Pragmatism, Politics, and Perversity

Pragmatism, Politics, and Perversity : Democracy and the American Party Battle

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A philosophical yet detailed history of the American party battle explaining why partisan debate is so perverse and how it could be made less so. Building upon the heritage of American pragmatism, from Peirce to Rorty and the new pragmatists, as well as the work of historian Charles Beard, the book identifies that battle as a struggle between nation state and market state, with special emphasis on the perversity of Civil War politics.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 390 pages
  • 160.02 x 231.14 x 30.48mm | 725.74g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739173634
  • 9780739173633

About Joseph L. Esposito

Joseph L. Esposito is research associate in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Arizona.
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Review quote

Esposito has written a fascinating and important book. It combines a pragmatic perspective on political practice and its products with a revisionist view of America's political history-especially in the context of the onset and aftermath of the Civil War. The historical basis of the book is solid and its perspectives novel and thought-provoking. It affords a guide and goad to intelligent political discussion. -- Nicholas Rescher First, [Esposito] provides a theoretical overview of the philosophical tradition of pragmatism, and seeks to place historian Charles A. Beard's arguments about the economic circumstances of America's founding fathers squarely within this tradition. Second, he offers a novel--and idiosyncratic--interpretation of American history from the Revolution to Reconstruction as a battle among competing views of America as a commercial empire or a democratic republic. Finally, he argues for a normative update of free speech doctrines as necessarily requiring reasoned explanations...As a contribution to pragmatic and democratic theory, the book is successful; the author's call for a rejection of "passive free speech" in order to ward off "perverse politics" should be taken seriously. Recommended for specialized collections. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate and research collections. CHOICE
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Table of contents

Introduction Part I. Toward a Pragmatic Theory of Democracy Chapter 1: Pragmatism and the Democracy Project Chapter 2: Pragmatic Political History Part II. Perverse Themes and Schemes in Party Battle History Chapter 3: A Foundation on a Serbonian Bog Chapter 4: Market State and Nation State Chapter 5: A Judiciary for the Market State Chapter 6: Rogue Justice Chapter 7: Too Much Democracy Chapter 8: Judicial Review as Ideology Chapter 9: Religion and Race Chapter 10: Old Wine in New Bottles Chapter 11: Rewriting History Chapter 12: The Great Kansas Charade Chapter 13: Free Labor and the Economics of Slavery Chapter 14: Civil War Chapter 15: Disorder in the Court Part III. Improving American Democracy Chapter 16: Understanding the Party Battle Chapter 17: Free Speech in the Age of the Big Megaphone
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