In this book, Michael Sandel takes up some of the hotly contested moral and political issues of our time, including affirmative action, assisted suicide, abortion, gay rights, stem cell research, the meaning of toleration and civility, the gap between rich and poor, the role of markets, and the place of religion in public life. He argues that the most prominent ideals in our political life--individual rights and freedom of choice--do not by themselves provide an adequate ethic for a democratic society. Sandel calls for a politics that gives greater emphasis to citizenship, community, and civic virtue, and that grapples more directly with questions of the good life. Liberals often worry that inviting moral and religious argument into the public sphere runs the risk of intolerance and coercion. These essays respond to that concern by showing that substantive moral discourse is not at odds with progressive public purposes, and that a pluralist society need not shrink from engaging the moral and religious convictions that its citizens bring to public life.
This collection of 24 essays, written by eminent philosophers and political theorists, brings together fresh debates on some of the most fundamental questions in contemporary political philosophy, including human rights, equality, constitutionalism, the value of democracy, identity and political neutrality. Presents fresh debates on six of the fundamental questions in contemporary political philosophy Each question is treated by a pair of opposing essays written by eminent scholars Lively debate format sharply defines the issues, invites the reader to participate in the exchange of arguments and paves the way for further discussion Will serve as an accessible introduction to the major topics in political philosophy, whilst also capturing the imagination of professional philosophers Offers the unique opportunity to observe leading philosophers engaging in head-to-head debate
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
Category: Political Science
How can political theory help us understand and solve the political questions of our time? This introduction to political theory illuminates its relevance and applicability and clarifies what is at stake in debates over welfare; terrorism and civil liberties; minority rights; abortion and euthanasia; freedom of speech and a range of other issues.
This book examines democracy in recent Chinese-language philosophical work. It focuses on Confucian-inspired political thought in the Chinese intellectual world from after the communist revolution in China until today. The volume analyzes six significant contemporary Confucian philosophers in China and Taiwan, describing their political thought and how they connect their thought to Confucian tradition, and critiques their political proposals and views. It illustrates how Confucianism has transformed in modern times, the divergent understandings of Confucianism today, and how contemporary Chinese philosophers understand democracy, as well as their criticisms of Western political thought.
Climate change is arguably the great problem confronting humanity, but we have done little to head off this looming catastrophe. In The Perfect Moral Storm, philosopher Stephen Gardiner illuminates our dangerous inaction by placing the environmental crisis in an entirely new light, considering it as an ethical failure. Gardiner clarifies the moral situation, identifying the temptations (or "storms") that make us vulnerable to a certain kind of corruption. First, the world's most affluent nations are tempted to pass on the cost of climate change to the poorer and weaker citizens of the world. Second, the present generation is tempted to pass the problem on to future generations. Third, our poor grasp of science, international justice, and the human relationship to nature helps to facilitate inaction. As a result, we are engaging in willful self-deception when the lives of future generations, the world's poor, and even the basic fabric of life on the planet is at stake. We should wake up to this profound ethical failure, Gardiner concludes, and demand more of our institutions, our leaders and ourselves. "This is a radical book, both in the sense that it faces extremes and in the sense that it goes to the roots." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews "The book's strength lies in Gardiner's success at understanding and clarifying the types of moral issues that climate change raises, which is an important first step toward solutions." --Science Magazine "Gardiner has expertly explored some very instinctual and vitally important considerations which cannot realistically be ignored. --Required reading." --Green Prophet "Gardiner makes a strong case for highlighting and insisting on the ethical dimensions of the climate problem, and his warnings about buck-passing and the dangerous appeal of moral corruptions hit home." --Times Higher Education "Stephen Gardiner takes to a new level our understanding of the moral dimensions of climate change. A Perfect Moral Storm argues convincingly that climate change is the greatest moral challenge our species has ever faced - and that the problem goes even deeper than we think." --Peter Singer, Princeton University
The World As We Find It and the World As We Create It
Author: Gregory E. Kaebnick
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Contemporary debates over issues as wide-ranging as the protection of wildernesses and endangered species, the spread of genetically modified organisms, the emergence of synthetic biology, and the advance of human enhancement, all of which seem to spin into deeper and more baffling questions with every change in the news cycle, often circle back to the same fundamental question: should there be limits to the human alteration of the natural world? A growing number of people view the human capacity to alter natural states of affairs -- from formerly wild spaces and things around us to crops and livestock to our own human nature -- as cause for moral alarm. That reaction raises a number of perplexing philosophical questions, however: Can we identify "natural" states of affairs at all? Does the idea of being morally concerned about the human relationship to nature make any sense? Should such a concern influence public policy and politics, or should government stay strenuously neutral on such matters? Through a study of moral debates about the environment, agricultural biotechnology, synthetic biology, and human enhancement, Gregory E. Kaebnick, a research scholar at The Hastings Center and editor of the Hastings Center Report, argues that concerns about the human alteration of nature can be legitimate and serious, but also that they are complex, contestable, and of limited political force. Kaebnick defends attempts to identify "natural" states of affairs by disentangling the nature/artifact distinction from metaphysical hoariness. Drawing on David Hume, he also defends moral standards for the human relationship to nature, arguing that they, and moral standards generally, should be understood as grounded in what Hume called the "passions." Yet what counts as "natural" can be delineated only roughly, he concludes, and moral standards for interaction with nature are less a matter of obligation than of ideals. Kaebnick also concludes, drawing on an interpretation of the liberal principle of neutrality, that government may support those standards but must be careful not to enforce them. Thus Kaebnick looks for a middle way on debates that have tended toward polarization. "As differences between nature and artifact become steadily less substantial, problems about preservation run to the core of how people can make sense of themselves, of each other, and of our shared world. Kaebnick's solutions are creative and compelling, theoretically elegant and politically practical. Providing distinctive ways forward, when much academic and policy discussion seems exhausted, his book demands wide attention. In return, it inspires hope." - James Nelson, Michigan State University
Philosophy flourished in Australia after the war. There was spectacular growth in both the number of departments and the number of philosophers. On top of this philosophy spread beyond the philosophy departments. Serious studies, and interest in philosophy is now common in faculties as diverse as law, science and education. Neither is this development merely quantitative, the Australian researcher has come of age and contributes widely to international debates. At least one movement originated in Australia. This makes the study of philosophy in Australia timely, evidenced by the number of articles concerned with this area that begin to appear in international journals. In Australia itself there is growing interest in the history of the country's philosophical development. There are discussions in conferences and meetings: the matter is now the subject of courses.
A Theory of Freedom and Morality in a Diverse and Bounded World
Author: Gerald Gaus
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
In this innovative and important work, Gerald Gaus advances a revised and more realistic account of public reason liberalism, showing how, in the midst of fundamental disagreement about values and moral beliefs, we can achieve a moral and political order that treats all as free and equal moral persons. The first part of this work analyzes social morality as a system of authoritative moral rules. Drawing on an earlier generation of moral philosophers such as Kurt Baier and Peter Strawson as well as current work in the social sciences, Gaus argues that our social morality is an evolved social fact, which is the necessary foundation of a mutually beneficial social order. The second part considers how this system of social moral authority can be justified to all moral persons. Drawing on the tools of game theory, social choice theory, experimental psychology and evolutionary theory, Gaus shows how a free society can secure a moral equilibrium that is endorsed by all, and how a just state respects, and develops, such an equilibrium.