Hypocrisy and Integrity: Machiavelli, Rousseau, and the Ethics of Politics / Edition 2

Hypocrisy and Integrity: Machiavelli, Rousseau, and the Ethics of Politics / Edition 2

by Ruth W. Grant
     
 

ISBN-10: 0226305821

ISBN-13: 9780226305820

Pub. Date: 06/28/1997

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

In her new book, Ruth W. Grant challenges the usual standards for political ethics. Arguing that hypocrisy can be constructive and that strictly principled behavior can be destructive, she explores the full range of ethical choices by brilliantly distinguishing among the varieties of hypocrisy and integrity. Grant focuses primarily on the works of Machiavelli and…  See more details below

Overview

In her new book, Ruth W. Grant challenges the usual standards for political ethics. Arguing that hypocrisy can be constructive and that strictly principled behavior can be destructive, she explores the full range of ethical choices by brilliantly distinguishing among the varieties of hypocrisy and integrity. Grant focuses primarily on the works of Machiavelli and Rousseau. While Machiavelli is often understood as arguing for the necessity of hypocrisy, Rousseau is portrayed as an antihypocrite who advocates a principled idealism. Grant's reinterpretation of these thinkers, however, allows us to see their considerable common ground. Both understood that political relationships require hypocrisy, since such ties are formed and maintained among people whose interests conflict and who need, yet cannot trust, one another. Both also appreciated the inevitable allure of ambition, vanity, and pride in building and maintaining these relationships. In this light, Machiavelli and Rousseau could be considered critics of the liberal project, which both would view as an ultimately fruitless attempt to establish open, honest, and rational politics. As Grant reveals, hypocrisy can be found in the most unlikely people - be they 'moralists,' with their unwavering devotion to principle, or moderates, with their complacency toward injustice. Rather than condemning hypocrisy altogether, then, one must subtly discriminate among its various forms. Drawing on a wealth of material, from Moliere's comedies to Rousseau's conception of political integrity, Grant offers a new conceptual framework, one that clarifies the differences between idealism and fanaticism, moderation and rationalization. Her inquiry uncovers the moral limits of compromise and argues that we must judge political behavior with a discerning eye, keeping the images of integrity that guide our judgment always within our sight.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226305820
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
06/28/1997
Edition description:
1
Pages:
209
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile:
1350L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Ch. 1Introduction1
Ch. 2Machiavelli and the Case for Hypocrisy18
Ch. 3Moliere, Rousseau, and the Ideal of Integrity57
Ch. 4Rousseau's Political Ethics: Integrity, Prudence, and Deception102
Ch. 5Rousseau's Political Ethics: Corruption, Dependence, and Vanity142
Ch. 6Conclusion171
Works cited182
Index189

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