Thursday, December 15, 2016

Individualism: A Reader

Individualism: A Reader

Individualism: A Reader, part of the Libertarianism.org Readers series, provides a wealth of illuminating essays from the 17th to the early 20th centuries. In 26 selections from 25 writers individualism is explained and defended, often from unusual perspectives.
The Libertarianism.org Readers series provides an introduction to the major ideas and thinkers in the libertarian tradition.
Individualism is one of most criticized and least understood ideas in social and political thought. Is individualism the ability to act independently amidst a web of social forces? A vital element of personal liberty and a shield against conformity? Does it lead to or away from unifying individuals with communities?
Individualism: A Reader provides a wealth of illuminating essays from the 17th to the early 20th centuries. In 26 selections from 25 writers individualism is explained and defended, often from unusual perspectives. This anthology includes not only selections from well-known writers, but also many lesser-known pieces—reprinted here for the first time—by philosophers, social theorists, and economists who have been overlooked in standard accounts of individualism. 
The depth and complexity of ideas about individualism are reflected in the six sections in this collection. The first examines individuality generally, with the following five detailing social, moral, political, religious, and economic individualism. Throughout, individualism is analyzed and defended through the lenses of classical liberalism, free-market libertarianism, individual anarchism, voluntary socialism, religious individualism, abolitionism, free thought, and radical feminism. 
Both richly historical and sharply contemporary, Individualism: A Reader provides a multitude of perspectives and insights on personal liberty and the history of freedom.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Political Philosophy: An Introduction

Political Philosophy: An Introduction

Most political debate is superficial. Just turn on cable news. Philosophy is for people who want to understand the deep questions. The goal of political philosophy is to determine the standards by which we judge different institutions good or bad, just or unjust.
Some people might think they don’t have much need of political philosophy: “Who case about wishy-washy obtuse notions of justice? I’m a pragmatist. I just want to know what works.” But this isn’t a way of avoiding political philosophy; it’s a way of being dogmatic about it. Before we can just do “what works,” we have to know what counts as working.
This book serves as an introduction to some of the major theories of justice, to the arguments philosophers have made for and against these theories, and, ultimately, to how to be more thoughtful and rigorous in your own thinking.