Political Vices

Hardcover | January 18, 2016

byMark E. Button

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Historically speaking, our vices, like our virtues, have come in two basic forms: intellectual and moral. One of the main purposes of this book is to analyze a set of specifically political vices that have not been given sufficient attention within political theory but that nonetheless poseenduring challenges to the sustainability of free and equitable political relationships of various kinds. Political vices like hubris, willful blindness, and recalcitrance are persistent dispositions of character and conduct that imperil both the functioning of democratic institutions and the trustthat a diverse citizenry has in the ability of those institutions to secure a just political order of equal moral standing, reciprocal freedom, and human dignity. Political vices embody a repudiation of the reciprocal conditions of politics and, as a consequence of this, they represent a standing challenge to the principles and values of the mixed political regime we call liberal-democracy. Mark Button shows how political vices not only carry out discreteforms of injustice but also facilitate the habituation in and indifference toward systemic forms of social and political injustice. They do so through excesses and deficiencies in human sensory and communicative capacities relating to voice (hubris), vision (moral blindness), and listening(recalcitrance). Drawing on a wide range of intellectual resources, including ancient Greek tragedy, social psychology, moral epistemology, and democratic theory, Political Vices gives new consideration to a list of "deadly vices" that contemporary political societies can neither ignore as a matterof personal "sin" nor publicly disregard as a matter of mere bad choice, and it provides a democratic account that outlines how citizens can best contend with our most troubling political vices without undermining core commitments to liberalism or pluralism.

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Historically speaking, our vices, like our virtues, have come in two basic forms: intellectual and moral. One of the main purposes of this book is to analyze a set of specifically political vices that have not been given sufficient attention within political theory but that nonetheless poseenduring challenges to the sustainability of f...

Mark E. Button is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Utah.

other books by Mark E. Button

Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.21 × 6.3 × 0.98 inPublished:January 18, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190274964

ISBN - 13:9780190274962

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments1. States of Character: Toward a Theory of Political Vice2. The Anti-Politics of Hubris: Vice of Sovereignty3. Accounting for Moral Blindness: Vice of Wholeness4. Political Recalcitrance: Vice of Exceptionalism5. After Vice: The Call of AccountabilityAfterwordNotesReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"In this elegant and original volume, Mark E. Button draws attention to the political failings that characteristically threaten our democratic institutions and norms. Without a hint of nostalgia, Button enlists the tragic poets of classical Athens as allies in the project of fashioning acontemporary vocabulary of political vice. The result is an exceptionally rich contribution to democratic theory and practice." --Ryan K. Balot, University of Toronto