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Toward a Liberalism

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Toward a Liberalism

Richard Flathman

252 Pages
Paperback
ISBN: 9781501727825
Cornell University Press

In Toward a Liberalism, Richard Flathman shows why and how political theory can contribute to the quality of moral and political practice without violating, as empiricist- and idealist-based theories tend to do, liberal commitments to individuality and plurality. Exploring the tense but inevitable relationship between liberalism and authority, he advances a theory of democratic citizenship tempered by appreciation of the ways in which citizenship is implicated with and augments authority. Flathman examines the relationship of individual rights to freedom on one hand and to authority and power on the other, rejecting the quest for a single homogenous and authoritative liberal theory.

Reviews

"This book is an important contribution to contemporary liberal theory. It is important (1) because Flathman’s gift of patient and probing analysis has seldom been deployed to more illuminating advantage; (2) because he does much to restore teleological considerations to what I regard as their proper place; and (3) because he mitigates, in a manner both sensible and principled, the excesses and implausibilities of a great many well-known liberal theories."

- William A. Galston, American Political Science Review

About the Author

The late Richard Flathman (1934–2015) was the George Armstrong Kelly Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, at Johns Hopkins University. Known for his influential application of the methods of analytic philosophy to questions in political science, he was the author of many books, including Pluralism and Liberal Democracy, Reflections of a Would-Be Anarchist: Ideals and Institutions of Liberalism, and Willful Liberalism: Voluntarism and Individuality in Political Theory and Practice.

This work can be downloaded for non-commercial purposes:

Creative Commons License
Toward a Liberalism is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.