Liberalism in Modern Times

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The premature death in 1991 of the Brazilian essayist, thinker and diplomat José G. Merquior robbed the international intellectual community of a gifted "friend of reason and a defender of modernity". Several essays in this volume, directly or indirectly, broadly or personally, pay tribute to the life and work of this "politically engaged0 intellectual". Part I examines Merquiorian thought itself and--aptly enough--begins with his own incisive review of the rebirth of the liberal idea. Part II ranges more ...
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Overview


The premature death in 1991 of the Brazilian essayist, thinker and diplomat José G. Merquior robbed the international intellectual community of a gifted "friend of reason and a defender of modernity". Several essays in this volume, directly or indirectly, broadly or personally, pay tribute to the life and work of this "politically engaged0 intellectual". Part I examines Merquiorian thought itself and--aptly enough--begins with his own incisive review of the rebirth of the liberal idea. Part II ranges more widely: here, such distinguished contributors as John Hall, Ernest Gellner and Norberto Bobbio develop some of Merquior's favourite themes--liberalism as it relates to social cohesion, political stability, morality, republicanism and democracy, and the relativism and scepticism that characterize postmodern thinking.

The book's application to two regions of the world is direct and obvious: to Merquior's own Latin America and to Central and Eastern Europe, where rapid political change and economic transition have brought debates on liberalism to the forefront. But in Merquior's thought there are also lessons for Western Europe and the United States, where the very familiarity of the liberal tradition can lead to a certain sterility of ideas. If this book can help to introduce a new perspective into Western political intellectual circles, then this alone would constitute a fitting memorial to José G. Merquior.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781858660530
  • Publisher: Central European University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1996
  • Series: Central European University Press Books Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors
Acknowledgments
Post Scriptum Triste
Introduction 1
1 A Panoramic View on the Renaissance of Liberalisms 7
2 Merquior and Liberalism 21
3 Modernity and Postmodernity in the Thought of Jose Merquior 37
4 Merquior the Liberalist 65
5 Variations on a Theme by J. G. Merquior 77
6 Liberalism and Trust 101
7 Adam Ferguson and the Surprising Robustness of Civil Society 119
8 Politics and Morality 133
9 On Deliberation: Rethinking Democracy as Politics Itself 145
10 On 'Postmodern' Scepticism 173
11 The Futures of Latin America: Conservative or Liberal-Democratic? 201
12 Jose G. Merquior, 1941-1991 213
13 Annotated Bibliography of Jose G. Merquior 219
Index 229
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