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Citizenship and the Pursuit of the Worthy Life

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Table of Contents

Part I. Charting the Conceptual Terrain: 1. Resurrecting an ancient question: the place of citizenship in a worthy life; 2. The concept of ethical integrity; 3. The practice of citizenship; Part II. Prospects for Integrity in the Public Square: 4. A pre-emptive strike against the separationist thesis; 5. The integrationist ideal of citizenship; 6. Objections and replies.

About the Author

David Thunder has been a research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, University of Navarra, Spain, since September 2012. Prior to moving to Spain, Thunder served as a visiting assistant professor at Bucknell University, Pennsylvania and at Villanova University, Pennsylvania, in addition to completing two years of postdoctoral research - one year at the Witherspoon Institute and the other in Princeton University's James Madison Program. His work has appeared in publications such as the American Journal of Political Science, Political Theory, and the Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy.


'David Thunder makes an excellent case for the wholeness of citizenship, in which the best citizen and the best person come together. His analysis is useful whether one agrees or not and is stated so agreeably that all can admire its clarity and persuasiveness.' Harvey C. Mansfield, Harvard University, and Hoover Institution, Stanford University 'It is commonly held by political philosophers and theologians that the ethical principles that guide one in one's attempt to live a worthy human life should not be decisive for what one does in one's role as citizen; that role, so it is said, has its own distinct principles and source of principles. David Thunder makes the most detailed and powerful case anyone has yet made against this separationist thesis and in support of the opposing integrationist thesis: that we should give our deepest ethical commitments full play in what we do as citizens. Not only does personal ethical integrity require it; liberal democracy is in danger if citizens wall off the role of citizen from the norms and values that make for a worthy human life. Citizenship and the Pursuit of the Worthy Life is the 'against the grain' book that those of us who do not buy the separationist thesis have long been looking for.' Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology, Yale University, and University of Virginia 'Thunder's passionately argued, nonconsequentialist book claims that it is possible for both citizens and leaders in a constitutional democracy to practice the virtues and integrity that entail a 'worthy' life, without the ethical or moral compromises that some authors claim may be necessary in public life.' C. P. Waligorski, Choice 'Thunder's account of the role of citizenship in a worthy life is a broadly attractive on, and he defends it quite able in his penultimate chapter against six important objections to his integrationist thesis. He writes, moreover, with clarity and grace.' Richard Dagger, The Review of Politics

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