Title page for ETD etd-01212009-095627

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Plauche, Geoffrey Allan
Author's Email Address veritasnoctis@gmail.com, gplauc1@lsu.edu
URN etd-01212009-095627
Title Aristotelian Liberalism: An Inquiry into the Foundations of a Free and Flourishing Society
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Eubanks, Cecil Committee Chair
Crystal, Ian Committee Member
Sandoz, G. Ellis Committee Member
Schafer, Mark Committee Member
Stoner, James Committee Member
Day, Louis A. Dean's Representative
  • political philosophy
  • liberalism
  • libertarianism
  • anarchism
  • rights
  • liberty
  • democracy
  • politics
  • Aristotle
Date of Defense 2008-12-02
Availability unrestricted
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.

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