Post-Liberalism: Studies in Political Thought by John Gray

By John Gray

John grey has develop into one among our liveliest and so much influential political philosophers. This present quantity is a sequel to his Liberalisms: Essays in Political Philosophy. the sooner e-book ended on a sceptical observe, either in admire of what a post-liberal political philosophy could seem like, and with recognize to the claims of political philosophy itself.

John Gray's new booklet supplies post-liberal thought a extra yes content material. It does so via contemplating specific thinkers within the heritage of political idea, through criticizing the traditional knowledge, liberal and socialist, of the Western educational classification, and so much at once by way of specifying what continues to be of price in liberalism. The upshot of this line of proposal is that we want now not remorse the failure of foundationalist liberalism, considering we now have all we'd like within the historical inheritance of the associations of civil society. it's to the perform of liberty that those associations surround, instead of to drain liberal thought, that we should always repair.


There is gold on nearly each web page and actually a unifying golden thread runs throughout the lot... [Gray] bids japanese Europeans to learn de Tocqueville, Benjamin consistent and the good Scots, now not Rawls, Dworkin and different decadent successors. i counsel them to learn Gray.
–The London Times

Political philosophers like John grey reveal the Left's pretensions and support us placed the controversy at the grounds so much favorable to the renovation of our liberties.
–National evaluation

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Extra resources for Post-Liberalism: Studies in Political Thought

Sample text

It was freedom to live well, to live as other nations did not, in the public experimental study of the world and of human nature. 9 Classical liberty, for Santayana, was the freedom of self-rule, in which civilized peoples pursued the arts of life in the assurance that knowledge of the human good was (within limits, like everything else) achievable. Liberal freedom, on the contrary, is the freedom of inordinacy, an hubristic compound of antinomian individualism with a sentimental humanism which the Greeks would have despised had they been decadent enough to be able to imagine it.

For this reason, if we were ever to fall under a Pax Sovietica, it would be the peace of universal impoverishment and barbarism, and not the just liberal empire of which Santayana dreamt. In truth, Santayana was unable to give an account of any plausible alternative to liberal society. He comes very close to admitting this, when in •Alternatives to liberalism' he identifies liberal society as a transitional state, but cannot specify its successor: liberalism presupposes very special conditions.

And its effects are not always beneficent in terms of human well-being: It is perhaps only in transmissible arts that human progress can be maintained or recognised. But in developing themselves and developing human nature these arts shift their ground; and in proportion as the ground is shifted, and human nature itself is transformed, the criterion of progress ceases to be moral to become only physical, a question of increased complexity or bulk or power. We all feel at this time the moral ambiguity of mechanical progress.

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