If You're an Egalitarian, How Come You're So Rich? / Edition 1

If You're an Egalitarian, How Come You're So Rich? / Edition 1

by G. A. Cohen
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674006933

ISBN-13: 9780674006935

Pub. Date: 09/28/2001

Publisher: Harvard

This book presents G. A. Cohen's Gifford Lectures, delivered at the University of Edinburgh in 1996. Focusing on Marxism and Rawlsian liberalism, Cohen draws a connection between these thought systems and the choices that shape a person's life. In the case of Marxism, the relevant life is his own: a communist upbringing in the 1940s in Montreal, which induced a

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Overview

This book presents G. A. Cohen's Gifford Lectures, delivered at the University of Edinburgh in 1996. Focusing on Marxism and Rawlsian liberalism, Cohen draws a connection between these thought systems and the choices that shape a person's life. In the case of Marxism, the relevant life is his own: a communist upbringing in the 1940s in Montreal, which induced a belief in a strongly socialist egalitarian doctrine. The narrative of Cohen's reckoning with that inheritance develops through a series of sophisticated engagements with the central questions of social and political philosophy.

In the case of Rawlsian doctrine, Cohen looks to people's lives in general. He argues that egalitarian justice is not only, as Rawlsian liberalism teaches, a matter of rules that define the structure of society, but also a matter of personal attitude and choice. Personal attitude and choice are, moreover, the stuff of which social structure itself is made. Those truths have not informed political philosophy as much as they should, and Cohen's focus on them brings political philosophy closer to moral philosophy, and to the Judeo-Christian ethical tradition, than it has recently been.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674006935
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Prospectus1
1Paradoxes of Conviction7
2Politics and Religion in a Montreal Communist Jewish Childhood20
3The Development of Socialism from Utopia to Science42
4Hegel in Marx: The Obstetric Motif in the Marxist Conception of Revolution58
5The Opium of the People: God in Hegel, Feuerbach, and Marx79
6Equality: From Fact to Norm101
7Ways That Bad Things Can Be Good: A Lighter Look at the Problem of Evil116
8Justice, Incentives, and Selfishness117
9Where the Action Is: On the Site of Distributive Justice134
10Political Philosophy and Personal Behavior148
Envoi180
Notes183
Bibliography221
Credits227
Index229

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