In recent years there has been an interesting turn in the philosophical literature to groups and collective action. At the same time there has been a renewed interest in various forms of methodological individualism. This paper attempts to show the diversity of group action that is overlooked by much of the literature, to clarify some of the ambiguities that plague our language about groups and collectives, and to support the view that social entities are genuine. Some important arguments against social (...) entities being genuine are rebutted. The existence of social entities gives some substance to the debate about methodological individualism, but the resolution of the debate has depended too much on empirical results in the distant future. The article ends with some suggestions on how the debate matters in looking for biases in the directions of current social theorizing. (shrink)
Typical philosophies of liberation often assume, and sometimes argue, that freedom and democracy will be best experienced through an absence of institutions. Contrary to this trend in theory, the author argues that a better philosophy of liberation will seek to transform institutions, rather than abolish them. Using examples of cooperative experiments in the Basque territories and in Brazil, the author argues that experiences of liberation are achieved through new forms of institutional life that nurture participatory and egalitarian relationships between people.
Hegel's logic provides a basis for an interpretation of his philosophy of history and political theory which avoids many of the difficulties that traditionally have been associated with his views, leaving us with a clear and useful model of modern political interaction. The unification of content and form provides for the inherently historicist features of the model, that resolve the traditional dichotomy of description and prescription by presenting the state as a historical process, developing through the opposition between the normative (...) claims of its constituents and the determinate socio-political arrangements existing at any particular stage in its history. The discussion begins with a brief examination of Hegel's doctrines of the concept and the _idea, which it subsequently applies to an interpretation of his concepts of _Sittlichkeit and the state. (shrink)
Comparative Political Philosophy: Studies Under the Upas Tree examines four major traditions of political philosophy and discusses similarities in their key ideas and assumptions. An intellectually daring enterprise, this fascinating volume focuses on key texts from Chinese, Indian, Western and Islamic political philosophy.