Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Towards a science of liberty : reclaiming a tradition in classical liberal thought
Author: Tame, Chris R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 746X
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 1998
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Most conventional academic works generally offer a highly restricted view of the history and nature of classical liberalism. This is perhaps not surprising since most book-length histories of the liberal tradition have been written by authors who are either outright ideological opponents (Harold Laski, The Rise of European Liberalism, Anthony Arblaster, The Rise and Decline of Western Liberalism) (1) or at best luke-warm "neo-liberals", out of sympathy with core tenets of classical liberalism (Guido De Ruggiero, The History of European Liberalism, Jose G. Merquior, Liberalism, Old and New) (2). Even when the source of that restricted view is fairly obvious - ideological hostility or disdain - and can hence be taken into account, such accounts suffer from a deeper failure to perceive or portray the character of the o liberal tradition. However, worse still, in some respects, are works which actually reduce liberalism to a vague "tendency" or "attitude", and hence rob it of almost any sort of substantive character or content (Louis Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America, Lionel Trilling, The Liberal Imagination, Ken Minogue, The Liberal Mind, Arthur A. Ekirch, The Decline of American Liberalism) (3). Text book accounts similarly tend to offer selective renditions of, for example, "Locke, Smith, Bentham and Mill" (or of some similar but equally restricted pantheon), as the sum-total of the liberal tradition (or at least the sum-total of that worthy of academic attention) (eg, George H. Sabine, A History of Political Theory and John Plamenatz, Man and Society: A Critical Examination of Some Important Social and Political Thought From Machiavelli to Marx) (4). In their choice of intellectual representatives all these renditions have in common a version of liberalism which tends to be narrowly economistic in approach and/or restricted to empiricist, positivist, and utilitarian currents of thought. Indeed, it is also significant that there is actually no comprehensive, multi-volume history of liberalism - in comparison to the many such works on the history of socialism in general or Marxism in particular. The works submitted in this application for PhD attempt to demonstrate that classical liberalism (or "libertarianism", to employ the more recent neologism for this intellectual tradition) was a richer, deeper and more systematic school of thought than is normally portrayed. They also try to analyse why that tradition went into decline, and why it has, in recent years, enjoyed a revival. A number of the essays are also attempts to apply that more systematic perspective to a number of topics in different disciplines.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available