Scale and magnanimity in Civic Liberalism

Critical Review 15 (1-2):147-171 (2003)
Abstract Thomas Spragens attempts to rebuild liberal theory by arguing that realist, libertarian, egalitarian, and identity liberals all have valid insights, but develop them one?sidedly. Re?examining the work of sixteenth? and seventeenth?century liberals leads, he contends, to a more balanced liberalism. Spragens's often?impressive effort to reconstruct liberalism is undermined by insufficient appreciation of the role of the scale of the polity and by confusions about civic friendship. Appreciation of Hayekian insights about spontaneous order, and of the limits of citizen knowledge in large polities, would help him solve the first problem. Distinguishing between friendship, friendliness, and social capital would help resolve the second
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