Love and Justice as Competences

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Polity, Jul 16, 2012 - Philosophy - 340 pages
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People care a great deal about justice. They protest and engage in confrontations with others when their sense of justice is affronted or disturbed. When they do this, they don’t generally act in a strategic or calculating way but use arguments that claim a general validity. Disputes are commonly regulated by these ‘regimes of justice’ implicit in everyday social life. But justice is not the only regime that governs action. There are some actions that are selfless and gratuitous, and that belong to what might be called a regime of ‘peace’ or ‘love’. In the course of their everyday lives, people constantly move back and forth between these two regimes, that of justice and that of love. And everyone also has the capacity for violence, which arises when the regulation of action within either of these regimes breaks down. 

In Love and Justice as Competences, Boltanski lays out this highly original framework for analysing the action of individuals as they pursue their day-to-day lives. The framework outlined in this important book is the basis for the path-breaking work that he has developed over the last twenty years – work that has examined the moral foundations of society in and through the forms of everyday conflict. For anyone who wants to understand what a critical sociology might mean today, this book is an essential text.

 

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Contents

1 A SOCIOLOGY OF DISPUTES
3
2 THE POLITICAL BASIS FOR GENERAL FORMS
11
3 ORDINARY DENUNCIATIONS AND CRITICAL SOCIOLOGY
18
4 THE SOCIOLOGY OF CRITICAL SOCIETY
28
5 A MODEL OF COMPETENCE FOR JUDGEMENT
36
6 PRINCIPLES OF EQUIVALENCE AND JUSTIFIABLE PROOFS
46
7 TESTS AND TEMPORALITY
59
8 FOUR MODES OF ACTION
68
14 THE AFFAIR AS A SOCIAL FORM
169
15 THE ACTANTIAL SYSTEM OF DENUNCIATION
178
16 THE REQUIREMENT OF DESINGULARIZATION
191
17 THE DIFFICULT DENUNCIATION OF KITH AND KIN
199
18 MANOEUVRING TO INCREASE ONES OWN STATURE
207
19 WHAT NOT TO DO BY ONESELF
220
20 GENERALIZATION AND SINGULARITY
229
21 DIGNITY OFFENDED
239

9 BELOW THE THRESHOLD OF THE REPORT
79
An Introduction to the States of Peace
87
10 DISPUTES AND PEACE
89
11 THREE FORMS OF LOVE
104
12 AGAPE AND THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
129
13 TOWARDS A SOCIOLOGY OF AGAPE
145
Part III Public Denunciation
167
22 CONFIDENCE BETRAYED
253
Appendix 1 BUILDING THE FACTORIAL ANALYSIS
259
Appendix 2 A SAMPLING OF TYPICAL LETTERS
262
NOTES
272
REFERENCES
314
INDEX
327
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About the author (2012)

Luc Boltanski is Professor of Sociology at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris

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