This ambitious and sweeping book presents a powerful argument against moral relativism and in favor of the objectivity of a theory of democratic individuality. Unlike much recent work in this field, the book does not simply adumbrate such a view. Rather, it develops the parallels between various versions of scientific and moral realism, and then reinterprets the history and internal logic of democratic theory, maintaining, for example, that the abolition of slavery represents genuine moral progress. The book also recasts the clashes between Marxist and Weberian, radical and liberal sociologies in the light of these moral claims, and sketches the institutions of a radical democracy.
- Paperback | 528 pages
- 153 x 228 x 35mm | 700g
- 01 Sep 1990
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
Table of contents
Introduction; Part I. The Theory of Freedom and Individuality: Slavery, Mutual Recognition and Modern Egalitarianism: 1. Empiricism, neokantianism and realism in science and ethics; 2. The capacity for moral personality and the ambiguities of liberalism; 3. A common good and justice in war; 4. Neokantianism and moral realism; Part II. Reltrieval of Democracy and Individuality in Marxian Theory: 5. Historical materialism and justice; 6. Two kinds of historical progress; 7. The Aristotelian lineage of Marx's eudaimonism; 8. Radical democracy and individuality; Part III. Liberalism, Marxism and Moral Objectivity: 9. The Protestant Ethic and Marxian theory; 10. Nationalism and the dangers of predatory 'liberalism'; 11. Status and politics; 12. Bureaucracy, socialism and a common good; 13. Levels of Et disagreement and the controversy between neokantianism and realism; Bibliography.
"The book presents an acute, historically informed, and unusually optimistic argument about moral progress. Striking in its intellectual breadth, [it] makes a significant contribution to the case that the social sciences are, at bottom, moral sciences." Joshua Cohen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology "Democratic Individuality is a treasure chest, a book destined to play an important role." Michael Goldfield, The American Political Science Review