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)
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)
The past forty years or so have witnessed a renaissance in the philosophy of religion. New tools (modal logic, probability theory, and so on) and new historical research have prompted many thinkers to take a fresh look at old topics (God’s existence, the problem of evil, faith and reason, and the like). Moreover, sophisticated examinations of contentious new issues, such as the problem of religious diversity or the role of emotions and other non-evidential factors in shaping rationally held religious beliefs, (...) have also emerged. Addressing the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of this rapidly growing and ever more complex corpus of scholarly literature, Philosophy of Religion is a new title in the Routledge Major Works series, Critical Concepts in Philosophy. Edited by a leading scholar, it is a four-volume collection which brings together key examples of the most important recent work, together with carefully selected historical pieces needed to understand them. Volume I focuses on concepts of the divine while Volume II explores arguments for and against the existence of a divine reality, with special attention to the problem of evil, the problem of divine hiddenness, and the case for naturalism. Volume III and the first part of Volume IV are devoted to broadly epistemic issues: the cognitive value of religious experience; the proper role of evidence in the formation of religious belief; the nature of justified religious belief; and pragmatic arguments for religious belief. The remainder of Volume IV introduces some of the best recent work on religious diversity, tolerance, and the public role of religion in a pluralistic society. The Philosophy of Religion is fully indexed and has a comprehensive introduction, newly written by the editor, which places the material in its historical and intellectual context. It is an essential work of reference and is destined to be valued by scholars and students as a vital one-stop research resource. Available now at a special introductory price. This price is applicable until 3 months after publication. For more information, please contact us ( email@example.com ). (shrink)
This book offers a new approach to a fundamental question: What is justice? In building his theory, Cupit maintains that injustice should be understood as a form of unfitting treatment--typically the treatment of people as less than they are. Justice is therefore closely related to unjustified contempt and disrespect, and ultimately to desert.
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)
John Locke (1632-1704) is a central figure in the history of thought, and in liberal doctrine especially. This major study brings a range of his wider views to bear upon his political theory. Every political theorist has a vision, a view about the basic features of life and society, as well as technique which mediates this into propositions about politics. Locke's vision spanned questions concerning Christian worship, ethics, political economy, medicine, the human understanding, revealed theology and education. This study (...) shows how the character of these wider concerns informed Two Treatises of Government, especially in respect of a view of divine teleology, and situated a distinctive view of politics which treated the state and the church in parallel terms. (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)
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)
Kupfer (philosophy, Iowa State) takes a different approach by examining the day-to-day reciprocal interaction between autonomy and social relations, and notes its effect on such notions as dependency, self- concept, self-knowledge, and ...
Nicholas Rescher presents a critical reaction against two currently influential tendencies of thought. On the one hand, he rejects the facile relativism that pervades contemporary social and academic life. On the other hand, he opposes the rationalism inherent in neo-contractarian theory--both in the idealized communicative-contract version promoted in continental European political philosophy by J;urgen Habermas, and in the idealized social contract version of the theory of political justice promoted in the Anglo-American context by John Rawls. Against such tendencies, Rescher's pluralist (...) approach takes a more realistic and pragmatic line, eschewing the convenient recourse of idealization in cognitive and practical matters. Instead of a utopianism that looks to a uniquely perfect order that would prevail under ideal conditions, he advocates incremental improvements within the framework of arrangements that none of us will deem perfect but that all of us "can live with." Such an approach replaces the yearning for an unattainable consensus with the institution of pragmatic arrangements in which the community will acquiesce--not through agreeing on their optimality, but through a shared recognition among the dissonant parties that the available options are even worse. (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)
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)
What distinguishes evils from ordinary wrongs? Is hatred a necessarily evil? Are some evils unforgivable? Are there evils we should tolerate? What can make evils hard to recognize? Are evils inevitable? How can we best respond to and live with evils? Claudia Card offers a secular theory of evil that responds to these questions and more. Evils, according to her theory, have two fundamental components. One component is reasonably foreseeable intolerable harm -- harm that makes a life indecent and (...) impossible or that makes a death indecent. The other component is culpable wrongdoing. Atrocities, such as genocides, slavery, war rape, torture, and severe child abuse, are Card's paradigms because in them these key elements are writ large. Atrocities deserve more attention than secular philosophers have so far paid them. They are distinguished from ordinary wrongs not by the psychological states of evildoers but by the seriousness of the harm that is done. Evildoers need not be sadistic:they may simply be negligent or unscrupulous in pursuing their goals. Card's theory represents a compromise between classic utilitarian and stoic alternatives (including Kant's theory of radical evil). Utilitarians tend to reduce evils to their harms; Stoics tend to reduce evils to the wickedness of perpetrators: Card accepts neither reduction. She also responds to Nietzsche's challenges about the worth of the concept of evil, and she uses her theory to argue that evils are more important than merely unjust inequalities. She applies the theory in explorations of war rape and violence against intimates. She also takes up what Primo Levi called "the gray zone", where victims become complicit in perpetrating on others evils that threaten to engulf themselves. While most past accounts of evil have focused on perpetrators, Card begins instead from the position of the victims, but then considers more generally how to respond to -- and live with -- evils, as victims, as perpetrators, and as those who have become both. (shrink)
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)
Was Marxism a variety of German Idealist self-actualization in economic form? A deeply flawed blueprint for social engineering? A catechism for post-colonial insurgencies? the intellectual foundations of modern social democracy? In this wide ranging summation, Sullivan tackles the multi-tentacled reach of Marx's legacy, and explores both the limits and the lasting significance of his ideas. Structured around three obstacles to freedom - poverty, corruption and banality - the work engages both Marx and his critics in addressing unresolved issues of the (...) current social and political order. As such, the work, after two introductory chapters, leaves behind Marxology and its familiar cast of characters (Bernstein, Kautsky, Adorno, Lukacs, Fanon, Horkheimer, Marcuse, etc.) to address both neo-Marxist and non-Marxist interpretations of these obstacles. These include growth-led poverty alleviation, human capital theory, current debates on rent-seeking and public choice theory, weaknesses in Frankfurt School approaches to mass culture, and emerging trends in cyberspace and leisure consumption. Marx for a Post-Communist Era is credited as a foundational theoretical source in a wide range of contemporary studies. Some examples include a government-sponsored anti-corruption report in Peru, a study of neoliberalism and education reform in the UK, and an urban planning essay on museum spaces and the public good. (shrink)
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.
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 work is a controversial collection of interrelated papers investigating and arguing about issues of concern to lawyers and politicians today. MacCormick combines a scholarly concern with leading thinkers such as John Locke, Lord Stair, Adam Smith and David Hume, John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, and Patrick Atiyah, and stringently argued view of questions of political obligation, civil liberty, and legal rights.
This accessible and user-friendly text will prove invaluable to any student coming to social and political philosophy for the first time. It provides a broad survey of fundamental social and political questions in modern society, as well as clear, accessible discussions of the philosophical issues central to political thought. Topics covered include: the foundations of political authority, the nature and grounds of economic justice, the limits of tolerance, considerations of community, race, gender, and culture in questions of justice, and radical (...) critiques of current political theories. (shrink)
This collection of original essays by leading philosophers probes the philosophical aspects of rape in all of its manifestations: act, crime, practice, and institution. Among the issues examined are the nature of rape; the wrongfulness and harmfulness of rape; the relation of rape to racism, sexism, classism, and other forms of oppression; and the legitimacy of various rape-law doctrines. Each contributor advances a novel argument and seeks to disentangle the conceptual, evaluative, and empirical issues that arise in connection with the (...) crime. This essential reference work is among the first philosophical anthologies devoted exclusively to the subject of rape--as complex and interesting intellectually as it is pervasive and disturbing socially. (shrink)
The essays in this volume consider the question of whether the self is a unity or whether it should be conceived without metaphor as divided - as a 'multiple self'. The issue is a central one for several disciplines. It bears directly on the account of rationality and the explanation of individual decision-making and behaviour. Is the hypothesis of a multiple self required to deal with the problems of self-deception and weakness of will; and can the conceptual tools developed in (...) the study of interpersonal conflict be applied to the analysis of intra-personal struggle? Most of the essays, by a number of leading philosophers, psychologists and economists, appear here for the first time. They bring out the interdisciplinary importance of the question, and will interest readers in all those areas. The volume will also usefully supplement The Foundations of Social Choice Theory, edited by Jon Elster and Aanund Hylland, which appears in the same series and is also concerned with the foundations of rationality. (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)
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)
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)
In a period of rapid internationalization of trade and increased labor mobility, is it relevant for nations to think about their moral obligations to others? Do national boundaries have fundamental moral significance, or do we have moral obligations to foreigners that are equal to our obligations to our compatriots? The latter position is known as cosmopolitanism, and this volume brings together a number of distinguished political philosophers and theorists to explore cosmopolitanism: what it consists in, and the positive case which (...) can be made for it. Their essays provide a comprehensive overview of both the current state of the debate and the alternative visions of cosmopolitanism with which we can move forward, and they will interest a wide range of readers in philosophy, political theory, and law. (shrink)