june 17th: Raymond Geuss does not think like a liberal – Nóra Schultz in Tocqueville 21

This is the phenomenon that Geuss addresses in his newest work „Not thinking like a liberal“. Geuss describes liberalism as the “basic framework that structures political, economic and social thought in the English-speaking world”. But Geuss does not think like a liberal. And it his non-conformist refusal to engage with the dominant liberal modes of thought on pre-set terms – as well as his continued rejection to offer a comprehensive, self-contained alternative – that prompts such unreflective reactions from those academics who rely on the philosophical assumptions and professional practices that Geuss rejects. His realism thus serves as a tool to reveal the deepest ideological commitments of political theorists. Geuss rejects, amongst other things, the notion of (human) rights, which is so fundamental to the liberal political imagination. He challenges the professional standards of contemporary analytic political philosophy

and he is hostile to any conceptualisation of autonomous individual subjects. While his previous books have explored these positions in detail, his most recent book represents a shift in tone.

Toqueville 21


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