Key Words by Roger Scruton

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A2 Government & Politics Liberalism
Key Words by Robert Scruton
Individualism 1) Attitude which sees the individual's rights and needs as taking
precedence over the collective in moral and political decision-making
2) Metaphysical position that individuals may exist apart from any social
arrangement and is therefore intelligible independently from society
3) Methodological individualism ­ attempt to study society and social facts
while making as little reference as possible to institutions and `social
wholes', instead exploring the actions and intentions of the individual
Freedom 1) Metaphysical ­ freedom to do one thing rather than another, supposedly
enters every intentional act
2) Political
Liberal ­ freedom in the power of the individual to assert himself
against the state
Conservative ­ Argues either that the liberal perspective is
mistaken or that freedom has to be balanced against other
values in a way that makes it legitimate to encroach on it
Welfare socialist view ­ If men are to be free they must suffer
whatever constraints are necessary to organise their labour and
ensure a satisfactory distribution of its product
3) Freedoms ­ Denotes the choices which are offered to citizens as rights
Rationalism 1) Philosophical doctrine that the world is knowable to reason
2) Legal-rational over traditional and customary modes of legitimation
3) Search for rational solutions in place of prejudices
4) Used to denote the disposition to favour clear and explicit solutions,
based on principles whatever the problems
Equality 1) Equality before the law ­ an individual's rights in law are determined by
him being solely subject to the sovereign
2) Political ­ Equality in respect of suffrage and ability to stand for election
3) Material ­ Dispute over whether a political arrangement can provide
equality in terms of possessions
Unit 3 ­ Introducing Political IdeologiesPage 1

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A2 Government & Politics Liberalism
4) Equal opportunity ­ Guarantees equality as far as political action can
without it being totalitarian
Constitutionalism Advocacy of government channelled through and restrained by constitution
Consent 1) A mental act on the part of an autonomous, rational agent on the basis of
understanding, whereby he agrees to participate in some action or common
2) Law ­ material element regarding contract, marriage or sex
3) Political theory ­ proposed as criterion of legitimacy or as the basis of
political…read more


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