Anarchism and Moral Philosophy by Benjamin Franks

By Benjamin Franks

Anarchism and ethical Philosophy [ Anarchism and ethical Philosophy by means of Franks, Benjamin ( writer ) Hardcover Jan- 2011 ] Hardcover Jan- 15- 2011

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J. Rousseau (1986) The Social Contract and Discourses, ed. G. D. H. Cole (London: Everyman). A. J. Simmons (1987) ‘The anarchist position: A reply to Klosko and Senor’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, XVI, 269–79. ——— (1996) ‘Philosophical anarchism’ in J. T. Sanders and J. Narveson (eds) For and Against the State: New Philosophical Readings (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield). ——— (1999) ‘Justification and legitimacy’, Ethics, CIX, 739–71. R. P. Wolff (1969) ‘On violence’, Journal of Philosophy, LXVI, 601–16.

On Meltzer’s extremely dated account, ‘real’ anarchism – which takes shape in action, not ideas – is ‘based on the class struggle’ (Meltzer, 2000: 19, 22). And intellectuals are, as Meltzer makes abundantly clear, on the wrong side of this struggle. At this point, we ought to consider philosophical anarchism of the non-classical, non-individualistic and non-academic type, or philosophical anarchism that does not belong to the three familiar traditions that we described earlier. (Of course, certain expressions of anarchism from within these traditions meet our philosophical requirements, notwithstanding our objections to them.

This is not just an ideal case of authority, but a real and realisable one (in at least some and perhaps many cases). In any event, it seems to me that a weak anarchism is not only theoretically defensible, but, practically, more workable than the strong anarchism of Stirner’s or Wolff’s kind. Finally, we arrive at a difficult issue to which we have already referred. This is the issue of engagement (rather than strength). I described my philosophical anarchism as an engaged anarchism, so one might reasonably question my argument for engagement or an obligation to act.

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