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Ze'ev Emmerich

What marks the difference between modern and non-modern political philosophy? Such a question could be understood in two ways. On the one hand, it could be understood as a question concerning formal differences between modern and pre/non-modern modes of philosophising. On the other hand, it could be understood as a question about the changing nature of the object of the philosophical enterprise, namely a question concerning the historical differences between modern and pre-modern (domestic as well as international) politics. Contemporary political philosophy has focused primarily on meeting the first, formal, challenge. By failing to take proper account of the effects that major historical developments—especially the rise of commercial society and global market economy—have had on the character of political life, much of contemporary political theory tend to view its enterprise as essentially an extension to or an application of ethics. What is needed instead is a 'political economy'. Political philosophy must rise to this challenge if it wishes to help us contend with our present predicament. The final part of the article outlines a realist, non-moralistic, political philosophy which takes account of the interplay between human 'sentiments' and 'reason' in a commercial world order.

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Matt Eshleman, Mark William Westmoreland, and Yiwei Zheng

Stephen Wang, Aquinas and Sartre: On Freedom, Personal Identity and the Possibility of Happiness Review by Matt Eshleman

Jonathan Judaken, ed. Race After Sartre: Antiracism, African Existentialism, Postcolonialism Review by Mark William Westmoreland

Anthony Hatzimoysis, The Philosophy of Sartre Review by Yiwei Zheng

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Matthew C. Eshleman, David Lethbridge, J. C. Berendzen, and T Storm Heter

T Storm Heter, Sartre’s Ethics of Engagement Review by Matthew C. Eshleman

Jean-Paul Sartre, The Aftermath of War Review by David Lethbridge

David Sherman, Sartre and Adorno: The Dialectics of Subjectivity Review by J. C. Berendzen

Yiwei Zheng, Ontology and Ethics in Sartre’s Early Philosophy Review by T Storm Heter

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Anthropology and What There Is

Reflections on 'Ontology'

Paolo Heywood

This piece reflects on two 'ontological turns': the recent anthropological movement and that occasioned earlier in analytic philosophy by the work of W. V. O. Quine. I argue that the commitment entailed by 'ontology' is incompatible with the laudable aim of the 'ontological turn' in anthropology to take seriously radical difference and alterity.

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John Paul Stadler and Brian Bergen-Aurand

Damon R. Young, Making Sex Public and Other Cinematic Fantasies (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018). 301 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4780-0167-6 / 978-1-4780-0133-1 (hardback, $104.95; paperback, $27.95)

Mauro Carbone, Philosophy-Screens: From Cinema to the Digital Revolution (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2019). 166 pp., ISBN: 9781438474656 / 9781438474649 (hardback, $80.00; paperback, $20.95)

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Ania Loomba

This article offers a reflection on the importance and impact of Jonathan Dollimore's book Radical Tragedy, situating it in the context of the critical and political climate of the 1980s and the author's own engagement with both early modern studies and postcolonial studies. It suggests that the book's engagement with both philosophy and history remains important to both fields today.

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Penny Enslin

Like other major developments in political philosophy, John Rawls’s Political Liberalism (PL) has raised important issues for philosophy of education. Rawls’s defence of liberalism as a political doctrine whose principles do not depend on any one comprehensive moral or philosophical doctrine for their justification, against comprehensive liberalism, which by contrast expresses a particular conception of the good life, engages with current controversies in schooling policy in liberal democracies like the United States and the United Kingdom, and potentially in South Africa.2 In such societies there are groups which oppose what is seen as the tendency of liberal education, with its emphasis on the development of qualities like autonomy and individuality, to show intolerance towards particular ethnic, cultural or religious groups and to threaten their continued existence. Their objections appear to require a political rather than a comprehensive liberal approach to schooling.

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Gregor Feindt and Ralph Weber

Paweł Rojek, Semiotyka Solidarnos ´ci: Analiza dyskursów PZPR i NSZZ Solidarnos ´c´ w 1981 roku [Semiotics of Solidarity: Discourse Analysis of the Polish United Workers Party and the Independent Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarity 1981] (Krakow: Nomos, 2009), 264 pp.

Elz˙bieta Ciz˙ewska, Filozofi a publiczna Solidarnos ´ci: 1980–1981 z perspektywy republikan´skiej tradycji politycznej [The Public Philosophy of Solidarity: 1980–1981 from the Perspective of Republican Political Tradition] (Warsaw: Narodowe Centrum Kultury, 2010), 379 pp.

Krzysztof Brzechczyn, O ewolucji solidarnos ´ciowej w mys ´li społeczno-politycznej w latach 1980–1981: Studium z filozofi i społecznej [The Evolution of Solidarity in Social-Political Thought 1980–1981: A Study in Social Philosophy], (Poznan´: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Wydziału Nauk Społecznych Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicz, 2013), 192 pp.

Hagen Schulz-Forberg, ed., A Global Conceptual History of Asia, 1860–1940 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2014), 205 pp.

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Interview

Propaganda’s Role in Liberal Democratic Societies

Jason Stanley and John B. Min

Stanley and Min discuss how propaganda works in liberal democratic societies. Stanley observes that the inability to address the crisis of liberal democracies can be partially explained by contemporary political philosophy’s penchant for idealized theorizing about norms of justice over transitions from injustice to justice. Whereas ancient and modern political philosophers took seriously propaganda and demagoguery of the elites and populists, contemporary political philosophers have tended to theorize about the idealized structures of justice. This leads to a lack of theoretical constructs and explanatory tools by which we can theorize about real-life political problems, such as mass incarceration. Starting with this premise, Stanley provides an explanation of how propaganda works and the mechanisms that enable propaganda. Stanley further theorizes the pernicious effects that elitism, populism, authoritarianism, and “post-truth” have on democratic politics.

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Dannica Fleuß and Gary S. Schaal

The article analyzes the (often implicit) understanding of democratic theory that is presupposed by scholars who engage in this practice and provides an answer to the question: “What are we doing when we are doing democratic theory?” We flesh out the core features of this scholarly activity by relating it to and differentiating it from assessments made from the perspective of political philosophy and political science. We argue that democratic theory aims at proposing institutional devices that are (a) problem-solving approaches and (b) embodiments of normative principles. This two-faced structure requires democratic theorists to engage in feedback loops with political philosophy on the one hand and empirical political science on the other. This implies that democratic theorists must adopt a dynamic approach: democratic theories must “fit” societal circumstances. In consequence, they must be adapted in case of fundamental societal transformations. We exemplify this dynamic character by referring to digitalization-induced changes in democratic societies and their implications for democratic theorists’ practice.