- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (February 11, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0198717148
- ISBN-13: 978-0198717140
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.1 x 6.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,305,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rationalism, Pluralism, and Freedom 1st Edition
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"The breathtakingly expansive scope of the work aims to teach us that the tension between rationalism and pluralism is ineliminable, and that adopting one perspective may blind us to domination. On the theoretical front, it is wildly successful. It presents a rereading of the liberal tradition that is at points truly revelatory." -- Melissa Schwartzberg, The New Rambler
"A great overview of a longstanding issue in libertarian thought (and liberal thought more generally): the appropriate role of 'intermediate groups' such as religious organizations, voluntary associations, and organized ethnic groups. Levy effectively traces this longstanding debate back to the origins of liberal thought in the early through the Enlightenment, the American and French Revolutions, nineteenth century thinkers like de Tocqueville and Mill, and on to the present day. This book is a must-read for both libertarians and others interested in debates over freedom of association."
-- Illya Somin, Washington Post
"For those who have been following Jacob's work for the past decade or so, this is the book you've been waiting for." -- Will Baude, Washington Post: The Volokh Conspiracy
"Levy observes that underlying the two liberal perspectives are social theories about how power in society is distributed and used...In this context of widely distributed power, I find the pluralist perspective more persuasive. Levy has written a valuable book that highlights this liberal tradition."
--Andrew Norton, Policy Magazine
"Levy's book is a fascinating account of associational freedom."
--Review of Politics, Carla Yumatle, Brown University,
"The book provides a useful intellectual map for newcomers to political theory and prompts seasoned political theorists to look anew at familiar names and topics. Rationalism, Pluralism & Freedom brackets certain questions about the economy and non-Western political thought that highlight future research areas for liberal political theorists. And Levy shows that pluralist liberalism has a respectable pedigree and ought to have a larger presence in contemporary debates about the use and abuse of state power for individual flourishing."
--Theory & Event
"Levy has rehabilitated a neglected tradition in liberal political thought, demonstrated its salience for politics today and shown the defensibility of some of its key theoretical claims. And he is admirably honest, advocating an eyes-wide-open view of states, intermediate groups, and their interactions, for political good or ill. Most importantly of all, Levy's book is generative: its sensitive discussion of theoretical issues both historical and contemporary will inspire much further discussion, inquiry and scholarship."
--Contemporary Political Theory, Benjamin Hertzberg, Brigham Young University
"This is a first-class work of political, social, and intellectual history-a tour de force indeed."
--The American Conservative
"Levy should be applauded for advancing a vital discussion within liberal theory, and doing so in a way that is informed by philosophical, historical and social-scientific perspectives. Political theorists should definitely read it, but so too should lawyers, policymakers, journalists and others interested in reconciling these dilemmas from a more practical perspective."
About the Author
Jacob T. Levy, Tomlinson Professor of Political Theory, McGill University
Jacob T. Levy is Tomlinson Professor of Political Theory and coordinator of the Research Group on Constitutional Studies at McGill University, and a member of the Montreal Groupe de Recherche Interuniversitaire en Philosophie Politique.
Top customer reviews
Professor Levy is clear that he favors more pluralism than the current liberal train of thought, even for non-liberal (non "congruent") groups, but like many of us cannot endorse the purest view of freedom of association that would, e.g., have allowed a pervasive Jim Crow to persist. His prescription is a call to continue searching and striving to balance these needs, without adhering to one extreme or offering the simplistic synthesis or easy rule that one might expect in other, more polemic works.