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Liberalism and Its Discontents (Paperback)

Author: Neal, Patrick

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An illuminating examination of contemporary liberalism. -Times Literary Supplement Neal does a fine job of showing the flaws in leading academic theories and accounts of liberalism. He shows the amazing vigor of Thomas Hobbes's ideas, now more than three centuries old and still in many ways the clearest and best expression of the liberal order. And he provides a salutary cold shower for those grand dreamers among us who want liberalism not only to order our lives, but also to inspire, to shape, to teach us: 'A liberal order cannot even nearly fulfill the longings of the heart and soul which move us.' -Michael Harvey, H-Net Should the state be neutral with regard to the moral practices of its citizens? Can a liberal state legitimately create a distinctively liberal character in its citizens? Can liberal ideals constitute a point of consensus in a diverse society? In Liberalism and Its Discontents, Patrick Neal answers these questions and discusses them in light of contemporary liberal theory. Approaching the topic of liberalism from a sympathetic and yet immanently critical point of view, Patrick Neal argues that the political liberalism of theorists like John Rawls and the perfectionist liberalism of theorists like Joseph Raz fail to fully express the generosity of spirit which is liberalism at its best. Instead, Neal finds resources for the expression of such a spirit in the much maligned tradition of Hobbesian, or vulgar, liberalism. He argues that a turn in this direction is necessary for the articulation of a liberalism more genuinely responsive to the diversity of modes of life in the twenty-first century.

Specifications

Publisher New York Univ Pr
Mfg Part# 9780814757987
SKU 202619171
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0814757987
Release Date 11/21/2011
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