Inventing the Individual

The Origins of Western Liberalism

Author: Larry Siedentop

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 067474473X

Category: Political Science

Page: 442

View: 2870

Here, in a grand narrative spanning 1,800 years of European history, a distinguished political philosopher firmly rejects Western liberalism’s usual account of itself: its emergence in opposition to religion in the early modern era. Larry Siedentop argues instead that liberal thought is, in its underlying assumptions, the offspring of the Church.
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Inventing the Individual

The Origins of Western Liberalism

Author: Larry Siedentop

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674417534

Category: Political Science

Page: 433

View: 6663

Here, in a grand narrative spanning 1,800 years of European history, a distinguished political philosopher firmly rejects Western liberalism’s usual account of itself: its emergence in opposition to religion in the early modern era. Larry Siedentop argues instead that liberal thought is, in its underlying assumptions, the offspring of the Church.
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Inventing the Individual

The Origins of Western Liberalism

Author: Larry Siedentop

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 1846147298

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 3087

The new book from Larry Siedentop, acclaimed author of Democracy in Europe, Inventing the Individual is a highly original rethinking of how our moral beliefs were formed and their impact on western society today 'Magisterial, timeless, beautifully written ... Siedentop has achieved something quite extraordinary. He has explained us to ourselves' Spectator This ambitious and stimulating book describes how a moral revolution in the first centuries AD - the discovery of human freedom and its universal potential - led to a social revolution in the west. The invention of a new, equal social role, the individual, gradually displaced the claims of family, tribe and caste as the basis of social organisation. Larry Siedentop asks us to rethink the evolution of the ideas on which modern societies and government are built, and argues that the core of what is now our system of beliefs emerged much earlier than we think. The roots of liberalism - belief in individual liberty, in the fundamental moral equality of individuals, that equality should be the basis of a legal system and that only a representative form of government is fitting for such a society - all these, Siedentop argues, were pioneered by Christian thinkers of the Middle Ages, who drew on the moral revolution carried out by the early church. It was the arguments of canon lawyers, theologians and philosophers from the eleventh to the fourteenth century, rather than the Renaissance, that laid the foundation for liberal democracy. There are large parts of the world where other beliefs flourish - fundamentalist Islam, which denies the equality of women and is often ambiguous about individual rights and representative institutions; quasi-capitalist China, where a form of utilitarianism enshrines state interests even at the expense of justice and liberty. Such beliefs may foster populist forms of democracy. But they are not liberal. In the face of these challenges, Siedentop urges that understanding the origins of our own liberal ideas is more than ever an important part of knowing who we are. LARRY SIEDENTOP was appointed to the first post in intellectual history ever established in Britain, at Sussex University in the 1970's. From there he moved to Oxford, becoming Faculty Lecturer in Political Thought and a Fellow of Keble College. His writings include a study of Tocqueville, an edition of Guizot's History of Civilization in Europe, and Democracy in Europe, which has been translated into a dozen languages. Siedentop was made CBE in 2004. PRAISE FOR THE BOOK 'One of the most stimulating books of political theory to have appeared in many years ... a refreshingly unorthodox account of the roots of modern liberalism in medieval Christian thinking' John Gray, Literary Review 'A brave, brilliant and beautifully written defence of the western tradition' Paul Lay, History Today 'An engrossing book of ideas ... illuminating, beautifully written and rigorously argued' Kenan Malik, Independent 'A most impressive work of philosophical history' Robert Skidelsky
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Democracy in Europe

Author: Larry Siedentop

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231123761

Category: History

Page: 253

View: 9256

Why do smokers claim that the first cigarette of the day is the best? What is the biological basis behind some heavy drinkers' belief that the "hair-of-the-dog" method alleviates the effects of a hangover? Why does marijuana seem to affect ones problem-solving capacity? Intoxicating Minds is, in the author's words, "a grand excavation of drug myth." Neither extolling nor condemning drug use, it is a story of scientific and artistic achievement, war and greed, empires and religions, and lessons for the future. Ciaran Regan looks at each class of drugs, describing the historical evolution of their use, explaining how they work within the brain's neurophysiology, and outlining the basic pharmacology of those substances. From a consideration of the effect of stimulants, such as caffeine and nicotine, and the reasons and consequences of their sudden popularity in the seventeenth century, the book moves to a discussion of more modern stimulants, such as cocaine and ecstasy. In addition, Regan explains how we process memory, the nature of thought disorders, and therapies for treating depression and schizophrenia. Regan then considers psychedelic drugs and their perceived mystical properties and traces the history of placebos to ancient civilizations. Finally, Intoxicating Minds considers the physical consequences of our co-evolution with drugs--how they have altered our very being--and offers a glimpse of the brave new world of drug therapies.
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The Evolution of the West

How Christianity Has Shaped Our Values

Author: Nick Spencer

Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press

ISBN: 1611648564

Category: History

Page: 204

View: 4011

What has Christianity ever done for us? A lot more than you might think, as Nick Spencer reveals in this fresh exploration of our cultural origins. Looking at the big ideas that characterize the West, such as human dignity, the rule of law, human rights, science, and even, paradoxically, atheism and secularism,he traces the varied ways in which many of our present values grew up and flourished in distinctively Christian soil. Always alert to the tensions and mess of history, and careful not to overstate or misstate the Christian role in shaping our present values, Spencer shows us how a better awareness of what we owe to Christianity can help us as we face new cultural challenges.
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The Making of Modern Liberalism

Author: Alan Ryan

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691148406

Category: Philosophy

Page: 670

View: 1137

"Alan Ryan's magisterial standing in political theory is already well known, but this book--a wonderful array of learned, insightful, historical discussions--puts his mastery beyond doubt. And it is massively more than the sum of its parts. It is just what the title promises: an authoritative, comprehensive, multifaceted, and strikingly intelligent account of the rise of the liberal tradition."--Jeremy Waldron, University of Oxford "These essays are at once a history, a tapestry, and a trenchant defense of liberalism at its best. They have been crafted by one of our generation's most fertile political minds. Alan Ryan's intellectual odyssey is both captivating and compelling."--Ian Shapiro, author of "The Real World of Democratic Theory" "Alan Ryan in this impressive work lights up the vast field of liberalism. He presents an accumulation of beautifully formulated ideas and leaves us with an enhanced knowledge of the depths, complexities, and richness of liberalism. His style is both vigorous and elegant, and his prowess as an interpreter is formidable. This is an invaluable book."--George Kateb, author of "Patriotism and Other Mistakes" "In "The Making of Modern Liberalism," Alan Ryan sheds new light on key thinkers in the Western political tradition and presents his own liberal perspective on political affairs. Ryan's work shines with insight and intelligence. No one can read this book without being provoked to self-reflection, disagreement, and counterargument--precisely what's needed in a great work of political theory."--Glyn Morgan, Syracuse University
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Godless

The Church of Liberalism

Author: Ann H. Coulter

Publisher: Crown Forum

ISBN: 1400054214

Category: Political Science

Page: 326

View: 5458

From the conservative spokesperson and author of Slander and How to Talk to a Liberal comes an all new, timely, and thought-provoking study of American politics and religion that looks at the Left's attacks on the Judeo-Christian tradition. Reprint. 300,000 first printing.
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The Theological Origins of Liberalism

Author: Ismail Kurun

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1498527418

Category: Political Science

Page: 270

View: 8109

This eye-opening book offers a critical survey of the true origins of liberalism. It challenges the widely held belief among social scientists that liberalism was developed in opposition to Christianity. Beginning with the Protestant Reformation, it illustrates how Christian thinkers reinterpreted Christianity and used a set of indemonstrable biblical presuppositions from their reinterpretations to develop the first liberal ideas, starting a process that culminates in the birth of the first liberal political theory in the writings of a devout Christian philosopher, John Locke. It explains how the Protestant Reformation, covenant theology, anti-trinitarianism and medieval Christian natural law theories formed the foundations of liberalism. Thus, the central claim of this book is that liberalism is better understood as a radical reinterpretation of Christianity that emerged in the post-Reformation and early modern period. As a logical consequence of revealing the hitherto generally neglected roots of liberalism, it eventually proposes that a legally pluralist liberal political theory is the best way to maintain human dignity and peace in multi-religious societies of today’s globalized world.
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Liberalism

The Life of an Idea, Second Edition

Author: Edmund Fawcett

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400889677

Category: Political Science

Page: 536

View: 2989

Despite playing a decisive role in shaping the past two hundred years of American and European politics, liberalism is no longer the dominant force it once was. In this expanded and updated edition of what has become a classic history of liberalism, Edmund Fawcett traces its ideals, successes, and failures through the lives and ideas of exemplary thinkers and politicians from the early nineteenth century to today. Significant revisions--including a new conclusion--reflect recent changes affecting the world political order that many see as presenting new and very potent threats to the survival of liberal democracy as we know it. A richly detailed account of a vulnerable but critically important political creed, this book reminds us that to defend liberalism it is vital to understand its character and history.
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Christian Human Rights

Author: Samuel Moyn

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812292774

Category: Political Science

Page: 264

View: 4867

In Christian Human Rights, Samuel Moyn asserts that the rise of human rights after World War II was prefigured and inspired by a defense of the dignity of the human person that first arose in Christian churches and religious thought in the years just prior to the outbreak of the war. The Roman Catholic Church and transatlantic Protestant circles dominated the public discussion of the new principles in what became the last European golden age for the Christian faith. At the same time, West European governments after World War II, particularly in the ascendant Christian Democratic parties, became more tolerant of public expressions of religious piety. Human rights rose to public prominence in the space opened up by these dual developments of the early Cold War. Moyn argues that human dignity became central to Christian political discourse as early as 1937. Pius XII's wartime Christmas addresses announced the basic idea of universal human rights as a principle of world, and not merely state, order. By focusing on the 1930s and 1940s, Moyn demonstrates how the language of human rights was separated from the secular heritage of the French Revolution and put to use by postwar democracies governed by Christian parties, which reinvented them to impose moral constraints on individuals, support conservative family structures, and preserve existing social hierarchies. The book ends with a provocative chapter that traces contemporary European struggles to assimilate Muslim immigrants to the continent's legacy of Christian human rights.
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The Lost Soul of American Politics

Virtue, Self-Interest, and the Foundations of Liberalism

Author: John P. Diggins

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226148779

Category: History

Page: 409

View: 6856

Traces the history of American political thought, and argues that the neo-conservatives have lost sight of the moral foundations of the country
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God, Locke, and Equality

Christian Foundations in Locke's Political Thought

Author: Jeremy Waldron

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521890571

Category: History

Page: 263

View: 8405

Jeremy Waldron, one of the leading political philosophers of our time, looks at the principle of equality in the thought of John Locke, and the extent to which this is grounded in Christian principles. Throughout the text, Waldron discusses contemporary approaches to equality and rival interpretations of Locke, making his book unusually accessible and intellectually exciting. It will be of interest to philosophers, political theorists, lawyers and theologians around the world. Jeremy Waldron is the Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor at Columbia Law School and Director of Columbia's Center for Law and Philosophy. Waldron has taught and lectured at UC Berkeley, Princeton University, Edinburgh University, Oxford University and Cambridge University. His books include The Dignity of Legislation (Cambridge, 1999), The Right to Private Property (Oxford, 1988) and The Law (Routledge, 1990). Waldron contributes to the London Review of Books and the New York Times Book Review.
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Liberalisms (Routledge Revivals)

Essays in Political Philosophy

Author: John Gray

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135229821

Category: Philosophy

Page: 274

View: 1399

Liberalisms, a work first published in 1989, provides a coherent and comprehensive analytical guide to liberal thinking over the past century and considers the dominance of liberal thought in Anglo-American political philosophy over the past 20 years. John Gray assesses the work of all the major liberal political philosophers including J. S. Mill, Herbert Spencer, Karl Popper, F. A Hayek, John Rawls and Robert Nozick, and explores their mutual connections and differences.
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Natural Law and Justice

Author: Lloyd L. Weinreb

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674604261

Category: Law

Page: 320

View: 7352

"Human beings are a part of nature and apart from it." The argument of Natural Law and Justice is that the philosophy of natural law and contemporary theories about the nature of justice are both efforts to make sense of the fundamental paradox of human experience: individual freedom and responsibility in a causally determined universe. Professor Weinreb restores the original understanding of natural law as a philosophy about the place of humankind in nature. He traces the natural law tradition from its origins in Greek speculation through its classic Christian statement by Thomas Aquinas. He goes on to show how the social contract theorists adapted the idea of natural law to provide for political obligation in civil society and how the idea was transformed in Kant's account of human freedom. He brings the historical narrative down to the present with a discussion of the contemporary debate between natural law and legal positivism, including particularly the natural law theories of Finnis, Richards, and Dworkin. Professor Weinreb then adopts the approach of modern political philosophy to develop the idea of justice as a union of the distinct ideas of desert and entitlement. He shows liberty and equality to be the political analogues of desert and entitlement and both pairs to be the normative equivalents of freedom and cause. In this part of the book, Weinreb considers the theories of justice of Rawls and Nozick as well as the communitarian theory of Maclntyre and Sandel. The conclusion brings the debates about natural law and justice together, as parallel efforts to understand the human condition. This original contribution to legal philosophy will be especially appreciated by scholars, teachers, and students in the fields of political philosophy, legal philosophy, and the law generally.
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Aquinas, Aristotle, and the Promise of the Common Good

Author: Mary M. Keys

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139460765

Category: Philosophy

Page: N.A

View: 7827

Aquinas, Aristotle, and the Promise of the Common Good, first published in 2006, claims that contemporary theory and practice have much to gain from engaging Aquinas's normative concept of the common good and his way of reconciling religion, philosophy, and politics. Examining the relationship between personal and common goods, and the relation of virtue and law to both, Mary M. Keys shows why Aquinas should be read in addition to Aristotle on these perennial questions. She focuses on Aquinas's Commentaries as mediating statements between Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Politics and Aquinas's own Summa Theologiae, showing how this serves as the missing link for grasping Aquinas's understanding of Aristotle's thought. Keys argues provocatively that Aquinas's Christian faith opens up new panoramas and possibilities for philosophical inquiry and insights into ethics and politics. Her book shows how religious faith can assist sound philosophical inquiry into the foundation and proper purposes of society and politics.
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Jilted Generation

How Britain has Bankrupted its Youth

Author: Ed Howker,Shiv Malik

Publisher: Icon Books Ltd

ISBN: 1848312369

Category: Political Science

Page: 300

View: 9893

Why are so many adult children living still living with mum and dad? Why do young people seem so disinterested in politics? And what are the hidden threats to Britain’s long-term prosperity lurking in the next few decades? First published in 2010, Ed Howker and Shiv Mailk’s Jilted Generation answers fundamental questions about the society you thought you knew. It identified, for the first time, the perilous position of Britain’s young adults and, with a title brandished by everyone from Ed Miliband to student protesters, the book’s thesis has formed a controversial but essential part of Britain’s political debate. With significant additional material, this edition updates the argument and explains the real effects of austerity policies and the recession. And, crucially, it explains what must be done to protect a vital and underestimated national asset – Britain’s newest adults.
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The Tyranny of the Moderns

Author: Nadia Urbinati

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300189958

Category: Political Science

Page: 224

View: 1849

In a well-reasoned and thought-provoking polemic, respected political theorist Nadia Urbinati explores a profound shift in the ideology of individualism, from the ethical nineteenth-century standard, in which each person cooperates with others as equals for the betterment of their lives and the community, to the contemporary “I don’t give a damn” maxim. Identifying this “tyranny of the moderns” as the most radical risk that modern democracy currently faces, the author examines the critical necessity of reestablishing the role of the individual citizen as a free and equal agent of democratic society.
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The Retreat of Western Liberalism

Author: Edward Luce

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

ISBN: 0802188869

Category: Political Science

Page: 234

View: 6773

"Insightful and harrowing . . . lucidly expounds on the erosion of the West's middle classes, the dysfunction among its political and economic elites and the consequences for America and the world."—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times In his widely acclaimed book Time to Start Thinking, Financial Times chief US columnist and commentator Edward Luce charted the course of America's relative decline, proving to be a prescient voice on our current social and political turmoil. In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Luce makes a larger statement about the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of liberal democracy—of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a terrifying symptom. Luce argues that we are on a menacing trajectory brought about by ignorance of what it took to build the West, arrogance towards society's economic losers, and complacency about our system's durability—attitudes that have been emerging since the fall of the Berlin Wall. We cannot move forward without a clear diagnosis of what has gone wrong. Unless the West can rekindle an economy that produces gains for the majority of its people, its political liberties may be doomed. The West's faith in history teaches us to take democracy for granted. Reality tells us something troublingly different. Combining on-the-ground reporting with intelligent synthesis of the literature and economic analysis, Luce offers a detailed projection of the consequences of the Trump administration, the rise of European populism, and a forward-thinking analysis of what those who believe in enlightenment values must do to defend them from the multiple onslaughts they face in the coming years.
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