The Common Mind

The Common Mind : An Essay on Psychology, Society, and Politics

4.12 (8 ratings by Goodreads)
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Pettit argues for an original way of marking off thinking subjects, in particular human beings, from other intentional systems, natural and more

Product details

  • Paperback | 398 pages
  • 155.2 x 233.9 x 26.7mm | 671.82g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0195106458
  • 9780195106459
  • 642,652

Review quote

'Philip Pettit, in his new book, does not disappoint the academic political philosophy reader ... he develops a more general metaphysics of social and political life. This is a somewhat novel move in contemporary political philosophy. To find someone prepared to address systematically and optimistically social and political metaphysics and ontology is definitely of interest ... the enterprise of the book seems eminently worthwhile, much of the text is stimulating and gives pause for thought.' Andrew Vincent, Australian National University, Canberra and University of Wales, Cardiff, Utilitas 'Pettit's book is dense with explanation and argument, all of it thoughtfull and careful, much of it liable to interest those concerned with the relevant issues. A host of pertinent topics are discussed. The book is very clearly written and well organised. ... this book represents a serious attempt to deal with a wide range of important issues and to connect these issues together.' Margaret Gilbert. University of Connecticut. Mind vol. 103. Oct '94 'Pettit's book is unambiguously analytic in its argumentative strategies, but displays a depth of purpose and a scope of reference that is quite untypical of the genre. The Common Mind forms an impressive structure of interconnected argument.' Times Higher Education Supplement `a book to dip into for good ideas, interesting suggestions and, just possibly, long-distance connections between apparently unrelated issues' Times Literary Supplementshow more

Back cover copy

What makes human beings intentional and thinking subjects? How does their intentionality and thought connect with their social nature and their communal experience? How do the answers to these questions shape legitimate assumptions in social explanation and political evaluation? In this innovative study, Philip Pettit addresses these broad-ranging issues and defends a connected set of responses. The book argues for an original way of distinguishing thinking subjects, in particular human beings, from other intentional systems, natural and artificial. It defends the holistic view that human thought requires communal resources while denying that this social connection compromises the autonomy of individuals. And, in developing the significance of this view of social subjects - this holistic individualism - it outlines a novel framework for social and political theory. Within this framework, social theory is allowed to follow a number of paths: Space is found for intentional interpretation and decision-theoretic reconstruction as well as for structural explanation and rational choice derivation. But political theory is treated less ecumenically. The framework raises serious questions about contractarian and atomistic modes of thought and it points the way to a republican rethinking of liberal commitments. Designed to be accessible to readers in a number of disciplines and on the student as well as professional level, The Common Mind will interest philosophers as well as political scientists, economists, sociologists, cognitive scientists, and scholars of more

Rating details

8 ratings
4.12 out of 5 stars
5 38% (3)
4 38% (3)
3 25% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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