Cover: Not Thinking like a Liberal, from Harvard University PressCover: Not Thinking like a Liberal in HARDCOVER

Not Thinking like a Liberal

Product Details


$29.95 • £26.95 • €27.95

ISBN 9780674270343

Publication Date: 05/31/2022

Academic Trade

224 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

3 illus.

Belknap Press


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By intertwining autobiography and conceptual critique, Geuss underlines the idea that in order to gain a critical perspective on liberalism, it is necessary to become almost bilingual: able to speak the language of liberalism while also becoming fluent in the vocabulary of its critique.—George Hoare, Times Literary Supplement

Thought-provoking… Though he doesn’t propose an alternative to liberalism, Geuss lucidly analyzes its shortcomings and sheds valuable light on how the critical mind is formed. This probing intellectual memoir will appeal to those who believe philosophy can change the world.Publishers Weekly

There are many who regard themselves as liberal when it comes to opposition to the usual dogmatic authorities but who can’t identify with the liberalism of either contemporary Western capitalism or a dominant trend in recent political philosophy. Raymond Geuss’s remarkable book will be a clarificatory opportunity. It’s no straightforward polemic against liberalism but rather a typically insightful and persuasive guide to the philosophical resources that have guided Geuss himself toward his very distinctive position.—Brian O’Connor, University College Dublin

Over the past few years, Raymond Geuss has attained striking mastery in positioning himself within current political philosophy by reviewing autobiographically the stations of his own intellectual development. In this new book, the talent this sort of writing needs undoubtedly hits its peak: by recollecting his upbringing in a small Catholic boarding school and his encounters with a few ingenious philosophers, Geuss eloquently and pointedly sums up the canon of aversions he has developed over the years to prevent him from becoming a liberal and persevering instead with the viewpoint of an estranged participant. There is more to learn about ethics, politics, and philosophy from this acute, expertly paced and plotted book than from dozens of scholarly studies on the same themes.—Axel Honneth, Columbia University

Raymond Geuss’s philosophical memoir is an instant classic—a profound and iconoclastic story of how his fascinating formation evades any form of liberalism or authoritarianism! Geuss is the last great figure of the second golden age of American philosophy, yet his Hungarian Catholic beginnings and his Adorno- and Celan-influenced philosophy put him in a class of his own. This book is an intellectual feast and an existential feat!—Cornel West, Union Theological Seminary

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