This accessible book is invaluable to anyone coming to social and political philosophy for the first time. It provides a broad survey of key social and political questions in modern society, as well as clear discussions of the philosophical issues central to those questions and to political thought more generally. Unique among books of this kind is a sustained treatment of specifically social philosophy, including topics such as epistemic injustice, pornography, marriage, sexuality, and the family. The relation between such social questions and specifically political topics is discussed. These topics include: political authority, economic justice, the limits of tolerance, considerations of community, race, gender, and culture in questions of justice, and radical critiques of current political theories. Updates to the Second Edition emphasize the non-statist areas of the subject and include two brand new chapters on social philosophy and transnational justice. This Second Edition also includes revisions throughout and coverage of recent theoretical discussions and world events.
John Christman is Professor of Philosophy, Political Science, and Women's Studies at Penn State University. He is the author of The Politics of Persons: Individual Autonomy and Socio-historical Selves and The Myth of Property: Toward an Egalitarian Theory of Ownership. He is also the editor of The Inner Citadel: Essays on Individual Autonomy and co-editor (with Joel Anderson) of Autonomy and the Challenges to Liberalism: New Essays.
Table of Contents Preface and Acknowledgments 1. Introduction The Liberal Democratic Paradigm Preliminaries I: Method Preliminaries II: Moral Theory and Political Philosophy Structure of the Book Notes on Further Reading 2. Social Philosophy and the Road to the Political What is Social Philosophy? A Selection of Issues in Social Philosophy From Social Criticism to Political Philosophy Chapter Summary Case to Consider Notes on Further Reading Part I. Basic Issues Within the Liberal Paradigm 3. The Problem of Political Authority The Social Contract Tradition Hobbes's Social Contract: Mechanism, Egoism, and Rationality Locke: Reason, Morality, and Freedom Lessons from Rousseau and Kant From Consent to Legitimacy Chapter Summary Case to Consider Notes on Further Reading 4. Distributive Justice Distributive Justice and Equality Libertarianism Utilitarian Approaches to Economic Justice Rawlsian Distributive Justice Varieties of Egalitarianism From Equality to the Welfare State Chapter Summary Case to Consider Notes on Further Reading 5. Toleration, Pluralism, and the Foundations of Liberalism The Canons of Liberalism The Perfectionist Challenge Utilitarian Liberalism: Perfectionism in Disguise? The Response of Political Liberalism Liberalism, Public Discourse, and Democracy Chapter Summary Case to Consider Notes on Further Reading Part II. Critique of the Liberal Paradigm: Challenges and Departures 6. Conservatism, Communitarianism, and The Social Conception of the Self Conservatism Communitarianism Chapter Summary Case to Consider Notes on Further Reading 7. Race and the Politics of Identity Ideal Theory and Ongoing Injustice Critical Race Theory What is Racism, What is Race? Racism and The Structure of Liberalism Liberalism, Freedom and Culture Chapter Summary Case to Consider Notes on Further Reading 8. Feminism, Gender and Sexuality Feminism Sexuality and Gender Identity Identity, Injustice, and Democracy Chapter Summary Case to Consider Notes on Further Reading 9. Marxism and Radical Critique The Legacy of Marx and Marxism Post-Modern Departures Chapter Summary Case to Consider Notes on Further Reading 10. Beyond the Nation State Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism Human Rights Global Justice Generally Injustice and Borders: Immigration Chapter Summary Case to Consider Notes on Further Reading Epilogue: The Hope of Liberalism?