List of liberal theorists
Individual contributors to classical liberalism
and political liberalism
are associated with philosophers of the Enlightenment
. Liberalism as a specifically named ideology begins in the late 18th century as a movement towards self-government and away from aristocracy
. It included the ideas of self-determination, the primacy of the individual and the nation as opposed to the state and religion as being the fundamental units of law, politics and economy.
Since then liberalism has broadened to include a wide range of approaches from Americans Ronald Dworkin
, Richard Rorty
, John Rawls
and Francis Fukuyama
as well as the Indian Amartya Sen
and the Peruvian Hernando de Soto
. Some of these people moved away from liberalism
while others espoused other ideologies
before turning to liberalism. There are many different views of what constitutes liberalism, and some liberals would feel that some of the people on this list were not true liberals. It is intended to be suggestive rather than exhaustive. Theorists whose ideas were mainly typical for one country should be listed in that country's section of liberalism worldwide
. Generally only thinkers are listed whereas politicians are only listed when they also made substantial contributions to liberal theory beside their active political work.
Classical contributors to liberalism
(Athens, 384–322 BC) is revered among political theorists for his seminal work Politics
. He made invaluable contributions to liberal theory through his observations on different forms of government and the nature of man.
He begins with the idea that the best government provides an active and "happy
" life for its people. Aristotle then considers six forms of government: Monarchy
, and Polity
on one side as 'good' forms of government, and Tyranny
, and Democracy
as 'bad' forms. Considering each in turn, Aristotle rejects Monarchy as infantilizing of citizens, Oligarchy as too profit-motivated, Tyranny as against the will of the people, Democracy as serving only to the poor, and Aristocracy (known today as Meritocracy
) as ideal but ultimately impossible. Aristotle finally concludes that a polity—a combination between democracy and oligarchy, where most can vote but must choose among the rich and virtuous
for governors—is the best compromise between idealism
In addition, Aristotle was a firm supporter of private property
. He refuted Plato's argument for a collectivist
society in which family and property are held in common: Aristotle makes the argument that when one's own son or land is rightfully one's own, one puts much more effort into cultivating that item, to the ultimate betterment of society. He references barbarian
tribes of his time in which property was held in common, and the laziest of the bunch would always take away large amounts of food grown by the most diligent.
was a Chinese philosopher and writer, considered the founder of Taoism.
(Florence, 1469–1527), best known for his Il Principe
was the founder of realist political philosophy, advocated republican
government, citizen armies, protection of personal property, and restraint of government expenditure as being necessary to the liberties of a republic. He wrote extensively on the need for individual initiative—virtu
—as an essential characteristic of stable government. He argued that liberty was the central good which government should protect, and that "good people" would make good laws, whereas people who had lost their virtue could maintain their liberties only with difficulty. His Discourses on Livy outlined realism as the central idea of political study and favored "Republics" over "Principalities".
Machiavelli differed from true liberal thinking however, in that he still noted the benefits of princely governance.
He states that republican leaders need to "act alone" if they want to reform a republic, and offers the example of Romulus, who killed his brother and co-ruler to found a great city.
Republics need to refer to arbitrary and violent measures if it is necessary to maintain the structure of the government, as Machiavelli says that they have to ignore thoughts of justice and fairness.
Anti-statist liberals consider Machiavelli's distrust as his main message, noting his call for a strong state under a strong leader, who should use any means to establish his position, whereas liberalism is an ideology of individual freedom
and voluntary choices.
Étienne de La Boétie
(France, 1530–1563) was a French writer, magistrate and political theorist. According to Etienne the chief question of political philosophy was the question of how people come to accept the will of tyrants
Hugo Grotius (Netherlands 1583–1645)
(England, 1588–1679) theorized that government is the result of individual actions and human traits, and that it was motivated primarily by "interest", a term which would become crucial in the development of a liberal theory of government and political economy, since it is the foundation of the idea that individuals can be self-governing and self-regulating. His work Leviathan
, did not advocate this viewpoint, but instead that only a strong government could restrain unchecked interest: it did, however, advance a proto-liberal position in arguing for an inalienable "right of nature," the right to defend oneself, even against the state.
Though his own ideological position is open to debate, his work influenced Locke, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison and many other liberals, leading Strauss
to identify Hobbes as the "father of liberalism".
, 1651 (Theologico-Political Treatise)
(Netherlands, 1632–1677) is in his Tractatus Theologico-Politicus
and Tractatus Politicus
a proto-liberal defending the value of separation of church and state
as well as forms of democracy
. In the first mentioned book, Spinoza expresses an early criticism of religious intolerance and a defense of secular government
. Spinoza was a thoroughgoing determinist
who held that absolutely everything that happens occurs through the operation of necessity
. For him, even human behaviour is fully determined, freedom being our capacity to know we are determined and to understand why we act as we do. So freedom is not the possibility to say "no" to what happens to us but the possibility to say "yes" and fully understand why things should necessarily happen that way.
From Locke to Mill
Charles de Montesquieu
In The Spirit of the Laws, Montesquieu expounded the separation of powers in government and society. In government, Montesquieu encouraged division into the now standard legislative, judicial and executive branches; in society, he perceived a natural organization into king, the people and the aristocracy, with the latter playing a mediating role. "I do not write to censor that which is established in any country whatsoever," Montesquieu disclaimed in the Laws; however, he did pay special attention to what he felt was the positive example of the constitutional system in England, which in spite of its evolution toward a fusion of powers, had moderated the power of the monarch, and divided Parliament along class lines.
Montesquieu's work had a seminal impact on the American and French revolutionaries. Ironically, the least liberal element of his thought—his privileging of the aristocracy—was belied by both revolutions. Montesquieu's system came to fruition in America, a country with no aristocracy; in France, political maneuvering by the aristocracy led to the convocation of the 1789 Estates-General and popular revolt. 
- Lettres Philosophiques sur les Anglais, 1734 (Philosophical Letters on the English)
- Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (together with others), 1751–1772 (Encyclopaedia, or Reasoned Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Trades )
- Essai sur l'histoire génerale et sur les moeurs et l'espirit des nations, 1756 (Essay on the Manner and Spirit of Nations and on the Principal Occurrences in History)
- Traité sur la Tolérance à l'occasion de la mort de Jean Calas, 1763 (Treatise on Toleration In Connection with the Death of Jean Calas)
- Dictionnaire Philosophique, 1764 (Philosophical Dictionary)
- Appeal to the Public on the Subject of the National Debt, 1771
- Observations on Reversionary Payments, 1771
- Observations on Civil Liberty and the Justice and Policy of the War with America, 1776
(Finland (then a part of the Swedish realm), 1729–1803) His book Den Nationale Winsten
(engl. The National Gain
) proposed roughly same the ideas as Adam Smith
's Wealth of Nations
, a decade earlier, including foundations of liberalism
and (roughly) the invisible hand
. He demanded complete economic and individual freedom, including the freedom of religion (although he was a priest), worker's rights to freely move and choose their professions and employers, the freedom of speech and trade and abolitions of all privileges and price and wage controls.
He was also a member of the Swedish four-estates parliament, elected three times as representative of the clergy in the northern and western parts of Finland. In his first parliamentary session, 1765–1766, he was very successful as a member of the subcommittee that wrote Sweden's famous Constitutional Law of the Freedom of Printing, Tryckfrihetsförordningen
, of 1766. In this law Chydenius combined freedom of the press, and abolishment of the political censorship
, with free access for the citizens to most government documents. Chydenius liberal system, where transparency reinforces press freedom, and the right for everyone to print the public document reinforces transparency, has been a fundamental constitutional principle in Sweden ever since, except for the years of royal autocracy 1772–1809. Chydenius model for press freedom and freedom of information was reestablished and strengthened in the Swedish Constitution 1809. It is now the foundation of the present Tryckfrihetsförordningen
of 1949, which is one of the fundamental laws of Sweden.
In diluted form, and without the strong constitutional protection of the Swedish free press model, the principle of free access to public documents that originated in Chydenius law of 1766, has in recent decades been spread from Sweden to the Freedom of Information Acts
of many countries. This way, Anders Chydenius, has become one of the older liberal thinkers that has most practical influence on politics and public administration of modern western societies.
An edition of Anders Chydenius Complete Works, in Finnish, Swedish and English, is under preparation by the Chydenius Foundation in Finland.
- Americanska Näfwerbåtar, 1753 (American birchbark canoes)
- Källan Til Rikets Wan-Magt, 1765 (The cause of the weakness of the Kingdom)
- Den Nationnale Winsten, 1765 (The National Gain) )
(Great Britain, 1723–1790), often considered the founder of modern economics
, was a key figure in formulating and advancing economic doctrine of free trade and competition. In his Wealth of Nations
Adam Smith outlined the key idea that if the economy is basically left to its own devices, limited and finite resources will be put to ultimately their most efficient use through people acting purely in their self-interest. This concept has been quoted out of context by later economists as the invisible hand
of the market.
Smith also advanced property rights and personal civil liberties
, including stopping slavery, which today partly form the basic liberal ideology. He was also opposed to stock-holding companies, what today is called a "corporation", because he predicated the self-policing of the free market upon the free association of moral individuals.
- Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten, 1785 (Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals )
- Kritik der praktischen Vernunft, 1788 (Critique of Practical Reason )
- Über den Gemeinspruch: Das mag in der Theorie richtig sein, taugt aber nicht für die Praxis, 1793 (On the common saying: this may be true in theory but it does not apply in practice)
- Zum ewigen Frieden, 1795 (Perpetual Peace )
- Metaphysik der Sitten, 1797 (Metaphysics of Morals )
Anne Robert Jacques Turgot
- Le Conciliateur, 1754
- Lettre sur la tolérance civile, 1754
- Réflexions sur la formation et la distribution des richesses, 1766
- Lettres sur la liberté du commerce des grains, 1770
- Essay on the First Principles of Government, 1768
- The Present State of Liberty in Great Britain and her Colonies, 1769
- Remarks on Dr Blackstone's Commentaries, 1769
- Observations on Civil Liberty and the Nature and Justice of the War with America, 1772
August Ludwig von Schlözer
Marquis de Condorcet
Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progrés de l'esprit humain, 1795 (Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind)
(United Kingdom, 1748–1832) An early advocate of utilitarianism
, animal welfare
and women's rights. He had many students all around the world, including John Stuart Mill
and several political leaders. Bentham demanded economic and individual freedom, including the separation of the state and church, freedom of expression, completely equal rights for women, the end of slavery and colonialism, uniform democracy, the abolition of physical punishment, also on children, the right for divorce, free prices, free trade and no restrictions on interest. Bentham was not a libertarian
: he supported inheritance tax, restrictions on monopoly power, pensions, health insurance and other social security, but called for prudence and careful consideration in any such governmental intervention.
Charles James Fox
The Speeches of the Right Honourable Charles James Fox in the House of Commons
Antoine Destutt de Tracy
(Poland-Lithuania, 1755–1826) was a Catholic priest, philosopher, geologist, writer, poet, translator and statesman. A physiocrat, monist, pan-Slavist (after 1815) and an advocate of laissez-faire
, he supported many reforms in Poland. He is particularly remembered for his political writings during the "Great (Four-Year) Sejm" (1788–92) and for his support of the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
Anne Louise Germaine de Staël
Madame de Staël
- De l'influence des passions sur le bonheur des individus et des nations, 1796
- Des circonstances actuelles qui peuvent terminer la Révolution et des principes qui doivent fonder la république en France, 1798
- Considérations sur les principaux événements de la révolution française, 1813
- Appel aux souverains réunis à Paris pour en obtenir l'abolition de la traite des nègres, 1814
Traité d'économie politique (Treatise on Political Economy), 1803
Wilhelm von Humboldt
Wilhelm von Humboldt
Ideen zu einem Versuch, die Grenzen der Wirksamkeit des Staats zu bestimmen
(On the Limits of State Action), 1792. There Humboldt wrote: "...a state seeking to provide for more than the physical safety of the citizens will inevitably destroy the freedom and the creativity of the individuals."
(Poland-Lithuania 1770-1867) was a statesman, and international politician. He began as a foreign minister to the Russian Tsar Alexander I and built an anti-Napoleon coalition. He became a leader of the Polish government in exile, and an enemy of Russian Tsar Nicholas I. In exile he was an activist on the Polish Question across Europe, and stimulated early Balkan independence.
- Essai sur la diplomatie (Marseilles, 1830);
- Life of J. U. Niemcewicz (Paris, 1860);
- Alexander I. et Czartoryski: correspondence ... et conversations (1801–1823)
- Memoirs of Czartoryski, with documents relating to his negotiations with Pitt, and conversations with Palmerston in 1832
Elements of Political Economy, 1821
Claude Frédéric Bastiat was a French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French assembly.
- La Loi (The Law), 1849
- Harmonies économiques (Economic Harmonies), 1850
- Ce qu'on voit et ce qu'on ne voit pas (What is Seen and What is Not Seen), 1850
Rifa'a al-Tahtawi (also spelt Tahtawy) was an Egyptian
writer, teacher, translator, Egyptologist
intellectual and one of the early adapters to Islamic Modernism
. In 1831, Tahtawi was part of the statewide effort to modernize the Egyptian infrastructure and education.
Three of his published volumes were works of political and moral philosophy
. They introduced his Egyptian audience to Enlightenment
ideas such as secular
authority and political rights and liberty; his ideas regarding how a modern civilized society ought to be and what constituted by extension a civilized or "good Egyptian"; and his ideas on public interest and public good.
Tahtawi's work was the first effort in what became an Egyptian renaissance (nahda
) that flourished in the years between 1860–1940.
- A Paris Profile, written during Tahtawi's stay in France.
- The methodology of Egyptians minds with regard to the marvels of modern literature, published in 1869 crystallizing Tahtawi's opinions on modernization.
- The honest guide for education of girls and boys, published in 1873 and reflecting the main precepts of Tahtawi's educational thoughts.
- Tawfik al-Galil insights into Egypt's and Ismail descendants' history, the first part of the History Encyclopedia published in 1868 and tracing the history of ancient Egypt till the dawn of Islam.
- A thorough summary of the biography of Mohammed published after Tahtawi's death, recording a comprehensive account of the life of Prophet Mohammed and the political, legal and administrative foundations of the first Islamic state.
- Towards a simpler Arabic grammar, published in 1869.
- Grammatical sentences, published in 1863.
- Egyptian patriotic lyrics, written in praise of Khedive Said and published in 1855.
- The luminous stars in the moonlit nights of al-Aziz, a collection of congratulatory writings to some princes, published in 1872.
Johan Rudolf Thorbecke
The Dutch statesman Johan Rudolf Thorbecke
(Netherlands, 1798–1872) was the main theorist of Dutch liberalism in the nineteenth century, outlining a more democratic alternative to the absolute monarchy, the constitutional monarchy. The constitution of 1848 was mainly his work. His main theoretical article specifically labeled as 'liberal' was 'Over het hedendaagsche staatsburgerschap' (On Modern Citizenship) from 1844. He became prime minister in 1849, thus starting numerous fundamental reforms in Dutch politics.
- Illustrations of Political Economy, 1832–1834
- Theory and Practice of Society in America, 1837
- The Martyr Age of the United States, 1839
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
(United States, 1803–1882) was an American philosopher who argued that the basic principles of government were mutable, and that government is required only insofar as people are not self-governing. Proponent of Democracy, and of the idea that a democratic people must have a democratic ethics.
- The Nominalist and the Realist
Alexis de Tocqueville
William Lloyd Garrison
Articles advocating abolition of slavery in the newspaper The Liberator
Mill and further
For the development of American liberalism after World War II see American liberal theory. American liberal theorists who also had influence on liberalism outside the United States are included in this section.
John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill
(United Kingdom, 1806–1873) is one of the first champions of modern "liberalism." As such, his work on political economy
helped lay the foundation for advancements in empirical science and public policy based on verifiable improvements. Strongly influenced by Bentham's utilitarianism
, he disagrees with Kant's intuitive notion of right and formulates the "highest normative principle" of morals as: Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness.
Some consider Mill as the founder of Social liberalism
. Although Mill was mainly for free markets
, he accepted interventions in the economy, such as a tax on alcohol, if there were sufficient utilitarian grounds. Mill was also a champion of women's rights.
- Considerations On Representative Government, 1862 
- On Liberty, 1868 
- Socialism, 1879 
Juan Bautista Alberdi
- Bases y puntos de partida para la organización política de la República Argentina (Bases and Points of Departure for the Political Organization of the Argentine Republic), 1852
- Sistema económico y rentistico de la Confederación Argentina, según su Constitución de 1853 (Economic and rentistic system of the Argentine Confederation, according to its 1853 Constitution), 1854
Henry David Thoreau
(Switzerland, 1818–1897) State as derived from cultural and economic life
The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy
(United Kingdom, 1820–1903), philosopher, psychologist, and sociologist, advanced what he called the "Law of equal liberty
" and argued against liberal theory promoting more activist government, which he dubbed "a new form of Toryism
." He supported a state limited in its duties to the defense of persons and their property. For Spencer, voluntary cooperation was the hallmark of the most vibrant form of society, accommodating the widest diversity of members and the greatest diversity of goals. Spencer's evolutionary
approach has been characterized as an extension of Adam Smith
's "invisible hand" explanation of economic order; his extensive work on sympathy (in psychology
as well as the foundation of ethics, particularly in The Data of Ethics
) explicitly carried on Smith's approach in The Theory of Moral Sentiments
. Spencer is frequently characterized as a leading Social Darwinist
- Social Statics, 1851
- Principles of Ethics, 1879, 1892
- The Man versus the State, 1884
- Essays, Scientific, Political and Speculative, 1892
(Ottoman Empire, 1826–1871), author, journalist, translator, and newspaper editor
. He was the innovator of several fields: he wrote one of the earliest examples of an Ottoman play, he encouraged the trend of translating poetry from French into Turkish, he simplified the script
used for writing the Ottoman Turkish language
, and he was one of the first of the Ottoman writers to write specifically for the broader public. Şinasi used his newspapers, Tercüman-ı Ahvâl
and Tasvir-i Efkâr
, to promote the proliferation of European Enlightenment
ideals during the Tanzimat period
and he made the education of the literate Ottoman public his personal vocation. Though many of Şinasi's projects were incomplete at the time of his death, "he was at the forefront of a number of fields and put his stamp on the development of each field so long as it contained unsolved problems." Şinasi, influenced by Enlightenment thought, saw freedom of expression
as a fundamental right and used journalism in order to engage, communicate with, and educate the public. By speaking directly to the public about government affairs, Şinasi declared that state actions were not solely the interest of the government.
Thomas Hill Green
- Grundsätze der Volkswirtschaftslehre (Principles of Economics), 1871
- Untersuchungen über die Methode der Sozialwissenschaften und der Politischen Ökonomie insbesondere (Investigations into the Method of the Social Sciences: with special reference to economics), 1883
- Irrthumer des Historismus in der deutschen Nationalokonomie (The Errors of Historicism in German Economics), 1884
- Zur Theorie des Kapitals (The Theory of Capital), 1888
William Graham Sumner
William Graham Sumner
- Socialism, 1878
- The Argument Against Protective Tariffs, 1881
- Protective Taxes and Wages, 1883
- The Absurd Effort to Make the World Over, 1883
- State Interference, 1887
- Protectionism: the -ism which teaches that waste makes wealth, 1887
- The Forgotten Man, and Other Essays, 1917
Lester Frank Ward
Lester Frank Ward
Lester Frank Ward
(United States, 1841–1913) Lester Ward was a botanist, paleontologist, and sociologist. He served as the first president of the American Sociological Association. Ward was a fierce and unrelenting critic of the laissez-faire policies advocated by Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner.
- Some literature:
- (1883) Dynamic Sociology: Or Applied social science as based upon statical sociology and the less complex sciences.
- (1893) The Psychic Factors of Civilization, 1893.
- (1903) Pure Sociology. A Treatise on the Origin and Spontaneous Development of Society.
- (1906) Applied Sociology. A Treatise on the Conscious Improvement of Society by Society.
Ward's major works can be found here: 
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
(United States, 1841–1935) was a jurist and writer. He wrote the influential book on legal theory The Common Law
, which traced the creation of individual rights from familial rights common under Roman and Feudal law, and presented the "objective" theory of judicial interpretation. Specifically that the standard for intent and culpability should be that of the "reasonable man", and that individuals can be said to objectively intend the reasonable consequences of their actions.
- Kapital und Kapitalzins (Capital and Interest), in three volumes, 1884, 1889 and 1909
- Die Positive Theorie des Kapitals (The positive theory of capital and its critics), in three volumes, 1895 and 1896
- Zum Abschluss des Marxschen Systems (Karl Marx and the Close of his system),1898
(1857–1926) is best known as the author of Theory of the Leisure Class
. Veblen was influential to a generation of American liberalism searching for a rational basis for the economy beyond corporate consolidation and "cut throat competition". Veblen's central argument was that individuals require sufficient non-economic time to become educated citizens. He caustically attacked pure material consumption for its own sake, and the idea that utility equalled conspicuous consumption
- Liberalism and Social Action, 1935
- Democracy and Education 
Che cosa è il liberalismo, 1943
Sir Leo Chiozza Money
Leo Chiozza Money
(Britain, 1870–1944) An Italian-born economic theorist who moved to Britain in the 1890s, where he made his name as a politician, journalist and author. In the early years of the 20th century his views attracted the interest of two future Prime Ministers, David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill. After a spell as Lloyd George's parliamentary private secretary, he was a Government minister in the latter stages of the First World War.
Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed
Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed Pasha
(Egypt, 1872–1963) An Egyptian
intellectual, anti-colonial activist and the first director of Cairo University
. He was an influential person in the Egyptian nationalist movement and used his position in the media to strive and gain an independent Egypt from British rule. He was also one of the architects of modern Egyptian nationalism
as well as the architect of Egyptian secularism
. He was fondly known as the "Professor of the Generation". Lutfi was one of the fiercest opponents of pan-Arabism
, insisting that Egyptians are Egyptians and not Arabs.
He is considered one of the most influential scholars and intellectuals in the history of Egypt.
- Full Employment in a Free Society, 1944
- Why I am a liberal, 1945
Ludwig von Mises
La rebelión de las masas (The Rebellion of the Masses), 1930
Salvador de Madariaga
(United States, 1895–1971) was author of The Modern Corporation and Private Property
, detailing the importance of differentiating between the management of corporations and the share holders who are the owners. Influential in the theory of New Deal policy.
The Modern Corporation and Private Property
- International Economic Disintegration, 1942
- The Social Crisis of Our Time, 1942
- Civitas Humana, 1944
- International Order and Economic Integration, 1945
- The Solution of the German Problem, 1946
Interregional and International Trade, 1933
Friedrich von Hayek
(Austria/United Kingdom/United States/Germany, 1899–1992) In Hayek's view, the central role of the state should be to maintain the rule of law, with as little arbitrary intervention as possible. Also a Nobel Prize winner in economics and predicter of the Great Depression like fellow Austrian School economist and mentor Ludwig von Mises.
Karl Raimund Popper
(Austria/United Kingdom, 1902–1994) developed the idea of the open society
, characterized by respect for a wide variety of opinions and behaviors and a preference for audacious but piecemeal political reform over either conservative stasis or revolutionary utopianism. In his view, all simplistic and grandiose theories of history and society shared a common feature he called historicism
, which he traces back to Plato, while the open society mirrors the methodological fallibilism pioneered by Popper in his earlier works on philosophy of science.
(United States, 1905-1982) was a radical and influential moral and political philosopher. Her advocacy of strong self-interest in ethics was influenced, she claimed, by the thinkers Aristotle, Aquinas, and Locke. Her advocacy of pure laissez-faire capitalism was influenced by the classical liberal economists Mises and Hayek.
- Essais sur les libertés, 1965
- Démocratie et totalitarisme, 1965
Donald Barkly Molteno
John Kenneth Galbraith
John Kenneth Galbraith
- The Affluent Society, 1958
- The Liberal Hour, 1960
(Latvia/United Kingdom, 1909–1997) is most famous for his attempt to distinguish 'two conceptions of liberty'. Berlin argued that what he called 'positive' and 'negative' liberty were mutually opposing concepts. Positive conceptions assumed that liberty could only be achieved when collective power (in the form of church or state) acted to 'liberate' mankind from its worst aspects. These, Berlin felt, tended towards totalitarianism. Negative conceptions, by contrast, argued that liberty was achieved when individuals were given maximal freedom from external constraints (so long as these did not impinge on the freedom of others to achieve the same condition). Berlin was also a critic of dogmatic Enlightenment rationalism on the grounds that it was unable to accommodate value pluralism.
- Two Concepts of Liberty, 1958
- Four Essays on Liberty, 1969
- From Hope and Fear Set Free, 1978
(United States, 1919–2013) is known for his economic theories of the political process, which were among the first to take seriously the concept of politicians as rational actors that respond to incentives.
- The Calculus of Consent / James Buchanan & Gordon Tullock, 1962
- The Limits of Liberty, 1975
- Democracy in Deficit / James Buchanan & Richard E. Wagner, 1977
- The Power to Tax / James Buchanan & Geoffrey Brennan, 1980
- The Reason of Rules / James Buchanan & Geoffrey Brennan, 1985
Murray Newton Rothbard
(United States, 1926–1995) was the originator of modern anarcho-capitalism
and an economist and economic historian of the Austrian school
. He is widely considered one of the foremost advocates of liberty
and freedom in the late 20th century.
He was involved with various political movements throughout his life, notably with Ayn Rand
and, later, the Libertarian Party
of United States. His influence is lasting in the libertarian and anarcho-capitalist movements.
- Jednostka i nieskończoność. Wolność i antynomie wolności w filozofii Spinozy (The Individual and the Infinite: Freedom and Antinomies of Freedom in Spinoza's Philosophy), 1958
- Rozmowy z diabłem (US title: Conversations with the Devil / UK title: Talk of the Devil; reissued with The Key to Heaven under the title The Devil and Scripture, 1973)
- Od Hume'a do Koła Wiedeńskiego (the 1st edition:The Alienation of Reason, then Positivist Philosophy from Hume to the Vienna Circle)
- Die Chancen der Krise: über die Zukunft des Liberalismus, 1983
- Fragmente eines neuen Liberalismus, 1987
The journalist Karl-Hermann Flach
(Germany, 1929–1973) was in his book Noch eine Chance für die Liberalen
one of the main theorist of the new social liberal principles of the Free Democratic Party (Germany)
. He places liberalism clearly as the opposite of conservatism
and opened the road for a government coalition with the social democrats.
The Morality of Freedom
- Sovereign Virtue: The Theory and Practice of Equality
- Justice for Hedgehogs
(United States, 1931–2007) was one of the leading contemporary philosophers of liberalism. His fundamental claims, among others, are that liberalism is best defined as the attempt to avoid cruelty to others; that liberals need to accept the historical 'irony' that there is no metaphysical justification for their belief that not being cruel is a virtue; that literature plays a crucial role in developing the empathy necessary to promote solidarity (and therefore lack of cruelty) between humans; and that private philosophising and public political discourse are separate practices and should remain so.
- Development as Freedom
- The Argumentative Indian
(United States, 1938–2002) was a libertarian
). He advocated an unapologetically reductionist political philosophy characterized by meticulous analysis of the moral aspects of each social interaction, and did not shy away from addressing hard philosophical issues such as the original appropriation of property. Nozick is best known for providing the justification of a minimal state by showing that it can be established without any unjust steps.
Hernando de Soto
The economist Hernando de Soto
(Peru, 1941– ) is an advocate of transparency and private property rights, arguing that intransparent government leads to property not being given proper title, and therefore being "dead capital" which cannot be used as the basis of credit. Argues that laws which allocate property to those most able to use them for economic growth, so called "squatter's rights", are an important innovation.
- The Other Path, 1986.
- The Mystery of Capital, 2000.
A biography described the British politician Michael Meadowcroft
as "the main, indeed very nearly the only, philosopher of applied Liberalism within the old Liberal Party from the late 1960s onwards".
On the merger of the Liberal Party
and the Social Democratic Party
in the UK to form the Liberal Democrats
, Meadowcroft initially reconstituted a new Liberal Party
with others who did not want to compromise the philosophy of liberalism.
However, the new Liberal Party became increasingly Eurosceptic
under the leadership of Steve Radford and Meadowcroft joined the Liberal Democrats in 2007.
He has regularly argued for the importance of political philosophy and that members of the Liberal Democrats require more conviction in their beliefs.
- Meadowcroft, Michael (1979). Liberal values for a new decade. Liberal Publication Department.
- Meadowcroft, Michael; Marquand, David (1981). Liberalism and social democracy. London: Liberal Publication Department.
- Meadowcroft, Michael (1997). Focus on freedom: the case for the Liberal Party (1 ed.). Southport: Liberal Party.
- Meadowcroft, Michael (2001). Focus on freedom: the case for the Liberal Party(PDF) (2 ed.). Southport: Liberal Party. ISBN 189841509 9.
- Meadowcroft, Michael (2001). New democracies : underpinned or undermined. John Stuart Mill Institute.
- Meadowcroft, Michael (2009). Diversity in danger : pluralism and policy development. Leeds: Beecroft Publications.
Carlos Santiago Nino
The Ethics of Human Rights
We, The People
(Canada, 1962– ) tries in his philosophy to determine if forms of ethnic or minority nationalism
are compatible with liberal-democratic principles of individual freedom, social equality and political democracy. In his book Multicultural Citizenship. A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights
he argues that certain "group-differentiated rights" of minority cultures can be consistent with these liberal-democratic principles.
- ^ "Niccolo Machiavelli | Biography, Books, Philosophy, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
- ^ "Discourses on Livy: Book 1". www.constitution.org. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
- ^ "Discourses on Livy: Book 3". www.constitution.org. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
- ^ Lucien Jaume, "Hobbes and the Philosophical Sources of Liberalism", The Cambridge Companion to Hobbes' Leviathan, 211
- ^ Bronowski, J and Mazlish, Bruce, The Western Intellectual Tradition, pp. 264–79, especially 273–76.
- ^ Fox, Charles James (1853). The Speeches of the Right Honourable Charles James Fox in the House of Commons. Aylott and Company. charles james fox.
- ^ Rosen, Frederick (2005). Classical Utilitarianism from Hume to Mill. Routledge. p. 251. According to Isaiah Berlin, the most eloquent of all defenders of freedom and privacy [was] Benjamin Constant, who had not forgotten the Jacobin dictatorship.
- ^ Galles, Gary M. "Remembering Humboldt’s Wisdom", Foundation for Economic Education, June 22, 2017.
- ^ Faculty of Al-Alsun: Historical backgroundArchived 2017-07-05 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ Vatikiotis, pp. 115–16
- ^ Vatikiotis, p. 116
- ^ "İbrahim Şinasi kimdir?". www.biyografi.info. Retrieved 2019-09-25.
- ^ Nergis Ertürk, Grammatology and Literary Modernity in Turkey. Oxford, UK: Oxford UP, 2011. Print.
- ^ M. Sükrü Hanioglu, A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire, (Princeton University Press, 2008), 100.
- ^ Hourani, Albert. 1962. Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age. pg 177.
- ^ Wendell, C; P. Bearman; Th. Bianquis; C. E. Bosworth; E. van Donzel; W. P. Heinrichs (2011). "Luṭfīal-Sayyid, Aḥmad". Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
- ^ Milton Friedman#Public policy positions
- ^ a b Smulian, Mark. "Michael Meadowcroft, 1942-". Retrieved 6 June 2021.
- ^ Michael Meadowcroft (13 October 2007). "Opinion: Why I joined the Liberal Democrats". Lib Dem Voice. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- ^ Meadowcroft, Michael. "Nearer the abyss". Retrieved 6 June 2021.
- ^ Meadowcroft, Michael. "THE RADICAL TRADITION IN LIBERALISM - LEADING THE DEBATE THEN AND NOW" (PDF). Retrieved 6 June 2021.
- ^ Meadowcroft, Michael. "THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS: A STRATEGY FOR A RELEVANT BASIS OF PHILOSOPHY AND POLITICAL VALUES – AND FOR REVIVING AND DEVELOPING THE PARTY" (PDF). Retrieved 6 June 2021.
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