Post-Liberalism: Studies in Political Thought

Overview

John Gray has become one of our liveliest and most influential political philosophers. This current volume is a sequel to his Liberalisms: Essays in Political Philosophy. The earlier book ended on a sceptical note, both in respect of what a post-liberal political philosophy might look like, and with respect to the claims of political philosophy itself.
John Gray's new book gives post-liberal theory a more definite content. It does so by considering particular thinkers in the ...
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Post-Liberalism: Studies in Political Thought

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Overview

John Gray has become one of our liveliest and most influential political philosophers. This current volume is a sequel to his Liberalisms: Essays in Political Philosophy. The earlier book ended on a sceptical note, both in respect of what a post-liberal political philosophy might look like, and with respect to the claims of political philosophy itself.
John Gray's new book gives post-liberal theory a more definite content. It does so by considering particular thinkers in the history of political thought, by criticizing the conventional wisdom, liberal and socialist, of the Western academic class, and most directly by specifying what remains of value in liberalism. The upshot of this line of thought is that we need not regret the failure of foundationalist liberalism, since we have all we need in the historic inheritance of the institutions of civil society. It is to the practice of liberty that these institutions encompass, rather than to empty liberal theory, that we should repair.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415135535
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/20/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

John Gray
John Gray is the author of many critically acclaimed books, including Straw Dogs and Al Qaeda and What It Means to Be Modern. A regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, he is a professor of European thought at the London School of Economics.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
Pt. I Thinkers
1 Hobbes and the modern state 3
2 Santayana and the critique of liberalism 18
3 Hayek as a conservative 32
4 Oakeshott as a liberal 40
5 Buchanan on liberty 47
6 Berlin's agonistic liberalism 64
Pt. II Critiques
7 The system of ruins 73
8 The delusion of glasnost 85
9 The academic romance of Marxism 90
10 Philosophy, science and myth in Marxism 99
11 Against Cohen on proletarian unfreedom 123
12 Totalitarianism, reform and civil society 156
13 Western Marxism: a fictionalist deconstruction 196
14 Post-totalitarianism, civil society and the limits of the Western model 202
15 Political power, social theory and essential contestability 216
16 An epitaph for liberalism 238
17 The end of history - or of liberalism? 245
Pt. III Questions
18 The politics of cultural diversity 253
19 Conservatism, individualism and the political thought of the New Right 272
20 What is dead and what is living in liberalism 283
Notes 329
Index 349
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