ERIC Number: ED232936
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Hobbes, Liberalism, and Political Education.
Esquith, Stephen L.
The connection between liberal political philosophy and political education is discussed with particular emphasis on the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. The purpose of the essay is to explain how liberal citizens become committed to a distinctively liberal conception of the common good. Part 1 discusses Hobbes' theory that rationally determining individuals' duties to society is analogous to the adding and subtracting of numbers. Quotations from "Leviathan" and critics' responses to that work are included. Part 2 traces political education and political theory according to the philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, Hegel, and Marx. This part sketches the general sense in which political education strives for the development of human character by creating an orientation toward the common good. Part 3 discusses political education and liberal political philosophy specifically. Liberal citizens are characterized as being bound together by a shared conception of society as an economic race in which potential winners and losers vie for a share of wealth under fair procedural rules. The works of John Locke and John Stuart Mill are analyzed. Part 4 examines the problem of individual character in a liberal political society with an emphasis on Hobbes'"masterless men" and "vain-glorious men." Part 5 returns to Hobbes and political education with a discussion of the theories in "Leviathan." Topics include men's "wild" and "tame" passions and the duty of political science to create good dispositions. (KC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A