The Conquest of Politics: Liberal Philosophy in Democratic Times

Overview

Does political philosophy have anything significant to say to citizens facing the real political world in a modern democracy? Addressing the thought of six major twentieth-century philosophers--Bertrand Russell, John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Bruce Ackerman, Michael Oakeshott, and Alasdair MacIntyre--Benjamin Barber maintains that each of them has aided in the "conquest of politics" by abstract and speculative philosophy. They and others have focused on philosophy, particularly "thinking about thinking," to the ...
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Overview

Does political philosophy have anything significant to say to citizens facing the real political world in a modern democracy? Addressing the thought of six major twentieth-century philosophers--Bertrand Russell, John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Bruce Ackerman, Michael Oakeshott, and Alasdair MacIntyre--Benjamin Barber maintains that each of them has aided in the "conquest of politics" by abstract and speculative philosophy. They and others have focused on philosophy, particularly "thinking about thinking," to the neglect of the rough-and-ready situations of the political arena. In this lively and accessible book Barber proposes a way of doing political philosophy that takes practical politics into account: the equality and mutuality of theory and practice, he argues, should be the aim of engaged political thought suited to a democratic age.

This book is a critique of the liberal philosophical traditions of Bertrand Russell, John Rawls, Robert Nozick, and Michael Oakeshott as being abstract and speculative.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Review of Books
[His commitment to democratic radicalism] has made Barber one of the leading—he is also one of the most intelligent—representatives of contemporary republican political theory. He is . . . a passionate advocate of participation, citizenship, and civic virtue.
— Michael Walzer
New York Times Book Review
Addressing the thought of six major twentieth-century philosophers—Bertrand Russell, John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Bruce Ackerman, Michael Oakeshott, and Alasdair MacIntyre—Benjamin Barber maintains that each of them has aided in the 'conquest of politics' by abstract and speculative philosophy. In this lively and accessible book Barber proposes a way of doing political philosophy that does take practical politics into account. The Conquest of Politics is replete with . . . droll and nimble wit. . . . While deflating the sometimes arcane and pretentious prose of philosophers, Mr. Barber's own style succeeds admirably in approximating the riposte of good political conversation.
— Francis Kane
New York Review of Books - Michael Walzer
[His commitment to democratic radicalism] has made Barber one of the leading—he is also one of the most intelligent—representatives of contemporary republican political theory. He is . . . a passionate advocate of participation, citizenship, and civic virtue.
New York Times Book Review - Francis Kane
Addressing the thought of six major twentieth-century philosophers—Bertrand Russell, John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Bruce Ackerman, Michael Oakeshott, and Alasdair MacIntyre—Benjamin Barber maintains that each of them has aided in the 'conquest of politics' by abstract and speculative philosophy. In this lively and accessible book Barber proposes a way of doing political philosophy that does take practical politics into account. The Conquest of Politics is replete with . . . droll and nimble wit. . . . While deflating the sometimes arcane and pretentious prose of philosophers, Mr. Barber's own style succeeds admirably in approximating the riposte of good political conversation.
From the Publisher
"[His commitment to democratic radicalism] has made Barber one of the leading—he is also one of the most intelligent—representatives of contemporary republican political theory. He is . . . a passionate advocate of participation, citizenship, and civic virtue."—Michael Walzer, New York Review of Books

"Addressing the thought of six major twentieth-century philosophers—Bertrand Russell, John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Bruce Ackerman, Michael Oakeshott, and Alasdair MacIntyre—Benjamin Barber maintains that each of them has aided in the 'conquest of politics' by abstract and speculative philosophy. In this lively and accessible book Barber proposes a way of doing political philosophy that does take practical politics into account. The Conquest of Politics is replete with . . . droll and nimble wit. . . . While deflating the sometimes arcane and pretentious prose of philosophers, Mr. Barber's own style succeeds admirably in approximating the riposte of good political conversation."—Francis Kane, New York Times Book Review

New York Times Book Review
Addressing the thought of six major twentieth-century philosophers—Bertrand Russell, John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Bruce Ackerman, Michael Oakeshott, and Alasdair MacIntyre—Benjamin Barber maintains that each of them has aided in the 'conquest of politics' by abstract and speculative philosophy. In this lively and accessible book Barber proposes a way of doing political philosophy that does take practical politics into account. The Conquest of Politics is replete with . . . droll and nimble wit. . . . While deflating the sometimes arcane and pretentious prose of philosophers, Mr. Barber's own style succeeds admirably in approximating the riposte of good political conversation.
— Francis Kane
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691023236
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/1989
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 8.41 (h) x 0.55 (d)

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