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Philosophy and Real Politics | [Raymond Geuss]

Philosophy and Real Politics

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 persue their goals.
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Publisher's Summary

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 persue 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. The book is published by Princeton University Press.

©2008 Princeton University Press (P)2010 Redwood Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"A discipline-altering book." (London Review of Books)

"This grand text is an intellectual breath of fresh air." (Cornel West, Princeton University)

"Philosophy and Real Politics is an impressive and provocative essay on contemporary Anglo-American political philosophy theory." (Law and Politics Book Review)

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