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Lambert van Velthuysen

Edited by Malcolm de Mowbray

Although little known today, the Utrecht physician and town councillor Lambert van Velthuysen (1622–1685) was a prolific Dutch seventeenth-century philosopher and a vociferous advocate of the new philosophies of Descartes and Hobbes. The Letter on the Principles of Justness and Decency of 1651 constitutes both the first published reaction to Hobbes's political philosophy and the first attempt by a Dutch philosopher at using Hobbes to supply a ‘Cartesian’ moral philosophy. It is also a highly original work that seeks to define the nature of virtue and vice and to justify the magistrate's right to punish crimes. It will thus be of interest not only to historians of philosophy but to all those interested in the social and cultural history of the Dutch Golden Age.

Sensibilities of the Risorgimento

Reason and Passions in Political Thought

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Roberto Romani

A purely political framework does not capture the complexity of the culture behind Italians’ struggle for liberty and independence during the Risorgimento (1815-1861). Roberto Romani identifies the sensibilities associated with each of the two main political programmes, Mazzini’s republicanism and moderatism, which in fact were comprehensive projects for a political, moral, and religious resurgence. The moderates’ espousal of reason entailed an ideal personality expressed by private virtue, self-possession, and a public morality informed by Catholicism, while Mazzini’s advocacy of passions led to ‘enthusiasm’ and a total commitment to the cause. Romani demonstrates that the patriots’ moral quest rested on a thick cultural bedrock, dating back to Stoicism and the Catholic Aufklärung, and passing through Rousseau and the Revolution.

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Edited by Dennis Pavlich

Environmental justice is the subtext of this collection of anxieties around the need for a sustainable future on Planet Earth. Thinkers and scholars from a diversity of backgrounds reflect on what it means and how cultures must change to greet this future. From Romania to Mexico, Bosnia to Canada, Sweden to California authors analyze and recount community experiences and expectations leading to justice for land, sea, air and wildlife. The kind of ethical weltanschauung for a society in which this kind of justice is achievable is suggested. The collection points to the myriad of single instance decisions that we must all make in living our daily lives whether in our homes, workplaces or leisure time. From good policies to sound management, governments, corporations and community-based organizations will find prudent praxis from cover to cover.

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Emmanuel Renault

Marx and Critical Theory examines Marx’s main philosophical, political and social theoretical ideas. Its purpose is twofold: making sense of the concepts and theses of Marx, and showing that they remain relevant for contemporary critical theory. Part One focuses on Marx’s conception of philosophy. Part Two analyses the Marxian primacy of the practical. Part Three is devoted to Capital and the critique of political economy. This book will be useful for those who want to deepen their understanding of Marx’s main ideas, as well as for those who want to clarify what is at stake in contemporary debates about the ways in which contemporary critical theory could or should refer to Marx.

Capitalism's Future

Alienation, Emancipation and Critique

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Edited by Daniel Krier and Mark Worrell

Capitalisms’ Future: Alienation, Emancipation and Critique frames 21st century economic and social possibilities in a dialogue between two forms of critical social theory: Marx’s critique of political economy that analyzes capitalism and the critique of political psychology that analyzes authoritarianism. Contributions from social theorists in sociology, philosophy, and cultural studies are brought together to dissect and critique capitalist crises, left-liberalism, left-Thatcherism, resistance to risk-pooling, idealist philosophy, undemocratic social character, status wages and authoritarian spectacles. Throughout, Marx’s centrality to critical social theory is confirmed, both alone and in in powerful combination with Adorno, Durkheim, Dubois, Lacan, Veblen, Weber and others. This book outlines conjoined critiques of commodity-fetishism and authority fetishism as the emancipatory agenda of 21st century critical theory.

Contributors are: Kevin S. Amidon, Graham Cassano, Tony A. Feldmann, Daniel Krier, Christian Lotz, Patrick Murray, David Norman Smith, Tony Smith, William J. Swart, and Mark P. Worrell.

Beyond Liberal Egalitarianism

Marx and Normative Social Theory in the Twenty-First Century

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Tony Smith

Progressive theorists and activists insist that contemporary capitalism is deeply flawed from a normative point of view. However, most accept the liberal egalitarian thesis that the serious shortcomings of market societies (financial excess, inequality, and so on) could be overcome with proper political regulation. Building on Marx's legacy, Tony Smith argues in Beyond Liberal Egalitarianism that advocates of this thesis (Rawls, Habermas, Stiglitz, et al.) lack an adequate concept of capital and the state. These theorists also fail to comprehend new developments in world history ensuring that the 'destructive' aspects of capitalism increasingly outweigh whatever 'creative' elements it might continue to possess. Smith concludes that a normative social theory adequate to the twenty-first century must explicitly and unequivocally embrace socialism.

Marx and Social Justice

Ethics and Natural Law in the Critique of Political Economy

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George E. McCarthy

In Marx and Social Justice, George E. McCarthy presents a detailed and comprehensive overview of the ethical, political, and economic foundations of Marx’s theory of social justice in his early and later writings. What is distinctive about Marx's theory is that he rejects the views of justice in liberalism and reform socialism based on legal rights and fair distribution by balancing ancient Greek philosophy with nineteenth-century political economy. Relying on Aristotle’s definition of social justice grounded in ethics and politics, virtue and democracy, Marx applies it to a broader range of issues, including workers’ control and creativity, producer associations, human rights and human needs, fairness and reciprocity in exchange, wealth distribution, political emancipation, economic and ecological crises, and economic democracy. Each chapter in the book represents a different aspect of social justice. Unlike Locke and Hegel, Marx is able to integrate natural law and natural rights, as he constructs a classical vision of self-government ‘of the people, by the people’.