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Should the democratic exercise of authority that we take for granted in the realm of government be extended to the managerial sphere? Exploring this question, Christopher McMahon develops a theory of government and management as two components of an integrated system of social authority that is essentially political in nature. He then considers where in this structure democratic decision making is appropriate. McMahon examines the main varieties of authority: the authority of experts, authority grounded in a promise to obey, and authority justified as facilitating mutually beneficial cooperation. He also discusses the phenomenon of managerial authority, the authority that guides nongovernmental organization, and argues that managerial authority is best regarded not as the authority of a principal over an agent, but rather as authority that facilitates mutually beneficial cooperation among employees with different moral aims. Viewed in this way, there is a presumption that managerial authority should be democratically exercised by employees.
Originally published in 1994.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Patrick Riley traces the forgotten roots of Rousseau's concept to seventeenth-century questions about the justice of God. If He wills that all men be saved, does He have a general will that produces universal salvation? And, if He does not, why does He will particularly" that some men be damned? The theological origin of the "general will" was important to Rousseau himself. He uses the language of divinity bequeathed to him by Pascal, Malebranche, Fenelon, and others to dignify, to elevate, and to "save" politics.
Originally published in 1986.
Stephen Salkever shows that reading Aristotle is a starting point for discussing contemporary political problems in new ways that avoid the opposition between liberal individualism and republican communitarianism, between the politics of rights and the politics of virtues.
Originally published in 1990.
A valuable and unique contribution both to environmental ethics and public policy analysis of the preservation of species question. Norton provides a critical overview of the range of thought on the issue, presents a new and comprehensive rationale for preservation of both species and ecosystems, and addresses policy issues.
Originally published in 1988.
Aristotle noted that "equality" is the plea not of those who are satisfied but of those who seek change, and the word has long been invoked in the name of social reform. It retains its force because arguments for equality put arguments for inequality on the defensive. But why is "equality" laudatory and "inequality" pejorative? In this first book-length analysis of the rhetorical force of equality arguments, Peter Westen argues that they derive their persuasiveness largely from the kind of word that "equality" is, rather than from the values it incorporates.
By focusing on ordinary language and using commonplace examples from law and morals, Westen argues that equality is a single concept that lends itself to a multiplicity of conceptions by virtue of its capacity to incorporate diverse standards of comparison by reference. Equality arguments draw rhetorical force in part from their tendency to mask the standards of comparison on which they are based, and in so doing to confound fact with value, premises with conclusions, and uncontested with contested norms.
This book explores a much-neglected area of moral philosophy--the typology of immorality. Ronald D. Milo questions the adequacy of Aristotle's suggestion that there are two basic types of immorality--wickedness and moral weakness--and argues that we must distinguish between at least six different types of immoral behavior.
Originally published in 1984.
This inquiry into the nature of political action concerns what the author describes as the most precarious and uncertain of human endeavors." Focusing on specific themes in Machiavelli, Burke, and Tocqueville, Bruce Smith identifies political action as a distinct mode of human activity.
Originally published in 1985.
Donald VanDeVeer probes the moral complexities of the question: under what conditions is it permissible to intervene invasively in the lives of competent persons--for example, by deception, force, or coercive threat--for their own good? In a work with broad significance for law, public policy, professional-client relations, and private interactions, he presents a theory of an autonomy-respecting" paternalism.
The concept of needs works to sort out social policies. Yet the idea is in disrepute with many thinkers who, led by economists, accuse it of being too fluid, or too narrow, or of serving no purpose that the concept of preferences does not serve better. David Braybrooke refutes these charges by providing a model of how the concept of needs works when it is working well.
Originally published in 1987.
The interpreter of Marx's writings faces the task of reconciling, on the one hand, Marx's frequent explicit condemnations and criticisms of morality and, on the other, the obvious way in which his world-view reflects substantive moral judgments. In this book R. G. Peffer tackles the challenges of finding in Marx's work an implicit moral theory, of answering claims that Marxism is incompatible with morality, and of developing the outlines of an adequate Marxist moral and social theory. Peffer analyzes the moral components of Marx's thought and considers all the major interpretations of his moral perspective; he concludes that Marx is a mixed deontologist who is most committed to a maximum system of equal freedoms, both positive and negative. He then utilizes contemporary metaethical theory to show that Marxism is compatible with morality in general and with the concepts of justice and rights in particular. Peffer proposes a radically egalitarian theory of social justice (which subsumes Marx's own moral theory) and a minimal set of Marxist empirical theses, which together entail the Marxist's basic normative political positions. This book demonstrates that contemporary analytic political philosophy is invaluable for coming to terms with Marxism and that it is only Marx's less abstract empirical theories about classes and class struggle, the dysfunctions of capitalism, and the possibility of creating democratic, self-managing postcapitalist societies that are needed for the development of an adequate Marxist moral and social theory.
This book completes A. John Simmons's exploration and development of Lockean moral and political philosophy, a project begun in The Lockean Theory of Rights (Princeton paperback edition, 1994). Here Simmons discusses the Lockean view of the nature of, grounds for, and limits on political relations between persons.
Originally published in 1993.
Wertheimer attempts to move beyond previous theories of coercion by conducting a fairly extensive survey of the way in which cases involving coercion have been treated by American courts. This impressive project occupies the first half of the book, where he makes a convincing case that there is a fairly unified 'theory of coercion' at work in adjudication, past and present. This legal theory, however, is not entirely adequate for the purposes of social and political philosophy, and the last half of the book develops Wertheimer's more comprehensive philosophical theory.
Abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, war, genetic engineering and fetal experimentation, environmental and animal rights--these topics inspire some of today's most heated public controversies. And it is fashionable to pursue these debates in terms of the negative query "Under what conditions may life be disregarded or terminated?" John Kleinig asks a different, more positive question: What may be said in behalf of life? Looking at the full range of appeals to life's value, he considers a variety of issues. Is livingness as such to be affirmed and respected? Is there an ascending order of plant, animal, and human life? Does human life possess a distinctive claim, or must we discriminate between humans that do and humans that do not have claims on us? Kleinig shows that assertions about valuing life camouflage a complex normative vocabulary about worth, reverence, sanctity, dignity, respect, and rights. And "life," too, is subject to an assortment of understandings. Sensitive to the frameworks informing diverse appeals to life's value, this comprehensive work will interest readers concerned with the environment, animal rights, or bioethics.
Originally published in 1991.
The threat to the survival of humankind posed by nuclear weapons has been a frightening and essential focus of public debate for the last four decades and must continue to be so if we are to avoid destroying ourselves and the natural world around us. One unfortunate result of preoccupation with the nuclear threat, however, has been a new kind of "respectability" accorded to conventional war. In this radical and cogent argument for pacifism, Robert Holmes asserts that all war--not just nuclear war--has become morally impermissible in the modern world. Addressing a wide audience of informed and concerned readers, he raises dramatic questions about the concepts of "political realism" and nuclear deterrence, makes a number of persuasive suggestions for nonviolent alternatives to war, and presents a rich panorama of thinking about war from St. Augustine to Reinhold Niebuhr and Herman Kahn.
Holmes's positions are compellingly presented and will provoke discussion both among convinced pacifists and among those whom he calls "militarists." "Militarists," we realize after reading this book, include the majority of us who live a friendly and peaceful personal life while supporting a system which, if Holmes is correct, guarantees war and risks eventual human extinction.
Originally published in 1989.
Drawing on previously unexplored sources, Kerry H. Whiteside presents the political theory of Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961), one of France's best-known twentieth-century philosophers. Whiteside argues that Merleau-Ponty's objective in his political writings was to make existentialism into the foundation for a philosophically consistent mode of political thinking. This study discusses the inadequacies Merleau-Ponty found in the traditional philosophies of empiricism and idealism, and then examines the subject-object dualism that he believed deprived previous forms of existentialism of political significance.
Whiteside shows how Merleau-Ponty overcame these problems by grounding political reasoning in a theory of consciousness that emphasized both its individuality and its need for socially created meaning. After explaining Merleau-Ponty's modifications of the views of Sartre, Aron, and others, the book investigates how he applied his political theory in editorial exchanges with Communists and liberals. Throughout this study, Whiteside traces and criticizes the changes in the philosopher's concept of Marxism and points to his many ideas that bear on current controversies in political theory.
What rational justification is there for conceiving of all living things as possessing inherent worth? In Respect for Nature, Paul Taylor draws on biology, moral philosophy, and environmental science to defend a biocentric environmental ethic in which all life has value. Without making claims for the moral rights of plants and animals, he offers a reasoned alternative to the prevailing anthropocentric view--that the natural environment and its wildlife are valued only as objects for human use or enjoyment. Respect for Nature provides both a full account of the biological conditions for life--human or otherwise--and a comprehensive view of the complex relationship between human beings and the whole of nature.
This classic book remains a valuable resource for philosophers, biologists, and environmentalists alike--along with all those who care about the future of life on Earth. A new foreword by Dale Jamieson looks at how the original 1986 edition of Respect for Nature has shaped the study of environmental ethics, and shows why the work remains relevant to debates today.
"This is a most timely, intelligent, well-written, and absorbing essay on a central and painful social and political problem of out time."--Sir Isaiah Berlin
"The major achievement of this remarkable book is a critical theory of nationalism, worked through historical and contemporary examples, explaining the value of national commitments and defining their moral limits. Tamir explores a set of problems that philosophers have been notably reluctant to take on, and leaves us all in her debt."--Michael Walzer
In this provocative work, Yael Tamir urges liberals not to surrender the concept of nationalism to conservative, chauvinist, or racist ideologies. In her view, liberalism, with its respect for personal autonomy, reflection, and choice, and nationalism, with its emphasis on belonging, loyalty, and solidarity are not irreconcilable. Here she offers a new theory, "liberal nationalism," which allows each set of values to accommodate the other. Tamir sees nationalism as an affirmation of communal and cultural memberships and as a quest for recognition and self-respect. Persuasively she argues that national groups can enjoy these benefits through political arrangements other than the nation-state. While acknowledging that nationalism places members of national minorities at a disadvantage, the author offers guidelines for alleviating the problems involved using examples from currents conflicts in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe.
Liberal Nationalismis an impressive attempt to tie together a wide range of issues often kept apart: personal autonomy, cultural membership, political obligations, particularity versus impartiality in moral duties, and global justice. Drawing on material from disparate fields--including political philosophy, ethics, law, and sociology--Tamir brings out important and previously unnoticed interconnections between them, offering a new perspective on the influence of nationalism on modern political philosophy.
John Locke's political theory has been the subject of many detailed treatments by philosophers and political scientists. But The Lockean Theory of Rights is the first systematic, full-length study of Locke's theory of rights and of its potential for making genuine contributions to contemporary debates about rights and their place in political philosophy. Given that the rights of persons are the central moral concept at work in Locke's and Lockean political philosophy, such a study is long overdue.
Scholars in the "Critical Legal Studies" movement have challenged some of the most cherished ideals of modern Western legal and political thought. CLS thinkers claim that the rule of law is a myth and that its defense by liberal thinkers is riddled with inconsistencies. This first book-length liberal reply to CLS systematically examines the philosophical underpinnings of the CLS movement and exposes the deficiencies in the major lines of CLS argument against liberalism.
Reading Nietzsche's works as the "political biography of his soul," Leslie Thiele presents an original and accessible essay on the great thinker's attempt to lead a heroic life as a philosopher, artist, saint, educator, and solitary. He takes as his point of departure Nietzsche's conception of the soul as a multiplicity of conflicting drives and personae, and focuses on the task Nietzsche allotted himself "to make a cosmos out of his chaotic inheritance." This struggle to "become what you are" by way of a spiritual politics is demonstrated to be Nietzsche's foremost concern, which fused his philosophy with his life. The book offers a conversation with Nietzsche rather than a consideration of the secondary literature, yet it takes to task many prevalent approaches to his work, and contests especially the way we often restrict our encounter with him to conceptual analysis. All deconstructionist attempts to portray him as solely concerned with the destruction of the subject and the dispersion of the self, rather than its unification, are called into question. Often portrayed as the champion of nihilism, Nietzsche here emerges as a thinker who saw his primary task as the overcoming of nihilism through the heroic struggle of individuation.
The description for this book, Desert, will be forthcoming.
The description for this book, The Rhetoric of Leviathan: Thomas Hobbes and the Politics of Cultural Transformation, will be forthcoming.
Robert Goodin passionately and cogently defends the welfare state from current attacks by the New Right. But he contends that the welfare state finds false friends in those on the Old Left who would justify it as a hesitant first step toward some larger, ideally just form of society. Reasons for Welfare, in contrast, offers a defense of the minimal welfare state substantially independent of any such broader commitments, and at the same time better able to withstand challenges from the New Right's moralistic political economy. This defense of the existence of the welfare state is discussed, flanked by criticism of Old Left and New Right arguments that is both acute and devastating. In the author's view, the welfare state is best justified as a device for protecting needy--and hence vulnerable--members of society against the risk of exploitation by those possessing discretionary control over resources that they require. Its task is to protect the interests of those not in a position to protect themselves. Communitarian or egalitarian ideals may lead us to move beyond the welfare state as thus conceived and justified. Moving beyond it, however, does not invalidate the arguments for constantly maintaining at least the minimal protections necessary for vulnerable members of society.
In recent years serious attempts have been made to systematize and develop the moral and political themes of great philosophers of the past. Kant, Locke, Marx, and the classical utilitarians all have their current defenders and arc taken seriously as expositors of sound moral and political views. It is the aim of this book to introduce Hobbes into this select group by presenting a plausible moral and political theory inspired by Leviathan. Using the techniques of analytic philosophy and elementary game theory, the author develops a Hobbesian argument that justifies the liberal State and reconciles the rights and interests of rational individuals with their obligations.Hobbes's case against anarchy, based on his notorious claim that life outside the political State would be a "war of all against all," is analyzed in detail, while his endorsement of the absolutist State is traced to certain false hypotheses about political sociology. With these eliminated, Hobbes's principles support a liberal redistributive (or "satisfactory") State and a limited right of revolution. Turning to normative issues, the book explains Hobbes's account of morality based on enlightened self-interest and shows how the Hobbesian version of social contract theory justifies the political obligations of citizens of satisfactory States.