Value, Conflict, and Order: Berlin, Hampshire, Williams, and the Realist Revival in Political Theory

Value, Conflict, and Order: Berlin, Hampshire, Williams, and the Realist Revival in Political Theory

by Edward Hall

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Is the purpose of political philosophy to articulate the moral values that political regimes would realize in a virtually perfect world and show what that implies for the way we should behave toward one another? That model of political philosophy, driven by an effort to draw a picture of an ideal political society, is familiar from the approach of John Rawls and others. Or is political philosophy more useful if it takes the world as it is, acknowledging the existence of various morally non-ideal political realities, and asks how people can live together nonetheless?

The latter approach is advocated by “realist” thinkers in contemporary political philosophy. In Value, Conflict, and Order, Edward Hall builds on the work of Isaiah Berlin, Stuart Hampshire, and Bernard Williams in order to establish a political realist’s theory of politics for the twenty-first century. The realist approach, Hall argues, helps us make sense of the nature of moral and political conflict, the ethics of compromising with adversaries and opponents, and the character of political legitimacy. In an era when democratic political systems all over the world are riven by conflict over values and interests, Hall’s conception is bracing and timely.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226718453
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 08/12/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
File size: 487 KB

About the Author

Edward Hall is a lecturer in political theory at the University of Sheffield.

Table of Contents


Part One: Isaiah Berlin
1.         Pluralism, Relativism, and the Human Horizon
2.         The Sense of Reality

Part Two: Stuart Hampshire
3.         The Vitality of Conflict
4.         From Conflict to Compromise

Part Three: Bernard Williams
5.         Standing Up to Reflection
6.         Legitimacy and Liberalism


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