Chapter

Unger’s <i>Knowledge and Politics</i>

Jerome Neu

in On Loving Our Enemies

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199862986
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949762 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199862986.003.0013
Unger’s Knowledge and Politics

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This chapter presents a review of the book Knowledge and Politics by Roberto Mangabeira Unger. Unger's book provides a schematism of liberal thought and attempts a “total” critique of it. Starting with the psychological assumptions of liberalism, it argues that those assumptions are inextricably interconnected with certain features of liberal political doctrine and that the doctrine as a whole is incoherent and riddled with antinomies. All of the central notions are understood in extremely broad terms—so while Hobbes, Rousseau, and Kant are central figures in the “liberal” tradition, Spinoza, Marx, and Weber, despite partial critiques, also share some of its assumptions—and the entire discussion takes place in the context of a broad-based concern with the nature of explanation, the relation of universals and particulars, and immanence and transcendence.

Keywords: book review; liberal thought; liberalism; liberal political doctrine

Chapter.  7353 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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