Cover: Philosophy, Politics, Democracy: Selected Essays, from Harvard University PressCover: Philosophy, Politics, Democracy in HARDCOVER

Philosophy, Politics, Democracy

Selected Essays

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$51.50 • £37.95 • €46.50

ISBN 9780674034488

Publication: October 2009


408 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


Joshua Cohen ranks among the best and most influential political philosophers at work in the United States today. This uncommonly valuable volume will be a required purchase for anybody whose own work is at the boundary of philosophy and politics.—Charles Beitz, Princeton University

For good reason, Joshua Cohen is widely regarded as among the leading political philosophers of his generation. Nearly all of these essays are highly original approaches to the topics discussed. Many of them are widely recognized by philosophers and political theorists as major and sometimes defining papers in their fields. Taken together, the collection develops an extremely impressive and intricate account of an ideal of democracy and democratic justice.—Samuel Freeman, University of Pennsylvania

Joshua Cohen’s Philosophy, Politics, Democracy is a major contribution to all three. With arguments that have long been at the cutting edge of political philosophy, Cohen develops a distinctive conception of democracy as based upon reason-giving among equals, and he does so in a way that never ignores political reality. Daily political discourse, Cohen argues, contains conceptions of the social world that border on philosophical thought. Good philosophical argument develops those conceptions more rigorously and generally, and then returns to the world of politics to show how the conception might be realized there. All too often, Cohen observes, we respond to political ideals with ‘a knowing irony of the intellect and a lassitude of the heart.’ Realistic without cynicism, idealistic without naïveté, Cohen’s book responds to the real world with rigorous intellectual aspiration and undaunted practical hope.—Martha C. Nussbaum, University of Chicago

Joshua Cohen is the leading political philosopher of deep democracy of his generation. This book is profound, subtle, and relevant. We need his wise and powerful voice in this age of Obama.—Cornel West, Princeton University