The Spirit of Modern Republicanism: The Moral Vision of the American Founders and the Philosophy of Locke

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University of Chicago Press, Oct 15, 1990 - Philosophy - 334 pages
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The Spirit of Modern Republicanism sets forth a radical reinterpretation of the foundations on which the American regime was constructed. Thomas L. Pangle argues that the Founders had a dramatically new vision of civic virtue, religious faith, and intellectual life, rooted in an unprecedented commitment to private and economic liberties. It is in the thought of John Locke that Pangle finds the fullest elaboration of the principles supporting the Founders' moral vision.

"A work of extraordinary ambition, written with great intensity. . . . [Pangle offers] a trenchant analysis of Locke's writings, designed to demonstrate their remarkable originality and to clarify by doing so as much as the objective predicament as the conscious intentions of the Founding Fathers themselves."—John Dunn, Times Higher Education Supplement

"A forcefully argued study of the Founding Fathers' debt to Locke. . . . What distinguishes Pangle's study from the dozens of books which have challenged or elaborated upon the republican revision is the sharpness with which he exposes the errors of the revisionists while at the same time leaving something of substantive value for the reader to consider."—Joyce Appleby, Canadian Journal of History

"Breathtaking in its daring and novelty. . . . Pangle's book is tense and tenacious, a stunning meditation on America's political culture."—John Patrick Diggins, Transactions of the C. S. Peirce Society


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The Hartz Thesis
The Unifying Thread of the Two Treatises
The Problem of the Family
The Divine and Human Supports for Justice
The Rational Family
The State of Nature
Rational Freedom and Human Dignity
Bibliography of Modern Works Cited

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About the author (1990)

Thomas L. Pangle is professor of political science at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Montesquieu's Philosophy of Liberalism and the translator of The Laws of Plato, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

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