The Needs of Strangers

Front Cover
Penguin Books, 1986 - Philosophy - 156 pages
What do we need in order to survive?
Whose needs do we have a right to speak for?
Which needs can be satisfied through political actions, and which cannot?

To answer these vital questions, Michael Ignatieff returns to the ancient languages of religion, art, and tragedy--and to important texts by Shakespeare, St. Augustine, and the great writers of the Enlightenment.

Drawing on these sources, he has written an incisive, moving interpretation of community and democracy in a work that not only examines the breakdown of human solidarity but shows how it might be re-created. The Needs of Strangers restores philosophy to its proper place as a guide to the art of being human.

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User Review  - dono421846 - LibraryThing

Although I found the conclusion anticlimactic, the preceding chapter were full of suggestive insights, drawing upon connections in literature not easily seen to others. The first on Shakespeare's Lear ... Read full review


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About the author (1986)

Michael Ignatieff was born in Toronto in 1947 and educated at the University of Toronto and Harvard University, from which he received a Ph.D. in 1976. A journalist on the Toronto Globe and Mail from 1965 to 1968, a professor of history at the University of British Columbia from 1976 to 1978, and Senior Research Fellow at King's College, Cambridge, from 1978 to 1984, he is also author of A Just Measure of Pain and co-author of Wealth and Virtue: The Shaping of Political Economy in the Scottish Enlightenment. Mr Ignatieff lives in London with his wife and son.

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