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Liberals and Communitarians By Stephen Mulhall

Liberals and Communitarians
by Stephen Mulhall

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Traces the progress of the debate between liberals and commutarians. Beginning with an account of John Rawls' "A Theory of Justice" it goes on to provide a presentation of the work of the main communitarians - Michael Sandel, Alisdair MacIntyre, Charles Taylor and Michael Walzer.
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Liberals and Communitarians Summary

Liberals and Communitarians: An Introduction by Stephen Mulhall

Over the past decade, one of the most controversial and influential challenges to liberal political theory has been mounted by a number of writers usually labelled "communitarian". Focusing primarily upon the philosophical and metaphysical underpinnings of liberal accounts of justice, these critics have argued that such accounts presuppose an inadequate conception of the person and of the relationship between individuals and their communities, resulting in an impoverished view of the role of the state. This book traces the progress of the debate. Beginning with an account of John Rawls's "A Theory of Justice", it goes on to provide clear presentations of the work of the main communitarians - Michael Sandel, Alisdair MacIntyre, Charles Taylor and Michael Walzer. This is followed by an assessment of Rawls's more recent work, in which his "political" liberalism is shown to provide resources for a response to the communitarian critique. Finally, the authors examine the writings of two other liberal theorists, Richard Rorty and Joseph Raz, each of whom can be read as pursuing strikingly different lines of argument which avoid the difficulties faced by Rawls but raise new problems of their own. With a guiding agenda of themes and issues, this book is a useful aid to students of contemporary political theory.

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Liberals and Communitarians Reviews

"An admirably clear exposition of the main protagonists in the liberalism-communitarianism debate. Mulhall and Swift provide a valuable service by identifying the various issues in the debate, and by separating out the substance from the rhetoric on both sides" Will Kymlicka, author of Liberalism, Community and Culture

"Their approach is author-based and aimed at the new student. It is clearly written, accessible, and can be recommended with confidence to new students." Political Studies

"An excellent supplementary text for upper-level undergraduate contemporary political philosophy classes." American Library Association

About Stephen Mulhall

Stephen Mulhall is a Prize Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, and author of On Being in the World, published in 1990.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Communitarian critiques: Sandel - the limits of liberalism; MacIntyre - morality after virtue; Taylor - the sources of the liberal self; Walzer - justice and abstraction; Concluding summary. Part 2 Rawls's response: Rawls's political liberalism; Political liberalism - for and against. Part 3 Liberalism, politics and perfection: Rorty - liberalism without foundations; Raz - the politics of perfection; conclusion.

Additional information

Liberals and Communitarians: An Introduction by Stephen Mulhall
Stephen Mulhall
Used - Very Good
John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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