The Decent Society

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Harvard University Press, Jan 13, 1998 - Philosophy - 318 pages
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How to be decent, how to build a decent society, emerges out of Margalit's analysis of the corrosive functioning of humiliation in its many forms. This is a deeply felt book that springs from Margalit's experience at the borderlands of conflicts between Eastern Europeans and Westerners, between Palestinians and Israelis.
 

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The decent society

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Most recent political theorists have concentrated on requirements for a just society, but the Israeli philosopher Margalit has a different idea. He asks what constitutes a decent society, "one whose ... Read full review

Contents

Humiliation
9
Rights
28
Honor
41
Justifying Respect
57
The Skeptical Solution
76
Being Beastly to Humans
85
The Paradox of Humiliation
115
Rejection
130
Snobbery
189
Privacy
201
Bureaucracy
212
The Welfare Society
222
Unemployment
247
Punishment
262
Conclusion
271
Notes
293

Citizenship
150
Culture
162

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Page 12 - And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. 'And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand : and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, king of the Jews!
Page 298 - University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, Indiana NOTES 1 . John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971). 2. For a discussion of an exception to this condition, see my book, The Demands of Justice (Notre Dame, In.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1980), pp. 40-42, 55-58. 3. For a more complete account of basic needs, see The Demands of Justice, pp. 51-55. 4. See Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State and Utopia (New...
Page 297 - Harold L. Wilensky, The Welfare State and Equality (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975).
Page 9 - Margalit defines humiliation as: [A]ny sort of behavior or condition that constitutes a sound reason for a person to consider his or her self-respect injured.11 However, the notion of self-respect is ambiguous too.
Page 296 - Two Concepts of Liberty" in Berlin, Four Essays on Liberty (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969), pp.
Page 1 - A civilized society is one whose members do not humiliate one another, while a decent society is one in which the institutions do not humiliate people.

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About the author (1998)

Avishai Margalit is the Schulman Professor of Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is also the George F. Kennan Professor in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Studies. He writes regularly for the New York Review of Books.

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