early modernity and that is has provided the organising principle of much liberal, republican and democratic thought. Ross Poole offers us a new and urgently needed analysis of the concept of identity, arguing that we are now in a position to envisage (...) the end of nationalism. We see that the impact of issues like multiculturalism, republicanism, and indigenous rights have made it very difficult to see how the possibility of a postnational cosmopolitanism could not degenerate into a nihilistic moral universe. Nation and Identity will be a fascinating read for all those interested in issues of national identity, both politically and philosophically. (shrink)