Liberalism and Liberty: the Fragility of a Tradition


My discussion in this lecture is structured as follows. In section 1 I consider the nature of philosophical enquiry and its affinity to liberalism. In section 2 I lay out some of the basic components of liberal theory and explore their interrelations. In section 3 I discuss two challenges to liberalism: one concerning the conception of liberty which it involves and one concerning the way in which it introduces the idea of legitimate political authority. In section 4 I suggest that these problems, to do with the values of liberalism, arise on the basis of a prior conception of individuals which is in need of modification. In a brief concluding section 5 I indicate the need for a post-liberal political theory.

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References found in this work

The View From Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Language, Truth and Logic.Alfred Jules Ayer - 1936 - London: V. Gollancz.
Philosophical investigations.Ludwig Wittgenstein & G. E. M. Anscombe - 1953 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 161:124-124.

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