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  • Cited by 1
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
August 2022
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Book description

Arguing against emergent and even dominant tendencies of recent political thought that emphasize the so-called primacy of affect, Peter Steinberger challenges political theorists to take account of important themes in philosophy on the topic of human rationality. He engages with major proponents of post-Kantian thought, analytic and continental alike, to show how political judgment and political action, properly understood, are deeply and definitively grounded in considerations of human reason. Focusing especially on influential arguments in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of action, he seeks to rediscover and reanimate the close connection between systematic philosophical speculation on the one hand and the theory and practice of politics on the other. The result is a neo-rationalist conception of judgment and action that promises to offer a substantial and compelling account of political enterprise as it plays out in the real world of public affairs.


‘A well-written and erudite book populated with many thoughtful and evocative examples.'

Linda M. G. Zerilli - Charles E. Merriam Professor of Political Science and the College, University of Chicago

‘Peter Steinberger's Rationalism in Politics makes an important bookend to Michael Oakeshott's famous work of the same title. Unlike Oakeshott, however, Steinberger believes that politics is a rational activity capable of evaluation by its proximity to truth. His attempt to reclaim political rationality pushes back against a range of historicist, post-modernist, and Heideggerian tendencies of modern philosophy. This is a bold and original work and will repay serious consideration.'

Steven B. Smith - Alfred Cowles Professor of Political Science, Yale University, and Author of Reclaiming Patriotism in an Age of Extremes

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