Harvey Mansfield and virtue in the arid land of modern liberalism

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"Harvey C. Mansfield is one of the most distinguished American political philosophers writing today, standing at the very center of a bitter debate over the ultimate meaning of political life in modernity, and here, arguably the most prominent conservative academic teaching in a major American university. Mansfield is usually described as a conservative, or in recent years as neoconservative, due to the prominence some of his alleged students achieved in the ranks of George W. Bush’s administration. But this is a very inadequate label, unless it is intended to mean, in general, that he is not a liberal in the contemporary use of the word in America, and that he has had many students who have achieved public prominence, also in the conservative ranks. Mansfield in a personal description of his thought concurs with being labeled as a conservative, using the equivocal understatement that “some people, with some reason, call [me] a conservative”. But whatever the merits and demerits of such a description, it seems too narrow, and thus woefully incomplete. Mansfield’s range of thought and writings is so wide, so versatile, and his presence as a public intellectual commenting on various aspects of contemporary cultural and political life so ubiquitous, that it would be difficult to compress his intellectual and public activities in such a way as to put on it a definite conservative identification. "(...)
Słowa kluczowe
Krakowskie Studia Międzynarodowe 2009, nr 2, s. 23-84.
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