Rethinking Modern Political Theory

Rethinking Modern Political Theory : Essays 1979-1983

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Why is modern political theory philosophically so feeble and politically so unconvincing? This volume of essays discusses the historical sources of these weaknesses and suggests how they might begin to be remedied. The essays treat in relation to one another the history of modern philosophy and the practical relations between states, societies and economies in the modern world. The different approaches required to understand each of these are displayed, and the formidable difficulties of combining them satisfactorily are examined. Only if that is achieved however, do we stand a chance in John Dunn's view of overcoming the limitation of existing understandings of politics. And only then will we be able to arrive at a theory of collective prudence which unites moral awareness and a realistic appreciation of the nature, and the dangers, of modern politics.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 244 pages
  • 160 x 234 x 19mm | 481g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521316952
  • 9780521316958
  • 1,670,134

Table of contents

Preface; Introduction; Part I. Christian Natural Law and the Foundations of Liberalism: 1. Individuality and clientage in the formation of Locke's social imagination; 2. 'Trust' in the politics of John Locke; 3. From applied theology to social analysis: the break between John Locke and the Scottish Enlightenment; Part II. Socialism in Theory and Socialism in History: 4. Understanding revolutions; 5. Totalitarian democracy and the legacy of modern revolutions: explanation or indictment?; 6. Unimagined community: the deceptions of socialist internationalism; Part III. Bringing the World Back In: 7. Social theory, social understanding, and political action; 8. Identity, modernity and the claim to know better; 9. The future of liberalism; 10. The future of political philosophy in the West; Notes; Index.
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