Democracy: An Alternate View (Problems in Contemporary Philosophy S. No. 58)

Democracy: An Alternate View (Problems in Contemporary Philosophy S. No. 58)

By: John Riser (author)Hardback

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This book provides an examination of democracy in a different light, specifically in the author's identification, explication and elaboration of three fundamental criteria. These three fundamental criteria of democracy and democratic practice often discounted or simply disregarded are: 1) democracy is a form of human activity relevant not just for the conventionally political state but also, as much or more, for other social contexts of various magnitudes and functions; 2) democracy is a practice of positive freedom, incorporating negative freedom but subsuming the latter within the project of the mutual empowerment of human beings in accordance with humanistic values; 3) democracy is embodied most adequately in a communally (not merely socially) cooperative model that is different, in most important respects, from unitary, adversary or deliberative models (herein subjected to critique). Explicit analyses are provided of a variety of socio-political concepts that are philosophically integrated with these criteria, concepts such as representation, participation, elitism, preferences, interests, the common good, human needs and human rights, negative freedom and positive freedom, justice, equality, difference, legitimacy, obligation and loyalty. The author's own model of democracy - acknowledged to be unrealizable at the level of the nation-state (where adversary quasi-democracy is most practicable) - is explicated, at the same time, dealing with problems and prospects for it and emphasizing its importance for the social activity of human beings in the immediacy of their lifeworld.

About Author

John Riser, who received a PhD in philosophy from the University of North Carolina, taught at universities in the United States and Canada from 1961 until 2003, when he retired from the University of Central Florida. In 1988, he was a lecturer for one semester at Moscow State University. His research and writing are devoted primarily to Russian philosophy and the theory of democracy.


Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. The Scope of Democracy; 3. Representation and Elitism; 4. Preferences, Interests and the Common Good; 5. Human Needs and Human Rights; 6. Negative Freedom and Positive Freedom; 7. Justice, Equality and Difference; 8. Models of Democratic Activity: Unitary, Adversary, Deliberative, Communal; 9. Legitimacy, Obligation and Loyalty; 10. The Failure of Capitalist Democracy and Socialist Democracy; 11. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780773464391
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 231
  • ID: 9780773464391
  • ISBN10: 0773464395

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