Tag: Modern Liberal Democracy

Major Works


  • Second Treatise of Government [1689]

    - John Locke (C. B. Macpherson, ed., Hackett, 1980)
    Locke’s Second Treatise, one of the great texts in the history of liberal political thought and a great influence on the American founders, is simultaneously a continuation of Hobbes’ thought and a criticism of Hobbes’ scheme.  Like Hobbes,… More
  • The Theory of Moral Sentiments [1759]

    - Adam Smith, 2 vols. (D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie, eds., Liberty Fund, 1982)
    In this classic text, the founder of modern capitalism discusses the psychological basis of morality.  He continues the tradition begun by Hobbes by discussing morality in terms of man’s natural freedom and the primacy of self-interest.
  • An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations [1776]

    - Adam Smith, 2 vols. (R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner, eds., Liberty Fund, 1982)
    In this classic work, Smith builds upon Hobbes’s appeal to enlightened self-interest as the basis of social order, arguing that “it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to… More
  • The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke [1962]

    - C. B. MacPherson (Oxford University Press, 2011)
    This work by C.B. Macpherson was first published by the Clarendon Press in 1962, and remains of key importance to the study of liberal-democratic theory. In it, Macpherson argues that the chief difficulty of the notion of individualism that underpins… More
  • “Hobbes and the Science of Indirect Government”

    - Harvey C. Mansfield, The American Political Science Review, v. 65, no. 1 (Mar., 1971): 97-110
    In this essay, Mansfield takes up the simultaneously revolutionary and conservative aspects of Hobbes’ political science, considering especially the elevation of theoretical questions (i.e., questions of representation) over practical ones (i.e.,… More
  • On the Sovereign Authorization

    - Clifford Orwin, "On the Sovereign Authorization," Political Theory, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Feb. 1975).
    Excerpt: HOBBES IS, as others have shown, the founder of the modern notion of representation. He does not, however, speak exclusively of “representation,” and “personation” and “standing-for,” but of… More
  • “Hobbes and the Political Science of Power”

    - Harvey C. Mansfield, in Taming the Prince: the Ambivalence of Modern Executive Power (Free Press, 1989), pp. 151-180
    Excerpt: In Machiavelli we find the executive, but not executive power.  Before executive power could be conceived as one of the equal independent powers of a republican constitution, the very concept of power had to be discovered.  This was the work of… More
  • History and Modernity in the Thought of Thomas Hobbes

    - Robert P. Kraynak, History and Modernity in the Thought of Thomas Hobbes, Cornell University Press, 1990.
  • An Intellectual History of Liberalism

    - Pierre Manent (Rebecca Balinski, trans., Princeton University Press, 1996)
    Highlighting the social tensions that confront the liberal tradition, Pierre Manent draws a portrait of what we, citizens of modern liberal democracies, have become. For Manent, a discussion of liberalism encompasses the foundations of modern society, its… More
  • “Hobbes, Locke, and the Problem of the Rule of Law”

    - Michael Zuckert, in Launching Liberalism: on Lockean Political Philosophy (University Press of Kansas, 2002)pp. 297-310
    Zuckert traces a contemporary disagreement among “Hobbesian” and “Lockean” scholars of constitutional law back to a disagreement over the moral foundations of law, the relation of ends and means, and the possibility of appealing from… More