Liberalism

Topics: Liberalism, Political philosophy, Classical liberalism Pages: 55 (19753 words) Published: May 7, 2013
The Essay will be four pages single-spaced and will be based directly on the material in this document. Students may also use the relevant PowerPoints as well as the Bond Text - that is all that is permitted. The essay question is as follows: Compare and contrast modern conservatism and modern liberalism. Check the syllabus for the due date but you must get started on it straight away!

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Please be fair and proportionate – each side in politics sees itself as the only moral and just side. Don’t be fooled by such infantile indulgence. Try to see the major ideas of each ideology as honestly held and legitimate even if you disagree wholeheartedly with them.

Liberalism
First published Thu Nov 28, 1996; substantive revision Mon Sep 10, 2007 As soon as one examines it, ‘liberalism’ fractures into a variety of types and competing visions. In this entry we focus on debates within the liberal tradition. We begin by (1) examining different interpretations of liberalism's core commitment — liberty. We then consider (2) the longstanding debate between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ liberalism. In section (3) we turn to the more recent controversy about whether liberalism is a ‘comprehensive’ or a ‘political’ doctrine. We close in (4) by considering disagreements as to ‘the reach’ of liberalism — does it apply to all humankind, and must all political communities be liberal?

1. The Debate About Liberty
1.1 The Presumption in Favor of Liberty
1.2 Negative Liberty
1.3 Positive Liberty
1.4 Republican Liberty
2. The Debate Between the ‘Old’ and the ‘New’
2.1 Classical Liberalism
2.2 The ‘New Liberalism’
2.3 Liberal Theories of Social Justice
3. The Debate About the Comprehensiveness of Liberalism
3.1 Political Liberalism
3.2 Liberal Ethics
3.3 Liberal Theories of Value
3.4 The Metaphysics of Liberalism
4. The Debate About The Reach of Liberalism
4.1 Is Liberalism Justified in All Political Communities?
4.2 Is Liberalism a Cosmopolitan or a State-centered Theory? 4.3 Liberal Interaction with Non-Liberal Groups: International 4.4 Liberal Interaction with Non-Liberal Groups: Domestic
5. Conclusion
Bibliography
Other Internet Resources
Related Entries

1. The Debate About Liberty

1.1 The Presumption in Favor of Liberty

‘By definition’, Maurice Cranston rightly points out, ‘a liberal is a man who believes in liberty’ (1967: 459). In two different ways, liberals accord liberty primacy as a political value. (i) Liberals have typically maintained that humans are naturally in ‘a State of perfect Freedom to order their Actions…as they think fit…without asking leave, or depending on the Will of any other Man’ (Locke, 1960 [1689]: 287). Mill too argued that ‘the burden of proof is supposed to be with those who are against liberty; who contend for any restriction or prohibition…. The a priori assumption is in favour of freedom…’ (1963, vol. 21: 262). Recent liberal thinkers such as as Joel Feinberg (1984: 9), Stanley Benn (1988: 87) and John Rawls (2001: 44, 112) agree. This might be called the Fundamental Liberal Principle (Gaus, 1996: 162-166): freedom is normatively basic, and so the onus of justification is on those who would limit freedom, especially through coercive means. It follows from this that political...

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