By Raymond Geuss
Wishful pondering is a deeply ingrained human trait that has had a long term distorting impact on moral considering. Many influential moral perspectives rely on the positive assumption that, regardless of appearances on the contrary, the human and wildlife within which we are living might, ultimately, be made to make feel to us. In A global with out Why, Raymond Geuss demanding situations this assumption.
The essays during this collection--several of that are released right here for the 1st time--explore the genesis and ancient improvement of this positive configuration in moral concept and the ways that it has proven itself to be unfounded and faulty. Discussions of Greco-Roman antiquity and of the philosophies of Socrates, Plato, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Adorno play a principal function in lots of of those essays. Geuss additionally levels over such themes because the options of intelligibility, authority, democracy, and feedback; the function of mendacity in politics; structure; where of theology in ethics; tragedy and comedy; and the fight among realism and our look for meaning.
Characterized via Geuss's wide-ranging pursuits in literature, philosophy, and historical past, and by way of his political dedication and trenchant variety, A international with no Why increases basic questions on the viability not only of particular moral ideas and theses, yet of our most simple assumptions approximately what ethics may and needs to be.
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Additional info for A World without Why
The paradox of constitutional democracy seems to restage the paradox of democratic legitimation. )30 Have we simply traded in one paradox for another? Yes and no. As we shall see, this new paradox does replay many of the issues at work in the paradox of democratic legitimation. Instead of will of all versus general will, we have popular sovereignty versus constitutionalism. However, there are important differences between the two paradoxes. In the translation of one into the other, something does change.
25 If there is no sure way to distinguish the general will from the will of all, the people from the blind multitude, the true lawgiver from the charlatan, significantly durable institutions from those whose durability is a function of mere good fortune or successful violent imposition or, even further, the true political theoretician from the pride-ridden philosopher or blind factionalist, then the will or judgment of the people who are not yet (or no longer) a people remains crucial. There is no getting away from the need in a democracy for the people to decide—on which is the truly general will, whose perspective ought to count, who is a true prophet, what are the right conditions for their lives, which enduring institutions deserve to endure and which should be dismantled, which would-be leader to follow, whose judgments to take seriously, and so on.
He counters the constitutional democracy literature’s externalization and temporalization of democracy’s conflict between freedom and rule. He rejects the idea that constitutional democracy represents a struggle between past and present. For him, constitutional democracy models the appropriate relationship of considerations of right (constitutionalism) to considerations of will (democracy). Deliberative democratic theory, he says, is committed to a view of these as mutually implicated. The problem of a possible conflict between them is unique to modern constitutional democracies because they have two distinct sources of legitimation, the rule of law and popular sovereignty: “This duality raises the question of how the democratic principle and constitutionalism are related,” he explains.
A World without Why by Raymond Geuss