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)
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)
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)
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.
In this volume, a group of international scholars address issues relating to community well being and the role of politics, law and economics in Europe and Japan in achieving human-centered symbiotic governance. Case-studies and suggestions for reform are presented in the arenas of economy, government administration, management, university governance, health, agriculture, the environment and urban planning.
Republic is the central work of the Western world's most famous philosopher. Essentially an inquiry into morality, Republic also contains crucial arguments and insights into many other areas of philosophy. It is also a literary masterpiece: the philosophy is presented for the most part for the ordinary reader, who is carried along by the wit and intensity of the dialogue and by Plato's unforgettable images of the human condition. This new, lucid translation by Robin Waterfield is complemented by full explanatory (...) notes and an up-to-date critical introduction. (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)
in a very different sense, to refer to the cultural community, or cultural structure, itself On this view, the cultural community continues to exist even when its members arc free to modify the character of the culture, should they find its traditional ...
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)
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)
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)
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.
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.
These essays by leading scholars illustrate the complexity and range of philosophical issues raised by consideration of law and social justice. The contributors to Law and Social Justice examine such broad foundational issues as instrumentalist versus Kantian conceptions of rights as well as such specific problems as the admissibility or inadmissibility of evidence of causation in toxic tort cases. They consider a variety of subjects, including the implications of deliberative democracy for privacy rights, equality as a principle of distributive justice, (...) the paradox of "moral luck," the treatment of intellectual property in China and its roots in Chinese tradition, and the extent to which initial acquisition of goods yields full property rights. Two special sections at the end of the volume discuss the treatment of law and social justice issues in the work of two philosophers: "Wittgenstein and Legal Theory," on the influence of Wittgenstein's thought on legal philosophy, and a discussion of Jules L. Coleman's The Practice of Principle, which concludes with a contribution, "Facts, Fictions, and the Grounds of Law," by Coleman himself. (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)
This book explores the way in which the fear of enemies shapes political groups at their founding and helps to preserve them by consolidating them in times of crisis. It develops a theory of “negative association” that examines the dynamics captured by the maxim “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” and then traces its role in the history of political thought, demonstrating that the fear of external threats is an essential element of the formation and preservation of political (...) groups and that its absence renders political association unsustainable. (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)
Striving to boldly redirect the philosophy of science, this book by renowned philosopher Philip Kitcher examines the heated debate surrounding the role of science in shaping our lives. Kitcher explores the sharp divide between those who believe that the pursuit of scientific knowledge is always valuable and necessary--the purists--and those who believe that it invariably serves the interests of people in positions of power. In a daring turn, he rejects both perspectives, working out a more realistic image of the sciences--one (...) that allows for the possibility of scientific truth, but nonetheless permits social consensus to determine which avenues to investigate. He then proposes a democratic and deliberative framework for responsible scientists to follow. Controversial, powerful, yet engaging, this volume will appeal to a wide range of readers. Kitcher's nuanced analysis and authorititative conclusion will interest countless scientists as well as all readers of science--scholars and laypersons alike. (shrink)
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.
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 ...
The hatchet and the seed -- A tree with deep roots -- The critical tools -- A field crystallizes -- Destruction of nature -- Construction of nature -- Degradation and marginalization -- Conservation and control -- Environmental conflict -- Environmental identity and social movement -- Where to now?
Modern coverage of world events suggest that war and violence are key to contemporary society. History can convince us that it has ever been so, and many theorist of international relations argue that nothing is likely to change. Roy Weatherford argues that a profound change in social relations is imminent as national sovereignty yields to a democratic world culture, speaking a world language and living as a world wide family - the human family. For too long world peace has seemed (...) a noble but unattainable ideal. Weatherford shows that it is now both economically and politically possible and is therefore our moral duty. (shrink)
This is a lively and engaging introduction to the contentious topic of Nietzsche's political thought. It traces the development of Nietzsche's thinking on politics from his earliest writings to the mature work in which he advocates aristocratic radicalism as opposed to 'petty' European nationalism. The key ideas of the will to power, eternal return and the overman are discussed and all Nietzsche's major works analysed in detail, such as Beyond Good and Evil and The Genealogy of Morals, within the context (...) of the concerns of modern political theory. The book concludes with an assessment of Nietzsche's enduring relevance and of the insights afforded by contemporary liberal and feminist readings. This textbook will be essential for all students of Nietzsche and of the history of political ideas. It includes a chronology of Nietzsche's life and works and a guide to further reading. (shrink)