Political philosophy : a beginners' guide for students and politicians / Adam Swift.

by Swift, Adam, 1961- [author.]Looking glass.

Publisher: Cambridge, UK ; Polity, 2014.Edition: Third edition.Description: xi, 247 pages ; 22 cm.ISBN: 0745652379; 9780745652375.Subject(s): CommunitiesLooking glass | EqualityLooking glass | LibertyLooking glass | Political science -- PhilosophyLooking glass | Social justiceLooking glass
Contents:
Part 1. Social Justice -- Part 2. Liberty -- Part 3. Equality -- Part 4. Community -- Part 5. Democracy.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Politicians invoke grand ideas: social justice, democracy, liberty, equality, community. But what do these ideas really mean? How can politicians across the political spectrum appeal to the same values? This new edition of Adam Swift's highly readable introduction to political philosophy answers these important questions, and includes new material on global justice, feminism, and method in political theory, as well as updated guides to further reading. This lively and accessible book is ideal for students, but it also brings the insights of the world's leading political philosophers to a wide general audience. Using plenty of examples, it equips readers to think for themselves about the ideas that shape political life. Democracy works best when both politicians and voters move beyond rhetoric to think clearly and carefully about the political principles that should govern their society. But clear thinking is difficult in an age when established orthodoxies have fallen by the wayside. Bringing political philosophy out of the ivory tower and within the reach of all, this book provides us with tools to cut through the complexities of modern politics. In so doing, it makes a valuable contribution to the democratic process and this new edition will continue to be essential reading for students of political philosophy and theory.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Part 1. Social Justice -- Part 2. Liberty -- Part 3. Equality -- Part 4. Community -- Part 5. Democracy.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Preface (p. ix)
  • Preface to Third Edition (p. xii)
  • Introduction (p. 1)
  • Further reading (p. 9)
  • Part 1 Social Justice (p. 11)
  • Concept v. conceptions: the case of justice (p. 13)
  • Hayek v. social justice (p. 20)
  • Rawls: justice as fairness (p. 22)
  • Nozick: justice as entitlement (p. 31)
  • Popular opinion: justice as desert (p. 40)
  • Social justice v. global justice (p. 48)
  • Conclusion (p. 54)
  • Further reading (p. 55)
  • Part 2 Liberty (p. 57)
  • Two concepts of liberty? (p. 58)
  • Three distinctions between conceptions of liberty (p. 60)
  • 1 Effective freedom v. formal freedom (p. 61)
  • 2 Freedom as autonomy v. freedom as doing what one wants (p. 65)
  • 3 Freedom as political participation v. freedom beginning where politics ends (p. 69)
  • Freedom, private property, the market and redistribution (p. 73)
  • Resisting the totalitarian menace (p. 82)
  • Conclusion (p. 92)
  • Further reading (p. 93)
  • Part 3 Equality (p. 95)
  • The egalitarian plateau (p. 97)
  • Equality of opportunity (p. 102)
  • Gender equality (p. 109)
  • Equality and relativities: should we mind the gap? (p. 116)
  • Positional goods (p. 124)
  • Three positions that look egalitarian but aren't really (p. 127)
  • 1 Utilitarianism (or any aggregative principle) (p. 127)
  • 2 Diminishing principles, priority to the worse off, and maximin (p. 129)
  • 3 Entitlement and sufficiency (p. 131)
  • Equality strikes back (p. 133)
  • Conclusion (p. 140)
  • Further reading (p. 141)
  • Part 4 Community (p. 143)
  • Correcting misunderstandings and misrepresentations (p. 146)
  • Objection 1 Liberals assume that people are selfish or egoistic (p. 148)
  • Objection 2 Liberals advocate a minimal state (p. 150)
  • Objection 3 Liberals emphasize rights rather than duties or responsibilities (p. 151)
  • Objection 4 Liberals believe that values are subjective or relative (p. 155)
  • Objection 5 Liberals neglect the way in which individuals are socially constituted (p. 158)
  • Objection 6 Liberals fail to see the significance of communal relations, shared values and a common identity (p. 161)
  • Objection 7 Liberals wrongly think that the state can and should be neutral (p. 164)
  • Summary (p. 169)
  • Outstanding issues (p. 171)
  • 1 Liberalism, neutrality and multiculturalism (p. 171)
  • 2 Liberalism, the nation-state and global justice (p. 176)
  • Conclusion (p. 182)
  • Further reading (p. 185)
  • Part 5 Democracy (p. 187)
  • What is democracy? (p. 189)
  • Degrees of democracy (p. 192)
  • 1 Directness or indirectness of the decision (p. 192)
  • 2 Accountability of representatives (p. 195)
  • 3 Equality (of opportunity) for influence (p. 197)
  • 4 Scope of authority of democratic will (p. 199)
  • Procedures and outcomes (p. 202)
  • Is democracy paradoxical? (p. 205)
  • Subjectivism, democracy and disagreement (p. 208)
  • The values of democracy (p. 211)
  • Intrinsic 1 Freedom as autonomy (p. 212)
  • Intrinsic 2 Self-realization (p. 216)
  • Intrinsic 3 Equality (p. 217)
  • Instrumental 1 Good or correct decisions (p. 221)
  • Instrumental 2 Intellectual and moral development of citizens (p. 226)
  • Instrumental 3 Perceived legitimacy (p. 228)
  • Conclusion (p. 229)
  • Further reading (p. 230)
  • Conclusion (p. 232)
  • Further reading (p. 237)
  • Index (p. 238)

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Adam Swift is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Warwick

Other editions of this work

No cover image available Political philosophy : by Swift, Adam, ©2006
No cover image available Political philosophy : by Swift, Adam, ©2006

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