George Kateb: Dignity, Morality, Individuality, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

George Kateb

Dignity, Morality, Individuality, 1st Edition

Edited by John Seery

Routledge

232 pages

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Hardback: 9781138017498
pub: 2014-10-28
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Description

George Kateb’s writings have been innovatory in exploring the fundamental quandary of how modern democracy—sovereignty vested in the many—might nevertheless protect, respect, promote, even celebrate the singular, albeit ordinary individual. His essays, often leading to unexpected results, have focused on many inter-related topics: rights, representation, constitutionalism, war, evil, extinction, punishment, privacy, patriotism, and more.

This book focuses in particular on his thought in three key areas:

Dignity

These essays exhibit the breadth and complexity of Kateb’s notion of dignity and outline some implications for political theory. Rather than a solely moral approach to the theory of human rights, he elaborates a human-dignity rationale for the very worth of the human species

Morality

Here Kateb challenges the position that moral considerations are often too demanding to have a place in the rough-and-tumble of modern politics and political analysis. Rejecting common justifications for the propriety of punishment, he insists that state-based punishment is a perplexing moral problem that cannot be allayed by repairing to theories of state legitimacy.

Individuality

These essays gather some of Kateb’s rejoinders and correctives to common conceptions and customary critiques of the theory of democratic individuality. He explains that Locke’s hesitations and religious backtracking are instructive, perhaps as precursors for the ways in which vestigial beliefs can still cloud moral reasoning.

Table of Contents

Introduction: John E. Seery, PART I: Dignity, 1. The Concept of Human Dignity (2011), 2. Is John Gray a Nihilist? (2006), 3. On Being Watched and Known (2001), PART II: Morality, 4. Punishment and the Spirit of Democracy (2007), 5. Morality and Self-Sacrifice, Martyrdom and Self-Denial (with a new addendum) (2008), 6. Democracy and Untruth (2012), 7. Political Realism (2013), Part III: Individuality, 8. Locke and the Political Origins of Secularism (2009), 9. Arendt and Individualism (1994), 10. Individuality and Egotism (2002), An interview with George Kateb: Abraham Lincoln and Political Theory Questions from John E. Seery

About the Editor

John E. Seery is George Irving Thompson Professor of Government and Professor of Politics at Pomona College, Claremont CA, USA. He has written books on themes such as irony, death, liberal arts education, and constitutional age requirements, and his articles have covered a range of topics, from abortion politics to Grant Wood’s American Gothic.

About the Series

Routledge Innovators in Political Theory

Routledge Innovators in Political Theory focuses on leading contemporary thinkers in political theory, highlighting the major innovations in their thought that have reshaped the field. Each volume collects both published and unpublished texts, and combines them with an interview with the thinker. The editorial introduction articulates the innovator’s key contributions in relation to political theory, and contextualises the writer’s work. Volumes in the series will be required reading for both students and scholars of 21st century politics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POL000000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / General
POL003000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Civics & Citizenship
POL015000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Political Parties
POL016000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / General