Putting Ideas to Work: A Practical Introduction to Political Thought

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Rowman & Littlefield, Jan 1, 2006 - Philosophy - 459 pages
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In this innovative new text, Mark Mattern offers a unique alternative to the traditional approaches to the study and teaching of political philosophy. Rather than approaching it solely as a world of abstractions, Putting Ideas to Work emphasizes its practical task. Political ideas drawn from historical and analytical political philosophy are used to help rethink current public problems and imagine potential solutions to them. Putting Ideas to Work is organized around five central tensions in political theory and practice: individual and community, freedom and equality, justice and political order, democracy and capitalism, and power and citizenship. Each section begins with a description and analysis of several contemporary public problems arising from these tensions. Key political thinkers are then drawn upon to help understand the genesis of the public problems, and to offer alternative ways of thinking about them. The text is anchored throughout to an idea of strong democracy that functions as a standard against which theory and practice are measured.
  

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Contents

RADICAL INDIVIDUALISM AND THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS
21
PUBLIC PROBLEMS Resource Depletion
23
MORE GOVERNMENT COERCION?
34
ROOTS OF RADICAL INDIVIDUALISM
38
QUESTIONS PROBLEMS AND ACTIVITIES
49
DEMOCRATIC COMMUNITY
55
RECOGNIZING INTERDEPENDENCE CHOOSING SOLIDARITY
59
SELFINTEREST RIGHTLY UNDERSTOOD
63
NO PEACE WITHOUT JUSTICE
217
JUSTICE AND CARE
230
JUSTICE PROPERTY AND THE SOCIAL CONTRACT
235
SATISFACTION OF BASIC HUMAN NEEDS
238
JUSTICE AND SELFDETERMINATION
252
QUESTIONS PROBLEMS AND ACTIVITIES
253
DEMOCRACY AND CAPITALISM
257
AN UNHAPPY MARRIAGE
259

CIVIC VIRTUE
64
DEMOCRATIC COMMUNITY
70
COMMUNITARIANISM
73
COMMUNITY AND DIVERSITY
77
QUESTIONS PROBLEMS AND ACTIVITIES
81
FREEDOM AND EQUALITY
85
RADICAL INEQUALITY AND ITS ROOTS
87
PUBLIC PROBLEMS
90
INTELLECTUAL DEFENSES OF INEQUALITY
113
NEGATIVE FREEDOM AND ITS LINKAGE TO PROPERTY
117
PRACTICAL TRADEOFFS BETWEEN FREEDOM AND EQUALITY
122
QUESTIONS PROBLEMS AND ACTIVITIES
126
MORE FREEDOM AND EQUALITY?
131
DIFFERENT KINDS OF FREEDOM
144
FREEDOM REQUIRES RESTRAINT
149
EQUALITY INCREASES POSITIVE FREEDOM
152
QUESTIONS PROBLEMS AND ACTIVITIES
160
JUSTICE AND POLITICAL ORDER
165
THRASYMACHUS WAS RIGHT
167
PUBLIC PROBLEMS
170
POWER AND INTEREST
192
YOU DESERVE WHAT YOU GET
200
INTERNALIZED OPPRESSION
208
QUESTIONS PROBLEMS AND ACTIVITIES
212
PUBLIC PROBLEMS
262
WHAT IS DEMOCRACY?
280
LIBERAL DEMOCRACY
290
PARTICIPATORY AND LIBERAL DEMOCRACY COMPARED
297
QUESTIONS PROBLEMS AND ACTIVITIES
301
DEMOCRACY AS A WAY OF LIFE
307
HUMANIST ECONOMICS
312
AN ECONOMY OF SUFFICIENCY
321
A DEMOCRATIC ECONOMY
325
QUESTIONS PROBLEMS AND ACTIVITIES
337
POWER AND CITIZENSHIP
341
POWER AND THE DISAPPEARING CITIZEN
343
PUBLIC PROBLEMS
348
POWER AND THE IMPOVERISHMENT OF CITIZENSHIP
366
QUESTIONS PROBLEMS AND ACTIVITIES
373
POWER AND THE REVIVAL OF CITIZENSHIP
377
EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS
380
DEMOCRATIC CULTURE
386
POWER AND COLLECTIVE ACTION
389
QUESTIONS PROBLEMS AND ACTIVITIES
415
BIBLIOGRAPHY
419
INDEX
437
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
457
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Mark Mattern is associate professor of political science at Baldwin-Wallace College. He is the author of Acting in Concert: Music, Community and Political Action.

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