The Inhumanity of Right

By Christos Yannaras and Norman Russell (translator)

The first English translation of Christos Yannaras’ pioneering critique of the modern legal concept of the right of the individual.

ISBN: 9780227177549


Christos Yannaras’ pioneering critique of the concept of the right of the individual is presented in English for the first time. This central aspect of political theory (since Hegel’s Philosophy of Right) summarizes the philosophical and cultural identity of the paradigm of modernity, but the philosophical assumptions underlying the concept of right have not hitherto been subject to scrutiny. Yannaras shows that the starting-point of the concept of right is a phenomenalistic naturalism, which presupposes an abstract concept of the human subject as a fundamentally undifferentiated natural individual. The question is also explored of how the priority accorded to this concept of right is related to the contemporary crisis of the modern politico-social paradigm, while a new preface from the translator underlines the continued significance of Yannaras’ proposal for Anglophone readers.

Against the modern concept of right with its illusion of objectivity, The Inhumanity of Right sketches out the basic lines of a political theory that prioritizes new social needs that reflect the relational character of the human person.

Additional information

Dimensions234 × 156 mm

Hardback, Paperback

Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Christos Yannaras, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the Panteion University of Athens, is, in the words of Basilio Petrà, ‘one of the most important Orthodox thinkers of the second half of the twentieth century and the beginning of the present millennium’. He is the subject of two studies already published by James Clarke & Co: Sotiris Mitralexis (ed.), Polis, Ontology, Ecclesial Event: Engaging with Christos Yannaras’ Thought (2018) and Basilio Petrà, Christos Yannaras: The Apophatic Horizon of Ontology (2019).

Norman Russell is Honorary Research Fellow of St Stephen’s House, University of Oxford. He is well known as a patristics scholar and translator from Greek, Italian, and French. An experienced interpreter of Yannaras’s thinking, he has already translated seven of his works.


Translator’s Preface

1. The Logical Image of Right
2. Consequences of the Logical Image of Right
(a) Defining acts and defining relations
(b) Defining truth and defining utility
3. The Political Hermeneutic of Right
(a) Right: a pre-political achievement
(b) The alienation of politics and the citizen
(c) The ‘homeopathic’ paradox of right
(d) The religious foundations of the utilitarianism of right
4. A Preliminary Theory of the Transcendence of the Logic of Right
(a) ‘Law’ (Dikaion) and ‘law’ (nomos): the ancient Greek version
(b) ‘Law’ (Dikaion) and ‘law’ (nomos): the Roman and Early Christian version
5. Cultural Resistance to the Individualism of Right
(a) The ‘culture’ of ecclesial Orthodoxy today
(c) Orthodoxy and nationalism
(d) Orthodoxy and political liberalism
6. The Inhumanity or the Humanising of Right?
(a) The dilemma of political anthropology
(b) Oughtness and isness
(c) The state and the community
(d) The consumer and the citizen