Critics contend liberals fail to pay sufficient attention to the moral goods of community and civic responsibility. Liberalism, they argue, is a morally shallow doctrine grounded in a conception of human beings as qatoms of self-interest.q This leads to a conception of politics that amounts to little more than qzoo-keepingq - the establishment of institutions to prevent individuals from mauling one another in their quest for personal satisfaction. Several contemporary thinkers have taken these criticisms to heart and embraced versions of qcivic liberalismq - hybrid theories that combine the liberal emphasis on individual rights with a concern for community and civic responsibility. In an attempt to explore the possibility of civic liberalism, some scholars have turned to the ideas of earlier thinkers who attempted to infuse liberalism with robust conceptions of civic responsibility. My aim is to contribute to the ongoing attempt to explore the possibility of civic liberalism by reconstructing the political thought of Frederick Douglass. He drew on the liberal language of individual rights and a moral vocabulary of human brotherhood and civic responsibility. Why did Douglass infuse his liberalism with a robust civic vocabulary? How did he synthesize these ideas? Is his synthesis morally and politically coherent? My aim is to show that the experience of slavery led Douglass to appreciate the ways in which the liberal aim of securing freedom depends on a robust conception of civic responsibility. I conclude that although Douglass does not qsolveq liberalism's problems, he offers an qimaginative recoveryq of natural rights philosophy that is attentive to the importance of community and civic responsibility.Abstract Critics contend liberals fail to pay sufficient attention to the moral goods of community and civic responsibility. ... versions of acivic liberalisma a hybrid theories that combine the liberal emphasis on individual rights with a concern for community and civic responsibility. ... I conclude that although Douglass does not asolvea liberalisma#39;s problems, he offers an aimaginative recoverya of natural rights anbsp;...
|Title||:||In Pursuit of Liberty: The Civic Liberalism of Frederick Douglass|
|Publisher||:||ProQuest - 2007|