A Case for Conservatism

A Case for Conservatism

by John Kekes

Paperback(Revised ed.)

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Overview

In his recent book Against Liberalism, philosopher John Kekes argued that liberalism as a political system is doomed to failure by its internal inconsistencies. In this companion volume, he makes a compelling case for conservatism as the best alternative. His is the first systematic description and defense of the basic assumptions underlying conservative thought.

Conservatism, Kekes maintains, is concerned with the political arrangements that enable members of a society to live good lives. These political arrangements are based on skepticism about ideologies, pluralism about values, traditionalism about institutions, and pessimism about human perfectibility.

The political morality of conservatism requires the protection of universal conditions of all good lives, social conditions that vary with societies, and individual conditions that reflect differences in character and circumstance. Good lives, according to Kekes, depend equally on pursuing possibilities that these conditions establish and on setting limits to their violations.

Attempts to make political arrangements reflect these basic tenets of conservatism are unavoidably imperfect. Kekes concludes, however, that they represent a better hope for the future than any other possibility.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801485527
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 02/21/2001
Edition description: Revised ed.
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.57(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John Kekes is Research Professor at the State University of New York at Albany. He is the author of nine books, including Against Liberalism and Moral Wisdom and Good Lives, both from Cornell.

What People are Saying About This

Herbert London

"If one considers the moral suppositions of conservatism, there isn't anyone in academic life better prepared to illuminate these ideas than John Kekes. In A Case for Conservatism he makes his argument with perspicacity, logical exegesis, and compelling argumentation."

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