Download PDF This content was written by a student and assessed as part of a university degree. With the study of international relations having been defined by a strong Realist outlook since the s, Charles Beitz in published his Political Theory of International Relations which would expand the Rawlsian distribution of justice to a broader international coverage. To ascertain the moral defensibility of the theories, this essay will be adopting a consequentialist approach to morality. Nevertheless, I will argue that both Cosmopolitanism and Classical Realism whilst possessing divergent perspectives towards morality, are both morally defensible theories.

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Review by: T. Source: The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. Philosophy Education Society Inc. These items are related, it is hoped logically, by a chain of reasoning of which the following is an example: 1 I will bring about E insult Smith ; 2 I can do so only by doing A hitting Smith ; 3 So, I will do A hit Smith.

In the operative sense, reasoning seems to have no essential connec tion with validity or reasonableness of inference. To prepare for his own account of volitions as vo litional thoughts, he examines the theories of action of Prichard, Col lingwood, Davidson, and Sellars.

To clarify his own theories of practi cal deliberation and inference, he inspects the rival conceptions of Sellars, Binkley, Casta? These surveys of recent work are both clear and balanced; readers new to the literature on ac tion theory should find them very useful, especially the discussion of practical inference.?

Beitz, C. Theory and International Political Relations. Princeton: Princeton University Press, This is a revised dissertation and exhibits some of the infelici ties of that genre: verbosity, didacticism, and repetitiveness. The first two parts criticize the two "prevailing conceptions of interna tional relations" the "morally skeptical" view, which sees the world as a Hobbesian state of war, and the view which understands states as endowed with moral rights to complete autonomy.

The third section points the way to a "more cosmopolitan" perspective vaguely inspired by Kant and grounded in Rawls. Beitz mentions in passing that prior to the mid-seventeenth century "a different conception of interna This content downloaded from It is thus not surprising that he has found it "difficult to know what to make of the idea," which "derives from Hegel," of the "state as a moral being" p. Likewise, he confesses bafflement at Marx p. The critique of the Hobbesian outlook ismarred by imprecision, con tradictions, and a rather imperfect familiarity with the relevant texts.

At first Beitz tries to present Hobbes as arguing for skepticism about "normative principles"; but later he admits that the "Hobbesian position" is "normative" pp. He is thus forced implicitly to retract his original assertion that "skeptics" like Machiavelli and Hobbes must claim "perceived national interest is the supreme value" my italics: pp. Partly as a result of this confusion, Beitz insists that "cooperation in the state of na ture Having thus misrepresented Hobbes and removed the fulcrum of his argument, Beitz has lost the only bearings that would have allowed him to discern the basis for the difference Hobbes establishes p.

The second and most valuable section of the book shows convinc ingly that the moral right of states to independence must be derived from some deeper account of the purpose states properly fulfill in the lives of their citizens.

This necessarily implies standards by which claims to self-determination and nonintervention must be judged? Beitz has the courage to argue that even colonialism may sometimes be morally justified.

The great question, of course, is the actual content of the moral principles that are to be applied in making such judgments. In particular, he follows Rawls in refusing to assign any substantial moral desert to the hard work and political diligence of those groups who have made resources available to mankind, and have sustained the political environments in which they can be constructively used pp. A more fun damental deficiency is the failure to consider seriously the possibility that the duties of citizens toward one another are qualitatively more sacred than the duties toward noncitizens pp.

Absent from this book are any discussions of civic spirit, political participa This content downloaded from Washington, D. It comprises three parts. The first is a discussion of vari ous forms of atheism. The second is a consideration of forms of theis tic proofs for the existence of God. The third is a treatment of issues concerning the relationship between God and the world. The second and by far the longest section?

There is a balanced discussion of the ideological argument from the nature of the intelligibles pro posed by St. Augustine, and a wide-ranging consideration of various formulations of the Ontological Argument.

This is followed by an ex position of St. Here the author takes the un usual step of not providing his own interpretation of these argu ments. The first part of the book on atheism is less satisfactory. It consid ers briefly various forms of modern and contemporary atheism asso ciated with thinkers such as Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Sartre, and Camus.

As a result his treatment gives a surely unintended impression of being complacently dismis sive. The third and shortest part of the book compares the contrasting views of Bonaventure and Aquinas on whether or not the universe could have been created from eternity and discusses the bearing of the findings of modern science on the doctrine of creation. In an interest ing appendix the author provides a clear and simplified argument This content downloaded from


Charles Beitz

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Political Theory and International Relations

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