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History and Illusion in Politics - Raymond Geuss

History and Illusion in Politics

Hardcover Published: 1st June 2001
ISBN: 9780521805964
Number Of Pages: 184

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In his new book, distinguished political philosopher Raymond Geuss critically examines some of the most widely held and important preconceptions about contemporary politics western societies: the state, authority, violence and coercion, the concept of legitimacy, liberalism, toleration, freedom, democracy, and human rights. Geuss argues that the liberal democratic state committed to the defense of human rights is in fact a confused conjunction of disparate elements. One of his most striking claims is that it makes sense to speak of rights only relative to a mechanism for enforcing them, and that therefore the whole concept of a "human right" as it is commonly used in contemporary political philosophy, is a confusion. A profound and concise essay on the basic structure of contemporary politics, History and Illusion in Politics is written in a voice that is skeptical, engaged, and clear. Raymond Geuss is University Lecturer, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Cambridge. Educated in the United States and Germany, he has held academic posts at Heidelberg, the University of Chicago and Princeton University. He is the editor of Nietzsche The Birth of Tragedy (Cambridge, 1999) and the author of Public Goods, Private Goods (Princeton, 2001). He is a frequent commentator on BBC Radio Three and World Service.

Industry Reviews

"...impressive..." Ethics "Writing in a clear, analytic style that avoids superficial logic chopping, Guess (Cambridge) argues that the elements underlying much contemporary thinking about liberal democratic states with capitalist economies and a commitment to human rights--conjunctions resulting from contingne thistorical processes--are often conceptually confused and incoherent... The book would serve as an excellent resource for both graduate and undergraduate students. Highly recommended." Choice

The State
Political associations
Violence, coercion, and power
The concept of the state
The concept of legitimacy
Weber's 'modern' state
History and the concept of the state
Anarchy and the state
The legitimacy of the state
The context
Limited, unlimited, and discretionary power
Democracy and Rights
Democracy: description and interpretation
Democracy: evaluation
Popular control and the state
Legal rights
Human rights
Rights and politics
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521805964
ISBN-10: 0521805961
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 184
Published: 1st June 2001
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.44