Sunday, April 5, 2009


Prior to reading chapter two, when I would hear the word republican and hear the word liberal I would immediately draw a distinction between the two. Supposing that they are incompatible, without knowing what each of them really stood for, I just pretty much took them to be incompatible because of how the media portrayed them out to be. So his defense for republican liberalism is something new to me, I am interested to see how he will continue to tie these together, to make them compatible with one another.

Dagger says that he is going to connect liberals with autonomy and republican with civic virtue; autonomy requires one to look inward and civic virtue requires or demands one to look outward to promote the common good. The reason why republicans have swayed away from civic virtue is essentially because of three reasons, first, fear of corruption, second, fear of dependence, and third, importance of liberty. After each of these he goes through and says why they would be compatible and ultimately why republicans have generally had a misconception of how these three problems might play out. And I found it very interesting how he suggests that these two theories, though at times lean in different directions, are actually complementary to one another and the tension is healthy, because of the way they complement each other, when one pulls to hard the other pulls it back in and vice versa.

He says that “much depends on how one defines “liberalism” and “classical republicanism,”” (12). One question I do have concerning the way he is making republicanism and liberalism out to be is, is the way he is taking these two theories and making them compatible with one another, is he leaving out some key principle or concept that would essentially diminish the compatibility between the two?

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