Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Peter Berkowitz  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1959 in Chicago, Illinois


-- Website -- http://www.PeterBerkowitz.com
-- Peter Berkowitz on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=peter+berkowitz


Illinois Connection

Biographical and Professional Information

Peter Berkowitz is an American political scientist, a former law professor, and the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He holds a J.D. and a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University; an M.A. in philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and a B.A. in English literature from Swarthmore College.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Nietzsche: The Ethics of an Immoralist
ISBN: 0674624432

Harvard University Press. 1996

Once regarded as a conservative critic of culture, then enlisted by the court theoreticians of Nazism, Nietzsche has come to be revered by postmodern thinkers as one of their founding fathers, a prophet of human liberation who revealed the perspectival character of all knowledge and broke radically with traditional forms of morality and philosophy.

In Nietzsche: The Ethics of an Immoralist, Peter Berkowitz challenges this new orthodoxy, asserting that it produces a one-dimensional picture of Nietzsche's philosophical explorations and passes by much of what is provocative and problematic in his thought. Berkowitz argues that Nietzsche's thought is rooted in extreme and conflicting opinions about metaphysics and human nature. Discovering a deep unity in Nietzsche's work by exploring the structure and argumentative movement of a wide range of his books, Berkowitz shows that Nietzsche is a moral and political philosopher in the Socratic sense whose governing question is, "What is the best life?"

Nietzsche, Berkowitz argues, puts forward a severe and aristocratic ethics, an ethics of creativity, that demands that the few human beings who are capable acquire a fundamental understanding of and attain total mastery over the world. Following the path of Nietzsche's thought, Berkowitz shows that this mastery, which represents a suprapolitical form of rule and entails a radical denigration of political life, is, from Nietzsche's own perspective, neither desirable nor attainable.

Out of the colorful and richly textured fabric of Nietzsche's books, Peter Berkowitz weaves an interpretation of Nietzsche's achievement that is at once respectful and skeptical, an interpretation that brings out the love of truth, the courage, and the yearning for the good that mark Nietzsche's magisterial effort to live an examined life by giving an account of the best life.

Virtue and the Making of Modern Liberalism
ISBN: 0691070881

Princeton University Press. 2000

Virtue has been rediscovered in the United States as a subject of public debate and of philosophical inquiry. Politicians from both parties, leading intellectuals, and concerned citizens from diverse backgrounds are addressing questions about the content of our character. William Bennett's moral guide for children, A Book of Virtues, was a national bestseller. Yet many continue to associate virtue with a prudish, Victorian morality or with crude attempts by government to legislate morals. Peter Berkowitz clarifies the fundamental issues, arguing that a certain ambivalence toward virtue reflects the liberal spirit at its best. Drawing on recent scholarship as well as classical political philosophy, he makes his case with penetrating analyses of four central figures in the making of modern liberalism: Hobbes, Locke, Kant, and Mill.


These thinkers are usually understood to have neglected or disparaged virtue. Yet Berkowitz shows that they all believed that government resting on the fundamental premise of liberalism--the natural freedom and equality of all human beings--could not work unless citizens and officeholders possess particular qualities of mind and character. These virtues, which include reflective judgment, sympathetic imagination, self-restraint, the ability to cooperate, and toleration do not arise spontaneously but must be cultivated. Berkowitz explores the various strategies the thinkers employ as they seek to give virtue its due while respecting individual liberty. Liberals, he argues, must combine energy and forbearance, finding public and private ways to support such nongovernmental institutions as the family and voluntary associations. For these institutions, the liberal tradition powerfully suggests, play an indispensable role not only in forming the virtues on which liberal democracy depends but in overcoming the vices that it tends to engender.


Clearly written and vigorously argued, this is a provocative work of political theory that speaks directly to complex issues at the heart of contemporary philosophy and public discussion.


New Forum Books makes available to general readers outstanding, original, interdisciplinary scholarship with a special focus on the juncture of culture, law, and politics. New Forum Books is guided by the conviction that law and politics not only reflect culture, but help to shape it. Authors include leading political scientists, sociologists, legal scholars, philosophers, theologians, historians, and economists writing for nonspecialist readers and scholars across a range of fields. Looking at questions such as political equality, the concept of rights, the problem of virtue in liberal politics, crime and punishment, population, poverty, economic development, and the international legal and political order, New Forum Books seeks to explain--not explain away--the difficult issues we face today.

Never a Matter of Indifference: Sustaining Virtue in a Free Republic (Hoover Institution Press Publication)
ISBN: 0817939628

Hoover Institution Press. 2003

The contributors reveal how public policy in the United States has weakened the institutions of civil society that play a critical role in forming and sustaining the qualities of mind and character crucial to democratic self-government. The authors show what can be done, consistent with the principles of a free society, to establish a healthier relationship between public policy and character.

The Future of American Intelligence (Hoover Institution Press Publication)
ISBN: 0817946624

Hoover Institution Press. 2005

These essays from a diverse group of distinguished contributors deepen our understanding of the new national security threats posed by terrorism, by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and by the spread of Islamic extremism. They examine the obstacles to making U.S. intelligence more capable and offer recommendations for effective reform.

Terrorism, the Laws of War, and the Constitution: Debating the Enemy Combatant Cases
ISBN: 0817946225

Hoover Institution Press. 2005

Terrorism, the Laws of War, and the Constitution examines three enemy combatant cases that represent the leading edge of U.S. efforts to devise legal rules, consistent with American constitutional principles, for waging the global war on terror. The distinguished contributors analyze the crucial questions these cases raise about the balance between national security and civil liberties in wartime and call for a reexamination of the complex connections between the Constitution and international law.


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