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)
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)
This updated edition of a well-established anthology of social and political philosophy combines extensive selections from classical works with significant recent contributions to the field, many of which are not easily available. Its central focus is on the liberal currents in modern Western political thought--variants of classical liberalism, modern liberalism, and libertarianism--with specific focus on differing conceptions of political obligation, freedom, distributive justice, and representative democracy. The text is organized into four thematic sections: Political Obligation and Consent, Freedom and Coercion, (...) Justice and Equality, and Democracy and Representation, making it easily accessible to students. Each chapter features selections from classical thinkers alongside writings by influential contemporary philosophers and political theorists, thus tracing the historical development and transformation of Western political thought on key issues in the field. Among the classical authors represented in this collection are Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Mill. Contemporary contributors include John Rawls, Isaiah Berlin, Thomas Scanlon, Robert Nozick, Thomas Nagel, Ronald Dworkin, and Hanna Pitkin. Each section is preceded by an introductory overview and followed by a helpful, current bibliography providing guides to further reading. (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)
Could global government be the answer to global poverty and starvation? Cosmopolitan thinkers challenge the widely held belief that we owe more to our co-citizens than to those in other countries. This book offers a moral argument for world government, claiming that not only do we have strong obligations to people elsewhere, but that accountable integration among nation-states will help ensure that all persons can lead a decent life. Cabrera considers both the views of those political philosophers who say we (...) have much stronger obligations to help our co-citizens than foreigners and those cosmopolitans who say our duties are equally strong to each but resist restructuring. He then outlines his own position, using the European Union as a partial model for the integrated alternative and advocating instituting EU-style supranational government, development aid, and free movement of persons in the Americas and other regions. Over time, Cabrera argues that the transformation of the global system into a cohesive network of democratic institutions would help ensure that anyone born anywhere could lead a decent life. This book will appeal to all those interested in political philosophy and the processes and potential of globalization. (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 ( firstname.lastname@example.org ). (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 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)
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)
In 1795 Immanuel Kant proclaimed that the peoples of the earth have entered into a "universal community". Since Kant wrote this the processes of inter-connection between the peoples of the earth has grown even more pronounced and the notion of "cosmopolitics" has thus come to seem a defining one for the contemporary age. As such this volume makes a timely contribution to contemporary debates about international law, global ecology and economy and transnational synergies. The volume is inter-disciplinary and is intended (...) to be a contribution to a debate that crosses borders and disciplines. (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.
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)
Political Thinkers is an authoritative introduction to the entire history of Western political thought. Carefully edited by two of the leading scholars in the field, it features specially commissioned chapters by an impressive line-up of internationally renowned scholars from around the world. This book provides an overview of the canon of great political theorists--from Socrates and the Sophists to such contemporary thinkers as Habermas and Foucault. Each contributor critically discusses the ideas and significance of each thinker and gives a summary (...) of the best contemporary scholarship in the area. (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)
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)
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.
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)
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.
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 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)
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 ...
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)
"This admirably clear and engaging work ... is broadly accessible... and is informed by social science research. Yet it is also thoroughly philosophical, delving into problems in ethics, epistemology, the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language.... Let us hope that LaFollette continues to tackle these problems with the clarify and rigor he shows here.".
This book presents fifteen essays, written over the past dozen years, on egalitarianism. The essays explore contemporary philosophical debates on this subject, using the tools of modern economic theory, general equilibrium theory, game theory, and the theory of mechanism design. Egalitarian Perspectives is divided into four parts: the theory of exploitation; equality of resources; bargaining theory and distributive justice; and market socialism and public ownership. The first part presents Roemer's influential reconceptualisation of the Marxian theory of exploitation as a theory (...) of distributive justice. The second part offers a critique of Ronald Dworkin's equality-of-resources theory, and puts forward a new egalitarian proposal based upon a specific method of measuring individual responsibility. The third part introduces a novel application of the theory of mechanism design to the study of political philosophy, and raises new concerns about the limitations of that application. The fourth part presents the author's views on market socialism and public ownership, and demonstrates that Professor Roemer is at the forefront of refining new theories and conceptions of market socialism. (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)