First published in 1983. The primary argument of this book is that there is a coherent tradition of liberal thinking that extends from L. S. Mill, through liberals like T. H. Green, Bernard Bosanquet, L. T. Hobhouse and John Dewey to John Rawls. The author places Rawls within a longstanding tradition of liberal thinking, while also arguing that Green and Hobhouse are not simply of historical interest but represent genuine and interesting attempts to develop a modern liberal theory.
It is argued that modern liberal theory centres on a conception of human nature; that modern liberals have sought to harmonise the pursuit of individuality with participation in social and communal life. Although the book focuses on six modern liberals, the discussion proceeds topically rather than according to author, thus highlighting similarities and disagreements and providing a comprehensive study of modern liberalism.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; Introductory; Part One: Human Nature; 1. Individuality 2. Sociability: Social Life 3. Sociability: Community 4. Developmentalism; Part Two: Politics; 5. Liberty 6. Democracy 7. Economic Organisation; Concluding Remarks; Bibliography; Index
Gerald F. Gaus