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Colloquium Moral and Political Philosophy

Dienstag, 09.05.2023

Lecture and Discussion with distinguished Prof. Michele Mangini (University of Bari, Department of Law) on the topic "REASONABLE POLITICS BETWEEN LIBERALISM AND CONSERVATISM".



I propose a discussion of political theory that relies on the choices of Jonathan, a fictitious character whose aim is that of entering politics with an active commitment, deciding first to clear his mind about the alternatives open in a liberal democracy. He starts by considering what citizens of liberal democracies may want to preserve, the political conditions through which social stability can be achieved. At an abstract level these conditions include political goods such as the rule of law, justice, liberty, legal and political equality, and private property; but also the more concrete goods of defence, education, free market, prosperity, public health and security. Hinging on the ‘thesis of continuity’ between ethics and politics, Jonathan wants to inquire for a political view that contributes to social stability, while remaining coherent with an idea of human flourishing that is action-guiding to some degree. Such a view will be suitable for a pluralistic liberalism but also for a moderate conservatism. Both take seriously into consideration what is most important for the preservation of contemporary liberal democracies, without insisting on the pursuit of any specific ‘ideal of the good’. In Jonathan’s view a crucial role will be played by the Aristotelian idea of ‘civic friendship’ as a way to substantiate the cohesion and solidarity of contemporary political communities, while keeping attention to individual development. In turn, civic friendship within a political community will be made viable though the idea of ‘networks of civic ethos’ which establish solid ties among like-minded people. This view locates at a mid-way between liberal individualism and communitarianism, salvaging the pluralism of values that is ineliminable in contemporary liberal democracies.


Lecture and discussion in english. You can get the paper in advance. Please contact katharina.hiebaum@uni-graz.at.


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