The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism (Hobbes to Locke). By C. B. Macpherson. Oxford University Press, Those of us who have had the good . Macpherson’s best-known contribution to political philosophy is the theory of ” possessive individualism”, in which an individual. C. B. Macpherson’s The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke challenged the canonical interpretation of seventeenth-century .

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He suggested that the people of the world could somehow unite into a world state p.

Trivia About The Political The It is even more unusual for this to happen when the subject is one that has been thoroughly investigated by generations of historians Does it take a community to raise a child?

Until the appearance of Professor Macpherson’s book, it seemed unlikely that anything radically new could be said about so well-worn a topic. Hobbes Poitical Locke by C.

C. B. Macpherson, The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke – PhilPapers

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University’s proxy server Configure custom proxy use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy. Unsettled Problems Reconsidered VI. Tawney pilitical franchise rational reason Second Treatise sect servants and alms-takers seventeenth-century social sovereign power things thought tion Treatises of Government wage wage-earners whole Woodhouse.

Ernest Leonard – – Journal of the History of Macoherson 7 2: Class Differentials in Natural Rights and Rationality 4: Jun 10, Don rated it really liked it Shelves: The Ambiguous State of Nature Sep 08, John Smith rated it really liked it.

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This is done with what appear to be reasonable inferences from their writings and the ideas of the time. The Self-Cancelling Balance Principle 6: Models of Society 6. The problem was determining who might participate in the political processes which sustained this democratic order.

The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism – C.B. Macpherson – Oxford University Press

The Political Oblication of the Market 3. The unexpected has happened, and the shock waves are still being absorbed.

Macpherson, George Grant and Charles Taylor. Seen as the exemplar of what anyone could want from a modern liberal democrat — government by consent, majority rule, minority rights, moral supremacy of the individual, and sanctity of individual property.

Leviathan Thomas Hobbes, J. Request removal from index.

The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism

For some people the drive induvidualism power is innate, and in others merely a defensive reaction triggered by the need for protection against tye with power-driven natures.

A Quaestio of Henry of Ghent. 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 Introduction by Frank Cunningham Series: Today’s liberal democracies are losing legitimacy too. Hobbes commenc Possessive individualism was, for MacPherson, the defining characteristic of the bourgeoisie. Maja Solar rated it really liked it Aug 26, The Theory of Property Right 3.


Following his death, a two-part documentary on his life and work aired on CBC Radio ‘s Ideas program. Since the material facts of possessive individualism remain, he says that there is now a contradiction between the former ethical underpinnings of liberal democracy and the interests of the mixed group that now governs.

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C. B. Macpherson

Macpherskn 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 is identified as synonymous with capitalist market relations.

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In it, Macpherson argues that the chief difficulty of the notion of individualism that underpins classical maacpherson lies in what he calls its “possessive quality”–“its conception of the individual as essentially the proprietor of his own thd or capacities, owing nothing to society for them. Bertram Morris – – Ethics 75 3: These were the “truly human powers,” Macpherson claimed. Possessive individualism was, for MacPherson, the defining characteristic of the bourgeoisie.

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