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Messy Morality


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Table of Contents

1: Morality, moralism, and realism 2: Moralistic strictures and political reality-further quandaries 3: Concerning ideals 4: Engagement in evil: politics, dirty hands, and corruption 5: Politics and lying

About the Author

C. A. J. Coady is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne. He also founded and became director of the Centre for Philosophy and Public Issues, the first centre in Australia to be concerned with broad issues of philosophy and public affairs. His research areas include political violence, terrorism, and just war theory.


Those who know Tony Coady's writing will find its customary qualities on display pellucid prose, philosophical intelligence, wit, and a fierce and impatient disdain for those who abuse the privileges of power or the requirements of rational argument... this elegant essay is a worthy addition to the literature * David Archard, Contemporary Political Theory *
In this captivating volume, C. A. J. Coady examines some of the challenges that politics poses for morality. For Coady, the challenges include the very nature of political reality, the prevalence of moralism, the role of ideals in politics, and the spectres of deception and dirty hands... Throughout the book, Coady blends well-informed, forthright criticism of recent policies, such as the US led invasion and occupation of Iraq, with cogent philosophical reflection and analysis... The book is a deceptively enjoyable read that, despite its size, makes a valuable contribution to important topics in normative theory and political philosophy. * Kimberley Brownlee, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *

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