Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. i-vi

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xiv

...In his own time, Hume’s religious opinions and his largely naturalistic treatment of morality made him a controversial figure. My own encounter with Hume has, perhaps surprisingly, retained a hint of forbidden knowledge. My only formal education in Hume (two sessions in an undergraduate survey course) in effect assured...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-20

...Many find David Hume’s writings on politics agreeable. This book will argue that they are also astonishingly useful. Hume’s political ideas illuminate a host of questions in political theory, political science, and practical politics that would otherwise seem intractable, as well as calling into question some political assumptions that would...

read more

Chapter 1 Coordination and Convention

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 21-42

...brought to believe, deserve their support. Many great problems of high politics can thus be seen as problems of coordination. When the status quo or “social norm” solution is doubtful or contested, they become problems of authority, since only authority can adjudicate the norm. When the convention of authority itself is doubtful or contested, they are...

read more

Chapter 2 Coordinating Interests: The Liberalism of Enlargement

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 43-89

...with their perceived inferiors, and no reason to abandon local fiefdoms that let them flaunt their power, must be brought to prefer the advantages of peace, prosperity, and an expanded scope for potential projects and achievements to the squalid but independent...

read more

Chapter 3 Convention and Allegiance

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 90-120

...allegiance reminds us that constitutions and institutions are simply other ways of describing conventions that human beings have found to be advantageous. Since all government rests on opinion, the units of political governance have no existence apart from...

read more

Chapter 4 Crown and Charter: Fundamental Conventions as Principles of Authority

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 121-156

...private and public law as matters of convention; Hume repeatedly uses the word himself. But few have recognized that he regards certain conventions as fundamental: immune to alteration (except in the extremely long term, at least generations and more likely centuries...

read more

Chapter 5 Leadership and Constitutional Crises

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 157-187

...at the roots—leadership is as Machiavelli portrayed it in the Prince: a matter of force and guile, personal charisma and deliberate terror, whatever will convince people that the new leader’s rule is relatively durable (and through convincing them, make it so; once again, coordination solutions are self-fulfilling). When long experience...

read more

Chapter 6 Vertical Inequality and the Extortion of Liberty

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 188-206

...theory is obviously attractive to those who live under conditions of brutal civil war or anarchy, or who fear such. Not yet explained is why it should appeal to everyone else. Contemporary citizens demand not just order but other things: at the least, liberty, equality, and democracy...

read more

Chapter 7 What Touches All: Equality, Parliamentarism, and Contested Authority

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 207-226

...than the relationship of kidnapper to captor; they are not party to a convention of authority and allegiance). My thesis is unoriginal, though a bit unpopular among many U.S. political theorists: the main guarantor of equality, in the face of the inequality that governing elites would otherwise prefer, is—and historically...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 227-248

...cultural changes that have unsettled the old ones or made new ones seem imaginable for the first time). Government is universally necessary in the first instance as the only actor that can settle disputes about property (and by implication other disputed conventions); once in place, it also furthers public goods of all kinds and is perceived to be ever more necessary...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 249-312

References

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 313-326

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 327-338