Forty years after its original publication, Liberty Fund brings back to print Henry Veatch’s path-breaking popular presentation of virtue ethics. This modern interpretation of Aristotelian ethics is a natural for undergraduate philosophy courses. It is also an engaging work for the expert and the beginner alike, offering a middle ground between existential and analytic ethics.
Rationalism in Politics established the late Michael Oakeshott as the leading conservative political theorist in modern Britain. This expanded collection of essays astutely points out the limits of “reason” in rationalist politics and criticizes ideological schemes to reform society according to supposedly “scientific” or rationalistic principles that ignore the wealth and variety of human experience.
Originally published by Oxford University Press in the 1890s, the famed three-volume Payne edition of Select Works is universally revered by students of English history and political thought. Faithfully reproduced in each volume are E. J. Payne’s notes and introductory essays. Francis Canavan, one of the great Burke scholars of the twentieth century, has added forewords.
In 1759, at the height of the Seven Years’ War, when Great Britain was suffering a series of military reversals, Montagu considered his country’s plight in an historical context formed by the study of five ancient republics: Sparta, Athens, Thebes, Carthage, and Rome. Montagu’s focus on the ancient republics gives his contribution a distinctive twist to the chorus of voices lamenting Britain’s decline, and his analysis exerted influence in three momentous eighteenth-century crises: the Seven Years’ War, the American War of Independence, and the French Revolution. This is the first modern edition of Montagu’s work.
Alexander Hamilton, trusted military aide and secretary to General George Washington, wrote to persuade. He had the ability to clarify the complex issues of his time without oversimplifying them. From the basic core values established in his earlier writings to the more assertive vision of government in his mature work, we see how Hamilton’s thought responded to the emerging nation and how the nation was shaped by his ideas. This comprehensive collection of his early writings, from the period before and during the Revolutionary War, provides a fuller understanding of the development of his thinking.
The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams presents the principal shorter writings in which Adams addresses the prospect of revolution and the form of government proper to the new United States.
Auberon Herbert (1838–1906) is an eloquent, forceful, and uncompromising defender of liberty—indeed, in the judgment of Richard M. Ebeling he is “one of the most important and articulate advocates of liberty in the last two hundred years.” Herbert was a major participant in the profound and wide-ranging intellectual ferment of the late Victorian age. He formulated a system of “thorough” individualism that he described as “voluntaryism.” To Herbert, “you will not make people wiser and better by taking liberty of action from them. A man can learn only when he is free to act.” As Eric Mack writes, “Carrying natural rights theory to its logical limits, Herbert demanded complete social and economic freedom for all noncoercive individuals and the radical restriction of the use of force to the role of protecting those freedoms—including the freedom of peaceful persons to withhold support from any or all state activities.” There are ten essays.
The Roots of Liberty is a critical collection of essays on the origin and nature of the often elusive idea of liberty. The essays address early medieval developments, encompassing such seminal issues as the common-law mind of the sixteenth century under the Tudor monarchs, the struggle for power and authority between the Stuart kings and Parliament in the seventeenth century, and the role of the ancient constitution in the momentous legal and constitutional debate that occurred between the Glorious Revolution and the American Declaration of Independence.
The Sacred Rights of Conscience contains original documents from both public and private papers, such as constitutions, statutes, legislative resolutions, speeches, sermons, newspapers, letters, and diaries. These documents provide a vivid reminder that religion was a dynamic factor in shaping American social, legal, and political culture and that there has been a struggle since the inception of the Republic to define the prudential and constitutional role of religion in public culture.
Scholasticism and Politics, first published in 1940, is a collection of nine lectures Maritain delivered at the University of Chicago in 1938. Maritain championed the cause of what he called personalist democracy—a regime committed to popular sovereignty, constitutionalism, limited government, and individual freedom. He believed a personalist democracy offered the modern world the possibility of a political order most in keeping with the demands of human dignity, Christian values, and the common good.
This famed Payne edition of Select Works of Edmund Burke is universally revered by students of English history and political thought. Volume 1, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents and The Two Speeches on America, contains Burke’s brilliant defense of the American colonists’ complaints of British policy, including “Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents” (1770), “Speech on American Taxation” (1774), and “Speech on Conciliation” (1775). Volume 2 consists of Burke’s renowned Reflections on the Revolution in France. Volume 3 presents Burke’s Four Letters on the Proposals for Peace with the Regicide Directory of France—generally styled Letters on a Regicide Peace (1795–1796).
Lord Acton was among the most illustrious historians of nineteenth-century England, a man of great learning with a deep devotion to individual liberty and a profound understanding of history. Liberty Fund is proud to offer the most complete collection of Acton essays ever published.