The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism (Hobbes to Locke). By C. B. Macpherson. Oxford University Press, Those of us who have had the good . C. B. Macpherson’s The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke challenged the canonical interpretation of seventeenth-century . Introduction. The roots of liberal-democratic theory — Problems of interpretation — Hobbe: the political obligation of the market. Philosophy and political theory.

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The Balance and the Gentry 3: Interpretations — The theory of property right — Class differentials in natural rights and rationality — The ambiguous state of nature — The ambiguous civil society — Unsettled problems reconsidered — Possessive individualism and liberal democracy.

Philosophical Explorations of Individualism, Community, and Equality. Unexamined ambiguities — The balance and the gentry — The bourgeois society — The equal commonwealth and the equal agrarian — The self-cancelling balance principle — Harrington’s stature –Locke: Problems of Interpretation II. For Friedman, ihdividualism freedom needed to be protected because it ensured political freedom. Natural Rights in the Thirteenth Century: Bertram Morris – – Ethics 75 3: So nice to see someone post about MacPherson!

More specifically, a model is a specification of several key structural features of a social order. Taxation is legitimate for at least three different reasons: Robert Nozick seems to have represented many of ;ossessive values in Anarchy, State, and Utopia.

Bertram Morris – – Ethics 75 3: One of the key works of twentieth-century political philosophy Long out of print and now available in an affordable new edition New introduction by Frank Cunningham of the University of Toronto puts the work in a twenty-first-century context.


Here is his formulation late in the book: Corporate Legitimacy as Deliberation: Abstract and Keywords C.

The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke

From inside the book. Freedom from dependence on others means freedom from any relations with others except those relations which the individual enters voluntarily with a view to his own interest.

These assumptions do correspond substantially to the actual relations of a market society. Furthermore, fo voluntary nature of the exchange is only evident in cases of perfect competition where each product is the same and there are an infinite number of individulaism. It is a rather big difference in being allowed to prevent someone to walk across your field full of crops far out in the countryside with plenty of possibilities to go around – and to be e.

It is even more unusual for this to happen when the subject is one that has been thoroughly individialism by generations of historians This book is one fine piece of political thought, and a useful addition is his “Origins of English Individualism” which argues more or less successfully, I believe that English culture was remarkably individualist as early as visitors from the continent began remarking on it in the late Middle Ages. Clarendon Press- Levellers – pages. Although the individual cannot alienate the whole o fhis property in his own person, he may alienate his capacity to labour.

Understanding Society: Possessive individualism

The book puts forward a fairly simple theory: Request an Inspection Copy. Human society consists of a series of market relations.

Widely regarded as Canada’s pre-eminent political theorist of the twentieth century, he was the author of numerous books, including The Life and Times of Liberal Democracy and The Real World of Democracyand was named to the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour. Posted by Daniel Little at 6: An odd blend of the irrelevance, tedium and brilliance. What does Macpherson mean by this? Roy Request an Inspection Copy. Macpherson was first published by the Clarendon Press inand remains of key importance to the study of liberal-democratic theory half-a-century later.


MacPherson’s general approach to early modern political theorists is spot on: Until the appearance of Professor Macpherson’s book, it seemed unlikely that anything radically new could be said about so well-worn a topic.

Submitting a Proposal Your Contacts. Philosophy and political theory — Human nature and the state of nature — Models of society — Political obligation — Penetration and limits of Hobbe’s political theory — The Levellers: Search within my subject: This is an “aggregation dynamics” argument.

C. B. Macpherson

In response, he claimed that what he had always been trying to do was to “work out a revision of liberal-democratic theory, a revision that clearly owed a great deal to Marx, in the hope of making that theory more democratic while rescuing that valuable part of the liberal tradition which is submerged when liberalism indivdiualism identified as synonymous with capitalist market relations.

What Macpherson means by a model here needs some careful interpretation. Find it on Scholar. John Rawls expresses most of these value in Justice as Fairness: This page was last edited on 1 Octoberat My library Help Advanced Book Search.