A knowing irony of the intellect and a lassitude of the heart

With arguments that have long been at the cutting edge of political philosophy, Cohen develops a distinctive conception of democracy as based upon reason-giving among equals, and he does so in a way that never ignores political reality. . . . All too often, Cohen observes, we respond to political ideals with ‘a knowing irony of the intellect and a lassitude of the heart.’ Realistic without cynicism, idealistic without naivete, Cohen’s book responds to the real world with rigorous intellectual aspiration and undaunted practical hope.

— Martha C. Nussbaum, reviewing Joshua Cohen’s Philosophy, Politics, Democracy: Selected Essays

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