Anarchism and Authority : A Philosophical Introduction to Classical Anarchism book cover
1st Edition

Anarchism and Authority
A Philosophical Introduction to Classical Anarchism

ISBN 9781138276147
Published November 28, 2016 by Routledge
210 Pages

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Book Description

Examining the political theory of anarchism from a philosophical and historical perspective, Paul McLaughlin relates anarchism to the fundamental ethical and political problem of authority. The book pays particular attention to the authority of the state and the anarchist rejection of all traditional claims made for the legitimacy of state authority, the author both explaining and defending the central tenets of the anarchist critique of the state. The founding works of anarchist thought, by Godwin, Proudhon and Stirner, are explored and anarchism is examined in its historical context, including the influence of such events as the Enlightenment and the French Revolution on anarchist thought. Finally, the major theoretical developments of anarchism from the late-nineteenth century to the present are summarized and evaluated. This book is both a highly readable account of the development of anarchist thinking and a lucid and well-reasoned defence of the anarchist philosophy.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part 1 Anarchism and the Problem of Authority; Chapter 1 Defining Anarchism; Chapter 2 The Nature of Authority; Chapter 3 Forms of Authority; Chapter 4 The Legitimacy of the State; Part 2 Anarchism and the History of Ideas; Chapter 5 The Historical Foundations of Anarchism; Chapter 6 Foundational Texts of Anarchism; Chapter 7 Theoretical Developments of Anarchism; Chapter 101 Conclusion;

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Paul McLaughlin is Visiting Lecturer at the Centre for Ethics, University of Tartu, Estonia.


’Above all, then, this volume performs both a clarificatory and redemptive function, and is an invaluable resource for anyone - student or scholar - wishing to acquire a basic and accurate philosophical grounding of anarchist thought.’ Studies in Social and Political Thought