History and Illusion in Politics

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 28, 2001 - Philosophy - 175 pages
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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.
 

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reprresentive we give people to learn how to grow and be a better person and to be able to ahve thier own chocie fo who the really want to represent them important preconceptions about contemporary politics western societies: the state, authority, violence and coercion, the concept of legitimacy, liberalism, toleration, freedom, democracy, and human rights.  

Contents

The state
14
2 Violence coercion and apower
21
3 The concept of the state
28
4 The concept of legitimacy
31
5 Authority
37
6 Webers modern state
42
7 History and concept of the State
47
8 Anarchy and the state
52
5 Limited Unlimited and Discretionary Power
104
Democracy and rights
110
evaluation
119
3 Popular control and the state
128
4 Legal rights
131
5 Human rights
138
6 Rights and politics
146
Conclusion
153

9 The legitimacy of the state
57
Liberalism
69
2 Toleration
73
4 Individualism
98

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References to this book

The Idea of Public Law
Martin Loughlin
No preview available - 2003
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About the author (2001)

Raymond Geuss is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. He has taught widely in Germany and the United States, and has been an editor of the series of Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought since its inception. His previous books include The Idea of a Critical Theory (Cambridge, 1981, ISBN 0521 284228), Morality, Culture, and History (Cambridge, 1999, ISBN 0 521 635683), and Public Goods, Private Goods (Princeton, 2001). He has also published a collection of classical verse in his own English translations, Parrots, Poets, and Philosophers & Good Advice (London, 1999).

Raymond Geuss is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. He has taught widely in Germany and the United States, and has been an editor of the series of Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought since its inception. His previous books include The Idea of a Critical Theory (Cambridge, 1981, ISBN 0521 284228), Morality, Culture, and History (Cambridge, 1999, ISBN 0 521 635683), and Public Goods, Private Goods (Princeton, 2001). He has also published a collection of classical verse in his own English translations, Parrots, Poets, and Philosophers & Good Advice (London, 1999).

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