Beyond the “Prison of the Corollaries”
Cover of issue 32
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How to Cite

Beyond the “Prison of the Corollaries”: Liberty and the Common Good in the Thought of Bertrand de Jouvenel. (2003). The Political Science Reviewer, 32, 93-117.


Contemporary academic political theory, especially in the United States, is dominated by a largely sterile debate between liberals and communitarians. Academic liberals affirm the moral autonomy of the individual and the priority of rights over a commonly shared understanding of the good life. To a remarkable degree, they take for granted the moral preconditions of a free society–those habits, mores, and shared beliefs that allow for the responsible exercise of individual liberty. Raymond Aron’s forceful retort to Hayek applies equally to other currents of academic liberal theory: they "presuppose, as already acquired, results which past philosophers considered as the primary objects of political action." Contemporary liberals fail to see that "a society must first be, before it can be free."
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