Philosophy and Real Politics

Philosophy and Real Politics

by Raymond Geuss
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691137889

ISBN-13: 9780691137889

Pub. Date: 07/28/2008

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Many contemporary political thinkers are gripped by the belief that their task is to develop an ideal theory of rights or justice for guiding and judging political actions. But in Philosophy and Real Politics, Raymond Geuss argues that philosophers should first try to understand why real political actors behave as they actually do. Far from being applied

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Overview

Many contemporary political thinkers are gripped by the belief that their task is to develop an ideal theory of rights or justice for guiding and judging political actions. But in Philosophy and Real Politics, Raymond Geuss argues that philosophers should first try to understand why real political actors behave as they actually do. Far from being applied ethics, politics is a skill that allows people to survive and pursue their goals. To understand politics is to understand the powers, motives, and concepts that people have and that shape how they deal with the problems they face in their particular historical situations.

Philosophy and Real Politics both outlines a historically oriented, realistic political philosophy and criticizes liberal political philosophies based on abstract conceptions of rights and justice. The book is a trenchant critique of established ways of thought and a provocative call for change.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691137889
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/28/2008
Pages:
126
Sales rank:
1,395,470
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents


Preface vii

Introduction 1

Part I Realism

Who Whom? 23

Priorities, Preferences, Timing 30

Legitimacy 34

Tasks of Political Theory 37

Understanding, Evaluation, Orientation 37

Conceptual Innovation 42

Ideology 50

Part II Failures of Realism

Rights 60

Justice 70

Equality 76

Fairness, Ignorance, Impartiality 80

Power 90

Conclusion 95

Notes 103

Works Cited 109

Index 113

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