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The Making of Modern Liberalism$
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Alan Ryan

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691148403

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691148403.001.0001

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The Liberal Community

The Liberal Community

Chapter:
(p.91) 4 The Liberal Community
Source:
The Making of Modern Liberalism
Author(s):

Alan Ryan

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691148403.003.0005

This chapter focuses on the “liberal-communitarian debate.” It argues that the conflict between liberalism and communitarianism that the “debate” supposes is a figment of the imagination; many paradigmatic liberals have been communitarians, and many paradigmatic communitarians have been liberals. In support of this claim, the chapter emphasizes some illiberal-sounding remarks of T. H. Green and L. T. Hobhouse. It then considers how epistemological, methodological, psychological, and moral issues have been muddled together, and when they are unmuddled, it emerges that there is no one general issue at stake. Nonetheless, these issues are connected, and the chapter says something about how they are connected. It proceeds by describing a liberal community and its social, economic, and political attachments, identifying several tensions that could properly be called tensions between liberty and community. It concludes with a discussion of the relationship between community and democracy.

Keywords:   liberalism, communitarianism, T. H. Green, L. T. Hobhouse, liberal community, liberty, community, democracy

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