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On Inequality (Hardcover)

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Frankfurt is a Princeton philosopher whose previous "little" book---On Bullshit---is one of the most concise as well as entertaining examinations of what may seem like a frivolous subject but is central to our daily interactions with the modern world.  Here, there is no frivolity. Frankfurt is presenting a careful critique of a hairtrigger subject with a view to moving the conversation off the hot-button aspects of economic inequality and onto the more solid grounds of respect and identity.  His contention that by focusing so much attention on economics alone we are shortchanging the wider, more trenchant question, and ultimately doing ourselves a disservice by ignoring the real bases of the issue.  Certainly, this is a book to be argued with, which seems to be his intent---broaden the dialogue, talk about All The Things, and widen our gaze.  This is not a book to simply read and accept.  It serves as the basis for an ongoing conversation. -Mark's November Staff Pick, 2015

Frankfurt is a Princeton philosopher whose previous "little" book---On Bullshit---is one of the most concise as well as entertaining examinations of what may seem like a frivolous subject but is central to our daily interactions with the modern world.  Here, there is no frivolity. Frankfurt is presenting a careful critique of a hairtrigger subject with a view to moving the conversation off the hot-button aspects of economic inequality and onto the more solid grounds of respect and identity.  His contention that by focusing so much attention on economics alone we are shortchanging the wider, more trenchant question, and ultimately doing ourselves a disservice by ignoring the real bases of the issue.  Certainly, this is a book to be argued with, which seems to be his intent---broaden the dialogue, talk about All The Things, and widen our gaze.  This is not a book to simply read and accept.  It serves as the basis for an ongoing conversation. -Mark's November Staff Pick, 2015

— From Mark's Reading List

Description


From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller On Bullshit, the case for worrying less about the rich and more about the poor

Economic inequality is one of the most divisive issues of our time. Yet few would argue that inequality is a greater evil than poverty. The poor suffer because they don't have enough, not because others have more, and some have far too much. So why do many people appear to be more distressed by the rich than by the poor?

In this provocative book, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of On Bullshit presents a compelling and unsettling response to those who believe that the goal of social justice should be economic equality or less inequality. Harry Frankfurt, one of the most influential moral philosophers in the world, argues that we are morally obligated to eliminate poverty--not achieve equality or reduce inequality. Our focus should be on making sure everyone has a sufficient amount to live a decent life. To focus instead on inequality is distracting and alienating.

At the same time, Frankfurt argues that the conjunction of vast wealth and poverty is offensive. If we dedicate ourselves to making sure everyone has enough, we may reduce inequality as a side effect. But it's essential to see that the ultimate goal of justice is to end poverty, not inequality.

A serious challenge to cherished beliefs on both the political left and right, On Inequality promises to have a profound impact on one of the great debates of our time.

About the Author


Harry G. Frankfurt is professor emeritus of philosophy at Princeton University. His books include the #1 New York Times bestseller On Bullshit and The Reasons of Love (both Princeton).


Product Details
ISBN: 9780691167145
ISBN-10: 0691167141
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: September 29th, 2015
Pages: 120
Language: English