Frederick G. Whelan, a leading scholar of Enlightenment political thought, provides an illuminating and incisive interpretation of key eighteenth and nineteenth century European political thinkers' accounts and assessments of the societies and political institutes of the non-Western world. These writers opened up a major new comparative dimension for political theory and its project both to explain and evaluate different political regimes. While the intellectual confrontation of European thinkers with alien cultures tended on the whole to confirm Westerners' sense of the superiority of their own institutions, it was also characterized – during the Enlightenment more so than later – by convictions regarding a common humanity and a corresponding sympathetic curiosity about different ways of life, however primitive or exotic they might appear. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of both political philosophy and thought as well as historians of this important period of history.
Intended for scholars in the fields of political theory, and the history of political thought, this two-volume examines David Hume's Political Thought (1711-1776) and that of his contemporaries, including Smith, Blackstone, Burke and Robertson. This book is unified by its temporal focus on the middle and later decades of the eighteenth century and hence on what is usually taken to be the core period of the Enlightenment, a somewhat problematic term. Covering topics such as property, contract and resistance theory, religious establishments, the law of nations, the balance of power, demography, and the role of unintended consequences in social life, Frederick G. Whelan convincingly conveys the diversity--and creativity--of the intellectual engagements of even a limited set of Enlightenment thinkers in contrast to dismissive attitudes, in some quarters, toward the Enlightenment and its supposed unitary project. Political Thought of Hume and his Contemporaries: Enlightenment Projects Vol. 1 contains six in-depth studies of issues in eighteenth-century political thought, with an emphasis on topics in normative theory such as property rights, the social contract, resistance to oppressive government, and religious liberty. The central figure is David Hume, with substantial attention to Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, and others in the period. The introduction situates the studies in the Enlightenment and considers interpretations of that movement.
Culture, Class, and Critical Theory develops a theory of culture that explains how ideas create and legitimate class inequalities in modern society. This theory is developed through a critique and comparison of the powerful ideas on culture offered by Pierre Bourdieu and the Frankfurt School thinkers, especially Theodor Adorno. These ideas are illuminated and criticized through the development of two empirical cases on which Gartman has published extensively, automobile design and architecture. Bourdieu and the Frankfurt School postulate opposite theories of the cultural legitimation of class inequalities. Bourdieu argues that the culture of modern society is a class culture, a ranked diversity of beliefs and tastes corresponding to different classes. The cultural beliefs and practices of the dominant class are arbitrarily defined as superior, thus legitimating its greater share of social resources. By contrast, the thinkers of the Frankfurt School conceive of modern culture as a mass culture, a leveled homogeneity in which the ideas and tastes shared by all classes disguises real class inequalities. This creates the illusion of an egalitarian democracy that prevents inequalities from being contested. Through an empirical assessment of the theories against the cases, Gartman reveals that both are correct, but for different parts of modern culture. These parts combine to provide a strong legitimation of class inequalities.
This book tackles an obvious yet profound problem of modern political life: the disorientation of intellectuals and activists on the left. As the study of political history and theory has been usurped by cultural criticism, a confusion over the origins
Ali Mirsepassi's book presents a powerful challenge to the dominant media and scholarly construction of radical Islamist politics, and their anti-Western ideology, as a purely Islamic phenomenon derived from insular, traditional and monolithic religious 'foundations'. It argues that the discourse of political Islam has strong connections to important and disturbing currents in Western philosophy and modern Western intellectual trends. The work demonstrates this by establishing links between important contemporary Iranian intellectuals and the central influence of Martin Heidegger's philosophy. We are also introduced to new democratic narratives of modernity linked to diverse intellectual trends in the West and in non-Western societies, notably in India, where the ideas of John Dewey have influenced important democratic social movements. As the first book to make such connections, it promises to be an important contribution to the field and will do much to overturn some pervasive assumptions about the dichotomy between East and West.
Eine leidenschaftliche Antithese zum üblichen Kulturpessimismus und ein engagierter Widerspruch zu dem weitverbreiteten Gefühl, dass die Moderne dem Untergang geweiht ist. Hass, Populismus und Unvernunft regieren die Welt, Wissenschaftsfeindlichkeit macht sich breit, Wahrheit gibt es nicht mehr: Wer die Schlagzeilen von heute liest, könnte so denken. Doch Bestseller-Autor Steven Pinker zeigt, dass das grundfalsch ist. Er hat die Entwicklung der vergangenen Jahrhunderte gründlich untersucht und beweist in seiner fulminanten Studie, dass unser Leben stetig viel besser geworden ist. Heute leben wir länger, gesünder, sicherer, glücklicher, friedlicher und wohlhabender denn je, und nicht nur in der westlichen Welt. Der Grund: die Aufklärung und ihr Wertesystem. Denn Aufklärung und Wissenschaft bieten nach wie vor die Basis, um mit Vernunft und im Konsens alle Probleme anzugehen. Anstelle von Gerüchten zählen Fakten, anstatt überlieferten Mythen zu glauben baut man auf Diskussion und Argumente. Anschaulich und brillant macht Pinker eines klar: Vernunft, Wissenschaft, Humanismus und Fortschritt sind weiterhin unverzichtbar für unser Wohlergehen. Ohne sie wird die Welt auf keinen Fall zu einem besseren Ort für uns alle. »Mein absolutes Lieblingsbuch aller Zeiten.« Bill Gates
The Enlightenment of the late 17th and 18th century is characterized by an emphasis on reason and empiricism . As a major shaping philosophy of Western culture, it had a historical impact on the religious, cultural, academic, and social institutions of 18th century Europe. In this compelling volume, the author explores the lasting impact of Enlightenment thinking on modern Western societies and other democracies. With an interdisciplinary, comparative-historical approach this volume explores the impact of Enlightenment ideals such as liberty, equality, and social justice on current social institutions. Combining sociological theory with concrete examples, the author provides a unique framework for understanding modern cultural development, including a picture of how it would look without this Enlightenment basis. This work provides a multi-faceted approach, including: an historical overview, analysis of the Enlightenment’s influence on modern democratic societies, modern culture, political science, civil society and the economy, as well as exploring the counter-Enlightenment, Post-Enlightenment, and Neo-Enlightenment philosophies.
Immanuel Kant verfasste seinen bahnbrechenden Essay 1784 für die »Berlinische Monatsschrift«. Mit dem berühmten ersten Satz »Aufklärung ist der Ausgang des Menschen aus seiner selbst verschuldeten Unmündigkeit« formulierte Kant dabei die bis heute gültige Definition der Aufklärung, mit der im eigentliche Sinne die Moderne begann. Neben dem Aufsatz enthält der Band die ebenfalls für die Aufklärung zentralen Texte »Idee zu einer allgemeinen Geschichte in weltbürgerlicher Absicht« und »Was heißt: Sich im Denken orientieren?«
Postcolonialism and Political Theory explores the intersection between the political and the postcolonial through an engagement with, critique of, and challenge to some of the prevalent, restrictive tenets and frameworks of Western political and social thought. It is a response to the call by postcolonial studies, as well as to the urgent need within world politics, to turn towards a multiplicity--largely excluded from globally dominant discourses of community, subjectivity, power and prosperity--constituted by otherness, radical alterity, or subordination to the newly reconsolidated West. The book offers a diverse range of essays that re-examine and open the boundaries of political and cultural modernity's historical domain; that look at how the racialized and gendered and cultured subject visualizes the social from elsewhere; that critique the limits of postcolonial theory and its claim to celebrate diversity; and that complicate the notion of postcolonial politics within settler societies that continue to practice exile of the indigenous. Postcolonialism and Political Theory is an ideal book for graduate and advanced undergraduate level study and for those working both disciplinarily and interdisciplinarily, both inside and outside academia.
This provocative study argues that the 'believers' church' should draw on Catholic, Reformed, and Lutheran thought to find a solid basis for Christian political action. The book believes that a 'believers' church' ethic has points of continuity with the quest for social justice in the larger society. Rather than separating discipleship from political life or uncritically baptizing political projects, the believers' church may appeal to natural law as a basis for cooperation with others toward the end of a more just society. The volume draws upon various historical theologians and a variety of contemporary figures to affirm a God-given moral capacity in humans that makes a tolerably just political order possible.
Japan's national independence." "Moving back and forth between the ideas of Western thinkers and Fukuzawa's reinterpretations in terms of Japan's needs and cultural assumptions, Albert Craig provides a new analysis of the founding of modern Japan." --Book Jacket.
Now available in paperback, this two-volume work is intended to help readers develop powerful new ways of thinking about organizational principles, and apply them to policy-making and management in colleges and universities. The book is written with two audiences in mind: administrative and faculty leaders in institutions of higher learning, and students (both doctoral and Master's degree) studying to become upper-level administrators, leaders, and policy makers in higher education. It systematically presents a range of theories that can be applied to many of the difficult management situations that college and university leaders encounter. It provides them with the theoretical background to knowledgeably evaluate the many new ideas that emerge in the current literature, and in workshops and conferences. The purpose is to help leaders develop their own effective management style and approaches, and feel confident that their actions are informed by appropriate theory and knowledge of the latest research in the field. Without theory, organizational leaders are forced to treat each problem that they encounter as unique–as if it were a first-time occurrence. While leaders may have some experience with a particular issue, their solutions are usually not informed by the accumulated wisdom of others who have already encountered and resolved similar situations. The authors approach the theory of the organization and administration of colleges and universities from three quite different perspectives, or paradigms, each relying on different assumptions about the “reality” of organizational life in colleges and universities. The positivist paradigm–primarily an omnibus systems theory–integrates the chapters into a comprehensive, yet easily accessible whole. Social constructionism, the second paradigm, is introduced in each chapter to illuminate the difficulty of seeking and finding meaningful consensus on problems and policies, while also addressing important ethical issues that tend to be overlooked in leadership thought and action. The third paradigm, postmodernism, draws attention to difficulties of logic and communication under the constraints of strictly linear thinking that “authorities” at all levels attempt to impose on organizations. This “multiple paradigm” approach enables readers to become more cognizant of their own assumptions, how they may differ from those of others in their organization, and how those differences may both create difficulties in resolving problems and expand the range of alternatives considered in organizational decision making. The book offers readers the tools to balance the real-world needs to succeed in today’s challenging and competitive environment with the social and ethical aspirations of all its stakeholders and society at large. The authors’ aim is to elucidate how administration can be made more efficient and effective through rational decision-making while also respecting humanistic values. This approach highlights a range of phenomena that require attention if the institution is ultimately to be considered successful.
In a comprehensive and original analysis, Parvin Paidar considers the role of women in the political process of twentieth-century Iran and demonstrates how political reorganization has redefined their position. Challenging the view expressed by conventional scholarship that emphasizes the marginalization of Muslim women, the author asserts that gender issues are right at the heart of the political process in Iran. The implications of the study bear on the position of women throughout the Middle East and in the developing countries generally.
This concise text, covers both classical and contemporary social thought. It traces the major schools of thought over the past 150 years as they appear and reappear in different chapters and looks at important new voices in social theory. The treatment of individual theories and theorists is balanced with the development of key themes and ideas about social life.
In the late eighteenth century, an array of European political thinkers attacked the very foundations of imperialism, arguing passionately that empire-building was not only unworkable, costly, and dangerous, but manifestly unjust. Enlightenment against Empire is the first book devoted to the anti-imperialist political philosophies of an age often regarded as affirming imperial ambitions. Sankar Muthu argues that thinkers such as Denis Diderot, Immanuel Kant, and Johann Gottfried Herder developed an understanding of humans as inherently cultural agents and therefore necessarily diverse. These thinkers rejected the conception of a culture-free "natural man." They held that moral judgments of superiority or inferiority could be made neither about entire peoples nor about many distinctive cultural institutions and practices. Muthu shows how such arguments enabled the era's anti-imperialists to defend the freedom of non-European peoples to order their own societies. In contrast to those who praise "the Enlightenment" as the triumph of a universal morality and critics who view it as an imperializing ideology that denigrated cultural pluralism, Muthu argues instead that eighteenth-century political thought included multiple Enlightenments. He reveals a distinctive and underappreciated strand of Enlightenment thinking that interweaves commitments to universal moral principles and incommensurable ways of life, and that links the concept of a shared human nature with the idea that humans are fundamentally diverse. Such an intellectual temperament, Muthu contends, can broaden our own perspectives about international justice and the relationship between human unity and diversity.
Can Gandhi be considered a systematic thinker? While the significance of Gandhi’s thought and life to our times is undeniable it is widely assumed that he did not serve any discipline and cannot be considered a systematic thinker. Despite an overwhelming body of scholarship and literature on his life and thought the presuppositions of Gandhi’s experiments, the systematic nature of his intervention in modern political theory and his method have not previously received sustained attention. Addressing this lacuna, the book contends that Gandhi’s critique of modern civilization, the presuppositions of post-Enlightenment political theory and their epistemological and metaphysical foundations is both comprehensive and systematic. Gandhi’s experiments with truth in the political arena during the Indian Independence movement are studied from the point of view of his conscious engagement with method and theory rather than merely as a personal creed, spiritual position or moral commitment. The author shows how Gandhi’s experiments are illustrative of his theoretical position, and how they form the basis of his opposition to the foundations of modern western political theory and the presuppositions of the modern nation state besides envisioning the foundations of an alternative modernity for India, and by its example, for the world.
This book shows that mysticism is incomplete without scientific rationalism, and that our current social and political projects cannot be completed without assimilating the values and practices of mysticism. It discusses cross-cultural ethics, mysticism and value theory, mysticism and metaphysics, mysticism and the theory of knowledge, ethics and religion, parapsychology, patriarchy, and social and political history.
A comprehensive overview of the development of political thought during the European enlightenment.
What is a crime and how do we construct it? The answers to these questions are complex and entangled in a web of power relations that require us to think differently about processes of criminalization and regulation. This book draws on Foucault's concept of governmentality as a lens to analyze and critique how crime is understood, reproduced, and challenged. It explores the dynamic interplay between practices of representation, processes of criminalization, and the ways that these circulate to both reflect and constitute crime and "justice."
The number of people who live in poverty has always far exceeded the number who do not. The normative question of how governments ought to treat the poor goes to the heart of the idea of justice and thus it is an essential element of political theory. Yet, there has been no formal study of the treatment of poverty in Western political thought. The chapters ofPoverty, Justice, and Western Political Thought include an analysis of the main arguments of Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Rousseau, Smith, Mill, Tocqueville, Hegel, Marx, Rawls, and Nozick about the causes, effects, and solutions to the problem of poverty and how their treatments of poverty relate to the idea of a just society. This book asks: What is the relationship between poverty and justice in the state? If we are to understand the relationship between the poor and the idea of a just state in the tradition of Western political thought, then we must be able to recognize how these theorists' definitions, assumptions, and conclusions about poverty contribute to or detract from the idea of justice. At the core of this work is the claim that the demands of justice necessarily entail that the political theorist engage with the problem of poverty, with the goal being to suggest some thoughtful and reasonable approaches to the problem. Poverty, Justice, and Western Political Thought demonstrates that historical analysis and reconstruction of the treatment of poverty is critical because we are part of a historical community. Rather than being artifacts of scholarship, philosophical debates and ideas that are hundreds and thousands of years old continue to be relevant today because they are part of the foundation for society's beliefs about who the poor are, why they are poor, and what responsibility, if any, society has to them. This book will benefit political theorists and philosophers interested in the history of political thought, poverty, or distributive justice, as well as non-theorists.

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