Political Theory and Societal Ethics

Overview

This refreshingly different discussion of laws, customs, and agencies examines the underlying political, cultural, and ethical structures that bind a society and define its character.

At a time of major national unheavals, Robert R. Chambers reconsiders the nature of a best society and how it can be achieved. Human behavior is organized by means of two distinct, often opposing, types of rules, each with its own modus operandi and set of ethical principles. The conflicts of rules...

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Overview

This refreshingly different discussion of laws, customs, and agencies examines the underlying political, cultural, and ethical structures that bind a society and define its character.

At a time of major national unheavals, Robert R. Chambers reconsiders the nature of a best society and how it can be achieved. Human behavior is organized by means of two distinct, often opposing, types of rules, each with its own modus operandi and set of ethical principles. The conflicts of rules take on a wider, more compelling dimension when they are used in mixtures, as they are in all states.

To illustrate his theory, Chambers describes two model island societies. In the "status" society the rules are appropriate to people working together as a team; in the "free" society, the rules are appropriate to people who relate to one another as neighbors. He analyzes the systems and structures in each type of society and illustrates the inherent conflicts between the two types of rules when used in various combinations.

Although purely theoretical, significant elements of Chambers' discussion clearly mirror current social and political difficulties facing democracies and socialist regimes. Political Theory and Societal Ethics is an important addition to the debates over the merits of different configurations of rules and of democratic versus centrally run societies.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
This discussion of laws, customs, and agencies examines the underlying political, cultural, and ethical structures that bind a society and define its character, as Chambers reconsiders the nature of a best society and how it can be achieved. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879756963
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 2/28/1992
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 6.31 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 5
1 A State of Nature 9
2 Ethics 17
3 A Utopia 25
4 The Status Society 34
5 A Social Contract 48
6 The Free Society 56
7 Theory 65
8 Rights, Obligations, and Responsibilities 76
9 A Constitution 83
10 The Hybrid Free Society 92
11 Slipping Ideals 102
12 The Hybrid Status Society 112
13 A Dictator 119
14 The Heavily Modified Status Society 135
15 A Welfare State 140
16 Special-Interest-Group Democracy 149
17 Remarks 159
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