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Charles Blattberg
Université de Montréal
  1. Antisemitism and the Aesthetic.Charles Blattberg - 2021 - Philosophical Forum 52 (3):189-210.
  2. Gaps: When Not Even Nothing Is There.Charles Blattberg - 2021 - Comparative Philosophy 12 (1):31-55.
    A paradox, it is claimed, is a radical form of contradiction, one that produces gaps in meaning. In order to approach this idea, two senses of “separation” are distinguished: separation by something and separation by nothing. The latter does not refer to nothing in an ordinary sense, however, since in that sense what’s intended is actually less than nothing. Numerous ordinary nothings in philosophy as well as in other fields are surveyed so as to clarify the contrast. Then follows the (...)
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  3.  7
    The Ironic Tragedy of Human Rights.Charles Blattberg - manuscript
    Human rights have made mass murder and genocide more, rather than less, likely. Note that a previous version of this paper appears as chapter 3 of my Patriotic Elaborations: Essays in Practical Philosophy (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009).
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  4. Kierkegaard’s Deep Diversity: The One and the Many.Charles Blattberg - 2020 - In Mélissa Fox-Muraton (ed.), Kierkegaard and Issues in Contemporary Ethics. Boston, MA, USA: De Gruyter. pp. 51-68.
    Kierkegaard’s ideal supports a radical form of “deep diversity,” to use Charles Taylor’s expression. It is radical because it embraces not only irreducible conceptions of the good but also incompatible ones. This is due to its paradoxical nature, which arises from its affirmation of both monism and pluralism, the One and the Many, together. It does so in at least three ways. First, in terms of the structure of the self, Kierkegaard describes his ideal as both unified (the “positive third”) (...)
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  5. Patriotic, Not Deliberative, Democracy.Charles Blattberg - 2003 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 6 (1):155-174.
    Given the concern they share for the common good, both patriotic and deliberative conceptions of democracy can be said to have roots in classical republicanism. But these two modern approaches to politics are not the same. In order to show this, as well as demonstrate patriotism's superiority to deliberative democracy, I offer four criticisms of the latter: (i) its support of a theory or systematic set of procedures for conversation distorts its practice; (ii) it is ideologically biased; (iii) its distinction (...)
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  6. Federalism and Multinationalism.Charles Blattberg - 2021 - In Patriotic Elaborations: Essays in Practical Philosophy. Montreal and Kingston:
    The Quebec government recently (May 2021) announced that it wants to amend the Canadian constitution so that Quebec will be recognized as a nation. This is a bad idea.
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  7. Dirty Hands: The One and the Many.Charles Blattberg - 2018 - The Monist 101 (2):150-169.
    The problem of “dirty hands” concerns the possibility that there are situations in which, no matter what one does, there is no way to avoid committing a moral wrong. By presenting a taxonomy, this paper contends that the different ways of responding to the problem correspond to different positions as regards the classic metaphysical theme of “the One and the Many.” It is then suggested that the best, because most realistic, response aligns with an approach that would have us move (...)
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  8. Liberalism After Communitarianism.Charles Blattberg - 2021 - In Gerard Delanty & Stephen Turner (eds.), Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory. Routledge.
    The ‘liberal-communitarian’ debate arose within anglophone political philosophy during the 1980s. This essay opens with an account of the main outlines of the debate, showing how liberals and communitarians tended to confront each other with opposing interpretations of John Rawls’ Theory of Justice (1999; originally published in 1971) and Political Liberalism (2005; originally published in 1993). The essay then proceeds to discuss four forms of ‘liberalism after communitarianism’: Michael Freeden’s account of liberalism as an ideology; Joseph Raz and Will Kymlicka’s (...)
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  9. Isaiah Berlin and William James: Tragedy, Tragicomedy, Comedy.Charles Blattberg - 2021 - The Pluralist 16 (3):65-86.
    While both Isaiah Berlin and William James are widely seen as pluralists, this paper contends that neither is a pluralist tout court. Berlin certainly is a pluralist when it comes to morality and politics, but he is a monist when it comes to nature. And James is, paradoxically, both a pluralist and a monist as regards all of reality. These claims are advanced by showing how both thinkers’ approaches contrast with those of monists, not least Plato, Hegel, and Nietzsche. They (...)
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  10.  29
    Loving Wisdom.Charles Blattberg - manuscript
    An account of the three rival conceptions of Western philosophy: "theoretical," "difference," and "practical." Note that a previous version of this paper appears as chapter 13 of my Patriotic Elaborations: Essays in Practical Philosophy (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009).
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  11.  19
    Patriotic Elaborations: Essays in Practical Philosophy.Charles Blattberg - 2009 - McGill-Queen's University Press.
    How might we mend the world? Charles Blattberg suggests a "new patriotism," one that reconciles conflict through a form of dialogue that prioritizes conversation over negotiation and the common good over victory. This patriotism can be global as well as local, left as well as right. Blattberg's is a genuinely original philosophical voice. The essays collected here discuss how to re-conceive the political spectrum, where "deliberative deomocrats" go wrong, why human rights language is tragically counterproductive, how nationalism is not really (...)
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  12.  35
    Political Philosophies and Political Ideologies.Charles Blattberg - manuscript
    This paper contrasts five contemporary political philosophies – neutralism, postmodernism, pluralism, anarchism, and patriotism – and argues that the latter is superior given how it relates to the various political ideologies, including liberalism, conservatism, socialism, nationalism, feminism, and so on. A new, patriotic conception of the political spectrum is then advanced, one based on how people should respond to conflict: those on the left would have us do so with conversation; those in the centre with negotiation; and those on the (...)
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  13. A New Approach for Zionists.Charles Blattberg - 2007 - Palestine-Israel Journal 14 (2):100-104.
    Posted 5 August 2022. A previous version was published as “A New Approach for Zionists: Conversation,” Palestine-Israel Journal 14, no. 2 (2007): 100–104. For a longer version of the argument, see my “Going Rabin One Further” in Patriotic Elaborations: Essays in Practical Philosophy (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009).
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  14.  78
    From Pluralist to Patriotic Politics: Putting Practice First.Charles Blattberg - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
    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 (...)
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  15. What's Wrong with Hypergoods.Charles Blattberg - 2007 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 33 (7):802-832.
    Charles Taylor defines `hypergoods' as the fundamental, architechtonic goods that serve as the basis of our moral frameworks. He also believes that, in principle, we can use reason to reconcile the conflicts that hypergoods engender. This belief, however, relies upon a misindentification of hypergoods as goods rather than as works of art, an error which is itself a result of an overly adversarial conception of practical reason. For Taylor fails to distinguish enough between ethical conflicts and those relating to the (...)
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  16.  28
    On the Minimal Global Ethic.Charles Blattberg - 2009 - In Patriotic Elaborations: Essays in Practical Philosophy. Montreal, QC, Canada:
    An account of two sources of the "minimal global ethic," one interpretive and the other creative. Humour, more specifically slapstick, is the interpretive source, while "revelation" as present in both Rabbinic Judaism and Modernism is the creative source. The question of the ethic and conflict is then briefly discussed. This version, posted 25 June 2022, is a revised form of the chapter from the book published in 2009.
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  17.  43
    Secular Nationhood? The Importance of Language in the Life of Nations.Charles Blattberg - 2006 - Nations and Nationalism 12 (4):597-612.
    Scholars of nationhood have neglected the artists. On the creative origins of nations.
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  18. Taking Politics Seriously - but Not Too Seriously.Charles Blattberg - 2019 - Philosophy 94 (2):271-94.
    John Rawls’ gamification of justice leads him – along with many other monist political philosophers, not least Ronald Dworkin – to fail to take politics seriously enough. I begin with why we consider games frivolous and then show how Rawls’ theory of justice is not merely analogous to a game, as he himself seems to claim, but is in fact a kind of game. As such, it is harmful to political practice in two ways: one as regards the citizens who (...)
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  19. Patriotism, Local and Global.Charles Blattberg - 2020 - In Mitja Sardoč (ed.), Handbook of Patriotism. Berlin, Germany: Springer.
    The terms “patriotism” and “nationalism” are distinguished historically, conceptually, and geographically. Historically, patriotism is shown to have roots in the classical republican tradition of political thought, according to which citizens should give priority to the common good of their political or civic, as distinct from national, community. Conceptually, it is argued that patriotism is best understood as a political philosophy, an account of the form or forms of dialogue that citizens should engage in when responding to their conflicts, whereas nationalism (...)
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  20. On Charles Taylor's 'Deep Diversity'.Charles Blattberg - 2020 - In Ursula Lehmkuhl & Elisabeth Tutschek (eds.), 150 Years of Canada: Grappling with Diversity Since 1867. Münster, Germany: Waxmann Verlag GmbH.
    Charles Taylor’s idea of “deep diversity” has played a major role in the debates around multiculturalism in Canada and around the world. Originally, the idea was meant to account for how the different national communities within Canada – those of the English-speaking Canadians, the French-speaking Quebeckers, and the Aboriginals – conceive of their belonging to the country in different ways. But Taylor conceives of these differences strictly in terms of irreducibility; that is, he fails to see that they also exist (...)
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  21. 汉娜·阿伦特 饰演.Charles Blattberg - 2013 - In Chen Wei (ed.), Main Currents of Contemporary Western Thought. Beijing: China Renmin University Press.
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  22. Taking War Seriously.Charles Blattberg - 2019 - Philosophy 94 (1):139-60.
    Just war theory − as advanced by Michael Walzer, among others − fails to take war seriously enough. This is because it proposes that we regulate war with systematic rules that are comparable to those of a game. Three types of claims are advanced. The first is phenomenological: that the theory's abstract nature interferes with our judgment of what is, and should be, going on. The second is meta-ethical: that the theory's rules are not, in fact, systematic after all, there (...)
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  23. Reason or Art? (Review of Charles Taylor’s Modern Social Imaginaries).Charles Blattberg - 2006 - Dialogue 45 (1):183-85.
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  24. The Ironic Tragedy of Human Rights.Charles Blattberg - 2009 - In Patriotic Elaborations. Montreal, QC, Canada and Kingston, ON: McGill-Queen's University Press.
    With the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the idea of human rights came into its own on the world stage. More than anything, the Declaration was a response to the Holocaust, to both its perpetrators and the failure of the rest of the world adequately to come to the aid of its victims. Since that year, however, we have seen many more cases of mass murder. Think of China, Bali, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and now (...)
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  25. Putting Practices First From Pluralist to Patriotic Politics.Charles Blattberg - 1997
    Doctoral thesis (Oxford University). Revised version published as From Pluralist to Patriotic Politics: Putting Practices First (Oxford: Oxford University, 2000).
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  26.  52
    Modern Social Imaginaries Charles Taylor Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004, 215 Pp., $18.95 Paper. [REVIEW]Charles Blattberg - 2006 - Dialogue 45 (1):183.
    Review of Charles Taylor's book, Modern Social Imaginaries.
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  27.  1
    Richard Vernon, Friends, Citizens, Strangers: Essays on Where We Belong (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005). [REVIEW]Charles Blattberg - 2006 - Canadian Journal of Political Science 39:975-76.
    A review, posted 11 September 2002, of Richard Vernon's book. A previous version was published in the Canadian Journal of Political Science 39, no. 4 (Dec. 2006): 975–76.
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  28.  39
    Modern Social Imaginaries.Charles Blattberg - 2006 - Dialogue 45 (1):183-185.
  29.  47
    Opponents Vs. Adversaries in Plato's "Phaedo".Charles Blattberg - 2005 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 22 (2):109-127.
  30.  20
    The One and the Many: Reading Isaiah Berlin – George Crowder and Henry Hardy. [REVIEW]Charles Blattberg - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233):753-755.