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 --
-- Peter Berkowitz on WorldCat --

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

  • Nietzsche: The Ethics of an Immoralist, Harvard University Press, 1995
  • Virtue and the Making of Modern Liberalism, Princeton University Press, 1999
  • Never a Matter of Indifference: Sustaining Virtue in a Free Republic, Hoover Institute Press, 2003
  • The Future of American Intelligence, Hoover Institute Press, 2005
  • Terrorism, The Laws Of War, And The Constitution: Debating The Enemy Combatant Cases, Hoover Institute Press, 2005

Selected Titles At Your Library

Nietzsche :
ISBN: 0674624432. OCLC Number:

Harvard University Press,. Cambridge, Mass. :. 1995.

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. OCLC Number:

Princeton University Press,. Princeton, N.J. :. ©1999.

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. 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.

Never a matter of indifference :
ISBN: 0817939628. OCLC Number:

Hoover Institution Press,. Stanford, Calif. :. ©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 /
ISBN: 0817946624. OCLC Number:

Hoover Institution Press, Stanford University,. Stanford, Calif. :. ©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 :
ISBN: 0817946225. OCLC Number:

Hoover Institution Press,. Stanford, Calif. :. ©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.

Speaking Engagements

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