Nicolas de Condorcet (1743-1794), the innovating founder of mathematical thinking in politics, was the last great philosophe of the French Enlightenment and a central figure in the early years of the French Revolution. His political writings give a compelling vision of human progress across world history and express the hopes of that time in the future perfectibility of man. This volume contains a revised translation of 'The Sketch', written while in hiding from the Jacobin Terror, together with lesser-known writings on the emancipation of women, the abolition of slavery, the meanings of freedom and despotism and reflections on revolutionary violence. The introduction by Steven Lukes and Nadia Urbinati sets these works in context and shows why Condorcet is of real interest today as we reinterpret the meaning of Enlightenment, the very idea of progress and the founding ideas of social democracy.
The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat is a brilliant fictional journey through Western political philosophy by one of our most original thinkers. Professor Caritat, a middle-aged Candide, walks naively through the neighbouring countries of Utilitaria, Communitaria and Libertaria, in his quest to find the best of all possible worlds. Cut loose from the confines of his ivory tower, this wandering professor is made to confront the perplexed state of modern thinking in this dazzling comedy of ideas.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Moral relativism attracts and repels. What is defensible in it and what is to be rejected? Do we as human beings have no shared standards by which we can understand one another? Can we abstain from judging one another's practices? Do we truly have divergent views about what constitutes good and evil, virtue and vice, harm and welfare, dignity and humiliation, or is there some underlying commonality that trumps it all? These questions turn up everywhere, from Montaigne's essay on cannibals, to the UN Declaration of Human Rights, to the debate over female genital mutilation. They become ever more urgent with the growth of mass immigration, the rise of religious extremism, the challenges of Islamist terrorism, the rise of identity politics, and the resentment at colonialism and the massive disparities of wealth and power between North and South. Are human rights and humanitarian interventions just the latestform of cultural imperialism? By what right do we judge particular practices as barbaric? Who are the real barbarians? In this provocative new book, the distinguished social theorist Steven Lukes takes an incisive and enlightening look at these and other challenging questions and considers the very foundations of what we believe, why we believe it, and whether there is a profound discord between "us" and "them. "
Considered a landmark work when it was first published in 1895, The Rules of Sociological Method represents Emile Durkheim's manifesto for sociology. He argues forcefully for the objective, scientific, and methodological underpinnings of sociology as a discipline and establishes guiding principles for future research. With a substantial new introduction by the leading Durkheim scholar Steven Lukes, the book explains and sets into context Durkheim's argument. The still-controversial debates about The Rules of Sociological Method's six chapters are examined and their relevance to present-day sociology is discussed. The edition also includes Durkheim's subsequent thoughts on method in the form of articles, debates with scholars from other disciplines, and letters. This is an essential resource for students and scholars hoping to deepen their understanding of one of the pioneering voices in modern sociology and twentieth-century social thought. Durkheim's methodology is still relevant today. With substantial notes on context, this revised edition will greatly ease the task of students and scholars studying Durkheim and will engage a new generation of readers with his rich contribution to the field.
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