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This volume of essays by one of America's preeminent philosophers in the area of jurisprudence and moral philosophy gathers together fourteen papers that had been published in widely scattered and not readily accessible sources. All of the essays deal with the political ideals of liberty and justice or with hard cases for the application of the concept of a right. Originally published in 1980. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Adam Smith (1723–90) is perhaps best known as one of the first champions of the free market and is widely regarded as the founding father of capitalism. From his ideas about the promise and pitfalls of globalization to his steadfast belief in the preservation of human dignity, his work is as relevant today as it was in the eighteenth century. Here, Ryan Hanley brings together some of the world's finest scholars from across a variety of disciplines to offer new perspectives on Smith’s life, thought, and enduring legacy. Contributors provide succinct and accessible discussions of Smith’s landmark works and the historical context in which he wrote them, the core concepts of Smith’s social vision, and the lasting impact of Smith’s ideas in both academia and the broader world. They reveal other sides of Smith beyond the familiar portrayal of him as the author of the invisible hand, emphasizing his deep interests in such fields as rhetoric, ethics, and jurisprudence. Smith emerges not just as a champion of free markets but also as a thinker whose unique perspective encompasses broader commitments to virtue, justice, equality, and freedom. An essential introduction to Adam Smith’s life and work, this incisive and thought-provoking book features contributions from leading figures such as Nicholas Phillipson, Amartya Sen, and John C. Bogle. It demonstrates how Smith’s timeless insights speak to contemporary concerns such as growth in the developing world and the future of free trade, and how his influence extends to fields ranging from literature and philosophy to religion and law.
This comprehensive study of Godwin's philosophy establishes the central importance of his ideas to modern social and political thought, correcting in the process certain widespread misinterpretations. Professor Clark reassesses Godwin's determinism, his doctrine of perfectibility, his utilitarianism, his theory of rights, his view of political action, and other important topics. The book begins with a discussion of the metaphysical and epistemological bases of Godwin's philosophy and then analyzes the nature of his ethical theory and the application of his philosophical principles to social and political issues. In a concluding section, his place in the history of anarchist theory is clarified. The author draws on all of Godwin's writings, including both strictly philosophical works and literary and historical essays, taking an approach to them that is expository, analytical, and critical. Originally published in 1977. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
What is the source of rights? Rights have been grounded in divine agency, human nature, and morally justified claims, and have been used to assess the moral status of legal and customary social practices. The orthodoxy is that some of our rights are a species of unrecognized or natural rights. For example, black slaves in antebellum America were said to have such rights, and this was taken to provide a basis for establishing the immorality of slavery. Derrick Darby exposes the main shortcomings of the orthodox conception of the source of rights and proposes a radical alternative. He draws on the legacy of race and racism in the USA to argue that all rights are products of social recognition. This bold, lucid and meticulously argued book will inspire readers to rethink the central role assigned to rights in moral, political, and legal theory as well as in everyday evaluative discourse.
Available in English for the first time, Imperfect Garden is both an approachable intellectual history and a bracing treatise on how we should understand and experience our lives. In it, one of France's most prominent intellectuals explores the foundations, limits, and possibilities of humanist thinking. Through his critical but sympathetic excavation of humanism, Tzvetan Todorov seeks an answer to modernity's fundamental challenge: how to maintain our hard-won liberty without paying too dearly in social ties, common values, and a coherent and responsible sense of self. Todorov reads afresh the works of major humanists--primarily Montaigne, Rousseau, and Constant, but also Descartes, Montesquieu, and Toqueville. Each chapter considers humanism's approach to one major theme of human existence: liberty, social life, love, self, morality, and expression. Discussing humanism in dialogue with other systems, Todorov finds a response to the predicament of modernity that is far more instructive than any offered by conservatism, scientific determinism, existential individualism, or humanism's other contemporary competitors. Humanism suggests that we are members of an intelligent and sociable species who can act according to our will while connecting the well-being of other members with our own. It is through this understanding of free will, Todorov argues, that we can use humanism to rescue universality and reconcile human liberty with solidarity and personal integrity. Placing the history of ideas at the service of a quest for moral and political wisdom, Todorov's compelling and no doubt controversial rethinking of humanist ideas testifies to the enduring capacity of those ideas to meditate on--and, if we are fortunate, cultivate--the imperfect garden in which we live.

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