The Political Philosophy of G.A. Cohen
Back to Socialist Basics
Bloomsbury Academic 2015
New Books in Critical TheoryNew Books in Global Ethics and PoliticsNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network May 17, 2016 John McMahon
In his book The Political Philosophy of G.A. Cohen: Back to Socialist Basics (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015), Nicholas Vrousalis (Leiden University) provides a thorough and complex reconstruction of G.A. Cohen’s political philosophical project. Understanding Cohen to be engaged in “secular egalitarian theodicy,” Vrousalis threads together the major dimensions of Cohen’s thought to find unity in Cohen’s philosophy. The book and the interview take up the concepts central to Cohen’s work – historical materialism, freedom, equality, exploitation, community, and socialism – in a way that explores the tensions, resonances, and changes that persist across Cohen’s writings. Along the way, Vrousalis analyzes Cohen’s polemical engagements with other major political philosophers, such as John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, Amartya Sen, Robert Nozick, and more, all as examples of Cohen’s “immanent” philosophical method.
John McMahon is a Doctoral Candidate in Political Science at The Graduate Center, CUNY, where he has also completed the Women’s Studies Certificate. He is a Fellow at the Center for Global Ethics and Politics at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at The Graduate Center, which co-sponsors the podcast.