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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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... much going for it. The obvious questions are: where do the institutions themselves come from? And, if they can programme human behaviour, what programmes the institutions themselves? This is where BonnieHonig’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 ...

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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... realism has been on the scene since Hans Morgenthau – or, for that matter, Hobbes or Thucydides. Among poli-philes, the realist case has been put recently by such notables as Stuart Hampshire, BonnieHonig, 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 ...

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