This important book offers a fundamental reconsideration of the theory of democracy, arguing that democratic decision making should apply not only to politics but also to economic and social life. Professor Gould redefines traditional concepts of freedom and social equality, and proposes a principle of Equal Positive Freedom in which individual freedom and social cooperation are seen to be compatible. Reformulating basic conceptions of property, authority, economic justice and human rights, the author suggests a number of ways in which these principles could be realized in social institutions. She also discusses such issues as democratic control of technology, the nature of democratic personality, and the question of democracy in international relations.
Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Freedom, reciprocity, and democracy 2. Ontological foundations of democracy; 3. Social ontology and the question of foundationalism in ethics; 4. Economic justice, self-management, and the principle of reciprocity; 5. Equal rights, individual differences, and the ideal of self-development: paradoxes in the theory of democracy; 6. Contemporary legal conceptions of property and their implications for democracy; 7. What are the human rights? 8. Making participation and authority compatible; 9. Participation and self-management: a model of democracy 10. Technology and ethics: should technology be left to the experts? 11. The democratic personality: self-development, character, and political participation; 12. Cosmopolitical democracy: moral principles among nations; Notes; Index.
"In an era when political orthodoxies of East and West seem increasingly artificial and brittle, this volume is aptly timed to transcend capitalism and socialism...[Gould] centers her thesis on a conception of positive freedom as self-development and social individualism as individuals-in-relations...The book's major import is a philosophical defense of workers' self-management, but human rights, control of technology, and other timely topics are also subjected to enlightening scrutiny." A.B. Cochran, Choice
"...an important contribution to political theory...extremely clearly and coherently organized and written, very easy to follow..." Robert Wolff
"...No reader can fail to be impressed by the intellectual rigour of her presentation and the charm of her style." Maurice Cranston, Times Literary Supplement
"Carol Gould offers an important and ambitious defense of equal positive freedom as the proper normative grounding for the primacy of democracy in social and political life...makes an important contribution to our understanding of freedom and its implications for democracy within the context of contemporary social and political life." Larry M.Preston, American Political Science Review
"This book is a significant addition to the growing field of social and political philosophy...she presents us with a stimulating, original and in many ways compelling discussion of the claims that individuals can legitimately make against society simply by being human." Joseph L. Walsh, Socialism and Democracy