Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

Document Type



My dissertation builds on the recent work of Douglas Rasmussen, Douglas Den Uyl and Roderick Long in developing an Aristotelian liberalism. It is argued that a neo- Aristotelian form of liberalism has a sounder foundation than others and has the resources to answer traditional left-liberal, postmodern, communitarian and conservative challenges by avoiding certain Enlightenment pitfalls: the charges of atomism, an a-historical and a- contextual view of human nature, license, excessive normative neutrality, the impoverishment of ethics and the trivialization of rights. An Aristotelian theory of virtue ethics and natural rights is developed that allows for a robust conception of the good while fully protecting individual liberty and pluralism. It is further argued that there is an excessive focus on what the State can and should do for us; politics is reconceived as discourse and deliberation between equals in joint pursuit of eudaimonia (flourishing, well-being, happiness) and its focus is shifted to what we as members of society can and should do for ourselves and each other.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Eubanks, Cecil