Philosophy and Real Politics

Philosophy and Real Politics

By: Raymond Geuss (author)Hardback

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Many contemporary political thinkers are gripped by the belief that their task is to develop an ideal theory of rights or justice for guiding and judging political actions. But in Philosophy and Real Politics, Raymond Geuss argues that philosophers should first try to understand why real political actors behave as they actually do. Far from being applied ethics, politics is a skill that allows people to survive and pursue their goals. To understand politics is to understand the powers, motives, and concepts that people have and that shape how they deal with the problems they face in their particular historical situations. Philosophy and Real Politics both outlines a historically oriented, realistic political philosophy and criticizes liberal political philosophies based on abstract conceptions of rights and justice. The book is a trenchant critique of established ways of thought and a provocative call for change.

About Author

Raymond Geuss teaches philosophy at the University of Cambridge. His books include "Outside Ethics" (Princeton), "Public Goods, Private Goods" (Princeton), and "The Idea of a Critical Theory".


Preface vii Introduction 1 Part I Realism Who Whom? 23 Priorities, Preferences, Timing 30 Legitimacy 34 Tasks of Political Theory 37 Understanding, Evaluation, Orientation 37 Conceptual Innovation 42 Ideology 50 Part II Failures of Realism Rights 60 Justice 70 Equality 76 Fairness, Ignorance, Impartiality 80 Power 90 Conclusion 95 Notes 103 Works Cited 109 Index 113

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780691137889
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 128
  • ID: 9780691137889
  • weight: 28
  • ISBN10: 0691137889
  • translations: English
  • language of text: English

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