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Political philosophy : a beginners' guide for students and politicians

Author: Adam Swift
Publisher: Cambridge ; Malden, MA : Polity, 2006.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : Second edition, revised and expandedView all editions and formats
Summary:
Bringing political philosophy out of the ivory tower and within the reach of all, this book provides us with the tools to cut through the complexity of modern politics.
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Adam Swift
ISBN: 0745635318 9780745635316 0745635326 9780745635323
OCLC Number: 63136336
Notes: Previous edition: 2001.
Description: xi, 240 pages ; 22 cm
Contents: pt. 1. Social justice. Concept v. conceptions : the case of justice ; Hayek v. social justice ; Rawls : justice as fairness ; Nozick : justice as entitlement ; Popular opinion : justice as desert --
pt. 2. Liberty. Two concepts of liberty? ; Three distinctions between conceptions of liberty. 1. Effective freedom v. formal freedom, 2. Freedom as autonomy v. freedom as doing what one wants, 2. Freedom as political participation v. freedom beginning where politics ends ; Freedom, private property, the market and redistribution ; Resisting the totalitarian menace --
pt. 3. Equality. The egalitarian plateau ; Equality of opportunity ; Equality and relativities : should we mind the gap? ; Positional goods ; Three positions that look egalitarian but aren't really. 1. Utilitarianism (or any aggregative principle), 2. Diminishing principles, priority to the worst off, and maximin, 3. Entitlement and sufficiency ; Equality strikes back --
pt. 4. Community. 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. 1. Liberalism, neutrality and multiculturalism, 2. Liberalism and the nation-state --
pt. 5. Democracy. What is democracy? ; Degrees of democracy. 1. Directness or indirectness of the decision, 2. Accountability of representatives, 3. Equality (of opportunity) for influence, 4. Scope of authority of democratic will ; Procedures and outcomes ; Is democracy paradoxical? ; Subjectivism, democracy, and disagreement ; The values of democracy. Intrinsic 1. Freedom as autonomy, Intrinsic 2. Self-realization, Intrinsic 3. Equality, Instrumental 1. Good or correct decisions, Instrumental 2. Intellectual or moral development of citizens, Instrumental 3. Perceived legitimacy.
Responsibility: Adam Swift.

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Politicians invoke grand ideas: social justice, democracy, liberty, equality,community.  Read more...

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"An obviously well thought out and researched book, providing an excellent touchstone for those coming to political philosophy for the first time." Australian Journal of Political Science "Political Read more...

 
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