The Common Mind: An Essay on Psychology, Society, and Politics with a new postscript: An Essay on…

Paperback | March 1, 1986

byPhilip Pettit

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What makes human beings intentional and thinking subjects? How does their intentionality and thought connect with their social nature and their communal experience? How do the answers to these questions shape the assumptions which it is legitimate to make in social explanation and politicalevaluation? These are the broad-ranging issues which Pettit addresses in this novel study. The Common Mind argues for an original way of marking off thinking subjects, in particular human beings, from other intentional systems, natural and artificial. It holds by the holistic view that humanthought requires communal resources while denying that this social connection compromises the autonomy of individuals. And, in developing the significance of this view of social subjects--this holistic individualism--it outlines a novel framework for social and political theory. Within thisframework, social theory is allowed to follow any of a number of paths: space is found for intentional interpretation and decision-theoretic reconstruction, for structural explanation and rational choice derivation. But political theory is treated less ecumenically. The framework raises seriousquestions about contractarian and atomistic modes of thought and it points the way to a republican rethinking of liberal commitments.

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From Our Editors

What makes human beings intentional and thinking subjects? How does their intentionality and thought connect with their social nature and their communal experience? How do the answers to these questions shape legitimate assumptions in social explanation and political evaluation? In this innovative study, Philip Pettit addresses these b...

From the Publisher

What makes human beings intentional and thinking subjects? How does their intentionality and thought connect with their social nature and their communal experience? How do the answers to these questions shape the assumptions which it is legitimate to make in social explanation and politicalevaluation? These are the broad-ranging iss...

Philip Pettit is at Australian National University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 9.29 × 6.18 × 0.98 inPublished:March 1, 1986Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195106458

ISBN - 13:9780195106459

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From Our Editors

What makes human beings intentional and thinking subjects? How does their intentionality and thought connect with their social nature and their communal experience? How do the answers to these questions shape legitimate assumptions in social explanation and political evaluation? In this innovative study, Philip Pettit addresses these broad-ranging issues and defends a connected set of responses. The book argues for an original way of distinguishing thinking subjects, in particular human beings, from other intentional systems, natural and artificial. It defends the holistic view that human thought requires communal resources while denying that this social connection compromises the autonomy of individuals. And, in developing the significance of this view of social subjects - this holistic individualism - it outlines a novel framework for social and political theory. Within this framework, social theory is allowed to follow a number of paths: Space is found for intentional interpretation and decision-theoretic reconstruction as well as for structural explanation and

Editorial Reviews

"It is a book to dip into for good ideas, interesting suggestions and, just possibly, long-distance connections between apparently unrelated issues."--The Times Literary Supplement