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Philosophy and Real Politics by Raymond…
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Philosophy and Real Politics

by Raymond Geuss

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A short review for a short book. This book criticizes the traditional conception of political philosophy, which sees it merely as applied ethics. I liked the general idea and some of the themes the author briefly discusses were interesting. I think he's onto something when he envisions conceptual innovation as an alternative path for political philosophy. But in the end this book, as an expanded lecture, is much too short to be influential, or even convincing. Political philosophy has to be reinvented through philosophizing. This book only suggests a few preliminary signposts for that task.
  thcson | Jan 11, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0691137889, Hardcover)

Many contemporary political thinkers are gripped by the belief that their task is to develop an ideal theory of rights or justice for guiding and judging political actions. But in Philosophy and Real Politics, Raymond Geuss argues that philosophers should first try to understand why real political actors behave as they actually do. Far from being applied ethics, politics is a skill that allows people to survive and pursue their goals. To understand politics is to understand the powers, motives, and concepts that people have and that shape how they deal with the problems they face in their particular historical situations.

Philosophy and Real Politics both outlines a historically oriented, realistic political philosophy and criticizes liberal political philosophies based on abstract conceptions of rights and justice. The book is a trenchant critique of established ways of thought and a provocative call for change.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:46 -0400)

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