Topics That Should Also be Discussed

Philosophical anthropology: the conservative view of the nature of the person, of responsibility, inter-personal attitudes, freedom, shame, pride, sin and redemption.

Democracy: the conservative view of the democratic process, its limits and preconditions. The nature of hierarchies and what makes them acceptable. Checks and balances.

The nation: the relative merits of territorial and religious pre-political loyalties. (See RS, A Political Philosophy and The West and the Rest.)

Foreign policy and warfare. Is a conservative an isolationist? What is the conservative attitude to free trade, globalisation, international law, warfare?

The Environment. The conservative position is implied by our discussion: see further ‘Conserving Nature’ in A Political Philosophy.

Property. The most plausible conservative view is some combination of the Hegelian thesis, that private property is essential to the self-realization of the free individual, combined with a doctrine of natural justice that sustains freedom of contract and ‘justice-preserving transfers’ of the kind discussed by Nozick.

Crime and Punishment. What regime is most suitable; what things should be crimes as opposed to causes of civil action.

Return to the Topics
Read Appendix: Hayek and Conservatism