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The Self Awakened

The Self Awakened

Pragmatism Unbound

Roberto Mangabeira Unger

ISBN 9780674034969

Publication date: 09/30/2009

In what kind of world and for what kind of thought is time real, history open, and novelty possible? In what kind of world and for what kind of thought does it make sense for a human being to look for trouble rather than to stay out of trouble?In this long-awaited work of general philosophy, Roberto Mangabeira Unger proposes a radical reorientation of established ideas about nature, mind, society, politics, and religion. He shows how we have to change our beliefs if we are to succeed in doing justice to our most distinctive contemporary experiences, discoveries, and ideals.

The Self Awakened mobilizes the resources of several philosophical traditions, and develops the unrecognized revolutionary implications of the most influential of these traditions today--pragmatism. Avoiding technical jargon and needless complication, this book makes a case for philosophy as the supreme activity of the intellect at war, insisting on its power to deal with what matters most.


  • Roberto Unger is one of the very few creative political philosophers of our time. The brief and broadly accessible The Self Awakened, which takes a distinctive position on one of the great questions of political philosophy and develops its implications for the political predicaments of our time, will serve as the best introduction to his complex work. For the brave band of secular humanists who do not wish to turn back the clock, this book represents an important contribution to an important conversation.

    —Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science, Yale University, and author of The Failure of the Founding Fathers


  • Roberto Mangabeira Unger is the Roscoe Pound Professor of Law at Harvard University.

Book Details

  • 288 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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