Rowman and Littlefield International

Individualism

By Steven Lukes

In this classic text, Steven Lukes discusses what 'individualism' has meant in various national traditions and across different provinces of thought, analysing it into its component unit-ideas and doctrines.

Paperback ISBN: 9780954796662 Release date: Jun 2006
£16.00 €22.00 $27.00

Pages: 148

ECPR Press

Individualism embraces a wide diversity of meanings and is widely used by those who criticise and by those who praise Western societies and their culture, by historians and literary scholars in search of the emergence of 'the individual', by anthropologists claiming that there are different, culturally shaped conceptions of the individual or 'person', by philosophers debating what form social science explanations should take and by political theorists defending liberal principles. In this classic text, Steven Lukes discusses what 'individualism' has meant in various national traditions and across different provinces of thought, analysing it into its component unit-ideas and doctrines. He further argues that it now plays a malign ideological role, for it has come to evoke a socially-constructed body of ideas whose illusory unity is deployed to suggest that redistributive policies are neither feasible nor desirable and to deny that there are institutional alternatives to the market.

contents

New introduction by the author1

Foreword17

Part One: The Semantic History of ‘Individualism’19

Chapter One: France21

Chapter Two: Germany30

Chapter Three: Jacob Burckhardt35

Chapter Four: America37

Chapter Five: England41

Chapter Six: History and the Social Sciences46

Part Two: The Basic Ideas of Individualism49

Chapter Seven: The Dignity of Man51

Chapter Eight: Autonomy55

Chapter Nine: Privacy60

Chapter Ten: Self-Development66

Chapter Eleven: The Abstract Individual70

Chapter Twelve: Political Individualism74

Chapter Thirteen: Economic Individualism80

Chapter Fourteen: Religious Individualism84

Chapter Fifteen: Ethical Individualism87

Chapter Sixteen: Epistemological Individualism92

Chapter Seventeen: Methodological Individualism94

Part Three: The Relations Between These Ideas103

Chapter Eighteen: Equality and Liberty105

Chapter Nineteen: The Doctrines113

Chapter Twenty: Taking Equality and Liberty Seriously118

Afterword126

Bibliography127

Index of Names131

Index of Subjects135

Steven Lukes is Professor of Sociology at New York University, USA. He has previously held posts at Balliol College, Oxford, the European University Institute in Florence, the University of Siena and the London School of Economics. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and an editor of the European Journal of Sociology. His many published works include Emile Durkheim: His Life and Work; Power: A Radical View (of which a second, much expanded edition was recently published); Rationality and Relativism (edited with Martin Hollis); Marxism and Morality; Moral Conflict and Politics; Liberals and Cannibals: The Implications of Diversity; and The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat: A Comedy of Ideas.

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