A Democracy of Distinction

Aristotle and the Work of Politics

Author: Jill Frank

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226260194

Category: Philosophy

Page: 199

View: 2990

Offering an ancient education for our times, Jill Frank's A Democracy of Distinction interprets Aristotle's writings in a way that reimagines the foundations, aims, and practices of politics, ancient and modern. Concerned especially with the work of making a democracy of distinction, Frank shows that such a democracy requires freedom and equality achieved through the exercise of virtue. Moving back and forth between Aristotle's writings and contemporary legal and political theory, Frank breathes new life into our conceptions of property, justice, and law by viewing them not only as institutions but as dynamic activities as well. Frank's innovative approach to Aristotle stresses his appreciation of the tensions and complexities of politics so that we might rethink and reorganize our own political ideas and practices. A Democracy of Distinction will be of enormous value to classicists, political scientists, and anyone interested in revitalizing democratic theory and practice.
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Poetic Justice

Rereading Plato's "Republic"

Author: Jill Frank

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022651577X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 8287

Plato set his dialogues in the fifth century BCE, when written texts were disseminated primarily by performance and recitation. He wrote them in the fourth century, when literacy was expanding. Jill Frank argues that there are unique insights to be gained from appreciating Plato's dialogues as written texts to be read-and reread. At the center of these insights is the analogy in the dialogues between becoming literate and coming to know or understand something, and two different ways of learning to read. One approach treats literacy as a top-down affair, in which authoritative teachers lead students to true beliefs. Another, recommended by Socrates in the Republic, encourages trial and error and the formation of beliefs based on students' cognitive and sensory experiences. The first approach to learning to read aligns with philosophy as authoritative knowledge and politics as rule by philosopher-kings. Following the second approach, Poetic Justice argues that the Republic neither endorses nor enforces fixed hierarchies in knowledge and politics but offers instead an education in ethical and political self-governance, one that prompts citizens to challenge all claims to authority, including those of philosophy.
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Politics of Nature

Author: Bruno Latour

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674039964

Category: Philosophy

Page: 307

View: 1530

A major work by one of the more innovative thinkers of our time, Politics of Nature does nothing less than establish the conceptual context for political ecology--transplanting the terms of ecology into more fertile philosophical soil than its proponents have thus far envisioned. Bruno Latour announces his project dramatically: "Political ecology has nothing whatsoever to do with nature, this jumble of Greek philosophy, French Cartesianism and American parks." Nature, he asserts, far from being an obvious domain of reality, is a way of assembling political order without due process. Thus, his book proposes an end to the old dichotomy between nature and society--and the constitution, in its place, of a collective, a community incorporating humans and nonhumans and building on the experiences of the sciences as they are actually practiced. In a critique of the distinction between fact and value, Latour suggests a redescription of the type of political philosophy implicated in such a "commonsense" division--which here reveals itself as distinctly uncommonsensical and in fact fatal to democracy and to a healthy development of the sciences. Moving beyond the modernist institutions of "mononaturalism" and "multiculturalism," Latour develops the idea of "multinaturalism," a complex collectivity determined not by outside experts claiming absolute reason but by "diplomats" who are flexible and open to experimentation. Table of Contents: Introduction: What Is to Be Done with Political Ecology? 1. Why Political Ecology Has to Let Go of Nature First, Get Out of the Cave Ecological Crisis or Crisis of Objectivity? The End of Nature The Pitfall of "Social Representations" of Nature The Fragile Aid of Comparative Anthropology What Successor for the Bicameral Collective? 2. How to Bring the Collective Together Difficulties in Convoking the Collective First Division: Learning to Be Circumspect with Spokespersons Second Division: Associations of Humans and Nonhumans Third Division between Humans and Nonhumans: Reality and Recalcitrance A More or Less Articulated Collective The Return to Civil Peace 3. A New Separation of Powers Some Disadvantages of the Concepts of Fact and Value The Power to Take into Account and the Power to Put in Order The Collective's Two Powers of Representation Verifying That the Essential Guarantees Have Been Maintained A New Exteriority 4. Skills for the Collective The Third Nature and the Quarrel between the Two "Eco" Sciences Contribution of the Professions to the Procedures of the Houses The Work of the Houses The Common Dwelling, the Oikos 5. Exploring Common Worlds Time's Two Arrows The Learning Curve The Third Power and the Question of the State The Exercise of Diplomacy War and Peace for the Sciences Conclusion: What Is to Be Done? Political Ecology! Summary of the Argument (for Readers in a Hurry...) Glossary Notes Bibliography Index From the book: What is to be done with political ecology? Nothing. What is to be done? Political ecology! All those who have hoped that the politics of nature would bring about a renewal of public life have asked the first question, while noting the stagnation of the so-called "green" movements. They would like very much to know why so promising an endeavor has so often come to naught. Appearances notwithstanding, everyone is bound to answer the second question the same way. We have no choice: politics does not fall neatly on one side of a divide and nature on the other. From the time the term "politics" was invented, every type of politics has been defined by its relation to nature, whose every feature, property, and function depends on the polemical will to limit, reform, establish, short-circuit, or enlighten public life. As a result, we cannot choose whether to engage in it surreptitiously, by distinguishing between questions of nature and questions of politics, or explicitly, by treating those two sets of questions as a single issue that arises for all collectives. While the ecology movements tell us that nature is rapidly invading politics, we shall have to imagine - most often aligning ourselves with these movements but sometimes against them - what a politics finally freed from the sword of Damocles we call nature might be like.
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We, the Jury

The Jury System and the Ideal of Democracy : with a New Preface

Author: Jeffrey B. Abramson

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674004306

Category: Law

Page: 308

View: 5651

This magisterial book explores fascinating cases from American history to show how juries remain the heart of our system of criminal justice - and an essential element of our democracy. No other institution of government rivals the jury in placing power so directly in the hands of citizens. Jeffrey Abramson draws upon his own background as both a lawyer and a political theorist to capture the full democratic drama that is the jury. We, the Jury is a rare work of scholarship that brings the history of the jury alive and shows the origins of many of today's dilemmas surrounding juries and justice.
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The Sleeping Sovereign

The Invention of Modern Democracy

Author: Richard Tuck

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1316425509

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 6198

Richard Tuck traces the history of the distinction between sovereignty and government and its relevance to the development of democratic thought. Tuck shows that this was a central issue in the political debates of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and provides a new interpretation of the political thought of Bodin, Hobbes and Rousseau. Integrating legal theory and the history of political thought, he also provides one of the first modern histories of the constitutional referendum, and shows the importance of the United States in the history of the referendum. The book derives from the John Robert Seeley Lectures delivered by Richard Tuck at the University of Cambridge in 2012, and will appeal to students and scholars of the history of ideas, political theory and political philosophy.
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Lords of the Sea

The Epic Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy

Author: John R. Hale

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9780670020805

Category: History

Page: 395

View: 5981

Presents a history of the epic battles, the indomitable ships, and the men--from extraordinary leaders to seductive rogues--who established Athens' supremacy, taking readers on a tour of the far-flung expeditions and detailing the legacy of a forgotten maritime empire.
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Deliberative Democracy

Author: Jon Elster

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521596961

Category: Political Science

Page: 282

View: 8125

It is sometimes assumed that voting is the central mechanism for political decision making. The contributors to this volume focus on an alternative mechanism, which is decision by discussion or deliberation. This volume is characterized by a realistic approach to the issue of deliberative democracy. Rather than assuming that deliberative democracy is always ideal, the authors critically probe its limits and weaknesses as well as its strengths.
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Powers of Distinction

On Religion and Modernity

Author: Nancy Levene

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022650753X

Category: Religion

Page: 308

View: 1872

The principle of modernity -- A history of religion -- Artificial populations -- The collective -- Images of truth from Anselm to Badiou -- The radical enlightenment of Spinoza and Kant -- Modernity as ground zero -- Of gods, laws, rabbis, and ends
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A Revolution of the Mind

Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy

Author: Jonathan Israel

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400831609

Category: History

Page: 296

View: 3192

Democracy, free thought and expression, religious tolerance, individual liberty, political self-determination of peoples, sexual and racial equality--these values have firmly entered the mainstream in the decades since they were enshrined in the 1948 U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. But if these ideals no longer seem radical today, their origin was very radical indeed--far more so than most historians have been willing to recognize. In A Revolution of the Mind, Jonathan Israel, one of the world's leading historians of the Enlightenment, traces the philosophical roots of these ideas to what were the least respectable strata of Enlightenment thought--what he calls the Radical Enlightenment. Originating as a clandestine movement of ideas that was almost entirely hidden from public view during its earliest phase, the Radical Enlightenment matured in opposition to the moderate mainstream Enlightenment dominant in Europe and America in the eighteenth century. During the revolutionary decades of the 1770s, 1780s, and 1790s, the Radical Enlightenment burst into the open, only to provoke a long and bitter backlash. A Revolution of the Mind shows that this vigorous opposition was mainly due to the powerful impulses in society to defend the principles of monarchy, aristocracy, empire, and racial hierarchy--principles linked to the upholding of censorship, church authority, social inequality, racial segregation, religious discrimination, and far-reaching privilege for ruling groups. In telling this fascinating history, A Revolution of the Mind reveals the surprising origin of our most cherished values--and helps explain why in certain circles they are frequently disapproved of and attacked even today.
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The Gardens of Democracy

A New American Story of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government

Author: Eric Liu,Nick Hanauer

Publisher: Sasquatch Books

ISBN: 1570618437

Category: Political Science

Page: 192

View: 5315

American democracy is informed by the 18th century’s most cutting edge thinking on society, economics, and government. We’ve learned some things in the intervening 230 years about self interest, social behaviors, and how the world works. Now, authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer argue that some fundamental assumptions about citizenship, society, economics, and government need updating. For many years the dominant metaphor for understanding markets and government has been the machine. Liu and Hanauer view democracy not as a machine, but as a garden. A successful garden functions according to the inexorable tendencies of nature, but it also requires goals, regular tending, and an understanding of connected ecosystems. The latest ideas from science, social science, and economics—the cutting-edge ideas of today--generate these simple but revolutionary ideas: True self interest is mutual interest. (Society, it turns out, is an ecosystem that is healthiest when we take care of the whole.) Society becomes how we behave. (The model of citizenship depends on contagious behavior, hence positive behavior begets positive behavior.) We’re all better off when we’re all better off. (The economy is not an efficient machine. It’s an effective garden that need tending. Adjust the definition of wealth to society creating solutions for all.) Government should be about the big what and the little how. (Government should establish the ideas and the goals, and then let the people find the solutions of how to make it happen.) Freedom is responsibility. (True freedom is not about living some variant of libertarianism but rather an active cooperation a part of a big whole society; freedom costs a little freedom.) The Gardens of Democracy is an optimistic, provocative, and timely summons to improve our role as citizens in a democratic society.
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Foodies

Democracy and Distinction in the Gourmet Foodscape

Author: Josee Johnston,Shyon Baumann

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317745000

Category: Social Science

Page: 276

View: 8522

This important cultural analysis tells two stories about food. The first depicts good food as democratic. Foodies frequent ‘hole in the wall’ ethnic eateries, appreciate the pie found in working-class truck stops, and reject the snobbery of fancy French restaurants with formal table service. The second story describes how food operates as a source of status and distinction for economic and cultural elites, indirectly maintaining and reproducing social inequality. While the first storyline insists that anybody can be a foodie, the second asks foodies to look in the mirror and think about their relative social and economic privilege. By simultaneously considering both of these stories, and studying how they operate in tension, a delicious sociology of food becomes available, perfect for teaching a broad range of cultural sociology courses.
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Is Democracy Possible Here?

Principles for a New Political Debate

Author: Ronald Dworkin

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400827272

Category: Political Science

Page: 192

View: 5907

Politics in America are polarized and trivialized, perhaps as never before. In Congress, the media, and academic debate, opponents from right and left, the Red and the Blue, struggle against one another as if politics were contact sports played to the shouts of cheerleaders. The result, Ronald Dworkin writes, is a deeply depressing political culture, as ill equipped for the perennial challenge of achieving social justice as for the emerging threats of terrorism. Can the hope for change be realized? Dworkin, one the world's leading legal and political philosophers, identifies and defends core principles of personal and political morality that all citizens can share. He shows that recognizing such shared principles can make substantial political argument possible and help replace contempt with mutual respect. Only then can the full promise of democracy be realized in America and elsewhere. Dworkin lays out two core principles that citizens should share: first, that each human life is intrinsically and equally valuable and, second, that each person has an inalienable personal responsibility for identifying and realizing value in his or her own life. He then shows what fidelity to these principles would mean for human rights, the place of religion in public life, economic justice, and the character and value of democracy. Dworkin argues that liberal conclusions flow most naturally from these principles. Properly understood, they collide with the ambitions of religious conservatives, contemporary American tax and social policy, and much of the War on Terror. But his more basic aim is to convince Americans of all political stripes--as well as citizens of other nations with similar cultures--that they can and must defend their own convictions through their own interpretations of these shared values.
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The Perpetual Immigrant and the Limits of Athenian Democracy

Author: Demetra Kasimis

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107052432

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 519

Argues that immigration politics is a central - but overlooked - object of inquiry in the democratic thought of classical Athens. Thinkers criticized democracy's strategic investments in nativism, the shifting boundaries of citizenship, and the precarious membership that a blood-based order effects for those eligible and ineligible to claim it.
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The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad (Revised Edition)

Author: Fareed Zakaria

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393069396

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 6065

“A work of tremendous originality and insight. ... Makes you see the world differently.”—Washington Post Translated into twenty languages ?The Future of Freedom ?is a modern classic that uses historical analysis to shed light on the present, examining how democracy has changed our politics, economies, and social relations. Prescient in laying out the distinction between democracy and liberty, the book contains a new afterword on the United States's occupation of Iraq and a wide-ranging update of the book's themes.
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The Science of Liberty

Democracy, Reason, and the Laws of Nature

Author: Timothy Ferris

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0060781513

Category: Science

Page: 384

View: 4960

In his most powerful book to date, award-winning author Timothy Ferris makes a passionate case for science as the inspiration behind the rise of liberalism and democracy. Ferris shows how science was integral to the American Revolution but misinterpreted in the French Revolution; reflects on the history of liberalism, stressing its widely underestimated and mutually beneficial relationship with science; and surveys the forces that have opposed science and liberalism—from communism and fascism to postmodernism and Islamic fundamentalism. A sweeping intellectual history, The Science of Liberty is a stunningly original work that transcends the antiquated concepts of left and right.
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Democracy and Populism

Fear and Hatred

Author: John Lukacs

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300107730

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 6245

This intensely interesting—and troubling—book is the product of a lifetime of reflection and study of democracy. In it, John Lukacs addresses the questions of how our democracy has changed and why we have become vulnerable to the shallowest possible demagoguery. Lukacs contrasts the political systems, movements, and ideologies that have bedeviled the twentieth century: democracy, Liberalism, nationalism, fascism, Bolshevism, National Socialism, populism. Reflecting on American democracy, Lukacs describes its evolution from the eighteenth century to its current form—a dangerous and possibly irreversible populism. This involves, among other things, the predominance of popular sentiment over what used to be public opinion. This devolution has happened through the gigantic machinery of publicity, substituting propaganda—and entertainment—for knowledge, and ideology for a sense of history. It is a kind of populism that relies on nationalism and militarism to hold society together. Lukacs's observations are original, biting, timely, sure to inspire lively debate about the precarious state of American democracy today.
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The Politicians and the Egalitarians: The Hidden History of American Politics

Author: Sean Wilentz

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393285014

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 7740

One of our most eminent historians reminds us of the commanding role party politics has played in America’s enduring struggle against economic inequality. “There are two keys to unlocking the secrets of American politics and American political history.” So begins The Politicians & the Egalitarians, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz’s bold new work of history. First, America is built on an egalitarian tradition. At the nation’s founding, Americans believed that extremes of wealth and want would destroy their revolutionary experiment in republican government. Ever since, that idea has shaped national political conflict and scored major egalitarian victories—from the Civil War and Progressive eras to the New Deal and the Great Society—along the way. Second, partisanship is a permanent fixture in America, and America is the better for it. Every major egalitarian victory in United States history has resulted neither from abandonment of partisan politics nor from social movement protests but from a convergence of protest and politics, and then sharp struggles led by principled and effective party politicians. There is little to be gained from the dream of a post-partisan world. With these two insights Sean Wilentz offers a crystal-clear portrait of American history, told through politicians and egalitarians including Thomas Paine, Abraham Lincoln, and W. E. B. Du Bois—a portrait that runs counter to current political and historical thinking. As he did with his acclaimed The Rise of American Democracy, Wilentz once again completely transforms our understanding of this nation’s political and moral character.
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Republicanismo

Una Teoría Sobre la Libertad Y El Gobierno

Author: Philip Pettit

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198290837

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 1056

This is the first full-length presentation of a republican alternative to the liberal and communitarian theories that have dominated political philosophy in recent years. The latest addition to the acclaimed Oxford Political Theory series, Pettit's eloquent and compelling account opens with an examination of the traditional republican conception of freedom as non-domination, contrasting this with established negative and positive views of liberty. The first part of the book traces the rise and decline of this conception, displays its many attractions, and makes a case for why it should still be regarded as a central political ideal. The second part of the book looks at what the implementation of the ideal would require with regard to substantive policy-making, constitutional and democratic design, regulatory control and the relation between state and civil society. Prominent in this account is a novel concept of democracy, under which government is exposed to systematic contestation, and a vision of state-societal relations founded upon civility and trust. Pettit's powerful and insightful new work offers not only a unified, theoretical overview of the many strands of republican ideas, but also a new and sophisticated perspective on studies in related fields including the history of ideas, jurisprudence, and criminology.
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The Problem of Political Authority

An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey

Author: Michael Huemer

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137281669

Category: Philosophy

Page: 365

View: 7299

The state is often ascribed a special sort of authority, one that obliges citizens to obey its commands and entitles the state to enforce those commands through threats of violence. This book argues that this notion is a moral illusion: no one has ever possessed that sort of authority.
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How Democracy Ends

Author: David Runciman

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 1541616790

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 5654

How will democracy end? And what will replace it? A preeminent political scientist examines the past, present, and future of an endangered political philosophy Since the end of World War II, democracy's sweep across the globe seemed inexorable. Yet today, it seems radically imperiled, even in some of the world's most stable democracies. How bad could things get? In How Democracy Ends, David Runciman argues that we are trapped in outdated twentieth-century ideas of democratic failure. By fixating on coups and violence, we are focusing on the wrong threats. Our societies are too affluent, too elderly, and too networked to fall apart as they did in the past. We need new ways of thinking the unthinkable--a twenty-first-century vision of the end of democracy, and whether its collapse might allow us to move forward to something better. A provocative book by a major political philosopher, How Democracy Ends asks the most trenchant questions that underlie the disturbing patterns of our contemporary political life.
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