David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of the Social Sciences 27 (1):5-23 (1997)
Popper's critique of the philosophical doctrines underlying totalitarian ideology is powerful. Yet, having the regimes of Hitler and Stalin in full view before him, he did not give full and balanced consideration to the range of effects these doctrines can have within actually existing ideologies and regimes. The ideas he correlates with totalitarianism can and do exist in benign forms or tempered by other ideas and by institutions. Moreover, the struggle with totalitarianism is only partly a struggle of philosophical ideas. Political argument and rhetoric appeal to feeling as well as intellect. This tends to be a blindspot of liberalism that often weakens it in the competition with its adversaries.
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