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C. B. Macpherson and the Problem of Liberal Democracy$
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Jules Townshend

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9781853312137

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781853312137.001.0001

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Retrieving Democracy (2): Communitarian, Marxist and Feminist Critics

Retrieving Democracy (2): Communitarian, Marxist and Feminist Critics

Chapter:
(p.136) Chapter 5 Retrieving Democracy (2): Communitarian, Marxist and Feminist Critics
Source:
C. B. Macpherson and the Problem of Liberal Democracy
Author(s):

Jules Townshen

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781853312137.003.0005

This chapter shows how Macpherson's communitarian, Marxist and feminist critics saw his project as mired by the other central strand of his thought: liberalism. Perhaps they unwittingly picked upon a danger in his immanent critique of liberalism. This attempted to expose its two contradictory ontologies and suggested that its possessive individualist one was becoming historically played out. He suggested that its ‘retrieved’ Millian, developmental ontology was now a genuine possibility. In adopting this strategy, Macpherson, these critics argued, was seemingly unable to move off the liberal terrain, especially of abstract individualism.

Keywords:   C. B. Macpherson, Marx, liberal democratic theory, liberalism

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