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The arc of the moral universe and other essays
Cohen, Joshua, 1951-
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Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2010.
Physical Description:
viii, 416 p. ; 25 cm.
The arc of the moral universe -- Structure, choice, and legitimacy: Locke's theory of the state -- Democratic equality -- A more democratic liberalism -- For a democratic society -- Knowledge, morality and hope: the social thought of Noam Chomsky: with Joel Rogers -- Reflections on Habermas on democracy -- A matter of demolition?: Susan Okin on justice and gender -- Minimalism about human rights: the most we can hope for? -- Is there a human right to democracy? -- Extra republicam nulla justitia?: with Charles Sabel.


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Book 0329616 JC423 .C6473 2010 Central Campus Library

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In this collection of essays, Joshua Cohen locates ideas about democracy in three far-ranging contexts. First, he explores the relationship between democratic values and history. He then discusses democracy in connection with the views of defining political theorists in the democratic tradition: John Locke, John Rawls, Noam Chomsky, Juergen Habermas, and Susan Moller Okin. Finally, he examines the place of democratic ideals in a global setting, suggesting an idea of ?global public reason??a terrain of political justification in global politics in which shared reason still plays an essential role.All the essays are linked by his overarching claim that political philosophy is a practical subject intended to orient and guide conduct in the social world. Cohen integrates moral, social-scientific, and historical argument in order to develop this stance, and he further confronts the question of whether a society conceived in liberty and dedicated to equality can endure. At Gettysburg, President Lincoln forcefully stated the question and expressed both hope and concern over this same struggle about an affirmative answer. By enabling us to trace the arc of the moral universe, the essays in this volume?along with the companion collection, Philosophy, Politics, Democracy ?give us some reasons for sharing that hope.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
I Justice in History
1 The Arc of the Moral Universep. 15
II Reflections on the Democratic Tradition
2 Structure, Choice, and Legitimacy: Locke's Theory of the Statep. 75
3 Democratic Equalityp. 99
4 A More Democratic Liberalismp. 129
5 For a Democratic Societyp. 181
6 Knowledge, Morality, and Hope: The Social Thought of Noam Chomsky With Joel Rogersp. 231
7 Reflections on Habermas on Democracyp. 260
8 A Matter of Demolition? Susan Okin on Justice and Genderp. 297
III Global Justice
9 Minimalism about Human Rights: The Most We Can Hope For?p. 319
10 Is There a Human Right to Democracy?p. 349
11 Extra Rempublicam Nulla Justitia? With Charles Sabelp. 373
Acknowledgmentsp. 403
Indexp. 405