The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism (Hobbes to Locke). By C. B. Macpherson. Oxford University Press, Those of us who have had the good . Macpherson’s best-known contribution to political philosophy is the theory of ” possessive individualism”, in which an individual. C. B. Macpherson’s The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke challenged the canonical interpretation of seventeenth-century .

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It is even more unusual for this to happen when the subject is one that has been thoroughly investigated by generations of historians Dec 18, Vince Jeffrey rated it really liked it Shelves: Sign in to use this feature.

Hugh Breakey Griffith University. He differed in seeing class interests as being more important than the undifferentiated interests of all individuals to acquire security. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. Justin rated it did not like it Dec 30, In it, Macpherson argues that the chief difficulty of the notion of individualism that underpins classical liberalism lies in what he calls its “possessive quality”–“its conception of macphreson individual as essentially the proprietor of his own person or capacities, owing nothing to society for them.

Democracy and Public Space John R. Until the appearance of Professor Macpherson’s book, it seemed unlikely that anything radically new could be said about so well-worn a topic.

The Political Theory Of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes To Locke by C.B. Macpherson

I’m going back to Plato for awhile—to a philosopher who considered reason to be an end in itself and not just a means to the satisfaction of human needs, wants, and passions. The Self-Cancelling Balance Principle 6: Reasonable idea, but wrong. One of the key works of twentieth-century political philosophy Long out of print and now individualim in an affordable new edition New introduction by Frank Cunningham of the University of Toronto puts the work in a twenty-first-century context.


It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. The Levellers also appear closer to both, since it seems they wanted to exclude wage labourers and beggars from the franchise.

Sign in via your Institution. But the motion of every individual had to be ghe to be in conflict with the motion of others, with the danger of collision being ever present.

The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke

Less prepared than Hobbes to accept the authority of a supreme sovereign — a king acting with unlimited authority — as the sole power capable of sustaining the market which he considered necessary for his materialist moral order, the Levellers looked to democracy, and a sovereign parliament, as sufficient authority to maintain order. The Theory of Property Right In this regard, socialism allows a better check on economic power toward political power than the converse under capitalism.

The problematic irrelevance is MacPherson’s use of the language of class. The arena for this trade was the market and the outcome being pursued was greater security. Macpherson was professor of political science at the University of Toronto.

Hobbes commenc Possessive individualism was, for MacPherson, the defining characteristic of the bourgeoisie. This, of course, was even more of a utopian fantasy during the height of the Cold War the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred in October than it is today.


The Ambiguous Civil Society 6: Kc Chu rated it it was amazing Jan 15, The Seventeenth-Century Foundations 2: Abstract and Keywords C.

The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism – C.B. Macpherson – Oxford University Press

Read, highlight, and take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. As the New Individaulism declared: That’s a pretty minor form of irrelevance, of course, since it’s relevant to some people. Brian Tierney – – Speculum 67 1: If like me one had read only Hobbes’ Leviathan and Locke’s Two Treatises on Government, one will gain breadth and social context from reading C.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. The Life and Times of Liberal Democracy ; repr.

The Political Theory Of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes To Locke

Brosephicles rated it liked it Jul 09, Friedman also contended that where socialism links economics with politics, economics cannot act as a check on political power within a socialist society, as it can in a capitalist society.

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