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Love Is a Sweet Chain Desire, Autonomy, and Friendship in Liberal Political Theory

by James R. Martel

  • ISBN: 9780415928830
  • ISBN10: 0415928834

Love Is a Sweet Chain Desire, Autonomy, and Friendship in Liberal Political Theory

by James R. Martel

  • List Price: $55.95
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Publish date: 06/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780415928830
  • ISBN10: 0415928834
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Description: All the great liberal thinkers had theories about love: love of friends, of family, of nature, of country, of god, and of humankind. They also wrote a great deal on the love shared between men and women, as well as the love between men and men. Love is a Sweet Chain explores what many great philosophers thought about love and the connection between love and democracy. It also discusses what the doctrines developed by these founding thinkers means to political philosophy today.

While society's interest in love has not lessened since the early liberal thinkers wrote about it -- especially Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau -- Love is a Sweet Chain is the first contemporary book to explore at the length the complexity and intertwining of love and liberal political theory. James Martel contends that theorists' in attention to the subject has impoverished our explorations of political discourse.

Martel seeks to correct this oversight with a sustained reading of love as it surfaces in the writings of early liberal political thinkers, as well as later thinkers like Hannah Arendt, Jacques Derrida, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. His re-reading of the canon argues that within the existing principles of liberalism, we will never achieve the full democratic vision that liberal theory promises because of the unseen but fundamental operations of the doctrine of love.

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