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Rolf Sartorius, Editor
University of Minnesota Press, 1984

Paternalism was first published in 1984. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

Over a hundred years of controversy have established that the antipaternalistic principle so passionately argued by Mill in On Liberty is anything but simple. There are difficulties in interpreting the principle, in reconciling it with Mill's general utilitarian position, and defending it under any particular interpretation. The fourteen essays collected in Paternalism represent the shape philosophical discussions have taken in the past decade and include the classical contemporary statements as well as important new work. This book will provide philosophers, policymakers, doctors, lawyers, and students with all the major arguments that are part of the current controversy.


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Poetic Interaction
Language, Freedom, Reason
John McCumber
University of Chicago Press, 1989
Poetic Interaction presents an original approach to the history of philosophy in order to elaborate a fresh theory that accounts for the place freedom in the Western philosophical tradition. In his thorough analysis of the aesthetic theories of Hegel, Heidegger, and Kant, John McCumber shows that the interactionist perspective recently put forth by Jürgen Habermas was in fact already present in some form in the German Enlightenment and in Heidegger's hermeneutic phenomenology. McCumber's historical placement of the interactionist perspective runs counter to both Habermas's own views and to those of scholars who would locate the origin of these developments in American pragmatism. From the metaphysical approaches of Plato and Aristotle to the interactionist approaches of Habermas and Albrecht Wellmer, McCumber provides an original narrative of the history of philosophy that focuses on the ways that each thinker has formulated the relationships between language, truth, and freedom. Finally, McCumber presents his critical demarcation of various forms of freedom to reveal that the interactionist approach has to be expanded and enlarged to include all that is understood by "poetic interaction." For McCumber, freedom is inherently pluralistic. Poetic Interaction will be invaluable to political philosophers, historians of philosophy, philosophers of language, and scholars of legal criticism.

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The Political Economy of Distributism
Property, Liberty, and the Common Good
Alexander William Salter
Catholic University of America Press, 2023
In recent years, prominent scholars, public intellectuals, and politicians have advocated reforming America’s economic model to embrace “common-good capitalism.” Catholic social teaching is a major influence on this movement. Is common-good capitalism compatible with the historical American commitments to private property rights and ordered liberty? What resources from Catholic social teaching can help orient free enterprise towards the common good? This book is the first scholarly inquiry into these exciting new questions. We can better understand common-good capitalism by exploring the political economy of distributism. Formulated in the early 20th century by prominent Catholic intellectuals such as Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton, distributism emphasizes the importance of widely dispersed property ownership for human flourishing. Distributist thinkers, opposed both to capitalism and socialism, sought a humane approach to politics and economics that reflected the truths of Catholic social teaching. Some of the distributists’ claims about markets and government must be revised in light of contemporary social science. Nevertheless, their political-economic vision contains profound truths about the human condition, which social scientists would be unwise to ignore. Distributism’s insights about the nature of liberty and the social foundations of human dignity can improve ongoing conversations among economists, political scientists, and philosophers. The Political Economy of Distributism explores distributism both as a research program and a blueprint for political-economic reform. As many are reconsidering the relationship between markets and government, this timely book demonstrates the perennial relevance of the Catholic intellectual tradition to public affairs. Academics, public servants, policy experts, and concerned citizens can all benefit from this timely study of common-good capitalism’s prospects.

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The Politics of Truth and Other Timely Essays
The Crisis of Civic Consciousness
Ellis Sandoz
St. Augustine's Press, 2016

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The Politics of Truth and Other Untimely Essays
The Crisis of Civic Consciousness
Ellis Sandoz
University of Missouri Press, 1999

A fascinating collection of studies, The Politics of Truth and Other Untimely Essays explores the historical and theoretical underpinnings of personal liberty and free government and provides a trenchant analysis of the crisis of civic consciousness endangering both of them today. The book addresses a range of issues in contemporary political philosophy and constitutional theory. These are seen to be all the more urgent in importance because of the surging aspirations for liberty in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet empire and the post-Cold War anomaly of crisis, malaise, and disarray in free government itself in America and in other bastions of modern democracy.

While each essay can stand alone, there is an underlying thematic unity to the collection. The fundamental problem considered throughout is whether and to what extent the fall of communism may mark an epoch in world history. These questions are applied to the East Central European nations struggling to achieve free government and personal liberty. The elements required to identify the preconditions of liberty are addressed and specific attention is given to the terms of institutionalization in the American founding.

Several essays focus on American political thought, with emphasis on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Two elements, in particular, are treated: the jurisprudential and common law background to the American political tradition and the centrality of religion within the unfolding of the American political experiment. Sandoz explores the uncommon alliance of philosophers, statesmen, and evangelists during the nation's founding. This alliance, nurturing communities of persons bound together by their faith and a mutual regard for one another, played a vital role in the establishment of the system of freedom under law.

Sandoz sees the tension between religion and natural law as a constant in the human struggle for freedom. That the preservation of liberty under law is no easy task is acknowledged and addressed as it can be seen in the American founding, in the post-communist struggle of East Central Europe, and in the deepening contemporary crisis of American society. Anyone interested in the "politics" of "truth" will appreciate this volume.


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The Pox of Liberty
How the Constitution Left Americans Rich, Free, and Prone to Infection
Werner Troesken
University of Chicago Press, 2015
The United States is among the wealthiest nations in the world. But that wealth hasn't translated to a higher life expectancy, an area where the United States still ranks thirty-eighth—behind Cuba, Chile, Costa Rica, and Greece, among many others. Some fault the absence of universal health care or the persistence of social inequalities. Others blame unhealthy lifestyles. But these emphases on present-day behaviors and policies miss a much more fundamental determinant of societal health: the state.

Werner Troesken looks at the history of the United States with a focus on three diseases—smallpox, typhoid fever, and yellow fever—to show how constitutional rules and provisions that promoted individual liberty and economic prosperity also influenced, for good and for bad, the country’s ability to eradicate infectious disease. Ranging from federalism under the Commerce Clause to the Contract Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment, Troesken argues persuasively that many institutions intended to promote desirable political or economic outcomes also hindered the provision of public health. We are unhealthy, in other words, at least in part because our political and legal institutions function well. Offering a compelling new perspective, The Pox of Liberty challenges many traditional claims that infectious diseases are inexorable forces in human history, beyond the control of individual actors or the state, revealing them instead to be the result of public and private choices.

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Profiting from the Peak
Landscape and Liberty in Colorado Springs
John Harner
University Press of Colorado, 2021

Colorado Springs, Colorado, has long profited from Pikes Peak and built an urban infrastructure to sustain that relationship. In Profiting from the Peak, geographer John Harner surveys the events and socioeconomic conditions that formed the city, analyzing the built landscape to offer insight into the origins of its urban forms and spatial layout, focusing particularly on historic downtown architecture and public spaces. He examines the cultural values that have come to define the city, showing how military and other institutions, tourism, political and economic conditions, cultural movements, key individual actors, and administrative policies have created a singular urban personality.

Capital accumulation has been a defining theme of Colorado Springs from its very beginning, with enormous profits generated from regional industrialization, railroads, land sales, water appropriation, and extraction of coal and gold. These conditions and its setting in the Rocky Mountain West formed a libertarian-oriented, limited governance philosophy.

This persistent prioritization of liberty at the heart of Colorado Springs’s identity, specifically the freedom to conduct business and generate profits in a relatively unconstrained setting, has directed the urban sprawl of the built landscape and molded the region’s political culture. Profiting from the Peak will be of interest to historical and urban geographers, historians of Colorado and the American West, and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the cultural identity of Colorado Springs.

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Protocols of Liberty
Communication Innovation and the American Revolution
William B. Warner
University of Chicago Press, 2013
The fledgling United States fought a war to achieve independence from Britain, but as John Adams said, the real revolution occurred “in the minds and hearts of the people” before the armed conflict ever began. Putting the practices of communication at the center of this intellectual revolution, Protocols of Liberty shows how American patriots—the Whigs—used new forms of communication to challenge British authority before any shots were fired at Lexington and Concord.
To understand the triumph of the Whigs over the Brit-friendly Tories, William B. Warner argues that it is essential to understand the communication systems that shaped pre-Revolution events in the background. He explains the shift in power by tracing the invention of a new political agency, the Committee of Correspondence; the development of a new genre for political expression, the popular declaration; and the emergence of networks for collective political action, with the Continental Congress at its center. From the establishment of town meetings to the creation of a new postal system and, finally, the Declaration of Independence, Protocols of Liberty reveals that communication innovations contributed decisively to nation-building and continued to be key tools in later American political movements, like abolition and women’s suffrage, to oppose local custom and state law.

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