In this important volume, the leading political theorist and philosopher Norberto Bobbio confronts some of the most enduring moral questions of our time. Written over the last two decades of the twentieth century, the essays in this volume develop some of the central themes in Bobbio's moral and political philosophy. They also reflect his longstanding civil commitment to liberty, democracy, peace and equality.
The opening essay, 'In praise of meekness', analyses the virtue of meekness in its individual and social aspects. It identifies the meek person with the nonviolent, and meekness with the refusal to exercise violence against anyone. Meekness, therefore, is a non-political virtue - it is the antithesis of politics. The volume also addresses the persistent classical problem of 'reason of state', as well as the more contemporary questions of tolerance and truth, racism, prejudice and ethics. The problem of evil in the modern world is also discussed. All the essays display the sensitivity and depth of understanding that characterize Bobbio's writings on current debates and historical controversies.
The book will be invaluable reading for all students and scholars of politics, as well as those who are interested in the debates surrounding morals, ethics and law.
Norberto Bobbio is Emeritus Professor of Legal and Political Philosophy at the University of Turin
Translator's Preface. Introduction. In Praise of Meekness. PART I. Ethics and Politics. Reason of State and Democracy. PART II. The Nature of Prejudice. Racism Today. PART III. Truth and Liberty. Tolerance and Truth. PART IV. For and Against Lay Ethics. The Gods that Failed. APPENDIX. Understand Before Judging. Free to Save Ourselves. Note about the texts. Index.