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The limitations of liberalism : the self, the individual and the community in modern British political thought : with special reference to F.A. Hayek and Sidney and Beatrice Webb

Crowley, Brian Lee (1985) The limitations of liberalism : the self, the individual and the community in modern British political thought : with special reference to F.A. Hayek and Sidney and Beatrice Webb. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Abstract

Traditional political theory has placed the individualist libertarian F.A. Hayek and the utilitarian socialist planners Sidney and Beatrice Webb at opposite ends of a political spectrum. While the practical philosophies of Hayek and the Webbs are mutually antagonistic, they originate, at a deeper level, from subtly different interpretations of a shared tradition. The thesis draws attention to the underlying sympathies and affinities linking their works, and views all three as bona fide bearers of the liberal banner. An examination of the ideas of these three thinkers serves as a springboard for a detailed examination of the relationship between economics, politics, and sociology in the Liberal intellectual tradition. The limitations of liberalism are discussed and the theories of self, knowledge, and social relations on which liberal views are based are shown not to be sustained. The conclusion is that liberalism fails to take into account the idea of community and in its search for objective knowledge is essentially anti-political, and therefore removed from the real world. Politics, it is argued, through its search for the common good, encourages discussion and persuasion, and ultimately creates a context in which people can learn to reason and judge. Because the philosophy of liberalism has limited (primarily economic) application, it must learn to co-exist with other philosophies concerned with non-economic aspects of man, particularly as they touch relations between the individual and the communities of which he is a part. – Derived from the publisher’s description of Dr Crowley’s book based on this thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: A revision of this thesis was published as 'The self, the individual, and the community : liberalism in the political thought of F.A. Hayek and Sidney and Beatrice Webb', Oxford : Clarendon 1987.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2016 15:21
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2016 15:21
URI: http://webbs.library.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/846

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