Individualism (häftad)
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Häftad (Paperback / softback)
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Reprinted ed
ECPR Press
Ware, Alan
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235 x 156 x 10 mm
280 g
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49:B&W 6.14 x 9.21 in or 234 x 156 mm (Royal 8vo) Perfect Bound on White w/Gloss Lam
Individualism (häftad)


Häftad Engelska, 2006-06-01
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Individualism embraces a wide diversity of meanings and is widely used by those who criticise and by those who praise Western societies and their culture, by historians and literary scholars in search of the emergence of 'the individual', by anthropologists claiming that there are different, culturally shaped conceptions of the individual or 'person', by philosophers debating what form social science explanations should take and by political theorists defending liberal principles. In this classic text, Steven Lukes discusses what 'individualism' has meant in various national traditions and across different provinces of thought, analysing it into its component unit-ideas and doctrines. He further argues that it now plays a malign ideological role, for it has come to evoke a socially-constructed body of ideas whose illusory unity is deployed to suggest that redistributive policies are neither feasible nor desirable and to deny that there are institutional alternatives to the market.
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A stronger claim to that designation (classic) can be made on behalf of Steven Lukes'Individualism, first published in 1973 in a 'Key Concepts in the Social Sciences' series. In his new introduction, he retrospectively detects three aims. Firstly, because of what the original foreword called the terms 'illusory air of unity and coherence', Lukes was seeking to achieve conceptual clarification. By combining the history of ideas with philosophic analysis, he distinguished various types of individualism through their different temporal and national contexts. Secondly, because it was a socially constructed concept, individualism had to be deconstructed into eleven basic constituent ideas to avoid confusion in this compound concept. Thirdly, he treated individualism as an ideological construct by contrast with collectivism and socialism. It was not wholly accidental that this book appeared in the same year as his volume on Emile Durkheim, early opponent of the methodological individualism criticised by Lukes both in the original edition of Individualism and singled out for particular comment in the new introduction. The first part of the book contrasts the use of the term in five countries: France, Germany, Italy, America and England. It was in France that the early nineteenth-century reaction against the French Revolution led to individualism being attacked from both right and left as a dissolvent of social cohesion. As is so frequently the case, it was its enemies that popularised it. Although variously attributed to the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the French and Industrial Revolutions, it was accorded a pejorative antisocial connotation. In Germany, a more positive assessment was attributed to individuality by the Romantics, associating it with uniqueness, originality and self-realisation. However, in the works of Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, individuality was ascribed to the nation state as self-fulfilment in an organic society, while at the other extreme Max Stirner took individualism to the limits of nihilistic egoism. In contrast to this polarisation between a self-assertive, anarchistic individualism and self-subordinating authoritarian nationalism, Anglo-American individualism was associated with individual rights and limited government, free enterprise and liberal democracy, self-help rather than dependence upon the state. In Part II, Lukes picks out four of the basic ideas, conflated under the individualist appellation, as 'intimately interrelated' norms, which have his unreserved support. This is because 'the idea of human dignity or respect for persons lies at the heart of the idea of equality, while autonomy, privacy and self-development represent the three faces of liberty or freedom' (beginning of chapter 18 in Part III). He has reservations about other aspects of individualism: the focus on individuals in abstraction from their social context, political individualism and economic individualism. Lukes dwells on Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau to the neglect of more recent writers such as Mancur Olson, whose Logic of Collective Action on the free-rider problem had appeared in 1965. After having dealt with ethical individualism's relativistic concentration upon self-interest, religious individualism's preoccupation with spiritual equality and epistemological individualism's tracing of the source of knowledge to the individual, Lukes turns to scrutinise methodological individualism. This chapter is critical rather than expository, drawing heavily upon his 1968 article in the British Journal of Sociology (Lukes, 1968). Lukes quotes with approval Durkheim's assertion that 'every time that a social phenomenon is directly explained by a psychological phenomenon, we may be sure that the explanation is false'. First clearly articulated by Hobbes, methodological individualism as advocated by J. S. Mill, Pareto, Hayek and Popper is dismissed as a prescriptive doctrine excluding institutional and social structur

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Steven Lukes is Professor of Sociology at New York University, USA. He has previously held posts at Balliol College, Oxford, the European University Institute in Florence, the University of Siena and the London School of Economics. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and an editor of the European Journal of Sociology. His many published works include Emile Durkheim: His Life and Work; Power: A Radical View (of which a second, much expanded edition was recently published); Rationality and Relativism (edited with Martin Hollis); Marxism and Morality; Moral Conflict and Politics; Liberals and Cannibals: The Implications of Diversity; and The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat: A Comedy of Ideas.


contents New introduction by the author 1 Foreword 17 Part One: The Semantic History of `Individualism' 19 Chapter One: France 21 Chapter Two: Germany 30 Chapter Three: Jacob Burckhardt 35 Chapter Four: America 37 Chapter Five: England 41 Chapter Six: History and the Social Sciences 46 Part Two: The Basic Ideas of Individualism 49 Chapter Seven: The Dignity of Man 51 Chapter Eight: Autonomy 55 Chapter Nine: Privacy 60 Chapter Ten: Self-Development 66 Chapter Eleven: The Abstract Individual 70 Chapter Twelve: Political Individualism 74 Chapter Thirteen: Economic Individualism 80 Chapter Fourteen: Religious Individualism 84 Chapter Fifteen: Ethical Individualism 87 Chapter Sixteen: Epistemological Individualism 92 Chapter Seventeen: Methodological Individualism 94 Part Three: The Relations Between These Ideas 103 Chapter Eighteen: Equality and Liberty 105 Chapter Nineteen: The Doctrines 113 Chapter Twenty: Taking Equality and Liberty Seriously 118 Afterword 126 Bibliography 127 Index of Names 131 Index of Subjects 135