Putting Liberalism in Its Place

Princeton University Press
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In this wide-ranging interdisciplinary work, Paul W. Kahn argues that political order is founded not on contract but on sacrifice. Because liberalism is blind to sacrifice, it is unable to explain how the modern state has brought us to both the rule of law and the edge of nuclear annihilation. We can understand this modern condition only by recognizing that any political community, even a liberal one, is bound together by faith, love, and identity.

Putting Liberalism in Its Place draws on philosophy, cultural theory, American constitutional law, religious and literary studies, and political psychology to advance political theory. It makes original contributions in all these fields. Not since Charles Taylor's The Sources of the Self has there been such an ambitious and sweeping examination of the deep structure of the modern conception of the self.

Kahn shows that only when we move beyond liberalism's categories of reason and interest to a Judeo-Christian concept of love can we comprehend the modern self. Love is the foundation of a world of objective meaning, one form of which is the political community. Arguing from these insights, Kahn offers a new reading of the liberalism/communitarian debate, a genealogy of American liberalism, an exploration of the romantic and the pornographic, a new theory of the will, and a refoundation of political theory on the possibility of sacrifice.

Approaching politics from the perspective of sacrifice allows us to understand the character of twentieth-century politics, which combined progress in the rule of law with massive slaughter for the state. Equally important, this work speaks to the most important political conflicts in the world today. It explains why American response to September 11 has taken the form of war, and why, for the most part, Europeans have been reluctant to follow the Americans in their pursuit of a violent, sacrificial politics. Kahn shows us that the United States has maintained a vibrant politics of modernity, while Europe is moving into a postmodern form of the political that has turned away from the idea of sacrifice. Together with its companion volume, Out of Eden, Putting Liberalism in Its Place finally answers Clifford Geertz's call for a political theology of modernity.

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About the author

Paul W. Kahn is the Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and Humanities at Yale Law School, where he is also Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights. He is the author of The Cultural Study of Law, The Reign of Law; Legitimacy and History, Law and Love, and Out of Eden.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jan 10, 2009
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781400826315
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / History & Theory
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Conservatism & Liberalism
Political Science / Political Ideologies / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Collected here in this 4-in-1 omnibus are the most important books ever written on the art of war. The Art of War By Sun Tzu translated and commented on by Lionel Giles, On War by Carl von Clausewitz, The Art of War by Niccolò Machiavelli, and The Art of War by Baron De Jomini. These four books will give you as complete a view on the art of war as you can attain. This is the most important book ever written about warfare and conflict. Lionel Giles' translation is the definitive edition and his commentary is indispensable. The Art of War can be used and adapted in every facet of your life. This book explains when and how to go to war, as well as when not to. Learn how to win any conflict whether it be on the battlefield or in the boardroom. Although Carl von Clausewitz participated in many military campaigns, he was primarily a military theorist interested in the examination of war. On War is the West's premier work on the philosophy of war. Other soldiers before him had written treatises on various military subjects, but none undertook a great philosophical examination of war on the scale of Clausewitz's. On War is considered to be the first modern book of military strategy. This is due mainly to Clausewitz' integration of political, social, and economic issues as some of the most important factors in deciding the outcomes of a war. It is one of the most important treatises on strategy ever written, and continues to be required reading at many military academies. Niccolo Machiavelli considered this book his greatest achievement. Here you will learn how to recruit, train, motivate, and discipline an army. You will learn the difference between strategy and tactics. Machiavelli does a masterful job of breaking down and analyzing historic battles. This book of military knowledge belongs alongside Sun-Tzu and Clausewitz on every book shelf. Antoine-Henri Jomini was the most celebrated writer on the Napoleonic art of war. Jomini was present at most of the most important battles of the Napoleonic Wars. His writing, therefore, is the most authoritative on the subject. "The art of war, as generally considered, consists of five purely military branches,-viz.: Strategy, Grand Tactics, Logistics, Engineering, and Tactics. A sixth and essential branch, hitherto unrecognized, might be termed Diplomacy in its relation to War. Although this branch is more naturally and intimately connected with the profession of a statesman than with that of a soldier, it cannot be denied that, if it be useless to a subordinate general, it is indispensable to every general commanding an army." -Antoine-Henri Jomini
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