Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Toward an Understanding (indeed, appreciation) of Liberalism as a Political Philosophy (or philosophies)

Imagine you’re assigned the task of coming up with a list of books—say, for a graduate level seminar— by way of covering or at least suggesting the breadth and depth of both classical and contemporary Liberalism (as a political philosophy or political philosophies). Your list is limited to seven titles. What seven books would you recommend? Your readers will be more or less familiar with the canonical list of original works in the Liberal tradition. Here is my perhaps idiosyncratic compilation:

  • Appiah, Kwame Anthony. The Ethics of Identity. Princeton University Press, 2005.
  •  Gaus, Gerald F. Contemporary Theories of Liberalism: Public Reason as a Post-Enlightenment Project. Sage Publications, 2003.  
  • Goodin, Robert E. Utilitarianism as a Public Philosophy. Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  •  Holmes, Stephen. Passions & Constraint: On the Theory of Liberal Democracy. University of Chicago Press, 1995.  
  • Raz, Joseph. The Morality of Freedom. Oxford University Press, 1986.  
  • Ryan, Alan. The Making of Modern Liberalism. Princeton University Press, 2012. 
  •  Shapiro, Ian. The Evolution of Rights in Liberal Theory. Cambridge University Press, 1986.


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