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Political action and moral judgement

Political action and moral judgement
Political action and moral judgement

The aim of the discussion is to elucidate a range of problems in political morality. The central theme which unites these problems is the question of the role played by moral judgement in politics and the limits of its application. A variety of perspectives are considered in terms of their implications for the character of political commitment and its relation with the moral identity of agents. An associated assessment is made of the adequacy of these perspectives with a view to coming to a deeper understanding of the problem of political morality. Critical accounts are provided of central treatments of politics and ethics in the modern era; most particularly by reference to the works of Machiavelli, Kant and J.S. Mill. Lessons are drawn from these assessments and subsequently applied to the central problem via a consideration of the contemporary literature. Conclusions are drawn concerning the key features of modern political agency which set the terms for a re-formulated understanding of political morality with particular reference to the moral character of agents and to notions of moral virtue. The resulting account is further examined through attention to the context of modern political practice, most notably in relation to the problematic manifestations of revolutionary commitment and political terror in the twentieth century. A variety of perspectives upon the case of the Russian Revolution are examained with an eye to assessing their implications for the relationship between political commitment and moral judgement. This includes reference to the writings of Marx. In conclusion, the discussion is broadened to consider the relevance of classical thought - particularly that of Aristotle - and to take account of wider implications for the idea of community and for the role of political theory.

University of Southampton
Buckler, Nigel Edmund
Buckler, Nigel Edmund

Buckler, Nigel Edmund (1989) Political action and moral judgement. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

The aim of the discussion is to elucidate a range of problems in political morality. The central theme which unites these problems is the question of the role played by moral judgement in politics and the limits of its application. A variety of perspectives are considered in terms of their implications for the character of political commitment and its relation with the moral identity of agents. An associated assessment is made of the adequacy of these perspectives with a view to coming to a deeper understanding of the problem of political morality. Critical accounts are provided of central treatments of politics and ethics in the modern era; most particularly by reference to the works of Machiavelli, Kant and J.S. Mill. Lessons are drawn from these assessments and subsequently applied to the central problem via a consideration of the contemporary literature. Conclusions are drawn concerning the key features of modern political agency which set the terms for a re-formulated understanding of political morality with particular reference to the moral character of agents and to notions of moral virtue. The resulting account is further examined through attention to the context of modern political practice, most notably in relation to the problematic manifestations of revolutionary commitment and political terror in the twentieth century. A variety of perspectives upon the case of the Russian Revolution are examained with an eye to assessing their implications for the relationship between political commitment and moral judgement. This includes reference to the writings of Marx. In conclusion, the discussion is broadened to consider the relevance of classical thought - particularly that of Aristotle - and to take account of wider implications for the idea of community and for the role of political theory.

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Published date: 1989

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 461218
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/461218
PURE UUID: 9855562d-e1f1-4876-b099-27e27ee7ffa9

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Date deposited: 04 Jul 2022 18:39
Last modified: 04 Jul 2022 19:51

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Contributors

Author: Nigel Edmund Buckler

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