On Justification: Economies of Worth

On Justification: Economies of Worth

by Luc Boltanski, Laurent Thevenot
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691125163

ISBN-13: 9780691125169

Pub. Date: 03/27/2006

Publisher: Princeton University Press

A vital and underappreciated dimension of social interaction is the way individuals justify their actions to others, instinctively drawing on their experience to appeal to principles they hope will command respect. Individuals, however, often misread situations, and many disagreements can be explained by people appealing, knowingly and unknowingly, to different

Overview

A vital and underappreciated dimension of social interaction is the way individuals justify their actions to others, instinctively drawing on their experience to appeal to principles they hope will command respect. Individuals, however, often misread situations, and many disagreements can be explained by people appealing, knowingly and unknowingly, to different principles. On Justification is the first English translation of Luc Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot's ambitious theoretical examination of these phenomena, a book that has already had a huge impact on French sociology and is likely to have a similar influence in the English-speaking world.

In this foundational work of post-Bourdieu sociology, the authors examine a wide range of situations where people justify their actions. The authors argue that justifications fall into six main logics exemplified by six authors: civic (Rousseau), market (Adam Smith), industrial (Saint-Simon), domestic (Bossuet), inspiration (Augustine), and fame (Hobbes). The authors show how these justifications conflict, as people compete to legitimize their views of a situation.

On Justification is likely to spark important debates across the social sciences.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691125169
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
03/27/2006
Series:
Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

PREFACE How We Wrote This Book 1 Generalizing Field Observations and Producing Statistical Equivalency 1
Ordinary Identification and Scientific Qualification 3
From Comparison to Judgment 4
Construction of Proofs and Tension between the General and the Particular 7
The Tension between Different Forms of Generality 8
Attention to Critical Operations 10
Generality and the Common Goo d: Concepts of Worth in Political Philosophy 12
The Search for a Common Model 14
The Social Bond Put to the Test of Things 16
The Line of Argument 18

PART ONE: THE IMPERATIVE TO JUSTIFY 23

CHAPTER ONE: The Social Sciences and the Legitimacy of Agreement 25
The Critique of Sociology's Lack of Realism 26
Individualis m: A Different Social Metaphysics 27
Political Metaphysics as a Social Science 28
The Question of Agreement 31
Association and Forms of Generality 32
The Order of the General and the Particular 35
The Requirement of General Agreement and the Legitimacy of Order 37
The Reality Test and Prudent Judgment 40

CHAPTER TWO: The Foundation of Agreement in Political Philosophy: The Example of the Market Polity 43
A Social Bond Based on an Inclination toward Exchange in One's Own Interest 44
Individuals in Concert in Their Lust for Goods 48
The Sympathetic Disposition and the Position of Impartial Spectator 53

PART TWO: THE POLITIES 63

CHAPTER THREE: Political Orders and a Model of Justice 65
Political Philosophies of the Common Good 66
The Polity Model 74
An Illegitimate Orde r: Eugenics 80

CHAPTER FOUR: Political Forms of Worth 83
The Inspired Polity 83
The Domestic Polity 90
The Polity of Fame 98
The Civic Polity 107
The Industrial Polity 118

PART THREE: THE COMMON WORLDS 125

CHAPTER FIVE: Judgment Put to the Test 127
Situated Judgment 127
The Polity Extended to a Common World 130
Tests 133
Reporting on Situations 138
A Framework for Analyzing the Common Worlds 140
The Sense of the Commo n: The Moral Sense and the Sense of What Is Natural 144
The Arts of Living in Different Worlds 148

CHAPTER SIX: The Six Worlds 159
The Inspired World 159
The Domestic World 164
The World of Fame 178
The Civic World 185
The Market World 193
The Industrial World 203

PART FOUR: CRITIQUES 213

CHAPTER SEVEN: Worlds in Confiict, Judgments in Question 215
Unveiling 215
Causes of Discord and the Transport of Worths 219
Clashes and Denunciations 223
The Monstrosity of Composite Setups 225
Setting Up Situations that Hold Together 228
The Humanity of an Equitable Judgment 231
Free Wil l: Knowing How to Close and Open One's Eyes 232
EIGHT The Critical Matrix 237
Critiques from the Inspired World 237
Critiques from the Domestic World 241
Critiques from the World of Fame 247
Critiques from the Civic World 251
Critiques from the Market World 261
Critiques from the Industrial World 269

PART FIVE: ASSUAGING CRITICAL TENSIONS 275

CHAPTER NINE: Compromising for the Common Good 277
Beyond Testing to Compromising 277
The Fragility of Compromises 278
An Example of a Complex Figur e: Denunciation Supported by Compromise 282
Composing Compromises and Forming Polities 283
Developing a State Compromis e: Toward a Civic-Industrial Polity 285

CHAPTER TEN: Figures of Compromise 293
Compromises Involving the Inspired World 293
Compromises Involving the Domestic World 304
Compromises Involving the World of Fame 317
Compromises Involving the Civic World 325
Compromises Involving the Market World 332

CHAPTER ELEVEN: Relativization 336
Private Arrangements 336
Insinuation 338
Flight from Justification 339
Relativism 340
Violence and Justification 343
Afterwor d: Toward a Pragmatics of Reflection 347
The Place of Justifications in the Gamut of Actions 347
Below the Level of Public Judgment: Determining the Appropriate Action in Light of a Snag 348
From Anger to Crisis 350
The Moment of Truth in Judgment 351
The Tension of Judgment and the Qualification of Ungraspable Persons 352
Judgment between Power and Oblivion 354
The Humane Use of Judgment and Tolerance in Action 355
Knowledge about Actions 356

NOTES 359
WORKS CITED 375

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