Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Dystopophobia: Aversion to the Worst in the Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, Edmund Burke, and Karl Popper
by Richards, Michael A., Ph.D., Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, School of Graduate Studies, 2019, 366; 22615286
Abstract (Summary)

Political theorists generally proceed by proposing ideal principles and utopian visions for society. Against this prevailing trend, this dissertation explores the possibility of political theory oriented around avoiding dystopia. Through an analysis of Thomas Hobbes, Edmund Burke, and Karl Popper–three Anglophone political theorists whose political theory shares an “aversional” quality–this dissertation asks, what in the moral, social, and political theory of these three thinkers explains and justifies their emphasis upon avoiding bad outcomes and human misery, rather than searching for ideals of justice and utopia? What philosophical and political beliefs, concepts, or strings of argument shared by these thinkers make their theories effectively focused upon avoiding bad outcomes? This dissertation sketches a dystopophobic family resemblance shared between the three. At the core of this resemblance is the identification of an asymmetry between goodness and badness, and a conceptualization of political matters operating at two levels: 1) at level of society and the structures and institutions that organize society to avoid dystopia; and, 2) the level of the individual within society whose life can go better or worse.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Murphy, Andrew R.
Commitee: Bathory, Dennis, Miller, Lisa, Haddock, Bruce
School: Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, School of Graduate Studies
Department: Political Science
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Political science, Philosophy
Keywords: Burke, Dystopia, Dystopophobia, Hobbes, Injustice, Popper
Publication Number: 22615286
ISBN: 9781392691137
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