This essay argues that gun control in America is a philosophical as well as a policy debate. This explains the depth of acrimony it causes. It also explains why the technocratic public health argument favored by the gun control movement has been so unsuccessful in persuading opponents and motivating supporters. My analysis also yields some positive advice for advocates of gun control: take the politicalphilosophy of the gun rights movement seriously and take up the challenge of showing (...) that a society without guns is a better society, not merely a safer one. (shrink)
This new edition of Will Kymlicka's best selling critical introduction to contemporary political theory has been fully revised to include many of the most significant developments in Anglo-American politicalphilosophy in the last eleven years, particularly the new debates over issues of democratic citizenship and cultural pluralism. The book now includes two new chapters on citizenship theory and multiculturalism, in addition to updated chapters on utilitarianism, liberal egalitarianism, libertarianism, socialism, communitarianism, and feminism. The many thinkers discussed include (...) G. A. Cohen, Ronald Dworkin, William Galston, Carol Gilligan, R. M. Hare, Chandran Kukathas, Catherine Mackinnon, David Miller, Philippe Van Parijs, Susan Okin, Robert Nozick, John Rawls, John Roemer, Michael Sandel, Charles Taylor, Michael Walzer, and Iris Young. Extended guides to further reading have been added at the end of each chapter, listing the most important books and articles on each school of thought, as well as relevant journals and websites. Covering some of the most advanced contemporary thinking, Will Kymlicka writes in an engaging, accessible, and non-technical way to ensure that the book is suitable for students approaching these difficult concepts for the first time. This second edition promises to build on the original edition's success as a key text in the teaching of modern political theory. (shrink)
In this masterful work, both an illumination of Kant's thought and an important contribution to contemporary legal and political theory, Arthur Ripstein gives a comprehensive yet accessible account of Kant's politicalphilosophy. In addition to providing a clear and coherent statement of the most misunderstood of Kant's ideas, Ripstein also shows that Kant's views remain conceptually powerful and morally appealing today.
Since the very beginning, Confucianism has been troubled by a serious gap between its political ideals and the reality of societal circumstances. Contemporary Confucians must develop a viable method of governance that can retain the spirit of the Confucian ideal while tackling problems arising from nonideal modern situations. The best way to meet this challenge, Joseph Chan argues, is to adopt liberal democratic institutions that are shaped by the Confucian conception of the good rather than the liberal conception of (...) the right. -/- Confucian Perfectionism examines and reconstructs both Confucian political thought and liberal democratic institutions, blending them to form a new Confucian politicalphilosophy. Chan decouples liberal democratic institutions from their popular liberal philosophical foundations in fundamental moral rights, such as popular sovereignty, political equality, and individual sovereignty. Instead, he grounds them on Confucian principles and redefines their roles and functions, thus mixing Confucianism with liberal democratic institutions in a way that strengthens both. Then he explores the implications of this new yet traditional politicalphilosophy for fundamental issues in modern politics, including authority, democracy, human rights, civil liberties, and social justice. -/- Confucian Perfectionism critically reconfigures the Confucian politicalphilosophy of the classical period for the contemporary era. (shrink)
While the volume of material inspired by Rawls’s reinvigoration of the discipline back in 1971 has still not begun to subside, its significance has been in serious decline for quite some time. New and important work is appearing less and less frequently, while the scope of the work that is appearing is getting smaller and more internal and its practical applications more difficult to discern. The discipline has reached a point of intellectual stagnation, even as real-world events suggest that the (...) need for what politicalphilosophy can provide could not be more critical. What follows then is a set of statements about how I believe that we, as political philosophers, should approach what we do. It contains my view as to what politicalphilosophy should be about, how politicalphilosophy should be done, and how courses in politicalphilosophy should be taught, interlaced with commentary on the current state of the profession. (shrink)
In response to the Royal Society report’s claim that “the acceptability of geoengineering will be determined as much by social, legal, and political issues as by scientific and technical factors” , a number of authors have suggested the key to this challenge is to engage the public in geoengineering decision-making. In effect, some have argued that inclusion of the public in geoengineering decision-making is necessary for any geoengineering project to be morally permissible. Yet, while public engagement on geoengineering comes (...) in various forms, the discussion in geoengineering governance and the ethics of geoengineering have too often conceptualized it exclusively in terms of public participation in decision-making, and supported it by various liberal democratic values. However, if the predominant understanding of public engagement on—or, the role of the public in—geoengineering decision-making is indeed only grounded on liberal democratic values, then its normative relevance could be challenged by and in other ethical-political traditions that do not share those values. In this paper, I shall explore these questions from a Confucian perspective. I argue that the liberal democratic values invoked in support of the normative importance of public participation are, at least, foreign to Confucian politicalphilosophy. This presents a prima facie challenge to view public participation in geoengineering decision-making as a universal moral requirement, and invites us to reconsider the normative significance of this form of public engagement in Confucian societies. Yet, I contend that the role of the public remains normatively significant in geoengineering governance and the ethics of geoengineering from a Confucian perspective. Drawing from recent work on Confucian politicalphilosophy, I illustrate the potential normative foundation for public engagement on geoengineering decision-making. (shrink)
This paper examines the conceptual development of the philosophical justifications for tyrannicide. It posits that the politicalphilosophy of tyrannicide can be categorised into three distinct periods or models, the classical, medieval, and liberal, respectively. It argues that each model contained unique themes and principles that justified tyrannicide in that period; the classical, through the importance attached to public life and the functional role of leadership; the medieval, through natural law doctrine; and the liberal, through the postulates of (...) social contract theory. Subsequent analysis of these different models however, reveals that these historical models are unable to provide a sufficient philosophical basis for a contemporary justification of tyrannicide. In Part II, it will be contended that a reinvigorated conception of self-defence, a theme common to all three models, when coupled with the modern notion of universal human rights, may provide the foundation for a contemporary theory of tyrannicide. (shrink)
Even among those who work in the field of early Chinese philosophy,the name Shen Dao (慎到, ca. 360–285 BCe) rarely calls to mind much of interest, and what it does call up are often simply depictions of him in several of the more famous texts of the time: in the Han Feizi as an advocate of positional power; in the Xunzi as being blinded by a focus on laws; or in the Zhuangzi as one who wished to discard knowledge. (...) Few through the centuries have attempted to examine his philosophical thought in detail, in part because no complete edition of his work has existed since at least the tenth century. -/- Fragments of the work attributed to Shen Dao do, however, still exist, and by examining them we can begin to piece together an understanding of his politicalphilosophy. In doing so, we come to the realization that Shen Dao's ideas are important not only historically but also merit attention from those engaged in constructive politicalphilosophy. In his historical context, Shen Dao was one of the first political thinkers openly to question the tight connection between ethics and politics that was assumed by a range of thinkers in the Confucian and Mohist traditions. In particular, he provides a range of arguments against the state relying on the moral cultivation of even some of its members, focusing not on changing or developing the innate tendencies of human beings but rather on working with the natures humans initially have. (shrink)
Taking a panoramic view on the history of modem philosophy, we can learn that politicalphilosophy, a new arena for modem philosophy, has become an important field in philosophical studies since the later half of the 20th century. As far as the problem domain of politicalphilosophy is concerned, politicalphilosophy is only a special form of philosophy. The revival of politicalphilosophy, however, indicates that philosophical inspection of (...) class='Hi'>political matters has regained legitimacy, and also means the restaging of philosophy as a knowledge type at modern times. In one sense, we can view the newly-revived politicalphilosophy as typical modemrn philosophy, because its problem domain, its unique angle of looking into the life world and its ideal concern about the actual world make it one of the best ways in which we can reflect the existence of mankind in modern times. (shrink)
David Hume is a constant, but underappreciated presence in John Rawls’ work. This paper attempts to uncover and explicate the core Humean elements in Rawls’ philosophy and advocates for the merits of a more Humean Rawls. Though Rawls’ familiarity with Hume is well known and his commentators frequently mention the importance of Hume’s circumstances of justice, the depth and range of the Humean influence has not been sufficiently understood. Commentators have been too quick to accept Rawls’ own account of (...) Hume as a largely negative influence superseded by justice as fairness’s formidable alternative to utilitarianism. This is a mistake, as Hume remains a powerful and positive historical influence in Rawls’ politicalphilosophy. Moreover, recognition of Hume’s influence provides cogent ways of responding to some of Rawls’ most prominent critics. Rawls’ early essays and his lectures on the history of moral and politicalphilosophy provide valuable material for understanding how Rawls saw the relation of his own work to that of his predecessors. Through an analysis of Rawls’ texts with emphasis on his early papers and lectures we seek to clarify his understanding of Hume and show how it impacts his work. In what follows, we show Hume’s influence on Rawls’ understanding of the circumstances of justice, the site of justice, the priority of the right, sympathy, the judicious spectator, and his methodology and approach to the problem of stability based on congruence between the good and the right. This illuminates Hume’s influence on contemporary politicalphilosophy and provides a more balanced picture of the historical foundation of Rawls’ politicalphilosophy. We end with some positive remarks on the benefits of embracing Rawls’ Humean side. (shrink)
The editor of Political Theory asked us to respond to the question, 'What is political theory?' This question is as old as political theory or political philos- ophy. The activity of studying politics, whether it is called science, theory, or philosophy, always brings itself into question. The question does not ask for a single answer, for there are countless ways of studying politics and no univer- sal criteria for adjudicating among them. Rather, the question asks, (...) 'What comparative difference does it make to study politics this way rather than that?' Political theory or philosophy not only spans three millennia of study- ing politics in innumerable ways but also three millennia of dialogues among practitioners over various approaches, their relative merits, and the contest- able criteria for their comparison. Because there is no definitive answer, there is no end to this dialogue. Rather, it is the kind of open-ended dialogue that brings insight through the activity of reciprocal elucidation itself. Dialogue partners gain insight into what ruling, being ruled, and contesting rule is through the exchange of questions and answers over different ways of study-ing politics and different criteria for their assessment in relation to how they throw light on different aspects of the complex worlds of politics-and what counts as the 'different aspects of the complex worlds of politics' is also ques- tioned in the course of the dialogue.'. (shrink)
Interpreters of Plato’s Parmenides have long agreed that it is a canonical work in the history of ontology. In the first part, the aged Parmenides presents a devastating critique of Platonic ontology, followed in the second by what purports to be a response to that critique. But despite the scholarly agreement as to the general subject matter of the dialogue, what makes it one whole has nevertheless eluded its readers, so much so that some have even speculated it to be (...) a patchwork of two dimly related dialogues. -/- In Becoming Socrates, Alex Priou shows that the Parmenides’ unity remains elusive due to scholarly neglect of a particular passage in Parmenides’ critique—a passage Parmenides identifies as the hinge between the dialogue’s two parts and as the “greatest impasse” facing Platonic ontology. There Parmenides situates the concern with ontology or the question of being within the concern with politicalphilosophy or the question of good rule. In this way, the Parmenides shows us how a youthful Socrates first learned of the centrality of politicalphilosophy that would become the hallmark of his life—that it, and not ontology, is “first philosophy.”. (shrink)
The cultivation of intellectual character is an important goal within university education. This article focusses on cultivating intellectual humility. It first explores an account of intellectual humility from recent literature on the intellectual virtues. Then, it considers one recent pedagogical approach – Making Thinking Visible – as a means of teaching intellectual virtue. It assesses one particular technique for cultivating intellectual humility arising from this pedagogical literature, and applies it to the teaching of politicalphilosophy. Finally, there is (...) a discussion concerning how to supplement these techniques to best teach politicalphilosophy generally, and for the purposes of cultivating intellectual humility in particular. It is argued that, by introducing the technique of the Circle of Viewpoints, supplemented by techniques from the Compassion in Education literature, the modules I teach can better cultivate intellectual humility in my students. (shrink)
Our goal in this article is first to give a broad outline of some of Hume’s major positions to do with justice, sympathy, the common point of view, criticisms of social contract theory, convention and private property that continue to resonate in contemporary politicalphilosophy. We follow this with an account of Hume’s influence on contemporary philosophy in the conservative, classical liberal, utilitarian, and Rawlsian traditions. We end with some reflections on how contemporary political philosophers would (...) benefit from a more explicit consideration of Hume. (shrink)
This paper attempts to mediate between the extremes of a managerial conception of business ethics which subordinates it to management and a political conception which subordinates it to politicalphilosophy. The mediated position arrived at sees the central focus of business ethics in the intersection of micro-managerial concerns with macro-political ones provided by the task of determining morally optimum forms of business. Involvement with the macro rules out subordination to management while, conversely, involvement with the micro (...) rules out subordination to politicalphilosophy. Moreover, such is the (increasing) social importance of business, that business ethics can have at least co-equal explanatory status with politicalphilosophy as a discipline. (shrink)
The thesis of this paper is that utopianism is a theoretical necessity—we couldn’t, for example, engage in normative politicalphilosophy without it—and, further, that in consciously embracing utopianism we will consequently experience an enrichment of our political lives. Thus, the title of my paper has a double meaning: it highlights the fact that utopianism always plays a normative role in politicalphilosophy, as its concern is inevitably the promotion of a certain vision of the good (...) life; and secondly it suggests that there normatively ‘ought to be’ a recognized and respectable role for utopianism within politicalphilosophy. The first meaning, I believe, is self-explanatory. Regarding the second, it expresses my hope to— in short— take what is old, and through a modest process of rehabilitation, make it new again. (shrink)
On the History of PoliticalPhilosophy: Great Political Thinkers from Thucydides to Locke is a lively and lucid account of the major political theorists and philosophers of the ancient Greek, Roman, medieval, renaissance, and early modern periods. The author demonstrates the continuing significance of some political debates and problems that originated in the history of politicalphilosophy. Topics include discussions concerning human nature, different views of justice, the origin of government and law, the (...) rise and development of different forms of government, idealism and realism in international relations, the distinction between just and unjust war, and the sources of public authority and the nature of legitimate sovereignty. The organizing principle of the book is the idea that the great political thinkers were searching for the best political order and a criterion for human conduct in both domestic and international politics. The book presupposes no previous knowledge of politicalphilosophy. It will therefore be a valuable introductory book for students of philosophy, politics, and international relations. As it opens eyes to the perceptions that historical knowledge may convey, it will also be an illuminating and engaging reading for a general reader. (shrink)
David Miller, Professor of Politics at Oxford University, has long been one of the most important and interesting contributors to political theory and philosophy. He is well known for insisting on the mutual relevance of philosophical reflection and political practice, an approach well captured by the title of his recent book, Justice for Earthlings. In his most recent book, Strangers in our Midst: The PoliticalPhilosophy of Immigration, Miller revises and extends the work he has (...) been doing for several years now on immigration. The result is a short yet rich defense of the right of states to control their own immigration policy. (shrink)
Rationalism in politicalphilosophy is the view that politics should be governed by moral principles and that those principles can and should be justified independently of the situations and circumstances that make up political reality. This traditional view of politicalphilosophy implies that the meaning of right political action is determined by moral principles the rational authority of which derives from abstract philosophical reasoning, not from the situations and circumstances that are the substance of (...)political reality. In this essay I argue that rationalist moralities must presuppose the understanding of particular situations and circumstances for their meaningful and correct interpretation. This means, I argue, that the rightness of political judgement and action is immanent in particular situations, not in abstract moralities. And this, I argue, suggests a shift from the traditional view of political society as the embodiment of abstract principles, towards a view of political society as the embodiment of the activity of situational judgement. A society worth hoping for, then, is one in which we can live in the light of our understanding of the situations and circumstances that are the substance of everyday life, rather than in the shadow of abstract moralities. Such a society would be sensitive to the particularities and complexities of political reality, but at the same time it does not succumb to moral relativism and skepticism. (shrink)
Abstract: Comparative politicalphilosophy can be stimulated by imposing a categorization scheme on possible varieties of political philosophies. This article develops a categorization scheme using four essential features of political philosophies, resulting in twelve archetypal political philosophies. The four essential features selected are a politicalphilosophy's views concerning human nature, the proper function of morality, the best form of society, and the highest responsibility of citizenship. The twelve archetypal political philosophies range from (...) the communal (Rousseau), the democratic (J. S. Mill), the representative (Aristotle), the aristocratic (Plato), and the autocratic (Calvin), along with seven more archetypes: the aloof anarchy, social anarchy, contractarian, progressive, natural law, sage ruler, and tyrannical political forms. A wide variety of Western political philosophers are assigned their places within this categorization scheme to illustrate its utility and comprehensiveness. (shrink)
The essay characterizes an anthropological impasse of politicalphilosophy dividing those in a more liberal tradition from those in a more Hegelian tradition, and then it proceeds to sketch a politicalphilosophy without any human or anthropological content. I rely on Foucault’s notion of parrhesia to activate such a politicalphilosophy, and I rely on the philosophical life of the Cynic to make parrhesia possible. Finally by invoking exercises of ascent and of descent, I (...) suggest that this kind of politicalphilosophy can not only solve the anthropological impasse of politicalphilosophy, but also in practice, it can cool hateful passions and warm cold hearts. (shrink)
With the benefit of the complete publication of Foucault’s lectures at the Collège de France, the reception of his work by political philosophers in the English-speaking world during the late 1970s and early 1980s appears extremely confused. This reception was based on the English translations of work published in the mid-1970s, chiefly Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality Volume One, along with collections of interviews from the same period. The misunderstandings of those works were compounded by ignorance (...) of developments in his approach to politics and his understanding of power worked out in lectures from 1976 to 1979. The aim of this paper is not simply to defend Foucault against critics from that period, but to show how a more complete understanding of the evolution of his political thought might enable a better understanding of the similarities and differences between his genealogical approach to power and government and the concerns of normative politicalphilosophy. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the competing and complimentary relationships between intersubjectivity and discursive logic. It contends that the ultimate failure of Husserlian phenomenology is a testament to the dilemma of subjectivist philosophy. Indeed, politicalphilosophy requires a paradigm-shift from subjectivity to intersubjectivity. With this in mind, this paper examines the classical encounter between morality and ethical life in connection with discursive ethics. While it argues that Habermas still retains a strong residue of subjectivist philosophy, it (...) attempts to clarify the discursive analysis of Foucault and probes into its applicability to practical philosophy. (shrink)
Will Kymlicka's Multicultural Citizenship represents an extraordinary attempt to put applied politicalphilosophy to work in the empirical context of contemporary political debates about immigration and ethnic minorities in western society. This paper explores the methodological and interpretative difficulties of combining normative and empirical goals, in a critical discussion of the examples Kymlicka makes of multicultural issues in France, Britain and the US. It goes on to argue that these weaknesses lie in the Rawlsian influence in Kymlicka's (...) work, and that political philosophers may have to rethink their methodological approach if they wish to pursue further the kind of applied work which Kymlicka is aiming for. (shrink)
In reply to the contributions to Social Imaginaries vol. 4, no. 1, this article reviews the development of the research programme that the author has been pursuing over more than three decades. It places the emphasis on the conceptual and methodological requirements for a historical sociology of social change. It insists, on the one hand, on the need to avoid overly strong conceptual presuppositions to analyze social phenomena of large scale and long duration, while, on the other hand, sustaining the (...) notion that a minimum of social and politicalphilosophy as well as philosophy of history is necessary to comprehend the ways in which history is directed. Further emphasis is given to the difficulties that arise when studying social phenomena before 1800 and outside Europe, due to the strong epistemic impact European global domination has had since the “great divergence” at around 1800. The article concludes with reflections on the adequate kind of conceptual distinctions that are needed when analyzing large-scale phenomena such as “societies” as well as on the link between scholarly work and a critical, action-oriented diagnosis of the present time. (shrink)
John Dewey (1859-1952) was an American philosopher, associated with pragmatism. Over a long working life, Dewey was influential not only in philosophy, but as an educational thinker and political commentator and activis.
The future will tell whether or not the European Union is developing a politicalphilosophy of its own. But the current trend indicates several interesting features structurally different, or asymmetric, to the experiences with the evolution of key notions of politicalphilosophy in relation to the past experience with the development of statehood. The paper gives examples which call for deepened research and provides stimulating material for a new and innovative reflection on the process and substance (...) of European integration, this most unique feature of political history in the course of the 20th century. (shrink)
This article is an attempt at a synthetic study of PoliticalPhilosophy. Through a rearrangement of the way that particular discipline of philosophy has been described and understood, it proposes the placement of PoliticalPhilosophy within the entirety of philosophical thinking , and to define its subject and its issues . It also overviews the history of politicalphilosophy and its role in human life.
Correct bibliographical information is as follows: Gottfried Achenwall, _Natural Law: A Translation of the Textbook for Kant's Lectures on Legal and Political Philosophy_, edited by Pauline Kleingeld, translated by Corinna Vermeulen, with an Introduction by Paul Guyer. London: Bloomsbury, 2020. As the first translation into any modern language of Achenwall’s Ius naturae, from the 1763 edition used by Immanuel Kant, this is an essential work for anyone interested in Kant, the natural law tradition or the history of legal and (...)political theory. For over twenty years, Kant used this book as the basis for his lectures on natural law. It influenced his legal and politicalphilosophy as well as his ethics, and it is indispensable for understanding Kant’s Feyerabend Lectures on Natural Law and his Metaphysics of Morals. Articulating his theory of natural law with clear definitions and precise distinctions, Achenwall offers a lucid account that includes instructive comparisons with the work of Grotius, Hobbes, Pufendorf, Wolff and others. The volume also contains an Introduction by the eminent Kant scholar Paul Guyer, comparing Achenwall’s theory to the legal and politicalphilosophy of Kant’s Doctrine of Right, and a concordance correlating Achenwall’s Natural Law to Kant’s Feyerabend Lectures on Natural Law. (shrink)
Connecting Virtues examines the significant advances within the fast-growing field of virtue theory and shows how research has contributed to the current debates in moral philosophy, epistemology, and politicalphilosophy. It includes groundbreaking chapters offering original solutions to long-standing issues, such as the plausibility of different lists of virtues, the relationship between virtues and the vices that oppose them, and the connection between moral and intellectual virtues. In addition, the volume offers insights into cutting-edge areas of application (...) of the topic of virtue, such as the role of intellectual virtues in an age of neuromedia, virtuous dispositions related to social epistemology, and the value of some neglected virtues for politicalphilosophy. The book breaks down barriers between different philosophical perspectives on the study of the virtues—both to highlight the interplay and overlap among virtues pertaining to different philosophical areas, and to stress the peculiarity of specific virtues within their own fields. It is a unique and insightful collection of essays composed by some of the leading philosophers working on the topic. (shrink)
When people of good faith and sound mind disagree deeply about moral, religious, and other philosophical matters, how can we justify political institutions to all of them? The idea of public reason―of a shared public standard, despite disagreement―arose in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the work of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Kant. At a time when John Rawls’ influential theory of public reason has come under fire but its core idea remains attractive to many, it is important not (...) to lose sight of earlier philosophers’ answers to the problem of private conflict through public reason. -/- The distinctive selections from the great social contract theorists in this volume emphasize the pervasive theme of intractable disagreement and the need for public justification. New essays by leading scholars then put the historical work in context and provide a focus of debate and discussion. They also explore how the search for public reason has informed a wider body of modern political theory―in the work of Hume, Hegel, Bentham, and Mill―sometimes in surprising ways. The idea of public reason is revealed as an overarching theme in modern politicalphilosophy―one very much needed today. (shrink)
When people of good faith and sound mind disagree deeply about moral, religious, and other philosophical matters, how can we justify political institutions to all of them? The idea of public reason—of a shared public standard, despite disagreement—arose in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the work of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Kant. At a time when John Rawls’ influential theory of public reason has come under fire but its core idea remains attractive to many, it is important not (...) to lose sight of earlier philosophers’ answers to the problem of private conflict through public reason. The distinctive selections from the great social contract theorists in this volume emphasize the pervasive theme of intractable disagreement and the need for public justification. New essays by leading scholars then put the historical work in context and provide a focus of debate and discussion. They also explore how the search for public reason has informed a wider body of modern political theory¾ in the work of Hume, Hegel, Bentham, and Mill—sometimes in surprising ways. The idea of public reason is revealed as an overarching theme in modern politicalphilosophy—one very much needed today. (shrink)
José Jorge Mendoza argues that the difficulty with resolving the issue of immigration is primarily a conflict over competing moral and political principles and is, at its core, a problem of philosophy. This book brings into dialogue various contemporary philosophical texts that deal with immigration to provide some normative guidance to immigration policy and reform.
Terrorism, Security and Nationality shows how the concepts and methods of politicalphilosophy can be applied to the practical problems of terrorism, state violence and national security. The book clarifies a wide range of issues in applied politicalphilosophy, including the ethics of war, theories of state and nation, the relationship between communities and nationalisms, and the uneasy balance of human rights and national security. Ethnicity, national identity and the interests of the state, concepts commonly cited (...) to justify terrorist acts, all imply starkly contrasting notions of what constitutes a political community. Paul Gilbert examines the reasons for political violence and the plausibility of such justifications. He investigates notions of terrorism as unjust war and as political crime and concludes by considering the proper response of the state to political violence. (shrink)
Politicalphilosophy, perhaps even more than other branches of philosophy, calls for constant renewal to reflect not just re-readings of the tradition but also the demands of current events. In this lively and readable survey, Jean Hampton has created a text for our time that does justice both to the great traditions of the field and to the newest developments. In a marvelous feat of synthesis, she links the classical tradition, the giants of the modern period, the (...) dominant topics of the twentieth century, and the new questions and concerns that are just beginning to rewrite contemporary politicalphilosophy.Hampton presents these traditions in an engaging and accessible manner, adding to them her own views and encouraging readers to critically examine a range of ideas and to reach their own conclusions. Of particular interest are the discussions of the contemporary liberalism-communitarianism debates, the revival of interest in issues of citizenship and nationality, and the way in which feminist concerns are integrated into all these discussions. PoliticalPhilosophy is the most modern text on the topic now available, the ideal guide to what is going on in the field. It will be welcomed by scholars and students in philosophy and political science, and it will serve as an introduction for readers from outside these fields. (shrink)
In this book Katrin Flikschuh examines the relevance of Kant's political thought to major issues and problems in contemporary politicalphilosophy. She advances and defends two principal claims: that Kant's philosophy of Right endorses the role of metaphysics in political thinking, in contrast to its generally hostile reception in the field today, and that his account of political obligation is cosmopolitan in its inception, assigning priority to the global rather than the domestic context. She (...) shows how Kant's metaphysics of freedom as a shared idea of practical reason underlies the cosmopolitan scope of his theory of justice, and she concludes that despite the revival of 'Kantianism' in contemporary thinking, his account of justice is in many respects very different from dominant approaches in contemporary liberal theory. Her study will be of interest to political philosophers, political theorists, and historians of ideas. (shrink)
Conventional wisdom suggests that the Platonist philosophers of Late Antiquity, from Plotinus (third century) to the sixth-century schools in Athens and Alexandria, neglected the political dimension of their Platonic heritage in their concentration on an otherworldly life. Dominic O'Meara presents a revelatory reappraisal of these thinkers, arguing that their otherworldliness involved rather than excluded political ideas, and he reconstructs for the first time a coherent politicalphilosophy of Late Platonism.
The most recent addition to the Fundamentals of Philosophy Series, PoliticalPhilosophy is a concise yet thorough and highly engaging introduction to the essential problems of the discipline. Organized topically and presented in a straightforward manner by an eminent political philosopher, A. John Simmons, it investigates the nature and basis of political authority and the structure and organization of political life. Each chapter focuses on a central problem, considers how it could be addressed, and (...) outlines the various philosophical positions surrounding it. Covering both historical and contemporary work, this unique text offers a survey of major concepts and debates while also reflecting the author's views and contributions. Accessible to novices yet also useful for advanced students, PoliticalPhilosophy presents a unified and accessible portrait of the issues that have been puzzling political philosophers for years. (shrink)
The debate between impartialists and their critics has dominated both moral and politicalphilosophy for over a decade. Characteristically, impartialists argue that any sensible form of impartialism can accommodate the partial concerns we have for others. By contrast, partialists deny that this is so. They see the division as one which runs exceedingly deep and argue that, at the limit, impartialist thinking requires that we marginalise those concerns and commitments that make our lives meaningful. This book attempts to (...) show both that the dispute between impartialists and their critics runs very deep, and that it can nonetheless be resolved. The resolution begins by asking how impartialist politicalphilosophy can defend the priority of justice when it conflicts with people's commitments to their conceptions of the good. It is argued that priority can only defended if political impartialism has a moral foundation, and that moral foundation must not be a foundation in the ideal of equality (as is often thought), but a foundation in the partial concerns we have for others. In short, impartialist moral philosophy must take our partial concerns as central if it is to gain allegiance. However, if it does take our partial concerns as central, then it can generate a defence of political impartialism which shows why justice must take priority, but which also acknowledges that pluralism about the good is permanent. (shrink)
This book is the culmination of Heinrich Meier's acclaimed analyses of the controversial thought of Carl Schmitt. Meier identifies the core of Schmitt's thought as political theology--that is, political theorizing that claims to have its ultimate ground in the revelation of a mysterious or supra-rational God. This radical, but half-hidden, theological foundation unifies the whole of Schmitt's often difficult and complex oeuvre, cutting through the intentional deceptions and unintentional obfuscations that have eluded previous commentators. Relating this religious dimension (...) to Schmitt's support for National Socialism and his continuing anti-Semitism, Meier compels the reader to come to terms with the irreconcilable differences between political theology and politicalphilosophy. His book will give pause to those who have tended to gloss over the troubling aspects of some of Schmitt's ideas. With editions in German, French, Italian, and now English, Meier's two books on Schmitt have dramatically reoriented the international debate about Carl Schmitt and his significance for twentieth-century political thought. "Standing far above the rest . . . is Heinrich Meier's new study, Die Lehre Carl Schmitts , which covers all of Schmitt's writings. . . . Meier's work has forced everyone to take a second look at the assumptions underlying Schmitt's better-known writings and reconsider some that have been ignored."--Mark Lilla, reviewing the German edition in The New York Review of Books. (shrink)
The revised edition of this highly successful text provides a clear and accessible introduction to some of the most important questions of politicalphilosophy. Organized around major issues, Wolff provides the structure that beginners need, while also introducing some distinctive ideas of his own.
This volume presents influential work by Nicholas Wolterstorff at the intersection between politicalphilosophy and religion, alongside nine new essays on the nature of liberal democracy, human rights, and political authority.
The first comprehensive analysis of the philosophical issues raised by the hijab controversy in France, this book also conducts a dialogue between contemporary Anglo-American and French political theory and defends a progressive republican solution to so-called multicultural conflicts in contemporary societies. It critically assesses the official republican philosophy of laïcité which purported to justify the 2004 ban on religious signs in schools. Laïcité is shown to encompass a comprehensive theory of republican citizenship, centered on three ideals: equality (secular (...) neutrality of the public sphere), liberty (individual autonomy and emancipation) and fraternity (civic loyalty to the community of citizens). Challenging official interpretations of laïcité, the book then puts forward a critical republicanism which does not support the hijab ban, yet upholds a revised interpretation of three central republican commitments: secularism, non-domination and civic solidarity. Thus, it articulates a version of secularism which squarely addresses the problem of status quo bias - the fact that Western societies are historically not neutral towards all religions. It also defends a vision of female emancipation which rejects the coercive paternalism inherent in the regulation of religious dress, yet does not leave individuals unaided in the face of religious and secular, patriarchal and ethnocentric domination. Finally, the book outlines a theory of immigrant integration which places the burden of civic integration on basic socio-political institutions, rather than on citizens themselves. Critical republicanism proposes an entirely new approach to the management of religious and cultural pluralism, centred on the pursuit of the progressive ideal of non-domination in existing, non-ideal societies. (shrink)
This Introduction introduces readers to the concepts of politicalphilosophy: authority, democracy, freedom and its limits, justice, feminism, multiculturalism, and nationality. Accessibly written and assuming no previous knowledge of the subject, it encourages the reader to think clearly and critically about the leading political questions of our time. THe book first investigates how politcial philosophy tackles basic ethical questions such as 'how should we live together in society?' It furthermore looks at political authority, discusses the (...) reasons society needs politics in the first place, explores the limitations of politics, and asks if there are areas of life that shouldn't be governed by politics. Moreover, the book explores the connections between political authority and justice, a constant theme in politicalphilosophy, and the ways in which social justice can be used to regulate rather than destroy a market economy. In his travels through this realm, Miller covers why nations ar the natural units of government and wonders if the rise of multiculturalism and transnational co-operation will change all this, and asks in the end if we will ever see the formation of a world government. (shrink)
This book combines the insights of enlightenment thinking and feminist theory to explore the significance of love in modern philosophy. The author argues for the importance of emotion in general, and love in particular, to moral and politicalphilosophy, pointing out that some of the central philosophers of the enlightment were committed to a moralized conception of love. However, she believes that feminism's insights arise not from its attribution of special and distinctive qualities to women, but from (...) its recognition of human vulernability. (shrink)
Nishida Kitaro, originator of the Kyoto School and 'father of Japanese Philosophy' is usually viewed as an essentially apolitical thinker who underwent a 'turn' in the mid-1930s, becoming an ideologue of Japanese imperialism. PoliticalPhilosophy in Japan challenges the view that a neat distinction can be drawn between Nishida's apolitical 'pre-turn' writings and the apparently ideological tracts he produced during the war years. In the context of Japanese intellectual traditions, this book suggests that Nishida was a (...) class='Hi'>political thinker form the very beginning of his career, and consequently, his later political works cannot be dismissed as peripheral to his philosophical project. Counter-intuitively however, Christopher Goto-Jones argues that a consistently political reading of his philosophy reveals a dissenting standpoint even during the height of the Pacific War. This book argues that the prevailing postwar tendency to dismiss interwar and wartime Japanese culture as fascist or ultra nationalist en total neglects a lively political discourse, which contained some serous and profound political insight and even dissent. By suggesting that Nishida tetsugaku was a voice of dissent during Japan's Great East Asia War, Goto-Jones presents a case for the rehabilitation of Nishida as a political thinker, and as an example of a Japanese resistance, able to make a valuable contribution to contemporary debates about international political, globalization , and inter-cultural relations. Offering a unique and potentially controversial view of the subject of Nishida and the Kyoto School, The PoliticalPhilosophy of Japan will be of huge interest to anyone studying Japanese History, PoliticalPhilosophy and comparative philosophy alike. (shrink)
This accessible and user-friendly text will prove invaluable to any student coming to social and politicalphilosophy 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)