Freedom and Virtue: The Conservative/Libertarian Debate

Freedom and Virtue: The Conservative/Libertarian Debate

Freedom and Virtue: The Conservative/Libertarian Debate

Freedom and Virtue: The Conservative/Libertarian Debate

Synopsis

Like no other single work, Freedom and Virtue explores what unites and divides the adherents of these two important American traditions, shedding much light on our current political landscape.

Excerpt

George W. Carey

The reception accorded the first edition of these essays clearly indicates a widespread and intense concern about the relationship between freedom and virtue. While, to be sure, this relationship is interesting to thoughtful students of virtually every political persuasion, it is of special importance for American conservatives and libertarians because it has been, and continues to be, a source of great controversy. At the philosophical level, at least, it serves to divide the conservative/libertarian alliance that has long resisted the growth of the liberal welfare state. As liberalism wanes and public policy formation is increasingly driven by conservative and libertarian values, this schism promises to become even wider.

In its broadest terms, the freedom/virtue debate can be understood as arising from the primacy accorded individual liberty in libertarian thought. Libertarians, as certain of the following essays will make abundantly dear, share John Stuart Mill's view concerning "the nature and . . .

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