Bertrand De Jouvenel
The Conservative Liberal and the Illusions of ModernityBook - 2005
In his effort to detach the indispensable notion of the common good from its historical identification with the more closed, homogeneous, and static societies of the premodern past, the French political philosopher Bertrand de Jouvenel (1903-87) pointed the way towards a viable "conservative liberalism." So argues Daniel J. Mahoney in this compelling introduction to the life and work of Jouvenel, one of twentieth-century France's most profound philosophers and political essayists. Although he vigorously defended the hard-won triumphs of liberal society against its totalitarian critics, Jouvenel also challenged the modern conceit that man is an autonomous being beholden neither to the moral law nor to the humanizing inheritance of the past. Mahoney's study focuses on Jouvenel's three masterworks-On Power (1945), Sovereignty (1955), and The Pure Theory of Politics (1963)-and on his broader effort to defend civility and social friendship against rationalist individualism and its logical consequence, collectivist politics. Mahoney's engaging appraisal of this important political philosopher, the fifth entry in ISI Books' Library of Modern Thinkers series, is the first book on Jouvenel to appear in the English language. Book jacket.
Publisher: Wilmington, Del. : ISI Books, c2005
Characteristics: xi, 216 p. ; 22 cm