Political Philosophy A Beginners' Guide for Students and Politicians

ISBN-10: 0745635326

ISBN-13: 9780745635323

Edition: 2nd 2006 (Revised)

Authors: Adam Swift

List price: $24.95
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Politicians invoke grand ideas: social justice, democracy, liberty, equality,community. But what do these ideas really mean? How can politicians across the political spectrum appeal to the same values?This revised and expanded edition of Political Philosophy: A Beginner's Guide for Students and Politicians, answers these important questions. Accessible and lively, the book is an ideal student text, but it also brings the insights of the world's leading political philosophers to a wide general audience. Using plenty of examples, it equips readers to think for themselves about the ideas that shape political life.Democracy works best when both politicians and voters move beyond rhetoric to think clearly and carefully about the political principles that should govern their society. But clear thinking is difficult in an age when established orthodoxies have fallen by the wayside. Bringing political philosophy out of the ivory tower and within the reach of all, this book provides us with tools to cut through the complexities of modern politics. In so doing, it makes a valuable contribution to the democratic process.
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Book details

List price: $24.95
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Polity Press
Publication date: 8/4/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.220
Language: English

Preface to first edition
Preface to second edition
Further reading
Social Justice
Concept v. conceptions: the case of justice
Hayek v. social justice
Rawls: justice as fairness
Nozick: justice as entitlement
Public opinion: justice as desert
Further reading
Two concepts of liberty?
Three distinctions between conceptions of liberty:
effective freedom v. formal freedom
freedom as autonomy v. freedom as doing what one wants
freedom as political participation v. freedom beginning where politics ends
Freedom, private property, the market and redistribution
Resisting the totalitarian menace
Further reading
Egalitarian plateau
Equality of opportunity
Equality and relativities: should we mind the gap?
Positional goods
Three positions that look egalitarian but aren't really
Utilitarianism (or any aggregative principle)
Diminishing principles, priority to the worst-off, and maximin
Entitlement and sufficiency
Equality strikes back
Further reading
Correcting misunderstandings and misrepresentations
Objection 1: Liberals assume that people are selfish or egoistic
Objection 2: Liberals advocate a minimal state
Objection 3: Liberals emphasize rights rather than duties or responsibilities
Objection 4: Liberals believe that values are subjective or relative
Objection 5: Liberals neglect the way in which individuals are socially constituted
Objection 6: Liberals fail to see the significance of communal relations, shared values and a common identity
Objection 7: Liberals wrongly think that the state can and should be neutral
Outstanding Issues
Liberalism, neutrality and multiculturalism
Liberalism and the nation state
Further Reading
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