Pluralism and Pessimism: A Central Theme in the Political Thought of Stuart Hampshire
Stuart Hampshire's political thought is an important but often overlooked contribution to contemporary debates concerning the nature and permanence of plural and conflicting values. In its combination of a pessimistic view of the limits of politics with a deep respect for pluralism and disagreement Hampshire's thought can be regarded as a significant version of 'the Liberalism of fear'. This is grounded in a belief that the inherited innocence of moral and political thinking has been undermined by our experience of the horrors of the twentieth century. Hampshire's response is to propose a minimal form of proceduralism that contrasts with Rawls's political liberalism. Hampshire offers a criticism of the moralism that characterizes much modern political philosophy without advocating a stark realism.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Dept. of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT, Email: [email protected]
Publication date: 2009-01-01