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Coercion (Studies in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy)
"Since [Robert Nozick's 'Coercion'], there has been a steadily ... growing literature on coercion, a literature that on the leading issue has divided itself into two types of theories. In one camp are those who view coercion as an empirical or descriptive concept, and who thus hold that the truth or falsity of a coercion claim can be decided by an appeal...
"Since [Robert Nozick's 'Coercion'], there has been a steadily ... growing literature on coercion, a literature that on the leading issue has divided itself into two types of theories. In one camp are those who view coercion as an empirical or descriptive concept, and who thus hold that the truth or falsity of a coercion claim can be decided by an appeal to facts; in the other camp we find proponents of the position that coercion is a normative or moralized concept and who argue, therefore, that the truth or falsity of coercion claims rests upon a well-developed moral theory. In Coercion, Alan Wertheimer sets forth what must now be considered the most detailed and defensible version of the normative position." -Stuart D. Warner, Ethics "Wertheimer attempts to move beyond previous theories of coercion by conducting a fairly extensive survey of the way in which cases involving coercion have been treated by American courts. This impressive project occupies the first half of the book, where he makes a convincing case that there is a fairly unified 'theory of coercion' at work in adjudication, past and present. This legal theory, however, is not entirely adequate for the purposes of social and political philosophy, and the last half of the book develops Wertheimer's more comprehensive philosophical theory. Here again, he seems to be successful. A vast array of recent philosophical literature is reviewed, making the bibliographic sections of the book noteworthy. Coercion should appeal to a wide audience. Readers with technical interests in law, political science, and philosophy will find along with general readers that the overall thesis of the book is accessible, especially because of Wertheimer's sharp and clear writing style." -Choice Alan Wertheimer is Professor of Political Science at the University of Vermont.
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