Richard E. Flathman is a ground-breaking theorist of key political concepts, a fierce defender of individuality, a close and original reader of Hobbes and an advocate of a willful conception of liberalism.
In this volume P E Digeser draws together some of his key works. The collection is framed by an introduction and an interview with Flathman, where he reflects on his contributions. By thinking through and with Wittgenstein’s later philosophy of language, his work clarifies and refines terms that are central to politics and to the tradition of political thought. His work also seeks to cure certain persistent muddles and confusions in our political concepts as well as create and defend a space for the opaque and opalescent features of ourselves. Flathman advances a liberalism that is more open to and celebratory of the idiosyncratic as well as to voices not ordinarily associated with the liberal tradition.
The editor has focused on her work in three key areas:
- The first part focuses on Flathman as a theorist of meaning and presents excepts from his analyses of quality, authority, and rights;
- The second part focuses on his contributions to understanding the meaning and value of freedom;
- The final part presents selections that illustrate his conception of liberalism and individuality.
Helping to highlight how the innovations in Flathman's thought have shaped the field of political theory, this collection will be of interest to students and scholars.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Paige E. Digeser
Equality, Authority, Rights and Philosophy as Therapy
1 Equality and Generalization: A Formal Analysis (1967)
2 Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Language and Political and Social Philosophy (1973)
3 Authority and the "Surrender" of Political Judgment (1980)
4 Liberalism and Authority (1989)
5 The Theory of Rights and the Practice of Abortion (1989)
Situating and Disciplining Freedom
6 Kinds of Freedom (1987)
7 Is the Positive Theory of Freedom a Theory of Freedom? (1987)
8 Situating Freedom (1987)
9 Control, Resistance, and Freedom (2003)
Opacity, Liberalism, and Individuality
10 Individuality, Plurality, and Liberalism (1992)
11 Of Liberty, Authority and Power (1993)
12 Strains in and Around Liberal Theory (1998)
13 Here and Now, There and Then, Always and Everywhere: Reflections Concerning Political Theory and the Study/Writing of Political Thought (2006)
An interview with Richard E. Flathman:
Questions from P. E. Digeser
P.E. Digeser is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of Our Politics, Our Selves? (1996), Political Forgiveness (2001), and Friendship Reconsidered: What it Means and How it Matters to Politics (2016).