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Messy Morality: The Challenge of Politics

A. J. Coady

Translated into Persian by Sina Bastani

Uehiro Series in Practical Ethics; 2021

Published by Soroosh-e Mowlana Publication

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About the Book

There is an important intellectual tradition in politics called “moralism”, according to which, politics is described as a unique collective activity that desires to achieve common goals and objectives and therefore, political life is considered to be a branch of ethics. These goals and objectives include political values ​​such as justice, equality, freedom, and happiness.

There is another tradition in politics by the name of “realism”. Based on this tradition, politics is all about power. Power is yet another tool, by which we defeat our enemies, protect our security and give credit to our contracts. Without power, our goals, no matter how valuable they are, will be useless and empty.

In this book, Coady argues that realism has serious weaknesses, but it teaches us an important lesson: it warns us of the dangers of moralism in politics; It identifies different forms of moralism and shows their distorting effects on realistic political ethics. Coady, inspecting the idea of ​​”dirty hands” in politics, says that good politics will inevitably involve some degrees of moral impurity and corruption. Finally, he examines the controversial role of lying and deception in politics in great detail. He stands in the middle of realism and moralism.

About the Author

A. J. (Tony) Coady is a former Professor of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne and a member of the Faculty of Applied Philosophy at the Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the same university. He is best known for his works in epistemology, political violence and political ethics. Cody has written a lot in applied philosophy on issues related to war and terrorism, and he has expanded most of his writings in his book Morality and Political Violence.

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Author's name

C. A. J. Coady


Sina Bastani

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