By Robert Byron Thigpen (auth.)
This learn of the political philosophy of William Ernest Hocking be gan as a doctoral dissertation at Tulane college. Hocking (1873- 1966) used to be for a few years Alford Professor of common faith, ethical Philosophy, and Civil Polity at Harvard collage. even if he's fairly famous between American philosophers, relatively through scholars of metaphysics and the philosophy of faith, little or no atten tion has been given to his political philosophy. a few normal reports of his concept summarize his political writings in a truly cursory model, yet they don't speak about his contributions intimately or relate them to major matters in political philosophy. most crucial basic works on smooth political philosophy or American political proposal don't even point out Hocking; a couple of be aware his identify in passing. simply because he's virtually thoroughly unknown within the social sciences, the unique function of this learn used to be to discover, systematize, and current his wide writings in political philosophy. It then turned obvious that his complete political philosophy is orientated round the options of liberty and group. while his concept is analyzed by way of those topics, its team spirit and coherence are extra seen. in addition, his writings develop into extra major after they are concerning liberty and group, for those are focal strategies for very important difficulties in smooth political philosophy. This learn of Hocking's political philosophy will, it really is was hoping, aid us to determine how liberty and neighborhood could be extra comprehensible, possible, and suitable with one another.
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Additional resources for Liberty and Community: The Political Philosophy of William Ernest Hocking
558. Also, he refers to the "will to Shared Reality" in his last publication, "History and the Absolute," P·462 . 46 HNR, pp. 94-96; MATS, p. 3 10• 47 Smith, op. , p. 274. THE FREE AND SOCIAL SELF 41 psychoanalytic theorist, substantiates from his clinical practice Hocking's conception of the will. May writes that twentieth century man is undergoing a "crisis of will"; even the experience of having a will is doubted. " Thus, the self cannot know or think without at the same time taking a stance toward the object of its mental focus.
179. PERSPECTIVES ON THE STUDY OF MAN Hocking cannot accept the notion that there is no defensible ethical principle to guide our judgment. "75 His analysis of selfhood insists, as Chapter Two will show, that the individual formulates standards to guide his choices; the will inheres in that central policy of the self toward choice. Having standards of behavior "is the most specific way in which man keeps reminding himself of what he is not, but can be, as well as what he is. "76 Because the individual accepts his standards with a sense of "oughtness," they take on an ethical character.
Conscience, he argues, is not socially derived; rather, it is socially "awakened" by parents and other authorities. 88 Hocking's discussion of the obligation to develop human potentiality as the most fundamental ethical value is the background for his analysis of human nature and development; it is central to his theory of the purpose of the state; and it is the criterion by which he evaluates law. All political institutions and policies must, he thinks, be oriented toward the fulfillment of human potentiality.