Social and Political Philosophy

Social and Political Philosophy : A Contemporary Introduction

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Description

This accessible book is invaluable to anyone coming to social and political philosophy for the first time. It provides a broad survey of key social and political questions in modern society, as well as clear discussions of the philosophical issues central to those questions and to political thought more generally. Unique among books of this kind is a sustained treatment of specifically social philosophy, including topics such as epistemic injustice, pornography, marriage, sexuality, and the family. The relation between such social questions and specifically political topics is discussed. These topics include: political authority, economic justice, the limits of tolerance, considerations of community, race, gender, and culture in questions of justice, and radical critiques of current political theories. Updates to the Second Edition emphasize the non-statist areas of the subject and include two brand new chapters on social philosophy and transnational justice. This Second Edition also includes revisions throughout and coverage of recent theoretical discussions and world events.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 282 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 15.24mm | 408g
  • Routledge
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • 2nd New edition
  • 1 Tables, black and white
  • 113884165X
  • 9781138841659
  • 774,505

Table of contents

Table of Contents


Preface and Acknowledgments





1. Introduction


The Liberal Democratic Paradigm


Preliminaries I: Method


Preliminaries II: Moral Theory and Political Philosophy


Structure of the Book


Notes on Further Reading





2. Social Philosophy and the Road to the Political


What is Social Philosophy?


A Selection of Issues in Social Philosophy


From Social Criticism to Political Philosophy


Chapter Summary


Case to Consider


Notes on Further Reading








Part I. Basic Issues Within the Liberal Paradigm





3. The Problem of Political Authority


The Social Contract Tradition


Hobbes's Social Contract: Mechanism, Egoism, and Rationality


Locke: Reason, Morality, and Freedom


Lessons from Rousseau and Kant


From Consent to Legitimacy


Chapter Summary


Case to Consider


Notes on Further Reading





4. Distributive Justice


Distributive Justice and Equality


Libertarianism


Utilitarian Approaches to Economic Justice


Rawlsian Distributive Justice


Varieties of Egalitarianism


From Equality to the Welfare State


Chapter Summary


Case to Consider


Notes on Further Reading





5. Toleration, Pluralism, and the Foundations of Liberalism


The Canons of Liberalism


The Perfectionist Challenge


Utilitarian Liberalism: Perfectionism in Disguise?


The Response of Political Liberalism


Liberalism, Public Discourse, and Democracy


Chapter Summary


Case to Consider


Notes on Further Reading








Part II. Critique of the Liberal Paradigm: Challenges and Departures





6. Conservatism, Communitarianism, and The Social Conception of the Self


Conservatism


Communitarianism


Chapter Summary


Case to Consider


Notes on Further Reading


7. Race and the Politics of Identity


Ideal Theory and Ongoing Injustice


Critical Race Theory


What is Racism, What is Race?


Racism and The Structure of Liberalism


Liberalism, Freedom and Culture


Chapter Summary


Case to Consider


Notes on Further Reading


8. Feminism, Gender and Sexuality


Feminism


Sexuality and Gender Identity


Identity, Injustice, and Democracy


Chapter Summary


Case to Consider


Notes on Further Reading





9. Marxism and Radical Critique


The Legacy of Marx and Marxism


Post-Modern Departures


Chapter Summary


Case to Consider


Notes on Further Reading





10. Beyond the Nation State


Cosmopolitanism and Nationalism


Human Rights


Global Justice Generally


Injustice and Borders: Immigration


Chapter Summary


Case to Consider


Notes on Further Reading





Epilogue: The Hope of Liberalism?
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Review Text

"It was hard to improve upon the first edition of Christman’s Social and Political Philosophy. But he has done it! In his second edition, Christman has updated his text and included two new cutting-edge chapters. The result is a truly excellent introductory text for our times."


--James P. Sterba, University of Notre Dame


"Christman's Introduction into Social and Political Philosophy is without any doubt the most comprehensive and knowledgeable introduction we have at present. It is not only a thoughtful overview over all important philosophical traditions (not only the Anglo-American ones) but also all essential problems – from issues in marriage, gender or race to normative problems in human rights, global justice or immigration. It is unique in its close look at the complex links between the social issues and their role in different political conceptions. Christman helps us all to better understand social and political philosophy, and thereby to better understand contemporary societies and our place within them."


--Beate Roessler, University of Amsterdam


"Christman’s Introduction offers an impressively comprehensive, highly engaging and very accessible survey of the interconnected issues at the heart of political and social philosophy. The 1st edition has helped generations of students navigate the complexities of these philosophical fields – and the students in our courses loved it. If anything, this new expanded and updated 2nd edition will prove even more successful."


--Robin Celikates, University of Amsterdam
show more

Review quote

"It was hard to improve upon the first edition of Christman's Social and Political Philosophy. But he has done it! In his second edition, Christman has updated his text and included two new cutting-edge chapters. The result is a truly excellent introductory text for our times."


--James P. Sterba, University of Notre Dame


"Christman's Introduction into Social and Political Philosophy is without any doubt the most comprehensive and knowledgeable introduction we have at present. It is not only a thoughtful overview over all important philosophical traditions (not only the Anglo-American ones) but also all essential problems - from issues in marriage, gender or race to normative problems in human rights, global justice or immigration. It is unique in its close look at the complex links between the social issues and their role in different political conceptions. Christman helps us all to better understand social and political philosophy, and thereby to better understand contemporary societies and our place within them."


--Beate Roessler, University of Amsterdam


"Christman's Introduction offers an impressively comprehensive, highly engaging and very accessible survey of the interconnected issues at the heart of political and social philosophy. The 1st edition has helped generations of students navigate the complexities of these philosophical fields - and the students in our courses loved it. If anything, this new expanded and updated 2nd edition will prove even more successful."


--Robin Celikates, University of Amsterdam
show more

About John Christman

John Christman is Professor of Philosophy, Political Science, and Women's Studies at Penn State University. He is the author of The Politics of Persons: Individual Autonomy and Socio-historical Selves and The Myth of Property: Toward an Egalitarian Theory of Ownership. He is also the editor of The Inner Citadel: Essays on Individual Autonomy and co-editor (with Joel Anderson) of Autonomy and the Challenges to Liberalism: New Essays.
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