Utanför Rawls ramar

A brief incident from my own life may serve here as an introduction. A little more than two decades ago at Harvard University, the same institution Coicaud attended while writing his book, I took a course in political philosophy from Professor John Rawls, author of the celebrated volume ”A Theory of Justice”. To my disappointment ‘political philosophy’ turned out to mean not much more than ‘moral theory’ so that any political manifestations and issues could be viewed only upon a very distant, almost invisible or unrelated horizon. […] As was already my habit by then, I engaged in a self-invented … Fortsätt läsa Utanför Rawls ramar

Bernard Crick om Laski, Friedrich, och förhållandet mellan politisk teori och empirisk statsvetenskap

My chair at Sheffield was called “Political Theory and Institutions”. I often wonder whether the men who named it thought that they were creating two jobs or one. What was meant to be the force of that “and”? I suspect that they thought, not very precisely, that there were indeed two positions, but that they wished, as a good English compromise, to keep them close together, at least to stop them getting too far apart. They probably did not wish for a “mere theorist” or for a menu too theoretical however scholarly, therefore “and Institutions” which would seem something practical, … Fortsätt läsa Bernard Crick om Laski, Friedrich, och förhållandet mellan politisk teori och empirisk statsvetenskap

Tekniker och myter

With the aid of his pragmatic contrivances man has outdistanced all other animals and made himself lord of creation. For our purpose here, which is to show how the government of man over man has come to be, it will serve if we divide man’s contrivances into two broad classes. Let us call them respectively techniques and myths. By techniques we mean the devices and skills of every kind that enable men to dispose of things—and of persons—more to their liking, so as to ease their toil, to increase the return to their labor, to enlarge their satisfactions, to organize … Fortsätt läsa Tekniker och myter

Boktips: Andrew Sabl om Hume

Föga förvånande kommer David Hume figurera flitigt i min avhandling. En ny bok, utkommen i december, har gjort detta än mer självklart: Andrew Sabl’s Hume’s Politics. Coordination and Crisis in the ‘History of England’. Det är en suvären bok och rekommenderas varmt. Eventuellt ska jag försöka skriva en recension. Det finns flera aspekter som särskiljer ett “humeanskt” synsätt på politik och politisk teori. Det som lyfts fram av Sabl, och tidigare av Russell Hardin, är en samhällsteori som fokuserar på koordinering av människors handlande. Hur uppstår, och vad undergräver, de konventioner och normer måste till för att lösa de, enligt … Fortsätt läsa Boktips: Andrew Sabl om Hume

En definition av politisk teori

Från en artikel av Pasquale Pasquino om Hobbes och Machiavelli: Political theory is about order inside the city. I suggest that it is more precisely the series of texts on the means of avoiding disorder which threatens coexistence within the political community. […] [T]ransformations of political discourse in the West have been a function of changing conceptualizations of threat to the existence of political order and hence of the different ways of envisaging the origin and nature of this threat. Pasquino, Pasquale (1996), ‘Political Theory, Order, and Threat’, in Russell Hardin and Ian Shapiro (eds.), Political Order (Nomos; New York: … Fortsätt läsa En definition av politisk teori

Le bon David

Ett bakomliggande skäl till att skriva uppsatsen som jag presenterade häromdagen är att jag anser att Hume är undervärderad som politisk filosof. I mina ögon borde han läsas med samma självklarhet som Hobbes, Locke och Kant. I ett ännu opublicerat manuskript har Angela Coventry och Alex Sager (2011) gjort en översikt över Humes position och inflytande i samtida politisk teori. De inleder som följer: Hume occupies a central, but ambiguous position in contemporary political philosophy. Political philosophers recognize the importance of his analysis of justice as an artificial virtue and his account of convention, his identification of the “conditions of … Fortsätt läsa Le bon David