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Equality and Partiality - Thomas Nagel

Equality and Partiality

Paperback

Published: 11th May 1995
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Derived from Thomas Nagel's Locke Lectures, Equality and Partiality proposes a nonutopian account of political legitimacy, based on the need to accommodate both personal and impersonal motives in any credible moral theory, and therefore in any political theory with a moral foundation. Within each individual, Nagel believes, there is a division between two standpoints, the personal and the impersonal. Without the impersonal standpoint, there would be no morality, only the clash, compromise, and occasional convergence of individual perspectives. It is because a human being does not occupy only his own point of view that each of us is susceptible to the claims of others through private and public morality. Political systems, to be legitimate, must achieve an integration of these two standpoints within the individual. These ideas are applied to specific problems such as social and economic inequality, toleration, international justice, and the public support of culture. Nagel points to the problem of balancing equality and partiality as the most important issue with which political theorists are now faced.

"There is much in this short and illuminating book to stimulate serious thought about a wide range of issues in contemporary political theory. Nagel's style is deceptively simple, masking an unusual depth and complexity of view....For those who have read widely in the recent literature of political philosophy, it is a rare treat."--American Political Science Review "A clear, sometimes subtle, and elegant book."--Society "Thomas Nagel is just about the most interesting philosopher of our day. Without descending to rhetorical tricks, he conveys a wonderful sense of the urgency of the issues he writes about....[Nagel's] deftness of touch and delicacy of intellectual imagination are exactly what the subject demands."--Times Literary Supplement "[Nagel] is focused on the right issues, and his discussion of them is both lucid and illuminating. The book is certainly required reading for those working in the area of political philosophy."--The Review of Politics "On all these subjects [Nagel discusses] we get tough-minded, honest, insightful, imaginative thought expressed in lucid prose, fully accessible to the nonprofessional, and clearly relevant to the most important political issues of our time. In a more rational world this book would have the best-seller status that Allen Bloom's had."--Philosophical Review "There is much in this short and illuminating book to stimulate serious thought about a wide range of issues in contemporary political theory. Nagel's style is deceptively simple, masking an unusual depth and complexity of view....For those who have read widely in the recent literature of political philosophy, it is a rare treat."--American Political Science Review "A clear, sometimes subtle and elegant book."--Society "Thomas Nagel is just about the most interesting philosopher of our day. Without descending to rhetorical tricks, he conveys a wonderful sense of the urgency of the issues he writes about....[Nagel's] deftness of touch and delicacy of intellectual imagination are exactly what the subject demands."--Times Literary Supplement "[Nagel] is focused on the right issues, and his discussion of them is both lucid and illuminating. The book is certainly required reading for those working in the area of political philosophy."--The Review of Politics "On all these subjects [Nagel discusses] we get tough-minded, honest, insightful, imaginative thought expressed in lucid prose, fully accessible to the nonprofessional, and clearly relevant to the most important political issues of our time. In a more rational world this book would have the best-seller status that Allen Bloom's had."--Philosophical Review "This is a rich and fascinating book whose meditations are at once personal and philosophical, admirably honest in the way they grapple with extraordinarily difficult problems, and despite their complications and obscurities, never stagnant and often compelling. Even for those who do not accept the Pauline moral psychology that structures the book's argument, there is much to learn from its twists and turns."--Ethics "The work is clear, concise, and replete with nice discussions of current issues..."--Teaching Philosophy

Introductionp. 3
Two Standpointsp. 10
The Problem of Utopianismp. 21
Legitimacy and Unanimityp. 33
Kant's Testp. 41
The Moral Division of Laborp. 53
Egalitarianismp. 63
Problems of Convergencep. 75
Problems of Structurep. 85
Equality and Motivationp. 96
Optionsp. 120
Inequalityp. 130
Rightsp. 139
Tolerationp. 154
Limits: The Worldp. 169
Bibliographyp. 181
Indexp. 185
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195098396
ISBN-10: 0195098390
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 11th May 1995
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.8 x 13.4  x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.27