Individualism

Overview

Individualism embraces a wide diversity of meanings and is widely used by those who criticize and by those who praise Western societies and their culture, by historians and literary scholars in search of the emergence of 'the individual', by anthropologists claiming that there are different, culturally shaped conceptions of the individual or 'person', by philosophers debating what form social science explanations should take and by political theorists defending liberal principles. In this classic text, Steven ...

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Overview

Individualism embraces a wide diversity of meanings and is widely used by those who criticize and by those who praise Western societies and their culture, by historians and literary scholars in search of the emergence of 'the individual', by anthropologists claiming that there are different, culturally shaped conceptions of the individual or 'person', by philosophers debating what form social science explanations should take and by political theorists defending liberal principles. In this classic text, Steven Lukes discusses what 'individualism' has meant in various national traditions and across different provinces of thought, analyzing it into its component unit-ideas and doctrines. He further argues that it now plays a malign ideological role, for it has come to evoke a socially-constructed body of ideas whose illusory unity is deployed to suggest that redistributive policies are neither feasible nor desirable and to deny that there are institutional alternatives to the market.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Steven Lukes is Professor of Sociology at New York University, USA. He has previously held posts at Balliol College, Oxford, the European University Institute in Florence, the University of Siena and the London School of Economics. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and an editor of the European Journal of Sociology. His many published works include Emile Durkheim: His Life and Work; Power: A Radical View (of which a second, much expanded edition was recently published); Rationality and Relativism (edited with Martin Hollis); Marxism and Morality; Moral Conflict and Politics; Liberals and Cannibals: The Implications of Diversity; and The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat: A Comedy of Ideas.

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Table of Contents

New introduction by the author 1

Foreword 17

Part 1 The Semantic History of 'Individualism' 19

Chapter One France 21

Chapter Two Germany 30

Chapter Three Jacob Burckhardt 35

Chapter Four America 37

Chapter Five England 41

Chapter Six History and the Social Sciences 46

Part 2 The Basic Ideas of Individualism 49

Chapter Seven The Dignity of Man 51

Chapter Eight Autonomy 55

Chapter Nine Privacy 60

Chapter Ten Self-Development 66

Chapter Eleven The Abstract Individual 70

Chapter Twelve Political Individualism 74

Chapter Thirteen Economic Individualism 80

Chapter Fourteen Religious Individualism 84

Chapter Fifteen Ethical Individualism 87

Chapter Sixteen Epistemological Individualism 92

Chapter Seventeen Methodological Individualism 94

Part 3 The Relations Between These Ideas 103

Chapter Eighteen Equality and Liberty 105

Chapter Nineteen The Doctrines 113

Chapter Twenty Taking Equality and Liberty Seriously 118

Afterword 126

Bibliography 127

Index of Names 131

Index of Subjects 135

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