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Imagination and Critique: Two Rival Versions of Historical Inquiry

James R. L. Noland

Published by Springer
ISBN 10: 940073185X / ISBN 13: 9789400731851
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Title: Imagination and Critique: Two Rival Versions...

Publisher: Springer

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

Book Type: Paperback

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Paperback. 200 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.1in. x 0.4in.This book is most easily described as philosophy of history; however, this descr- tion may be a little misleading. Truly, this is a work of applied philosophy that was originally conceived not in a philosophy seminar but in a school of public policy. As a philosopher learning about the study of public policy formation, I was f- quently struck by what I perceived to be two very different sets of assumptions and methods at work. I found these assumptions and methods to be mutually exclusive conceptually, but they were often employed simultaneously. On the one hand, it was often accepted as given when studying past policy changes and political events that history is shaped by impersonal forces, that p- ples actions can, and ought only to be understood as manifestations of their own material interests, and that individuals are to be identied as representatives of their respective demographic categories. Thus, for example, the events in question were explained in terms of the race or class of the various parties. When such an approach was challenged with an appeal to the actual arguments and stated rationales of the participants of the historical moment in question, this was taken to be an option that might be employed either in conjunction with the former method or as an alter- tive. Which method one chose to emphasize or employ exclusively seemed more a function of inclination or intuition than rational adjudication. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Bookseller Inventory # 9789400731851

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This project is the result of a philosopher?s extended engagement with the literature and practice of political science and public policy formation. One finds in these fields, and in social science generally, two fundamentally opposed approaches to inquiry into the nature and cause of historical political events. These two approaches, which are sometimes employed simultaneously, are both powerful and persuasive. Yet, the two accounts are incompatible and comprehensive. Making a choice between the two is not simply about choosing a view of history; the choice affects how one anticipates policy developments in the future, and, more importantly, how one seeks to influence and shape public policy now and in the years to come. Because there is no external standard of history by which to judge them, one must examine the conceptions of human nature, reason and freedom underlying each in order to adjudicate between the two. Following Alasdair MacIntyre?s approach in Three Rival Versions of Moral Inquiry, this book analyzes and evaluates the internal coherence and ultimate viability of the two fundamental versions of historical inquiry. Intended not only for philosophers but also for students and practitioners of political science and public policy, the book includes a case study of a particularly significant political development in U.S. history- the ratification of the 16th Amendment- and suggests some specific implications of the philosophical conclusions.

Product Description: This book is most easily described as philosophy of history; however, this descr- tion may be a little misleading. Truly, this is a work of applied philosophy that was originally conceived not in a philosophy seminar but in a school of public policy. As a philosopher learning about the study of public policy formation, I was f- quently struck by what I perceived to be two very different sets of assumptions and methods at work. I found these assumptions and methods to be mutually exclusive conceptually, but they were often employed simultaneously. On the one hand, it was often accepted as given when studying past policy changes and political events that history is shaped by impersonal forces, that p- ple?s actions can, and ought only to be understood as manifestations of their own material interests, and that individuals are to be identi?ed as representatives of their respective demographic categories. Thus, for example, the events in question were explained in terms of the race or class of the various parties. When such an approach was challenged with an appeal to the actual arguments and stated rationales of the participants of the historical moment in question, this was taken to be an option that might be employed either in conjunction with the former method or as an alter- tive. Which method one chose to emphasize or employ exclusively seemed more a function of inclination or intuition than rational adjudication.

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