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Self Ownership Freedom And Equality

Author: Gerald Allan Cohen
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521477512
Size: 22.27 MB
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Defenders of capitalism claim that its inequality is the necessary price of the freedom that it guarantees. In that defense of capitalist inequality, freedom is self-ownership, the right of each person to do as he wishes with himself. The author shows that self-ownership fails to deliver the freedom it promises to secure. He thereby undermines the idea that lovers of freedom should embrace capitalism and the inequality that comes with it. In the final chapter he reaffirms the moral superiority of socialism, against the background of the disastrous Soviet experiment.

Rescuing Justice And Equality

Author: G. A Cohen
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674029658
Size: 67.80 MB
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In this work of political philosophy, Cohen sets out to rescue the egalitarian thesis that in a society where distributive justice prevails, people’s material prospects are roughly equal. Arguing against the Rawlsian version of a just society, Cohen demonstrates that distributive justice does not tolerate deep inequality.

Lectures On The History Of Moral And Political Philosophy

Author: Jonathan Wolff
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400848717
Size: 36.36 MB
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G. A. Cohen was one of the leading political philosophers of recent times. He first came to wide attention in 1978 with the prize-winning book Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence. In subsequent decades his published writings largely turned away from the history of philosophy, focusing instead on equality, freedom, and justice. However, throughout his career he regularly lectured on a wide range of moral and political philosophers of the past. This volume collects these previously unpublished lectures. Starting with a chapter centered on Plato, but also discussing the pre-Socratics as well as Aristotle, the book moves to social contract theory as discussed by Hobbes, Locke, and Hume, and then continues with chapters on Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche. The book also contains some previously published but uncollected papers on Marx, Hobbes, and Kant, among other figures. The collection concludes with a memoir of Cohen written by the volume editor, Jonathan Wolff, who was a student of Cohen's. A hallmark of the lectures is Cohen's engagement with the thinkers he discusses. Rather than simply trying to render their thought accessible to the modern reader, he tests whether their arguments and positions are clear, sound, and free from contradiction. Throughout, he homes in on central issues and provides fresh approaches to the philosophers he examines. Ultimately, these lectures teach us not only about some of the great thinkers in the history of moral and political philosophy, but also about one of the great thinkers of our time: Cohen himself.

On The Currency Of Egalitarian Justice And Other Essays In Political Philosophy

Author: G. A. Cohen
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400838660
Size: 53.20 MB
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G. A. Cohen was one of the most gifted, influential, and progressive voices in contemporary political philosophy. At the time of his death in 2009, he had plans to bring together a number of his most significant papers. This is the first of three volumes to realize those plans. Drawing on three decades of work, it contains previously uncollected articles that have shaped many of the central debates in political philosophy, as well as papers published here for the first time. In these pieces, Cohen asks what egalitarians have most reason to equalize, he considers the relationship between freedom and property, and he reflects upon ideal theory and political practice. Included here are classic essays such as "Equality of What?" and "Capitalism, Freedom, and the Proletariat," along with more recent contributions such as "Fairness and Legitimacy in Justice," "Freedom and Money," and the previously unpublished "How to Do Political Philosophy." On ample display throughout are the clarity, rigor, conviction, and wit for which Cohen was renowned. Together, these essays demonstrate how his work provides a powerful account of liberty and equality to the left of Ronald Dworkin, John Rawls, Amartya Sen, and Isaiah Berlin.

An Introduction To Karl Marx

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521338318
Size: 70.85 MB
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A concise and comprehensive introduction to Marx's social, political and economic thought for the beginning student. Jon Elster surveys in turn each of the main themes of marxist thought: methodology, alienation, economics, exploitation, historical materialism, classes, politics, and ideology; in a final chapter he assesses 'what is living and what is dead in the philosophy of Marx'. The emphasis throughout is on the analytical structure of Marx's arguments and the approach is at once sympathetic, undogmatic, and rigorous.

Libertarianism Without Inequality

Author: Michael Otsuka
Publisher: Clarendon Press
ISBN: 0191529508
Size: 67.57 MB
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Michael Otsuka sets out to vindicate left-libertarianism, a political philosophy which combines stringent rights of control over one's own mind, body, and life with egalitarian rights of ownership of the world. Otsuka reclaims the ideas of John Locke from the libertarian Right, and shows how his Second Treatise of Government provides the theoretical foundations for a left-libertarianism which is both more libertarian and more egalitarian than the Kantian liberal theories of John Rawls and Thomas Nagel. Otsuka's libertarianism is founded on a right of self-ownership. Here he is at one with 'right-wing' libertarians, such as Robert Nozick, in endorsing the highly anti-paternalistic and anti-moralistic implications of this right. But he parts company with these libertarians in so far as he argues that such a right is compatible with a fully egalitarian principle of equal opportunity for welfare. In embracing this principle, his own version of left-libertarianism is more strongly egalitarian than others which are currently well known. Otsuka argues that an account of legitimate political authority based upon the free consent of each is strengthened by the adoption of such an egalitarian principle. He defends a pluralistic, decentralized ideal of political society as a confederation of voluntary associations. Part I of Libertarianism without Inequality concerns the natural rights of property in oneself and the world. Part II considers the natural rights of punishment and self-defence that form the basis for the government's authority to legislate and punish. Part III explores the nature and limits of the powers of governments which are created by the consensual transfer of the natural rights of the governed. Libertarianism without Inequality is a book which everyone interested in political theory should read.

Finding Oneself In The Other

Author: Gerald Allan Cohen
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691148813
Size: 29.62 MB
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This is the second of three volumes of posthumously collected writings of G. A. Cohen, who was one of the leading, and most progressive, figures in contemporary political philosophy. This volume brings together some of Cohen's most personal philosophical and nonphilosophical essays, many of them previously unpublished. Rich in first-person narration, insight, and humor, these pieces vividly demonstrate why Thomas Nagel described Cohen as a "wonderful raconteur." The nonphilosophical highlight of the book is Cohen's remarkable account of his first trip to India, which includes unforgettable vignettes of encounters with strangers and reflections on poverty and begging. Other biographical pieces include his valedictory lecture at Oxford, in which he describes his philosophical development and offers his impressions of other philosophers, and "Isaiah's Marx, and Mine," a tribute to his mentor Isaiah Berlin. Other essays address such topics as the truth in "small-c conservatism," who can and can't condemn terrorists, and the essence of bullshit. A recurring theme is finding completion in relation to the world of other human beings. Engaging, perceptive, and empathetic, these writings reveal a more personal side of one of the most influential philosophers of our time.

History Labour And Freedom

Author: Gerald Allan Cohen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198247796
Size: 73.63 MB
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Marx saw history as a protracted process of liberation - from the scarcity imposed on humanity by nature, and from the oppression subjects by the ruling classes. The growth of the human power to produce enables humanity to free itself from both material and social adversity, but exploitation and humiliation are the price which the mass of humanity are forced to pay for the part they play in contributing to that growth. Professor Cohen gives a fresh exposition of the theory of historical materialism and defends it against familiar objections; but he also expresses reservations of his own about the theory and offers reformulations of it which seek to accommodate them. In the final part of the book he discusses the unfreedom and exploitation under which workers labour in contemporary class society. Many of the articles which the book brings together are well known, but most have been substantially revised for the present collection. History, Labour, and Freedom is a sequel to the author's influential Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence (OUP 1978).

Anti Libertarianism

Author: Alan Haworth
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134890729
Size: 52.30 MB
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Free marketeers claim that theirs is the only economic mechanism which respects and furthers human freedom. Socialism, they say, has been thoroughly discredited. Most libertarians treat the state in anything other than its minimal, 'nightwatchman' form as a repressive embodiment of evil. Some reject the state altogether. But is the 'free market idea' a rationally defensible belief? Or do its proponents fail to examine the philosophical roots of their so-called freedom? Anti-libertarianism takes a sceptical look at the conceptual tenets of free market politics. Alan Haworth argues that libertarianism is little more than an unfounded, quasi-religious statement of faith: a market romance. Moreover, libertarianism is exposed as profoundly antithetical to the very freedom which it purports to advance. This controversial book is for anyone interested in the cultural and political impact of free market policies on the modern world. It will be invaluable to students and specialists of political and economic theory, social science and philosophy.

Alternatives To Capitalism

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521378154
Size: 67.94 MB
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A theoretical analysis and assessment of proposed alternatives to present-day capitalism.