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From Pluralist to Patriotic Politics: Putting Practice First [Hardcover]

Charles Blattberg

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Book Description

Feb. 3 2000 0198296886 978-0198296881
The moral and political philosophy of pluralism has become increasingly influential. To pluralists, when values genuinely conflict we should aim to strike an appropriate balance or trade-off between them, though this means accepting that compromise will be inevitable. Politics, as a result, appears as a thoroughly tragic affair. Drawing on a 'hermeneutical' conception of interpretation, the author develops an original account of practical reasoning, one which assumes that, though making compromises in the face of conflicts is indeed often unavoidable, there are times when reconciliation, as distinct from compromise, is feasible. For this to be so, however, citizens must strive to converse - and not just negotiate - with each other, thus fulfilling the good that is at the heart of their shared political community. This is the central message of the patriotic alternative to pluralist politics that the author defends here.

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Review

`a fascinating book' Michael Burgess, Democratization

...among the mass of work on related issues now appearing, a genuinely original and worthwhile contribution. Paul Gilbert, Philosophy 75, no.294 (Oct 2000)

...a fascinating book about political philosophy. Michael Burgess, University of Hull, in Democratization 8, no.2 (summer 2001)

`An excellent study of contemporary democratic theory, well versed in the classics of political philosophy.' P. Coby, Smith College, Choice

About the Author

Charles Blattberg is Assistant Professor of Political Philosophy, Department of Political Science, Tel Aviv University

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars For the common good May 3 2010
By John Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Practical reason can involve the comparing of incommensurables."

Theory-based political reasoning operates by translating thick maxims into thin universal rules, or rights, and then imposing them indiscriminately, disregarding the particulars of the case at hand.

This is the flaw of pluralist political thought.

Blattberg argues that we abandon this scientifically minded political theory, which amounts to "cold reason," and engage "warm reason." Throw rights out the window. We can engage (literally) in conversation, and talk ourselves into one big warm happy family with a common vision for the common good.

If that fails, of course, we can compromise. If compromise doesn't meet our objectives, then we can resort to force to impose our vision for a common good.

The whole book seems to ignore the reason why pluralism was borne in the first place; i.e., the bloodbaths that resulted from the illiberal pursuit of a "common good."

So why do I give it 4 stars? It's very intriguing. Like watching a train wreck unfold, but better because the book is loaded with insightful criticisms of Rawls, Walzer, Rorty and others.
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