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Dystopophobia: aversion to the worst in the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, Edmund Burke, and Karl Popper

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Title
Dystopophobia: aversion to the worst in the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, Edmund Burke, and Karl Popper
Name (type = personal)
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Richards
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Michael A.
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1986-
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Michael A. Richards
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author
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Murphy
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Andrew R
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Andrew R Murphy
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chair
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Bathory
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Dennis
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Dennis Bathory
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Miller
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Lisa
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Lisa Miller
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Advisory Committee
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internal member
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Haddock
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Bruce
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Bruce Haddock
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Advisory Committee
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outside member
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Rutgers University
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degree grantor
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School of Graduate Studies
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school
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theses
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2019
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2019-10
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2019
Language
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English
Abstract (type = abstract)
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. This bifurcation manifests in a tension between the emancipatory urge to improve the condition of the worst off in society with a conservative eye still firmly fixed on protecting the stabilizing elements in the polity that protect against dystopian political disintegration.
Subject (authority = LCSH)
Topic
Dystopias -- Philosophy
Subject (authority = RUETD)
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Political Science
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Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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ETD_10238
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1 online resource (ix, 355 pages)
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Ph.D.
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Includes bibliographical references
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School of Graduate Studies Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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rucore10001600001
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doi:10.7282/t3-y8ve-pj68
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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The author owns the copyright to this work.
RightsHolder (type = personal)
Name
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Richards
GivenName
Michael
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Permission or license
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2019-09-12 18:19:17
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Michael Richards
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Rutgers University. School of Graduate Studies
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Author Agreement License
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I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
Copyright
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Copyright protected
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Open
Reason
Permission or license
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2019-09-23T18:14:15
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