Theology & Philosophy

Classical Liberalism in Contemporary Political Philosophy


Recent years have seen a resurgence in classical liberal political philosophy. While some philosophers continue in the tradition of the self-ownership based natural rights theory made famous by Nozick, this resurgence has not been limited to that domain. Classical liberal political philosophers now base their theories on a wide range of moral foundations and methodological approaches. The aim of this conference was to explore three of these philosophical approaches.


Conference Readings

Gaus, Gerald, "On Justifying the Liberties of the Moderns: A Case of Old Wine in New Bottles." in Liberalism: Old and New, Edited by Ellen Frankel Paul, Fred D. Miller, and Jeffrey Paul, 84-119. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Gaus, Gerald. “Coercion, Ownership, and the Redistributive State: Justificatory Liberalism's Classical Tilt.” Social Philosophy and Policy 27, no. 1 (January 4 2010): 233-275.

Gaus, Gerald., “Liberal Neutrality: A Radical and Compelling Principle.” In Perfectionism and Neutrality, edited by George Klosko and Steven Wall, 137-165. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.

Rasmussen, Douglas and Douglas J. Den Uyl. Norms of Liberty: A Perfectionist Basis for Non-Perfectionist Politics. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2005.

Schmidtz, David. The Elements of Justice. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.