Political Philosophy: Fact, Fiction, and Vision

Political Philosophy: Fact, Fiction, and Vision

Mario Bunge

Language: English

Pages: 449

ISBN: 141285587X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Political philosophy is not a well-defined field. It hovers between political theory and classical philosophy. Few early political thinkers could have anticipated the most pressing political issues of our time: the need to stop global warming; the reduction of nuclear armaments; the rise of inequality between individuals and nations; and the struggle against authoritarianism, particularly when it comes disguised as democracy or as socialism. Here, celebrated philosopher Mario Bunge masterfully integrates socio-political theory into a philosophical exploration of power and resource distribution in the world today.

Bunge contends that even recent political thinkers have generally failed to address the political underpinnings of topical issues. Environmental degradation, gender and race discriminations, participative democracy, nationalism, imperialism, the North-South divide, resource wars, and the industrial-military complex have all largely been bypassed in political thinking. Even connections between poverty and environmental degradation, and between inequality and bad health, have escaped the attention of those who would call themselves political thinkers.

Bunge believes that political philosophers should pay more attention to social indicators, such as the standard index of income inequality and the United Nations human development index. It is pointless to write about redistributive policies unless we have a shared understanding of current wealth distribution. This is, in short, a modern treatise on sociopolitical concerns.

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of other people . i nter .t Th expect d utili ty of an action i d fi ned a the product of i t , ubjec tive util ity by the probab i l ity of ucce of th a tion in qu · tion . Th concept ar well d fi ned in the particular ca e of game of chance . B u t both notion are vague and m i splaced every where else particularly whe re a in bu i ness, pol i ti c . and educa­ tion, ordinarily we leave nothing to chance but, on the contrary, attempt to i n fl uence or e en set up cau al chain . I gnore for the

fit tandard econonlic ' Jensen et a1 . 2007) . T h i finding con fi nl1 the hypothe i s that fai rne " i uniqu 'ly human ( F 'hr [md Fi hbacher 2003 . B ut so i s cruelty. For b 'tter or for worse, both ar ' educable . • Social cOl/dllcr .... / -- � � ScJfish '" �(lk= I' ciprocal altruism /800/, badforbad (good for R 'cipm ator �Strong = reciprocal altruism + . cooperatlOll Alrrllisri J<'ig. 2. 1 . Three types of social conduct I t may wel l be, though . that the ordinary person

Cairnes has not been utterly corrupted by the struggle for l i fe We do n t know. We judge the o mpe ten ce of 'cmdid aes on tlwir fa ial app a ran. 'e i n stantly and without b theri ng to examine thei r record Tod ro et al . 2005 ). l . thi: b e au. e we are hi ldren of the screen and lave, t advert i . i n g . We d n t know. We ra� ly make mplex decisions Oil the basi of areful deliberation ( D�j k terhui et at. 2006 . F r exampl , difficult choi s, a b twe n hOll e , are mor often unc n c i u

loyalty to the Crow n . Spinoza and Rousseau were contractarians but republ i c an. rather than i ther monarchist. or democrat. . and above all, they hop d that thic. woul d ev ntuall y rul e pol itic . . B y contrast, t h gist of contemporary cont ractari ani s m i s that ( 1 ) i t i . radically i negal i tarian ; 2 i t a . 'ert . that an acti on i ' right i f a n d o n l y i f it con form ' t o ' i n formed, unforced general agreement" Scanlon 2002 : 1 3 2 ) ' ,md 3 ) it hold ' t hat morals ar

of a 'oeial s 'iell e, in particu lar the objective , tudy of the quantitati ve featu re ' of soci al l i fe . Adorno, M arc use, and H aberma . rejected 'cience and tech nology in g neral a ' con · tituting nothing but th i deology of l ate eapitali ' m : ) True, in h i s t he 'e ' on Feuerbach the young M arx had proc laimed that i t was t i me for phi lo 'ophers to ' w itch from i n terpreti n g the world to ·tart chang i ng it. B ut the m atur M arx, on of th fou nder of th First I

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