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Extraordinary Responsibility: Politics beyond the Moral Calculus

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en Limba Engleză Carte Paperback – 29 Sep 2015

Careful attention to contemporary political debates, including those around global warming, the federal debt, and the use of drone strikes on suspected terrorists, reveals that we often view our responsibility as something that can be quantified and discharged. Shalini Satkunanandan shows how Plato, Kant, Nietzsche, Weber, and Heidegger each suggest that this calculative or bookkeeping mindset both belongs to 'morality', understood as part of our ordinary approach to responsibility, and effaces the incalculable, undischargeable, and more onerous dimensions of our responsibility. These thinkers also reveal how the view of responsibility as calculable is at the heart of 'moralism' - the pettifogging, mindless, legalistic, excessively judgmental, or punitive policing of our own or others' compliance with moral duties. By elaborating their narratives of a difficult 'conversion' to the open-ended and relentless character of responsibility, Satkunanandan explores how we might be less moralistic and more responsible in politics. She ultimately argues for a political ethos attentive to how calculative thinking can limit our responsibility, but that still accepts a circumscribed place for calculation (and morality) in responsible politics.

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Specificații

ISBN-13: 9781107443136
ISBN-10: 110744313X
Pagini: 263
Dimensiuni: 152 x 228 x 15 mm
Greutate: 0.35 kg
Editura: Cambridge University Press
Colecția Cambridge University Press
Locul publicării: New York, United States

Cuprins

Introduction: distracted by calculation; Part I. Calculation and Indirectness: 1. Nietzsche: morality's debt perspective; 2. Heidegger: the calls of conscience and calculation; 3. (In)calculable conversion; Part II. The Moralizer's Critique of Calculable Responsibility: 4. Plato: the philosopher's turn from debt justice; 5. Kant: the extraordinary categorical imperative; Part III. Turning from Morality in Politics: 6. Weber: the ethos of politics beyond calculation; 7. Darkness at Noon: mis-turn from morality; 8. Conclusion: attention to calculation.


Recenzii

'Satkunanandan argues that such “realism” overlooks the ways in which calculative responsibility is essential: the problem is to delimit the scope of such thinking, not eliminate it. What is required is "attentiveness to calculation" so the limitations of calculation can be grasped and higher forms of attentiveness can enable the incalculable, extraordinary responsibility that is constitutive of humanity. This original, deeply thoughtful argument is beautifully set out through encounters with historical thinkers and contemporary theorists and illustrated by concrete issues of public policy … Highly recommended.' J. D. Moon, Choice
'Satkunanandan in this erudite and provocative work powerfully argues that we release ourselves from a morality of 'calculable responsibility' that leads to the economization of political life and a false sense of control through technology in favor of an ethos that calls attention to individuality and particularity. Her sophisticated readings of an impressive range of philosophic guides from across the historical spectrum will compel readers to challenge their familiar understandings of responsibility.' Arlene W. Saxonhouse, Caroline Robbins Collegiate Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan
'Shalini Satkunanandan argues provocatively and persuasively that being responsible calls not for paying attention to acting morally, which we better achieve indirectly, but rather for attending and tending responsively to our world. Satkunanandan's bold and insightful readings of Nietzsche, Heidegger, Plato, Kant and Weber bring to appearance the ways in which we act under the sway of calculative responsibility when we act with a view to reckoning and discharging our obligations and debts. Putting such bookkeeping morality in its place, Extraordinary Responsibility radically revises our orientation to ethics and alters our appreciation of our human possibility.' Jill Frank, Cornell University, New York
'This brilliant and beautifully written book makes an incredibly valuable argument about morality and responsibility in politics. By creative and yet also carefully argued readings of canonical works by Plato, Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Weber, Shalini Satkunanandan shows the dangers - but also the inescapability and value - of 'calculative' forms of thinking about responsibility and about life more broadly.' George Shulman, Gallatin School, New York University
'Extraordinary Responsibility is an extraordinary book. Through her patient, meticulous, and insightful readings of Heidegger, Weber, Nietzsche, Kant and Plato, Shalini Satkunanandan broadens and deepens our understanding of the notion of responsibility, arguing that our 'constitutive responsibility' to attend to the world, and to our place in it, matters as much to politics as our calculative responsibility to reckon up and discharge our moral debts. Satkunanandan's book is an indispensable contribution to ongoing debates about the place of morality in politics.' Robert Gooding-Williams, Columbia University, New York
'Extraordinary Responsibility is a bold, timely book … In focusing exclusively on moral relationships that are calculable, quantifiable, and causally clear, Satkunanandan argues, we risk losing sight of the more open-ended, inexhaustibly demanding aspects of our responsibility in and to a contingent world. This beautifully written book offers a provocative vision of how democratic citizens might inhabit and practice political responsibility more fully and attentively.' Doug Thompson, University of South Carolina
'Satkunanandan's book is an exceedingly lucid diagnosis of contemporary accounts of responsibility as a matter of debtor-creditor relations or of moral calculation. Through careful and compelling readings of key philosophers, she draws attention in this insightful work to neglected aspects of their thinking, while offering us ways of confronting our instrumentalism and beginning to think about responsibility otherwise.' Marianne Constable, University of California, Berkeley
'The focus of Shalini Satkunanandan's insightful book is how attitudes towards society can stabilize, but in turn also trap, us.' The Times Literary Supplement