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Virtue and the Making of Modern Liberalism



Author: Berkowitz, Peter

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Format: Adobe PDF

Content Language: English

eBook ISBN: 9781400800636

Print ISBN: 9780691016887

Size: 1,423 KB

Pages: 256

Publication Date: 2001-02-15

Category:
Political Science > History & Theory > General

Compatible Software:
Adobe Digital EditionsAdobe Digital Editions
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Territorial Restrictions:
Available Worldwide

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Encryption: Adobe DRM
Max Downloads: 4
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Copy Interval (Days): Unlimited
Print Count: Unlimited
Print Interval (Days): Unlimited
Read Aloud: Enabled

$10.99

Virtue and the Making of Modern Liberalism
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DESCRIPTION
Virtue has been rediscovered in the United States as a subject of public debate and of philosophical inquiry. Politicians from both parties, leading intellectuals, and concerned citizens from diverse backgrounds are addressing questions about the content of our character. William Bennett's moral guide for children, A Book of Virtues, was a national bestseller. Yet many continue to associate virtue with a prudish, Victorian morality or with crude attempts by government to legislate morals. Peter Berkowitz clarifies the fundamental issues, arguing that a certain ambivalence toward virtue reflects the liberal spirit at its best Drawing on recent scholarship as well as classical political philosophy, he makes his case with penetrating analyses of four central figures in the making of modern liberalism: Hobbes, Locke, Kant, and Mill. These thinkers are usually understood to have neglected or disparaged virtue. Yet Berkowitz shows that they all believed that government resting on the fundamental premise of liberalism -- the natural freedom and equality of all human beings -- could not work unless citizens and officeholders possess particular qualities of mind and character. These virtues, which include reflective judgment sympathetic imagination, self-restraint the ability to cooperate, and toleration do not arise spontaneously but must be cultivated. Berkowitz explores the various strategies the thinkers employ as they seek to give virtue its due while respecting individual liberty. Liberals, he argues, must combine energy and forbearance, finding public and private ways to support such non-governmental institutions as the family and voluntary associations. For these institutions, theliberal tradition powerfully suggests, play an indispensable role not only in forming the virtues on which liberal democracy depends but in overcoming the vices that it tends to engender.


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