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Mere Life or More Life?

Glen Newey: Bad Arguments, 14 July 2011

Great Books, Bad Arguments: ‘Republic’, ‘Leviathan’ and ‘The Communist Manifesto’ 
by W.G. Runciman.
Princeton, 127 pp., £13.95, March 2010, 978 0 691 14476 4
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Emergency Politics: Paradox, Law, Democracy 
by Bonnie Honig.
Princeton, 197 pp., £15.95, August 2011, 978 0 691 15259 2
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... if they can programme human behaviour, what programmes the institutions themselves? This is where Bonnie Honig’s argument starts, with Rousseau’s ‘paradox of political origins’. Honig debates the proposition that institutions, and specifically the law, are needed for humans to flourish. On one view, people have ...

Ruck in the Carpet

Glen Newey: Political Morality, 9 July 2009

Philosophy and Real Politics 
by Raymond Geuss.
Princeton, 116 pp., £11.95, October 2008, 978 0 691 13788 9
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... Among poli-philes, the realist case has been put recently by such notables as Stuart Hampshire, Bonnie Honig, Bernard Williams, John Gray and Liz Frazer. There are no moral skyhooks from which politics can be hung. It is quite hard to understand, except perhaps as a relic of state-of-nature theory, why anyone should think that morality is given, while ...

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