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Communitarianism and Its Critics

Communitarianism and Its Critics
Author: Daniel Bell
ISBN 13: 9780198279228
ISBN 10: 198279221
Edition: N/A
Publisher: Clarendon Press
Publication Date: 1993-12-09
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
List Price: $60.00

Many have criticized liberalism for being too individualistic, but few have offered an alternative that goes beyond a vague affirmation of the need for community. In this entertaining book, written in dialogue form, Daniel Bell fills this gap, presenting and defending a distinctively communitarian theory against the objections of a liberal critic. Drawing on the works of such thinkers as Charles Taylor, Michael Sandel, and Alasdair MacIntyre, Bell attacks liberalism's individualistic view of the person by pointing to our social embeddedness. He develops Michael Walzer's idea that political thinking involves the interpretation of shared meanings emerging from the political life of a community, and intelligently rebuts criticism that this approach damages his case by being conservative and relativistic. Communitarianism and Its Critics is a provocative defense of a distinctly communitarian theory which will stimulate interest and debate among scholars and students of political theory as well as those approaching the subject for the first time.