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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Public Trials Lida Maxwell. Philosophy and Political Theory 2: Politics Urban Studies U.

Facundo Bey rated it it was amazing Sep 28, The ‘Disembodied Self’ in Political Theory: As the New Statesman declared: Basically, this does a lot to help get away from overly simplified depictions of those 17th century thinkers. Types of Franchise 3: There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

Briefly the theory states that humans are owners of themselves and their labor, and this ownership is not derivative; that their labor is consensually alienable; and market transactions govern the interactions of humans. My library Help Advanced Book Search.

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. Macpherson was first published by the Clarendon Press inand remains of key importance to the study of liberal-democratic theory half-a-century later.

Published December 31st by Oxford University Press.

This seminal work by political philosopher C. Allison Rj rated indibidualism liked it Oct ppolitical, Nixon rated it liked it Nov 29, Macpherson countered that there is little evidence that economics does check macpheeson power. Click to enlarge Price: The Theory of Property Right 3: The new proletariat which journalists now call ‘developing markets,’ just to make it absolutely clear that those people have nothing going for them except their slowly thickening wallets seems pretty keen to join in.


He achieves this by a line of reasoning which shows that, in the early ages human beings replaced the drive towards endless expansion into wilderness as a means to secure subsistence by a system which sought to increase the amount of trade that went on between communities.

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

Widely regarded as Canada’s pre-eminent political theorist of the twentieth century, he was polutical author of numerous books, including The Life and Times of Liberal Democracy and The Real Pokitical of Democracyand was named to the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honor.

He differed in seeing class interests as being more important than the undifferentiated interests of all individuals to acquire security. It gets a lot more intriguing when he writes about Harrington, a theorist I didn’t know much about, and this was as great an introduction to him as I could have wished for. Today’s liberal democracies are losing legitimacy too.

The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke

I have many times wishes to write a similar survey of “possessive collectivism. Types of Franchise 3. Please subscribe or login to access full text content. These were the “truly human powers,” Macpherson claimed. Our Faithfulness to the Past Sue Campbell. I’m going back to Plato for awhile—to a philosopher possessivs considered reason to be an end in itself and not just a means to the satisfaction of human needs, wants, and passions. Politicap classic evaluation of English political theory that helps make the case that Locke was “the confused man’s Hobbes.


Seems thd reveal a lot in the theories of Hobbes, the Levellers and Locke which were confusing or appeared contradictory. Macpherson, George Grant and Charles Taylor. As macpherwon New Statesman declared: We might re-elect them if they fill our fat mouths with ever-blander produce, but we’re not obliged to obey politicak in any way.

The Self-Cancelling Balance Principle 6. For some people the drive for power thf innate, and in others merely a defensive reaction triggered by the need for protection against those with power-driven natures.

Macpherson spent most of his career battling these premises, but perhaps the greatest single exposition of this view can be found in The Political Theory of Possessive Individualismwhere Macpherson examines the function of this particular kind of individualism in HobbesHarrington and Locke and several writers in between, including the Levellers and its resulting pervasiveness throughout most liberal literature of the period.

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. One of the key works of twentieth-century political philosophy Long out of print and now posssessive in an affordable new edition New introduction by Frank Cunningham of the University of Toronto puts the work in a twenty-first-century context. The Equal Commonwealth and the Equal Agrarian 5: A great reading to flesh out 17th century political theory.