New French Thought: Political Philosophy

New French Thought: Political Philosophy

by Mark Lilla (Editor)


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The past fifteen years in France have seen a remarkable flourishing of new work in political philosophy. This anthology brings into English for the first time essays by some of the best young French political thinkers writing today, including Marcel Gauchet, Pierre Manent, Luc Ferry, and Alain Renaut. The central theme of these essays is liberal democracy: its nature, its development, its problems, its fundamental legitimacy. Although these themes are familiar to American and British readers, the French approach to them--which is profoundly historical and rooted in the tradition of continental philosophy--is quite different from our customary one.Included in this collection is a series of reconsiderations of French critics of liberal society (L‚vi-Strauss, Foucault, Bourdieu) and of classical European liberals (Kant, Constant, Tocqueville). The continuing controversies over the nature of the modern era and the place of religion within it play a central role throughout the collection. The book includes a debate on the foundations of human rights and on the nature of a liberal political order. The concluding section presents some of the new sociological writing on modern individualism, its pleasures and its discontents. An introduction by Mark Lilla provides the historical background to the revival of French political thought about liberalism, and offers an analysis of what American and English readers might learn from it.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691605678
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 07/14/2014
Series: New French Thought Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Legitimacy of the Liberal Age 3

Ch. 1 Levi-Strauss 38

Ch. 2 Foucault 54

Ch. 3 Bourdieu 63

Ch. 4 Kant and Fichte 74

Ch. 5 Constant 82

Ch. 6 Tocqueville 91

Ch. 7 Primitive Religion and the Origins of the State 116

Ch. 8 The Modern State 123

Ch. 9 Ancient, Modern, and Contemporary 134

Ch. 10 How to Think about Rights 148

Ch. 11 Rights and Natural Law 155

Ch. 12 Rights and Modern Law 164

Ch. 13 The Contest for Command 178

Ch. 14 On Legitimacy and Political Deliberation 186

Ch. 15 Modernization and Consensus 201

Ch. 16 May '68, or the Rise of Transpolitical Individualism 212

Ch. 17 The End of Alienation? 220

Ch. 18 The Rebirth of Voluntary Servitude 226

Notes on the Authors 233

Selected Bibliography 235

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