in the beginning was the deed realism and moralism in political argument

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In The Beginning Was The Deed

Author : Bernard Williams
ISBN : 0691134103
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 81. 68 MB
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Bernard Williams is remembered as one of the most brilliant and original philosophers of the past fifty years. Widely respected as a moral philosopher, Williams began to write about politics in a sustained way in the early 1980s. There followed a stream of articles, lectures, and other major contributions to issues of public concern--all complemented by his many works on ethics, which have important implications for political theory. This new collection of essays, most of them previously unpublished, addresses many of the core subjects of political philosophy: justice, liberty, and equality; the nature and meaning of liberalism; toleration; power and the fear of power; democracy; and the nature of political philosophy itself. A central theme throughout is that political philosophers need to engage more directly with the realities of political life, not simply with the theories of other philosophers. Williams makes this argument in part through a searching examination of where political thinking should originate, to whom it might be addressed, and what it should deliver. Williams had intended to weave these essays into a connected narrative on political philosophy with reflections on his own experience of postwar politics. Sadly he did not live to complete it, but this book brings together many of its components. Geoffrey Hawthorn has arranged the material to resemble as closely as possible Williams's original design and vision. He has provided both an introduction to Williams's political philosophy and a bibliography of his formal and informal writings on politics. Those who know the work of Bernard Williams will find here the familiar hallmarks of his writing--originality, clarity, erudition, and wit. Those who are unfamiliar with, or unconvinced by, a philosophical approach to politics, will find this an engaging introduction. Both will encounter a thoroughly original voice in modern political theory and a searching approach to the shape and direction of liberal political thought in the past thirty-five years.

Philosophy As A Humanistic Discipline

Author : Bernard Williams
ISBN : 9781400827091
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 23. 8 MB
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What can--and what can't--philosophy do? What are its ethical risks--and its possible rewards? How does it differ from science? In Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline, Bernard Williams addresses these questions and presents a striking vision of philosophy as fundamentally different from science in its aims and methods even though there is still in philosophy "something that counts as getting it right." Written with his distinctive combination of rigor, imagination, depth, and humanism, the book amply demonstrates why Williams was one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century. Spanning his career from his first publication to one of his last lectures, the book's previously unpublished or uncollected essays address metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, as well as the scope and limits of philosophy itself. The essays are unified by Williams's constant concern that philosophy maintain contact with the human problems that animate it in the first place. As the book's editor, A. W. Moore, writes in his introduction, the title essay is "a kind of manifesto for Williams's conception of his own life's work." It is where he most directly asks "what philosophy can and cannot contribute to the project of making sense of things"--answering that what philosophy can best help make sense of is "being human." Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline is one of three posthumous books by Williams to be published by Princeton University Press. In the Beginning Was the Deed: Realism and Moralism in Political Argument was published in the fall of 2005. The Sense of the Past: Essays in the History of Philosophy is being published shortly after the present volume.

Philosophy And Real Politics

Author : Raymond Geuss
ISBN : 0691137889
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 39. 60 MB
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Many contemporary political thinkers are gripped by the belief that their task is to develop an ideal theory of rights or justice for guiding and judging political actions. This book argues that philosophers should first try to understand why real political actors behave as they actually do.

The Sense Of The Past

Author : Bernard Williams
ISBN : 9781400827107
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 39. 5 MB
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Before his death in 2003, Bernard Williams planned to publish a collection of historical essays, focusing primarily on the ancient world. This posthumous volume brings together a much wider selection, written over some forty years. His legacy lives on in this masterful work, the first collection ever published of Williams's essays on the history of philosophy. The subjects range from the sixth century B.C. to the twentieth A.D., from Homer to Wittgenstein by way of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Sidgwick, Collingwood, and Nietzsche. Often one would be hard put to say which part is history, which philosophy. Both are involved throughout, because this is the history of philosophy written philosophically. Historical exposition goes hand in hand with philosophical scrutiny. Insights into the past counteract blind acceptance of present assumptions. In his touching and illuminating introduction, Myles Burnyeat writes of these essays: "They show a depth of commitment to the history of philosophy seldom to be found nowadays in a thinker so prominent on the contemporary philosophical scene." The result celebrates the interest and importance to philosophy today of its near and distant past. The Sense of the Past is one of three collections of essays by Bernard Williams published by Princeton University Press since his death. In the Beginning Was the Deed: Realism and Moralism in Political Argument, selected, edited, and with an introduction by Geoffrey Hawthorn, and Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline, selected, edited, and with an introduction by A. W. Moore, make up the trio.

Essays And Reviews

Author : Bernard Williams
ISBN : 9781400848393
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 61. 28 MB
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Bernard Williams was one of the most important philosophers of the past fifty years, but he was also a distinguished critic and essayist with an elegant style and a rare ability to communicate complex ideas to a wide public. This is the first collection of Williams's popular essays and reviews. Williams writes about a broad range of subjects, from philosophy to science, the humanities, economics, feminism, and pornography. Included are reviews of major books such as John Rawls’s Theory of Justice, Richard Rorty’s Consequences of Pragmatism, and Martha Nussbaum’s Therapy of Desire. But many of these essays extend beyond philosophy, providing an intellectual tour through the past half century, from C. S. Lewis to Noam Chomsky. No matter the subject, readers see a first-class mind grappling with landmark books in "real time," before critical consensus had formed and ossified.

History And Illusion In Politics

Author : Raymond Geuss
ISBN : 0521000432
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 38. 71 MB
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In his new book, distinguished political philosopher Raymond Geuss critically examines some of the most widely held and important preconceptions about contemporary politics western societies: the state, authority, violence and coercion, the concept of legitimacy, liberalism, toleration, freedom, democracy, and human rights. Geuss argues that the liberal democratic state committed to the defense of human rights is in fact a confused conjunction of disparate elements. One of his most striking claims is that it makes sense to speak of rights only relative to a mechanism for enforcing them, and that therefore the whole concept of a "human right" as it is commonly used in contemporary political philosophy, is a confusion. A profound and concise essay on the basic structure of contemporary politics, History and Illusion in Politics is written in a voice that is skeptical, engaged, and clear. Raymond Geuss is University Lecturer, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge. Educated in the United States and Germany, he has held academic posts at Heidelberg, the University of Chicago and Princeton University. He is the editor of Nietzsche The Birth of Tragedy (Cambridge, 1999) and the author of Public Goods, Private Goods (Princeton, 2001). He is a frequent commentator on BBC Radio Three and World Service.

Truth And Truthfulness

Author : Bernard Williams
ISBN : 9781400825141
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 86. 3 MB
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What does it mean to be truthful? What role does truth play in our lives? What do we lose if we reject truthfulness? No philosopher is better suited to answer these questions than Bernard Williams. Writing with his characteristic combination of passion and elegant simplicity, he explores the value of truth and finds it to be both less and more than we might imagine. Modern culture exhibits two attitudes toward truth: suspicion of being deceived (no one wants to be fooled) and skepticism that objective truth exists at all (no one wants to be naive). This tension between a demand for truthfulness and the doubt that there is any truth to be found is not an abstract paradox. It has political consequences and signals a danger that our intellectual activities, particularly in the humanities, may tear themselves to pieces. Williams's approach, in the tradition of Nietzsche's genealogy, blends philosophy, history, and a fictional account of how the human concern with truth might have arisen. Without denying that we should worry about the contingency of much that we take for granted, he defends truth as an intellectual objective and a cultural value. He identifies two basic virtues of truth, Accuracy and Sincerity, the first of which aims at finding out the truth and the second at telling it. He describes different psychological and social forms that these virtues have taken and asks what ideas can make best sense of them today. Truth and Truthfulness presents a powerful challenge to the fashionable belief that truth has no value, but equally to the traditional faith that its value guarantees itself. Bernard Williams shows us that when we lose a sense of the value of truth, we lose a lot both politically and personally, and may well lose everything.

Patriotic Elaborations

Author : Charles Blattberg
ISBN : 9780773576636
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 76. 39 MB
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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 secular, how many nations should share a single state, a new approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and why Canada might have something to teach about the "war on terror." We also learn about the right way to deny a role to principles in ethics, how to distinguish between the good and the beautiful, the way humor works, the rabbinic nature of modernism, the difference between good, bad, great, and evil, why Plato's dialogues are not really dialogues, and why most philosophers are actually artists.

Politics Recovered

Author : Matt Sleat
ISBN : 9780231547550
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 90. 94 MB
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Is political theory political enough? Or does a tendency toward abstraction, idealization, moralism, and utopianism leave contemporary political theory out of touch with real politics as it actually takes place, and hence unable to speak meaningfully to or about our world? In recent years, political theory has seen a revival of interest in realism as an approach to thinking about politics. Realism seeks to avoid such pitfalls by remaining focused on politics itself, giving greater emphasis to the realities and distinctiveness of politics and the ways they ought to shape how we think and act in the political realm. Politics Recovered brings together prominent scholars to develop the idea of what it might mean to theorize politics “realistically.” The volume contributes to philosophical debates such as the relationship between politics and morality and the role that facts and emotions should play in the theorization of political values. It addresses how a realist approach aids our understanding of pressing issues such as global justice, inequality, poverty, political corruption, the value of democracy, governmental secrecy, and demands for transparency. And several chapters open up fruitful dialogues with other varieties of realist approaches, from feminist theory, democratic theory, and international relations.By exploring the nature, distinctiveness, and prospects of realist thought, Politics Recovered shows how political theory can affirm reality in order to provide meaningful and compelling answers to the fundamental questions of political life.

The Cambridge History Of Greek And Roman Political Thought

Author : Christopher Rowe
ISBN : 0521481368
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 73. 37 MB
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This volume is the first general and comprehensive treatment of the political thought of ancient Greece and Rome ever to be published in English. It covers Plato and Aristotle at length, but also a host of other major and minor thinkers, from Thucydides and the Greek dramatists to Cicero and early Christian writers. It attempts both historical and philosophical assessment of the writers discussed and quotes them generously in translation. It will take its place as a standard work essential for scholars and students of classics, history, philosophy and theology.

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