Books on the Philosophy of Law, Jurisprudence, & Politics
Desolation and Enlightenment by Ira KatznelsonDuring and especially after World War II, a group of leading scholars who had been perilously close to the war's devastation joined others fortunate enough to have been protected by distance in an effort to redefine and reinvigorate liberal ideals for a radically new age. Treating evil as an analytical category, they sought to discover the sources of twentieth-century horror and the potentialities of the modern state in the wake of desolation. In the process, they devised strikingly new ways to understand politics, sociology, and history that reverberate still. In this major intellectual history, Ira Katznelson examines the works of Hannah Arendt, Robert Dahl, Richard Hofstadter, Harold Lasswell, Charles Lindblom, Karl Polanyi, and David Truman, detailing their engagement with the larger project of reclaiming the West's moral bearing. In light of their epoch's calamities, these intellectuals insisted that the tradition of Enlightenment thought required a new realism, a good deal of renovation, and much recommitment. This array of historians, political philosophers, and social scientists understood that a simple reassertion of liberal modernism had been made radically insufficient by the enormities and moral catastrophes of war, totalitarianism, and the Holocaust. Confronting dashed hopes for reason and knowledge, they asked not just whether the Enlightenment should define modernity but also which Enlightenment we should wish to have.
Publication Date: 2020-10-13
Natural Law and Human Rights by Pierre Manent; Ralph C. Hancock (Translator); Daniel J. Mahoney (Foreword by)This first English translation of Pierre Manent's profound and strikingly original book La loi naturelle et les droits de l'homme is a reflection on the central question of the Western political tradition. In six chapters, developed from the prestigious Étienne Gilson lectures at the Institut Catholique de Paris, and in a related appendix, Manent contemplates the steady displacement of the natural law by the modern conception of human rights. He aims to restore the grammar of moral and political action, and thus the possibility of an authentically political order that is fully compatible with liberty. Manent boldly confronts the prejudices and dogmas of those who have repudiated the classical and Christian notion of "liberty under law" and in the process shows how groundless many contemporary appeals to human rights turn out to be. Manent denies that we can generate obligations from a condition of what Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau call the "state of nature," where human beings are absolutely free, with no obligations to others. In his view, our ever-more-imperial affirmation of human rights needs to be reintegrated into what he calls an "archic" understanding of human and political existence, where law and obligation are inherent in liberty and meaningful human action. Otherwise we are bound to act thoughtlessly and in an increasingly arbitrary or willful manner. Natural Law and Human Rights will engage students and scholars of politics, philosophy, and religion, and will captivate sophisticated readers who are interested in the question of how we might reconfigure our knowledge of, and talk with one another about, politics.
Publication Date: 2020-02-28
Natural Law Ethics in Theory and Practic by Joseph Boyle; John Liptay (Editor); Christopher Tolfesen (Editor)Natural Law Ethics in Theory and Practice brings together a selection of essays of the late Joseph Boyle. Boyle was, with Germain Grisez and John Finnis, a founder and developer of the New Classical Natural Law Theory, arguably the most important development in Catholic moral philosophy of the twentieth century. While this theory is indebted to the work of St. Thomas Aquinas, it incorporates an understanding and assessment of that work that is different from that found in other statements of natural law. Boyle made crucial contributions to a wide variety of aspects of this theory, and the volume is divided into two parts. Part One: Articulating a Theory of Natural Law contains three sections in which Boyle defends the reality of free choice and the view that the basic reasons for action, or first principles of natural law, are incommensurable in goodness. Boyle identifies the basic moral standard for choice and action, and develops an account of human action that elucidates the important role played by intention and double effect in their moral evaluation. The essays in Part Two: Natural Law Theory and Contemporary Moral Problems demonstrate the strength and scope of Boyle's natural law account, as he brings it to bear upon just war theory, property and welfare rights, and issues in bioethics. The essays in bioethics address the difficult question of whether it is appropriate to tube-feed patients in persistent vegetative state, and include an unpublished essay, "Against Assisted Death," which he delivered as the Anscombe Lecture at The Anscombe Bioethics Centre in Oxford about a year before he died. This volume also includes a Foreword by Princeton's Robert P. George; an Introduction by the editors that highlights Boyle's contribution to the development of the new classical natural law theory; and a bibliography of Boyle's publications.
Publication Date: 2020-08-07
The Legacy of Pluralism by Mariano Croce; Marco GoldoniHow should the state face the challenge of radical pluralism? How can constitutional orders be changed when they prove unable to regulate society? Santi Romano, Carl Schmitt, and Costantino Mortati, the leading figures of Continental legal institutionalism, provided three responses that deserve our full attention today. Mariano Croce and Marco Goldoni introduce and analyze these three towering figures for a modern audience. Romano thought pluralism to be an inherent feature of legality and envisaged a far-reaching reform of the state for it to be a platform of negotiation between autonomous normative regimes. Schmitt believed pluralism to be a dangerous deviation that should be curbed through the juridical exclusion of alternative institutional formations. Mortati held an idea of the constitution as the outcome of a basic agreement among hegemonic forces that should shape a shared form of life. The Legacy of Pluralism explores the convergences and divergences of these towering jurists to take stock of their ground-breaking analyses of the origin of the legal order and to show how they can help us cope with the current crisis of national constitutional systems.
Publication Date: 2020-08-25
The Politics of Aristotle by Aristotle; William Ellis (Translator)The Politics of Aristotle is the second part of a treatise of which the Ethics is the first. It looks back to the Ethics as the Ethics looks forward to the Politics, as Aristotle did not separate the spheres of the statesman and the moralist. In the Ethics he has described the character necessary for the good life, but that life is for him essentially to be lived in society, and when in the last chapters of the Ethics he comes to the practical application of his inquiries, that finds expression not in moral exhortations addressed to the individual but in a description of the legislative opportunities of the statesman. The state is "a community of well-being in families and aggregations of families for the sake of a perfect and self-sufficing life" and the legislator is a craftsman whose material is society and whose aim is the good life.
Publication Date: 2009-01-01
Distributed Cognition in Medieval and Renaissance Culture by Miranda Anderson (Editor); Michael Wheeler (Editor)This collection brings together 14 essays by international specialists in Medieval and Renaissance culture and provides a general and a period-specific introduction to distributed cognition and the cognitive humanities. The essays bring recent insights in cognitive science and philosophy of mind to bear on how cognition is seen as distributed across brain, body and world. The volume includes essays on law, history, drama, literature, art, music, philosophy, science and medicine, covering topics such as the mind, life and soul; the body and environment; the emotions; language and linguistic theories; theory of mind and interaction theory; the self and subjectivity; social, material and conceptual environments; the memory arts, orality and literacy; and literature and the arts.
Publication Date: 2021
Rulers and Ruled by Irving M. ZeitlinA guide to the fundamentals of political thought. Zeitlin shows that certain thinkers have given us insights that rise above historical context - 'trans-historical principles' that can provide the political scientist with an element of foresight.