The Inner Ocean: Individualism and Democratic Culture (Contestations)

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9780801427350: The Inner Ocean: Individualism and Democratic Culture (Contestations)
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What is the meaning of individualism in a modern democracy? In this rich and penetrating book, a major political theorist examines the nature of individualism - the concept of self it implies, the ethic it sustains, the personal connectedness it supports, and the politics it requires - and provides a challenging answer.
George Kateb argues that democracy is founded on respect for the dignity of individuals as individuals, and that this respect transforms all human relations. He uses the term "democratic individuality" to name some of the psychological, cultural, and spiritual effects of government's guarantee of rights. Democratic individuality, in his view, is a way in which individuals whose rights are protected may dare to live the private lives and to conceive their roles as citizens.
Kateb employs the concept at individuality not only to criticize communitarianism and to define the limits of the role of the state, but also to approach global concerns involving our relation to nature. The ten essays of this book explore democratic individuality in light of such topics as the power of political institutions to accommodate and express different values, the moral distinctiveness of representative democracy, the implications of the liberal social contract, and the possibility of human extinction. Certain essays draw upon the ideas of Neitzche and Heidegger, while others turn to Emerson, Thoreau and Whitman for expressions of the potential of democratic culture today.
Eloquently addressing issues at the heart of democratic life, The Inner Ocean will be of vital interest to scholars and students in American studies, political theory, and moral philosophy.

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About the Author:

George Kateb is Professor of Politics at Princeton University.

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9780801480140: The Inner Ocean: Individualism and Democratic Culture (Contestations: Cornell Studies in Political Theory)

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ISBN 10:  0801480140 ISBN 13:  9780801480140
Publisher: Cornell University Press, 1994
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