History of Political Thought; Political Ethics; Liberalism
Joshua Cherniss (B.A., Political Science, Yale; DPhil, Modern History, Oxford) is a graduate student in political theory, with interests ranging over the history of political thought, liberal and democratic theory, and political ethics. His historical interests center on political thought in the twentieth century; European (and particularly British) political thought from Hobbes onwards; and American political thought. Within both the history of political thought and recent normative theory, he is interested in theories of liberty; arguments about the purposes and limits of politics; the implications for political theory of ethical and political pluralism; and questions about the ethics of political action. His teaching has covered the history of ancient and modern political philosophy, contemporary theories of justice, and American political thought and political history; he also has teaching interests in politics and literature, in utopian political thought, in the ethical challenges and dilemmas of political action, and in the study of political ideologies. The author of a forthcoming monograph on Isaiah Berlin's political thought, his current research examines twentieth-century political thought in order to explore the ethical and political problems (such as the "problem of dirty hands" and the relationship between means and ends) posed for liberal political theory by anti-liberal conceptions of politics. He argues that in responding to arguments for political extremism and ruthlessness, liberal political theorists and polemicists produced a body of work which offers distinctive accounts of both liberalism, and the ethics of political life. In addition to advancing these historical and normative claims, his project also offers a contribution to the way we think about political theory by calling attention to a concern with "ethos" (as a feature of both political culture and personal character), as a complement to normative political theory's more usual focus on principles governing institutional design and political conduct.
my last name "at" fas.harvard.edu
Gov 94ch Tactics and Ethics: Moral Choice in Political Action