The Inner Ocean : Individualism and Democratic Culture
Part of the Contestations series
"What is the meaning of individualism in a modern democracy?
In this rich and penetrating book, a major political theorist examines the nature of individualism-the concept of self it implies, the ethic it sustains, the personal connectedness it supports, and the politics it requires-and provides a challenging answer. George Kateb argues that democracy is founded on respect for the dignity of individuals as individuals, and that this respect transforms all human relations.
Democratic individuality, in his view, is a way in which individuals whose rights are protected may dare to live their private lives and to conceive their roles as citizens. Kateb employs the concept of individuality not only to criticize communitarianism and to define the limits of the role of the state, but also to approach global concerns involving our relation to nature.
The ten essays of this book explore democratic individuality in light of such topics as the power of political institutions to accommodate and express different values, the moral distinctiveness of representative democracy, the implications of the liberal social contract, and the possibility of human extinction. Eloquently addressing issues at the heart of democratic life, The Inner Ocean will be of vital interest to scholars and students in American studies, political theory, and moral philosophy.